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Old 06-22-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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Hot Weather Cooking

We've been having awful weather here...highs in the 90's and humidity so high that you could cut the air with a knife. The heat index yesterday was 105.

True, many of us live and work in air-conditioning, but even going in and out is enough to make you puke. And there are many who have to work outside in this heat, or who don't have AC. My husband's been running a bulldozer, which does have an air-conditioned cab, but he's still wrung out and beat when he gets home. The last thing he wants is a heavy meal. And the AC is working hard enough without heating up the kitchen.

Last night I found a ziplock in the freezer that said "Mexican Filling", and we had beef and bean burritoes. Tonight we're having tuna salad on whole wheat bread and sliced tomatoes. Tomorrow night, I'm planning on BLT's, and I figure a nice chef salad & garlic bread will be good the next night.

So what do you eat when thermometer is about to pop?

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Old 06-22-2006, 12:52 PM   #2
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One of our favorites is to order a couple of pounds of large spicy-steamed shrimp from one of our local supermarkets. Spicy steamed shrimp are a big-time specialty here. In fact, on Friday nights the order line is way long.I buy them in the morning, then chill them in the fridge & we have them for dinner with heavily horseradish-laced cocktail sauce.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:55 PM   #3
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Another hot-weather favorite is a BIG chef's salad.

I make individual bedding mixes of crisp lettuces (iceberg, romaine) along with softer looseleaf lettuces & herbs, then top it all off with strips of turkey ham, swiss cheese, cheddar cubes, crumbled blue cheese, chicken breast, quartered hard-boiled eggs, olives, pickles - you name it. Then we top with dressings of choice & enjoy.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:02 PM   #4
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We usually keep some stock of those "semi-ready" baguettes, which will be ready by baking in the oven for 8-10 minuets. They complete nicely many of the "no cook" dinner options, like

-variations of tossed salad with different fresh vegetables, sometimes accompanied by tuna or smoked turkey slices
-Insalata caprese, with fresh mozzarella di bufala, tomatoes and fresh basil
-melon slices with good prosciutto or speck
-pear with pecorino cheese

If you precook chicken breasts, either by steaming, grilling or searing, or there is some leftover of them, you can also make various chicken salads with them.

Tabouleh is another one of our summer favourite, only "hot cooking" required is boiling the water to soak the bulghur in.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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Hi Connie,
we do just about the same things you do. With the boys here so much, I sometimes run low on breads, and will take hot dog or hamburger buns, butter and toast them then will with things like a mixture of cucumbers,tomotoes,olives,sweet onions and lettuce all diced and torn up, then i add some type of salad dressing and make a sandwich out of it. I sometimes add some cheese or left over sliced chicken,tri-tip..Many time we have a large salad with garlic bread, DH loves when I take a french roll, remove a little of the center, then I mix up soy sauce, hosin, a little dijon and spread or brush it on the bread, add turkey or chicken, ham,sliced pepperoncinis, sliced red onion, cucumbers sliced and either spinach or arugala and we love to add sliced radish as well. Sometimes I'll dig out some onion soup and have that with lots of bread and cheese on top. I use the paninni maker often in the summer, so many great sandwiches that way. You can let your imagination run wild and clean out your refrigerator at the same time. We love to stuff large tomatoes,avocados,cantaloupe with chicken or tuna salads, and sometimes we just,have a banana split and call it a day

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Old 06-23-2006, 07:41 AM   #6
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The weather has been dreadful here also. I like to keep a supply of cold salads in the frig for this weather, like cole slaw and potato salad. This morning I made an impossible coconut pie and popped it in the oven before I headed out to the barn for the chores. By the time I returned, I was able to turn off the oven to finish baking it. I have seen this recipe in various cookbooks, it is the type of pie that you wizz everything in a blender, including the flour, and the flour settles to the bottom of the pie while baking, forming its own, pitiful, crust. But you can not beat the convenience! Heres' the recipe:

Coconut Impossible Pie, 10 inch pie pan 350* F

2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 to 6 T. butter*, softened
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt

1 cup coconut

I use whole milk, and have never used the full 6 tablespoons of butter called for in some versions of this recipe. I have only used 2 T. of butter. If you use a less fatted milk than whole milk, you may want to consider using more than 2 T. butter

In a blender, add the milk, sugar, eggs, flour, butter and vanilla extract(everything except the coconut). Blend for 10 seconds, scrap down container, blend for 10 more seconds. Add coconut, blend for 2 more seconds. Pour into an oiled 10 inch pie pan. bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes.

This is a refreshing dish. Since I eat so little sugar, I can easily rationalize eating this for a meal!
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:12 AM   #7
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Such good ideas!
I sure wish we had fresh shrimp available like that, Breezy. Lately, though, Sam's has had some big bags of pre-cooked large shrimp that are darned good.
The melon sounds good, too, Licia...I'm not sure if I can find proscuitto at our market here, but I will look.
Kadesma, I don't have a panini press, but I do have a George Foreman grill, and I'll bet that would work.
Beth, the coconut pie sounds good! I'll bet it could be made with Splenda.

Saturday night, DH grilled pork steaks and brats made by one of our local markets. We usually use my homemade Oriental style BBQ sauce on the pork steaks, but this time I made a pineapple/soy based marinade & basting sauce, which was so good, and less sugary. He even basted the brats with it. Yum! We got two meals off the pork steaks, and tonight we having bratwurst sandwiches.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Such good ideas!
I sure wish we had fresh shrimp available like that, Breezy. Lately, though, Sam's has had some big bags of pre-cooked large shrimp that are darned good.
The melon sounds good, too, Licia...I'm not sure if I can find proscuitto at our market here, but I will look.
Kadesma, I don't have a panini press, but I do have a George Foreman grill, and I'll bet that would work.
Beth, the coconut pie sounds good! I'll bet it could be made with Splenda.

Saturday night, DH grilled pork steaks and brats made by one of our local markets. We usually use my homemade Oriental style BBQ sauce on the pork steaks, but this time I made a pineapple/soy based marinade & basting sauce, which was so good, and less sugary. He even basted the brats with it. Yum! We got two meals off the pork steaks, and tonight we having bratwurst sandwiches.
Connie, I have a George Forman too, we use both when the kids are here and need to make lots of pannini in a hurry..Use the GF it works fine.
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:15 PM   #9
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One of our favorites when the weather is hot is a cold plate - sliced ham or cold chicken served with cold potato salad, sliced tomatoes and pickles, cheese wedges and whole wheat crackers and iced tea. I've been using the instant iced tea in lemon, peach or green. Very refreshing and not heavy at all.
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:24 PM   #10
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Back when I lived in OK, I used to make fajitas and quesadillas by cooking the meat in the GF Grill, then using a cast iron skillet to finish. For fajitas, I would heat the pan, add some of the fat from the collection tray from the GF grill, then some onions and bell peppers. For quesadillas, I would just butter one side of a large flour tortilla, place it in the pan, sprinkle grated cheese, and place the meat and any other goodies over half the tortilla. I'd then fold the tortilla in half, closing the quesadilla, and finish toasting in on that side, then flip it. I'd cut that into four pieces, in wedges, while I started a second one. Both would be served with salsa, sour cream, etc.

Cold soups are an option. A nice gaspacho is great for a light lunch, especially with a salad or small sandwich.

I also like to make a Chicken Caesar, Steak Caesar, etc.
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