Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Too hot to cook? Eat this!

My trip to California went well. Grandma Foodie had a successful surgery and I practically had to tie her to a chair to keep her from doing too much.

She decided to have a dinner party while I was there to cook it for her. Ahem. I made tostones for an appetizer, something I had never done before. I peeled plantains and smashed them and fried them, then filled them with shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and a rum butter sauce. Yum. (Make sure to get the green plantains, the black ones don't hold their shape. Wait, probably none of you are ever going to make tostones; it requires an old fashioned tostone smasher. I'll probably never make them again, either as I neglected to spirit the tostone maker away in my suitcase, an oversight I assure you, because I fully intended to wheedle it out of Grandma Foodie. they were that good. Amazing, really.

The weather in California was really nice considering my folks live out in the middle of the desert. While I do prefer the coastal areas of California, the Inland Empire does offer some amazing Mexican Food. We ate at a little place called Las Bonitas. Awesome food.

So I return home to miserably hot weather. We do not own an air conditioner since, as former Californians, we consider it to be not too hot here during the summer. Except this week. It is 95 with high humidity. Let's just say that if I could get a waterproof computer I would never leave the pool.

It is obviously too hot to cook. But we still have to eat and after a week of pasta and hamburgers my family wants real food. So I made Chinese Chicken Salad. No cooking, only prepping. Night Night, I'll be in the pool.

June's Chinese Chicken Salad

One Supermarket rotisserie chicken, meat taken off the carcass
3 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped (yes, with a damn knife, I'm too hot and cranky to tear it up)
Red pepper strips (fresh, not jarred, not roasted)
2 large green onions, sliced
2/3 cup peanuts
Celery, if you want it
Sliced pea pods, if you want them, I don't care
Rice vermicelli, fried until puffy (Ok, so you have to cook this part. Heat up your deep fryer or a pan with at least 1/2 inch of oil. Drop the dried (not fresh, Deb) noodles into the oil and submerge. Flip them to the other side. All the dried part must touch the oil or they will be hard and unchewable instead of light and fluffy and crunchy.

Dissolve 1/2C honey in 1/2 cup rice vinegar. Heating it on the stove will make it better, but you don't have to if it is too freaking hot.
Add 2T soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil. Mix in salt and pepper to taste then add 1 C vegetable oil. Mix well, toss, eat on paper plates so there is nothing to wash and you can go sleep in the pool.


Deb said...

If I leave my fresh noodles out in the open will they dry enough?

(Deb ducks as June hurls leftover oil in frying pan in Deb's general direction.)

Anonymous said...

I don't have rice vinegar. Will red wine vinegar "do?"

The Mendon Foodie said...

@ Deb: you should duck
@anonymous: red wine vinegar will be harsher, use less. Or go buy some rice vinegar when you get your rotisserie chicken. And don't buy the "seasoned" rice vinegar, that just means they added sugar to it. You can do that yourself if you need sweetened.

Anonymous said...

I love this salad. Does it come with a pool?