Good morning. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the water lately, in a spot east of Long Island where the tide brings in cold ocean water twice a day, vodka-clear, to wash away our sins. It’s been quiet under the hot sun as red-tailed hawks patrol an empty shoreline, scaring away the terns, and you can watch baitfish ooze through the current for hours, hoping striped bass will be behind them. Lunch on the drift: Sliced roast turkey on a Kaiser roll, with Swiss cheese, simple slaw and — don’t fight me, please — Russian dressing.
It’s so easy to make and keeps in the fridge for an age: mayonnaise with a little ketchup in it to take the sauce pink, a dash of lemon juice, some grated onion or onion powder, a big honking dollop of horseradish, a little Worcestershire sauce and some hot sauce with body to it, like Frank’s or Texas Pete. Craig Claiborne, who had my job at The Times a long time ago, and got the paper to build him a giant kitchen in his house in East Hampton, added red lumpfish caviar to his version. Times change.
Still, maybe you could give that sandwich a try today or on some day soon? I don’t think you’ll regret it.
For dinner tonight, I like the idea of Melissa Clark’s new recipe for Indian-spiced grilled chicken (above), marinated in yogurt and brushed with butter. It’s very beautiful and packed with flavor. To go with, try Priya Krishna’s Indian-ish baked potatoes and some coconut kale.
Monday, maybe lay off the animal proteins a little, make some tofu with peanut-ginger sauce? I like it on rice, with steamed broccoli.
Tuesday could be good, if you can find some good salmon in the market, for Florence Fabricant’s new recipe for baked salmon with a creamy pistachio and fennel sauce.
For dinner on Thursday, I think you could make chicken caprese, consider the excellence of the season, have cold slices of watermelon for dessert.
And then round out the week with a new recipe from David Tanis that you could make in the oven or on the grill, for peppery lamb shoulder with green beans and yellow wax beans.
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Now, please, consider a life that doesn’t just include scrubbing your stainless pan until it gleams, before moving the refrigerator so you can mop the floor beneath it. Spend some time on this beautiful Sunday considering what happened to all of Bob Ross’s paintings.
Finally, do read Eric Asimov in The Times, on the words we use to talk about wine. That will prove helpful in your life, moving forward. Cook something delicious. I’ll be back tomorrow.