Dinner party in a hot apartment

I need suggestions for a vegetarian or poultry dish to make for a foodie dinner party on Saturday. I have a galley kitchen and sub-par air conditioning, so I need something that I can make mostly in advance or that can sit without a lot of attention - the idea is to keep me out of the kitchen when guests arrive so I don't have to sweat!

Jenny O


spuntino July 8, 2011
This is a no-brainer, but gazpacho. I like Jose Andres': http://www.josemadeinspain.com/recipes/andaluciaColdTomato.htm

eliza_z July 8, 2011
I like to do big bowls of cous cous or quinoa salads when I don't want to heat up my own small kitchen, and if you add enough awesome veggies in with the grains you get something substantial enough to be a vegetarian entree. My favorite combo is cous cous made with veggie stock (just a cup or so of stock only takes a few minutes to boil, so it doesn't heat up small kitchens), add tomatoes, olives, cilantro, green onions, a red pepper and a nice hunk of feta, toss with lemon juice and olive oil. simple and delicious, and even tastes better when it sits overnight :)
latoscana July 8, 2011
A shrimp boil heats up a big pot of water but not much else. It's pretty fast and effortless to make and everyone has fun. This version of Frogmore Stew is great: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/frogmore-stew.html?cm_src=RECIPESEARCH. BTW, it's not a stew and there are no frogs.
SKK July 8, 2011
I love the recipes posted above and for another idea Saveur has a complete no cook menu here for a no cook Asian Summer Dinner. http://www.saveur.com/article/Menu/No-Cook-Asian-Summer-Dinner-Menu
prettyPeas July 8, 2011
I feel awkward recommending my own recipe, but it is really what I crave in hot weather. http://www.food52.com/recipes/11762_springtime_for_salmon
The salmon nicoise above also intrigues me, and I can't wait to try the Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with buttermilk dressing. The trouble with these is that they are salad entrees, so an extra course, to me, suggests soup. I like this http://www.food52.com/recipes/354_cold_corn_soup_with_basilchili_oil, even without the bacon (though without bacon I like to add crema/sour cream/creme fraiche). Or, if tomatoes are ripe enough in your area a cold buttermilk tomato soup http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/no-cook-tomato-buttermilk-soup
nogaga July 8, 2011
How about a tarragon chicken salad, made with cold shredded chicken breasts? This is my recreation of a legendary salda at the wonderful Black Sheep Cafe in Amherst, Massachustetts.

serves more or less 6

3 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups whole fat yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise or creme fraiche
2 celery ribs, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup shelled walnuts or hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
3 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper and cover with 1 cup of the yogurt in a snug roasting dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Whisk together remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shred cooked chicken while still warm and mix into the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

EmilyC July 8, 2011
How about a big nicoise salad platter with roasted salmon? Ina Garten has a recipe for one, or better yet, you could take inspiration from inpatskitchen's version which I've had my eye on (http://www.food52.com/recipes/11679_spring_vegetable_and_salmon_nicoise_platter).
Jenny O. July 8, 2011
Clarification: I left out that seafood is also an option.
sdebrango July 7, 2011
I feel for you I know how uncomfortable that can be, The recipe by AntoniaJames that just won the picnic contest is fantastic for a vegetarian side here is the link
http://www.food52.com/recipes/4765_haricots_verts_la_dijonnaise, you could also make a roasted chicken ahead of time and slice and have on the table there are some incredible recipes here on food52 also creamtea's wonderful Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with buttermilk dressing would be great also.
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