Sublime Salmon

Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. It is the craziest time of any year, let alone the craziest year. Anything that is not explicitly connected to holiday celebration should be pretty simple to execute. I haven’t finished shopping! I haven’t wrapped presents! I haven’t even made the list of all the other things I need to do, and will probably forget to do!

And yet I still want dinner to be good. I can’t help it! My soul needs it at the end of the day. The recipes below deliver with a bang, and two of them — the salmon and chicken — could easily make the cut for a holiday menu.

Countless more ideas can be found in our collections of the most popular recipes of the year, and also the recipes that home cooks loved best this year — the ones our most dedicated NYT Cooking users saved in swarms. There’s a collection of the most popular vegetarian recipes of 2020 as well, and our most clicked desserts, too. Let me know which recipe you loved most at [email protected] It’s always a joy to hear from you.

Here are five dishes for the week:

1. Maple Baked Salmon

The beauty of Genevieve Ko’s new salmon dish is that it is, in fact, a beauty, and incredibly simple to put together. You could make it for Christmas lunch or dinner, but you could also make it on a Monday. If you have a few smaller salmon fillets, rather than one large fillet, just start checking the fish for doneness sooner.

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2. Chicken With Green Olives

This puckery, richly spiced recipe from Mark Bittman was inspired by Moroccan cuisine, and incorporates some of its staple ingredients. This is home cooking that delivers excellent results with very little effort.

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3. Umami Garlic Noodles With Mustard Greens

These velvety, salty noodles were the first dish I made from Andrea Nguyen’s cookbook “Vietnamese Food Any Day,” and I fell in love fast. This recipe, adapted slightly from hers, delivers the familiar satisfaction of pan-fried noodles, but with surprising depth of flavor.

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4. Simmered Kabocha Squash With Scallions

I made this recipe from the blogger Cynthia Chen McTernan for dinner on Tuesday and was delighted anew by how so few ingredients (six) and an utterly simple cooking method (simmering in a wok or, if need be, a large skillet) can produce such delicious results. It calls for kabocha squash, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with precut butternut squash to save time. Use homemade stock if you can, though.

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5. Italian Wedding Soup With Turkey Meatballs

An excellent winter dinner. Sarah Copeland’s version swaps in turkey meatballs for the more traditional beef and pork, and threads small shortcuts throughout the prep.

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Are you, like me, woefully behind on holiday shopping? You can give a subscription to NYT Cooking as a gift! Done! Cross it off your list! You can also follow NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, or follow me on Instagram. If you encounter issues with your NYT Cooking account, email our wonderful colleagues at [email protected].

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