Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby it's Hot Outside

Asian Coleslaw
It's hot and I don't feel like cooking. Summertime might be a city food-blogger's biggest challenge. Gone are the chilly afternoons calling for gloriously-warm baked goods and steaming pots of soup. Instead there's a muggy, sunny kitchen with no air-conditioning (on the 6th floor, I might add). In the suburbs, we would take all our cooking outside to the patio, grill meats and veggies by my family's pool, and take a refreshing dip before dessert. With its amazing and admirable qualities, New York City falls a little short in the "grill, patio and pool" category.

Catching up on the latest food news at our picnic.
I know I'm whining. I'm even starting to annoy myself. I truly have no room to complain because we had a fabulous holiday weekend filled with picnics, friends, sunshine, thrift stores and (of course) good food. Thank you to all the service men and women out there who protect our freedom on a daily basis!

Since it's too hot to cook, today's recipe is all prep and no cooking. Praise! Sunday afternoon we met with a group of friends at a nearby park to relax and play a little frisbee. It was a potluck style picnic and I wanted something quick and light so I turned to Asian Coleslaw. The slivered almonds and fresh cabbage provide a great crunch, while the vinegar and sugar pair well to make a tangy, refreshing dressing that's not heavy with mayo and can sit in the sun. (BTW Rachel Ray said that the whole "mayo-in-the-sun-salad-potentially-dangerous" idea is a myth. Call me crazy, but I'm not taking any chances.)

Asian Coleslaw
Cast of Characters: Cabbage, green onions, Ramen, almonds, sunflower seeds, vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar.
Chop about half a head of cabbage. *Girl From Scratch Modification: Original recipe says to use a bag of pre-shredded slaw mix, which is totally fine. But a head of cabbage is SO CHEAP. I recommend chopping yourself (or getting your husband-who-was-a-prep-cook-in college to do it!)
Add sugar to a bowl of vinegar and oil.
Sounds weird, but add the Ramen flavor packet to vinegar, oil and sugar mixture. Whisk.
Pour over cabbage and chill. It gets better over time.
Add almonds and sunflower seeds.
Add green onions. Use scissors to cut these, super easy!
Once you arrive at your destination and are ready to serve, add a bag of crushed Ramen noodles. Toss and enjoy! (I was on my picnic blanket here.)
No hot kitchen required!
Asian Coleslaw - Original Recipe (*Girl From Scratch version cut the dressing recipe a lot.)

3 pkg beef ramen noodles
16 oz bag of coleslaw
1 cup almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Ramen beef flavor packets
1 bunch green onions

Combine ingredients and pour over cabbage. Add noodles just before serving.

Manhattan's best kept secret Inwood Hill Park. Pictures from our picnic.

Our friends' pup Snoop.
Keeping me company on my blanket.

How were YOUR potlucks, picnics and parties? Did anyone have any memorable recipe experiences? I'd love to hear about them as I am always on the look-out for new ideas! Have a great four day week!


  1. Looks great! Made a Thai cucumber side the other night that reminds me of your dish. Cucumbers sliced thin, cut in quarter slices. Sugar. Little salt. Freshly ground pepper (I used Lemon Pepper from Findlay Market.)Using scissors, I side-cut a long and skinny Thai Red Pepper, making colorful rings of heat. Nice!

  2. Sounds divine! I will definitely try this, hopefully if I can find Thai Red Peppers at my local Dominican grocery store.