Labor Day Cookout: 4 Easy Meals on the Grill
Easy Days at the Labor Day Cookout
The last long weekend of summer always comes too soon. As the dog days of summer wane and days grow shorter, Labor Day stands as a reminder to make the most of warm weather while it lasts. On the other hand, to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers on the holiday weekend, what you really want is… as little work as possible.
To make the most out a Labor Day cookout, consider the versatility of a grill. With the help of a few essential accessories, a grill top can transform to suit virtually any type of food, from the greasiest bacon to the most delicate fish and vegetables, while keeping the chef and their company outdoors for the day. To make the most out of this outdoor appliance, we have constructed a menu that will allow you to highlight a broader assortment of dishes than ever before, from sun up to sun down.
The goal is to keep the prep work light, the cook time quick, the number of dishes minimal, and the flavors explosive and diverse. Recipes are adaptable to a vegetarian friendly style.
Here’s a plan to keep the kitchen outdoors and low-effort this year.
Morning at the griddle:
Did you know there’s a simple way to convert your grill into a griddle for an easy breakfast? Simply line the grill with PTFE sheets, and turn the heat to medium-high. You’ll start with your protein, layering bacon or sausage patties. Next, prepare your pancake batter, favoring the middle of the sheet in case there’s any dribbling or running. Finish up the arrangement with eggs To make a breakfast sandwich, and add your bread of choice (English muffins shine here) and let crisp to golden brown.
To really kick your breakfast sandwich to the next level, try Bon Appetit’s recipe for homemade chimichurri.
For lunch, black bean elote tacos:
Make a black bean elote relish by tossing the following ingredients:
- 2 cups corn kernels (frozen or fresh both work here)
- 1 can of black beans (drained)
- Kosher salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Chili powder to desired heat level
Toss ingredients to evenly coat, and pour mixture into a solid PTFE basket. Grill on medium for 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese for an elote finish. Turn off the grill and leave the lid open so it begins to cool.
Finally, heat a couple tortillas on a grill sheet for 30 seconds, and load with the relish for killer veggie tacos.
Time to step away for an afternoon siesta.
Come dinnertime, try a deconstructed kabob:
The possibilities here are endless. Load up a mesh topper or pocket with onions, sirloin, shrimp, mushrooms, pineapple, and bell peppers, or virtually any other kitchen mainstays (this is a template, not a roadmap after all). For a veggie variation, try cauliflower and portobellos, which will each take on barbecue flavor nicely. Marinating the portobello in a soy sauce and garlic for 15 minutes beforehand will infuse the cap with moisture and emulate the texture of a medium rare steak.
For a quick marinade that doesn’t need to be prepped ahead, try Creme de la Crumb’s Garlic Butter Surf and Turf Kabobs seasoning.
For dessert, end on a simple high note—grilled peaches with vanilla bean ice cream:
Simply halve peaches, remove pits, and place them on the grill sheets, flesh side down on a PTFE sheet to score it with grill marks. Allow to grill for 5 minutes, or until you can smell the tangy fruit. Remove from grill, allow to cool for another 5 minutes, and dollop with ice cream. End your day at the grill with one of the most outrageously simple, healthy, and remarkably tasty desserts you’ll ever have.
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