The New York Times tweeted yesterday, “Add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us.” And everyone went berserk. Feelings ranged from rage and confusion to steadfast defense of the Times’ suggestion. President Obama didn’t buy it. Jeb Bush wouldn’t add peas to his guac either. Deb Perelman, Dan Pashman, Sam Sifton, Jean-Georges and Alex Stupak weighed in on the debate, mostly in support of the controversial guacamole mix-in. Where do you stand? Is it OK to put peas in guacamole? If not peas, what is OK to add to guac?
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If you’re a gardener, or you’ve been to the grocery store and seen it on sale, you know the zucchini has officially arrived. We have a ton of the stuff popping up in our small garden beds every day, which means we’re eating a ton of the stuff every day. These are my favorite kid-tested zucchini recipes, offering enough variety to keep everyone eating the good stuff all summer long.
Zucchini Ribbon Pasta: Long tendrils of zucchini combined with tender fettuccine noodles are the base of Ellie Krieger’s lightened-up Italian meal (pictured above). But it’s the garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top that make it truly mouthwatering.
It’s hard to go through life without an unabashed obsession for tacos, am I right? It’s tacos, for crying out loud. Tiny carb canoes with seasoned meat, maybe a fruit here, a veggie there, a sprinkling of delicious cheese, and a burst of fresh lime juice or maybe even a delightful salsa or sauce. I mean, tacos.
I kept these particular tacos on the street side, with simple seasoned grass-fed beef (regular beef is fine!), fresh onion and cilantro, and a bit of crumbled queso fresco, but I added a creamy side with cubed avocado and mango. Mmmm mmm. What makes these most street-y, though, is the use of corn tortillas, especially when you lightly char each one over an open flame on your stovetop — oooooooWEEEE. They’re so amazing. So street-y. I like street-y. That came out wrong.
If your little ones aren’t yet into seasoned, street tacos, I pause toward the beginning of the recipe and slide a little of the beef into tortillas with melty cheddar cheese for some quick quesadillas. Boom. Errrrrone’s happy.
Get street-y! Err, you know what I mean.
If there’s one activity that epitomizes summer, it’s packing a picnic and enjoying the outdoors. And what better time to plan a beautiful meal outside than on the Fourth of July? For a quick and portable meal this Independence Day, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Caponata Picnic Sandwiches (pictured above). You can dig into these sandwiches — made in under an hour — utensil-free.
Staying true to its classic Sicilian flavor profile, this caponata features eggplant, celery, red pepper and onion. Giada sautes the veggies in olive oil until they’re slightly tender, then combines them with diced tomatoes, oregano and raisins. After the mixture simmers for 20 minutes, add red wine vinegar, sugar and capers for a sweet-and-salty element, known in a caponata. The end result: a flavorful relish that becomes the ultimate condiment for this sandwich. Grill ciabatta bread cut-side down until golden, then rub with fresh garlic. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese for richness, and finally, top with the caponata and another piece of bread. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap for a picnic-ready meal.
If you think of your grill as basically a big oven with a lid, you can cook just about anything on it — providing you have the right vessel. In the spirit of the hungry camper craving a fresh-baked brownie in the middle of the forest, here are nine “ungrillable” items that are great prepared over hot coals. (For the secret to the brownies, see below.)
Spaghetti with Sauce: Skip the unwieldy pot of boiling water and seal up fresh tomatoes, eggplant, dry pasta and some water in a packet of heavy-duty foil, place on the grill and voila! A hearty sauced spaghetti with a deep simmered taste. Get the recipe here.
French Toast: Buttered nonstick foil is the secret here. Use it to wrap 2 slices of eggy soaked bread, arranging the pieces side by side (not stacked). Grill over medium-high heat with the top down, flipping once after 5 minutes. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand for drizzling. Get the full recipe here.
Brownies: Fill a metal (not glass, please) pan with batter, place over an unlit burner on a grill prepared for medium-high heat, cover and bake; check for doneness often.
Cool and creamy, light yet rich, ice cream has the ability to satisfy your cravings without filling you up. It’s these qualities that make frozen treats the perfect ending to just about any meal.
Making dairy-free versions of traditional desserts often involves a few extra steps, from making a nut-based milk or cream to replacing an egg by mixing ground flax seeds with water. These additional steps can put home cooks off, as they take extra time and ingredients, and create more dirty dishes, too. This recipe for vegan ice cream is the exception — it’s actually easier and faster than ones with traditional dairy and egg ice cream bases. It can easily be done by beginners and experienced ice cream churners alike. There’s no extended time spent over the stove awaiting the moment the custard thickens and no reason to worry that you’ll scramble the eggs if your mixture cooks too long. All you need to do for this ice cream is warm coconut milk and thicken it with a little dissolved arrowroot powder before cooling and churning — it’s that easy! Infusing the milk with vanilla bean adds great flavor but can be skipped in a pinch. This ice cream is the perfect base for a variety of mix-ins, and some of my favorites are included below.
While a classic, creamy coleslaw fits in at any summer gathering — topping picnic sandwiches and sidling up next to smoky, barbecued meats — sometimes you want to serve a slaw that really stands on its own. The classic bagged cabbage-and-carrot mix often wilts over time, succumbing to the flavor of the mayo-vinegar sauce and languishing in a pool of it. But if you add in other ingredients — including, say, firm, crunchy jicama — and make the dressing a little more interesting, your slaw can more easily mingle with Asian-inspired grilled chicken or street-style Mexican corn.
Asian Slaw (pictured above)
In Alton Brown’s recipe, thinly sliced cabbage finds company with red and yellow bell peppers, grated carrots, bias-cut onions and chiffonade-sliced cilantro and mint, forming a rainbow-hued slaw with a medley of interesting textures. The classic Asian dressing imbues salty, nutty flavor, and serrano chiles add a healthy amount of heat.
When you’re cooking a spread in the name of summer, you better bet a side of potato salad will make the cut. For your next cookout or backyard bash, load up on our favorite takes on this American great. Each of these summery recipes comes with an edge that separates it from the rest.
1. Make it spicy.
Potato salad is even better when you counter its creamy vibes with the heat of chipotle pepper puree and cayenne. Bobby Flay shares Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad (pictured above), which strikes a perfect balance of cool creaminess and Southwestern spice.
Attempting to eat with a fork while balancing a drink in one hand and a plate in another is a universal party buzzkill. At summer cookouts, we tend to avoid silverware and go hand-held — think burgers, hot dogs, grilled wings and corn on the cob. So why not keep your party sweets utensil-free too? The ice cream cone is the quintessential hand-held frozen treat, but that involves scooping to order. Here are five cool desserts that you can make ahead, then freeze and forget. Just grab ‘em straight from the freezer for the finale of your 4th of July bash or any weekend gathering. Read more
Though chicken might rule the weeknight dinner menu, there’s no reason why steak can’t step up to the plate. Just like its poultry counterpart, steak is the perfect blank canvas for decadent sauces, zesty salsas and crisp beds of lettuce. In the following recipes, your favorite chefs have you covered, from weeknight-friendly steak dinners to open-faced steak sandwiches and tacos. Keep browsing below for more steak recipes that will keep you going (and grilling) all summer long, then check out a step-by-step grilling guide to cooking the best beef.