What to Cook When It’s Too Hot

So far this week, this weather has been hot and sticky. It reminds me of childhood years in Maryland. However, in Maryland, our house was air-conditiioned. In Boston, air-conditioning in my life is limited to the car and the office. Sure, I know, we could buy an air conditioner. We actually have a window unit, but it’s in the closet. It seems like the weather always breaks before we set it up. We’re managing with the house fan, ceiling fans, and lots of window fans. On a humorous note, the humidity has been so high that my curly hair is an inch or two shorter than usual. I look a little like a Brillo pad.

It’s hard to be motivated to heat up the kitchen when the weather is like this. On Sunday, we picked up a salmon steak for dinner. (We ran into Sabine at the store, who asked if I would write about what we cooked. Hi Sabine! This is what we had for dinner. Hope your salmon was good too!)

Howard grilled the salmon with our favorite seasoning for fish: Trindad Style Lemon-Garlic Marinade from Penzey’s. It’s actually a rub, not a liquid. I just love it on grilled fish, especially salmon.

I didn’t want to make the kitchen any hotter, so I put together a black-bean salad that required no actually cooking, just chopping and mixing. The grilled fish with bean salad and a big green salad made for a refreshing summer dinner.

We even had enough salmon left over for a pseudo-Nicoise salad the next day for lunch. I started with salad greens, chopped tomato (hothouse), and Kirby cucumber that we brought back from the local farmstand in Maine. I added shelled raw peas from our garden. I briefly microwaved the leftover fish and some leftover steamed potatoes. Then, everything was tossed together with some tarragon dressing. Voila! Easy lunch.

Tonight, I did use the stove to make orzo with mustard greens, another successful recipe from NoTakeOut. Other than boiling the water for pasta, everything else was just chopping, and once the pasta was cooked, everything else was combined off the heat.

Black Bean Salad
Serves 4 – 6

3 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed well
Kernels from 2 ears of corn, cooked
1/4 red onion, diced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
A generous handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

To make the dressing, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl with the dressing. Serve at room temperature or cold.

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Posted on 29 June 2010, in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Betsy- yes our salmon was good, too. We also marinated and grilled – can’t beat the ease of summer grilling. As for your Black Bead Salad, I will make that tonight because it is one of my all time summer favorites but I haven’t tried the cumin or cilantro combination. I just noticed that you have Chip-In Farm on the sidebar. Ken rode his bike there and discovered you can get fresh eggs there! (needless to say he didn’t bring them home on his bike this time!)

  2. Betsy, I too love black bean southwestern style salad. You must have read my mind – I have a can of black beans in the pantry and was going to make it this week. I mix in corn cut off the cob, and really amp up the cilantro. I love summer mixed salads – on hot days I just make a cold plate of grain or pasta salad with a good tomato and a cold meat or fish. Yum.

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