Good morning. Some days when dark clouds are scudding in my head and I don’t much feel like cooking — even though cooking’s what I’m here to do — I march myself to the store anyway, and buy a package of hot dogs and another of buns. There’s no finer recourse to feeling low: a hot dog party.
Griddle them crisp, toast the buns and serve with whatever toppings or condiments spark joy. For me that’s chopped pickles and jalapeños, crema, a scattering of shredded Cheddar, sometimes spicy coleslaw and queso (or our vegan version). My colleague Tanya Sichynsky prefers pico de gallo (above) for a pared down version of Mexican hot dogs. Melissa Clark eschews the franks and makes beer brats — a lovely changeup. You may prefer vegan wieners, which are pretty good. And even if you just add mustard and serve with a glass of cold beer or seltzer, it’s very difficult not to experience a lift when dinner’s a dog.
To go with the sausages, try Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest — a recipe he serves at his delis in London that he’ll never be able to take off the menu: lightly charred broccoli with fried garlic, red chile, grilled lemon and anchovies.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling sunny and have no need of foot-longs or red hots, you might try this lovely chopped salad with chickpeas, feta and avocado, or a spring vegetable japchae, the glass noodles studded with asparagus and snap peas.
Now, it’s nothing to do with bacon or seitan, but a pal put me onto the stories of Peter Orner, and I’m glad she did. He’s a writer’s writer, spare and clean.
Luke McFadden is a young crab fisherman in Maryland who documents his life and business on TikTok, and it’s fascinating (to me!).
Also, take a look at Michael Schulman on the actress Elisabeth Moss, in The New Yorker.
Finally, there’s a new Wilco track, sounding a little old-school and Uncle Tupelo-adjacent: “Falling Apart (Right Now).” Listen to that nice and loud while you’re cooking, and I’ll be back on Friday.