Warm weather meals....
- jenscats5 Mar 17, 2012 04:02 PM
Interested in some new ideas for dinners now that the weather has warmed up. Thinking I'd take a day to cook rice or pasta so as not to heat up the kitchen repeatedly.
Thinking cold rice or noodle salads - I have a good corn/rice/black bean salad I like once the NJ corn comes in. Or maybe use the crockpot more often. I eat "regular" salad every day for lunch, so that's out.
I've read all the threads I've searched about but was wondering on some new ideas. Thanks!
You know, in the warmest weather, you don't even really have to cook. Spring and Summer produce are here, and a salad of beautiful sliced tomatoes and maybe you want to consider roasting a chicken or two if you do the pasta/rice thing..incorporate that into a rice noodle salad, and you'll have it around.
Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
1 1/4 lbs.boneless breast (though you can definitely sub in pork or beef, if you want..) Thinly sliced, crosswise
Spicy Asian dressing, below
4 ozs. thin rice vermicelli, snapped in half if too long
1 T. veg. oil
2 carrots, ribboned w/ a veg. peeler
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
(optional, but great add-ins, any or all - bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, red pepper, diced, sliced scallions.
Marinate the chicken in half the dressing. As little as 30 minutes can do it, and overnight in the fridge is also fine.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil; cook noodles till tender. It takes virtually no time. I mean maybe 5 minutes? Drain; shock in cold water. Transfer to platter
Large skillet, medium-high, working in batches, do your chicken, which will cook thoroughly in about 3 minutes. Transfer to top of noodes, and top with everything else and serve with the dressing.
Medium bowl: 4 thinly sliced scallion whites, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 c. low-salt (or not) soy sauce, 1/4 c. rice vinegar, 2 T, light brown sugar, 1 T. fresh lime juice, 1/2 t. anchovy paste, 2 T. fish sauce, 1/2 t. red pepper flakes. Combine well.
This is really really good stuff. You can make some cold soups, yes? Gazpacho? Cucumber/dill or mint? Crockpots are a hot gal's best friend but I'm not sure about the hot weather food with that. And just roast down some delicious cherry tomatoes till they're nice and caramelly, with a little oil and garlic. and let them cool. and toss with the pasta of your choice, hot or cold. Delicious. I keep bowls of it around all Summer, and you could also roast down some eggplant and zucchini with it.
Do you eat tunafish? A nice oil-packed tuna salad with cannelini beans and diced onions is delicious, and easy peasy, and you can pack that into sandwiches. Speaking of which? Consider the mufuletta. Oh, and delicious Caprese salad.
is very similar to one that my wife has made for about thirty years. She makes hers only for special guests and guards her recipe closely so I can't share her exact process but his one comes so very close I doubt you'd detect any significant difference.
Middle Eastern goes well in hot weather (think of the countries where this cuisine was developed---very hot). Make a big recipe of tabbouleh and some hummos and baba ganooj and just keep them in the refrigerator, making up a plate whenever you want--add some sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, piece of cheese, slice of cold chicken.
We also do well with low-cal gazpacho---4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, and 1 cucumber coarsely chopped in the Cuisinart and added to a 46-oz can of tomato juice with salt, garlic powder, cumin, a bit of hot red pepper, and a couple of tablespoons each of olive oil and vinegar. Makes about half a gallon; keeps for days and gets better as it sits.
During a hot spell in a non-AC house I once cooked a frozen turkey breast in the Crock-Pot and had it with various cold salads---never turned the stove on.
The other day while going through old notebooks I kept when traveling I came across the description of a Chopped Salad I had enjoyed in a Florida restaurant---chopped lettuce and tomato mixed about fifty-fifty with potato salad then dressed with olive oil and vinegar---and topped generously with fresh shrimp, canned anchovies, pickled beets, and green pepper. Could be a whole summer dinner and varied as you like---main thing is that the potato salad and greens were mixed.