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21 June 2011

The Lazy Cook A couple friends are swinging through town and joining me for dinner tonight. I want to make something summery and relatively affordable. Any ideas? (I'd love to troll cooking sites like I usually do but I actually have to get some work done this morning, so I'm throwing myself upon the resources of MeCha...)
I've been hearing a lot lately about watermelon-feta salads. I have yet to try one, but it sounds right up my alley.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 June | 09:33
They used to make that at a restaurant I worked in. Refreshing and odd!
posted by Miko 21 June | 09:40
I am super-lazy right now so I would probably go with a big salad with... hrrrmmmm.... feta does sound good. And maybe strawberries and avocado and some sort of nut. And then grill a little chicken for the top. Or marinated tofu? And some yummy bread.
posted by gaspode 21 June | 10:04
Hamburgers, homemade coleslaw, ice cream with fresh berries. I suggest burgers because ground chuck is cheap. I don't know if your friends eat red meat.


Tacos. Particularly these recipes. Forgive me for linking to Gwyneth Paltrow. I know she gets a lot of hate but this spread is perfect for summertime. 2 pounds of shrimp isn't cheap though.
posted by LoriFLA 21 June | 10:28
Pasta primavera.
posted by Splunge 21 June | 10:39
If you have a grill, go for some grilled chicken breasts or flank steak (if you have time to marinade the latter), some grilled corn, and a tomato salad. Nothing says summer like that combo does to me!
posted by Stewriffic 21 June | 11:21
Pesto, salad and grilled corn. Baguette, some cheese and berries for dessert.
posted by mygothlaundry 21 June | 11:44
My recipe for larp (Thai ground pork salad) sounds way more complicated than it is, but it's pretty awesome.

The other thing is that you can make a huge batch of the flavoring paste and then freeze it, so all you have to do next time is pull out a little packet and dump it in.

Serve with rice, quartered limes (for squeezing) and maybe some cucumber slices, marinated in vinegar or not. Oh, and a nice cocktail of some sort.

Most larger grocery stores have these tubes of lemongrass/garlic/ginger paste by the herb section. The garlic roasting isn't really a big deal, but the lemongrass is a pain and a half, so GET THEM. I use maybe a fat tablespoon per "stalk" in the recipe.

If you're out of chili flakes, shake the hell out of your favorite red hot sauce in there.

For herbs, get two small plastic containers of mint and one bunch of cilantro, then (after you've taken the leaves off) just wash and chop them together.

Flavoring paste:

6-10 cloves unpeeled garlic (roast them in a dry skillet until the skins blacken, then cool and peel)
3 stalks lemongrass, minced (use 2-3 inches of the inner, most tender portion)
2 TB minced fresh gingerroot
1 TB red pepper flakes OR 2 teaspoons ground red dried Thai chiles*
1 TB roasted white sesame seeds
1 t. salt

Meat mixture:

Peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup each chopped fresh mint and cilantro, divided

Puree roasted garlic, minced lemongrass, gingerroot, pepper flakes or chiles, sesame seeds and salt in a food processor (or, if you use the pastes, just smush them together). Heat enough oil to cover bottom of skillet. Add onions and cook until slightly browned. Stir in paste. Now add the pork. Brown lightly, breaking it up. Add green onions and half the herbs. Serve larp sprinkled with remaining fresh herbs.
posted by Madamina 21 June | 12:03
(PS: you can also make it with ground chicken, and the sesame seeds don't really matter.)
posted by Madamina 21 June | 12:04
Combine a pile of cubed tomatoes, minced fresh basil, cut up brie. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, drizzle on some olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss, chill.
posted by plinth 21 June | 15:19
101 Simple Salads

I'm going to try as many of these as I can this summer. All I want is cold stuff.
posted by JoanArkham 21 June | 15:30
My go-to summer dish - Greek salad
good red tomatoes, sliced as desired
feta, sliced or in chunks
red onion, sliced
kalamata or other good greek black olives
sliced cucumber (I peel it in stripes)
sprinkle w/ oregano and/or rosemary and/or thyme and/or fresh basil
good bread
olive oil, maybe some balsamic vinegar

serve composed - slice of feta, onion, cucmbers, tomatoes, olives, drizzle w/oil, bread on the side.


bed of romaine lettuce, tossed w/feta, onion, cucmbers, tomatoes, olives, oil & vinegar.

Use bread to sop up lovely tomato juices combined w/ other flavors. We ate this every day in Greece, back some years ago. Every time I have it, I have nice memories.

Dessert is good Greek yogurt, topped with honey.

Miko, what did you end up making?
posted by theora55 21 June | 16:42
Yes please, Miko. A denouement is called for.
posted by Splunge 21 June | 17:58
Just went with grilled burgers, corn, and marinated cucumbers and tomatoes.
posted by Miko 23 June | 07:59
A very good interview || This is the MeTa Book Club Discussion of Housekeeping