What to Cook This Weekend

What to Cook This Weekend

Good morning. Yotam Ottolenghi takes to the pages of The New York Times Magazine this weekend to extol the virtues of meringues, though as he points out, he would never eat them on their own. “For me, they must be combined with something creamy, something nutty or — most effectively — something fruity,” he wrote. “Meringues’ ultimate life skill is the way in which they contrast and highlight the creaminess of cream, the nuttiness of nuts and the sharp, juicy sweetness of fresh seasonal fruit.”

His recipe for a sunset pavlova (above) should absolutely be on your docket for this weekend. It’s simple to make and comes with an amazing payoff: meringue with a shatteringly crisp exterior and a chewy inside that combine beautifully with cardamom cream and fresh fruit, for what Yotam calls “an unmatched carnival of textures.”

I might serve that after a dinner of seafood burgers that use shrimp as a kind of natural binder, so there’s no need for eggs or bread crumbs that diminish the taste of the shrimp and fish. The patties stay juicy and release easily from the grill. Old Bay mayonnaise for the buns? Absolutely.

Alternatively, you might consider this goat cheese pasta with tomatoes, which comes with a sauce that isn’t cooked at all. Pasta water thins goat cheese into a delicate, tangy warm dressing that melds with marinated tomatoes. It tastes of August.

As do these brown butter-glazed radishes that, to continue building this meal from finish to start, I would serve as an appetizer. Cooking the radishes brings out their sweetness, while the brown butter offers a nutty heft. Just add a spray of lemon juice and herbs at the end, and accept your compliments.

I’d like some French toast for breakfast this weekend, and liang ban qie zi, a classic Shanghainese dish of garlicky steamed eggplant. In this version, the softened vegetable soaks up a tangy chile soy sauce, and sizzling garlic, scallions and ginger go on top. I think I could eat that weekly for months.

Everything bagel smoked salmon dip on Sunday morning? A classic zucchini bread for brunch? (Or a zucchini cake with ginger and hazelnuts for snacking?) I’d like grilled jerk shrimp for dinner, followed by a summer pudding with blackberries and peaches. I wish summer could go on forever.

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Now, it’s more to do with serving food and guests than preparing risotto, but you’ve got to visit Humans of New York, an Instagram account created by the author and photographer Brandon Stanton, to read and marvel at John Gargano’s story of incarceration and redemption. As The Times reported in May, he’s now general manager at Craft, the flagship restaurant of the chef Tom Colicchio.

Here’s a timely new poem from Mónica de la Torre in The New York Review of Books: “That August.”

For New York Magazine, Matt Zoller Seitz wrote about how Bruce Willis went from live-wire charmer to man-of-few-words action star churning out direct-to-video quickies. Seitz sets his essay against the background of Willis’s mental decline: “That Willis’s evolution from a smooth-talking romantic alpha to an uncommunicative meathead made the alleged exploitation easier to hide is a sad irony of his late-career decline.”

Finally, here’s Wet Leg at Glastonbury earlier this summer with “Chaise Longue,” and that’s a band having fun in the sun. Enjoy your weekend. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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