Shake things up (a little)

Hi, everyone. I’m subbing in for Emily this week. Happy to be here!

I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut for the last several months: chili, meatballs, barbecue chicken, nachos and pizza on repeat ad infinitum. Spring feels like a good time to try something new. But not too new, because my family thrives on routine, and who wants arevolt at the dinner table? The dishes below are a gentle switch from the same old, same old. I’ve made a couple before, but it’s been a while, so I’m eager to reintroduce them.

Emily will be back next week. You can follow me on Instagram for kid, canine and culinary content.

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

1. Carrot Tart With Ricotta and Feta

I grew up with a mother who insisted on serving ham or lamb for Easter dinner, but this year, I might belatedly rebel with this spectacular vegetarian carrot tart from Sue Li. It comes together in about an hour — even less, if you roast the veg ahead of time — and it’s made with store-bought puff pastry, so it’s very little fuss. For dessert, I’m making this tender cherry almond cake from Samantha Seneviratne, and it just so happens to be gluten-free.

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Credit…Chris Simpson for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Sophia Pappas.

2. Doenjang Salmon Rice Bowl

For those of us with a passion for all things salty and sweet, Eric Kim’s doenjang salmon rice bowl will be a delight. Quick-roasted salmon is doused in a glossy sauce of mirin, rice vinegar and doenjang, a Korean fermented soybean paste that gives a jolt of funk and umami. Doenjang is often compared to miso buthas a saltier, bolder flavor.

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Credit…Kelly Marshall for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Roscoe Betsill. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.

3. Rosemary Chicken Ragù

Last week, a friend, who has an 8-year-old and a 5-month-old, texted me a screenshot of this recipe from Ali Slagle. “This is a definite kid weeknight dinner,” she said. Even the baby was digging it! Not sure you could pay for a better endorsement. And best of all, the recipe comes together in about 30 blessed minutes.

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Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

4. Ham-and-Cheese Brioche Pudding

If you do make ham for Easter dinner, or if you’re like me and happen to have some deli ham about to turn in your fridge, make this quick, comforting bread pudding from David Tanis next week. The recipe calls for brioche, but any white bread works. I’ve made it with leftover hamburger buns, and no one complained. And, really, any cheese that melts well would work, too.

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Credit…Susan Spungen for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

5. Sheet-Pan Miso Chicken With Radishes and Lime

I made this recipe from Yasmin Fahr for the first time in April 2020, and it was an unexpected bright spot in the midst of some very dark days. Hit the radishes with a little heat, and they soften and sweeten into little rose-colored bites, paired with salty chicken and lively lime. The dish hits all the right notes. It’s also very pretty to look at.

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