Good morning. One of the great joys of being a reporter for the Food section of The New York Times is the chance to go into restaurant kitchens to learn how a chef prepares a dish you love, and then figure out how to make that same dish at home.
Eric Kim had that opportunity recently at the restaurant Ensenada in Brooklyn, with the chef Luis Herrera. He wrote about it this week for The Times, and gave us an adaptation of Herrera’s recipe for fish tacos al pastor (above), which is our meal for this evening. It’s pretty cool — grilled fillets of buttery white-fleshed fish standing in for the more traditional pork, everything stained delicious with a complex, brick-red adobo, and served with pineapple pico de gallo and plenty of warm corn tortillas.
That adobo’s for real — “redolent of raisins and raked with warm spices” is how Eric puts it — and takes a little time to make, so start as soon as you’re back from the market. Then put out a spread come dinnertime, with the dressed fish on a platter, the tortillas wrapped in a dish towel, some lime wedges in a bowl, the pineapple pico in another, and let everyone have at it. Sunday dinner!
As for the rest of the week. …
I love a salad where the greens are in equal ratio to the other ingredients, and Lidey Heuck’s chopped salad with chickpeas, feta and avocado delivers, with olives and capers for salt and cucumbers for crunch. It’s a template. Feel free to get some radishes in there, some halved cherry tomatoes, a little diced onion. Chop, chop!
The tuna melt, a diner classic, gets an upgrade in Lidey’s elegant recipe, with chopped cornichons and whole-grain mustard, lots of dill and sharp Cheddar. It’s a perfect hand-held meal, though you could go open-faced under the broiler and eat the result with a knife and a fork.
Pierre Franey’s recipe for linguine with lemon sauce is a triumph of spare excellence, with just five ingredients: pasta, lemon, butter, heavy cream and plenty of Parmesan. Try it once, and dollars to doughnuts it’ll go into heavy dinner rotation.
Head into the weekend with Naz Deravian’s recipe for shish kebab, which you can make with lamb or beef. Nota bene: You should get the meat into its marinade the night before you cook, so that the yogurt in it has time to tenderize the protein and fill it with the flavors of Aleppo pepper, paprika and cumin.
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Now, it’s a far cry from anything to do with marinated artichoke hearts or sourdough waffles, but Jesse McKinley had a fascinating essay in The New York Times the other day on the widening divide and tension between New York City and the suburbs that surround it.
My former colleague Choire Sicha has a bonkers interview with Parker Posey in New York Magazine.
Here’s Jeremy B. Jones in The Bitter Southerner, with “Obituary for a Quiet Life,” a eulogy for his grandfather.
Finally, it’s Carly Simon’s birthday. She’s 80: “We Have No Secrets.” I’ll return next week.