Taking the Heat out of Summer Cooking…’cept the Grill

Summer cooking and grilling…

Our little cookout for National Hot Dog today is also an effort to keep the heat out of the house so I called in the handy dandy Instant pot again for 1 minute seasoned steamed green beans and then again 6-minute steamed potatoes for an Italian style potato salad, lightly dressed with EVOO and white balsamic vinegar.  I added fresh basil, oregano, and a few fresh mint leaves.  I have an old recipe for another Mediterranean potato salad that Michael loves and I pulled a few ingredients from that recipe as well, adding pitted oil-cured olives and capers, both bringing a pleasant saltiness to the salad without the addition of salt for seasoning.

So we are ready for hot dogs, brats, and freshly ground beef burger patties along with the potato salad, another garden fresh salad that my friend contributed…oops I forgot to mention the corn on the cob fabulous fresh summer corn!

1 pound whole clean yellow potatoes
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt of your choice, today pink Himalayan

Have ready the Instant Pot with trivet insert, add the water, potatoes, sprinkle salt over potatoes.
Place the lid on the pott, close valve and set time to 6-7 minutes, and when finished do a quick release.
Cool potatoes slightly and cut into chunks.

For the green beans
clean and trim the green beans, cut into about 2-inch lengths
1 tablespoon, butter
2-4 ounces of diced pancetta, lightly crisped
1/4 of a medium, diced
1 cup of chicken stock
season with seasoned salt or plain
and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes
I like a smashed and minced clove of garlic as well.

Use the steamer basket insert
Set Instant Pot with a closed valve on 1 minute of high pressure do a natural release of ten or so minutes. Serve as is or use in other recipes like my Mediterranean potato salad.

Hint making the salad include drizzles of EVOO and wine vinegar over warm potatoes, season with salt, pepper, add your favorite fresh herbs or pinches of dried.  Olive and capers are great additions along with red onion or fresh chopped chives. Small seasonal tomatoes or chunks of heirloom tomatoes are great as well…think Mediterranean ingredients and taste along the way adjust with more vinegar and oil if necessary, vague I know, but you alone can arrive at the perfect amount of dressing, I don’t like sloppy vinaigrette potato dressed salads.

Hint, buy a premade vinaigrette that works great as well.

Good company & good food made for a great National Hot Dog Day