Summer Entertaining--No Grill, No Oven
It's that time of year again....when my apartment is way too hot to have the oven on and I'm reminded once again that I don't have a grill (unless you count my George Foreman, and I mostly don't).
Yet I like to have people over for dinner! My go-to main dishes are usually seared scallops over some sort of corn/tomato/basil salad, or sauteed shrimp and chorizo seasoned with smoked paprika, then I build from there.
Any other suggestions? I love the idea of using my crock pot, but can never think of anything that doesn't sound too heavy.
How about cold soups, like pea and avocado with mint and coconut milk , or vichyssoise , or gasp scho followed by a gorgeous composed salad of seafoods and vegetables.
I would roast veggies (and sweat it out) the day before, and serve cold or room temp. Also, if you can buy some cooked flank steak or london broil from your market, make a great salad with greens, some good blue or goat cheese, beets (which you can roast with the veggies) and avocado, with the meat sliced on top. Olives and cheese to start, fresh strawberries and peaches with whipped cream to end.
I make an ersatz salad nicoise that my guests love. Make a batch of tuna salad, seasoned the way you like it. Layer a platter with lettuce leave and mound tuna in the center. Around the salad add your choice of cold veggies-roasted beets, olives, red onions, sliced tomato, haricot vert, etc. Dress the greens/veggies in a light vinaigrette and then serve with crusty bread and a nice Rose.
As a starter you could do as magiesmom suggested and serve a nice cold soup-melon is another good one.
Dessert could be as simple as a bowl of berries topped with whipped cream.
Also if you have microwave take advantage of it to steam veggies and fish
The crock pot is great for making soups that are good hot or cold like carrot ginger or borsch. Google cool summer soups and there are so many to choose from and when served with good bread and/or salad can be a wonderful summer meal.
Chinese cold noodles.
Set it up as a cold noodle bar (a la taco bar), with chilled noodles, julienned vegetables, various sauces (e.g. sesame, soy sauce, peanut butter miso, etc.), various sliced or julienned meats like chicken, beef, pork, etc., and other garnishes like chopped peanuts, scallions, etc.
All cold, and the only thing you really have to cook are the noodles and the meats.
Do you have an outside area? If so, you may want one of these electric roasters:
An excellent cook friend of mine in Sacramento uses one and is very pleased with it.
I was just posting elsewhere that I do an uncooked pasta 'sauce.' Chop tomatoes, capers, a little raw onion and garlic if you like (I don't), basil and any other herbs you like, oo, and s&p. And grated Parm. Cook the pasta, dump and eat.