Hello. Not for me the long-simmered Sunday gravy and meatballs, at least not at the end of a sweaty summer weekend. I go big on Saturday nights this time of year, smoking meat and making pizza over high heat, steaming clams and corn, assembling platters of tomatoes, serving curls and watermelon . When Sunday evening arrives, tapping on my watch and pointing to Monday’s program, I crave simplicity.
This is where a hot dog party comes in. Hot dogs are usually already cooked. All you need to do is reheat them on a griddle or grill, then serve them on buns with whatever toppings the culture, experience, or taste suggests is appropriate.
You could follow Eric Kim’s lead, for example, and make Chicago-style dogs (above), on poppy seed buns with mustard, sweet relish, onion and raw tomato, sport peppers, pickle and celery salt. You can cut them up and cook them in lots of hot oil to make the kind of dogs our New Jersey friends call rippers, serving them on grilled potato buns with mustard. You can make them Mexican style or take a shortcut and just top them with pico de gallo. I like a mash-up: fried franks with mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard, pickled jalapeños, a drizzle of cream. It barely cooks. It’s wonderful to eat once in a while.
You may feel differently. For you, then, a grilled paella. As for the rest of the week…
I love the beauty and ease of this silken tofu with crunchy lettuce and fried shallots, inspired by the Japanese dish known as hiyayakko: glazed tofu topped with wilted lettuce with vinegar and soy, sliced jalapeños and lots of fried shallots for crunch.
Here’s a pantry special of tuna, caper and scallion pasta that’s wonderful on its own but can be enhanced slightly by adding the zest of a lemon. Either way, it’s a perfect mid-week meal.
The oyster mushrooms get almost as meaty and crispy as the pork in this chicharrón mushroom tacos recipe, which is saying a lot. Some, including me, replaced other varieties of mushrooms. Don’t do this unless you have to. An oyster mushroom is the ideal candidate for the job.
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It’s the 59th anniversary of the launch of the Bluenose II, Nova Scotia’s classic schooner.
Joy Press, in Vanity Fair, tries to understand why “Yellowstone” was snubbed by Emmys nominators.
Finally, here is Robert Crawford’s poem “Tank”, in The London Review of Books. It was written, he notes, “during the battles in Europe in 2022”, and reworks some passages from “Alamein to Zem Zem”, a military memoir of the Western Desert Campaign of World War II written by the British soldier-poet Keith Douglas. Burning. I will be back on Monday.