Shabbos food blahs
It's Thursday, and, probably in part because we just had chag too, I cant stand the idea of cooking or eating anything from my usual repertoire. So, tell us about yours. What are your tried and trues for summer shabbat meals (fri night or lunch), the ones you make week after week because they are easy, and can always be trusted to be great.
Chulent is the shabbos food classic because it is easy to prepare, forgiving as to ingredients and proportions, filling, and sets up the shabbos "atmosphere" with its aroma and it is yummy.
It's summer...so besides the soup, we serve cold or room temperature foods.
Large salads with grilled boneless chcicken, turkey or salmon.
Meat kugel..made with browned ground beef/turkey, onion soup mix, garlic
Cold cut platters with macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw
Cold grilled chicken or turkey parts
Room Temp Fried Chicken
Room Temp fried fish with dipping sauce
Room Temp vegetable lasagne
Lots of pickled vegetables and fresh fruit, melon and
a Sangria type punch
Summer Shabbos Lunch is usually served out around the pool
re: chicago maven
In 2008 they rented our house and pool to shoot a movie "The Instant Messenger" It ended with a dead body floating in the pool. So, I guess the pool is fleischige....
The joys of not living in the city include the pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, smoker, etc. and a big enough house for lots of guests (19 rooms and growing), two kitchens, a studio over the garage, and all for less than a 2 bedroom condo in Manhattan.
I don't make this every week (actually, I only do it maybe 5 times total from Shavuot to Labor Day), but this is a favorite on a hot day after a long shul service. Grill some chicken cutlets and slice into salad (recipe below) for a light, refreshing main course (I would do this for just family). Make it without the chicken for an appetizer course (if having other people over for lunch).
The original recipe came off of a Dole Pineapple. I find using the canned pineapple rings much easier, because I use an indoor grill pan. However, it would work with fresh pineapple as well. Original recipe also called for a different type of lettuce - Bibb, maybe? I can't remember. The pineapple can be prepared a day or two ahead of time. On shabbos morning, I'll prepare the rest of the ingredients (except for the avocado), and then when I get home from shul, I add in the avocado and mix it all together with the dressing.
Grilled Pineapple and Avocado Salad
1 can pineapple rings, drained
1 T. plus 2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
8 c. baby spinach
1 ¾ c. chopped seeded cucumber
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/3 – 1 c. chopped red onion
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Prepare grill. Pat pineapple dry with paper towels.
Combine sugar and cayenne together in a small bowl. Sprinkle pineapple evenly with the cayenne/sugar mixture.
Place pineapple on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Cool completely; cut into bite size pieces.
Place pineapple in large bowl. Add lettuce, cucumber, onion, and avocado.
Whisk last 5 ingredients together. Pour over salad mixture and toss well.
For appetizers in the summer, I default to cold soups. They're generally very easy, with some not even requiring cooking. Four favorites of mine that are available online:
Zucchini-Pear: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/din... Use a parsnip rather than a carrot, it gives better color
Mango Gazpacho: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mango-ga... I puree in the garlic and jalapeno, rather than mince
Pineapple-Bell Pepper: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... Cut back on the parsley for better color; I generally use all red peppers; any sweet onion is fine, not just Maui
Cold Curried Coconut Carrot: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... Water vs. stock honestly makes little difference here.
General note on cold soups: You MUST have lots of garnish, otherwise it's like eating a big bowl of baby food.
Other favorites for meal starters: we enjoy make-your-own stuff at the table, like lettuce-hand rolls (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... is a good base, but add more garnishes like chopped herbs, shredded carrot, thinly sliced cucumbers, scallions, etc.) or summer rolls (start here for some ideas: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...).