Citrus and oregano make this grilled chicken taste sophisticated. It is inspired by my mom’s traditional pollo en oregano, which is usually fried. (You can find that recipe in our first cookbook Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico.)
Even though transplants and visitors to Atlanta complain constantly about the Southern humidity and heat, my favorite memories as a kid are still from summertime in Georgia—from climbing rocks in backyard creeks and swimming in Lake Allatoona to walking through the dancing fountains in Centennial Olympic Park and, yes, sipping sweet iced tea on the porch. After camping out in Seward, Alaska, with a dear friend and colleague, I learned firsthand about sustainable fisheries—and got a taste of wild Alaskan salmon. I was hooked.
This recipe was inspired by my love of salmon and the hot weather of a Southern summer that calls out for cool comfort food. The smoked salmon is chilled, with refreshingly cold basil, mint, cucumber, and green onion added to the roll along with the noodles.
Ribs are one of the dishes that my parents ask me to make the most whenever I host family dinners . My parents loved going to BBQ joints for birthdays, and after spending hundreds year after year on dry mac and cheese and ribs with very little to no meat, I decided to make everything myself for half the cost . I like to braise the ribs in a mixture reminiscent of the flavors of a michelada—beer, Clamato, Worcestershire sauce—and braising them makes them really juicy and tender so the cooked meat just falls off the bone . I love deviled eggs, so along with the ribs I like to serve a creamy deviled egg macaroni salad, the cheesiest rajas con mac and cheese (mac and cheese with diced jalapeño and poblano chiles), and sweet and buttery corn bread muffins made with a mixture of cornmeal and masa harina to enhance the flavor of the corn . Recipes for those favorites follow so you can easily make your own BBQ-style dinner at home!
Every single year for as long as I have known Sally, she has planted zucchini. She is typically a very sensible person, but somehow she is unable to remember in May exactly how many zucchini will appear in July.
This pasta is her retaliation. It's cooked in one pot, with mostly raw ingredients, and is perfect on a hot summer night or served at room temperature for a "pasta salad" that even the Italians would approve of.
I call the woods around the farm Where the Wild Things Are, because great-grandmother Florine’s mimosa trees and great-grandfather Horace’s blackberries and muscadines have all volunteered and gone a little crazy back in there, where they are free to flourish. As a kid, we had wild blackberries growing along the edges of the ditch when Galilee Road beside our farm was a dirt road. When they were ready for picking, my cousins and I would fill our buckets with more blackberries than Nana could possibly use because we knew if we did, she would say, “Now, y’all done picked enough for to make a doobie.” A doobie is kind of like a cobbler, but it’s more akin to sweet dumplings. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or a scoop of one of the gelatos. Once you take a bite, you’ll taste summer for real.
When it’s mid-summer and too hot to even think about cooking, make this
soup. Toss a handful of things in a blender and, before you know it, you have
something cool and refreshing yet surprisingly satisfying. The latter is thanks
to tahini, the sesame seed paste that’s most commonly used to make hummus.
It lends creaminess and nutty flavor but, more importantly, it adds a bit of
protein and healthy fat, which turns this chilled soup into a light meal. My
favorite part, though, is the crispy spiced chickpeas. They also add protein
but, really, they’re there for the textural contrast they give every spoonful.
Just be sure to make them right before you serve the soup, as they’ll lose their
crunch if made too far in advance.
What’s not to love? A sweet and salty pretzel base, fresh strawberries barely held together with their own juices, and a whipped coconut cream topping. This is something I remember eating during the peak of hot Nebraska summers. I always tried to scrape more than my fair share of the salty pretzels on the bottom.
Israeli couscous may be Israeli, but it’s definitely not couscous. Couscous is ground semolina (crucially without being mixed with either egg or water) rubbed together with wet hands until tiny granules form and are then dried. Israeli couscous, on the other hand, is tiny balls (about the size of larger peppercorns) of true pasta made from both wheat flour and semolina then toasted.
Don’t shake the can of coconut milk before opening it—you’ll use the layer of cream on top in this sweet and spicy dressing, which is mellowed by the cooling iceberg lettuce and rich dark-meat chicken. Transfer the unused coconut milk to a clean jar and refrigerate it for making soup or a curry (it will hold for several days).