While you’re preparing tonight’s meal outdoors, plan ahead and cook ingredients you’ll need later in the week.
As is true for most families, there’s one person in my house who, on average, is responsible for 90 percent of the cooking and it probably won’t be a surprise to hear it’s me. While I have a wonderful husband, who is always ready to be my sous chef, slicing and dicing whatever ingredients need to be prepped on a moment’s notice, I’m the one who is typically responsible for the planning, buying and bulk of the cooking.
Clearly it’s not always the mom in the house who does kitchen duty — I hear from many dads who head up the stove, too. But when grilling season comes around, it’s a great opportunity to redistribute responsibilities. After all, one person can’t be inside cooking and outside grilling at the same time.
This redistribution usually means fewer dishes, less stress and delicious food for the entire family. And my husband enjoys practicing his craft at the grill.
He insists on charcoal when grilling. The process of building the fire seems to be half the fun for him.
But because it does take a bit more time, when the flames are being stoked, I’m in the kitchen looking for things he can grill that we can use throughout the week.
Leftover grilled vegetables, proteins and even fruits can all come in handy on a weeknight when time is of the essence and a quick, easy dinner is a must. Sandwiches, pasta sauces, omelets and salsas are all made better when embellished with leftovers from the grill.
One of my family’s go-to summer meals is Cowboy Steak Salad With Creamy Salsa Dressing. It’s satisfying, but not too heavy, and if the chile- and coffee-spiced flank steak has already been grilled, it takes two seconds to put together. Although the coffee flavor is mild, it seems to bring out more of the beefiness in this lean cut of meat. The dressing, which can be made with your favorite store-bought salsa, is creamy and light and a snap to whisk together.
Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of “Everyday to Entertaining” and “The Big Book of Appetizers.” Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.