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Shelby

What Do You Make For Dinner When It's A Zillion Degrees Outside?

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Maybe if I start this topic the air conditioner people will install our new system this week.  We've hung in here for about a month with no AC on the main floor.  Well, none is not the right term.  At night the AC used to be able to catch up and get down to 70F.  Then around 10:30 a.m. it would begin to creep up.  By 5 -6 p.m. it was at least 81F in the kitchen.  I like it cold.  68F is about right for me.  Anyway, long story short, the AC people are completely overwhelmed and to tide us over the sent a person out on Saturday to refill our AC with whatever the coolant is called.  While doing that another part broke and now no AC at all on the main floor.  The upstairs is still limping along.  

 

I'm sweaty.

 

I've searched here to no avail--I swear there was a topic about cooking in hot weather.

 

I found the Cold Noodles Cook-Off which will hopefully give me some ideas. 

 

I know that some like to grill or cook outdoors but when it's this hot outside, that is not for me.  I'm looking for ideas for things I can prep in the morning and then serve for the evening meal.  

 

I don't mind using our CSO, the IP or the SV machine but I'm out of ideas and need some EG inspiration.

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With those gorgeous tomatoes, I'd forget about cooking at all. I'd slice some of those tomatoes, layer them with slices of mozzarella, slices of a good salami (maybe you could substitute a good deer summer sausage, if you have it), juliennes of basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bread to soak up the juices would be good, so if you had the stamina you could bake some in the CSO. 

 

We've been sweating through a hot spell, and even my darling - who usually insists on a chunk of meat, even if it's a grilled sausage or hot dog - thinks this Caprese salad is a real treat. I just wish we could do it with good local tomatoes. They aren't in quite yet, but the basil's going gangbusters.

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3 minutes ago, Smithy said:

With those gorgeous tomatoes, I'd forget about cooking at all. I'd slice some of those tomatoes, layer them with slices of mozzarella, slices of a good salami (maybe you could substitute a good deer summer sausage, if you have it), juliennes of basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bread to soak up the juices would be good, so if you had the stamina you could bake some in the CSO. 

 

We've been sweating through a hot spell, and even my darling - who usually insists on a chunk of meat, even if it's a grilled sausage or hot dog - thinks this Caprese salad is a real treat. I just wish we could do it with good local tomatoes. They aren't in quite yet, but the basil's going gangbusters.

GOOD idea.  Perfect.  I have some good salami --Ronnie is also an insister of meat lol.  

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I'd also give thought to salads like tuna salad and chicken salad - in sandwich form or atop greens. @Jaymes's cornbread salad is a wonderful thing, if you've made cornbread when it was cool, but you'd need to figure out a meat to go with it. Mix in salami or bacon? Serve it on the side with smoked chicken? Similarly, @kayb's tomato cobbler sounds like a fine summer dish that you could make earlier in the day, and accompany with said smoked chicken.

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How about some gazpacho, cooling and if you need meat, add some steamed shrimp right as you dish it up.  Sometimes I cut some fresh vegies and serve with hummus.   Some tabbouleh topped with grilled chicken from the store.   I'm with you on the heat, it has been hot and muggy here.  My garden is starting to suffer and so am I.  Another idea, how about a charcuterie plate with some pickled vegies on the side. 

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

By 5 -6 p.m. it was at least 81F in the kitchen.


Unless I have chocolate work in the plans for the day, I generally set my ac at around 80 - 81 F when I'm using it at all. That and a fan blowing on me when I'm on the couch is always plenty for me to be comfy even on the hottest days we get here. If it's a really bad day, I may drop it to 79 F until the house cools down then I bump it back up. Still cooler than the kitchen at work. So hot kitchen cooking for you may be just cooking for me. It actually was hot enough last weekend for me to make a concession to it though. I made a chicken salad with chicken I cooked outside in the smoker and a cucumber salad to go with it so there was no heating devices used indoors that day.

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4 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

A zombie.  And maybe something after there.

 

 Or reservations.

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Stir fries are quick and easy.  I also like cold Asian noodle salads.

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I kind of think I would look upstairs for a little corner for a temporary table for two that could be a little refuge for an evening meal. I like salads, pickles, deviled eggs, cold cuts. Things like a quiche, that could be baked in the morning, then reheated in portions, for the little corner table upstairs, where it's cool. Prosecco or wine in an ice bucket would be fun too. Just my 2 cents.

HC

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7 minutes ago, HungryChris said:

I kind of think I would look upstairs for a little corner for a temporary table for two that could be a little refuge for an evening meal. I like salads, pickles, deviled eggs, cold cuts. Things like a quiche, that could be baked in the morning, then reheated in portions, for the little corner table upstairs, where it's cool. Prosecco or wine in an ice bucket would be fun too. Just my 2 cents.

HC

You know, you may be on to a great idea.....a king size bed picnic.....  FUN

 

Also, quiche.  Yes.

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Seconding the eggs.  Someone once explained frittata to me as "Italian picnic food". 

 

Assuming your mornings are cool enough to run the oven for a bit, make it in the morning, eat it room temp for dinner.  

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2 minutes ago, SLB said:

Seconding the eggs.  Someone once explained frittata to me as "Italian picnic food". 

 

Assuming your mornings are cool enough to run the oven for a bit, make it in the morning, eat it room temp for dinner.  

YES.  That is what I need to do.

 

I am also almost out of bread.  I need to get up super early and make that, too.

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I started baking bread in August one year, in a fifth-floor NYC apartment with no air conditioning.  For some reason, it seemed easier than getting on the subway to the good bakeries.  

 

So yeah, I know the call of bread.  

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Because I 'm sometimes lazy especially when it's hot I have purchased Hodgson's Mills honey whole whet bread mix.

It makes a very good loaf that I can bake in my CSO.  Got it from Walmart.

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I'm a big fan of composed salads--some leftover meat (could be store-bought rotisserie chicken, the last of a grilled flank steak, good canned tuna), some cheese (goat, feta, burata, etc.), a hard-boiled egg or 2, tomato/cucumber/red bell pepper/celery/red cabbage/pickles/olives/roasted nuts (some or all), a fresh herb-based dressing, all piled on salad greens, with a hunk of good bread to go with it. Ice cream for dessert. The best part is that except for the hard-boiled eggs all of this can be assembled from what you have in the fridge, and if you plan ahead even the eggs are manageable when hunger strikes and the very idea of turning on the stove makes you want to sit in a dark room with a cool cloth on your forehead. I generally steam the last few eggs from the carton--older eggs are easier to peel, IMO. Correct me if I'm wrong--

 

I used to make a Julia Child beef recipe in my slow-cooker that was actually better cold than the hot version--Daube de Boeuf, p. 322 in Vol. 1 of Mastering the Art. I think I may have to make that soon, now that I've remembered it. It was seriously good.

 

Gazpacho is good as was noted earlier, with good cheese and bread, and maybe olives if you have them. Every year I get a gazpacho jones and make up a big batch.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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3 minutes ago, lindag said:

Because I 'm sometimes lazy especially when it's hot I have purchased Hodgson's Mills honey whole whet bread mix.

It makes a very good loaf that I can bake in my CSO.  Got it from Walmart.

Thank you!  I just ordered this mix from Amazon.  I never make good wheat bread from scratch.  

1 minute ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I'm a big fan of composed salads--some leftover meat (could be store-bought rotisserie chicken, the last of a grilled flank steak, good canned tuna), some cheese (goat, feta, burata, etc.), a hard-boiled egg or 2, tomato/cucumber/red bell pepper/celery/red cabbage/pickles/olives/roasted nuts (some or all), a fresh herb-based dressing, all piled on salad greens, with a hunk of good bread to go with it. Ice cream for dessert. The best part is that except for the hard-boiled eggs all of this can be assembled from what you have in the fridge, and if you plan ahead even the eggs are manageable when hunger strikes and the very idea of turning on the stove makes you want to sit in a dark room with a cool cloth on your forehead. I generally steam the last few eggs from the carton--older eggs are easier to peel, IMO. Correct me if I'm wrong--

 

I used to make a Julia Child beef recipe in my slow-cooker that was actually better cold than the hot version--Daube de Boeuf, p. 322 in Vol. 1 of Mastering the Art. I think I may have to make that soon, now that I've remembered it. It was seriously good.

 

Gazpacho is good as was noted earlier, with good cheese and bread, and maybe olives if you have them. Every year I get a gazpacho jones and make up a big batch.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

We love composed salads, too .  Thank you for the idea about using nuts.

 

LOL a cold cloth on my forehead sounds like heaven right now.

 

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Cous cous just requires water to be boiled then it sits for 5 minutes (assuming instant). I made a batch of cous cous salad and then just added protein as desired (cooked chicken, cooked steak, cooked shrimp) which you could prepare earlier in the day and chill. Advantage vs traditional pasta salad is that it doesn’t get mushy, I make a batch and eat it for a couple of days by varying the “mix ins”.

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We are great salad eaters and have meats frozen for Ed for these occasions.  In the summer, we eat salad two nights in a row, the third night is something else.  But then we eat our big meal at noon.

 

Hummus, Tabbouleh, Potato Salad, Tomato Aspics, Marinated Cucumber, Cauliflower and Carrot Salad, Colored Pepper Salad (from Chefmd), Cole Slaw (Ed's contribution), Multi-Bean Salad.  Very little cooking of any ingredients: potatoes, heat up the aspic, cook the carrots...that's it for this lot.  And when I am in the mood, I open a can of Hereford  Corned Beef.  Oh, and some good multigrain bread and butter.  Oh yes, and some cheeses.  

 

I make enough of each salad to last a few meals. 

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Posted (edited)

I cooked a small beef roast in the CSO a couple of days ago when it wasn't too warm, and we had beef dip sandwiches last night and again tonight. Made some potato salad yesterday morning to go with it. I just heat up some purchased Au Jus and serve with some tomatoes. It's not really that hot here, but it's warm enough for me to have some A/C on by the afternoon. 

 

Lettuce wraps? Filling can be quickly stir-fried. I've used ground pork. 

 

Small steak broiled in the CSO? I'm not thrilled with the steaks I've done, but they've been decent enough to eat. 

 

I've even done pork ribs in the Instant Pot on warm days when we really want something meaty and then broiled them quickly with BBQ sauce in the CSO while I steam some corn on the stovetop (induction range, so generates very little heat). 

 

 

 


Edited by FauxPas (log)
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Things like Shrimp Scampi with pasta are fast. Or Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, that sort of thing. 

 

Of course salads if you want to avoid generating any heat, but so many good things have already been suggested. I like bean salads - black beans and corn and tomato, white bean and tuna, etc.

 

I liked the sound of this Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad. 

 

https://cookieandkate.com/2013/lemon-parsley-bean-salad-and-hummus/

 

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Also, I REALLY hope you get your A/C fixed soon! 

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I don't have air conditioning at all and never had it growing up.  We developed strategies and I have written about it before - up early to cook whatever protein we wanted - shrimp, chicken, some ground beef then when it starts to get warm close the windows and pull the shades down.  Make sure there are potatoes and pasta cooked to make salads with and ohhhhh your tomatoes.  Microwave for corn.  Course I'm the weird girl drinking the pickling juice.

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I also like to brown some German sausage or kielbas with some German fried potatoes

to make an easy oven free dinner. 

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When it's too hot to cook (or even be hungry), I pick up some good tomatoes (I like the packs of heirlooms at Trader Joe's), whack them into chunks, add triple cream Brie also in pieces, basil chiffonade, and some really good olive oil and a bit of salt.

Give it a good stir and stick it in the fridge long enough to get good and cold. Serve with hunks of good bread, suitable for mopping up the delicious juices.

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