Monday, July 10, 2006

Keeping Your Cool!

Although we are having a relatively cool Michigan summer, I thought you might enjoy some tips for keeping things cool when the kitchen heats up.

  • Match pot to burner size so extra heat isn't escaping into the air. Covering pots will help also (and bring water to a boil faster).
  • When finished using a burner, put a teakettle or pot of water on the burner to absorb the heat not dissipate the heat into the air.
  • Instead of turning on the oven, use your toaster oven to cook single or double servings of your favorite entrées.

Of course, recipes with no cooking involved seem the most practical solution. Some ideas: wrap sandwiches with deli meats and cheeses; summer salads with canned fish or meats, or precooked, purchased meats (like rotisserie chicken); or there is always take-out.

Grilling is an easy option with no indoor cooking. Try using a purchased marinade for your fishes and meats. I like the Mrs. Dash 10-Minute Marinade Line for sodium free alternatives (visit the site for a $2 off coupon). Whatever brand you prefer, be sure to read the Nutritional Information to find out exactly what you are getting in your marinade. You can also grill your sides. Some favorites of mine are making hobo packs on the grill. A hobo pack is a foil pouch that holds your vegetables, sometimes meats, herbs and spices. By adding a liquid such as white wine or a fat such as butter or olive oil, the veggies steam and roast for a great summertime side dish. Experiment with potatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, corn, asparagus and onions. Cooking time will depend on the vegetables you choose.

If you aren't in the mood for grilling, make a quick pesto and throw in cooked pasta. Pesto is great because it requires no cooking.

Another easy option is a cold soup like gazpacho or cucumber-melon soup.

What ever you decide - stay cool and bon appétit!


BlueGirlinRedState said...

I've been using these tips to deal with the scorching heat & humidity down here in the deep south! Thanks!!

Chef Jen said...

I feel like I jinxed us!