Heat waves are awesome, aren’t they? They sap your energy completely, make venturing outside after 8AM and before 8PM a dangerous proposition, and–if you’re anything like me–a big ol’ sweaty mess. I literally walked across the river from my office to go to the farmers market on Thursday at lunch (at most six-tenths of a mile) and came back drenched. And very flushed (from exertion, not from sun thankfully). The trains didn’t fare much better–Friday afternoon three (!) trains coming from New Haven got tangled up in wires because of the heat, so I had to drive myself home because they suspended service around 5:00.
At least I wasn’t one of the poor people who were trapped on those trains.
So the weekend left us both a little sapped of energy. Like we had just enough to squeeze in trips to Fairway and workouts and that was it. It felt like the hardest thing in the world to decide what to make for dinner since nothing looked particularly good because my cravings ran away and hid from the heat. But Michael found a recipe in a tapas cookbook I bought at an A.C. Moore years ago (yeah, that makes no sense to me either), and then I had five books on the couch next to me, determined to figure out the rest of the menu. Finding a simple chicken wing recipe in The Book of Tapas and an even simpler mango gazpacho in Viva la Vida provided enough food to eat, but not so much to feel overly stuffed.
What was really great about this menu was how little we had to actually get for it; in fact, the mango gazpacho (originally with peach, but changed to pluot when the peaches I got were inedible, mealy messes) required the most shopping. It also took the least time to assemble: slice and dice a mango (with no skin), and then slice and dice a pluot and add to a bowl with mango nectar, a chiffonade of mint leaves, a hint of rice vinegar, and a solid cup of dry white wine.
Why yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. And hopefully looks.
The fish and chicken too a little more effort, but only moderately so–the chicken wings were a simple combination of lemon, garlic, white wine, olive oil, and parsley. The mojo for the salmon was garlic, olive oil, cumin and pimenton de la vera, and the salmon was simply gently browned on all sides and doused in the stuff.
For a meal in the midst of a heatwave, it worked out rather well. Even clean-up required minimal effort by yours truly.
adapted from Viva la Vida
Serves 4, if you can exert portion control
- 1 mango, sliced and diced with skin removed
- 1 pluot, skin left on and diced well
- 2 cups mango nectar
- 1 cup white wine–I like a nice Spanish dry white
- 10 mint leaves, chiffonade
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 lb fresh salmon (we used some of the Copper River Sockeye that was sent to us)
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp pimenton de la vera
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 5 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and ground pepper