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All the Recipes Our Food Staff Cooked in June

A six-foot meatless Italian hero, three impressive takes on the chicken breast and several heat-wave-proof dishes.

By Nikita Richardson

Isn’t summer grocery shopping just pure ecstasy? The possibilities are endless: succulent stone fruit and berries as far as the eye can see, all the fresh seafood you could ever want, and vegetables — summer squash, okra, corn — that taste as if they were plucked from the sun-warmed dirt just hours earlier. Last month, the Food staff made the most of summer’s bounty while keeping the recipes short, sweet and, most importantly, low on heat (with a few exceptions). Here are the best recipes we cooked in June.

Dry-Brined Chicken Breasts

I made Eric Kim’s dry-brined chicken breasts, pineapple-marinated chicken breasts and his Ritzy Cheddar chicken breasts. The dry-brined was the most flavorful, juicy chicken breast I’ve ever eaten. I served the pineapple-marinated chicken over rice for a quick and satisfying dinner in 30 minutes. And the Ritzy Cheddar chicken was an upgrade to the flour-breaded chicken tenders my daughter usually eats. KIM GOUGENHEIM

Recipes: Dry-Brined Chicken Breasts | Pineapple-Marinated Chicken Breasts | Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts

Six-Foot Meatless Italian Hero

At the first opportunity to gather a crowd, I made Gabrielle Hamilton’s party sub. I skipped to my nearest Italian deli, eight months pregnant, taking up extra space on the sidewalk with a protruding belly and three feet of fine Italian sandwich bread flopping treacherously, comically, both in front of and behind me. I destroyed my kitchen in a flurry of fixings, and everything paid off: Like any other Gabrielle Hamilton recipe, this sandwich was predictably delicious. But the joy was in its size — and its ability to feed so many friends, squeezing in tight for a bite. ALEXA WEIBEL

Recipe: Six-Foot Meatless Italian Hero

Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas

About what is arguably her most beloved tofu recipe, Yewande Komolafe writes: “A dish centered on tofu usually has to be prepared to weather imaginary criticism. Consider this recipe a series of well-prepared comebacks.” I cooked it for a vegan friend who came over for dinner one night last month. I knew it would be good because it’s a Yewande Komolafe recipe, but what my friend and I found most vivid about the dish was the writing that brought it into focus (and the cashews, which provided a wonderful bite, unexpected chew). ERIC KIM

Recipe: Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas

Kimchi Bibim Guksu

Any time it’s hotter than 80 degrees, turning on the stove is a hard sell for me. Then, my colleague Alexa Weibel turned me on to Darun Kwak’s kimchi bibim guksu, and it has been sustaining me this summer. The sauce keeps in the fridge indefinitely, and all you have to do is boil some noodles and some eggs, which I sometimes do in the same pot. It’s exactly what I need when, in my summer haze, I’ve forgotten to eat. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

Recipe: Kimchi Bibim Guksu

Shrimp in Purgatory

I made Sarah DiGregorio’s shrimp in purgatory with half a bag of frozen shrimp I found in the back of my freezer. I added some boxed kale and spinach. It was outrageously good served over ditalini. MARGAUX LASKEY

Recipes: Shrimp in Purgatory

Chocolate Birthday Cake Butter Mochi

Pop Rocks bring the party, or at least they helped contribute to the fun at a recent baby shower. Sheldon Simeon’s chocolate birthday cake butter mochi calls for a generous dusting of the candy, which I sprinkled on the cake’s peanut butter topping to the fascination of everyone around me. SARA BONISTEEL

Recipes: Chocolate Birthday Cake Butter Mochi

Sautéed Scallops

I made sautéed scallops four times in June, folding them into warm tortillas with a salsa made of mangoes, tomatoes and white onions, with cilantro and hot sauce. I went back to an old favorite, too, with the crispy fried tofu sandwich from Superiority Burger in New York. Hand foods are my summertime mood. SAM SIFTON

Recipes: Sautéed Scallops | Superiority Burger’s Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich

Cold Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce

In June, I was reminded, once again, that New York City is in a subtropical climate zone. And, during last week’s heat wave, I was immensely thankful for Hetty McKinnon’s new recipe for cold noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce. (The soba noodles are the only ingredient that gets cooked.) I made a big bowl of it and ate four servings as the temperatures soared. On the non-heat-wave days, I made Ali Slagle’s crispy sour cream and onion chicken, as well as her crispy grains with smashed cucumbers (twice!). NIKITA RICHARDSON

Recipes: Cold Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce | Crispy Sour Cream and Onion Chicken | Crispy Grains and Halloumi With Smashed Cucumbers

Roasted Shrimp With Bread Crumbs

I was the lucky person who got to take home some leftover shrimp after a video shoot for a new recipe from the brilliant mind of Yewande Komolafe. I knew I wanted to cook it for dinner, but I didn’t want anything too labor-intensive or complicated, because it was getting late and the hunger was real. I turned to Mark Bittman’s roasted shrimp with bread crumbs, which required only three additional ingredients — I subbed panko for the bread crumbs — and about 30 minutes total from prep to plate. KASIA PILAT

Recipe: Roasted Shrimp With Bread Crumbs

Gochugaru Salmon With Crispy Rice

Cleaning out the freezer, I pulled out the final sockeye salmon fillet from last summer’s catch. I wanted a quick and simple way to prepare the fish, using ingredients I already had on hand. Eric Kim’s gochugaru salmon was fast, and the spicy maple pan sauce was incredible. I am also a fan of any recipe that crisps the salmon skin. For an outdoor potluck with friends, I made Key lime pie. This pie screams summer to me, with its graham cracker crust and refreshing and cool lime flavor. It’s something I make every year when the temperatures start to rise. VICTORIA PETERSEN

Recipes: Gochugaru Salmon With Crispy Rice | Key Lime Pie

Hindbaersnitter (Danish Raspberry Slices)

To celebrate Pride 2021, my daughter, Dahlia, and I made these gorgeous and buttery Danish raspberry slice cookies (hindbaersnitter), a recipe from Brontë Aurell, adapted by Alexa Weibel. But instead of crushing freeze-dried raspberries for the topping, we created a rainbow flag out of colored sugar and sprinkles. The cookies got better as they sat, with the raspberry jam filling softening the butter cookie crust. I baked the crust until it was deeply golden, which gave it an almost nutty flavor. Next time I’m going to try spiking the cookie dough aggressively with citrus zest and sandwiching marmalade inside. It’s an extremely adaptable recipe. MELISSA CLARK

Recipe: Hindbaersnitter (Danish Raspberry Slices)

Avocado Salad With Herbs and Capers

I had a few perfect avocados leftover from a recipe I was working on so I took Melissa Clark’s advice and made her recipe for avocado salad with capers and herbs. Crushed with a fork into a few slices of warm toast, it was truly the quickest no-cook meal I’ve made all month. YEWANDE KOMOLAFE

Recipe: Avocado Salad With Herbs and Capers

Grilled Chicken With Parsley-Olive Sauce

Ali Slagle’s grilled chicken with parsley-olive sauce was the centerpiece of a fantastic midweek dinner, even though I had to broil the chicken. (Our grill was out of gas, literally.) In the future — and I do expect the recipe to become a staple in our house — I’m going to budget even more time to let the chicken sit in the marinade, but I’ll serve it the same way: with hot paratha, Ali’s lemon-tahini slaw and cold beer. BRETT ANDERSON

Recipes: Grilled Chicken With Parsley-Olive Sauce | Lemon-Tahini Slaw

Cumin-Lime Shrimp With Ginger

Colu Henry’s cumin-lime shrimp with ginger is the perfect recipe for moments when the summer heat is unbearable. I grabbed a bag of deveined shrimp from my local supermarket, tossed those in cumin and threw the rest of the ingredients into a skillet for a quick dinner over rice. From start to finish, it took me 15 minutes! This just may be the only way I’ll cook shrimp. GINA FERNANDEZ

Recipe: Cumin-Lime Shrimp With Ginger

Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Soup

My daughters and I caught bad head colds at the start of summer and needed homemade chicken soup. I couldn’t imagine steaming up the kitchen during a heat wave with a pot of simmering broth, so I turned to Sarah DiGregorio’s slow-cooker lemony chicken soup, swapping orzo for the tortellini and adding lots of sliced fresh ginger. It has all the comfort of chicken soup, but feels right for the season with lemon juice and fresh summer herbs. We’re still sniffling a little and grateful to be slurping bowl after bowl. GENEVIEVE KO

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Soup

Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts

I can’t remember the last time I even bought or cooked chicken breasts — just the breasts, I mean. But I was really tempted to make Eric Kim’s Ritzy Cheddar chicken because I love a simple cutlet, and this one had a really different coating technique than any of my usual go-tos. It was tangy, tender, crisp, and I loved the range of crunchy textures from the crumbled crackers! It was so good that I turned right around and made it a second time. TEJAL RAO

Recipe: Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts

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