Four quick weeknight dinners — and a breakfast.

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I seriously contemplated transforming today’s list into Five Weekday Breakfasts; such is my love of breakfast, and also in honor of our latest big recipe collection, “24 Breakfast Recipes to Make You a Morning Person.”

You’ll see, however, that I went with the status quo and picked dinner recipes. I did include one of my all-time favorite New York Times Cooking recipes: eggs Kejriwal, featured in our breakfast collection but equally good at any time of day.

1. Eggplant Adobo

Adobo Eggplant. Kay Chun’s ultra-satisfying meatless winter take on the Filipino classic wants to be served with rice. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. (Julia Gartland/The New York Times)

This super punchy, one-skillet vegetarian meal is inspired by chicken adobo, a beloved Filipino dish. Here, eggplant cooks in rich, tangy adobo sauce — a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black pepper and bay leaf — absorbing the savory flavors as it simmers. Coconut milk is added in some versions of adobo, creating a rich, silky texture to balance out the sauce’s tart notes. This recipe includes a shower of fragrant basil, which brings a fresh hit that lifts the dish. (Thinly sliced scallions would also be great.) Serve the eggplant over rice to catch all of its flavorful drippings.

By Kay Chun

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 40 minutes


5 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (preferably small Italian eggplant), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

Kosher salt and pepper

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon turbinado or light brown sugar

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

1/4 cup chopped basil, plus additional small leaves for garnish

Steamed jasmine rice, for serving


1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Add half of the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 2 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining eggplant.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, coconut milk, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons of water; mix well.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute.

4. Add the browned eggplant, soy sauce mixture and bay leaf and toss to evenly coat. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the eggplant is tender but still has structure, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and nicely coats the eggplant, about 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped basil.

5. Divide the eggplant mixture over rice among bowls. Garnish with basil leaves and serve warm.

2. Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata. A lemony butter-caper pan sauce makes chicken piccata an Italian American staple that just keeps on keeping on. Food stylist: Simon Andrews. (David Malosh/The New York Times)

Chicken piccata is an Italian American staple beloved for its piquant flavors cradled in a silky, butter-rich pan sauce. It also doesn’t hurt that it cooks up very quickly. This version is mostly traditional, except that it uses lemon two ways, calling for lemon slices to be caramelized (to soften their tang) and for a hit of fresh juice at the end (to brighten the whole dish). This ensures a sauce that’s neither too rich nor too puckery. Serve with a starch — pasta, polenta, rice or white beans — for sopping up the sauce, and a green vegetable, such as a kale salad, broccoli or green beans.

By Ali Slagle

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 25 minutes


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1.2 pounds), halved horizontally (see Tip)

Kosher salt and black pepper

All-purpose flour, for dredging

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 shallot, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1 lemon, halved (half thinly sliced and seeds removed; half juiced, about 2 tablespoons)

3/4 cup chicken stock

4 teaspoons drained capers

Coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off any excess.

2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add the chicken and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

3. Remove the chicken, place on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces, adding more olive oil if needed.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, add the shallot and lemon slices to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

5. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, capers and lemon juice, to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the chicken with the sauce poured over the top. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Tip: Freezing the chicken breasts for 15 minutes will make slicing them through the middle easier.

3. One-Pan Roasted Fish With Cherry Tomatoes

In this quick, elegant dinner, cherry tomatoes are roasted with garlic, shallots, sherry vinegar and a drizzle of honey, turning them into a sweet and savory condiment for simple roasted fish. This versatile, year-round recipe is delicious with juicy end-of-summer tomatoes or even with a pint from the grocery store. Thick white fish such as cod or halibut work best here. Serve with rice, couscous or your favorite grains, and a green salad.

By Lidey Heuck

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

4 (6-ounce) skin-on mild white fish fillets, such as cod or halibut

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (from about 1/2 lemon)

Chopped fresh basil, for serving

Chopped fresh mint, for serving


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a 9-by-13-inch nonreactive baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the tomatoes and toss to combine. Roast until the tomatoes have collapsed and the shallots are translucent, about 15 minutes.

2. While the tomatoes roast, pat the fish dry with paper towels, brush all over with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Toss the tomatoes, move them to the sides of the dish and place the fish fillets, evenly spaced, in the center. Roast until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the entire dish with the lemon zest, basil and mint. Serve the fish with the tomatoes, spooning any remaining juices on top.

4. Easy Burritos

Easy burritos. Ali Slagle’s recipe distills Los Angeles-style burritos down to the basics: seasoned ground beef, beans and cheese. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews (Christopher Testani/The New York Times)

Saucy and savory with just ground beef, beans and cheese, this easy recipe is inspired by Los Angeles-style burritos, which restaurant critic Jonathan Gold once summarized as “the rough equivalent of a hardhat’s lunch pail, a method of constructing a filling, portable meal from a tortilla, last night’s beans and a spoonful of stew if there was one.” This burrito’s filling eschews guacamole, sour cream, rice and raw vegetables, which means it freezes well for up to 3 months (see Tip). The seared ground beef is simply spiced, but feel free to swap in a stewed meat like birria or tinga de pollo or make it vegetarian with just beans and cheese.

By Ali Slagle

Yield: 6 burritos

Total time: 50 minutes


1 pound ground beef

1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or chipotle or ancho chile powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15-ounce) can black or pinto beans

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice, or apple cider vinegar

Hot sauce, for drizzling (optional)

6 burrito-size (about 10-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese


1. In a large skillet, press the beef into an even layer to fill the skillet. Sprinkle with the onion. Cook over medium-high, undisturbed, until the meat is deeply browned underneath, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the cumin, smoked paprika and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Break up the beef into small pieces, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the spices are fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the beans, including the liquid, and the tomato and simmer, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture starts to sizzle, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

3. Arrange the tortillas on a clean work surface. Sprinkle half the cheese across the center of the tortillas, left to right, leaving a 1-inch border. Top each with 2/3 cup of the beef-bean mixture, followed by the remaining cheese. Drizzle on hot sauce, if using. Fold the tortilla’s short sides over the filling, then fold the bottom of the tortilla snugly over the filling. Tightly roll away from you until the burrito is sealed. Repeat with the other tortillas.

4. When ready to eat, in a nonstick skillet over medium, place the burritos seam side down. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Tip: To make ahead, prepare through Step 3. Let cool slightly, then wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove the foil and wrap the burrito in a damp paper towel. Microwave, seam side down, until warm, 1 to 4 minutes. Remove the towel and continue to Step 4.

5. Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal, a spicy egg-and-cheese on toast with roots in the social-club circuit of Mumbai. Quick and simple, this Tejal Rao recipe is ideal for breakfast or a hearty snack between meals. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. (Ryan Liebe/The New York Times)

This spicy egg-and-cheese on toast has its roots in the social club circuit of Mumbai, India, though chefs in London, New York and Oakland, California, have riffed on it recently, too. The dish is quick and simple, ideal for breakfast or a hearty snack between meals, and can be customized with a variety of cheeses and toppings. To make this updated Eggs Kejriwal, toast good bread and smear it with mustard, then pile on some grated cheese mixed up with chopped green chiles, red onion and cilantro leaves. Once the cheese is bubbling under the broiler, just slide on a fried egg.

By Tejal Rao

Yield: 2 servings

Total time: 10 minutes


1 tablespoon softened butter

2 thick slices Pullman bread

2 teaspoons mustard

4 ounces Cheddar, grated

1 serrano chile, finely sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon minced red onion

2 eggs

Salt and pepper

Ketchup (optional)


1. Butter the bread on both sides, and lightly brown in a frying pan (use the pan you like most for frying eggs). Smear one side of the toasts with mustard, and transfer to a sheet pan, mustard-side up. Turn on the broiler.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cheese, chile, cilantro and onion, then split evenly between the toasts. Place under the broiler just until the cheese is melted.

3. While the cheese is melting, fry the eggs in the same pan you used to make the toast, until the white edges are crisp, but the yolks are still soft. Gently loosen the eggs from the pan, and slide one on top of each toast. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with ketchup on the side, if you like.

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