How I Spent My Summer Vacation
A summery summary of the ACBN's last three months, from chicken chile verde burgers to soft-shell crabs and Mai Tais to iced coffee
Hello, and welcome to The Action Cookbook Newsletter.
This is a Friday newsletter, but it’s not the Friday Newsletter: the ACBN’s weekly recipe-cocktail-music-book-TV-discussion-and-pets compendium went out to paying subscribers this morning. It was a good one, too, featuring dueling BBQ rubs, a Negroni-influenced sangria, and a host of other great things to make your Labor Day weekend better. I highly recommend you read it, if you haven’t already done so:
We’ve reached the emotional, if not literal, end of summer. Yes, the equinox isn’t for another three weeks, and it’ll be hot here in Kentucky well into October, but it’s Labor Day weekend. We’ve had 1.5 borderline-crisp mornings, my kids are back in school, and there’s meaningful college football on the TV this weekend.
Summer? Ya done for. Hit the bricks.
I’m excited to flip the switch to fall—cider and hayrides and stews and pumpkin spice and all that jazz—but it was a great summer here on The Action Cookbook Newsletter, and I’d like to share with you some of the top Food and Drink highlights from the last three months of the ACBN.
Chicken Chile Verde Burgers (published August 5th)
Hatch Chile season’s arrival provided the inspiration for these delicious and juicy griddled burgers, which combine hand-chopped chicken thighs with green chiles and spices for a spectacular and original spin on summer grilling:
Achiote-Mustard Turkey Breast (published July 1st)
Q3 started with a bang, as a marinade powered by annatto seed and whole-grain mustard provided a wonderful, earthy and rich flavor for a boneless turkey breast that’s as good in an air-fryer as it is on the grill or smoker:
Soft-Shell Crab “CLTs” (published June 10th)
A guest chef stepped in to share this perfectly-summery but still-in-season-now plan for pan-seared soft-shell crabs served on English muffins; it just might be the best sandwich you’ll have all season:
Broccoli-Bacon Salad (published July 22nd)
A good cookout isn’t just about the meat, and that’s why I had to share with you my most reliable BBQ side, a salad made with roasted broccoli, crispy bacon, shredded cheese and crispy peppers. I’ve never had leftovers when I’ve made this, and I’ve made it a lot. You should too:
The Action Cookbook Newsletter is a reader-supported publication; 100% of revenues come from subscriptions. It’s only $5/month or $50/year, and you’ll get three newsletters a week, every week, including these normally-subscriber-only Friday food-and-drink-plus digest. You’ll also get access to the internet’s best comment section, eligibility for my frequent giveaways, and you’ll help me buy treats for my two lovable bonehead dogs.
Hey, what about some drinks?
You got it!
The ACBN Mai Tai (published July 15th)
This July, the ACBN broke the fourth wall, as I collaborated with local favorites Lou Øyster Cült for a sold-out restaurant pop-up at Louisville’s Merryweather. In honor of that wonderful bar’s tiki-focused menu, I crafted my perfect version of a cocktail classic, the Mai Tai:
The New Fashioned (published June 24th)
Via the excellent bartenders at Louisville’s Stitzel-Weller Distillery comes this twist on a classic cocktail, a summery version of the Old-Fashioned that combines bourbon, scotch and St-Germain elderflower liqueur into a fresh new cocktail that feels like it’s been around forever:
Dad’s Iced Coffee (published June 17th)
In honor of Father’s Day, I decided to make an iced coffee fit for a dad. Incorporating freeze-distilled milk, espresso, bourbon and a wonderful new chocolate liqueur, this drink will give you all the strength you need to mow the lawn one more time before fall:
The Summer Jam, v2.0 (published August 19th)
I’ve been sharing cocktails in Friday newsletters for more than three years now, and occasionally, it’s worth revisiting one to see what can be improved. I took an already-great combination of bourbon, blackberry syrup, lemon juice and ginger beer and added a new layer with the addition of one of my favorite aperitifs:
There’s plenty more where that all came from.
The Action Cookbook Newsletter shares great content like this every Friday, in addition to Monday and Wednesday newsletters that feature my writing on parenthood, food, sports, life and more.
It’s a pretty good newsletter! You should tell all your friends.
(I would greatly appreciate if you did, that is.)
I’ve got a big fall planned.
There’s much to look forward to in the coming months. Soon, I’ll be debuting a more-browsable index of recipes covering the 160+ weeks of Friday content I’ve sent out.
In October, I’ll be co-hosting a tailgate with Zach Rau and DVA Tailgating when LSU hosts Ole Miss—if you’re able to get to Baton Rouge on October 22nd, you should join us ! Zach’s going to be cooking up some authentic Cajun cuisine, and I’ll supply an ACBN-worthy cocktail or two.
I’ll be producing more merch soon, and you’ll be the first to hear about it!
The initial batch of new-logo ACBN merchandise back in July went fast, with over $1200 raised to support reproductive rights in my home state of Kentucky through the Kentucky Health Justice Network.
Finally, I’d like to open the floor:
What have you enjoyed about The Action Cookbook Newsletter? Have you made any of the recipes or cocktails—and, if so, what did you think? Is there something you’d like to see more of here? I’d love to hear your input. This place is nothing without its wonderful readers, and I’m grateful for your support every day.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a lovely weekend.
—Scott Hines (@actioncookbook)
how did I miss that broccoli salad?
/adds to growing list of future recipes to attempt
I was thinking about the book thing you did last year (Lincoln in the Bardo for me. It was a.....weird book). Anyway, I think the readership of this newsletter has enough people that we could probably pull off a book exchange. Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?