A Last-Minute Menu for the Fourth

Enjoy Hawaiian mac salad alongside burgers, grilled vegetables or huli huli chicken.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. I remember a Fourth of July a few years ago when I flew into New York in the evening, and I could see fireworks all over the surrounding counties on the approach to the airport: soundless explosions of twinkling lights, beautiful and maybe even moving. (Emotions are heightened on planes.) When I got home, I made myself a hot dog and ate it with a glass of Champagne. Independence!

I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now. I’ll grill hamburgers, maybe in the style of Zuni Café in San Francisco, maybe in the style of the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis, and eat them with friends and cold beer. I’ll serve hot dogs and corn for the children, and a big platter of grilled vegetables adorned with neonata, the Calabrian condiment, to round out the meal. Summer squash casserole, macaroni salad, caramelized scallion sauce? I might bring those out as well.

You could do the same, or follow your own bliss. Maybe make a tofu and vegetable satay with peanut sauce. Or have some clam dip with your favorite local potato chips. Try huli huli chicken and a lemony farro pasta salad with goat cheese and mint. Drink the salty limeade known as nimbu pani. Bake a liberty cobbler for dessert, or a blueberry lattice pie.

And definitely give Ligaya Mishan’s latest a shot: a mac salad (above) from Oahu, in Hawaii. It’s the creation of the chef Mark Noguchi, whom Ligaya wrote about for The New York Times Magazine this weekend, a salad that gave her “richness without weight, leavened by tang and salt,” she wrote. It deploys Tabasco, and “only trace sweetness, like a sidelong glance, from grated carrots and the fleetest grace note of sugar.” Her reporting is a gain for us all. Make that salad once and you’ll be making it all summer long.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to cook on this national holiday waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. It’s true that you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t done so already, would you please consider subscribing today? Thank you.

We are standing by to help should you run into trouble doing so: [email protected] You can also write to me whether you’re happy or mad: [email protected] I cannot respond to everyone. But I read every letter sent.

Now, it’s nothing to do with pork chops or butter cookies, but Sam Gilliam, the abstract artist of drape paintings, has died at 88. Here’s Roberta Smith’s obituary for him, in The Times. And you can see some of Gilliam’s work on the website for Pace, his New York gallery.

What, you don’t endlessly scroll the TikTok feed of a commercial lobsterman in Maine? Now you may.

Check out Anna Wiener in The New Yorker, on Tartine in San Francisco, and what happens when baking and real estate collide.

Finally, there’s a new computer game based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson that I’m sure you’ll want to play. It’s called EmilyBlaster. You’re welcome. I’ll be back on Wednesday.

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