Monday, June 29, 2009

(trying to) beat the heat


That's a fruit salad I made yesterday with a quarter watermelon, a whole pineapple (first time I ever hacked one up, it's actually very easy!) and a melon. Thanks to Katia and the Muffin Man for the inspiration!

The temperatures are really starting to climb now. We managed to get out of the house for a few hours, meeting my MIL, SIL and niece at a vide grenier about half an hour away. We had a nice (and cheap!) lunch there and looked at lots of trash to treasure, including a t-shirt that had an English slang word for female genitalia blazed across it and dollar bills with Michael Jackson on them (apparently the guy sold foreign coins and bills and this came from a set that MJ's fan club put out). But even outside, poor Fry was melting in his stroller and we didn't stay long.

this is how we roll
Merguez, fries & coke in a bottle

Yesterday afternoon, I went to fetch Fry from his nap and it was a whopping 34°C (93°F) in his room! Thankfully we have the little air cooling machine that we got last year which helped bring the temperature back down to a reasonable level, but I'm afraid this is just the beginning. At least we'll be spending three weeks of August in the Land of Air Conditioning!

So let me throw this out to you, my dear readers: I am having a devil of a time coming up with things to make for meals that involve little or no cooking. We've done cocktail shrimp (mmmmm) and veggies, cold cuts, sandwiches, salads... and now I'm starting to run out of ideas. Please tell me, what do you "cook" when it's too hot to cook? Leave me your ideas in the comments and I'll share my favorites in the next post!


Ms Mac said...

Not the C word emblazoned on a t-shirt, surely?

I wish I could help with the no cooking but I'm practically useless at thinking stuff like that up. What about Tarte Flambee with salad? The oven only needs to be on for 20 mins or so?

Vivi said...

Oh no, just the P word, but it definitely made both Stéph and I pause for a moment. :)

That's not a bad idea, I've never made one before, I should totally try that some time!

JChevais said...

Endive salad? Takes 5 minutes (if that). Cut up endives (about one of those bags of them), dice up a slab of blue cheese, throw on pine nuts and you're done. Mix up a vinagrette (sp?) and you're good to go.

Vivi said...

Unfortunately, endive is the one food I *really* can't eat. It... er... does uncomfortable things to my digestive track. :/

L'Oiseau said...

We just had a quick omelette lunch - cooks quickly and just chuck in ham, tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms etc etc. Serve with baguette & green salad on side.

More of a starter but can be padded out with bread and cheese is melon & jambon de bayonne (sp?).

Antipo Déesse said...

Cheats' tabbouleh: I soak some fine couscous in lemon juice, olive oil, and very finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers and mint from the garden Baby! It only needs to sit in the fridge for half an hour and then it's ready.

Fave salad: tuna, green beans, olives, anchovies, hard boiled eggs & croutons, vinaigrette.

American style potato salad with bacon bits and LOTS of mayonnaise.

Cold omelettes are good in sandwiches.

I've made myself hungry now... thanks a lot!!

PutYourFlareOn said...

I'm sitting here eating a cold couscous salad that I made last night for dinner. Easily made in large quantities for mulitple meals. And if you're at the grocery store you can get some that already made and I like to toss it with some olive oil and garlic a bit before I serve it and it's yummy.

So things we eat when it's hot here... and that are EASY:

We eat a lot of melon, jambon fumé and mozzarella cheese. Or a simple salad of mozzerella and tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and a bit of herbs is nice. Get a good baguette and you're good to go.

When it's hot, I will buy a rotisserie chicken and instead of eating it hot we eat it cold! Just as good. I sometimes whip up a ceasar salad sauce (use ones without egg, usually a recipe that replaces egg with mayo) and you can make cold wrap sammiches. wrap in there all the things you like, lettuce, cucumbers, sun dried tomatoes. Or use regular bread, that works too. I you don't want ceasar sauce, you can make guacamole and use that in the place of mayo. Super GOOD!

Gazpacho!! Or cold cucumber soup. If you have a robot this is easily done or Picard makes each very well and I enjoy them immensely.

Rillettes and cornichons on a baguette make good cool sandwhich. Make cold side salade like tomatoes and motz or a green salad.

Good old American style potato salad. Easily made in big quantities for leftovers.

Avocados halved with crabmeat mixed with mayo stuffed in the middle. Chill the avocados before hand and it's a nice cool summer entrée.

I hope this give you some ideas!!

KathyMac said...

i think i'm going to have to copy these all down. it's making me hungry! :)

Genevieve said...

chicken salad (with your leftover rotisserie chicken from Flare's suggestion!) in cut up tomatoes.

lots and lots of hummos.

and pasta salad.

Ronica said...

Chicken salad with grapes, pineapple, celery, onion and almonds. Dressed with mayo mixed with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Tuna salad with celery, onion, and cashews. Mayo + lemon, S&P.

Pasta salad, with veggies, chopped ham or pepperoni if I have it, and homemade vinaigrette.

Tomato/mozzerella/basil and olive oil.

"Cold Supper"--cold cuts and cheeses, bread or crackers (we often eat Swedish rye flatbread), whatever fruit or crudités we happen to have around, and wine. :) Jeff loves that, and me, too! It's a common scandinavian thing, I think. Smorgasbord and all that.

Quesadillas--not cooked for long, anyway. I don't know if you have access to tortillas though.

I also love to get pre-cooked rotisserie chickens--you can eat it hot or cold, and I can get at least 3 meals out of it if I am frugal. (I usually make stock with the carcass, too.)

Have you looked into making some terrines? Salmon, creamy cheeses, herbs, etc.? A slice with bread and some crudités would be delish.

Good luck, mon amie!

Doc said...

McDonald's or Quick drive thru in the air-conditioned car. OK, not cheap, not too easy considering how friggin far we've got to go to find a Quick, but damn, AC ROCKS!

If not, we grill a lot, lots of fruit, cold cuts, salads, and huge amounts of water.

kippy said...

pasta salads, cook the pasta up the night before. How about that American classic tuna salad? Elbow macaroni, can of tuna, diced celery and scallions, mayo and tomato. Sliced boiled egg is good in this too. Do you have access to an outdoor grill/bbq?

Sandy M said...

Have you considered getting a barbeque grill or hibachi and cooking outdoors? I live in Arizona and when we don't want to heat the house up (and stress out our air conditioning any more) we cook on our grill outside or use the microwave inside (not as tasty though). My husband and I just spent 6 weeks in Bretagne and cooked on our friends' new barbeque many times. They loved the American influence, recipes, etc. and said they planned on using it alot even after we'd left! Good luck with the heat...I feel your pain!

Vivi said...

Thanks for all the amazing comments y'all!

As for BBQing, we don't have any access to outdoors, even a balcony, so grilling out is not a possibility for us.

wcs said...

Amazingly good stuff here! I want to eat it all.

I love concombres à la crème with ciboulette. A good jambon/melon is always tasty.

Surprisingly, smoked salmon with céleri rémoulade is also real tasty.

And all the great ideas already mentioned about visiting the charcuterie (salades both veggie and meaty) and the boulangerie (fougasses and things) are terrific.

Hmmm, now what's for lunch?


Anonymous said...

I live in East Texas where its currently 102°F. I do a lot of no heat cooking. Here's a couple of suggestions.

1. Raw "spaghetti" with pesto

Use a mandoline to cut courgettes into spaghetti-like stripes. Toss with finely diced red bell pepper, some canned chick peas, and your best home made pesto.

2. Tahitian Poisson Cru

Coarsely chop any firm fleshed, non-oily ocean fish and marinate in lime juice and some salt (this "cooks" the fish) . Add chopped tomato, julienned carrot and cucumber, and coconut milk.

LittleGeorge said...

Just a tiny bit of cooking:

Mix a knob of dijon moutarde with a knob of softened butter, drizzle of olive oil, crushed garlic and salt & pepper. Spread this across two chicken breasts and fry them in a hot pan until cooked through. Let them cool and chop them in to small pieces (1 cm cubes or so). Better still if you can put them in the fridge for an hour or so.

Mix up a batch of aioli (crushed garlic, s&p, knob of dijon mustard in a whizzer with two whole eggs. Whizz until mixed, then add a cup of olive oil - one teaspoon full at a time - as you whizz it some more. Squeeze of lemon juice in the last minute).

Make up a really big salad of lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese. Top with the chicken pieces and aioli.

Not too shabby. I actually make a big bowl of salad for each of us rather than one for the table.

Good luck with the heat