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Bold Flavors in Fast Dishes

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Hello, fellow home cooks. Genevieve here, filling in for Emily in the post-Thanksgiving, pre-holidays quiet.

Are you still sandwiching, stewing and Hot Pocket-ing turkey? The leftovers that became effortless dinners for days are pretty much gone (and I truly cannot eat anything else with that roasted bird).

But it’s nice to be back in the kitchen, right? All you have to make now is a simple meal for yourself and maybe the others you normally feed. After Thanksgiving’s creamy richness and slow bakes, it’s refreshing to chase sharp, tangy, hot flavors in fast dishes.

These meals feel as bright as the sparkling lights strung everywhere and come together quickly enough to leave time for writing cards, sending gifts and baking all the cookies.

If you still need to finish off the last of your turkey, enjoy it with this soothing noodle soup from Yotam Ottolenghi. (I like it with poached eggs.) Ginger’s fragrant spiciness seasons the broth and adds texture to the slippery noodles in a shallot-panko breadcrumb topping. Yotam recommends doubling the crumbs to sprinkle on everything for the rest of the week. It’s a great move.

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Take a break from roasted poultry with these chicken meatballs from Millie Peartree. Garlicky and spiced with jerk seasoning, the baked meatballs end up coated with a sticky sweet and sour pineapple glaze. Freeze any leftovers for the busy holiday nights ahead.

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It’s salad season in Hetty Lui McKinnon’s native Australia, but she created this hearty dish for chilly, late fall days. Honey accentuates the natural sweetness of roasted carrots, and a spiced tahini dressing brings heat and creaminess to chewy barley and crunchy almonds. This recipe makes a lot, and the leftovers are perfect for desk lunches. I pack a container with an extra handful of arugula and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.

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This dinner for two from Ali Slagle feels as special as a restaurant dish but comes together in one pan in half an hour. A splash of vinegar at the end gives the caramelized dates a more measured sweetness and balances the smoky char of the pork and kale. Serve it with crusty bread for swiping up the sauce.

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