Dinners you don’t feel crazy about cooking Thanksgiving week
With all the preparation going on leading up to Thanksgiving — checking the menu, prepping the turkey, boiling gravy and rolling up the pie crust — preparing actual dinners this week may seem like a bit of a stretch. The legitimate move is to ask, of course. But here’s another thought: Why wait to eat out when we at New York Times Cooking have a veritable abundance of excellent alternatives that are almost as easy, just as quick (if not faster) and certainly more economical?
I can personally vouch for San Francisco’s Kenji Lopez-Alt-style Vietnamese-American garlic noodles (above), which come together in just 15 minutes — less time than it takes my family to even pick out a takeout menu. Made with pantry staples and a few tablespoons of butter, Kenji’s recipe is a perfect example of an umami craving.
An easy dinner for the night before Thanksgiving
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In the same recipe collection, Priya Krishna’s Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar Cheese, which she describes as pizza in rice form, is a combination of classic South Indian tomato rice and a Spanish rice recipe prepared by Priya and her mother Ritu Krishna (co-author of the recipe), copied from Priya’s book Spanish For seventh grade. It’s a 20-minute marvel.
Eric Kim brings another excellent rice vibe with his bibimbap. To prepare it, he roasts a colorful array of vegetables in one pan while simultaneously frying rice and cooking eggs in another pan. The contents of the two pans then combine to form a “kaleidoscope of flavors and textures,” rounded off with a drizzle of sesame oil, a little gochujang and some kimchi.
Any of these dishes make a meal on their own, or you can serve Genevieve Coe’s Sweet and Salty Maple Baked Salmon alongside. Save any leftover salmon for lunchtime salads or sandwiches.
But hey, I have a couple more cooking ideas for this week! Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest column features spicy roasted mushrooms with polenta, and it’s beautiful. A mixture of grilled mushrooms and charred tomatoes is placed atop a soft mound of polenta, then the whole thing is bathed in a fiery, seared oil seasoned with cinnamon, fresh ginger, Aleppo pepper, and Sichuan peppercorns. Great, and vegan too.
Then there’s Colu Henry’s comforting spaghetti e ceci, a tomato stew of chickpeas and escarole dotted with pasta and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
It would be very helpful to skip desserts this week and wait for Thanksgiving dessert. But I’m not known for that kind of patience. Whatever your situation, having sour cream coffee cake on the counter to pass and nibble on is never a bad idea.
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🧊Turkey tracker 🧊
If you are a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and You’re looking for something thoughtful to bring and that’s not foodThe Wirecutter crew has some great ideas for you.