What are you making for dinner when it so hot?
I really need some inspiration. What are you making that is great...fast...and isn't making the house hot???
Caprese Salad with cherry tomatoes (FDA warning and all)
some good bread (market bought - have to be about nuts to bake in this heat)
and berries and cream for dessert
Knowing that a heat wave was coming, I made plain rice and pasta ahead of time, keeping it in the fridge (though cooked plain pasta freezes well). Then I did quick pan-sauteeing of proteins and veggies that were cut small and left on the counter long enough to take the chill off. As soon as I turn off a burner in hot weather, place a covered pan of cold water on it. The heat goes into the water, not the room - you can then dump the water or use it for washing up. Year-round, whenever I use the oven I put in a few potatoes before turning it on. I usually wind up leaving them in until the oven is empty and cooling. Though russet/idaho potatoes are best for baking, I like baking lower starch varieties too, and really well-done ones, so that there's a brown, caramelized layer beneath the skin. These are easily reheated later - in hot weather, I'll forego the crisper skin and just nuke them to reheat.
If you have a grill, your options are limitless. Last night's dinner was chicken on the rotisserie, asparagus, roasted potatoes, and a salad.
For cooking inside, the microwave is your best friend; it doesn't heat up anything except the food. Steamed veggies and salmon en papillote are naturals--they're as good in the microwave as cooked over flames.
The next best thing to use is the pressure cooker. Because of shorter cooking times, most of which are over very low heat, you're dumping less heat into the kitchen. Earlier this week we had pressure-cooked chana dal, rice (you'll want to put the rice cooker out on the patio / balcony / fire escape), yoghurt (with grated cucumber, cumin seed, and cayenne pepper), quick pickles, and a coriander chutney.
Oh, and frozen desserts. I need to get a second bowl for the ice cream maker, because the kids will kill a half gallon of sorbet or 'scream before the next batch is set. Luckily they don't like the Meyer lemon stuff, so it lasts for a few days.
I like making a cold cucumber soup made with greek yogurt and jumbo shrimp cocktails with sliced avocado served with a bottle of good cold chard.
For dessert, vanilla pudding over vanilla wafers with fresh berries and a good glass of port.
Also, cold grilled chicken breast with an cole slaw or brocolli crowns and throw in pine nuts, golden raisins, sesame oil and a dash of ranch with salt and pepper.
there are tons of recipes on the web if you do a google search, and it's ridiculously easy - all you have to do is chop the veggies and make the super-simple dressing. i've tweaked it a little for my own preferences so mine's not 100% traditional, but i'd be happy to post an approximate "recipe" [it's one of those things i just eyeball & do by taste]...just let me know.
ok, as i said, mine's not completely traditional...and i don't follow an actual recipe, but here are my best estimates for a batch that serves about 4 people...
GHG's Coban Salatasi
4 medium tomatoes
1 medium cucumber [seedless, if available]
1 medium-size mild onion [i prefer red or bermuda]
2 large jarred pepperoncini [banana peppers]*
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of half a lemon [1-2 tablespoons]
fresh cracked black pepper
1 large handful flat leaf parsley
grated mizithra cheese or crumbled feta cheese for serving
Halve the tomatoes, squeeze gently [don't crush them!] to remove the seeds, and discard seeds. Peel cucumber, and slice in half, lengthwise. If cucumber contains seeds, remove them by scraping gently with a spoon, & discard seeds. Dice the tomato, onion & cucumber, and combine in a large bowl. Remove & discard the stems from the pepperoncini, chop the peppers very finely, and add to the other vegetables.
In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano; season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.
Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and allow to sit, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes [the longer, the better].
When ready to serve, roughly chop the parsley and sprinkle over salad [don't toss - i prefer to allow each diner to mix it into their serving after it's plated].
Serve with cheese on the side [i always stir 1-2 tablespoons into my serving].
*Note: traditionally, this salad contains green bell peppers, but i can't eat them raw. if you don't like the bite from the pepperoncini and you're okay with green peppers, feel free to omit the pepperoncini, and add 1 cored, seeded & diced medium green pepper.