Easy Ways to Be a Better Cook

Chicken breasts breaded in Ritz crackers from Eric Kim, craggy tofu in a star anise sauce from Yewande Komolafe, and even more brilliant recipes.

Send any friend a story

As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

By Emily Weinstein

My colleague Alexa Weibel assembled this great list of dishes last week, richly annotated with her wisdom: “10 Brilliant Recipes That’ll Make You a Better Cook.” Lex knows a lot about brilliant recipes; she created many New York Times Cooking gems, including our ombré gratin and five-ingredient creamy miso pasta (a fan favorite).

Two recipes from Lex’s list are below, as well as other excellent options I hope you’ll try. And if you’re just beginning to cook, or if you’re looking for recipes that are very simple, take a look at “Learn to Cook (and Love It) in 10 Easy Dishes.”

Let me know what you’re making at [email protected], and also tell me whether there’s a New York Times recipe that taught you something great. I may feature it in a future newsletter. And — sale alert — for a limited time, you can save on all of The New York Times, including Cooking. Subscribe now during our All Access sale for unlimited recipes and kitchen advice, plus everything The Times offers.

1. Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts

There’s a lesson in this recipe, which is on Lex’s list and can probably make anyone happy: Crushed crackers, used as an ingredient or garnish, provide amazing crunch. (The same is true of cornflakes, pretzels, potato chips and several other crisp delights.) Here, Eric Kim crushes Ritz crackers, tosses them with shredded Cheddar and then uses them to coat chicken breasts.

View this recipe.

2. One-Pan Salmon Niçoise With Orzo

Ali Slagle’s new recipe is a substantial spin on Niçoise salad, swapping in salmon fillets for canned tuna, eliminating the boiled eggs and potatoes, and adding orzo (an underappreciated ingredient, in my opinion). It’s filling, bright and fast.

View this recipe.

3. Glazed Tofu With Chile and Star Anise

Another recipe that landed on Lex’s list: Yewande Komolafe’s glazed tofu. As Lex points out, most tofu recipes call for cubing and then searing the tofu pieces. But when you sear the whole block of tofu first and then tear it into pieces, as Yewande does, you get craggier edges that are better for soaking up sauce. (The same principle — craggy edges that take on more sauce — is also at work in Samin Nosrat’s crouton recipe.)

View this recipe.

4. Linguine With Clam Sauce

Pasta alle vongole is easy to make with fresh clams. It is also shockingly delicious in its simplicity. But fresh clams mean a trip to a store that sells fresh seafood, ideally that same day, right before dinner. Last-minute, post-work trips to the store are not generally what we are about here at Five Weeknight Dishes. So: canned clams, which deliver a different but still tasty take on the classic, as seen here in this great recipe from Colu Henry.

View this recipe.

5. Velvety Scrambled Eggs

I’ve learned a lot about eggs from Kenji López-Alt, who always seems to be contemplating better ways to cook them. (See: his method for boiling eggs, and a basic technique for scrambling them.) This recipe calls for poaching beaten eggs in cream. Maybe that sounds fussy. It’s not at all, and it elevates scrambled eggs for dinner to something more sublime.

View this recipe.

Thanks for reading and cooking. If you like the work we do at New York Times Cooking, please subscribe! (Or give a subscription as a gift!) You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, or follow me on Instagram. I’m [email protected], and previous newsletters are archived here. Reach out to my colleagues at [email protected] if you have any questions about your account.

View all recipes in your weekly plan.

Site Index

Site Information Navigation

Source: Read Full Article