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Monday, September 26, 2022

A Preview of Summer’s Flavors

Have a nice morning. Even though summer doesn’t officially begin until the 21st, I’m already cooking like it’s the height of the season: grilled meats and spicy sauces; slaws everywhere; steamed clams as frequently as I can manage to make them. I can hardly wait to include Hetty McKinnon’s new recipe for crispy gnocchi with tomatoes and red onion (above), which was inspired by Tuscan panzanella but uses gnocchi in lieu of the customary stale bread. The meal is seen above. It’s like having a taste of August in the middle of June. Heavy foreshadowing.

I’m particularly devoted to the new recipe that Melissa Clark has developed for egg-in-a-hole with asparagus. It’s kind of like a savoury Parmesan French toast that’s served under a thatch of roasted asparagus, and it’s delicious. You may prepare it on a single sheet pan for a quick and simple meal throughout the week that gives you time to think about everything else you have to cook in the coming days.

For example, the baked chicken recipe created by Nargisse Benkabbou includes tfaya, a traditional Moroccan condiment consisting of sweet-savory caramelised onions and raisins, which is served with the chicken legs. Additionally, the shrimp linguine that Colu Henry makes, which has herbs, corn, and arugula. And the delicious beans and garlic bread that Tejal Rao served in the soup.

As for me, I’ll give Ferran Adria’s potato chip omelette a go, along with Kay Chun’s sesame salmon bowls and Sarah DiGregorio’s slow-cooker pork with honey and soy sauce cooked with lime and ginger.

Also, at some point, anybody who can get their hands on them need to start creating soft-shell crabs. They are served with curry butter by David Tanis, and Melissa Clark braises them on toast while they are in the broiler. I use the “no-recipe recipe” technique, applying enough oil to the fish so that a sprinkle of Wondra and a little Old Bay will adhere, then searing the fish with the top-side down in a broad pan until they build a crust, and then finishing them off by turning them over for about a minute. For such an expensive item of seafood, I serve each crab on a potato bun with a generous slice of tomato and a dab of mayonnaise, which is a really simple preparation for such an expensive item. Instead of serving them with rice, you might serve them on a bed of spring greens with a touch of lemon. Given the quantity of “sauce” contained inside each crab, that is all the dressing that is required.

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Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with summer corn or winter flounder, but you should tune in to the NPR broadcast of the Tiny Desk (Home) Concert with the current cast of “Company” in preparation of the Tony Awards on Sunday night.

It is highly recommended that readers take the time to read Jeremy Redmon’s harrowing and emotionally taxing memoir for The Oxford American about the loss of his father via suicide.

The narrative of a CIA hacker’s vengeance that was published in The New Yorker by Patrick Radden Keefe is also noteworthy.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have released a brand new song called “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” which features Perfume Genius. This track is the band’s first new music in over ten years. While you’re preparing the meal, give it a listen. I won’t be here till Friday.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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