If you have any energy left, this midweek spread is worth it.
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By Sam Sifton
Good morning. What a run it’s been this past week, from Thanksgiving into Hanukkah, and Christmas looming with its ham and sugar cookies. You’d be excused if tonight all you want to do for dinner is eat celery stalks with peanut butter while listening to “(Not So Ancient) Yul-Tide Carols” on Spotify.
It’s exhausting, what many of you have been laboring over for the last couple of weeks. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel depleted, in need of takeout food and a break from the kitchen. By the weekend you’ll be back up and running, making beef stew and cassoulet, baked ziti and blackout cake. I just know it.
But if you’ve got a little bit of gas left in your tank? How about putting together the very best charcuterie board (above) for dinner tonight? Or you could make this terrific tofu and bok choy number, with ginger-tahini sauce. I also love these spicy cucumbers with yogurt, lemon and herbs, and this super-simple dinner of pineapple-marinated chicken breasts.
Melissa Clark has an ace new recipe, for spicy shrimp cakes with chile-lime mayo. That could work. Yotam Ottolenghi has one, too, for five-spice butternut squash in cheesy custard. Likewise.
I don’t know as you’re going to want to make alligator chili right now, but Christina Morales’s article in The Times this week, about Hoppy’s Corner Tiger Tailgate, a long-running gator-roasting tradition at Louisiana State University home football games, may intrigue you all the same. (The recipe works just great with any lean ground meat, by the way.) And you can prepare whatever you cook while drinking one of Rebekah Peppler’s new cocktail recipes, for mezcal fresca and bitterscotch.
There are thousands and thousands more recipes waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. It’s true that you need a subscription to access them, and to use our features and tools. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope that if you haven’t already, you will subscribe today. (A subscription is also a terrific holiday gift!)
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Now, it’s nothing to do with duck breasts, chestnuts or the flavor of anisette, but I’m enjoying “The Impossible Art: Adventures in Opera,” by Matthew Aucoin. He’ll make me an opera nerd yet! (You can see his “Eurydice” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, through December 16.)
Priya Krishna has a fascinating story in The Times this week about the devilish business of recipes and plagiarism.
I’m late to it, but if you’re in need of mystery and beautiful language, I’ll put you on to Walter Mosley’s excellent “Down the River Unto the Sea.”
Finally, here’s Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” live (but remastered) from her 1981 solo album, “Bella Donna.” Look at our recipes the way Nicks does at Petty, and you’ll eat well for sure. I’ll be back on Friday.
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