What to Cook This Weekend

It’s never too early to test drive a few holiday recipes, like a retro-style party wreath or an apple pie.

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By Sam Sifton

What to Cook This Weekend

By Sam Sifton

Good morning. Before she became our California restaurant critic, before she came to The Times, before she was even yet making a living as a writer, Tejal Rao had an enormous dining room table in her apartment, on which she served enormous meals to friends and strangers. It was a supper club, she wrote for our magazine this week, “a tiny, barely self-sustaining business that worked for nearly five years, and it was also a way to make sure I actually saw my friends, and met their colleagues and got to know whom they were dating, and generally caught up on all the gossip, particularly when I couldn’t afford to join them on extravagant dinners and trips.”

I couldn’t in two million years make a go of something like that. But I love the idea of it, and particularly so now that I’m starting to invite people back into my home to eat in the run-up to next month’s Thanksgiving feast. It’d be such a thrill to pack in a crowd around a big table, with big platters of food everywhere, glasses filled with wine and water, everyone talking at once. I like any long night of eating that ends with someone asleep in a pile of coats in the bedroom.

Tejal’s new recipe for a retro-style party wreath (above) might be a great way to start just such a meal, stuffed with potatoes and peas, and cut so it’s easy to take a piece and pass the plate along around the table. (Serve with tamarind chutney or Maggi ketchup.) It’d definitely be a good dish to make this weekend just to get the hang of it, so when you yourself are comfortable having people back into your home, you’re prepared to offer them something festive and grand.

What else to make this weekend? I’d like to start a meal with vegetable pajeon in advance of an entree of cheese buldak with rice and kimchi. I’d like to make this smoky lentil stew with leeks and potatoes, and this mushroom Bourguignon as well.

And maybe roasted lemony fish with brown butter, capers and nori? Or an old-school taste of shrimp and grits? How about Nashville-style hot tofu sandwiches, not to mention stir-fried green beans with pork and chiles?

Whichever you choose, I’d definitely recommend you also bake an apple pie (another Thanksgiving rehearsal), and these ace peanut butter and miso cookies if you can. Both are perfectly acceptable for Sunday breakfast.

You’ll find many thousands more recipes to cook this weekend on New York Times Cooking. Go take a look and see what you find. (As surely you know by now, you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work. I hope, if you haven’t already, that you’ll consider subscribing today. Thanks.) You can find further inspiration on our Instagram channel and on YouTube, where Samantha Seneviratne recently joined us to make homemade Cracker Jack.

And if anything goes wrong along the way, either in your kitchen or with our technology, just reach out for help: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me: [email protected] I can’t do much more than pass your issues along to people smarter than I am. But I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with foaming butter or the scent of cloves, but I still think you should read Wes Ferguson on the squirrel hawkers of East Texas, in Texas Monthly.

I didn’t imagine it possible to answer the Proust Questionnaire in Vanity Fair without really revealing anything about yourself. But Scottie Pippen came close.

In The Times, Alexandra Jacobs made the case for Tristram Hunt’s new biography of the 18th-century potter Josiah Wedgwood, “The Radical Potter.” It’s a delightful read.

Finally, there’s a new Miranda Lambert single, “If I Was a Cowboy.” Good driving music, if you can get on the road these next couple of days. Enjoy that, and I’ll see you on Sunday.

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