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Everything you need to buy and prepare for columnist Ben Mims’ first Week of Meals

Some of the ingredients for Ben Mims' Week of Meals story, which features five recipes.
A selction of the vibrant ingredients needed for our first ‘Week of Meals’ recipes. Prop styling by Kate Parisian. Food styling by Leah Choi.
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

“Week of Meals” is a new weeknight dinner series that brings you five, easy-to-prepare weeknight recipes from one shopping trip that costs less than $100. Here’s your grocery list and the prep work to do on the day of shopping to set yourself up for effortless cooking the rest of the week.

BUY FRESH
These ingredients will need to be bought if you don’t already have them.

Meat and Seafood
4 pounds frozen skinless cod, halibut or other white fish fillets
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (between 4 and 8, depending on the size)

Freezer Section
One 10-ounce bag frozen peas

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Dairy Section
One 8-ounce block Swiss cheese

Bakery/Deli Section
One 14- to 16-ounce loaf plain country or sourdough bread

Produce
2 bunches mint (to provide roughly 2 cups lightly packed leaves)
1 bunch cilantro (to provide roughly 2 ½ cups lightly packed leaves)
1 bunch scallions (at least 6 pieces)
4 medium shallots (or 1 large red or yellow onion)
2 garlic cloves
2 medium navel oranges
1 large lemon
1 pound Swiss chard (about 2 bunches)
1 bunch radishes (at least 8 pieces)
1 ½ pounds cauliflower florets (from a bag or 2 whole heads)
14 ounces broccolini (about 2 bunches)
1 pound Persian cucumbers (at least 4 pieces)
1 red Fresno or finger chile
1 pound large king oyster, portobello, large cremini or mixed mushrooms
One 10-ounce container grape or cherry tomatoes, preferably multicolored

AT-HOME STAPLES:
These ingredients we’re expecting you to already have. They are staples that, if you have to buy new for these recipes, you will use again and again in other recipes.

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Oil and vinegar
Everyday olive oil (1 cup plus 5 tablespoons)
Red or white wine vinegar (½ cup)
Chinese black vinegar or more red or white wine vinegar (¼ cup)
Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco, Crystal or other vinegar-based sauce (½ teaspoon)

Spices
Sesame seeds (5 teaspoons)
Ground coriander (1 ½ teaspoons)
Ground cumin (1 ½ teaspoons)
Crushed red chile flakes (¾ teaspoon)

Dry Goods
Jasmine or long-grain white rice (1 cup)
All-purpose flour (1 tablespoon)

Condiments
Soy sauce, preferably low-sodium (¼ cup)
Worcestershire sauce or more soy sauce (2 tablespoons)
Honey or maple syrup (2 tablespoons)

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Dairy
Whole milk (¼ cup)
Large eggs (2)

SUNDAY PREP
This is cooking you’ll want to do on the day you go shopping, preferably Sunday, to get more laborious or time-consuming cooking out of the way.

Roast the fish:
1 Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 Thaw the fish fillets, if necessary, then pat completely dry. Lightly grease two parchment paper- or foil-lined baking sheets with olive oil, then divide the fish among the baking sheets. Drizzle the fish with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, enough to coat them evenly, then season with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the oven and roast until golden brown at the edges and a paring knife inserted in the thickest fillets slides in and out with no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the fillets. Transfer the baking sheets to a rack and let stand until the fish is cool enough to handle.

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3 Place a bowl on a scale and weigh out half the cooked fish (about 1 ¼ pounds); alternatively, eyeball half the amount of fish. Cover and refrigerate it for use in the Fish Cakes With Salsa Verde and Roast Cauliflower. Transfer the remaining half of the cooked fish (about 1 ¼ pounds) to another bowl. Cover and refrigerate for use in the Spiced Rice and Fish With Minty Peas.

Portion and prepare the bread:
1 Cut four 1-inch-thick slabs of bread from the center of the loaf. Wrap the slices together in plastic wrap until ready to use in the Swiss & Swiss Toasts With Spiked Radishes.

2 Cut the remaining bread into ½-inch-slices, then dry them out in a 350-degree oven until dry and firm and lightly browned at the edges, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the specific type you bought. Working over a bowl, crush and tear enough slices into nickel-size chunks with your fingers until you have 2 cups (3 ounces). Transfer the chunks to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You will use these in the Roast Mushrooms and Broccolini With Sesame Croutons.

3 Tear the remaining bread into large pieces and pulse them in a food processor to make fresh breadcrumbs. Transfer the crumbs to an airtight container and cover. You will use these in the Fish Cakes With Salsa Verde and Roast Cauliflower.


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