Hot weather, cool cooking

The heat has come to Texas, along with the humidity and the feeling that you need to take a shower every hour just to feel non-slimey.

So, I’m looking for various recipes that you serve cool or cold. The only thing I can think of is a seafood salad and vish…er…vich… er… that cold soup stuff. :smiley:

So, can anyone share their recipes for cool/cold food or recommend cookbooks about the same? Thanks!

Gazpacho springs instantly to mind; I don’t have a recipe, but there many variations on this, so a Google Search is probably in order.

Also there are quite a few foods from Denmark, Sweden, Norway etc that are served cold; rollmop herrings, for example.

Or you could live on ice cream and chilled white wine. (NB; I’m not implying that this would be a nutritionally complete diet)

Fruit Smoothies!

It is still berry season here so I have been having lots of fun with them.

My favorite (and the easiest) is 1 cup OJ, 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana. Put the ingredients in the blender and blend. When you think it is done blend for a few more seconds. Yummy!

I like it best if you freeze everything before making it. Just make sure that you peel the banana before freezing it. It is hard to get the peel if you don’t.

Also, you can lose the OJ and use Orange Sherbet for a more fun drink. Any kind of fruit will work. Just play with it.

Cold pasta salads are good. My favorite is asian-style with peanut sauce (there are scads of recipes for this on-line, so you can go hunting for one that sounds good.)

You can also add meat to salads to make them more substantial. For example, add chicked to caesar salad, or sliced cold steak to lentil salad.

It’s also fun to make your own sushi. I just use avocado, black mushrooms or cooked shrimp. I leave the raw fish to the experts.

Fried chicken is excellent served cold. Problem is, someone’s gotta stand over a messa hot grease to cook it. Fortunately, a lot of supermarkets (and The Colonel) will do it for you these days. When I was growing up, fried chicken and homemade potato salad was a summer favorite in my family - mom would usually make it early in the morning and put it in the fridge for dinner.

In the summer when it’s hot, I generally just eat cold cuts and fruit salad for dinner if I’m not responsible for feeding anyone else.

Beef cooked on the grill is another favorite. A salad on the side and some sort of starch makes a good meal.

And (something cher pointed out already) my mom used to add a can of (drained) tuna to a big garden salad and serve it with Italian dressing. It’s actually pretty satisfying. I have also been known to add tuna to pasta salad.

Another good idea is mediterranean food: hummus, babaganoush, tabouli salad, tzetziki dip, etc… it’s vegetarian, mostly, but very satisfying and served cold.

Or, since you’re in Texas, you could go Tex-Mex. Spicy food is spicy for a reason… it makes you sweat. Just don’t use so much lard!

Our favorite cold food/hot weather recipes include:

1/2 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing <no substitutions
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions < the little thin ones
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
Mix all ingredients well,
Serve chilled over lettuce leaves

Broccoli florets
Green pepper
Spanish / red onion
Tri-colored corkscrew pasta
1 or 2 bottles of your favorite Italian dressing

Chop vegs into bitesize pieces.
Cook pasta just till tender, Do Not Overcook pasta
Combine salad dressing and vegs.
Chill thoroughly.

2 lbs. new red-skinned potatoes,quartered
3/4 cup Kraft Caesar Dressing
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers < available in jars

Cook potatoes in boiling water 10-12 minutes or until fork tender. Drain.
While still warm pour caesar dressing over potatoes in large bowl.
Add grated cheese, parsley and peppers. Toss lightly.
Serve chilled.
Makes 8-10 servings, so you may want to half the recipe.

Oh Lord It Might Be Friday’s Tropical Smoothie

8 ozs. frozen strawberries < not in syrup. Do not defrost
1 banana
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1/4 cup grenadine
1 cup ice
2 fresh strawberries. ( What? Did they think we might use “old, rotten” strawberries? :slight_smile:
Pour ingredients into blender, blend on high speed for 15-30 seconds, or until the ice is crushed and the drink is smooth.
Garnish with strawberries.

Orange Freeze

2 large scoops “good” Vanilla Ice Cream. Dont use the cheapy stuff.
1 tablespoon Tang
1 can Minute Maid orange soda

Have ice cream and soda as cold as possible.
Blend well in mixer
Pour into glasses that have been chilled or frozen.

Hope you found something in here you’ll like.
Stay dry :slight_smile:


In the previous
Tuna Macaroni Salad recipe.
You will also need:

1 6oz. can TUNA, drained duh… :slight_smile:

Over in the anchovy thread I posted a recipe for a shrimp-broccoli pasta salad that is fantastic during the summer. The flavors mix together when you chill it overnight and I could drool just thinking about it.
Ummm…I do a lot of fruit and such during the summer. I’m always looking for new recipes, so I’m gonna keep an eye on this one.

**Ambrosia Fruit Salad **
Yogurt and Fruit Salad
Preparation time: 1 Hour

Serves: 6-10 People

2 Large navel oranges
2 Granny Smith apples
1-2 Small Haas avocados
1-2 Black plums
1-2 Nectarines
1-2 Peaches
1 Cup Seedless grapes
1 Ruby red grapefruit
1 Canteloupe
1 Bosc pear
1 Fuji apple
1 Lemon

1 Quart Kefir Cheese or Lebne*
¼ Cup light amber maple syrup
1 Tbs Vanilla extract

  • Kefir cheese or Lebne is genuine yogurt. It is made using whole cream and has the dense consistency of sour cream with a wonderful yogurt tang. Ordinary yogurts do not compare to this product. It can be found at Arabic and Middle Eastern food stores and specialty shops. One supplier is:

Mediterranean Trading Post
Los Angeles, CA 90065

If you are unable to find this product, be sure to substitute a very high quality commercial yogurt. Nancy’s, White Cloud and Pavel’s are among some of the better ones. Be sure to check that the yogurt is made using whole milk for the correct texture and richness.

Cut all citrus fruit except the lemon into supremes (to make supremes, see note below). Squeeze the juice from the citrus cores and the lemon into a very large mixing bowl. Peel the larger fruits before adding to the salad. Proceed to pit and cut up all fruit that might oxidize (pear, apple, peach, etc.) into fork size pieces. Toss the fruit in the citrus juices to coat them. Cut up the rest of the fruit into bite size pieces and place in the bowl. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh. Combine all of the fruit into the bowl and toss in the citrus juice once more.

In a separate smaller bowl mix the yogurt with the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Work the mixture until smoothe. Drain the citrus juice from the cut up fruit and slowly add it to the yogurt. Be sure not to thin out the yogurt too much. If necessary, do not use all of the citrus juice.

Before adding the yogurt mixture to the salad, peel and seed the avocados. Cut them up into small pieces and add them to the fruit. Add the sweetened yogurt and fold gently to avoid breaking up the fruit.

For best results, avoid using highly colored fruits such as cherries, and berries. These tend to bleed into the salad and color it. Avoid using bananas as they tend to lose their texture too quickly. Blueberries are permissable if they are fresh. If you are going to serve this salad immediately after preparation it may include the berries and other fruits mentioned above.
Note: To cut supremes from citrus fruit;[list][li] Cut the top and bottom of the fruit off to create flats.[/li]
[li] Standing the fruit on its bottom, cut away the rind with sawing downward strokes.[/li]
[li] Each cut should remove both the peel and any of the white pith underneath, revealing the flesh of the fruit.[/li]
[li] Once the entire fruit is exposed, hold it in your hand and begin removing supremes.[/li]
[li] Gently cut into the fruit along the edge of one of the segment lines. Cut along the adjacent one to release the wedge of pure fruit.[/li]
[li] Be sure to remove any seeds and partition material that may remain with the supreme.[/li]
[li] Contine until all of the supremes are released from the fruit.[/li]
[li] Squeeze the core with your hand and collect the juice in a bowl for later use.[/li][sup]THE NEW ACTIVE RECIPE INDEX IS HERE.[/sup]

Carrot and Raisin Salad

Preparation time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4-6 People

6-8 Carrots
1-2 Lemons
1/4-1/2 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellman’s)


Chill all ingredients before assembling. Grate the carrots with a medium fine grater. Use long strokes to produce unbroken threads of carrot. Try to use carrots that are long and small in diameter (I find these to be the sweetest). Place the grated carrots in a bowl. In a small bowl mix the juice of one lemon with 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise. Mix well and add to the carrots. Mix in the raisins and taste for flavor. The lemon should be just barely noticeable. The raisins should provide a mild sweet note with the carrots.

Note: It is best to chill this dish for another hour or two in order to allow the raisins to plump up. This salad is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Greek Salad

Preparation time: 15 Minutes

Serves: 4-6 People


1/2 Lb French Feta cheese
1/2 Head Lettuce
2 Tomatoes
1 Bell pepper
1 Red onion
1 Cucumber
12 Kalamata olives
Dill weed (optional)


1/2 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup Red wine vinegar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Ground oregano
1/8 Tsp Sugar
1/8 Tsp Ground black pepper
1/8 Tsp Mustard powder
1/8 Tsp Onion powder
2-3 Cloves Garlic
Dash of water

For a fancy presentation, marinate the sliced red onion rings in the red wine vinegar overnight. This will add color to the salad. Another way to add color is to pare the cucumber with alternating stripes of peel left on it. For a more relish like consistency, slit the cucumber in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and then cut it into small cubes. Shred the washed lettuce and place it in the bottom of the bowl. Cut the cucumber into slices or cubes and place in the bowl. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and add to the bowl. Cut open the green pepper and remove all seeds and ribs then slice into slivers or dice as preferred. Pit the Kalamata olives and cut in half then add to the salad. Top the salad with the thinly sliced red onion rings and the crumbled Feta cheese. Garnish with the dill weed.

To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients into a small jar and shake vigorously. Add the crushed or chopped garlic and shake once more. Sample for flavor and salt to taste. Pour over the salad ahead of time for a marinated flavor or serve the dressing at the table.
Note: Chill all the vegetables in advance to speed the time to table.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves 4-8


3-4 Medium to large Haas avocados (use Haas for best results)
1-2 Ripe salad tomatoes (avoid Roma or plum tomatoes)
1-2 Cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbs. of lime juice (~½ lime)
1-2 Tbs. chopped cilantro leaves (stems removed)
1/4 Cup of grated white onion pulp (avoid red or yellow onions)
1/4 Tsp. salt
1/8 Tsp. fine grind white pepper
1/8 Tsp. of Crystal hot sauce (or Tabasco)

Pinch of ground cumin (use sparingly)
Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Squeeze the limejuice into the mixing bowl.
(This will acidulate the avocado to avoid any browning.)
Halve and seed the avocados and scoop out flesh into mixing bowl.
Peel and crush or finely mince the garlic and add to the avocado.
Peel half an onion and grate into the bowl using a fine tooth grater.
Cut tomatoes in half across their equator.
Squeeze juice and seeds from tomatoes even if you do not peel them.
Peel (optional) the tomatoes and chop finely, then add.
Wash and strip cilantro leaves, then mince and add.
Add salt, white pepper, ground cumin, hot sauce and Cayenne to taste.
Mix ingredients by mashing with the back of a fork.
Avoid over mixing and keep texture on the chunky side.
Adjust seasonings to taste (remember this will marry up for one hour).
Add the juice from the strained tomato seeds if mixture is too thick.
Finish the mixing and transfer to a serving dish.
Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the mix to avoid oxidation.
Chill for one to four hours before serving.

Decorate with a tomato rose and sprigs of the cilantro leaves.
DO NOT add any mayonnaise or sour cream to this, you will ruin it.

Important note:
However you make it, serve Guacamole with yellow corn chips.
For best results, deep fry your own yellow corn chips and serve warm.
Excellent as a topping for Flautas, Tostadas and Tacos.

Timesaver Hint:
Omit many steps by using a small can of Herdez brand “Salsa Casera”.
If you are in a hurry, follow the steps below.

Drain the salsa prior to use and add slowly to avocado mix.
Check for flavor and heat while adding the drained salsa.
Reserve juice from drained salsa to control the body of the final mix.
Add the crushed garlic and spices to taste.
Cover as shown above and chill before serving.
Be sure to allow ingredients to marry up for at least 1/2 hour.
You will have a good measure of heat from the salsa, so beware!

Japanese Salad

Preparation time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 4-6 People


1/2 Lb Mung bean sprouts
1-2 Carrots
1 Cup Slivered red cabbage
1 Cup Shredded cucumber*
1/2 Cup Shredded daikon radish
2 Scallions

  • English cucumber is best

3 Tbs Rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs Water
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Roasted sesame oil
1/2 Tsp White sugar
1/2 Tsp Grated ginger
1 Clove Garlic
Add more sugar to taste

Optional: Chopped seeded Jalapeño chile pepper

Boil a large pot of water. Wash the bean sprouts thoroughly and plunge them into the hot water for 20-30 seconds. Remove the blanched sprouts and submerge them into ice water or cold running water to stop the cooking process. Peel the carrots and shred them into long thin strands. Sliver the red cabbage into thin shreds and wash. Grate the daikon radish into thin strands and rinse in cold water before adding. Grate the cucumber into long threads and wring them out in a cloth or layers of paper towel.

Crush the garlic and add it to all of the other dressing ingredients. Adjust the soy sauce and sugar to taste. Dry the vegetables and toss them with the dressing. Chill and serve.

Hearts of Palm with Creamy Vinaegrette
Stolen from Rue De Paris in San Jose, CA
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2-4 People


1 15 oz. Can of palm hearts in brine
1 Ripe beefsteak tomato
1 Ripe Haas
4 Leaves of lettuce


4 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
1-2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 Tsp powdered mustard
ground white pepper
salt to taste

Chill all ingredients before use.
Drain the palm hearts (Reese’s are best).
Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a jar.
Shake well to eliminate any lumps.

Line each plate with a flattened lettuce leaf.
Cut the palm hearts lengthwise into quarters.
Place two of the quartered pieces ~2" apart.
Stack another two pieces across the others.
Create a “woodpile” of criscrossed pieces.
Serve with wedges of tomato and avocado.
Drizzle with the dressing and serve promptly.

From The Pantry In Los Angeles, CA

Preparation time: 15 Minutes

Serves: 12-20 People

1 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tbs Mayonnaise
6 Tbs plus 1 Tsp White sugar
3 Tbs plus 1 Tsp Wine Vinegar
3/4 Cup plus Tbs Oil
1/3 Tsp Garlic powder
1/3 Tsp Onion powder
1/3 Tsp Mustard powder
1/3 Tsp Celery powder
Dash Black pepper
1 Tbs plus 2 Tsp Lemon juice
3/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs Half and half
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Heads Cabbage, very finely shredded

Blend together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and oil. Add spice powders, pepper, lemon juice, half and half and salt. Stir until smooth. Pour over coleslaw in a large bowl and toss until cabbage is well coated. If wished, use only half the dressing to half the cabbage and save remaining to dress fruit salad or other salads. Dressing keeps well, tightly covered in the refrigerator for several days. Makes about one quart of dressing.

Note: I am not overly fond of coleslaw, yet when I visit the Pantry (my favorite restaurant in L.A.) I usually eat two bowls of it. The measurements are probably intentionally screwy so as to catch people publishing this fantastic recipe as their own. This is the salad to serve with barbecue. I have never had better than this. The Pantry is a legendary greasy spoon and a throwback to the days of yore.

Then there is also making subs or hoagies… I find cold sandwiches are a good solution.

I have had people tell me that this recipe tastes better than their own mother’s. This was just before they were struck by lightning, of course. The secret is using onion pulp and crushed garlic among other things. Please be sure to use either home made or Bestfoods/Hellman’s Mayonnaise when you make this dish. Serve with the eggs still warm if possible for the very best flavor.
Potato Salad
Classic Side Dish
Preparation time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4-8 People

6-8 Large Russet potatoes
3-4 Hard boiled eggs
2-3 Green onions
½-¾ Cup Bestfoods or Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 Small yellow onion
1 Medium clove garlic
1 Dill pickle
1Tbs Sweet pickle relish
½-1½ Tbs Yellow or brown mustard
½ Tbs Dill pickle brine
½ Tbs Lemon juice
½ Tbs Sweet pickle juice
½ Tsp Ground celery seed
¼-½ Tbs Salt
¼ Tsp Ground white pepper
¼ Paprika for garnish
Dash of Crystal™ hot sauce

Boil the peeled potatoes in well salted water. It is better to leave them in one piece unless you are in a hurry or will be able to monitor them carefully during the cooking process. Cut up potatoes will cook much faster and become mushy.

While the potatoes cook, hard boil the eggs. Start the eggs in a large quantity of cold water and bring them to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave for eight minutes. Rinse under cold water for at least three to five minutes. Peel them immediately and reserve.

Mix all of the spices and mustard with the Mayonnaise. Add the sweet pickle relish and finely chopped dill pickle. Cut up the green onions using equal parts of the green and white sections. Peel and grate the yellow onion into a fine pulp and stir into the Mayonnaise. Crush the clove of garlic and add with all of the other juices and liquids. Sample for balance and salt to taste. Drain the potatoes once they are medium soft and still hang on the fork when speared.

Once the Mayonnaise is seasoned correctly, cut up the potatoes into fork sized cubes. Stir these into the Mayonnaise gently to avoid breaking them up too much. If the salad is too dry adjust the amount of Mayonnaise. If it is over seasoned you may cut it with a little sour cream to correct the flavor (if vitally necessary). Cut the eggs into pieces and fold gently into the salad. The top of the salad may be decorated with wedges if desired.

Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and a border of fine chopped parsley around the edge if desired.

Note: You should not be able to taste the garlic in this recipe. It should only serve to round out the flavor of the dish. The less time between preparation and service the more garlic you may want to use. Keep in mind that the garlic will add more flavor the longer it is allowed to “marry” up to the salad.


Seafood Cocktail

Preparation time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 4 People

1 Lb Cooked bay shrimp
1/2 Lb Cooked Langoustine*
1/4 Lb Cooked peeled prawns
1/8 Lb Cooked crab lump meat
1/4 Head Iceberg lettuce
1/2 Cup Crosse & Blackwell Seafood Sauce
2 Lemons

*Lobster or crayfish tails may be used instead.

Chill all serving plates and ingredients before use. Shred lettuce very thinly by cutting fine slices off of the lettuce head. Arrange the shredded lettuce in a bed on each plate or bowl. Mound equal portions of the shrimp in the center of each serving. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl and remove any seeds. Spoon the lemon juice over the shrimp. Arrange the Langoustine and prawns evenly around each mound of shrimp. Top each cocktail with spoonfuls of the seafood sauce. Top the cocktail with the crab lump meat. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Note: Crosse and Blackwell’s seafood sauce is markedly superior to most others on the market. Heinz’s is acceptable but does not have the right balance of horseradish in it. The Beaver brand from Oregon is quite good but sometimes hard to find. The secret of this recipe is to douse the shrimp with lemon juice when assembling the salad. That way the flavor is there throughout the entire salad.

Feta and Pita Appetizer
Stolen from “The Armenian Gourmet” in Sunnyvale, CA

Serves 4 - 6 people
(This is an informal dish best eaten with your hands)

Preparation time 15 minutes

1 Package of pita bread
1/2-1 Pound of Feta cheese (French or Danish is best)
6-8 Leaves of Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
1-2 Ripe salad or beefsteak tomatoes (avoid plum or Roma)
1 Cucumber (English is nice but not essential)
1 Red Onion (do not use white or yellow)
1/8 Cup olive oil (Greek oil compliments the vegetables nicely)
Powdered paprika or zatar (garnish)

Chill all vegetables ahead of time
Chill a platter in freezer for 10 minutes
Preheat oven at 250 F for 10 minutes
Peel cucumber and slice thinly
(For color, peel the cucumber with thin alternating stripes of peel left on)
Wash and separate the lettuce leaves
Cut stack of pita bread in half and wrap entire loaf in foil
(Slicing bread before heating avoids the cut edges of the bread sticking together)
If pita bread is not perfectly fresh sprinkle with a little water before wrapping in foil
(Bread may be heated in a microwave oven, do not use foil)
Place bread in oven and turn off heat after three minutes
Remove platter from freezer and cover with lettuce leaves
(For less mayhem at the table you may wish to quarter the leaves first)
Cut tomatoes into medium to thin slices
Cut red onion into thin sliced rings
(For fancy presentation the onion slices may be marinated in red wine vinegar)
Cut Feta cheese into medium to thin slices
(While slicing cheese, allow the slice that had stuck to your knife blade to be pushed off by the next one being cut, or use a cheese wire to obtain whole even slices)
Fan concentric circles of tomato, onion and cucumber around the platter’s edge
Create a spiral of the Feta cheese slices in the center of the platter
(Hide any broken pieces of Feta under the other slices)
Drizzle olive oil over the slices of Feta and sprinkle a little paprika or zatar over them
Remove warmed pita from the oven and place in a covered bread basket

Serve immediately.
Note: For the ultimate cutsie tootsie appetizer use a thin wall drinking glass or biscuit/cookie cutter to cut 3-4" circlets of pita from the edge of the whole piece of bread (thus creating little "mini-pitas). Line each of the small pitas with a leaf of baby lettuce. Then stuff them with a slice of tomato, cucumber, a small amount of red onion and some Feta cheese. This is a perfect finger food for parties or more formal occasions.

This method of preparation will take quite a bit longer than the recipe above.