Just before a holiday full of family and friends, take a moment to cook for yourself.
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By Sam Sifton
Good morning. What a gift a Sunday meal before a national holiday is, if you’re lucky enough not to be working. Monday’s for cookouts and family, for fireworks real and metaphorical. Sunday’s for you.
I could spend it making chili or frying chicken. I could spend it reviving my kombucha or prepping yogurt for the week ahead. I’d like to make these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with ras el hanout (above), too, or this blueberry, almond and lemon cake. But I might actually use the day to assemble this incredible cabbage salad they used to serve at Mission Chinese Food in New York. Doing so on a weeknight inevitably leaves me feeling harried. But on a lazy Sunday devoid of scaries? It’s a joy to make and a thrill to consume.
So that’s tonight’s meal. As for the rest of the week …
It’ll be a long day at the grill for many. I’m partial to these spice-rubbed baby back ribs with chipotle-bourbon barbecue sauce, myself, with buttermilk green goddess slaw. Add a few oysters and a couple of hot dogs, some ice-flecked American lager? That’s a proper holiday meal.
The ginger and coconut milk reduction that coats this vegan dinner of crispy tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas gets an extra boost from soy sauce and a little bit of molasses, for caramelization and gloss alike. You can swap in snow peas or asparagus for the snap peas if you can’t find any; serve with rice. So good.
Here’s a cold noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce that’s perfect for the middle of the week: buckwheat noodles, a ton of crunchy fresh vegetables and a super-adaptable sauce. Will you have some leftover chicken or pork from the holiday? Shred that over the top and hit the salad with a little more lime juice.
You’re probably going to eat, like, two really perfect peaches this year, and I doubt either one is coming this week where most of us stay. What’s great about this recipe for roasted chicken thighs with peaches, basil and ginger is that you can use hard peaches from the market. They roast into succulence alongside the thighs. One of our subscribers called it a “delicious, elegant, easy summer dish.” That’s right!
And then you can run into the weekend with this awesome recipe for a cheesy pan pizza, at least if you can take the time on Wednesday or Thursday to prep the dough. (Accept that you have chosen pizza as a lifestyle, and this will be no chore.)
There are many thousands more recipes to cook this week waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. As I believe you have been made aware, you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope, if you haven’t done so already, that you will consider subscribing today. Thanks.
Now, I realize it’s about as much to do with fenugreek and high-gluten flour as Liam Gallagher has to do with brotherly love, but Chris Pavone’s latest, “Two Nights in Lisbon,” is a solid beach read of the sort you could finish in a couple of tides.
Conversely, Sayaka Murata’s short-story collection, “Life Ceremony,” contains a lot of food and eating, albeit of a particularly gruesome, transgressive type, as Dwight Garner notes in his review of the book in The Times.
Debate: T Magazine’s “25 Most Significant New York City Novels From the Last 100 Years.” (What, no “Bonfire of the Vanities”?)
Finally, it’s Audra McDonald’s birthday. She’s 52. Here she is 10 years ago, singing “Maybe This Time,” from “Cabaret.” Enjoy that, maybe bake her a cake, and I’ll be back on Monday.
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