June 27, 2011

Hot Time in the City...

It's hot. I don't like heat. I turn into a vampire come bright, sunny, hot days. I stick to the shade, I wear hats, and glop on the SPF 52. Living in an apartment in Brooklyn - an old apartment at that - means that only one room in your place is air conditioned and it ain't the kitchen. I become a master strategist when eighty degrees hit. I plan my meals around least amount of heat emitted. I would invite you to my closet of a kitchen, without a window, without AC, in the ghastly NY humidity, but something tells me you're going to take my word on this.

Sunday lunch was so lovely, though. It was well planned, well executed, and enjoyed in our air conditioned bedroom over TV trays. I will be making versions of this meal all summer long. It's easy, it's delicious, and most importantly, it requires me to be hovering over a hot stove for no longer than 15 minutes. Good deal, man... good deal.

Deconstructed Guacamole Salad
(My full guacamole recipe is much more involved, has more ingredients, takes longer, and while utterly worth it, is better for a crowd)
1 ripe, medium avocado, cubed
1/2 cup+ quartered grape tomatoes (about equal amount tomato to avocado)
1 small garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

-Combine everything in a non-metal, non reactive bowl. Adjust seasoning to liking. Mix carefully with a fork, you don't wan tot mash the avocados as you would in a guacamole, you want everything whole. Refrigerate to let flavors meld, then serve.

Dill Havarti Melts
Very thinly slice chicken cutlets
Corn starch
Roasted red peppers
Dill Havarti cheese
Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
Flat bread

-Salt and pepper the chicken, dredge in corn starch, pan fry in olive oil. As long as your cutlets are truly thin enough and your oil is hot enough, this will only take 3-4 minutes per side for a truly crispy cutlet. Set aside and go cool off in the AC.
-Preheat oven to 375 and place flat bread, (I like using Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats),on a silpat or parchment-lined baking tray. Let bread warm up in the oven to toast lightly, then remove.
-Spread a very thin layer of both Dijon and mayo. Cut cutlets to size, place on bread, and cover with red peppers that you have patted dry. (You could also use sun dried tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes if they were thin enough).
-Cover sandwich with very thin slices of Dill Havarti cheese, then place in oven for 6-8 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.


  1. that all looks so yummy!

  2. So strange to imagine you so piping hot and me wishing and longing to feel sunshine!! :-) Very glad you have at least one AC'd room - what a relief!! Your hot weather menu is fantastic!!! Havarti cheese is one of my all-time favorites. :-)

  3. I feel ya with the heat girl. I too live in a prewar Brooklyn apartment and welcome any excuse to not have to turn on the stove in the summer time. I could easily make this salad over and over and over again. Looks so delicious.