The Pits

the pits

We’re coming out of another stretch of brutal heat and humidity here, made all the more enjoyable by yesterday’s torrential downpour which crippled the subway system. The only cooking I’ve done the last two days is eggs – a few hard-boiled ones on Tuesday evening to go into a smoked trout salad, and a couple of fried ones for the egg sandwiches I made to fortify us before our long, slow Wednesday morning commute. These days dinner has been all about salads – a little chopping, mixing up quick dressings, then assemble and eat, no sweltering in a hot kitchen or over a hot grill necessary.

Dinner:  August 7, 2007

Tuesday night’s salad may not be the prettiest thing to look at, but it was tasty. I combined a couple of tablespoons each of whole grain Dijon mustard, mayo, crème fraiche and Wheelhouse horseradish with salt and the juice of about half a lemon. I added about a cup each of chopped fennel bulb and red onion, four peeled and chopped hard boiled eggs, and two small filets of applewood smoked trout, broken into large-ish chunks. I served the salad on a bed of baby arugula and finished it with a sprinkling of chopped fennel fronds. The mixture of smoky trout and crunchy fennel and onion, plus the creamy dressing and the bite of mustard and horseradish, was a real winner.

Dinner:  August 8, 2007

After the morning Mike and I had yesterday, and because it was still 87 degrees come dinner hour, I decided to go even simpler than the previous night’s salad for Wednesday’s dinner. I washed and spun a mixture of lettuces, chopped up some cucumber and a couple of heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced some red onion and layered them in a big bowl. I added a handful of chopped fresh dill to that, and mixed up a batch of my basic lemon vinaigrette enriched with chunks of good feta and a little bit of buttermilk. I dressed the salad ingredients and gave everything a good toss before dividing the salad between our two plates, then I added some mixed olives and stuffed grape leaves on top of each – it couldn’t have been simpler, and it really hit the spot.

The trains and temperatures are pretty much back to normal today, so hopefully I’ll have some actual cooking to share with you soon. Stay cool, everyone!

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4 thoughts on “The Pits

  1. Isn’t it awful when the kitchen is too hot to be in there? It was like that here for weeks and weeks. It’s much cooler now, so I have been making up for lost time. Love that first picture too.

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Sara – thanks, and yes, it’s totally awful when it’s too hot to cook! We’re getting a bit of a break today – it’s only going to hit the low 70s, and I’m looking forward to making up for lost time. 🙂

  3. Who knew the rain and heat would get so bad over there? Man, the weather is insane sometimes. Cute pits picture. And that second salad looks great – I love feta cheese in just about anything.

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Hillary – seriously, this week was BRUTAL! It’s pouring again today – I hope the subways don’t flood again. I’m looking forward to getting home and cooking!

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