What to Cook This Week

Vegetable yakisoba, kale and squash salad and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. The college football National Championship is tomorrow night in Inglewood, California, pitting the University of Georgia against Texas Christian University. I work and live in a Dawgs-rich environment, so there’ll be a lot of woof-woof-woofing going on. But at the start of the first full workweek of the year I’m not inclined to make a big production out of a dinner to accompany the game.

Instead, I’ll scratch that itch today and sic my crew on a big platter of Pati Jinich’s bricklayer-style nachos (above) for dinner and on Millie Peartree’s red velvet cupcakes for dessert.

Then, for the rest of the week …


Kay Chun’s recipe for vegetable yakisoba is simplicity itself. If you’d like to eat the stir-fry on the couch while you’re watching football, you can do it the traditional street-food way: piled into butter-toasted hot dog buns with a little mayonnaise and pickled ginger.


When it comes to inventive sheet-pan cooking, Ali Slagle’s recipe for sheet-pan sausages and mushrooms with arugula and croutons sits near the top of the class. It’s juicy and crisp and tangy and salty all at once, as if, Ali wrote, stuffed mushrooms grew up into a main course.


There are days, and Wednesdays are often one of them, when all dinner wants to be is a platter of Mark Bittman’s Buffalo chicken wings, classic ranch dressing and a beer so cold it has little flecks of ice in it. (I roast the chicken on a wire rack until they’re extremely crisp.)


Ali Slagle uses almond butter to make a rich and creamy vinaigrette to anoint her kale and squash salad, and it’s a deeply satisfying vegan main dish. I’m not vegan, so I might sprinkle some crumbles of aged Cheddar over the top.


And then you can run out the week with Andrea Nguyen’s recipe for mapo tofu. (Yes, we also have a vegan version of the dish, from David Tanis.) Or if you’d like to end where we started, you could make Andrea’s recipe for mapo tofu nachos, which puts all that great flavor atop tortilla chips with cheese. Outrageous!

There are many thousands more recipes to consider this week on New York Times Cooking — and you can find even more inspiration on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Sally forth and see what you find.

You do need a subscription to read the recipes, though. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope you will consider subscribing today. Thank you.

Reach out if you have trouble doing that, or if you run into a problem with our technology. We’re at [email protected] Someone will get back to you. You can also write to me, though I can’t help you with technical matters and I can’t respond to everyone: [email protected] I read every letter I receive.

Now, it has nothing to do with strawberries, pork loin or the price of saffron, but if you haven’t watched it already (and perhaps even if you have!) you should make some time this week for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s absurd and gripping 2022 dramedy, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Yes, you should read Zadie Smith on Todd Field’s “Tár,” in The New York Review of Books.

This is extremely niche programming, but there is something absorbing about the terribly named reality television show “Battlefish” on Netflix, about a difficult season commercial fishing for albacore off the Oregon coast.

Finally, here’s Anne Sexton’s poem “Letter Written During a January Northeaster,” published in The Hudson Review in 1962 and just as suitable today. Enjoy that and then go cook something. I’ll return next week.

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