Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. Next Thursday, as you may or may not know, is Valentine’s Day. I am probably the only member of the Food department who goes out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. I know. I get it. But really, is it a treat for me if I have to cook after work? That doesn’t sound like a treat for me? And if my husband cooks, then I do the dishes — also not a treat for me? So we go out! Someone makes us manhattans, and then we eat steak. It’s corny, and I love it.
I am giving you a great, just-a-little-fancy pasta dish below, in case you want to cook for someone as a Valentine’s act of love (and to remind them of how exceptional you are). I’m firstname.lastname@example.org if you need culinaryish counsel.
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Here are five recipes for the week:
Back to real life and another one of my loves: Dijon mustard. I always have a jar in my fridge. Here it’s combined with bread crumbs to make a miraculously flavorful, crunchy coating for chicken thighs. Cooking this easy is rarely this tasty. Serve with potatoes and lemony roasted broccoli. Boneless thighs would also work; reduce the cooking time.
This recipe by the cookbook author Meera Sodha is utterly delicious, and it’s vegan too. Yes, it’s a stretch for a weeknight — there is some chopping — but it’s both manageable and good the next day, so it’s a strong candidate for making ahead. (Or treat yourself to pre-chopped veg at the store.) Put rice on the stove as you start the onions and the timing should work out perfectly; make extra rice if you want some to serve with the brussels sprouts or squash below.
I love squash and am always in search of ideas for cooking it that make sense after work. Enter this simple recipe from the author and blogger Cynthia Chen McTernan, which calls for kabocha squash (you don’t have to peel it), but I’ll be trying it with peeled, pre-cut butternut squash if I can’t easily get my hands on kabocha. Serve over rice and a fried or poached egg to make it dinner.