What to Cook This Weekend
Good morning. Bryan Washington is in The New York Times Magazine this weekend with what I think should be the recipe of the week, the dish everyone who reads his words will want to cook just as soon as they’re through his powerful essay: cheese enchiladas (above).
“Enchiladas are warm hugs, enveloped in tortillas and blanketed in sauce,” Bryan writes. “Whether topped with hills of cotija cheese, or a silky salsa verde, or handfuls of herbs, the dish is a shorthand for deliciousness. Even the name alone — enchiladas! — becomes a catalyst for anticipation: Comfort is in the vicinity. It’s on the way! Everything (or at least the next 15 minutes) could very well turn out fine.”
I thrilled to those words, and to his memories of enchiladas he’s eaten across Houston, where he lives. (They took me back to ones I’ve eaten there myself, most notably with Manny Fernandez, then the Houston bureau chief of The Times, the two of us tucked into platters at Ninfa’s on Navigation Boulevard, happily trading work stories and photographs of our kids. Enchiladas are family!) And as Bryan notes, “cooking enchiladas at home is a miracle in itself: The recipe’s framework creates opportunities to use humble ingredients in the service of something truly beyond.”
So won’t you try his recipe this weekend? Or one of the others on our site and app? You might, for instance, enjoy cheese enchiladas with chili gravy, another Houston gem, which I learned from the chef Robb Walsh. Or these sour cream chicken enchiladas. Or straight-up enchiladas con carne.
Here’s another idea: a seared rib steak alongside crispy hash browns and an iceberg salad with spicy cilantro yogurt, spring vegetables and feta.
And another: khoresh rivas, an Iranian rhubarb stew usually made with meat, packed instead with beans and filled with loads of parsley and mint. Serve that with polo ba tahdig, Persian rice with a bread crust, please.
Whichever direction you take your cooking and eating this weekend, do not neglect dessert. I like this cookies-and-cream pavlova. And this rhubarb macaroon tart. But if you’re making the enchiladas as I hope you will, you’d be wise to consider this dulce de leche chocoflan, a two-in-one showstopper of a cake.
There are thousands and thousands more recipes waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. (And further inspiration on our TikTok, Instagram and YouTube accounts.) It’s true that you need a subscription to access them. This is in keeping with another fact: Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. Please, if you haven’t already, would you consider subscribing today? Thank you.
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Now, it’s a far cry from mustard and cornichons, but you should read Ruth Bernard Yeazell, in The New York Review of Books, on female self-portraitists.
Calling all grammarians: In The New Yorker, Mary Norris has a delightful examination of when and why (and why not) to use hyphens. (The most unpopular hyphenate at her magazine is “teen-ager,” she reports. Then explains: “There is something about that hyphen quivering between the ages of thirteen and nineteen that evokes the angst of adolescence.”)
Our Alexandra Jacobs on Tina Brown’s new book about the House of Windsor? Click!
Finally, here’s Laura Veirs’s latest: “Winter Windows,” liberated, strong. Listen to that while you’re cooking. I’ll see you on Sunday.