Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eating in Hot Weather

Here we are =summertime in Perth. Our forecasts are quite boringly predictable, with temperatures in the high 30s for days at a time, and moving in bursts into the low 40s. We expect that it will stay that way until late March at the least!

When it is hot, cooking is an ordeal. No-one wants the oven on for hours heating the house further than necessary. No-one can really face lots of hot and stodgy food either.

Here are two good recipes for jaded summer palates, which are easy to do and do not require slaving over a hot stove for long, and lastly a cheap and refreshing summer iced tea recipe.

Gazpacho-cold summer soup.(pictured above)

Quick to make in a blender or food processor and very yummy.

What you need:
1.5 kilos of good red tomatoes ( I use one 800 g tin and some fresh) 2 cloves garlic 1 red capsicum about half a long continental cucumber one slice of good left over homemade bread or equivalent to about 100 g-stale is fine 1/2 cup red wine vinegar good slosh olive oil 3 teaspoons salt

So far this recipe is standard, and pretty much what the wonderful Stephanie Alexander recommends.
However my added touch is 3 teaspoons of white sugar.

Bung it all in a food processor and then add about 2 cups of water. Let it stand for at least one hour but overnight is good. (My DD recommends that you do not over-process the soup -you don't want it completely blended -a bit chunky is good).

Asian inspired summer soup
Mu inspiration for this was realising that Asian countries are often hot and humid, and that soup is nevertheless a strong component of their cuisine.

After frying off an onion in some oil, add about a tablespoon of fish sauce and about the same of minced ginger and fry a little more.
Add 500 mls or more of stock if you have it, or water and stock cubes (chicken or vegetable).
Throw in whatever vegetables need to be used up in your fridge. I used a piece of red capsicum, carrots, zucchini, green onion tops and some cauliflower. Chop them up to be easy spoon size.

Then when the vegetables are tender/crisp add one packet of Udon noodles and some leaves from the garden -I used a handful of celery leaves and about 4 stems of rainbow chard.

You could add left-over roast chicken or some fish to this.

Cheap Iced Tea

Brew a black tea bag with two herbal teabags -I used one apple and cinnamon and one mango and raspberry teabag -in a teapot with about 600 mls of water for one hour.

In a pretty jug, start with one litre of cold water. Pour over the tea, then add a little sweetness -some ginger syrup or some fruit juice or syrup left over from tinned fruit.

Hope you are keeping cool and enjoying the summer!

No comments: