We love grilling in the summer. No pots and pans, no need to turn on the stove, and heat up the house, the smell of hardwood coals and hickory and mesquite. Not to mention how incredible everything tastes, from burgers and hot dogs to steaks, chicken and fresh fish. And don’t forget your veggies! Potatoes, and sweet potatoes are amazing done on the grill, as well as veggie kabobs, zucchini, corn on the cob, asparagus… and most veggies are ready in a fraction of the time. Did you know you can even grill watermelon? Try it sometime and serve the grilled slices sprinkled with feta, chopped olives and basil.
Well, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: after your mains are done, don’t let those coals go to waste. Even if you’re done with dinner for the evening, the coals will be at your service for a good hour or so. Take advantage of that time to grill stuff for a later date.
Grill it and IQF it. And when the cold winds start to blow (perish the thought!) just reach into your freezer for a quick hit of summer. Here are a few of our favourite ideas for using your beautiful coals to prep food for later usage:
Grilling sweet bell peppers is a no-brainer. We love having grilled and prepared bell peppers in the freezer, ready to pop out and make a sensational roast pepper dip or enrich a quick tomato sauce: sauté a little chopped onion in olive oil, add some tomatoes until they break down, add some sliced smoky grilled red peppers, a little garlic and basil and mix with fresh pasta. Amazing.
Grilling corn on the cob is totally quick and easy. It is one of those things you want to eat right away, for sure, but if you grill a few extra ears of corn, remove the kernels and freeze them, you will have a bag of sweet, grilled corn at the ready, perfect for a fall or winter corn chowder, or as a side dish to a pork roast. No need to oil or butter the ear of corn, just place it on the grill and let it rest for a few minutes, then rotate it as it grills to your desired level of doneness. Remove from the grill, and after it cools, just run a knife along the cob, removing the kernels. Pop them in a Ziplock et voila.
Add some to the next batch of cornbread you make the next time you make a pot of chili. Hello!
Having roasted marshmallows on hand for a quick dessert has become a summer tradition. Roast a bunch and stash them in the freezer then dish them up on ice cream for a campfire feeling when the snows of winter descend.
Grilled pineapple is reminiscent of tropical islands and is perfect as a side for fish. There is something about cooking pineapple. Its flavor becomes more complex and mellow, less sour and acidic, the juices concentrated and caramelized. If you can manage to grill some pineapple without eating all of it hot off the barbeque, IQF some to throw on a pizza, or serve beside a roast ham, or even with vanilla ice-cream. Seriously, the difference between a grilled pineapple and a raw pineapple is like the difference between a grilled steak and a raw steak.
So next time you see the embers in your barbeque glowing, let them do their thing. Root around in the fridge; you’ll find something wonderful to grill and help you fill your freezer with summer tastes to enjoy all year.