Summer in the city...100 degrees, no backyard...what's for dinner?
Don't want to turn on the stove if at all possible. Definitely won't turn on the oven. So, other than delivery, what's cool and delicious?
Chickpea salad (chickpeas from a can, garlicky vinaigrette, chopped tomatoes, black olives and lots of chopped parsley) and prosciutto.
Black bean and mango salad (black beans, chopped tomato, onion and jalapeno, lime vinaigrette with chopped mango tossed in at last minute) and shrimp (bought cooked).
A huge salad with all your favorite things in it and smoked trout.
Not exactly homecooking, but I had a mango fruit bowl from a Mexican fruit stand last night, seasoned with lemon and hot chile sauce like this http://www.mexgrocer.com/3120.html. Saltiness of the sauce made it more of a salad than a fruit dessert - yum!
Some asian markets in NYC sell this shelled and cooked crab claws in a can - makes great salads.
For dessert - brazilian Acai smoothie - beats any ice cream or sorbet.
Couscous salad - make the couscous (just pour boiling water or stock over it), then add foods you like. Feta, olives, mint and seasonings are simple and good. I made a seafood version over the weekend which involves poaching the fish and seafood but that's done in a few minutes. If you have a deli, you can add roast chicken or cooked or smoked seafood, different veggies, cheeses etc.
We're having homesmoked turkey breast, caramelized onions, probably slices of local tomatoes on ciabatta tonight. That's about all we're capable of in this heat.
I made something very similar last night and plan on enjoying it all week. Granted, I DID have to boil water on the stove but that was the only "cooking" involved. Well worth it to eat "cool" all week (and cool is important - I live in a one bedroom apartment in Minneapolis with no A/C, save the window unit in my bedroom - ugh).
Lemon Orzo Salad
One box of orzo pasta, boiled and drained
zest of 2 lemons (I like mine lemony!)
juice of 2 lemons
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small bag of frozen salad shrimp, thawed and rinsed
1 small container crumbled feta cheese
"good" handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Dashes of olive oil - to keep the salad moist and to taste
Any other seasonings you enjoy (I added some lemon pepper and dried oregano)
The salad is incredibly easy to make once all the ingredients are assembled. Boil the pasta, drain and toss with a little olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and stash in the fridge until cool. Add remaining ingredients and toss.
I like to eat this over mixed greens and sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar to keep things moist. SO GOOD!
Similarly, you can make bulgur salad and even avoid boiling water. Just soak bulgur in salted water for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how coarse it is, and then add the usual grain salad additions.
I made a wonderful bulgur salad this weekend using a combination of Claudia Roden's and Paula Wolfert's recipes for a dressing with pomegranate molasses, ketchup/tomato paste, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, parsley, and toasted pine nuts. Very refreshing.
FYI - backyards are overrated - hot, buggy and you get heat exhaustion standing over the 500 degree Weber grill. I speak from experience.
I'll be inside cranking the A/C eating tabouleh with feta and cucumbers over an arugula salad, with a large glass of sweet mint iced tea.
No grill, no stove. No wait, I will have to boil water for the tabouleh - no biggie tho. That won't heat up the kitchen at all. Anyway - it goes in the fridge to chill for a while, so it's served nice and cool. Top it off with some nice fresh fruit salad with whipped cream or some ice cream or ices for desert - a perfect summer dinner.