Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's 93 Degrees. What to Eat?

After a cool and rainy spring, things turned suddenly melt-your-eyeballs hot with breath stifling humidity Friday and Saturday. The meat thermometer in my pocket was reading 120+ in the kitchen during Friday night dinner service, a nearly nauseating experience. This happens every year, but just for a short period in late July to mid August, not the first of June, for goodness sake (with apologies to the Bard for omitting the apostrophe after goodness).

The first thing I did Saturday morning was make four gallons of gazpacho, figuring that when it's hot as blazes, a cold bowl of gazpacho is just the ticket. But I also did something entirely crazy: I made big pot of Venison Stroganoff.

Why? Because I had a bunch of venison in the cooler that I needed to cook. My game broker knows I am a sucker for off cuts of meat and he sent me a box of vension on the cheap, just to gauge my reaction to it, to see if he should bring it on and sell to other chefs.

To be fair, when I bought the venison, it was cool and rainy and I had no idea the weather would turn so dramatically horrible. Anyway, the deed was done Saturday morning and I ended with a vast pot of silky braised venison and fresh porcini mushrooms just waiting to be finished at service with sour cream and pappardelle.

Before dinner service at our staff meeting, I was joking with the servers about the Stroganoff. We were all joking that if it were a snowy day in January, the dish would sell like hotcakes. And we all agreed that I was crazy to put it on the menu because there was no way in hell that it would sell, no matter how good it might be (and it was excellent).

Dinner started early and I noticed each ticket had a venison on it, and then dinner became a full on rush for ninety minutes and the venison orders starting stacking up, far outselling every other dish.

So, question for you. It's 93 degrees and 95% humidity. What are you going to eat for dinner?

Go figure.


  1. I think a locally grown whole pastured chicken rotisserie'd over my Weber grill would be an excellent choice for 93 degF weather!

  2. Are you serious? You want to stand anywhere near a Weber in this heat?? ;) That sounds like what I do in the kitchen every night. And, wouldn't you know that we have locally grown pastured chicken on the menu this very night.

    My choice would be some very spicy Yum Talay (Thai Seafood Salad) with lots of cold Singha to wash it down.

  3. Cold cantaloupe melon soup or cold honeydew/cucumber soup with proscuitto and thin breadsticks and a nice garden salad, cheese and a chilled white wine.