Greetings readers and eaters! Before we get into this week’s Trio, I’d like to thank everyone for such an enthusiastic response to last week’s post about medical page-turners. I was flooded with great suggestions, so I compiled a list of the ones that came up over and over so you have them in one place. This is by no means the definitive list — if you’d like to see more suggestions, head over to last week’s dispatch to read all the recs in the comment section. Now is probably a good time to remind you for the 1000th time: All dispatches and every recipe you read about in this newsletter lives permanently in my searchable archive. Including that category-killing New England Clam Chowder that would be just about the most perfect thing to eat tonight. Alas, your Three Things….
1. Summer Staple: Homemade Barbecue Sauce
When I think about why it would be hard to be a full-time vegetarian (as opposed to a Weekday Vegetarian) the second thing* that comes to mind is Andy’s recipe for BBQ Ribs. They are sweet, spicy, and fall-off-the-bone tender, but perhaps best of all, when we’re making them for guests, Andy takes complete ownership of them from start to finish, while I get to just toss a salad and sip my Negroni. Ribs are awesome for dinner guests because most of the cooking happens in the oven (three hours at 300°F) ahead of time, and all you have to do to get them table-ready is brush them with some sauce and grill until you get a good lacquer going. About that sauce! You can of course go with your favorite store bought kind, but we tried out this new homemade sweet-and-spicy recipe from Rodney Scott’s newish book and now I plan to have a stash of the stuff in my fridge all summer long for basic barbecued chicken or even salmon. There’s a good chance you have all the ingredients you need for it in your kitchen right at this very moment.
*First thing: Pork Ragu, natch.
Rodney Scott’s BBQ Sauce
From Rodney Scott’s World of Barbecue. Makes 3 1/2 cups. Recipe can be halved.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Texas Pete)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for up to 3 weeks.
P.S. Turns out, the sauce is as good on crispy, glaze-y BBQ cauliflower tacos as it is on pork ribs — I wrote up a casual recipe for the whole dish here if you’re interested. FYI for vegetarians (weekday or otherwise), the sauce has Worcestershire sauce in it, which usually contains fish sauce or anchovies, so technically not veg…
2. TFW You’re Sick of Roasting Vegetables with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper
This is just a friendly reminder that when you are having your weekly what-should-I-do-with-that-vegetable moment, you can almost always give whatever you’ve got a simple miso-roast. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sweet white miso with olive oil (I go with slightly less than a 1:1 ratio, favoring more oil), maybe a tiny bit of water to help make it more distribute-able, and tons of black pepper. Then toss whatever veg you have (shown: broccolini, small red onions, carrots, Japanese eggplant) and roast at 450°F for about 20 minutes. My broccolini above basically evaporated because it didn’t need as much time, which is my way of saying: don’t be like me. Check in on your vegetables every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure they are still alive. They’re done when they have a candied-golden shine to them.
3. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
I’m not 100% sure how widely released the Bourdain documentary Roadrunner will be, but if it’s possible to see it this weekend, I’ll be first in line. The Morgan Neville (“20 Feet From Stardom”) project has gotten great reviews and from what I’ve read, it sounds like that is in large part because it doesn’t try to find easy answers to explain Bourdain’s shocking 2018 suicide. But also I’m looking forward to watching it because — like the rest of the world who somehow felt like they knew him — I really miss him.
P.S. This week’s bonus post will be devoted to the meals we ate on our Maine vacation last summer. (Like the one shown in the very top photo.) It was the easiest-breeziest cooking that seemed to just shout FRESH and SUMMER. Reminder, to access bonus content, you can subscribe to my newsletter for $5/month or $50/year. Just click this button>>>>>
Thanks as always for supporting Dinner: A Love Story. Have a great week!
P.P.S. If you can’t find a recipe, feel free to get in touch: Jenny AT dinneralovestory DOT com. You can also always find me on instagram.