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What to Cook This Weekend

Good morning. Here’s some exciting news from the virtual headquarters of NYT Cooking: Our “No-Recipe Recipes” cookbook is now available for pre-order. (The book comes out on March 16, and, that evening, Melissa Clark and I will talk about it over the internet, if you’d like to join.) There’s an excerpt in The New York Times Magazine this weekend and, with it, a no-recipe recipe for a dinner of smothered pork chops with sautéed greens and lemony mashed potatoes (above). I hope you make that dinner this weekend and revel in the pleasures of improvisatory cooking. At this stage of the pandemic, it should come naturally. You’ve been cooking so much!

It’s a light lift, making those pork chops. So maybe you could also make an apple pie for dessert? The recipe is Dorie Greenspan’s, a take on the one sold at Circus bakery in Paris, a cross between an American open-faced pie and a French galette. It’s rustic like the chops, and very, very good.

I’m also thinking that this weekend would be a good one for a tater tot casserole, a Midwestern hot dish favorite that I learned to make at the elbow of the not-then-super-famous Molly Yeh. That could fly solo, for sure, but it’d also be nice as a substantial side dish alongside a spatchcocked chicken with herb butter, with a salad of bitter greens.

And some Guinness brownies for dessert?

It’d be a nice Sunday project to make oden with homemade shrimp balls. Or to assemble a cassoulet. You could simmer a braciole. You could make fried chicken and Hawaiian rolls to go with it — a changeup to the usual biscuits.

The idea’s just to cook something that brings you or others pleasure, to take a moment in these dreary late-winter days to do something reflective and slightly physical, and to count that as somehow different from what you’ve done all week and will do all next week. Revel in that difference. It’s a relief.

There are many thousands more recipes to cook this weekend awaiting your attention on NYT Cooking. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you should subscribe this weekend. A subscription unlocks all of our tools and features and supports our journalism along the way. Then you can go do some searches and see what you find. You can save the recipes you like. You should rate the ones you’ve cooked. And you can leave notes on them, too, if you like, if you’ve come up with a hack or substitution that you want to remember or share.

Meanwhile, we are standing by to help, should anything go sideways in your cooking or in our code. Just write: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with reading recipes or shopping for condiments, but the indispensable Sarah Lyall recently turned me on to a riveting debut thriller by Femi Kayode, “Lightseekers.” You should check it out.

Here’s new Indigo Sparke, “Carnival.”

For Vanity Fair, Alex French and Dan Adler went deep on Carl Lentz, the charismatic former pastor of the Hillsong megachurch, and what his downfall revealed about the church and its congregants.

Finally, you should check out “Time Decorated,” a video series about musical influences on the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, “at” the Broad in Los Angeles. Good talk. I’ll see you on Sunday.