Quoted from ABJoeJJ,
As I understand the question, you are asking how to eat cold, foods that are commonly eaten hot.
First, as long as a food is fresh and cared for properly, it doesn't matter whether it is eaten cold or hot. I've made a beef roast, cooled it properly and sliced it, and eaten it cold or reheated... You can do the same with chicken or turkey. We quite often cook a whole turkey(sometimes on the grill) and eat it cold from the refrigerator for a week or so...
Yes, potato salad is cooked potato and egg, usually with some mayonnaise and spices mixed in... You can find recipes for vegetable or bean salads that are served cold. You can modify them to not use vinegar, or change the spicing all together to match your tastes...
What is cooled properly? As I understand it, meat should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. However, does that mean once the meat reaches room temp?
Absolutely not. We often cook a big pot of rice or quinoa, eat what we want for the immediate meal, then cool the remainder and use it in another dish, cold or hot. Fried rice almost demands that the rice be cooled prior to "frying"... Again, we cook it, eat what we want for the meal, then put it away and use it later, usually within several days, but I just found a bowl of rice that was two weeks or more old, but had been pushed to the rear of the frig. It was still good, so I through it into a soup I was making... If there was any small portion of bug growing in it, it was dead after it got cooked again.And what about eating grains cold? I've heard of people eating rice in their salad. Or quinoa that has been chilled. Is there anything wrong with this?
You are right about the veggies being the most robust. An acidic dressing usually keeps any bacteria at a minimum for a long time.And I'm assuming cooked veggies are probably the safest out of all of the foods to eat after being chilled, no? I mean fruits have sugars, which could go bad possibly? But I would imagine even cooked fruits are OK. People leave pies out of the refrigerator for a couple of days, right? Is that ok?
It's funny, because when I go to the few restaurants we frequent, I totally am relaxed about it all because it's like out of sight, out of mind and I know that they must follow some sort of sanitary measures.
Quoted from ABJoe
Usually, it is best for the frig. and the meat to allow the meat to cool to room temp prior to putting it in the frig. This will take longer with larger cuts of meat.