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Friday, July 27, 2012

On today’s show: Melissa Clark suggests ways to make tasty summer meals without having to turn on the oven during these hot summer nights. Then, we’ll take a look at the stranger than fiction story of singer/songwriter Rodriquez, the subject of the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man.” Alison Klayman discusses her documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” a look at the life and work of the renowned Chinese artist and dissident. Plus, Please Explain segment is all about athletic doping.

Melissa Clark Turns Down the Heat

This summer has been hot! New York Times Dining Section columnist and cookbook writer and Melissa Clark shares some ideas and recipes for making summer meals without having to turn on an oven. Her most recent cookbook is Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make.

Do you have questions about how to make meals that require minimal cooking—or suggestions to share? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Comments [29]

Searching for Sugar Man

Filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul and singer/songwriter Rodriguez talk about the film “Searching for Sugar Man.” Despite critical praise, Rodriguez’s albums bombed in the U.S., and he faded into obscurity in this country, but when a bootleg copy of his album made its way to apartheid South Africa, it resonated with the youth protest movement there. Decades later, two intrepid fans decide to investigate whatever happened to the mysterious musician, and they uncover an unbelievable true story of success, obscurity, politics, and the power of music. "Searching for Sugar Man" opens July 27 at Angelika and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

Comments [4]

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Director Alison Klayman discusses her documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” an up-close look at renowned Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei and his ongoing battle with the Chinese government. Ai Weiwei is China's most celebrated contemporary artist, who helped design Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a kind of Internet champion, using his blog and Twitter stream to organize, inform, and inspire his followers, becoming an underground hero to millions of Chinese citizens. “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” opens July 27 at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and IFC Center.

Comments [4]

Please Explain: Doping

More than 100 athletes have been banned from competing in the London Olympics because of doping suspensions. Doping allegations have become common in many sports, most notably in cycling, baseball, and track and field. Dr. Dennis Cardone, associate professor of sports medicine at NYU Langone’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care, and Dr. Gary Wadler, clinical associate professor in the Department of medicine at Hofstra University, explain how performance-enhancing drugs work, how they're detected, and how doping has been addressed in sports. Dr. Wadler served as the Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Prohibited List and Methods Sub-Committee and serves as an ex-officio member of WADA’s Health, Medicine, and Research Committee. He is the lead author of the textbook Drugs and the Athlete.

Comments [9]

Melissa Clark's Vietnamese Cabbage Salad with Shredded Chicken, Peanuts, and Mint

Makes 4 servings

For the Salad:
2 carrots, peeled and trimmed
10 cups shredded Napa or regular cabbage (about 1/2 head)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (or use cilantro or basil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)
1 prepared rotisserie chicken, shredded

For the Spicy Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or peanut oil
1 teaspoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (see note)
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
Pinch cayenne
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1. In a food processor fitted with the large grating attachment, shred the carrots. Turn them out into a large bowl. Add the cabbage and mint and season with salt and pepper. Cover and toss well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

2. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, olive or peanut oil, fish sauce, lime juice, and cayenne. In a mortar and pestle or with the back of a knife, mash the garlic to a paste: whisk into the vinaigrette.

3. To assemble, add just enough of the vinaigrette to the salad to coat it and toss well. Taste and add more dressing or salt or lime juice if desired. Place the salad onto the center of a platter and top with the chicken. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts, if desired, drizzle with more vinaigrette, and serve.

Comments [1]

Melissa Clark's Cantaloupe and Yogurt Soup with Toasted Cumin Salt

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 pounds peeled and cubed cantaloupe (8 cups)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, to taste, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

1. Combine cantaloupe, yogurt, jalapeno, lemon juice and salt in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

2. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour into a mortar and pestle and add coarse sea salt. Pound the mixture a few times until the cumin seeds are lightly crushed. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the cumin and salt onto a cutting board and either smack it with the side of a heavy cleaver or knife, or roll over them with a rolling pin or the side of a wine bottle.

3. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish with cumin salt.

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