Good morning. Tejal Rao’s working her box grater hard these days, as tomatoes ripen in her backyard in Los Angeles, sit sun-kissed on tables at the farmer’s market or tumble off piles at the store. “At the grater,” she wrote for The New York Times Magazine this week, “every tomato is the same: I make it a game to not waste a single bit of meat, to push my palm right against the metal and get down to a fine, translucent skin that curls at the edges.”
She uses the resulting pulp and juice to make the Spanish snack pan con tomate, for a raw sauce for pasta, as a salad dressing and, lately, for a genius dish that she gave a jokey name: paneer con tomate (above). It’s terrific. She fries store-bought cheese, then pours the grated tomato over it with a seasoning of popped mustard seeds and curry leaves bloomed in hot coconut oil. Give that a try yourself, maybe alongside a meal of seekh kebabs with mint chutney. And then I think you’ll be making paneer con tomate a lot for the next couple of months.
Genevieve Ko teamed up with Priya Krishna to deliver a marvelous recipe for Texas sheet cake, along with a fascinating look into the dessert’s place in Texan culture, and that cake would be a fine thing to make and eat this weekend as well.
More things to make and eat tomorrow and the next day include this skillet fish with bacon, shallots and corn, a one-pan dinner of garlicky, lemon-scented fish cooked on the stove in bacon fat. Also, a cumin tofu stir-fry that nods at Xi’an-style flavors, this grilled flank steak with Worcestershire butter, these gingery grilled chicken thighs with charred peaches, grilled corn with jalapeño-feta butter, a watermelon margarita and an easy take on Eton mess, the classic British dessert, here made with crushed store-bought meringues, strawberries mashed with lime zest, and sweetened whipped cream and cut berries.
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And we’ll be standing by to offer assistance if anything goes wrong along the way. Just ask for help: [email protected]. Someone will get back you. (If you’d like to send a dart or a flower, you can write to me directly: [email protected]. I can’t respond to every letter. But I read each one sent.)
Now, it’s a long flight to near-space from anything to do with cloudberries or Japanese barbecue, but Arthur Lubow’s recent critic’s notebook for The Times introduced me to the work of the Chilean photographer Sergio Larrain. (Here’s Larrain’s collection, “London,” released by Aperture.)
The novelist Tommy Orange profiled the Native actor Wes Studi for GQ, and you’ll want to read that.
Here’s a new poem from August Kleinzahler in the London Review of Books, “A History of Western Music: Chapter 99.”
Finally, why don’t you spend a little time with Rebecca Ackermann’s miniature clay sculptures, which are kind of soothing? (Last summer, for The Times, she wrote about making them.) Head into the weekend in peace. I’ll see you on Sunday.