Good morning. J. Kenji López-Alt recently brought us his recipe for guacamole with grilled corn (above), based on “esquimole” — a mash-up of guacamole and esquites, the corn-mayonnaise-cheese dish — that he tried at a Mexican restaurant in Bogotá, Colombia.
Kenji riffs on that restaurant dish, his recipe a mix of darkly grilled corn kernels pounded, crucially, in a molcajete or mortar and pestle, with avocados, lime, cilantro and chiles, then topped with cotija cheese. I made it this past week, and it was divine. Though, I’m no stranger to how controversial guacamole mix-ins can be.
But don’t knock it. And if you try it, write and tell me what you think. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Instagram, @clarkbar. I’d love to hear from you — even if you don’t like it.
Then I have a great idea for dessert: pie bars, which I wrote about this week. Imagine your favorite kinds of summer fruit pie, turned into easy-to-make, convenient-to-eat bar cookies, perfect for standing around nibbling at a cookout. There are jammy raspberry crumble pie bars, cheesecake-like creamy peach pie bars with a graham cracker crust, and chewy coconut pie bars, with or without the optional chocolate chips. (I say with!)
But since it’s only Monday, that leaves four weeknight dinners between you and the weekend. For one of them, you could whip up Ali Slagle’s clever grilled cauliflower steaks, topped with salted peanuts for crunch. I’m also eyeing her chile-crisp chickpea rice bowls, and her chicken salad with corn, quinoa and yogurt dressing.
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Apart from guacamole, what’s getting me through these final sultry summer afternoons is taking long walks while listening to Sherry Turkle’s memoir, “The Empathy Diaries.” Her story about having caviar dinners with Jacques Lacan in Paris makes me crave toast points.
Another good read: Kenneth Tynan’s blockbuster profile of the silent movie star Louise Brooks, reprinted in The New Yorker. Brooks (and Tynan, too, for that matter) seemed to thrive on unpopular opinions, scandalous pairings and Proust.
Of Proust, she said, “No matter how he dresses his characters up in their social disguises, we always know how they look naked.”
I’ll see you Wednesday.