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What to Cook This Week

Good morning. I’ll get to the recipes soon enough, to my jaunty exhortations to cook this or that and to revel in the deliciousness of it all. But before I do, I’m going to ask you to turn to your phone, and to identify in your contacts list someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.

Maybe that’s a colleague in a different department at work, or a friend who lives in a different town, or a cousin from whom you’ve drifted on account of the vagaries of life during a pandemic.

Then call that person. Call them to say hello, to find out how they’re doing, to check in at the start of the year, just because. (If nothing else, ask them what they’ve been cooking.) I think that could be helpful, for you, for them: a point of connection renewed, a sense that the world is a little bigger today than it was yesterday. I think it could provide a spark of something good.

And then to the kitchen!

I like the idea of chicken Marbella (above) for dinner tonight, the classic recipe from “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” sweet, salty and lush. Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of parted-out whole birds is a lovely swap — and the leftovers freeze nicely, so you can make a couple of meals out of it.

Now, let’s see what you think of what follows. It’s a new format for this newsletter that we hope will make it easier to plan what to cook this week. Let me know what you think of it? I’m at foodeditor@nytimes.com.

See what you think of this quinoa bowl with crispy brussels sprouts, eggplant and tahini. Smarties will double the recipe for the tahini sauce. It’s a useful condiment to have in the fridge.

Consider red beans and rice. It’s a Monday night meal in New Orleans, but I like it just fine on any night I make it, generally with the addition of a smoked ham hock or turkey wing to the pot.

Come midweek, you might pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner and use it to make this freestyle no-recipe recipe for chicken salad with greens and herbs. Dinner in 15 minutes, and that’s the right time stamp for the middle of the week.

For dinner, make this vegan cacio e pepe, which really is its own kind of wonderment: creamy with cashew butter and punched up with miso and a scattering of nutritional yeast.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this week are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. You do, yes, need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I thank you for yours. (And I ask, if you haven’t yet taken one out, if you would please consider subscribing today. Thank you.)

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It’s nothing to do with egg creams or threads of saffron, but Cal Flyn, in the Virginia Quarterly Review, introduced me to the work of Jade Doskow, the photographer in residence at Freshkills Park, born Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island in New York and scheduled to fully open in 2036.

Gilbert Cruz put me on to my second Stephen King novel ever: “From a Buick 8.” (I’m late to it, obviously.)

Spend a little time with the Lucien Freud show at the Tate Liverpool in England.

Finally, here’s Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir, “I Shall Wear a Crown.” (The Numero Group has the box set of all Barrett’s work.) Cook with that, and I’ll be back on Monday.

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