It’s May and in my part of the US that means hot weather is settling in and getting comfortable until October.
It’s time to start thinking of ways to not use the oven and minimize the use of the stove. Grilling is my go-to, but I have been known to set the slow cooker or roaster oven out in the garage in an attempt to create a hot meal without overheating the kitchen.
Consider taking full advantage of the time you spend grilling by loading up the grill with many items instead of only the main course for one meal. Typically I like to grill extra chicken breasts, but bone-in chicken is great to grill and then pull apart or shred for items like chicken salad or additions to pastas. Experiment with lots of different marinades and rubs to keep variety in your meals, just remember if there is sugar in a marinade that the outside of the item will burn more quickly, always use indirect grilling with these items. Don’t forget foil packets are a great way to cook vegetables on the grill.
Random aside: At my pub job we call grilled wings “Nascar style” -translation “put tire [grill] marks on ’em”
When you DO choose to turn on the oven, fill it with as many items as possible. You’ll only heat up the kitchen once and can use the microwave to reheat -also remember somethings are even awesome cold, like leftover oven-fried chicken).
Remember that there can be a lot more to salad than lettuce and a couple of vegetables.
My current obsession? Caprese
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find when the weather is hot, I’m much less likely to want carb heavy meals, unless a sandwich is involved. Cold soups like gazpacho also become incredibly appealing. Heck, I’ve been known to eat this for breakfast.
Smoothies are another cool addition or replacement for a simple meal.
How do you cope with summer heat in your kitchen?