Once again, life got away from me and I nearly forgot to update on the summer meals dilemma (this post). Thanks again for the great ideas!
I ended up using a lot of Antipo's and Aimee's ideas, but mostly because they commented first and I was going shopping that day (heh). Antipo's tabbouleh is pretty much identical to the one I make, except I add a little seasoned salt to it, very tasty and excellent with cold cuts on the side. Ham and melon is a very popular French (European?) combination which I hadn't tried before. I liked it alright but I'd forgotten that Stéphane can't stand sweet and savory on the same plate but that's ok, I've been making lots of cold fruit salads with melon anyway so it certainly didn't go to waste! I also tried Aimee's Caesar salad ideas and right when I was in the middle of making a huge mess I remembered that one of the groceries in Tiny Town sells ready made Caesar salad, whoops! In any case it tasted delicious in a chicken Caesar salad wrap (which pre-cooked rotisserie breasts; a bit expensive but worth it in the heat!) and in a Caesar salad the next day.
Lots of commenters suggested doing a barbecue; unfortunately we don't have access to any outdoor space so that's not an option for us. Another popular idea was rotisserie chicken. At our Friday morning marché we can get still hot rotisserie chicken for a great price, and what I like to do with it is use the leftovers to make stock and then use the rest of the meat to make chicken salad. The thing is that making the stock means that I have to have the gas stove going for at least 45 minutes and in the heat last week, that was out of the question. That's alright, I do this pretty much every time I run out of stock anyway, and in the cooler weather that's about twice a month!
I thought I'd share with you one of Stéphane's favorite summer dishes (in fact, I have a feeling I've blogged about it before). Every time we go to a picnic he asks me to make it. It's a pretty common summer salad in France, found at many get-togethers and picnics: rice salad.
That's about a cup of rice cooked very well (for this dish I cook mine about five minutes longer than recommended so it doesn't dry out) and cooled, two or three tomatoes, a cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped (or two if you've got little American ones), an avacado, a small can of corn (drained), a tin of tuna drained and flaked out with a fork, and just enough mustard vinaigrette to make it moist and sticky. Let it cool in the fridge for a good half hour before eating; it's even better if you can make it the night before!
Of course, now I've got all these great summer recipes and the temperature has plummeted. Well, I'm prepared for the eventual rise in temps, thanks to y'all!