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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hey, some of these posts are paywalled, ya jerk!
They sure are! The Action Cookbook Newsletter is an independent publication that doesn’t run any ads and survives solely on subscription revenue.
People on the free email list get one newsletter a week, while paying subscribers get all three, which usually includes that week’s recipes and cocktails. If you haven’t yet, I’d love if you made the jump to a full subscription today. To entice you, I’ll even give you 20% off a yearly subscription. That’s only $40 for a full year—over 150 newsletters!
This offer’s only available for a couple days, so act now. It’s worth it, I swear!
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
The Action Cookbook Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.