Updated 2012-07-26 23:01:53 ID=667:1

© 2012 The Romantic Table
©2012 The Romantic Table, Grilled Skewers of Linguica, Oranges, and Vegetables. 2012-07-12 23:18:41:338
©2012 The Romantic Table

Grilled Skewers of Linguica, Oranges, and Vegetables are both fun and appetizing to make either as appetizers or a main course when it's hot and you don't want a heavy meal. Linguica is a smoke cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika. Our local California varieties can be a bit spicy.

Creative Recipes for July's Hot Weather


There's no denying it, the hot-hot summer weather is upon us! With that in mind, here are a few new recipes that will help you tolerate this hot weather, and with careful planning, will minimize your "kitchen-heat" and active time cooking and be able to serve delicious meals too!

Our first recipe, Pasta Presto From the Pantry is a recipe that I conjured up when I was looking at some of my bottled vegetables that have been staring me in the face for a couple weeks- bottled roasted red peppers and oil-cured black olives. I bought these on a whim at the grocery store. They looked good, the price was right, so I bought them with the intention of using them somehow. I knew the hot weather was going to be here in the next few weeks, so I started thinking how best I could combine these quickly with minimal cooking-time and still have a delicious entree. Aside from the short time of cooking the thin spaghetti pasta, nothing else is cooked!

©2012 The Romantic Table, Pasta Presto From the Pantry 2012-07-12 23:13:40:337
©2012 The Romantic Table

Pasta Presto From the Pantry is a recipe that I conjured up when I was looking at some of my bottled vegetables that have been staring me in the face for a couple weeks- bottled roasted red peppers and oil-cured black olives
I started by cooking some thin spaghetti. While that was cooking I added to another of my stock pots a couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and uncooked crushed garlic. I used less garlic then I would normally use because the garlic will be only lightly cooked in the process and thus much more strong. When al dente, I drained and added hot pasta to the olive oil-garlic mixture and quickly tossed well. The heat from the pasta lightly cooked the garlic and gave it a very nice flavor. I added some chopped roasted red peppers and oil-cured black olives, tossed some more, then finished with a final toss adding fresh Italian parsley and salt and pepper. What a taste sensation and oh so simple! I've found that eating simple-combination foods is a smarter meal choice to eat and digest when it's so ungodly hot! You can serve the pasta on plates -or family style, topped with shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese.

Another new recipe this month is Grilled Skewers of Linguica, Fresh Fennel, Oranges, and Vegetables. These are both fun and appetizing to make either as appetizers or a main course when it's hot and you don't want a heavy meal. Linguica is a smoke cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika. Our local California varieties can be a bit spicy. When served as the main course, I would suggest first grilling a loaf of Pugliese or other peasant bread on your grill. Serve the grilled sausage-fruit skewers with a fresh green salad, the grilled bread and of course a nice wine. If it's not too hot to cook something inside for a few minutes, try serving these skewers on a bed of Golden Orzo with Saffron. It would be out of this world delicious and make an even grander presentation!

Our last new recipe is one that you'll serve year-round, but making it during the hot summer, just requires a little planning ahead- Classic Italian-American Meatball Lasagna. Very different from its Italian cousin, this version is the Italian-American traditional favorite of anyone that loves Mama-style Italian food, and a perfect "turn-to" recipe for feeding large numbers of guests at reunions, get-togethers and even picnics! One of the best things about this recipe, it's easy to do in stages ahead of time, and can even be assembled a day in advance and then at the last minute baked. This recipe incorporates my recipe for homemade meatballs- Italian-American Meatballs-Romantic Table Style , which I make ahead of time. It also uses my recipe for Basic Marinara Sauce which can be made in advance as well. Caution! Do NOT use the "oven-ready" style lasagna noodles! The "oven-ready style" lasagna noodles do NOT have the right taste or texture for a quality lasagna! And the oven-ready type do NOT reheat well! They turn gummy! Ugh!

The lasagna is assembled by layering in a large rectangular baking dish cooked lasagna noodles, marinara, fresh ricotta cheese, a little egg, meatballs which have been lightly crushed, mozzarella and of course Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses. Served with a nice salad, some of my The Ultimate Garlic Bread and a nice Sangiovese or Chianti wine, this is a meal that ALL will enjoy! And because you make it in stages beforehand, you're not exhausted by the process and you'll be able to enjoy your get-together as much as your guests!

Our blast from the past recipe is a recipe we turn to every time this year: Fair Eggs. With County Fairs this time of summer throughout the Country--and usually it's a hot day at that!, a lot of us are turned off by the greasy and often too sweet --as well as over-priced foods at the fairs' concessions. Years ago, with all the decent restaurants in downtown Paso Robles of that era all closed for the night, we went home hungry and tired and we threw together this recipe. We love it so much, especially at Fair-time, we have it now "on purpose" --and it's so quick to make--and delicious to devour! Make it a Fair-tradition in your house!

As we get farther into summer, and the temperatures finally peak and start subsiding a bit, we still have much to look forward to and enjoy before summer starts winding-down. Here in California, we're still waiting for the good-tasting tomatoes and - if and when they show up, that will give us a reason to try a new batch of recipes we can look forward to! But in the meantime, try out this month's new recipes--and enjoy!




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A tip from Sue!

Stoves and Ovens

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to choose your major appliances, I recommend a gas stove-top and an electric oven.

A gas stove-top is much more versatile than an electric one because it has infinite heat options.

An electric oven is better than gas because it has more even temperatures for baking and heating.