Crispy Tostadas, Fluffy Cheddar Biscuits and Rich Chicken Mafe

We’ll get this out of the way: You absolutely don’t need to fry tortillas from scratch for Rick Martínez’s tostadas recipe. Topped with seasoned beans, crumbles of chorizo, cheese, lettuce, cilantro and salsa, any store-bought fried tortilla will taste delicious. But if you would like to fry your own, Rick has helpful tips on how to judge when your oil is ready and what to look for in a perfectly golden, crispy tostada. Our main point here is to make this recipe whichever way you want. You won’t be sorry.

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If fall’s crisp weather has you pulling out your Dutch oven, we have two excellent options for your weekend. Rama Dione and Papa Diagne’s chicken mafe has plenty of rich gravy for spooning over rice. The base of this West African stew is creamy peanut butter enhanced with tomato paste and fish sauce. Lighter but equally satisfying is this white bean, dill and rice soup from Naz Deravian. It’s simple to make and leans on fridge and pantry staples — carrots, celery and onion, plus two cans of beans and a handful of rice — perfect for when you can already feel a cold coming on.

To eat with your soup, how about some fluffy Cheddar biscuits? This recipe by Erin Jeanne McDowell is inspired by Red Lobster’s cheesy, buttery biscuits, and they’re a snap (or more accurately, a drop) to bake. Save leftovers for breakfast to enjoy with butter and jam: Cheese and fruit are good friends.

And if it’s not the weekend without a bit of sweet baking, here’s Naz’s new recipe for baklava. You’ll want to set aside a couple of hours for making and cooling the honey syrup, buttering every layer of phyllo and letting your finished pan of golden diamonds rest. It’s just the sort of gentle Sunday activity to do while catching up with a friend (or a podcast, or your third rewatch of “The Office”).

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