Extreme Heat = Easy outdoor cooking

The weather here has been up and down like a yo-yo this year, and at present we are in an extreme heat alert.  Unfortunately, the heat does not have any effect on my appetite.  So, here is where I am torn.  I do hate turning on the oven or standing over the stove when it is 30+ degrees out.  Even with AC, I just can’t do it – it feel like bizzaro world.  Plus, who wants to spend time cooking when the weather is begging you to go out and enjoy yourself!  So, since we are in the thrust of this heat alert, I thought I’d share a little diary of how I’m satisfying my appetite and feeding my family all while staying cool and enjoying this fantastic string of weather!  A little forewarning – there will be HIGH BBQ use.  I cooked through an entire kitchen reno (3 long months) on the BBQ and that experience taught me that there is nothing that cannot be made on The Que!   Unfortunately, I didn’t start writing this till Wednesday – so there’s a catch up.

Sunday – the first day of this “heat wave.”   I spend the majority of the day gardening, mixed in with spurts playing with the family.  A sunny Sunday before the summer kick-off holiday Monday – must BBQ, but no time to prep anything since I’m committed to the garden.  Fortunately, I remembered that I made home-made beef burgers and froze them.  Perfect.  Throw them on the bbq (from frozen) at 5:30, throw on some cheese and toss a pre-washed salad mix (pc organic greens).  Throw down some Humus from earlier in the week with veggies and pita wedges and  dinner is on the table by 6pm, by 6:30pm we’re done. 

Monday – It’s the holiday Monday, and I’m again working in the gardens and weeding the insane lawn.  This no-pesticide by-law is killing my back.  I knew I’d be working all day and I knew it would be hot, so I took out a Sirloin roast from the freezer first thing in the morning that I plan on roasting on the grill.  I prepare a rub for the roast at lunch while re-heating lunch (the rub is just chopped garlic, rosemary, salt pepper and Dijon mustard) and let the roast marinade till 5pm.  While the kids and husband eat lunch, I wash and cube potatoes and slice onions (takes less than 5 min), throw in some pre-washed baby carrots and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Wrap in alumanin foil packets and they’re ready to go for dinner time.  At 5pm I put the roast on the pre-heated grill and  sear all sides, than I move it to one side of the grill (where the heat is turned off), turn the eat on the other burgers to low and I let everything roast at around 325 for 1 hr 20 min or so.  I sliced the roast. Threw the veggies in a bowl and served with fresh bread.  The best part – zero clean-up.  After I throw the alumanin packets in the trash there is just our plates from dinner!  2nd best part – there’s enough roast left over for dinner tomorrow!

Tuesday – This was my Leftover makeover night!  I wrapped the leftover un-sliced roast in aluminum foil after Monday’s dinner, so I just had to throw the roast on the top rack on the bbq (for about 15 min), than I cut up some red and orange peppers and onions, tossed with olive oil, salt, cumin and smoked paprika and grilled them for about 5 – 7 min.  Took the warmed-up roast, and sliced it and mixed the meat with the grilled veggies.   Served the grilled meat and veggies on Pita’s  topped with sour cream with a salad on the side.   Quick, easy, no clean-up – lovely.  Next time I’ll think ahead and grill up extra  peppers and onions while I do the roast and make life easier.

Wednesday – This brings me to real-time – Went to the freezer today with intentions of making bbq chicken and grilled asparagus – I got nothing.  This never happens.  My freezer could take me through a whole summer it usually has so much meat an ice cream in it.  I guess this is a sign – time to get that organic cow… Anyway, I did find a bag of frozen shrimp.  It’ll do – Not worth dragging cranky kids to the grocery store – so grilled shrimp it is.  I defrost and put them on skewers (fortunately they were pre-peeled shrimp so this step took all of 5 min), marinade with garlic, olive oil and chili powder.  Grilled it up in about 7 min, and serve with a salad and fresh crusty bread.  This easy dish got thumbs up from the entire crowd – not an easy feat in this house!

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