Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Use Them While They're Hot!: Learning to Grill Ahead

Last night I sat outside at the dinner table, noshing with utter abandon on this glorious baba ghanoush made straight from the grill (thank you once again, Melissa Joulwan!), when I had an epiphany:

Use Them While They're Hot!: Learning to Grill Ahead

It's summer, it's hot, and cooking outside on the grill is really the way to go. Food magically tastes twice as good cooked over smoky charcoal. But I have to be fair to Grillmaster Reiton. Standing over 600° coals in 90° weather night after night probably isn't as much fun as sitting on the deck with a chilled glass of rosé in hand (which is what I do). Sooooo (here comes the epiphany)...

Why not grill several meals' worth of stuff all at once? Use those coals once for a week of food?

It's kind-of like that cooking fad that my mom and aunt got into about ten years ago, where you would do this huge shop and cook like a mad woman for an entire day to make meals that would last you a month.

Except I love to cook. And I love to eat fresh. And, call me impractical or inefficient or what-have-you, I don't really freeze a lot of food. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I find that the freezer changes the texture of foods in ways that I don't like, so instead I tend to grocery shop for the week.

So if I shop for the week, why not grill for the week?

For example, my dinner menus for this week call for a number of things that I could have grilled last night and then reheated or eaten cold. Here's a snapshot of my notes for dinner this week:

Planning the dinner menus for the week

(Yes, I had a dinner party Sunday!)

A more efficient grill could look something like this: before Grillmaster Reiton grilled our chicken and eggplant for last night's dinner, we could have grilled the ribs (later reheated at low heat in a foil packet in the oven), the butternut (finished cooking the mash in the oven), the steak (grilled slightly underdone and reheated it in a cast iron skillet) and the burgers (also slightly underdone and finished in a skillet).

Then Chef Reiton could also be sitting with a chilled glass of rosé, eating this silky, smoky dip with crisp, cool veggies as an appetizer, now that a decent chunk of time was added back to our summer evenings.  

Use Them While They're Hot!: Learning to Grill Ahead

I think I'll give this a go and see what we think, then I'll get back to you to let you know if it's successful.

I hope it is. I mean, really, I'd rather not be drinking alone...

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