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Ideas for dinner in this hot weather

Posted by Danube 
Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 14, 2019 11:26PM
I'm looking for nice easy dinner ideas that are perfect for this hot weather. Here in Auckland it seems to get sweltering around 4.00pm and doesn't cool down until late at night, I find myself at a loss for ideas, its even hotter all evening if you heat the oven up to cook and so we find ourselves having BBQ's every night but even then my lot want chips or baked potatoes - cooked the the oven.... I come home just when the heat of the day is cranking up and just think, I can't be bothered, but I haven't managed to convince anyone else that vegemite on toast would be a nice dinner (although I did have that myself one nightspinning smiley sticking its tongue out) when I was by myself. Very good it was too with a chilled glass of chardonnay.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 14, 2019 11:50PM
If 'your lot' want baked potatoes or chips, why not let THEM cook them outside on the barbeque, along with whatever meat or fish goes with them, and you can remain cool and calm in the kitchen making a delicious salad!

Oh, and I should have said it pays to plan the week's meals ahead so that all the ingredients are available and anything that needs to be pre-prepared, such as marinating, can be done the evening before.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2019 11:52PM by Lorna.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 12:37AM
It's sweltering here too. We've been having salads for dinner. Last night it was a haloumi salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, pecans and parsley, tonight it will be a Nicoise salad - green beans, tomato, basil, olives, hard boiled eggs, anchovies.

These composed salads go quite well with fried potatoes - I boil potatoes early in the day and cool them, then half an hour before dinner break them up roughly and put them in a frying pan with some butter or olive oil, cook over medium heat until they start to turn golden and crisp. I sometimes add garlic and tarragon/parsley butter at the end and toss them in it, which is really delicious.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 12:56AM
I almost posted this exact same post yesterday, it was 32 degrees in our house until the sun went down last night. (Must get air con sorted!). TPANDAV, thanks for those ideas, I'll be trying them on our next hot days. I do the same with potatoes, but often I cook enough potatoes for a whole week, and then do different things with them (not that we have potatoes every night). As I understand it the starch in potatoes becomes more resistant if cooked/cooled and therefore better for blood glucose levels.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 01:15AM
I do that too, and yes, I believe that the structure of the starch in potatoes changes when they are cooled and becomes ""resistant starch", which is good for the gut as well as blood glucose levels.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 02:10AM
My lot are obsessed with pork bao buns at present, I pass the new Tai Ping supermarket on Mt Wellington highway and pick up cooked bbq pork which I then just toss In a pan with hoisin sauce to heat through. I buy bao buns at the same place and steam them for 15 minutes in a bamboo steamer.
While they are steaming I make coleslaw and then dinner is ready. So easy and very popular with the kids.
The other thing I buy at the same place is pork, prawn and chive dumplings. Fry them in a large frying pan and then add water and cover and let them steam for 5 minutes before serving with slaw. Both very easy dinners and perfect for hot nights.
Fragrant Spiced Chicken is another family favourite this summer - kids like it with bao buns or fried roti with slaw. I like the latter.
All carb meals sorry but they work for my lot.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 03:15AM
I have been thinking the same thing for several days now.
We are not used to hot weather for such a long stretch. We turned off our DVS after reading that it could increase the temperature.
We have been having a lot of salads and when we add meat it usually is something that cooks quickly. Chicken Caesar salad is a favourite, I cook marinated chicken tenders in my little George Foreman grill, they only take a few minutes. Lots of fish and fish cakes. I like pork bao buns, too. We have a very good little Asian market store in town.
Like Danube, the wine is chilled. Husband is a stubborn ABC person but his preference is white wine. I am the red wine fan, when I am allowed to drink more than the odd sneaky sip but there are some excellent rosé wines, too. If I was on my own I would probably be having a tomato and/or a salad sandwich or some french bread and good cheeses.
I didn't know that about potatoes changing their structure. I will give them a try.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 15, 2019 05:59AM
Lots of not very much for dinner here, and everyone is largely ok with it as we're all suffering with the heat. Last night I made french toast at 8:30 when it had finally cooled down a little. We have snacky type foods, vegemite and cottage cheese on vogels, cheese and tomato on vogels, toasted sandwich, poached eggs, salad with big chunks of peppers, cucumber etc.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 16, 2019 08:58PM
Like Helen, pan fried dumplings are my easy dinner of choice. I buy a tray of 30 for about $8.50 from the Asian supermarket and keep them in my freezer. Here's the way I do them, with veges added:
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick pan and place the dumplings in. No need to defrost the dumplings beforehand. Fry until golden on one side, then turn over. Immediately pour in a little bit of water, just enough to cover the base of the pan. The second side of the dumplings will brown as the water evaporates. Turn the heat right down. If you want to, add some blocks of frozen spinach into the pan. You can also add chopped fresh vegetables but add them a bit later in the cooking to keep them crisp. Cover with a lid and let simmer and steam for 10 minutes.
Add more water if it starts to run dry during the cooking time. If you've put in too much water, just pour it off or take the lid off and turn.the heat up to evaporate the water towards the end of the cooking time.

A non-stick pan is essential because then you can easily peel up the lovely crispy net of leaked dumpling juices. The only reason I own a non-stick pan is for dumplings! I had to buy a universal lid for it because most non-stick pans don't come with them and non of the other pan lids would fit.

This method works with defrosted dumplings too. The dumplings are frozen free-flow so it's easy to just cook what you need. If they have frozen together, it's really easy to snap them apart.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 16, 2019 11:28PM
DK I read your cooking style of dumplings with interest. Mine is similar but I am probably a bit more generous with oil and brown them pretty much all over before adding about 3/4 cup water to a large frying pan, covering and allowing to steam for about 5 minutes before removing the lid.
I use a cast iron pan and don't have issues with them sticking although sometimes the kids end up with a mess when they try so a non stick pan is probably a good idea. Without a non stick pan I think the key is to have the oil hot before the dumplings go in and to make sure the oil covers the base of the pan.
I too cook them from frozen and buy them in a large tray. Pork, prawn and chive are probably our favourite.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 17, 2019 07:45AM
soft tacos. i get up early in the am every now and then and make a batch of flour tortillas for the freezer. Dinner is nothing more than homemade guac, spread on a tortilla, covered by finely shredded cabbage or lettuce, capsicum(or chilli if that way inclined), cucumber, finely sliced onions, a spoonful of salsa and my fave, smoked chicken, you can also add sour cream, tomatoes, any other veg you like, and chilli sauce if you wish, and any protein, be it fish, fowl or beast. refried beans can also be added.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 17, 2019 09:19AM
Our meals have been a bit uninspired too.

A few that were successful were

- zucchini corn and feta fritters
- lots of brown rice salad (with varied additions) served alongside green salad and BBQ
- asian slaw with panfried fish
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 18, 2019 02:28AM
Great to read all the ideas for hot weather. Early yesterday morning I made mayonnaise, potato salad, and a celery, apple, walnut salad, they will last a few days, and I just add a piece of chicken or fish. I also made the pickled zucchini recipe from the Sunday Herald Simon Gault recipe, it is delicious, my first success with pickling. Cooking for one can be boring and hard, but I do find if I put some thought into it on a Sunday can enjoy the food and not eat too much junky stuff.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 20, 2019 10:31AM
I've made two successful vegetarian dishes - the first, smallish purple striped aubergines slashed almost through diagonally and baked long and slow early in the day with a mix of tomato, onion, garlic and basil around them. I put this in the fridge and ate it cold over several days with more fresh basil, canned butter beans and a salad. The aubergine was meltingly delicious, and the flavours got better the longer it was kept. The other was courgettes sliced lengthwise, scooped out and stuffed with the chopped courgette that I'd scooped out, onion, garlic, currants and feta cubes - this also baked long and slow with tomato and basil. This was eaten cold over several days with a salad, and once again, it improves with keeping.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 22, 2019 06:43AM
At this time of year we eat salad every day - I try and have several at once on the go so it's varied. Tonight it's a chipotle corn salad with feta, plus a beetroot and pomegranate salad and a fresh pea and arugula salad with miso amd ginger dressing, plus some leftover "main" salad of lentils, freekeh, herbs and pomegranate which I am currently obsessed with. You dollop yoghurt mixed with cumin on the top and it's divine.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
February 22, 2019 10:20AM
TPANDAV I had heard that about the potato changing when cold from an “expert”, but then another “expert” said that when they are reheated they revert back to their original state. I preferred the first opinion, and now don’t know who to believe.
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
March 14, 2019 11:16PM
I prefer Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill smiling smiley
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
March 14, 2019 11:18PM
I agree with this one smiling smiley
Re: Ideas for dinner in this hot weather
March 14, 2019 11:20PM
I love this too! since i am a chicken lover also smiling smiley
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