When the temperatures start to rise in Savannah, firing up an oven or turning on the stove to whip up a multi-course meal can seem like an impossible task. If you love trying out new dishes, you don’t have to give up cooking in the summer. You can keep cool while in the kitchen, with a bit of planning and creativity. Here are some things to help make summer cooking a little kinder for your home cooks.
Do Prep Work Ahead
Take advantage of the cooler parts of the day and do your prep work in advance. For example, if you need rice, hard-boiled eggs, or pasta for a recipe, cook this first thing in the morning. Need veggies in your dish? Prepare your ingredients a night or two before you need them—different fruits and vegetables keep well even when sliced and chopped.
Choose Simple Recipes
Quick recipes that require little to no heat keep the stove turned off, which means less heat in the kitchen. Salmon and kale caesar wraps, crab and avocado temaki, tomato and feta with white bean salad, and sesame ginger tofu poke bowl are just some dishes that you can make with little or no time on the stove.
Bring the Cooking Outdoors
Involve your kids in cooking outdoors. You can shuck corn, prep vegetables, and even cook roasts or stews out on the porch. Summer is also a great time for grilling food—nothing says Fourth of July like a good old-fashioned barbecue! Besides meat, you can also put vegetables and fruits on your grill. You can put summer squash, carrot wheels, zucchini, and tomatoes on skewers and put that on the fire, or make veggie patties for a healthy summer burger.
If you want something on the sweet side, you can grill pineapples and peaches. Pineapple provides an interesting counterpoint to grilled chicken or shrimp, and grilled peaches are fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Hiring a private chef in Savannah is also a great way to learn more meals you can cook on a grill.
Use Smaller Appliances If Possible
Toaster ovens, rice cookers, slow cookers, and pressure cookers let you cook a few servings at a time without turning your kitchen into a full-blown furnace. Unlike regular ovens, a toaster oven cools down quickly. When you use a slow cooker, you can leave it on the stove while you play outside with the dog or your kids, lounge with a magazine, or sip a glass of iced tea. Meanwhile, a pressure cooker or rice cooker lets you cook rice and veggies without having to turn on the stove.
Include Cold Dishes in Your Meals
Soups are the best for warming up the body during the cold winter months, but consider as well how cold soups can help cool you down while it’s hot out! Some summer classics are tomato gazpacho, avocado soup, and chilled cucumber soup. You can also try chilled asparagus bisque, strawberry coconut soup, and green garbanzo soup for some interesting new flavors.
The summer is usually a time to relax and go on a holiday, but if you’re holed up at home or have no plans of traveling anytime soon, you can take a gastronomic trip in your kitchen. Keep your home cool with our tips for summer cooking, and beat boredom and the heat simultaneously!
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