Good morning. My friend Michael Gentile used to make these soft-shell crab sandwiches, the crabs fried in butter with a dusting of flour and Old Bay seasoning, on white bread with mayonnaise and really ripe summer tomatoes, and I got it into my head that I had to have one of those this August, preferably right away. But there were no peelers to be had at the fishmongers I visited, day after day. I was always 10 minutes too late. “We had them earlier,” said the man in the mask, inevitably, stomping his deck boots on the wet concrete floor.
I got a little sad about that. The heart wants what it wants. But after a few days of strikeouts, I managed to conjure up a vision of a shrimp po’ boy made in a similar fashion, but on a torpedo roll with some chopped cabbage, jalapeño and lime juice in addition to the tomato and mayonnaise. It took on the resonance, the must-have quality, of the crab sandwich I could not make. And it became my no-recipe recipe for the week.
Peel about a third of a pound of shrimp per person. Assemble a slaw: chopped cabbage and jalapeño, maybe some slivered carrots, a lot of lime juice, some salt and pepper. Slice ripe summer tomatoes. Cut open torpedo rolls. Then toss the shrimp with a little bit of cornstarch and Old Bay seasoning and sauté them in butter until they’re a little crisp, very pink, just done. Slather mayonnaise on the torpedo rolls, stuff them with the shrimp, tomatoes and slaw. Consume with something very cold, ideally outside in the summer’s eve.
But you may have been looking for an actual recipe. These chorizo sloppy Joes with kale and provolone (above) may answer, a meditation on Rhode Island cooking that I learned from the chef Matthew Hyland. Or these chile-oil noodles with scallions could work, spicy and tingly alike? Maybe this one-pot pasta with ricotta and lemon?
Spatchcocked chicken with herb butter would be a nice thing to eat this week. As would this grain bowl with tofu that was brought to us by Samin Nosrat. An easy weeknight salmon dinner? A corn and seafood stew with avocado and chiles? Yes, please.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with poultry or five-spice powder, but you may be in need of a diversionary beach read of the sort you can power out in a day. I present “Anna K,” by Jenny Lee.
I loved this Ellen Barry dispatch from Peacham, Vt., in The Times, on a farmer-influencer who makes more from his social media posts than from the ducks he farms.
Listen to Alexander 23, “Caught in the Middle.”
Finally, please spend some time with Jason Farago’s masterful “Close Read” of “Ejiri in Suruga Province,” the 10th woodblock print in Katsushika Hokusai’s famous cycle “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji,” made between 1830 and 1832. It’s an amazing piece of new-era art criticism in The Times, thrilling to read and study. And I’ll be back on Friday.