Meatballs With a Secret
Happy New Year-ish and welcome back to the workweek routine. Blessedly I spent the holidays with my in-laws, who cooked just about all of our meals and also fed my children. Such luxury! As a result, I returned to regular life having completely forgotten what my young kids will eat for dinner, aside from a bottomless bowl of pasta. Meatballs? Salmon? Who knows!
The swelling number of Covid cases hung like a cloud over the holidays for us, as it may have for you, too. Here’s hoping you find a little joy in the kitchen, or at least in what comes out of it — the subject of a beautiful new essay by Eric Kim. You can also take a look at this roundup of 2021 recipe favorites from our writers and editors. Let me know how you’re doing and what recipes you need at [email protected] I’m here to help you cook.
These meatballs from Kay Chun are inspired by chicken Parm, but have a brilliant and very un-Parm secret ingredient to keep the meatballs juicy (ground chicken and turkey are lean, which can lead to dryness). It’s tofu. That sort of blew my mind. There is plenty of melted cheese, too, making this a dish I will definitely cook for my kids.
This dish, also from Melissa Clark, can be a side or a main, a warm salad or a grain bowl. I love roasted squash, so I’ll serve this as a full meal, going heavy on the herbs and arugula. (My kids would eat it deconstructed and degreened: farro over here, squash over there and a hunk of feta to finish.) I pretty much never peel winter squash for roasting anymore, and neither should you.
Can I suggest that you do something nice for yourself and make this delicious recipe from Yewande Komolafe? But there’s a caveat: It’s not for a night when quickly putting dinner on the table is the only act standing between you and chaos. When you do have a minute, though, the interplay of flavors and textures in the final dish is well worth your while, and a lot of the cooking is unattended.
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