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Aug 2, 2011 12:39 PM

What dish am I craving during this heat wave?


My wife and I were planning to go to a local upscale Italian place in Chapel Hill over the weekend. It was one of the few high end restaurants we hadn't tried in our 9 years in this area. The closer the day became the more we didn't want to go (We went and had an excellent meal.). With the recent heat wave, we just didn't feel like pasta was going to be the right fit. We couldn't verbalize what would be the right dish, so I thought I would seek guidance from the hive mind. In the heat, we wanted a light, bright dish, spicy from Jalapenos and/or other peppers, perhaps some Sichuan peppercorns, could be served hot or cold. There's a restaurant on Maui that does an interesting riff on Thai Green Papaya salad that comes to mind. Salt and pepper shrimp also comes to mind.

Any other thoughts on dishes that meet the above criteria?

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  1. How about other Issan-style salads, like various versions of larb? Cold noodles from Sichuan (liang2 mian4) or Korea (nyang myun), both spicy in their own way, might be options if you don't want to rule out all pasta-like dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: limster

      I LOVE mool naengmyun on a hot day...

    2. Tandoori shrimp and mango salad is a dish I make frequently when the weather is like this. I can do the prep the night before and then have it on the table with little effort the next night, The flavors are fresh and zingy, spicy yet cooling.

      1. When it's really hot we have always liked the cold Middle Eastern dishes like tabbouleh, baba ganooj, hummos, fatoosh, stuffed vine leaves, cucumbers in yogurt with mint, white bean salad, sliced tomatoes with Greek olives, etc. If you make one you may as well make several at the same time---they keep in the fridge for a week so you can fix a plate at any time.

        1. Green papaya salad actually sounds perfect in the heat. I'm also partial to ceviche when it's really hot-citrusy and spicy tends to hit the spot. Also gazpacho, and maybe caprese-that's not one I'm always willing to pay for, but it is definitely satisfying and summery. I would be perfectly happy to eat caprese and bread for dinner on a hot evening, but that may not be what you're seeking at a high-end restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ErnieD

            in my book Caprese is the ID of a food for a hot summer day (but gotta use enough basil and mozz)

            otherwise I dunno an iced IV feeding tube?

          2. Cold Soba noodles in freezing chilled broth.

            Their constituent, buckwheat,
            says "I'll beat the heat"

            And slurp of the broth
            brings cool splash to the chin.

            4 Replies
            1. re: FoodFuser

              Or Somen.

              Made some fresh dashi
              and then into tsuyu, yes!
              In the fridge to cool

              Shit... I can't do this like you - just ain't no poet... But the thin slurpy somen are my childhood summer fave. With some fresh bo-negi, kizami nori, wasabi.

              1. re: applehome

                I thought it was quite lovely, apple. :)