What to Cook This Weekend

Glazed ham and scalloped potato gratin, cinnamon rolls, and vegan Yorkshire puddings are all on the horizon.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. An odd and anxious holiday spirit runs through the nation this year, with the omicron variant surging and the plans of many in flux, even now, on Christmas Eve. Everything is risk analysis: to travel still or to pod up again; to hug Aunt Matilda on Christmas morning or to wave at her across the yard. It’s an unsettling time for all. As Dodai Stewart reported for The Times recently, the year in limbo continues.

I hope you’re holding up wherever you stay, humming along to “Fairytale of New York” piped into the stores as you finish your shopping, a little nervous perhaps, but determined at least to cook something delicious in these next couple of days. For me, tonight, that’s seafood chowder, with a glazed ham to follow tomorrow, accompanied by strong mustard, a scalloped potato gratin (above) and a platter of green beans and shallots.

For others: vegetarian shepherd’s pie, perhaps, or a fresh and wild mushroom stew that would pair beautifully with the ingenious vegan Yorkshire pudding that Julia Moskin learned from Mary McCartney, made with aquafaba and chickpea flour. Broccoli and cauliflower with cashew romesco is another strong thought for the weekend. As is this lovely creamed greens potpie.

It’d be nice to make no-yeast cinnamon rolls, too, and this stunning rosemary-honey and almond tart.

Or, if you’re tired of holiday high jinks, Christmas roasts and cookies everywhere, take a look at this big-flavor dinner of honey-glazed mushrooms with udon. Or cheese buldak, Korean fire chicken? Arepas de choclo with avocado salad? A slow-cooker pot roast?

There are thousands and thousands more recipes appropriate to the season — the moment, your diet, your needs — awaiting you on New York Times Cooking. It is an undisputable fact that you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. What I’d like for Christmas, if you haven’t taken one out already, is that you will consider subscribing today. (Still shopping for others? We offer gift subscriptions.)

And, please, reach out to us if anything goes sideways while you’re cooking or using our technology. We’re at [email protected] and 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 turkey cutlets or swordfish collars, but if “Crime,” a Britbox adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s 2008 novel, isn’t exactly “Trainspotting,” it still has a lot of great and memorable Scottish dialogue, though you may require subtitles.

Penelope Green wrote The Times obituary for Eve Babitz, “the voluptuous bard of Los Angeles,” who died a week ago at 78. There are not many writers better than Penelope Green.

Have you exhausted your supply of Scandinavian noir? Change continents and head over to northern Quebec to check out “The Wall,” a dark murder mystery set in a frigid mining town, on Amazon Prime.

Finally, here’s a poem for the evening and for your travels if you’re on the road: Robert Louis Stevenson, “Christmas at Sea.” I’ll see you on Sunday. Happy holiday to all those who celebrate.

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