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hot weather non-cooking

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We're having dinner guests this weekend and it's bloody hot.:(
Our teensy grill is a pain to deal with, unreliable, and, well, teensy.
And forget using the oven :eek:

And we're bored with our usual salads.
I'm pouring over old food magazines, hoping for inspiration (as the sweat drips onto the page :p ). But so many summer issues just fall back on grilling!

SO my talented friends :D , I would love some suggestions: what would YOU make for a summer dinner without using grill or oven and only very limited time on the stovetop?
Emily

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Emily

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post #2 of 16
Use the grill and make some skewers of shrimp marinated in garlic and lemon or Teriyaki, etc. Make a cold chinese cabbage salad and a peanut butter oriental style dressing. Top with chinese noodles or broken up Oodles of Noodles. Finish with orange slices or sherbert and fortune cookies.:lips:
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Uh uh uhhh! Someone's not following directions :p
The deal is, no fair resorting to grilling. :crazy:

But thanks for the good idea. We'll use it later, just for us :D
Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #4 of 16

hot weather non-cooking

I'd look at making some Provençale-style tarts. Yes, I know, you have to make the pastry and bake the pastry so that's cooking, but you can do that in advance. Make the pastry base and blind-cook for 15 mins at 375º.
Fry plenty of crisp onions, sliced into rounds, with a sprig of thyme. Add a cupful of chopped olives ( mix them all together if you like) a tablespoon of chopped capers, a clove or six or minced garlic, a handful of crumbled feta cheese ( NOT provençale, but close!) and a fillet or two of anchovy. Place into the pastry base and top with a tomato concasse. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool a little before serving. I've done this number barely warm and it's very refreshing.

You could also make a salade niçoise to go with it. And some tapenade to dunk your fresh, crusty bread into!
post #5 of 16
Uh.... no ovens, either!

Marinate, my friend! I realize you're tired of salads, but how about an antipasto tray with marinated veggies (artichokes, mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, etc.), mozzarella di bufalo (the bite-sized ones- bocaccini?), sliced tomatoes, and fresh herbs? If your friends aren't vegetarian, you could add cold cuts. Serve with crusty bread, cold drinks.....

How about lettuce wraps with cold salads to stuff inside? Kabobs of cold meats, cheeses, etc.?

For dessert: a summer pudding. Yum!
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post #6 of 16
I'm in the exact same situation as we speak. My grill is fine but to lazy.
Just got back from the monger, had them prep some squid,shark,shrimp etc. for a nice spicy ceviche. oh, and the fixins for some fruit margaritas.
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post #7 of 16
Check out the recipe section under Pasta Puttanesca. I think you will like it. Now it do require boiling up some pasta but thats about it.

bigwheel
post #8 of 16

OK, and this leaves exactly WHAT to cook with?

I'm finding the 'heat' thing kind of moot since it's now over 110 here on a daily basis. (LV area)

Um...don't you have air conditioning? ...and by "grill" are you referring to an outdoor BBQ?

OK, so...I guess the main thing would be to define what your limitations are (a man's <or woman> gots-ta know his limitations...:D )

How many people? What kind of menu? Have you had them over often enough that other dishes are familiar, ergo the "tired of cold salad" thing? Are you determined to prepare all of your dishes?

I'd make a lame joke about take-out but...

OK, seriously, using your criteria about no oven, no grill and no cold salads...what do we have left? (I'm assuming that the definition of "oven" is no burners either?)

Ice burgers?

(lol)

I'm guessing you're going to have to rely on pre-prepared basic ingredients.

Buy sweet shrimp meat. (Oregon, NOT cocktail shrimp) Mix with FRESH salsa. Pico de Gallo. Add a little lemon or lime, extra chopped cilantro and salt. CEVICHE!. Warmed corn tortillas. (you have a microwave?)

Steak tartar? Get a prime tenderloin. Grind it or have it fresh ground. Serve with capers, minced red onion, worstershire sauce, a little hot sauce, black pepper and salt, egg...toast. Yeah, we ate this stuff all the time (including my little kids under 10) and I'm still alive after 50 years!

Avocados with: Melba toast, red onion, smoked salmon, capers, caviar (doesn't take much), brie.

What are you prepared to use?

So....fill us in...:lips:

April


quote=phoebe]We're having dinner guests this weekend and it's bloody hot.:(
Our teensy grill is a pain to deal with, unreliable, and, well, teensy.
And forget using the oven :eek:

And we're bored with our usual salads.
I'm pouring over old food magazines, hoping for inspiration (as the sweat drips onto the page :p ). But so many summer issues just fall back on grilling!

SO my talented friends :D , I would love some suggestions: what would YOU make for a summer dinner without using grill or oven and only very limited time on the stovetop?[/quote]
post #9 of 16
Personally, I think "grazing" is the way to go. Do a number of dishes that people can help themselves to: guacamole with chips, ceviche, hummus, antipasto plates, cheese plates, fresh mozzerella marinated in pesto, smoked salmon mousse, pickled vegetables. There are lots of things, come up with a theme and revolve your choices around that. You can even choose drinks to enhance that theme. I really like doing this in hot weather, that way people can eat as much or as little as they feel like.
post #10 of 16
Better answer: You're not satisfied with your grill, but you would have considered that an option. Go buy a BIGGER / BETTER one. Get something you'd use.

If gas, think about the burner layout and how you would cope/cook with the set up. I personally don't like the long left-to-right burners as you only have front and back for indirect heating. Burners going from front to back allow you the option to turn off the middle, place your food there for indirect (roasting) heating.

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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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post #11 of 16
My hot weather fave (and one of my mother's great meals):

Curried Rice Salad

Cooked rice, mixed with curry powder and mayo. Chilled.

Place a nice mound off cold, curried rice on the center of the plate. Garnish with sliced, cooked chicken, halved green grapes, peach slices, chutney, raisins, chow-chow and toasted coconut.

Hmm. Cooling and flavorful.
post #12 of 16
Actually, well-disguised take-out is not a bad idea. :o I love the idea of the curried rice salad or something similar with a lot zippy flavor along with (ssshhh ;) ) cold rotisserie chicken. :blush: :lol: Or using the chicken to make the filling for lettuce wraps that guests can assemble for themselves.

What are some of the salads you're bored with? I find that there's an almost infinite variety of main-dish summer salads, given the different vegetables and meats/fish and dressing one can use. And if you can grill extra meat or fish on that tiny, unreliable grill, you'll have the protein for a great meal a couple of days later (the cooked stuff will keep well in the fridge, better in fact than it would keep if left raw).
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post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Actually I LOVE this idea, but we'd have to use the oven way too close to guest-time. Our house retains heat in summer and cold in winter. It's very efficient, just in the wrong way for people :rolleyes: . I found a recipe for a tomato (I've got lots growing in the garden), goat cheese and onion tart and when the weather cools down a bit I'll make that and yours with the salade N. Thanks!

And all the other suggestions are helpful too. I think the heat (no AC) just fried my brain and nothing I came up with sounds good. But you folks woke me up and we've settled on cold lemon chicken thighs ( we risked the broiler very early this morning) and we're trying a recipe for a sweet corn, green onion, toasted pecans, watercress, and basmati rice salad (the rice also made this morning). That's for tonight. Tomorrow night's guest has said she'd be happy with our guacamole and Margaritas. But we'll also do some last-minute quesadillas with a sauteed mushroom and peppers filling (and cheese, of course) and roasted tomatillo salsa.
Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #14 of 16
Well you can make the whole tart the night before, actually. My brother-in-law took a piece out if the fridge last week - and ate it cold. He said it was great, but he'd eat anything!
Are you allowed to cook pasta?
Ok - so go out and buy a packet of Lumache - these are huge pasta shells the size of a snailshell. cook them until barely soft; al dente. Drain.
Cook up some fresh navy beans - ok, ok, you don't want to cook too much, so buy a can of them, drain and wash a little with water.
Chop up some kalamata olives, two cloves of garlic, 2 tbsps parsley, 1/2 small onion, 1/4 red bell pepper.Season with salt, pepper and marjoram; fresh if you can find it, dried otherwise.
Crumble some Greek Feta cheese over the mixture, douse with really classy olive oil, and a sprinkle of lime/lemon juice, mix together and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Make a bed of mixed salad greens - what ever you have in your fridge.
Stuff the cooled lumache with the "greek bean salad", and serve drizzled with EVEN MORE wonderful olive oil.
post #15 of 16

Try am Italian Night Dinner

Make it an Italian night with a cold antipasto (buy italian meats, olives, cheeses, peppers, etc. and lay them out on a plate), followed by an assortment of pastas with uncooked sauces (recipes follow), a side salad, and then fresh fruit or purchased spumoni or a no-cook cheesecake for dessert. You can boil up one batch of pasta (10 minutes) and divide for the various sauces.

Here are some of oir favorite no-cook pasta sauces:


Pasta with Salsa Cruda (uncooked tomato sauce)


3 lb tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, minced
1 cup (apprx. 1/4 lb) mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pound dried pasta

Drain the tomatoes. In a large serving bowl,
combine well all the ingredients except the
pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand
at room temperature one half hour or longer
for flavors to blend. Just before serving,
cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted
water. Drain pasta and immediately toss hot
pasta with sauce. Serve with grated cheese.
--------------------------------------------
Variations: 1. Omit cheese. 2. Use feta
cheese, replace vinegar with lemon juice and
basil with oregano. 3. Omit cheese, add 1/2
cup olive paste. 4. Add one tbsp minced hot
peppers. 5. Omit mozzarella; add ½ cup chopped
kalamata olives and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.


=====================================

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Sauce


4 medium garlic cloves
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb long, thin pasta such as spaghetti or linguine
pepper to taste
½ cup pitted and chopped green olives
½ cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup minced parsley

Chopped garlic finely or put through a garlic press. Mash with salt to make a paste. Heat oil and garlic paste in a small skillet over medium-low, stirring frequently until garlic is golden but not browned (about five minutes). Remove from heat and add olives and lemon juice to the garlic oil mixture.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add garlic mixture, reserved cooking water, and parsley. Toss well over very low heat to coat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

================================================== =
Pasta with Sardine and Olive Sauce


1 lb pasta
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 4-oz (about) tin sardines in oil (boneless preferred)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in large serving bowl, breaking sardines into small pieces. Drain pasta and tossed with sauce. Adjust seasonings. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.

(From While the Pasta Cooks)
post #16 of 16
I am very much in favour of antipasto plates, I call them 'pick plates'. And some crackers and bread. As has been suggested a couple of times above. Anything on them, everything on them.
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