Cooking with Chef Lia
Written by Lia Soscia for Greenlight Long Island Magazine
The heat and humidity of a Long Island summer can definitely kill the appetite, not to mention the desire to cook a meal. However, there is hope for those, like me, who still enjoy a home cooked meal. It's called "No-cook cooking." I've discovered an abundance of recipes that do not require massive amounts of heat to complete. In fact, raw food enthusiasts and chefs alike have embraced taking the heat out of the kitchen.
Interestingly enough, there are many food choices in the no-cook category. Some in fact, were created for emergencies, when the electric goes out or if you end up entertaining on a moment,s notice. If you have a well-stocked pantry you can whip up a Tuscan Tuna Salad on Toast or an Antipasto Platter in minutes without ever turning on the oven or stove. Check out this interesting website of survival recipes: www.simplyprepared.com.
Since it is summer and the kids are around, you will also find many no-cook recipes perfect for cooking with your kids on those rainy afternoons. Let's here it for a family favorite -- Ants on a Log! Just take out some pretzel logs, spread on some peanut butter and raisins for your ants...Whala! Many of these ideas can be found at: www.familyfun.go.com.
From what I have discovered even if you decide not to use heat, you can eat truly decadent desserts or simply healthy ones. Ever make a "no-bake" cheesecake. It's pretty darn good! On a healthier note, I've read that eating raw or slightly cooked food is better for your "glowing skin" than heating the heck out it. So if you feel compelled to join the raw food movement, don't even think about putting any type of food to a flame! Here's a link to this new food craze: www.living-foods.com.
As long as the air conditioner keeps running, I can take a bit of kitchen heat. But I have to admit there are days when it's just too darn hot! At times like these, I prefer to just grab a few fresh tomatoes, cut up some fresh mozzarella and basil, mix with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a glass of wine and loaf of crusty Italian bread and you have a nice refreshing summer bistro dish.
Visit some of the weblinks below and keep the hot cooking outside on the grill. No matter what time of year, food can be prepared heat or no heat! And without the fear of getting burned, even the kids can help with a great hot-day dinner.
Lia Soscia is a personal chef and owner of Home Cooking Consultant Personal Chef Services located in Nassau County on Long Island. She has been cooking for 30 years for friends and family. Lia's Personal Chef Services include home meal preparation, cooking lessons & parties and more.
If you have questions regarding cooking without heat, please visit Chef Lia at www.ChefLia.com or write Lia@ChefLia.com. She looks forward to hearing your questions and comments. And continue to check back for more "Cooking With Chef Lia," only in Greenlight Long Island Magazine.