What to Cook This Week

Thoughts on hollandaise, and recipes for the coming days.

By Sam Sifton

Good morning. Is this the day I convince you to roast a duck just so you can shred the meat and scatter it over sautéed sea scallops, then serve the combination with hollandaise sauce, alongside a peppery watercress salad? I’m hoping so! You don’t even need to roast a whole duck. A couple of legs will do, cooked low and slow in a kind of confit situation. Shred them when they’re done, make the hollandaise, the salad and then the scallops. Bang, zoom. That’s a Sunday night feast.

No? It might be what my children used to call too tasty, and not what you want for the end of your weekend. But don’t reject the hollandaise out of hand. You could serve the sauce with gently poached salmon instead, with a small pan-roasted steak or roasted broccoli. It’s luxurious, and I’m thinking we all need a little bit of that in our lives right now.

On Monday, how about a kale and quinoa salad with tofu and miso? Or Eric Kim’s awesome microwave-steamed eggs (above), a savory, silken egg dish inspired by Chinese zheng shui dan, Japanese chawanmushi and Korean gyeran jjim. (That might be nice alongside these scallion pancakes with squid, or just a bowl of rice.)

For Tuesday’s meal, take a look at this one-pan brown-butter salmon with scallions and lemon, which comes together in under a half-hour. So good.

I like this pork noodle soup with ginger and toasted garlic for the midweek repast, and love the addition of fish sauce some subscribers have recommended below the recipe, for an additional umami pop.

On Thursday night, how about kale-sauce pasta? Or black-bean tacos with avocado and spicy onions? Or a dead simple meal of mushrooms on toast?

And then you can head into the weekend with a roast chicken, this one cooked with maple butter and rosemary, to serve alongside polenta and, perhaps, some carrots roasted in the pan with the chicken. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

There are many thousands more recipes waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. (You need a subscription to access them, it’s true. Subscriptions make this whole thing possible. Thank you for yours.) You can find further inspiration on our Instagram and on our YouTube channel, where Sohla El-Waylly and her husband Ham El-Waylly recently accepted our challenge to cook a meal with a secret ingredient: peanut butter.

And you can always write for help, should you discover yourself jammed up by a recipe or our technology. We’re at [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (You can launch darts at me if that doesn’t happen: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s a far cry from toasting almonds or clarifying butter, but it’s the novelist, screenwriter and essayist Gore Vidal’s birthday. (He died in 2012, at 86.) Here he is jousting with William F. Buckley in 1968, in the 2015 documentary “Best of Enemies.”

Jazz for an afternoon of cooking: Eddie Harris and Jimmy Smith with “Autumn Leaves,” from 1996.

I’m going to read Jonathan Franzen’s “Crossroads” when it shows up in the bookstores and at the library this week. So are a lot of people. And then we’ll fight about it, as we always do with Franzen’s work. Dwight Garner’s already read the novel, of course. And here’s his review in The Times. Bookmark for later discussion!

Finally, let’s check in on Garden & Gun’s annual good dog photo contest as it rushes toward completion. And I’ll be back on Monday.

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