What to Cook This Week

Ricotta pasta alla vodka, cauliflower shawarma and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. One of the many things I love about the community we’ve built here at New York Times Cooking is the notes that subscribers add to the recipes. The notes are, for the most part, helpful and kind, often funny and probing. And if there are plenty who say they substituted sardines for the chicken and the recipe’s awful, there are many more who bring their history and culture to bear in what they write, and who lift us all with their experience.

Take Eric Kim’s recipe for Brunswick stew (above), which he wrote about for The Times in the fall. Readers from all over the South have weighed in with thoughtful memories of the dish as it was cooked by their families for decades: butter in place of the olive oil, canned tomatoes in place of the fresh, Vidalia onions always, a little more Worcestershire sauce, a dab of barbecue sauce, some okra, a handful of barbecued pork.

My plan for today is to read all the notes, make some considered decisions and cook Brunswick stew.

But not only Brunswick stew. Pasta with chopped pesto and peas for lunch. And here’s a reminder that even if you’re no more Irish than Sal at the pizza shop: If you want to eat homemade corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll need to slip that meat into your brine today, so that it’s perfect by Friday, good to go.

As for the rest of the week. …


I love Melissa Clark’s recipe for cauliflower shawarma with spicy tahini, which goes well with flatbreads and a bowl of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. It’s a fast take on the traditional version made with chicken or lamb, perfect for a weeknight when you’re in search of big flavor.


Eric Kim has a new recipe for ricotta pasta alla vodka that pairs a dollop of cheese with an extra boozy version of the classic recipe, making the dish creamy and rich.


These soy-glazed salmon hand rolls from Kay Chun are a marvel for midweek cooking. The recipe is a riff on the roasted eel dish known as unagi: rich, fresh and crunchy all at once. Try it with quinoa instead of the usual short-grained rice.


Zainab Shah’s new recipe for chicken Manchurian is her take on an immensely popular dish at Chinese restaurants across South Asia. It’s sweet and sour, punchy with peppers and chile, and excellent over rice or noodles. Get to it.


And then, for St. Patrick’s Day, you could pair corned beef and cabbage or Irish tacos with Melissa Clark’s amazing new recipe for a crispy-topped casserole inspired by colcannon. What a feast!

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this week awaiting you on New York Times Cooking, at least if you have a subscription to our site and apps. Subscriptions are necessary. They make our work possible. And for a limited time, you can save on all of The Times, including Cooking, during our All Access sale. Subscribe now to get unlimited access to our recipes and advice, plus everything The Times offers.

Some housekeeping: Write us at [email protected] if you run into trouble with our technology. Write me at [email protected] if you’re exercised about something, or simply want to say hello. I can’t respond to every letter. But I read every one.

Now, it’s a far cry from saffron or ling cod, but Wayne Lawson, in Vanity Fair, has broken his four-decade silence about editing — really, ghostwriting — Gloria Swanson’s 1980 autobiography, “Swanson on Swanson,” available at libraries and used-book stores alike. It’s an amazing tale.

Are you watching the second season of “Mayor of Kingstown” on Paramount+? Y’oughta.

Matthew Bevis, in The London Review of Books, has 5,000 words on the 2,000 pages that make up Edward Mendelson’s “The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Poems, Vols. I & II.” They’re worth reading.

Finally, the Oscars get underway later today, and The Times will be watching closely. Join us for live coverage of the red carpet, the upsets and snubs. And I’ll return next week.

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