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.
I think I've decided on Curried Chicken Pasta Salad for me tonight... cheating by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken, pasta (will have to use the stove for this but no big deal for me,) carrots, celery, purple grapes, sliced almonds, mayo, curry, and mango chutney. It will be nice because then I can take it in my lunch the rest of the week.
I forgot to add that I have been perusing Tasty Bite Indian pouches a lot. Their Vegetable Byriani and Multigrain Pilaf in vacuum packs don't need any cooking and make a great starch side for any choice of protein.
I posted this a few days ago but will do it again. No heat involved.
1 Can refried beans plain, green chili, chorizo what ever
Equal amount of beef broth or use veg, stock, up to whatever your meat/non-meat persuasion is
1 C. chopped tomatoes. I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted.
Put it all in your blender or food processor and puree.
Chill until ice cold, make it in the AM, it takes time only to open 3 cans and puree, refrigerate and go about your day.
Serve in chilled bowls. Pass topings of your choice, crisp tortilla strips or Fritos, shredded lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, chilled peeled shrimp, chopped cilantro, just what ever strikes you. Pep it up with your favorite hot sauce. Filling, delicious, soothing and cold. My DH made that for us a few nights ago and and between the two of us we ate every last bit. It is 92 and humid right now at almnost 5:00 P.M. and I could gladly have that again tonight.
Did all my cooking Friday and Saturday for a picnic in someone else's back yard: made enough coleslaw and potato salad to feed two armies. Brought home enough for ONE army. So now and for the next several days it's green salads for lunch, coleslaw and spud salad and __? for dinner, preferably something in a can or that can be cooked minimally. Tonight I'll sauté some salmon.
Oh, and while I was cooking stuff for the potato salad I boiled an extra half-dozen eggs, which I turned into devilled ones yesterday. Good with those lunch salads...
inspired by a friend who is a great cook, i grated carrots and zucchini in the cuisinart, added some salt and pepper, a little sugar and some rice vinegar. fast, easy and very tasty.
tonight's--shirazi salad. tomato, cucumber, onion, with lemon juice, olive oil and mint on top.
Went to the gym..air conditioning was broke.. but have a trainer so did my thing. Came home soaked! I am so glad this thread is here today. Got some great ideas. When I got home the only thing I wanted to do was have chips and dip (but there goes the calories I just worked off!) I didn't do it...but damn it was a close call.
I made Raita the other night to go with some curry. There was enough left over so I sliced up some lemon cukes and added some dill weed and pepper. Served it with grilled veggies.
Tofu marinated in a spicey soy/sesame/chile mixture with celery.
Shredded carrot salad with cashews and raisins.
Spicy three-bean salad with corn, radishes and cilantro.
I like Tofu Salad with a bowl of ice-cold somen noodles topped with boiled egg, shredded nori, green onions, kamaboko (fish cake), boiled spinach, and a heavy dose of wasabi really hits the spot. Very little cooking and refreshing.
I will post the recipe if you would like. I copied and pasted, but the recipe got a little garbled. I have to retype it.
Here it is. Enjoy! Great to take to potlucks too!
2 blks FIRM tofu, cut in 1 inch cubes-I use the huge 19oz blocks
2-3 thinly sliced kyuri(Japanese cucumbers)
Cubed tomatoes- I love tomatoes, so I use a lot.
Thinly sliced green onions-2-3 stalks?
1 pkg. daikon sprouts
1 pkg. bean sprouts
Bonito flakes-sprinkled on top
Thinly sliced brown onions-to taste
Wrap tofu in paper towels and place in a pan with a weight on top. I use books or a bowl full of coins. Not too heavy. Change the paper towels frequently and drain the plate. I usually let it sit for about 30-45 minutes. You want the tofu to soak up all the marinade and not be diluted by the tofu water.
4 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T vegetable oil
2 T Mirin (Me reen not meer in) lol
1 tsp black pepper
1 T roasted crushed sesame seeds
Place cubed tofu in 9 x 12 pan. Layer cucumbers, green onions, bean sprouts, tomatoes and brown onions over tofu. Pour dressing on top, finish off with radish sprouts and bonito flakes.
Place in refrigerator overnight or at least 2-3 hours. I like my tofu marinated. There will be a lot of liquid. You can pour it off.
For somen noodles, I use the bottled dashi-Mitsukan Oigatsuo Tsuyu Bonito Flavored Soup Base. It's a concentrate for hot,cold noodles and tempura sauce. No cooking!
We have a backyard but with near 80% dewpoints I wasn't about to go out there and cook. Our meals over those 4 hot days:
Turkey & Dried Cherry Pasta Salad (stovetop)
BLT's (electric skillet)
Gourmet chicken sausages & fruit (electric skillet)
Mexi-Rice (rice cooker and electric skillet; rice, black beans, corn, cilantro, seasonings, cheese)
Burritos (tortilla grill, rice cooker and electric skillet)
Our temps in MN are cooler now, it's cloudy today with rain expected and highs are now expected to be in the 80's. I hope so!! It's blueberry pickin' time!
This is why I adore my grill pan!! :) It doesn't heat the kitchen like regular pots and pans and it get SO Hot that it cooks things up in a Jif!
Last night to combat the heat we had Fresh Figs (Great ones!) grilled and then smeared with Goat or a super soft Organic Jack and then wrapped in Procuitto or Pancetta. Accompanied with a fruit ale. :)
What a delicious thread. I'm printing it and putting it on the fridge.
My favs are:
Nicoise Salad, deconstructed (just throw all the bits in piles on a plate) with good jarred Italian tuna and a crusty baguette
Thai Chicken Mango Salad. Buy the chicken precooked and use lots of fish sauce.
Yesterday, when it was still icky-sticky hot and humid in New England, I took the easy way out - got a honey-roasted chicken from Stop & Shop. Made my own roasted potatoes (in a DeLonghi toaster oven using the convection method) and heated up some peas.
The rest of the chicken will be used in chicken salad and I'll make potato salad out the rest of the roasted potatoes.
I make a salad with heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, chopped basil
onions and cubed day old crusty bread. Toss that all in a vinagarette made with 2T balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic ...whisked together with 1/4 olive oil. It's cool and delicious.