Good morning. Melissa Clark wrote about the joys of maximalist brownies for The Times recently, and at least one of the three recipes that accompany the article ought to come out of your oven this afternoon: either pecan pie brownies, coconut macaroon brownies or salted pretzel brownies (above). Melissa has love for the understated, simple brownie, of course. But she’s pandemic-tired. She longs for indulgence. When it comes to brownies right now, she writes, “Make mine as gooey, chewy and opulently embellished as they can be.”
Say you make the salted pretzel ones. I think they’d make a fine dessert to follow a meal of chicken braised with potatoes and pine nuts. (Coconut macaroon brownies after French onion soup? Pecan pie brownies to follow fried chicken?) And that would be a very good Sunday meal.
To make Monday shine as brightly, take a look at this cannellini bean pasta with beurre blanc, true elegance on the cheap. (Here’s Tejal Rao’s ace 2019 article about the dish, a creation of the British writer Jack Monroe.)
Tuesday would be a good one for fishing out that container of frozen rice I’m always saying you should have on hand, so you can make crispy fried rice with bacon and cabbage. But if you don’t have leftover rice, I’ve still got you covered, with the orange beef the chef Dale Talde taught me to make. (Make extra rice to go with it, so you can put some in the freezer for the next time I come calling for it.)
On Wednesday, consider this marinated celery salad with chickpeas and Parmesan, at least if you’re working from home. You can marinate the celery during your lunch hour, and watch that investment pay off huge at dinner. (You’re at a place of work during the day and not at home? Thank you for your service. Please consider giving yourself a night off and getting takeout on the way home. Wednesdays are hard!)
The Thursday night plan, at least where I stay: smoky tomato carbonara.
And then on Friday, see what you can make of this speedy fish chowder, which is a no-recipe recipe that you can put together however you like. Read the notes below it for inspiration!
Thousands and thousands of actual recipes to cook this week are waiting for on NYT Cooking. Go take a look at the site and see what strikes your fancy. Save the ones you’re interested in making, and rate the ones you’ve cooked. (If you encounter any friction while doing that — say, a virtual wall and a request that you subscribe to NYT Cooking to gain access — please consider doing so. Subscriptions are what supports our work.)
And do reach out for help if something goes sideways along the way. We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you, I promise.
Now, it’s nothing to do with marjoram or cloudberries, but Ken Dryden has a terrific hot take in The Atlantic right now, on hockey’s gigantic-goalie problem, and it’s worth reading even if hockey is not your game.
You should also read this excerpt from Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s new book, “The Black Church.”
And I liked Paula Mejía’s story in Rolling Stone, about the manufactured life of a celebrated writer and professor, H.G. Carrillo, born Herman Carroll in Detroit.
Finally, here’s Dry Cleaning to play us off, “Strong Feelings.” It’d be good to see that one live, in a dark club, sweating in a crowd. Someday! I’ll be back on Monday.