Chances are that you, savvy New York Times Cooking cooker, don’t exactly need a roasted brussels sprouts recipe. Maybe you play fast and loose with it, switching up the seasonings, bringing in the broiler. But winging a dish can be risky when it comes to dinner gatherings with multiple dishes (and people) to juggle, to say nothing of unfamiliar ovens and equipment. So lean on Mark Bittman’s popular go-to recipe, which starts the sprouts cut-side down on the stovetop (for maximum browning) and finishes them in the oven. Bonus: You cook your sprouts in a cast-iron pan, freeing up that sheet pan for any of the other 534 dishes on your menu.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic
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A simple side keeps the spotlight free for an extra-special main. Here, then, is Ali Slagle’s foolproof recipe for filet mignon. “Skip the smoking-hot pan and the oven finish,” Ali writes in her recipe notes. “Instead, flip often in a medium-hot skillet and baste with butter. The moderate temperature develops a browned crust without toughening the meat and makes hitting the ideal temperature for a rosy-pink center much easier.”
Eric Kim’s fish jorim, a light yet satisfying braise of fish and radishes, is another excellent dinner centerpiece. Soy sauce, garlic and ginger form the base of a broth that seasons fatty fish (black cod, mackerel or salmon steaks) and tames sharp radishes. The finished dish is showered with scallions, red onion and jalapeño for bite. Bring your jorim to the table and ladle servings straight from the pot, family-style.
If your crowd is more of the “to each their own” type, a batch of Ali Slagle’s chickpea harissa soup provides the perfect vegan launchpad for condiment customization. Sliced celery or celery leaves, tender herbs, salty cured olives, croutons or soft-boiled eggs would all be welcome add-ons to the tender chickpeas, which are cooked in a spicy broth balanced with lemon and honey.
And you can never go wrong with chicken enchiladas. Rick Martínez’s recipe meets you where you are: Use your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce or make it from scratch; shred a rotisserie chicken or deploy leftovers from a roast bird; tuck in some roasted vegetables for added roughage. (Not for nothing, this is a good recipe to save in the “How to use up Thanksgiving leftovers” folder in your recipe box.)
To keep everyone happy while dinner’s in the works, here is Sara Dickerman’s baked feta with honey, the perfect salty-sweet something to spread on crackers. “The only worry I had after I made this,” Christopher, a reader, writes, “was that my guests were going to destroy the serving dish trying to get this delicious appetizer out of it and into their mouths.”