Cold Food for Hot Weather

We’re coming off of our first heat wave of the summer, four straight days of 98 degree weather which culminated in violent thunderstorms last night that finally brought some relief.

On Monday, it was so hot that I had absolutely no desire to cook anything, nor did I want to venture out into the heat to pick something up.  Whatever I made, I wanted it to be cold and really easy to make with things that I already had in my kitchen.

My solution was cold peanut noodles (you may see variations of this recipe as cold sesame noodles, but seeing as the bulk of the recipe is peanut butter…).

A quick search on the internet turns up lots of recipes for cold peanut noodles, and they all basically read the same.  Some of the recipes can get complex, but especially when I’m in a rush, I’m going for the most straightforward preparation possible.

Here’s a quick and dirty mockup, based largely on a Tyler Florence recipe that I found on Epicurious.  Feel free to adjust proportions and add items as you please.

Cold Peanut Noodles for Hot Summer Weather

3/4 lb of spaghetti

2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1/2 Cup water or stock

Protein of some sort – tofu, cooked chicken, cooked beef, really anything

Put a pot of water on to boil.

While you are waiting for your water to boil, put everything else into a small saucepan and set it over medium heat.  Whisk everything together, bring to a simmer, and turn off the heat.  Sauce is done.

Make your spaghetti.  Drain it, and run some cold water over the noodles to cool them down.  Tumble the pasta into a serving bowl and toss it with the sauce, adding your protein if you are using it.

This is good at room temperature, or even cold right out of the refrigerator.

Additional Hints:  I like to make this super spicy, which you can do by adding hot sauce, or sambal if you have it on hand.  It’s a spicy red chile mash that you can find in Chinese grocery stores, and some supermarkets.  Other neat additions would be chopped cilantro or cucumbers.