good morning. There is no external gas grill that has not been improved by a grid-mounted tray over the flames. You can use the smooth surface to cook fish fillets, or to break up burgers and turn them into bacon fat. It’s great for toasting lobster or sausage rolls, ham and peaches, and for crunchy sweet potatoes with ginger and miso.
This means, on the contrary, that there is no stove interior that has not been occasionally improved with a grill pan.
Yotam Ottolenghi uses one to cook cucumbers on the stovetop, he wrote for The New York Times Magazine this week. The recipe (above) that accompanies his words is a marvel: a process that leaves cucumbers almost completely unknown and pleasant. It’s like zucchini’s cousin, crunch-free but still quite solid, with a smoky, savory flavor almost reminiscent of Yotam’s asparagus. “For something that is 96 percent water, it feels really great,” he wrote.
That’s on my agenda this weekend, for sure: an option that cooks well and quickly on the grill (or grill pan as Yotam does), to accompany his recipe for Jerusalem lamb shawarma and a bowl of baked rice.
And some crunchy sable candy for dessert? Yes please.
Alternatively, you can build a meal around this recipe of watermelon and grapefruit salad with tahini and honey. With chicken breasts grilled with lemon and thyme and a handful of marbled potatoes slowly roasted in olive oil for 90 minutes or so, then crushed and crispy on the griddle? I love that.
Or, you can skip the grill altogether, and leave your cucumbers uncooked to make this wonderful new number from Melissa Clark, Chicken Drumsticks with Sour Cherry and Cucumber Yogurt. (No sour cherries where you shop? Substitute red grapes instead.)
There is no need to get those projects that you intend to tackle in the next couple of days. Indulge yourself in our collection of recipes for procrastination instead.
Or you can make a Southern-style meal with fried chicken, fried green beans, mashed potatoes, and a pile of fried okra. Kayla Stewart, who wrote about fried okra for The Times this week, brought us two recipes: one from Houston home chef Joseph J. Boudreaux III, for fried okra with remoulade. The other from the great Gullah Geechee cooks up Emily Meggett’s fried okra. Maybe try one of these?
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Now, I’ve strayed a bit about our website and app, but fun to read physical cookbooks, and I’ve been enjoying Chef Mason Herford’s “Turkey and Wolf: The Flavor of Trippin” in New Orleans, which he wrote with J.J. Good. There’s a killer recipe for Russian Spicy Sauce, with chopped and pickled cherry peppers replacing traditional pickles in your next ketchup mayonnaise. There’s gochugaru and smoked paprika out there to boot. I want it on a turkey sandwich this weekend, with a coleslaw and a slice of Swiss cheese.
It’s not about the food, but check out Daniel Drake’s conversation with novelist Roman Alam, in The New York Review of Books.
This is the time of year that Shadtkett really shines, on Instagram.
Finally, Rembrandt was born on this day in 1606, in Leiden, Holland. Why not browse a few of his works at the National Gallery in London? I hope you cook brilliantly this weekend. I’ll see you on Sunday.