Chilled-Out Takes on Comfort Food Favorites
If you've been on a hiatus from some of your piping-hot comfort food favorites as the weather's been heating up, rest assured that you don't have to wait till fall to dig in. Luckily, some of our most-beloved hot dishes have ice-cold alter egos that are well worth your time this summer. Zero in on dishes that are typically hot, hot hot, but this time take them chilled out.
As it turns out, gazpacho isn't the only cold-soup wonder. Giada's De Laurentiis' Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup has all the same ingredients as a steaming bowl of tomato soup (canned tomatoes, chicken broth, etc.) without the high temp. It may not be the best for dunking toasty grilled cheese, but it's a bright and refreshing dish on a scorching day, for sure.
Your usual bowl of oatmeal may typically be steaming hot, but that doesn't mean it's the only way you should take it. Enter Overnight Oatmeal, a no-cook alternative to your usual piping-hot breakfast. Instead of standing over a stove or zapping in the microwave, soak old-fashioned rolled oats in nonfat milk with blueberries, brown sugar and more, shake it up and let it all sit overnight in the refrigerator. Come morning, you'll have a thick, made-ahead oatmeal that can be enjoyed ice cold.
Unlike mayo-based pasta salads, Ina Garten's cold Tomato Feta Pasta Salad is not so far removed from its hot, spaghetti-and-meatball-esque relatives. Instead of going the creamy route, blend up sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers, red wine vinegar and more in a food processor for the sauce of this most-picnic-ready meal, best topped with grated Parmesan.
A pan of brownies, hot and fresh outta the oven, isn't something we would typically suggest tinkering with. But Giada turns it into a best-of-both-worlds dessert: Frozen Brownie Sundaes. Cover a pan of fresh-baked brownies with ice cream and chocolate before freezing, then drizzle with sweet strawberry sauce.