Beating the Heat

by Cate on July 20, 2006

In the dead heat of the Summer, our attention turns to keeping our kitchens cool. Whether it be wraps, chilled soups, or salads, there are plenty of ways to avoid heating up your home (and yourself!) unnecessarily. I don’t mind cooking one or two things, but I’m sure as heck not going to stand over the hot stove more than I need to, thank you very much.

My parents came over for dinner tonight, and when planning the meal, I kept an eye on keeping it cool. When I was rooting through my tried-and-true file the other day for the Marinated Chick Peas recipe, I came across a few old favorites that would be perfect for a simple, stay cool meal. I made three different types of salads, and was done in under 30 minutes. Take that, Rachael Ray. And speaking of Rachael, coincidentally, two out of the three recipes tonight were hers.

Shrimp is on sale this week at Shop Rite for a steal of $4.99/lb, so Old Bay’s Shrimp Salad was a perfect choice. Cool and refreshing, if you start with cooked shrimp, it’ll be whipped up in 5 minutes flat. Even with raw shrimp, it’s quick to table.

Next up was Miss Leslie’s Deeelicious Ham Salad on Biscuits from Rachael Ray. I first made this recipe two years ago for a Supper Club contribution. With a nice tang from the yellow mustard, it’s another perfect Summer recipe, and tastes divine stuffed between the flaky biscuits. Talk about yum-o!

And lastly, a green salad from Rachael Ray. I first saw this one reviewed on Cooking Light Bulletin Board last year, where it was affectionately renamed “Heaven on a Salad Plate.” I’d have to agree, and we call it delicious. I had all the ingredients on hand, and use Glazed Walnuts from Costco (yum!) — Nicholas loves this one, and asked for a second helping as he was getting into bed. Gotta love a kid that loves his greens. ;)

Speaking of salad, you might want to check out this short piece I did for Paper Palate. Someone might want to tell Rachael Ray. Madeline? You got her ear, right?

Alright folks, that’s a wrap for tonight. Until tomorrow… Happy Anniversary to my parents, who celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary today!

Nicholasism for Today: “Mama, I love you.” “How much?” “Sixty.” He assures me that this is a lot. I’ll have to take his word for it.

A year ago today I didn’t post.

Old Bay Fresh Shrimp Salad
Fresh shrimp salad served on a croissant or stuffed in a fresh tomato makes a refreshing lunch or light supper.
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate: 30 minutes

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound fresh medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Stir before serving. Serve on bed of lettuce, or in a croissant or sandwich roll.

Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing
Also known as “Heaven on a Salad Plate”
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 (10-ounce) sack baby spinach
1/3 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1 (6 ounce) can walnut halves, toasted
1/4 cup maple syrup, warmed
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place spinach on a large platter. Top with blue cheese and walnuts. Warm maple syrup in a small saucepan (I nuked in microwave). Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Whisk oil into vinegar in a slow stream. Whisk maple syrup into dressing in a slow stream. Pour dressing down over the salad platter and serve. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Miss Leslie’s Ham Salad on Biscuits
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 ham salad biscuits, 6 servings

2 tubes, 6 pieces each, large bake-off biscuits (recommended: Pillsbury)
1 pound cooked ham from the deli, 1/4-inch thick slices, diced
3 ribs celery, from the heart, finely chopped
1/2 cup salad olives with pimento, drained, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley – a couple of handfuls of leaves
1/3 cup mayonnaise, just enough to bind salad
3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
Salt and black pepper

Prepare bake-off biscuits to package directions, 8 to 10 minutes in the oven. Cool biscuits on wire rack. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl and adjust seasonings, to taste. Split cool biscuits and fill with Leslie’s DEEELICIOUS ham salad.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy July 20, 2006 at 8:47 pm

The shrimp salad sounds so yummy! I can’t wait to try it. My youngest daughter is 6 and shrimp and mayo are 2 of her favorite foods. I bet she’ll love it.

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Jean July 20, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Hi Cate

I found your blog through Cooking Medley and just stayed awhile reading your posts. Thank you for sharing all of these recipes. I’ll sure be trying some!!

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Madeline July 21, 2006 at 4:51 am

Cate, I double pinky swear that if I ever get Rachael Ray’s ear, you will be among the first to know!

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