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

By Julia Dowling Rutland
May 31, 2005
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Jean Allsopp

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

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

• Start with quality. Freezing never improves marginallyfresh foods.

• Cook seafood thoroughly before storing in yourrefrigerator or freezer. You'll be adding it directly to the otheringredients, so it needs to be done―but don't get carriedaway. Overcooked fish will fall apart when thawed, and shellfishwill feel rubbery.

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

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

Beat the heat when cooking for friends by choosing recipes thatfeature limited stove time or precooked ingredients. Try ourdelicious suggestions below and keep kitchen time quick andcool.