Eat This Outside

After a hot day, Hetty McKinnon’s crisp gnocchi with tomato and red onion is a small piece of summer heaven.

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By Emily Weinstein

People often assume, because of my work (and the patriarchy), that I’m the principal cook in my home. It’s true that I am, because I like to do it and I don’t like to clean, which my husband, Blake, is fine with doing. The division of labor is tidy and true.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t cook. He’s a good cook, in fact, and highly intuitive. He makes food for our kids all the time, even if those kids burst into tears upon seeing their plates because what they really want for dinner is string cheese and a scoop of ice cream. (I get it.) Blake also came up with one of the dishes below, and in honor of Father’s Day I’m including it here, though all credit goes to Ali Slagle for turning it into a written recipe I can share with you. It satisfies the requirement for easy, creamy, cheesy pasta, and it happens to be delicious for adults, making it the Holy Grail of family cooking: that dish everyone will eat.

I also want to point you toward Eric Kim’s Essential Korean Recipes, if you haven’t read it yet. Eric is a luminous writer, and you’ll want to see the Korean dishes he’d pick if he could only have 10 for the rest of his life.

Lastly, I need to acknowledge all the honeydew lovers who emailed me after last week’s newsletter to tell me that if I didn’t like honeydew, it was because I hadn’t had a good one. That’s probably true, and I will look for a good one, I promise, and I’ll give it a spritz of lime, too (another suggestion). Write to me anytime at [email protected] — I read every note.

1. Crispy Gnocchi With Tomato and Red Onion

I made this incredibly easy recipe for dinner for the adults on Wednesday in about 20 minutes flat. What was a hot day mellowed into a cool night, and so we sat outside and ate this with an arugula salad and a cold drink. Thank you, Hetty McKinnon, for this small piece of summer heaven.

View this recipe.

2. Peach and Molasses Chicken

This recipe from Nicole Taylor’s beautiful new cookbook, “Watermelon and Red Birds,” is just right for Juneteenth on Sunday, or really any day when you want a succulent and sweet chicken dinner. It’s written for the grill, but you can easily make it in the oven instead, which several commenters have already tried with success.

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3. Sheet-Pan Kimchi Fried Rice

This dish is one of Eric’s essential Korean recipes, a reimagining of a recipe that is already weeknight-optimized — kimchi fried rice — except for the fact that you need to have cooked rice on hand. Eric’s new version is a hands-off meal that lets you use freshly made rice, which crisps to perfection in the oven.

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4. Smashed Avocado-Chicken Burgers

You’ve heard me say it before, but you need to use a few tricks to keep burgers (and meatballs) juicy when they’re made with ground chicken or turkey. Yasmin Fahr adds mashed avocado to the chicken, along with ginger, garlic and scallions, for very tasty, Vietnamese-inflected burgers. These are made in a skillet, but no one will stop you from putting that skillet on the grill if you want to cook outdoors.

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5. One-Pot Pasta With Ricotta and Lemon

This is the dish known around here as Blake’s Pasta. It has a no-cook sauce of ricotta and Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon to make the flavors pop. Smart parents will stir half a bag of frozen sweet peas into the pasta pot a few minutes before the pasta is done cooking.

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