Saturday, May 31, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Part 1: Planning the Meals

Hi, Grill enthusiasts! Memorial Day weekend was a big cooking weekend for me. I had decided to cook chicken and beef fajitas for Saturday night, Ribeye and New York Strip steaks for Sunday night and brisket for Monday.
I took some pictures of the meals and I hope to get those up quickly.
One of the things I have to say about a long weekend is that if you plan everything carefully, you should be able to make it through the weekend with a lot of leftovers for the following days. Considering I work, cooking is the last thing you want to do. So, I try to cook big batches of food during the weekend and use them throughout the week.
Take it from me. Planning a menu works very well if you follow these steps.

1. Check the weather closely. If you are cooking indoors, that should be a problem. If you are grilling, smoking or barbequing, you need to be aware of the weather.
2. Use the local grocery ads. With holiday weekends, you can take advantage of the sales.
3. If you cook outdoors, make sure you have enough propane, charcoal or wood to do your cooking. Nothing ruins a cookout more than running out of fuel. I have never done that, but I have had friends whom have had that happen. Not a pretty sight.
4. Create your menu. Figure out your entree and sidedishes and prepare a grocery list.
5. Take advantage of items in season. Buying things out of season is going to be costly.

I use a vacuum sealer to extend the life of my leftovers and try to make sure that my menu for the rest of the week can use the items I have already cooked. Planning is key.
In the next couple of blog entries, I will be discussing the fajitas, steaks and brisket. Stay tuned for the entries.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cooking Frozen Burgers

Yes, you read it right. Frozen burgers. Normally, I don't grill frozen burgers. However, they are convenient for weeknight dinners. If you know what you are doing, you can turn these frozen pucks into wonderful burgers for the whole family.
With the price of fooding going up almost on a daily basis, you have to stretch your food dollars. So, I buy frozen burgers in bulk.
When I'm ready to cook, I take the frozen burgers out of the freezer and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil and turn up the edges a bit. You ask why. Well, I'll tell you. You take the burgers and the foil out to the grill. I put the aluminum foil on the warming racking of the grill and then put the burgers on it. That's right. Oil up your grill grate and you are ready to put the spurs to the grill. I set the burners to medium so it begins to warm up. The heat will warm up the burgers and thaw them out. After about 15 minutes, the grill is ready and the burgers have thawed out and you are ready.
Turn up the burners to high. Then, start taking the burgers off of the warming rack and season them. Start cooking!