Summertime and the livin' is easy but damn that weather is changeable.
August 4, 2009 2:49 AM   Subscribe

Since London's fickle summer is in full swing, I need recipes for dishes that can be eaten either hot or cold.

I do all the cooking at home and have a few stock recipes which adapt well to changeable weather; in other words, dishes that can be eaten either directly out of the oven or chilled then consumed, as ambient dictates.

At times its too damn hot to eat warm food, but then its not uncommon for the evenings to get so chill we need to get warmed up a little (it went down to 9C at night a couple times last week). Trouble is, I tend to plan out the meals a week in advance and would rather not have diet and my kitchen time dictated by London's changeable weather.

So I'm looking for dishes we can eat as we like. Today, for example, I'm making baked beans for dinner which is very suitable - bake for four hours, then since its a little humid and gross, chill for later. I've also got a couple of macaroni casseroles in my repertoire but am looking for other dishes.

Veggie preferred, but if they contain meat we'd rather this was a fractional additive like the ham in baked beans.
posted by Mutant to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: my favorite is Pisto Manchego, when eating it hot at home people generally finish it off with a fried egg & fried chorizo. Cold I stick it in Pitta bread.

(I made some last week and everything came from my own garden, major success!)
posted by Wilder at 2:57 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Quiches and spanish tortillas are good for this. Delia's recipes are easily adaptable to whatever veg you have to hand. Pasta salads that do not use mayonnaise-based dressing can also be heated or served cold in most cases.
posted by Cuppatea at 3:01 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: This lamb mint salad might be worth a go. It's a bit meaty but could be tweaked.
posted by SebastianKnight at 3:05 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: I like cucumber soup:

Sauté a handful of diced celery along with a small onion. Add lots of diced cucumber. Add water (just enough to cover everything) and boil for about 15 minutes. Puree in a blender. Add cream and season to your liking. Can be eaten hot or cold. Put chopped celery leaves on top before serving.
posted by cronholio at 3:08 AM on August 4, 2009

Oh, and quesadillas.
posted by cronholio at 3:09 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Piri Piri Chicken with Jicama Orange Salad

First the Jicama Orange Salad:

Jicama is a root vegetable with a fresh, apple-like flavor and texture. It usually grows in tropical climates and looks something like a turnip. Crisp slices of jicama are delicious simply sprinkled with a little lime juice and salt, but combined with oranges, red onions, and cilantro, you have a nice fruit and vegetable salad. It's a treat for dieters as well as it's fat-free and low in calories.

2 cups diced peeled jicama
3 peeled oranges, seeds removed, cut into sections
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red inions
3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell peppers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 turns freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss until thoroughly blended. This can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Next the Piri Piri sauce:

The heat builds slowly and catches you by surprise in a very pleasant way.

1 1/2 cups olive oil
4 fresh jalapeno peppers coarsely chopped
2 fresh poblano peppers coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 turns freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Combine all the ingredients except the garlic in a saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for four minutes. Stir in the garlic, remove from heat; allow to cool to room temperature. When the mixture is cool, pour it into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 16 times. Pour the sauce through a funnel into a bottle and cover. It is better if allowed to sit refrigerated for a few days for the flavors to percolate.

Now for the Piri Piri Chicken:

The unusual, tangy heat of the Piri Piri—a Portuguese/African rendition of the creole or cajun chile pepper condiment—is offset by the cool, refreshing flavors of the salad.

1/2 cup Piri Piri sauce
3 cups Jicama orange salad
4 skinned and boneless chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons southwest seasoning

Sprinkle a tablespoon southwest seasoning on each chicken breast, coat both sides. Heat one tablespoon of the Piri Piri in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until brown, for about 3 minutes on each side, then turn again and cook until done, for a total of 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the chicken.

Heat the remaining 7 tablespoons Piri Piri in a small saucepan until hot and bubbling, about 2 minutes. To serve, place a chicken breast on each of 4 plates and top with 3/4 cup of the Jicama orange salad. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the heated Piri Piri over all.

This also makes a terrific cold, leftover dish if you made some extra.

Hat tip to Emeril Lagasse.
posted by netbros at 3:19 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Potato salad (perhaps with boiled eggs)
Pasta with roast vegetables and balsamic dressing. Add grilled marinated tofu if you like.
Fry some mixed nuts in spices (as hot as you like) and mix with brown rice cooked in stock, put cheese on top.
Most fake sausages should be edible cold.
Falafels in pitta bread with hummus or a yoghurty dressing.
Many kinds of soup would be fine cold. Potato and leek comes to mind.
posted by emilyw at 3:22 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Great question, going through the exact same thing!

Tuna pasta:
For cold weather: cook pasta, stir through tuna and cheese and seasonings, bake like a casserole.
For hot weather: cook pasta, run through cold water, stir through tuna mayo with some celery, red pepper and lettuce.

Roasted bread salad (self-link) is good for both when it's hot and cold. If it's hot weather, go outside with a cool drink while everything is roasting. When it's cold, huddle around the oven with a cup of tea.

Sandwiches - with soup when it's cold, with crisps when it's hot. Tonight I'm making ciabattas with roasted eggplant/peppers, rocket and mozzarella. With soup. Because it's raining. In AUGUST. I miss San Diego sometimes.
posted by like_neon at 4:03 AM on August 4, 2009

Spanish Omelette is the way to go. I'm having one this evening (potato and onion) and will have it cold for lunch at work tomorrow. There are many vegetarian variations.
posted by tellurian at 4:15 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Damn! Fell foul of the Americanisation - frittata is better.
posted by tellurian at 4:22 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Courgettes with vinegar and mint

Serve this startlingly good recipe, adapted from Italian food authority Marcella Hazan, as a starter with some olives and prosciutto, or as a side dish to a simple grill. The vinegar and mint really play with the courgette’s natural, buttery sweetness.

Great if you've been growing too many courgettes.
posted by laukf at 4:28 AM on August 4, 2009

Along the lines tellurian suggests, quiche.
posted by like_neon at 4:56 AM on August 4, 2009

Sorry, looking out my window here at another gloomy day, and having moved from a far hotter country I never find it too hot to eat hot food in London! :)

I am definitely a fan of toasted sandwiches (leave untoasted if you want cold) pasta salad - eg spinach and mushroom which I don't mind hot or cold. I like to eat a lot of chilli in the summer - it tricks the body into cooling down (this is how I eat in Asia too). A big bowl of pho or Laksa is just the ticket on a hot day for me.
posted by wingless_angel at 4:58 AM on August 4, 2009

I don't have the recipe at the moment, but I make an asian spicy peanut noodle dish that is supposed to be eaten cold, but I always eat it warm. So peanut or sesame noodles might be a good option.
posted by thejanna at 5:59 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ratatouille is a classic - good hot and cold, but maybe best at room temp.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:09 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Leek and potato soup (sweated leeks simmered with diced potatoes in chicken stock, then pureed) is simple and so very luscious served hot, but chill it and stir in some cream and it becomes and even more sublime Vichyssoise.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:14 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Noodles w/ peanut sauce.
posted by theora55 at 9:45 AM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: I can highly recommend this recipe for savoury bread and butter pudding. Sensational straight out of the oven hot, or room temp with a green salad.
posted by arha at 5:39 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

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