Get inspired for the week ahead with our top picks from this week’s menu.
Our favorite way to mix up a night that could just as easily end at a restaurant table is by transforming our top menu picks into totally different concepts. This week, start with easy grilled cheese sandwiches packed to the crusts with the flavors of Greek spanakopita—feta and spinach trade their flaky puff pastry home for golden sourdough. On Tuesday, enjoy all the flavors of Korean barbecue, complete with cheesy corn and homemade ssamjang in pizza form. Mid-week, broccoli-Cheddar soup gets a macaroni makeover, plus pesto and fresh basil to keep things summery. Close out the week with handheld versions of two of our favorite saucy dishes: Mexican beef mole, piled into tacos; and vindaloo curry, but as crispy fried chicken.
Now, on to the recipes!
Monday: Spanakopita Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
9 ounces baby spinach
⅛ ounce dill
2 cloves garlic
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
8 slices sourdough bread
2 ounces mayonnaise
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 English cucumber
1½ pints grape tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1. Rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel and roughly chop. Roughly chop dill leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add spinach and garlic and sauté, stirring, until spinach is just wilted, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Once cool, wrap spinach in paper towel; squeeze to remove excess liquid. Removing excess liquid from the cooked spinach will help your sandwiches stay crisp when they cook in Step 3.
2. Transfer spinach to a medium bowl with feta, half of dill, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Place bread slices on a clean, dry surface. Spread mayonnaise over 1 side of each bread slice, then flip. Mayo doesn’t burn the way oil or butter does. Spreading it on the outside of your bread will help your sandwiches turn perfectly golden. Sprinkle half of mozzarella over plain sides of 2 bread slices, then top with spinach filling, reserving bowl. Finish with remaining mozzarella and remaining bread slices, mayonnaise-side up.
3. Wipe pan from spinach clean and return to medium heat. Carefully hover your hand a few inches away from the pan— when you can easily feel heat, add sandwiches. Place a medium heavy pan or large plate on top and cook, working in batches as needed, until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, 3–4 minutes per side. Placing a heavy object like a pan or plate on top of the sandwiches while they cook helps weigh them down, intensifying the heat underneath and resulting in evenly crisp bread. Transfer to cutting board.
4. While sandwiches cook, halve lemons. Cut cucumber crosswise into ¼-inch rounds. Halve grape tomatoes.
5. Wipe bowl from filling clean and add dried oregano, juice of 2 lemons, remaining dill, 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Whisk to fully combine. Add cucumber and grape tomatoes and toss to coat.
6. Halve spanakopita grilled cheese sandwiches crosswise and divide among serving plates. Serve with Greek salad.
Add this grilled cheese to your repertoire and keep it on repeat, even if you’re cooking for two!
Tuesday: Korean Barbecue Chicken Pizza
1½ pounds pizza dough
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons bulgogi spice mix
2 tablespoons flour
3 ears corn
½ cup kimchi
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ ounce honey
2 teaspoons gochujang
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 parchment paper
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Remove pizza doughs from bags and let soften at room temperature. Pizza dough softens as it warms—the longer you let it sit at room temperature, the easier it’ll be to roll out. We suggest at least 15 minutes. Pat chicken dry with paper towel; season all over with bulgogi spice mix, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken; sear until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; set aside to rest.
2. While chicken cooks, cut parchment paper into 2 equal pieces and line 2 baking sheets. Rub each with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle flour onto a clean, dry surface, coating a rolling pin or your hands with a thin layer. Roll or stretch doughs into rectangular shapes, rotating frequently and working from center to edges, until ¼-inch thick (you can also try lifting the dough with your hands, letting gravity help stretch it down).
3. Add doughs to prepared sheets, gently stretching to reach edges of sheets, and rub 2 teaspoons olive oil on top of each. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until crusts are lightly browned and beginning to crisp, 9–11 minutes total.
4. While crusts bake, rinse all produce. Shuck corn, discarding husks and silk; slice off kernels, discarding cobs. Need a trick for removing corn kernels from the cob? Lay each cob flat on your cutting board and carefully slice kernels off 1 side. Rotate cob and continue slicing to remove kernels on all sides. Trim and discard scallion roots and thinly slice, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Roughly chop kimchi. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, honey, gochujang, (it’s spicy, so feel free to use less), ¼ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt to combine.
5. Once crusts begin to crisp, sprinkle over mozzarella, corn, and scallion whites and light greens, dividing evenly and leaving a ½-inch border. Brush borders of crusts with olive oil (if you don’t have a basting brush, feel free to lightly drizzle instead) and sprinkle over half of sesame seeds. Return to oven; bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cheese is melted and light golden, 5–8 minutes total.
6. While pizzas bake, shred rested chicken using 2 forks or roughly chop. Use any remaining downtime to set the table. Then, scatter chicken over pizzas and drizzle over gochujang sauce. Garnish with kimchi (it’s spicy, so feel free to use less), scallion dark greens, and remaining sesame seeds. Cut into slices.
Want to experiment with more homemade pizza? We’ve got you covered with these pizza-making tips.
Wednesday: Broccoli-Cheddar Mac and Cheese
½ stick unsalted butter
15 ounces broccoli florets
½ ounce basil
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
6 ounces shredded white Cheddar cheese
⅓ cup pesto
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 12 x 8″ aluminum tin or similar baking dish
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place half of butter in a small bowl and set aside to soften at room temperature. Rinse broccoli and finely chop. Finely chopped broccoli will cook quickly and meld easily with the Cheddar cheese sauce. Chop to about the size of rice grains.. Rinse basil and finely chop leaves, discarding stems. Roughly chop almonds. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. Mince garlic.
2. Heat remaining butter in a large pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes more.
3. While broccoli cooks, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in elbow macaroni and cook until very al dente, about 5 minutes (your pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, add flour to bowl with softened butter and knead with your fingers to form a smooth paste.
4. Once broccoli is tender, add milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to pan. Increase heat to medium-high. When milk begins to bubble, whisk in butter and flour mixture until dissolved, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 1–2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and whisk in white Cheddar.
5. Stir pesto and elbow macaroni into cheese sauce, still off heat. Reshape tin, if bent, then pour in mac and cheese and spread in an even layer. Place tin on a baking sheet. Placing the mac and cheese on a sturdy baking sheet will make it easier to remove from the oven, and help event any burnt-on spills.. In a medium bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, almonds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sprinkle almond breadcrumbs over mac and cheese.
6. Transfer broccoli-Cheddar mac and cheese to oven and bake until top is golden brown, 5–7 minutes—this is a great time to set the table. Remove from oven and garnish with basil. Divide among serving plates.
Cooking for a smaller crowd? Check out the 2-serving version of this recipe.
Thursday: Mole Beef Tacos
1½ pounds ground beef
2 yellow onions
6 ounces red radishes
⅛ ounce cilantro
1 cup diced pineapple
12 flour tortillas
¼ cup mole paste
2 15-ounce cans refried pinto beans
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat beef dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add beef and season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a medium bowl, discarding excess fat. Using a slotted spoon will drain off any excess fat from the beef so it doesn’t end up in your tacos. Pouring the fat down the drain might damage your pipes—instead, pour it into a heatproof container once it’s cooled slightly, and dispose in the garbage. Wipe pan clean and reserve, off heat, for Step 3.
2. While beef browns, rinse all produce. Peel onions and cut into small dice. Reserve ¼ cup diced onion for Step 6. Thinly slice radishes into rounds, then stack and thinly slice into matchsticks. Roughly chop cilantro leaves and stems. Drain pineapple and roughly chop. If you have a zester and want to infuse your salsa with even more flavor, zest up to 1 lime, then halve. Stack tortillas and wrap in foil.
3. Return pan from beef to medium-high heat. Add mole paste, 1 cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt and whisk to combine, then bring to a boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, then stir in beef to combine. Transfer pan to oven and bake until sauce is reduced and beef is crispy, 10–12 minutes. Rinse bowl from beef and wipe clean for Step 5.
4. While mole beef bakes, place pouch with tortillas in oven to warm for 5–10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat with. When oil is shimmering, add remaining onion (not reserved ¼ cup) and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2–3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add refried beans; cook until beans are warmed through, 3–4 minutes more. Remove from heat. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.
5. While beans cook, to bowl from beef, add radishes, pineapple, lime zest (if using), juice of 1 lime, half of cilantro, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Toss to combine.
6. Divide warmed tortillas among serving plates. Layer with a spoonful of refried beans, then mole beef. Finish with pineapple-radish salsa. Garnish with remaining cilantro and reserved diced onions (raw onion has a strong flavor, so only use as much as desired).
Friday: Vindaloo Chicken Sandwiches
4 Persian cucumbers
¼ ounce cilantro
6 ounces red radishes
1 serrano chile
4 ounces sour cream
1 cup flour
4 brioche buns
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vindaloo curry paste
1. Rinse all produce. Halve cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal. Pick cilantro leaves and finely chop stems, keeping separate. Halve radishes, then thinly slice into half-moons. If you have a zester and want to infuse your crema with even more flavor, zest up to 1 lime, then halve limes. Halve serrano chile lengthwise; using a knife tip, discard seeds and stem, then mince. Always wash your knife, board, and hands after cutting spicy chiles.
2. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, radishes, lime zest (if using), juice of 2 limes, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Toss to combine. In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, serrano chile (feel free to use less of the serrano chile in your crema for milder heat), cilantro stems, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Set salad and crema aside. Place flour on a large plate; season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. In a large shallow bowl or baking dish, whisk 2 eggs.
3. Slice buns open horizontally, if they arrived whole; place cut-side down in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Toast until light golden and warmed through, 3–4 minutes, then wrap in foil to keep warm; reserve pan for the next step. Pat chicken dry with paper towel; place between 2 large pieces plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or heavy pan, pound to ¼-inch thickness. Season chicken all over with ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper.
4. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge again in flour, pressing to adhere. Place pan from buns over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add chicken. Sear, working in batches as needed, until crust is browned and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 2–4 minutes per side. Transfer crispy chicken to a paper towel–lined plate to drain; discard oil. Pouring oil or melted fat down the drain might damage your pipes. Instead, pour it into a heatproof container or bottle once it’s cooled slightly, and dispose in the garbage. Wipe pan clean for the next step.
5. Return pan from chicken to medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add vindaloo curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Whisk in ¾ cup water to combine; cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced by ⅓, 2–3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.
6. Add chicken to pan with vindaloo sauce and turn to fully coat. Divide bun bottoms among serving plates and top with vindaloo chicken, spooning over any remaining sauce from pan. Spread bun tops with serrano crema and close sandwiches. Serve with salad and garnish with cilantro leaves.
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