Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
vacation house cooking
plus: three recipe demos
Monday, August 7, 2023
What Happened to Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt? [NYTimes, unlocked]
Why Do So Many Cookbooks Have Similar Recipe Lists? [Stained Page News]
Here for cold cake, always. [Cup of Jo]
We used to rent a house every summer on the North Fork of Long Island. The kitchen was so big -- to us! (It was, in fact, a very normal size for outside the city.) We were surrounded by farms and farm stands, and it made us want to cook all of the time, but we also wanted the cooking to be pretty fuss-free: fairly low-effort and low on ingredients that wouldn’t have us running back to the store.
Below, a collection of recipes that always worked well and also a reminder that nachos heaped with corn and black beans are the perfect summer dinner. A three-ingredient barbecue sauce will make anything taste good. If you're staying somewhere with access to fresh lobster or great frozen lobster, you're in for a fancy potato salad treat. (It's vacation! Go for it!) That gratin is such a cinch, it might even be worth turning the broiler on for. I hope you enjoy these recipes, wherever they go with you.
I’ve written three cookbooks and I’m a tiny bit biased, but I think you’d love them all. I’m thrilled that this warmer weather means you might be able to cook some of my summery favorites from my most recent cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers. Were you looking for a list of all the recipes in each of my cookbooks? I added these in a new, separate page and hope it makes it easier for you to find everything you want to cook.
This is your annual reminder that my favorite summer vegetable dish takes 5 minutes to make, uses all of 3 ingredients and tastes like 10x the sum of its parts. Plus, it helps keep summer's real torment at bay: insurmountable heaps of zucchini.
Sweet summer corn, buttermilk, a bit of cornmeal for heft and a whisper of vanilla make the most August-essential stack of breakfast pancakes that could ever grace our Sunday morning. I will now close my eyes and will them to appear in front of us, which, as you know, is exactly how it works around here.
A 3-ingredient (plus 2 optional ones), no-cook, 2-minute sauce for everything worth grilling, chicken or tofu skewers, or even as a base for what I call Fake Baked Beans. This is the perfect recipe to tuck away in your repertoire for when you're short on time or long on things you'd rather do than cook.
In my forever quest to have more nachos in my life, I've found that 3 vegetables, 9 salad-y toppings and 0 skimping on the melty cheese is the magic formula.
Potato salad gets posh and perfect. Plus, a salute to laziness and a little story about the time I was invited to Ina Garten's house and rooted through her cabinets and drawers. I'm sure that's why she hasn't called me since.
I used to believe I couldn't possibly make the kinds of burgers I prefer -- thin, smashed to a salty craggy-edged crisp -- without an outdoor grill and I was so wrong. Here's everything you need to know to make a glorious imitation of a Shake Shack burger at home with no special tools or obscure ingredients, for a perfect Memorial Day inside meal.
From a wonderful cookbook from Jess Damuck called Salad Freak, an aperitif hour [or dessert, or brunch] salad that feels vacationy right now, even if we are not. The grilled nectarines take on a pie-like fragrance even before you put anything on top, but the crumbled blue cheese, honey, mint leaves, toasted hazelnuts, and flaky sea salt coordinate blissfully into something so good, I wanted to eat the plate.
Fact! The best recipes are often the ugliest, almost as if they're trying to warn you: this is going to be impossible not to make over and over again, forever, because you never knew three ingredients could combine so transcendently well.
A bracing, spicy, and cooling cocktail that feels like the absolutely perfect antidote for another hot summer week, from a long-closed restaurant from a favorite chef, Floyd Cardoz.
A very summery muddle of macerated peaches, their syrup, mint, bourbon, and a little splash of ginger beer that is so unforgettably complex and delicious, it deserves to be a rest-of-summer habit. (Plus a simple tweak to make it alcohol-free.)
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. I recently added several new favorites I’ve bought in the last year. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!