Saturday, 30 Sep 2023

Epic Tacos

We can’t think of a better recipe for a day off than Pati Jinich’s take on Sonoran carne asada tacos.

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By Emily Weinstein

I had originally planned to talk about burgers with you today — these clever fast and juicy smash burgers from J. Kenji López-Alt in particular. It’s the Fourth of July. I get it. I also like a good hamburger, and that’s a really good hamburger.

But then Pati Jinich’s Sonoran carne asada tacos caught my eye as I browsed New York Times Cooking. I can’t think of a better plan for Monday than making the components of her recipe — the steak, which is salted and quickly grilled; the fiesta refried beans, which are spread on a warm flour tortilla as a base for the beef; the salsa and the chile verde guacamole for topping — and inviting your loved ones to feast. (If you load your taco up the point at which it barely folds, you’re doing it right.)

We also have a billion other recipes (that’s an approximate number) for your barbecue, picnic or potluck right here. And I threw in those hamburgers below after all; you should have options.

Let me know what you’re cooking. I’m [email protected] and I love to hear from you.

1. Sonoran Carne Asada Tacos

It’s worth it to prep the beans, salsa and guacamole for this epic recipe from Pati Jinich, if you have the time. But this is still an amazing dinner — and a fast one — if you simplify or buy one (or more than one) of those components. I won’t tell.

View this recipe.

2. Double-Tomato Pasta Salad

I appreciate this pasta dish from Ali Slagle because it uses an ingredient that should make a comeback: the sun-dried tomato. (My colleagues in Food and Cooking have never entirely agreed with me on this.) Ali combines it with fresh tomatoes for an effect she describes as “full-spectrum tomato flavor.” This dish could go to a cookout at room temp, or you could just eat it for dinner at home on a warm night.

View this recipe.

3. Thin but Juicy Chargrilled Burgers

Smash burgers are usually made in a pan or on a griddle. But J. Kenji López-Alt unlocks the secrets of making one on a grill, so you get the smoke and char of the fire. Serve with potato salad, of course.

View this recipe.

4. Grilled Chicken With Yogurt Marinade

Lidey Heuck drew inspiration from Turkish chicken kebabs for this dish, marinating boneless thighs in yogurt and herbs to make the meat deliciously tender. You’ll need to remember to let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least three hours, or up to 24. Put it in your calendar! Write yourself a Post-it! And run the pan under the broiler if you don’t have a grill.

View this recipe.

5. Cold Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce

This is a recipe you’ll want to make all summer long. Hetty McKinnon combines soba noodles — which, as she points out, taste especially good served cold — with crunchy fresh vegetables and an easy, chile oil-infused sauce. It works well as either a side or a main.

View this recipe.

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