What to Cook This Weekend

As we look ahead to summer, consider spicy clam dip, watermelon salad with fried shallots or pineapple upside-down cake.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. It has been a terrible week. But if you’re able this weekend, it’s time to clean the grill or to stake one out at the park, time to mix lemonade and sweet tea, marinate chicken, purchase hot dogs and sausages, bake cakes for transport and generally to prepare yourself for the unofficial start of cookout and barbecue season. We have all the recipes you need for this Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

But that starts in earnest on Saturday, as far as I’m concerned. Tonight, I’d like to take advantage of J. Kenji López-Alt’s latest for The Times and consider using some fried shallots for his fried shallot Caesar salad, his spaghetti aglio e olio e fried shallots or, most likely, his watermelon salad with fried shallots and fish sauce (above).

Kenji has a recipe for the fried shallots themselves, but feel no pressure to make it. He actually prefers that you buy them ready-made from an Asian supermarket. “It’s a convenient, cost-effective move that can infuse so many dishes with flavor and crunch,” he wrote.

Tomorrow we’ll get down to the business of summer cookery and, I hope, a lot of eating outside. I like this spicy clam dip for that, barbecued chicken (with a simple barbecue sauce), this sweet and tangy broccoli salad, coleslaw with miso dressing and a pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.

But not only those. We’ve got recipes for all kinds of burgers as well, and many for grilled vegetables. I’m a spirited believer in pulled pork sandwiches. I can’t wait for my first potato salad of the year. Not to mention strawberry spoon cake.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this weekend are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. (You can also find inspiration on our TikTok, Instagram and YouTube channels.) It’s settled law that you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, would you please consider subscribing today? Thank you.

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It’s nothing to do with Pernod or the flavor of a West Coast oyster, but you should read William Finnegan’s profile of the big-wave surfer Kai Lenny, in The New Yorker.

What a lede: “Watching Kai Lenny surf at Pe‘ahi, a big-wave spot off the north coast of Maui, is slightly heart-stopping. You may have seen it on video, but that doesn’t prepare you for the velocity, the impossible confidence, of a hard braking turn at the top of an enormous wave, often right in the luminous turquoise window of a lip about to pitch — for that abrupt turn back toward the bottom, as if he wanted the weightless drop of the downcarve more than he wanted to make it out in one piece. When I first saw it, from the back of a Jet Ski, in February, I yelped involuntarily. These things aren’t done, or at least they weren’t.” (Here’s the video.)

I’m digging Grace D. Li’s heist-thriller debut, “Portrait of a Thief.”

“The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks,” on Amazon Prime? Yes, please.

Finally, here’s a new poem from A.E. Stallings in the London Review of Books, “The Sieve.” Consider that, and I’ll see you on Sunday.

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