Substituting vegetables in traditionally meat-centric dishes is one of my favorite hacks — whether mushrooms for beef, zucchini for shrimp, or, as in Kay Chun’s new take on Filipino adobo, eggplant for chicken. It’s a brilliant swap: The eggplant stays just firm enough to hold its shape, but gets suffused with the tangy flavors of soy sauce, vinegar and garlic and the softness of coconut milk. Serve it over rice, with a handful of basil leaves or sliced scallions at the end to add a fresh and fragrant rush.
Coconut milk also lends its velvety sweetness to my sheet-pan meal of roasted sweet potatoes and gingery shrimp. As the sweet potatoes roast, the coconut milk they’re bathed in caramelizes their edges, while the shrimp are added later so they stay succulent and plump. The potatoes need about 45 minutes in the oven, but that’s hands-off time. The dish comes together easily, and it’s an ideal use for that bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.
If you have the energy for one extraordinary dinner this week, it’s well worth investing it in Genevieve Ko’s homemade spinach-filled dumplings with chile crisp. (Consider it practice for the upcoming Lunar New Year.) Dumplings, as Genevieve writes, are as much about texture as taste. Her version, both steamed and fried, is a symphony of crackling, crunchy undersides with chewy-tender tops.
A delightful textural contrast is also front and center in Ali Slagle’s spicy sesame noodles. Springy ramen noodles meet nubby ground chicken and crunchy peanuts, which are seasoned with a sesame-orange-soy mixture that’s been sizzled in hot oil.
As long as you’re buying ground chicken for Ali’s recipe, you might as well throw in an extra pound for this take on youvarlakia avgolemono, a brothy, lemony, dill-flecked soup thickened with eggs and bobbing with chicken-and-rice meatballs. More traditional youvarlakia recipes use ground beef for the meatballs, and I’ve also made this soup with ground turkey. Which is to say, you’ve got options.
For something both sweet and light — for either breakfast or dessert — you could make my broiled grapefruit with brown sugar and flaky salt. Grapefruits are in peak season now, and glazing them with sugar is a time-honored technique that I update with a pop of salt sprinkled on just before serving. The salt amplifies their sweetness and checks their bitterness while adding a pleasing crunch.
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That’s all for now. See you on Wednesday.
#Superpunchy #OnePan #Eggplant #Adobo