Good morning. I loved Dorie Greenspan’s latest for The New York Times Magazine, a meditation on her life in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, accompanied by a recipe that evokes the neighborhood’s patisseries. Her chocolate and almond tiger cake (above) is a kind of financier in cake form, a play on a recipe that’s run through with chopped chocolate and is known in pastry shops there as “tigré,” which means striped. (Dorie misread that the first time she saw it and has called the things “tiger cakes” ever since.)
It’s both elegant and easygoing, Dorie says, as appropriate for a dinner party as for a snack. I think that makes it about as perfect a weekend-ender of a recipe as you’re likely to find. Perhaps you’ll simmer coq au vin while it bakes. That would make for a very special Sunday night.
As for the rest of the week …
Start with this lovely harissa and white bean chili, thrillingly nontraditional and extremely flavorful with its use of harissa and soy sauce in the base. Top with sour cream, lime and crumbled feta.
Then how about this rosemary-paprika chicken and fries the following night, a sheet-pan dinner inspired by patatas bravas? If you’ve got a few extra minutes, prepare some aioli to go along with it. You won’t be sorry. That garlic bite against the juicy chicken and crisp potatoes is a marvelous combination.
I’m not sure why, but midweek meals are the hardest for me — I want big flavor fast, and sometimes it seems as if the only way to get there is to order a spicy pizza from the place on the corner. Enter this wonderful 30-minute miso and seaweed ramen with egg, which has a beautiful broth flavored with seaweed and shiitakes caramelized in miso. The egg is optional, I suppose. But I love the velvety quality it brings to the meal.
I like this stovetop mulligatawny soup
And then you can cap off the week with a new take on an old classic made famous by Marcella Hazan: pressure-cooker milk-braised pork. When my mother used to make that dish, she often served it at room temperature. Not bad! (I also like this version made with chicken, which I learned from Jamie Oliver. It’s best served hot.)
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Now, it’s nothing to do with Cheez-Its or Sprite, much less poulet roti and bergamot tea, but I’m just catching up to Jonathan Franzen’s “Crossroads,” which is as much a novel about religion as it is one about a broken, suburban ’70s family: darkness cut through with light and grace. It’s very American, in short.