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Jul 22, 2010 08:28 PM

Hot weather cooking

So, does anyone have any outside-the-box cold entrees to share? I don't know how many more chicken and fruit pasta salads I can make before my partner catches on to the fact that I don't have that many hot weather recipes! Summer's here - what else (besides gazpacho) is cold on your plates?

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    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Drat, too late to post, I have nothing to add. GHG has outdone herself; bravo!

    2. With no air conditioning here on the UWS, I don’t want to turn on the stove & have gotten creative with the microwave, electric kettle, and blender/processor. Since these methods don’t add flavor, I use plenty of salsas, fresh herbs, spices, onion & garlic, peppers, citrus, vinegars etc to punch them up. As well as mayo-based sauces, I make yogurt-based with plenty of garlic, or citrus-based with ginger and hot peppers.
      - Carbs: couscous, bulgar, or rice noodles cooked by boiling water from the electric kettle, or baby potatos in the microwave.
      - Vegetables: microwaved (asparagus is especially good this way) then dressed, marinated, and/or used in a salad
      - Fish/chicken: microwaved then seasoned highly and chopped (or not) for a warm dish or inclusion in a composed salad
      - Eggs 1: let them come to room temperature (halfway to boiling temp last week!) then pour over boiling water from the electric kettle + give them a few minutes on the stove for hard-boiled. Pour off the hot water promptly and cool down the eggs & pan with cold water.
      - Eggs 2: beat them with a little water then microwave; cut into strips

      And other delights
      - Dessert 1: cookie-crust (melt butter in microwave while you grind up any type of cookies in the food processor; combine & press into a pie pan; or buy one pre-made); whipped filling of cream cheese/plain yogurt/heavy cream with lemon zest, liquer, & a little sugar; top with fruit that’s been briefly microwaved to bring out the flavor. Freeze or refrigerate.
      - Dessert 2: layer a grain (cookies, cake, ladyfingers, or granola) with fruit (chopped fresh; microwaved to bring out flavor; or jam) and dairy (instant pudding, whipped cream, yogurt) refrigerate at least 2 hours. This is ice-box cake; a variant is the famous chocolate-wafer cake with whipped cream. Anna’s Swedish wafers are great for this in various flavors.
      - Cold soup: my favorite is plain yogurt and tomato juice (more juice than yogurt) with scallions or onion, fresh lemon juice, and red or black pepper to taste whizzed in the blender with plenty of ice; then add lots of fresh basil and blend briefly. I like this for breakfast or throughout the day on a real scorcher. Good with garlic toast, caeser or spinach salad, tabouli, or ceviche.

      1 Reply
      1. re: taxidermygirl

        What's the UWS? While I didn't grow up with AC, would be lost now. It's the perennial battle with hubs: in summer, he thinks I keep it too cold, and in winter, he thinks I keep it too hot. I keep asking how is 78 "too cold" in the summer, but in the winter, 65 is "too hot"? Anyway, you have some creative no/little cooking ideas there.

      2. Try this recipe that I have on a blog.

        green vegetable vichyssoise


        yield: 32 ounces
        (8 ounce serving is 200 calories


        what you need:

        1 tablespoon olive oil
        1 tablespoon minced shallots
        1 cup small diced celery
        1 cup small diced fennel heart
        1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
        2 tablespoons dry white wine
        3 cups small rondelle sliced asparagus
        2 cups small diced zucchini
        1 teaspoon kosher salt
        2 tablespoon olive oil
        2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

        1 bay leaf
        2 cups bottled water
        1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
        1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

        2 tablespoon fresh chervil leaves
        2 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
        1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
        1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

        1/2 cup puréed very ripe avocado
        kosher salt (to taste)
        freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
        minced chives, as needed

        how to:

        Prepare Vegetables. Wash the vegetables well and dry them. Remove the ends and discard. Leave the skins on the zucchini but lightly peel the asparagus. Dice.
        Macerate. Place asparagus and zucchini in a bowl. Add lime juice, olive oil and salt. Toss to coat. Set aside for 2 hours.
        Sweat Aromatics. Heat a saucepan over a medium-high flame. Once the pan is warm, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add shallots. Once shallots are translucent, add celery and fennel with the cumin. Cook until very tender (this takes about 15 minutes).
        Deglaze With White Wine. When celery and fennel are soft and begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add the white wine. Cook until the wine has been “cooked out” (reduced au sec) and is no longer visible in the pan.
        Boil. Add water, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Use a spatula to add the asparagus and zucchini (with any juice and oil in the bowl) to the saucepan. Return soup to a boil (this will take 4-5 minutes because the asparagus and zucchini reduced the water temperature). When the water begins to boil, turn the heat off and remove the saucepan from the stove.
        Purée. Remove bay leaf and discard. Add fresh herbs (chervil, parsley, coriander, and tarragon) to soup. With an immersion blender or a food processor (in batches) carefully purée the soup until smooth.
        Strain. Use a vegetable mill (fit with a fine disc) or a mesh colander (use a spatula to push the soup through the mesh) and strain the purée into a clean bowl. A thin coating of fibrous parts of the celery and zucchini skins will remain in the colander or mill, discard the fibrous remains.
        Chill. Place the bowl with the strained soup in an ice bath.
        Refrigerate. Once cool, cover the soup with plastic wrap (or place in an airtight container with a lid) and refrigerate overnight (or at least for an hour). The soup will last in the refrigerator for a few days.
        Adjust Seasoning. Before service, add puréed avocado and season to taste with salt and pepper (even if you seasoned it before you chilled it … it tastes different cold and with the avocado). Garnish with minced chives.
        Serve. Serve in a chilled bowl or cup.