Keeping Your Cool

Take a break from a hot kitchen with no-cook seafood.

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Shrimp Salad with Raspberries

Jean Allsopp

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If all you want to do this summer is chill out, then heating up your stove to make dinner isn't going to help. To keep the sweltering temperatures outside, consider no-cook seafood dishes. The bonus? Quick and easy preparation.

For a variation, substitute leftover seafood. Salmon or scallops are good types to try in these dishes. When cooking and freezing fish and shellfish for later use, remember these tips.

• Start with quality. Freezing never improves marginally fresh foods.

• Cook seafood thoroughly before storing in your refrigerator or freezer. You'll be adding it directly to the other ingredients, so it needs to be done―but don't get carried away. Overcooked fish will fall apart when thawed, and shellfish will feel rubbery.

• Chill quickly. Rinse shrimp and crab with cool water after cooking, then top with ice. If desired, peel and devein the shrimp and dress the crab. Drain well, then freeze in heavy-duty zip-top bags. Air causes freezer burn, so press the bag to remove air pockets, or use a vacuum sealer.

• Thaw seafood overnight in the refrigerator for best results. If short on time, place it in a bowl of cool water for about 30 minutes.

Beat the heat when cooking for friends by choosing recipes that feature limited stove time or precooked ingredients. Try our delicious suggestions below and keep kitchen time quick and cool.

 Appetizers 
 Caribbean Guacamole 
 Cool Caviar Dip 
 Iced Almonds 
 Oysters with Mignonette Ice 
 Crab-and-Shrimp Gazpacho

 Soups 
 Cool as a Cucumber Soup with Shrimp 
 Chilled Roasted Pepper-Mango Soup 
 Cold Avocado Soup

 Beverages 
 Cocktails 
 Cran-Raspberry Spritzer 
 Patio Daddy-O Planter's Punch 
 Sauvignon Blanc Peach Sangria 
 Ultimate Rum Punch 
 Watermelon Daiquiri Slush

 Non-Alcoholic 
 Watermelon Aqua 
 Hibiscus Tea Punch 
 Sailboat Lemonade 
 Berry Refresher

 Salads 
 Summer Salad 
 Chilled Lobster and Asparagus with Shallot-Tarragon Vinaigrette 
 Grilled Shrimp-Watermelon Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing 
 Iced Scallop Salad

 Main 
 Barbecued Shrimp 
 Chilled Cracked Dungeness Crab with Sea Salt Butter and Ginger Mayonnaise 
 Grilled Lobster Kabobs 
 Veggie Wraps

 Dessert 
 Baby Pineapples Filled with Pineapple Sherbet 
 Coffee Can Ice Cream 
 Frozen Strawberry Shortcake 
 Chilled Georgia Peach Soup with Raspberry Cream

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