Five summer recipes and a question
The ACBN takes on the dog days of summer.
Folks, I’m going to confess something to you: my brain is fried right now!
Some small part of me still clings to the childhood notion of summer being a simple and carefree time, a time when the mind could be allowed to roam free, lazily daydreaming while lounging in the shade and staring at passing clouds.
As an adult, though, nothing could be further from the truth.
Our household schedule is hopelessly overbooked from now until well into fall with summer camps, business trips, birthday parties and all other manner of obligations. Paired with the oppressive heat and humidity of summertime, it can be hard to want to think about anything, let alone decide what to make for dinner.
With that in mind—and owing to the fact that there are a whole lot of new faces around here after the past few weeks—I thought it might be nice to dig through the ACBN’s extensive archives toda and highlight a few recipes that are perfect for relatively low-effort summer dinners.
Salmon Burgers with Dill
Leading off with this one, because it was the highlight of this past weekend’s restaurant pop-up collaboration with Lou Øyster Cült—an absolutely delicious salmon burger that highlights the fish above all and comes together in just a few easy steps, and doesn’t require a grill to get just perfect.
I first published this one in January, but it turns out it’s even better as a summer night dinner.
Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette
I’ve published more than 150 unique recipes in this newsletter, and this one’s easily in the top five of ones that readers have told me they’ve made and enjoyed themselves. There’s a bit of prep on the front end—this is more of a Sunday afternoon recipe than a Tuesday evening one—but it’s something that you can make a big batch of ahead of time and then eat all week long.
Great-Grandpa Moore’s Hot Sauce
This recipe isn’t mine.
Or rather, it is mine, but only because I’ve inherited it through four generations of my family, dating back at least to my grandmother’s father, who made it from the bounty he’d grown in their backyard. It’s not a “hot sauce” in the sense you’re thinking, but rather a sort of chunky gazpacho—hand-chopped, not blended—and it’s the absolute perfect thing to make right now as farmer’s markets and gardens teem with seasonal tomatoes and peppers.
Soda-Marinated Pork Chops
I’m not the first person online to come up with this combination, but let me stand as a proud advocate of the most wonderfully half-assed shortcut to Flavortown. It’s a stunningly-simple marinade: soy sauce, chopped garlic and Jarritos Pineapple soda, and—quickly assembled the night before grilling—really makes pork chops or chicken thighs sing.
In this recipe, I paired it with an under-the-radar classic Southern condiment: horseradish-tinged Jezebel Sauce. It’s a banger.
Steak Tacos with Crispy Cheese
There’s a few clever tricks embedded in this one, from my favorite way to get a full-blast steakhouse-quality sear on a steak, to the super-simple way to get a cheesy crunch in your steak tacos. Liven up a summer evening with this one.
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Now, a question!
Or rather, a solicitation for questions.
I’d like to do a mailbag soon! I’ve done more than 470 newsletters here, and yet somehow I’ve never done a mailbag. Do you have any questions for me? This could be on anything—cooking, cocktails, parenting, dogs, sports, architecture—you name it. Reply to this email, and I’ll pick out a few to address in an upcoming newsletter.
Thanks in advance!
—Scott Hines (@actioncookbook)
Bonus content, because I like you
Here is a picture of my good* boy Olaf laying down across both of my feet while I was trying to cook.
*he’s not a good dog by any objective measure, but he’s a very good boy
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What's your white whale recipe? That is, the thing you want to make, but haven't "nailed" yet?