I grew up in Texas, where summer temperatures reach triple digits, stay that way for weeks on end, and the oppressive humidity makes the air so heavy you feel like you're bein' squashed by Jabba the Hut—a thought almost as repulsive as turning on a kitchen flame. Texas summers are hot. Damn hot. So when Cool Kitchen landed on my desk, I said this I gotta see—125 recipes prepared without going near the oven or stovetop?! Make me a believer, I dare you.
Well, it's true, or almost true—you can survive the summer deliciously, without flame or fire, but you do need an ample refrigerator, some pre-cooked conveniences like smoked salmon and cooked chicken, and a loaf or two of grilled bruschetta (does this count as one of the 125 recipes? the book is unclear—I guess you could ask your neighbor to grill it for you, if you really can't stand the heat).
Cool Kitchen contains refreshing recipes for soups, dips, sandwiches, salads and sauces. A well-stocked pantry lies at the essence of no-heat cooking, and author Lauren Chattman's recipes really work best as small summer meals—tasty bites here and there. After all, when the days are like blast furnaces, who wants a large, heavy meal anyway?
by Lauren Chattman
William Morrow & Company, Inc.
1998, Hardcover, US $22.00
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