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If you can't take the heat, you don't have to stay out of the kitchen - but there's really no reason to crank the oven up to 500 degrees. That is, unless you want to get your Bikram Yoga in during dinner prep.
If anyone knows about handling the heat and getting people fed, it's Tory McPhail. The James Beard nominee is the executive chef at the storied Commander's Palace in Eatocracy's adopted second home, New Orleans.
Summer in the Big Easy means average high temperatures well above the 90-degree mark so pass the gazpacho, wontcha?
Five things to cook when it’s too darn hot to cook anything: Tory McPhail
Grind the tomatoes in a blender with lemon, cayenne, prepared horseradish, grainy mustard and salt, then strain over ice. We finish ours tableside with great vodka that’s been frozen overnight in huge blocks of ice."
2. Summer brunch melon parfait with Mint Julep mousse
You can also make an easy mousse by puréeing cream cheese in a food processor then adding mint, sugar, and a few splashes of great bourbon. Serve in an attractive glass or plate as a first course."
3. Local tomato “ceviche”
We pair ours with a coconut milk gazpacho as the sauce, and garnish with hand-pulled 'crab boil' mozzarella to finish this Latin caprese salad."
4. Black skillet peach cobbler
Simply flip some butter and brown sugar into the pan to make caramel. Add your fruit and stir for about 2 minutes.
Pour on the batter, sprinkle on streusel topping and close the lid. Turn the BBQ to low and continue to cook until batter is set in the middle. This dish will stay hot for hours on the picnic table as you and your guest enjoy a backyard party."
5. Jamaican-spiced shrimp salad
You don’t have to buy expensive spice rubs either. Just take your favorite seasoning blend and add curry powder, sugar, cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to yield authentic jerk seasoning.
We grill pineapple, mango, papaya and limes alongside our shrimp. Simply chop up the fruit, crush the grilled limes over summer greens and shake on some jerk spice. Then all that’s left is to enjoy!"
How do you keep your cool cooking in the dog days of summer?
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.