Three ideas to “uncook” during summer heat

sandwich

The old sandwich will keep things cool when temperatures become intemperate, but what about dinners? (c) 2015 Laura Groch

We’ll be hitting the 100s this weekend and probably beyond, so I’m ready for some cool cooking.

The kitchen can stay pretty temperate for breakfasts (cereal, toast, yogurt) and lunches (sandwiches, wraps). But sometimes dinner is another story. (No, ice cream is not sufficient. Keep thinking.) Grilling keeps the heat outside, but if you can’t stand to be outdoors that long, here are some ideas from readers.

David F. and his spouse are “ex-RVers. I have a propane two-burner stove (30,000 btu-Costco) that stowed well in the RV. We have this in the covered patio along with a small refrigerator (cold beer) and an old built-in oven (propane) that I put on casters. I like to bake bread, and in the summer, the outside oven is the way to go. I also use it to make pizza and an occasional prime rib roast.”

Marcy B. recommends the slow cooker: “The summer is the best time to use it. The house stays cool and you can have a great dinner. I sometimes set my crockpot on the patio for the day so I don’t get any warmth or food odors in the house. Ditto on the bread machine.”

Here’s an “extremely easy” recipe from Marcy:

Beef Burritos

2 pounds beef stew meat

1 jar of salsa (your favorite)

1 can refried beans

Tortillas

Cheese, tomatoes and other burrito ingredients

Put stew meat in a sprayed (Pam) crockpot. Season with salt and pepper and then pour salsa over meat. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours (High: 4 to 5 hours). When tender, shred the meat with two forks. Then add refried beans and mix in. Put beef mixture on warm tortillas, add cheese, rice or your favorite burrito filling and roll up. Makes for a great burrito bar.

Gazpacho is a cold soup made of chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, garlic and green pepper in a tomato juice base. Marilyn H. added seafood for her version: “This can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. Serve it with a crusty sourdough bread.”

SEAFOOD GAZPACHO

Ceviche:

1 cup lime juice or combination lime and lemon juice

2 cups fresh chopped firm white-meat fish

1 cup small scallops

1 clove garlic

Place crushed garlic and lime or lemon juice in plastic freezer bag. Add fish and scallops, seal bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Gazpacho:

1 cup finely chopped, seeded tomatoes (I prefer Roma)

1 cup finely chopped, seeded cucumber

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper

1 clove finely chopped garlic

1 finely chopped carrot

1 cup finely chopped bell pepper

1 large can V-8 juice

1 cup small cooked shrimp (tails removed)

1 can chopped clams with juice

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Tabasco sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients, and add ceviche. Stir to combine. Refrigerate to meld flavors before serving. About 12 servings.

If you have other cool-“cooking” ideas, I’d love to see your posts!

(c) copyright 2015 Laura Groch

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