The days are heating up — and filling up with summer activities. Grilling out is one way to keep the indoors cool (by not turning on the oven/stove) — and save cooking time if you keep it simple. For the hottest months of the year, we suggest following the lead of cooks farther south by adding a bit of spice to your grilling.
Eating hot foods in summer may seem counterintuitive, yet spicy foods are popular in the warmest climates for several reasons. Eating them makes the body sweat, which helps you cool down faster (and for longer) than even cold foods do. Chilis grow well in hot climates, making them readily available, and spices also helped prevent food spoilage in the days before refrigeration.
The following two dishes popular in the U.S. Gulf Coast region are quick to fix on the grill and allow you to kick it up a notch in the spice department — according to your tolerance level, of course. Both recipes feed six.
—Paul Prudhomme, chef, creator of Louisiana-style blackened fish