Save This Refreshing Watermelon Margarita Recipe for a Balmy Day – Eater Staff

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Plus, four more recipes to try this week

Sometimes we all hit a cooking rut — and maybe, for you, that sometimes is now. You’ve done all the things one can do to a bean, and while the digital cook-o-sphere is loaded with ideas, there are just too many of them. So you scroll a few blogs, flip through some cookbooks, and give up. Beany Thursday strikes again.

Help is here! To sort through the noise of TikTok tortilla wraps and feta pastas, Eater has compiled a handful of the recipes — from blogs, magazines, publications, and cookbooks — that put the pep back in our pans this week and that we hope will do the same for you. These are the dishes that Eater editors from across the country actually made recently, and we’re passing along any firsthand tips, hacks, or dietary substitutions that, hey, worked for us. Here, then, are this week’s must-try recipes from Eater’s very-much-average-but-highly-enthusiastic home cooks.

July 16, 2021

Easy watermelon margarita

Erin Lives Whole

For proof that “too much of a good thing” is, indeed, a thing, see: watermelon. Even a humble-sized melon, dissected into its edible parts, yields more than a family of four can put down in a weekend, let alone store. Fear of this surplus has, for years, kept me from buying melons at all, and has severely limited my and my children’s consumption of its sweet, pink flesh. But not this year! No, I finally discovered a key fact that will forever change the way I consume watermelon: You can freeze it! Not only are cubes of frozen watermelon amazing on their own, but blended with some lime juice and tequila they become the instant frozen watermelon margarita that happy hour dreams are made of. Cocktails like this require less a recipe and more a general idea of ingredients and your own alcohol tolerance, but this one from Erin Lives Whole (a blog I stumbled upon) served as a good framework. I added a little anejo tequila floater to up the sting, made virgin versions for the kids, and now have a stash of frozen watermelon in my freezer for whenever the mood strikes. Like now. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Japanese-style mapo tofu

Harumi Kurihara, NHK World-Japan

I continue to search for ways to incorporate Impossible meat into my diet (my husband and I aim for two meatless dinners each week), and my latest experiment was probably my most successful: substituting the vegetarian crumbles for the small amount of pork or beef normally found in mapo tofu. I started making Japanese-style mapo tofu at home after seeing chef Harumi Kurihara prepare it once on the NHK channel; it’s simple to cook, and a bit subtler than the fiery Chinese version (though I’ve been known to add a bit of chile bean paste to the linked recipe). The Impossible meat has just the right texture to fill in as a sub here, and it may become a permanent swap for this recipe in the future. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Chicken Mole and Salsa Borracha

Bricia Lopez, Oaxaca

I ordered an irresistible mole trio from Los Angeles’s Oaxacan legend Guelaguetza months ago; this week, armed with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and a surplus of dried chiles and fresh peppers, we decided to put them in play — on a Tuesday, of course. Using the recipe on the container of mole coloradito, I simmered pureed tomatoes down with an earthy, sticky mole paste the color of igneous rock, stirred until well-blended, and then added chicken broth, some seasoning to taste, pepper seeds (we like things spicy), and chocolate (the recipe calls for Oaxacan chocolate, or brown sugar as a substitute — I melted down the little Nespresso dark chocolates we had in the pantry). While that was happening, my partner whipped together a trio of salsas (it was a very trio-centric night), the most unique of which was the salsa borracha from Guelaguetza’s beautiful Oaxaca cookbook, written by Bricia Lopez. He blistered some peppers and tomatillos in our broiler and blended them down with dried mulato chiles (we didn’t have the moritas the recipe calls for, but close enough), garlic, apple cider vinegar, mezcal, bay leaves, and salt. The result is a salsa I could drink, or, at least, as I did the next day, turn into a salad dressing to go with my leftover chicken mole. — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

Broccoli Caesar salad

Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit

After a full vacation of what felt like way more than my fill of meat and beer, I returned home craving salad. Fortunately, waiting for me in my garden was a true bumper crop of broccoli. I’m talking big, supermarket-sized heads. Naturally, that meant making some sort of broccoli salad. This broccoli Caesar did the trick, using up a good portion of my extremely high-yield broccoli with other items we had around the house and in the yard. I didn’t have napa or savoy cabbage, but a plain old head of green cabbage suited this recipe just fine. I made my dressing with an egg yolk, as suggested, and it turned out extremely lemony and fresh, with a flavor that got even better by lunchtime the next day. — Brenna Houck, Eater cities manager

Sesame, date, and banana cake

Yotam Ottolenghi, NYT Cooking

In my experience, birthdays are for doing self-indulgent stuff you’ve been putting off, like baking a cake that seems perfectly suited to you. (I was told it’s not weird to make your own birthday cake … by my partner who thus didn’t have to bake a birthday cake.) I enjoy literally any treat in the realm of banana: banana pudding, banana cocktails, maduros, even banana-flavored Runts (I enjoy isoamyl acetate so much even nail polish remover smells good to me). Yotam Ottolenghi checked all the boxes with this banana cake recipe, which also features other favorites of mine: dates, tahini, and cream cheese. After reading the comments, I pulled the cake out a touch early, baking it under foil for only 20 minutes, but otherwise followed the recipe. As Ottolenghi promised, the cake was soft and light, even as the cream cheese, tahini, and mascarpone enhanced the creaminess of the banana, and the nuggets of date boosted the sweetness. Don’t skimp on the caramelized banana slices and drizzles of date syrup on top. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

July 9, 2021

Crab and shrimp etouffee

Spicy Southern Kitchen

Salted PB&J ice cream pie

Sohla El-Waylly, Bon Appétit

Grilled chorizo soup with kale and sweet potatoes

Chris Schlesinger, The Thrill of the Grill

Pasta with favas, tomatoes, and sausage

Smitten Kitchen

Oven-roasted chicken shawarma

Sam Sifton, NYT Cooking

July 2, 2021

Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles With Green Beans

Aaron Hutcherson, the Washington Post

Impossible Street Tacos

J. Michael Melton, Impossible Foods

Simple Butter Roasted Salmon

Alison Roman, YouTube

Kale Pesto

Nancy Silverton, The Mozza Cookbook

Dark Chocolate Tahini Swirl Bundt Cake

Soom Foods

June 25, 2021

Tzatziki Potato Salad

Hetty McKinnon, NYT Cooking

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Sally McKenney, Sally’s Baking Addiction; Sam Sifton, NYT Cooking

Shaking Tofu

Andrea Nguyen, Food & Wine

Tomato and Cucumber Salad and Honey Hush Cornbread

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

Easy Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit

For the complete list of everything Eater editors have enjoyed cooking so far this year (pizza babka! air-fryer ube cheesecake! spiced coconut chicken and rice!), head to the archive.

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