I have endured two types of hot weather. Under a hundred degrees with 90 percent humidity and well over a hundred degrees with humidity in the single digits. I don’t like cooking in either, if it means spending a lot of time standing over a hot stove.
There are other options. We could eat out or I could buy something frozen and throw it in the microwave. We’ve done both, but that can be both expensive and (after a while) boring. Therefore finding interesting things to eat that aren’t served hot is useful.
Salads: Most of us know how to make a basic salad, but it doesn’t have to stop with some lettuce and chopped vegetables. All kinds of meats can be added. We enjoy taco salad, particularly if I’ve got already cooked frozen hamburger. Chinese chicken salad is good, but you can kick it up a notch if you choose a seasoning packet that offers other flavors. Kung pao chicken salad sounds pretty good.
Seafood: Tuna salad is boring, but using smoked salmon instead of tuna isn’t. Shrimp cocktail can get old, but you can choose any dipping sauce or even salad dressing. You can make a cole slaw type dressing and mix in just about any previously cooked seafood. If you want to spice it up, check out the spice rack. A little black pepper or chili powder can make the taste buds much happier.
Canapés: The idea is to have a more elegant sandwich. These can be made with many different savory combinations. You can go with classic sliced deli meats and cheeses, or you can spend some time in the gourmet section of the deli. We like Jarlsburg cheese, prosciutto and some of the spreads that can be found in that location. Pepperoni, basil, a tomato slice and a slice of cheese are really good, especially if you warm it up so the cheese melts. Here the microwave can be very useful.
What not to eat: It might be surprising that there are some things that should be avoided when it’s hot. While a burger sounds great, it’s not recommended…especially if you could grill it on your car hood. The protein digestion can make you hotter. It’s also best to avoid anything…food or drink…that has diuretic properties. That does include the icy cold beer or glass of chilled wine.
When it’s too hot to cook, these ideas can help you have a nice dinner without the stove. Use your imagination and enjoy a cool dinner on a hot day.