Make the weeknights bright with these five recipes – The Denver Post

By Emily Weinstein, The New York Times

It’s Cookie Week, haven’t you heard? We just published seven new cookie recipes with videos on New York Times Cooking, and there are many more from years past on our YouTube channel, in case you want to revisit Eric Kim’s frosted sugar cookies or Vaughn Vreeland’s eggnog snickerdoodles.

It’s also the moment for potato latkes and the other delicacies of Hanukkah. I personally feel that latkes can make an excellent dinner themselves if they’re properly adorned; I top mine with a schmear of sour cream and a piece of smoked salmon, though no one would be mad about a little caviar or a poached egg. If you’re looking for a meatier main course, Melissa Clark’s paprika chicken below would do nicely.

1. Sheet-Pan Paprika Chicken With Tomatoes and Parmesan

This deeply savory, weeknight-friendly sheet-pan chicken is worth buying a new jar of sweet paprika for, especially if you can’t remember when you got the one in your spice drawer (for those Fourth of July deviled eggs several summers ago?).The fresher the spices, the more intensely flavorful the dish. This one is as pretty as it is complex, with a mix of colorful cherry tomatoes and peppers that soften and absorb all the chicken juices as they roast. Serve it with something to catch the saucy tomatoes: Crusty bread, polenta or couscous all work well.

By Melissa Clark

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, drumsticks, thighs or a mix)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Espelette pepper or smoked hot paprika (pimentón)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved
  • 1 poblano chile or 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken all over with salt, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, Espelette and oregano. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.

3. Add tomatoes, poblano and sweet peppers to baking sheet, spread vegetables around the chicken. Season vegetables lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle Parmesan all over chicken and vegetables.

4. Roast until chicken is golden, crisp and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking but don’t disturb the chicken. If white meat is done before dark meat, remove it as it finishes cooking.

5. Transfer chicken to plates. Stir vegetables around in pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides of pan, and stir in the parsley and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt if needed, and a drizzle of vinegar if you like. Spoon vegetables over the chicken to serve.

2. Baked Salmon and Dill Rice

Baked salmon and dill rice. A large handful of emerald-green dill makes this dish from Naz Deravian as pretty as it is fragrant. Food styled by Rebecca Jurkevich. (Linda Xiao, The New York Times)

Fragrant dill rice is a natural accompaniment to salmon, and a complete meal of the two is made easy here by baking them together in one dish. Add fresh or dried dill to basmati rice, which is eventually topped with salmon covered in a tangy, sweet and spicy paste of mayo, lemon zest, honey and dried chile flakes. To ensure the rice is perfectly fluffy without overcooking the fish, the grains are baked until most of the water is absorbed before the salmon is added over the top.

By Naz Deravian

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh dill, tough stems removed and finely chopped (about 1 cup), or 1/3 cup dried, plus more for serving
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 large lemon, zested (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (1 inch thick at their thickest parts), skin on or off


1. Place an oven rack in the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a kettle or a small saucepan, bring 2 3/4 cups water to a boil.

2. To a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, add the olive oil and spread it around the pan. Add the rice, 1 teaspoon salt and the dill, and stir to combine. Spread the rice evenly across the pan. Add the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven and bake until most of the water has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest, mayonnaise, honey, turmeric and red-pepper flakes. Season both sides of the salmon fillets well with salt (about 1 1/2 teaspoons total) and pepper. Spread the mayonnaise paste on top (or flesh side) of the salmon fillets.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and very carefully lift the foil. Place the salmon fillets on top of the rice, paste side up, reseal and place back in the oven. Bake until the rice is fluffy and the salmon is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with more fresh dill and red-pepper flakes.

3. Sesame-Brown Butter Udon Noodles

Sesame-brown butter udon noodles. In this wafu pasta  a.k.a. Japanese-style pasta  Ali Slagle tosses udon with spinach, brown butter and soy sauce, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds to finish. Food styled by Cyd Raftus McDowell. (Joe Lingeman, The New York Times)
Sesame-brown butter udon noodles. In this wafu pasta — a.k.a. Japanese-style pasta — Ali Slagle tosses udon with spinach, brown butter and soy sauce, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds to finish. Food styled by Cyd Raftus McDowell. (Joe Lingeman, The New York Times)

This weeknight meal is silky, slurpable and so quick to pull off. It follows the tradition of wafu or Japanese-style pasta, and combines brown butter, udon and spinach, but the classic combination of savory sauce, chewy noodle and green vegetable allows plenty of room for improvisation. Instead of soy sauce, you can add umami with Parmesan, miso, seaweed or mushrooms. Instead of black pepper for heat, grab ginger or chile flakes, oil or paste. For more protein, boil eggs or shelled edamame in the water before the udon, or add tinned mackerel or fresh yuba along with the sesame seeds. Udon noodles, found fresh, frozen or shelf-stable, are singularly bouncy and thick; if you can’t find them, use the thinner, dried style that resembles linguine.

By Ali Slagle

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 15 minutes


  • Salt
  • 14 to 16 ounces udon, preferably thick fresh, frozen or shelf-stable noodles
  • 1 pound baby spinach or coarsely chopped or torn mature spinach
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, plus more as needed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions until just tender. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then add the spinach and press to submerge. (It will continue cooking later.) Drain the noodles and spinach, shaking to get rid of any excess water.

2. Set the pot over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the foam subsides, the milk solids turn golden-brown and it smells nutty and toasty, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the black pepper and stir until fragrant. Add 1/4 cup pasta water, plus the noodles and spinach, soy sauce and sugar, and toss until the sauce is thickened and silky. Add pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce clings to the noodles.

3. Remove from heat, add the sesame seeds and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Season to taste with more soy sauce and black pepper (if mild) and sugar (if too salty). Serve with more sesame seeds on top.

4. Winter Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry

Winter squash and wild mushroom curry. This recipe from David Tanis is both sumptuous and simple to make. Food styled by Simon Andrews. (David Malosh, The New York Times)
Winter squash and wild mushroom curry. This recipe from David Tanis is both sumptuous and simple to make. Food styled by Simon Andrews. (David Malosh, The New York Times)

This is comfort food, Indian-style, adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey. It’s also vegan, and perfect for a fall evening. Use a mixture of cultivated mushrooms; they come in all shapes and sizes. Look for royal trumpets, a large, meaty type of oyster mushroom; shiitakes, and small portobellos. Use some wild mushrooms too, if you can, like golden chanterelles, lobster or hen of the woods. You can make this as spicy as you wish, but be sure to include some cayenne and green chile, to complement and play off the creamy coconut milk sauce. Serve with basmati rice, rice noodles or mashed potatoes.

Recipe from Madhur Jaffrey

Adapted by David Tanis

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 or 2 small green chiles, such as jalapeño or serrano
  • 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish



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