A Stirring Stir Fry

Good morning. A classic Mississippi Roast is really a no-recipe recipe: It’s just a beef chuck roast placed in a slow cooker with dry-packaged ranch dressing and “au jus” gravy, a stick of butter and a handful of pepperoncini. Some people add a splash of brine from the peppers. Cook that for a long, long time and serve with egg noodles: a feast for Veterans Day, perhaps.

In my recipe for the dish, I brown the meat under a shower of flour and accompany it with a simple homemade ranch. Maybe that’s just bourgeois virtue signaling. The dish is great with the packets, especially when you serve it with dollops of sour cream that help cut their umami blast. My pal Derr did just that the other night, swapping in a local venison roast in place of the beef, and it was a pandemic highlight meal, absolutely.

Heading in an entirely different direction, J. Kenji López-Alt has a recipe for hot and numbing stir-fried new potatoes (above) that I think you should make real soon, to eat alongside a tangle of greens with oyster sauce. It has really, really big flavors. You’ll be making that dish for a long time to come.

(Sticking with the vegetarian theme, I’ve been exploring the idea of some plant-based Thanksgiving options. We’ve got ace collections of vegan main dishes and vegan side dishes, a phenomenal vegan make-ahead mushroom gravy and a fantastic vegan pumpkin cheesecake, too, among a whole lot else.)

Other things to cook this week: roasted butternut squash with lentils and feta; creamy pumpkin soup; pan-fried eggplant with chile, honey and ricotta; definitely these pork meatballs with ginger and fish sauce.

And there are thousands and thousands more recipes to consider waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Go see what you find. You can save the recipes you want to make to your recipe box. You can rate the ones you’ve made. And you can leave notes on them, if you’d like to remind yourself of a hack or an ingredient substitution, or to share those with your fellow subscribers.

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Now, did you see the latest from Julia Moskin in The Times, on her investigation into sexual misconduct at the elite Court of Master Sommeliers? The story continues to shock.

Also in The Times, I loved how Jeremy Gordon got Dave Grohl and Nandi Bushell together to talk about their epic internet drum battles, which are really delightful. They’d never actually met!

And Ben Smith on Maggie Haberman is essential reading, if you missed it.

Finally, how are you holding up? This has been a lonely year for many of us, a difficult year, a time of great change and uncertainty that some have had to reckon with alone, or nearly alone. As we hurtle toward Thanksgiving, toward the holiday season the feast introduces, it’d be good to remember that, and to do what we can to reach out to one another, to connect. For myself, for you, I’ll be back on Friday.

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