What to Cook Right Now

Good morning. I started messing with firm tofu when I was working on this recipe for velvet fish and mushrooms a few months ago. I’ve since moved on to harder stuff.

I like, for instance, Kay Chun’s recipe for tofu katsu with lemon-tahini sauce (above). Kay calls for the use of firm tofu. Try it with extra-firm, though, and it’s even nicer. Same deal, though a little more involved on the cooking front, with this General Tso’s Tofu Sub. And with Mark Bittman’s ma-po tofu as well. Make it with extra-firm tofu, and experience a kind of perfection.

So tofu’s on the menu this week for sure. If the extra-firm’s just not for you, though, head in the other direction and whisk some silken tofu into a pot of this crazy Korean-Italian-Chinese ragu that the chefs David Chang and Tien Ho invented many, many years ago at Momofuku Ssam Bar. That’s really, really good.

Did you know that today is the chef Bobby Flay’s birthday? He is 54 and owns racehorses and doesn’t need a gift from you or even a card. But you could cook one of the recipes of his that we’ve gathered over the years and adapted for cooking at home, and if you send me a photograph of your work, I’ll pass it along to him, along with your regards: [email protected].

Me, I’d make his pan-roasted chicken with mint sauce. You might prefer his strip steak with a horseradish mint glaze. Or his chicken with Roquefort. My kids would ask for his double chocolate pancakes, with raspberries and salted caramel sauce.

Another question: Is it wrong to want to eat Ali Slagle’s creamy goat cheese, bacon and date dip for dinner? I think it’d be fine to do so, maybe with Samin Nosrat’s greenest green salad alongside.

Lastly, what do you make of Melissa Clark’s awesome guide to the electric pressure cooker, the machine most of us call an Instant Pot even when it’s not made by that company? It’s useful if, like my colleague Mike Isaac in San Francisco, you bought one on Black Friday and still haven’t used it. It’s invaluable if you have. Then: pressure-cooker pork with citrus and mint? Yes, please.

You can find thousands and thousands more recipes to cook right now on NYT Cooking, if you have a subscription. If you don’t, please subscribe now. (And if you do, will you consider buying a gift subscription for someone else?) Absolutely you should sign up for Emily Weinstein’s ace new newsletter “Five Weeknight Dishes,” as well. And follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! If anything goes wrong along the way, either with your cooking or our technology, just ask for help: [email protected]. We will get back to you.

Now, it’s nothing to do with cloves or puff pastry, but if you’ve got children in your life playing Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” on repeat, this Insider guide to all the references in the video is a good way to gain an edge on them.

I wrote about “The Milkman,” by Anna Burns, when it won the Man Booker Prize in November, noting that the novel was not yet available in America. Now it is, and Dwight Garner’s reviewed it for The Times and he just … hammers it. !

Finally, have someone very difficult to shop for in this holiday season? Christine Muhlke can help. (So can Wirecutter.) Cook something delicious, and I’ll see you on Wednesday.

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