Make chicken salad for dinner tonight and lunch this week, then give a sweet corn and scallop pasta a spin.
By Sam Sifton
Good morning. I worked for a while at a restaurant that had a small commissary attached to it: boxed meals and salads and soups for the sort of people who love good food but have no time to make it, or have the time but no desire to use it cooking. It was a kind of an urban Loaves & Fishes, where the more we charged for chicken salad, the more of it we sold.
I still make that chicken salad, from a recipe that was never written down but closely resembles Julia Moskin’s best chicken salad (above). It’s built on a foundation of gently poached chicken. Some days I add halved grapes and toasted walnuts, and other times slivered apples and almonds. On occasion, I add curry powder to the mayonnaise.
Whichever, I like to make the salad in the morning, allowing the flavors to develop over the course of the day in the refrigerator, and then to serve it in cups of bibb lettuce for dinner after a round of martinis and before a chapter or two of “The Hotel New Hampshire,” no lie. It makes for a deeply satisfying Sunday in the kitchen, at the table and on the couch.
On Monday, how about this sweet corn and scallop pasta, with a buttery, lemony sauce that tastes of the season? (Tastes of the season in the Northeastern United States, at any rate. If you’re reading this in Christchurch or Sydney, spoon lamb may be more on the nose.)
Tuesday’s dinner could be a white bean caprese salad, or grilled summer vegetables with tahini dressing.
For Wednesday, if you’re not too wiped out from cooking nonstop, take a look at these chicken-zucchini meatballs with feta, or this crispy tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas. No? Takeout’s fine. I do not judge you.
For Thursday, though, I’m thinking you might make roasted fish with ginger, scallions and soy.
And then on Friday, you can head into the weekend with some kimchi fried rice, chicken piccata or spicy corn and coconut soup — cook’s choice.
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It’s nothing to do with scrambled eggs or salt-packed anchovies, but I think you’ll like Annette Gordon-Reed in The New York Review of Books, on W.E.B. Du Bois’s remarkable data portraits of Black America, from the Paris Exposition in 1900.
Likewise, you should read Alexandra Marvar in The Verge, on “The Teen Tycoons of Depop,” many of them singing the algorithm blues.
Finally, new music to play us off, Dot Allison, “Long Exposure.” (Jon Pareles unpacked it in “The Playlist” in The Times a while back.) Listen loud, and I’ll be back on Monday.
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