Good morning. The chef Brooks Headley is in the spotlight today, with his recipe for the crispy chicken-fried tofu sandwich (above) served at his Superiority Burger on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s a bit of a project as most restaurant recipes tend to be, but it’s neither complicated nor difficult. If you start the process this afternoon, you’ll eat a sandwich of intense deliciousness for dinner and be thankful for having done so, against the backdrop of our troubled, reeling world.
Chicken-fried tofu is, of course, a riff on that Texas classic, chicken-fried steak, most often served with cream gravy. Thanks to Lisa Fain, who writes the Homesick Texan blog, my recipe for the meat version comes with her recipe for queso gravy in place of the cream (fiery!). You could do that in place of the tofu, if you like.
You may not want to do either, of course, in the middle of a summer week. I get that. You may wish to cook improvisationally instead, with the bounty of the farmer’s market or farm stand: a platter of diced patty pan squash, for instance, dusted with cumin and coriander, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then tossed with foaming butter until the cubes soften and take on a little color. Squeeze a lime over that and eat with rice or tortillas or both, with shredded cabbage, cilantro, dabs of hot sauce, a no-recipe recipe for the middle of the week.
Alternatively, there’s lemony pasta with zucchini and fresh herbs to consider, or sheet-pan gochujang shrimp with green beans. You could make pappa al pomodoro, or chicken caprese. You could make your way through Yewande Komolafe’s 10 essential Nigerian recipes. You could assemble a banoffee pie, or bake some whole-grain banana yogurt muffins.
Too hot for any of that where you stay? We’ve got loads of recipes for when the temperature soars.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with pesto or jam, but has the novel “Utopia Avenue,” by David Mitchell, come to your attention? I liked it a little more than Daniel Mendelsohn, but even he, I think, would urge you to read it.
In case you missed it, please read this harrowing, detailed and extremely moving story by my colleagues Corina Knoll, Ali Watkins and Michael Rothfeld, about Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room physician in New York who killed herself in April.
Also in The Times, as part of a project exploring how the Americans With Disabilities Act has shaped life for Americans with disabilities, three writers shared their disability coming-out stories. One of them is NYT Cooking’s own Krysten Chambrot, who wrote what I think is the best sentence of the week, about what it was like, at 19, suddenly to become disabled. She went from Krysten to poor Krysten overnight, she wrote. But: “I still wanted to skip school and follow the musician Sufjan Stevens on tour and I was still a mouthy girl from the South Florida suburbs who loved her grandmother and harbored the most debilitating crushes.” That’s perfect.
Finally, for The New Yorker, the cartoonist Emily Flake teaches us how to draw a child. Enjoy that and I’ll see you on Friday.