Home Chef Hacks: Grilling Edition
Up until recently, I didn’t have a lot of outdoor space. For years, I lived in a big city in a tiny apartment. I had an itty bitty balcony, but there wasn’t a lot of space for cooking or dining al fresco. That all changed about a year ago, and I now have a backyard that’s big enough for entertaining. I bought my first grill at the start of this summer, and to say that I am obsessed is an understatement. “Grill night” is pretty much every night, and I’ve gotten pretty creative with my meal planning to make sure I can incorporate my beloved grill as frequently as possible.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced with this must-grill-everything approach to cooking is figuring out how to balance my new grilling mania with my long-standing love of meal kits. On any given week, I usually have at least one meal kit delivered to my door.
At first, I kept my meal kit meals and my grilling meals separate, but I’ve recently gotten pretty good at choosing recipes that can be tweaked to work on the grill. I thought it might be fun to showcase what I’ve been up to!
So, first things first, I’m pretty sure that there are a ton of different meal kits that can be modified to work on the grill, but the one that’s worked best for me so far is Home Chef. Home Chef’s menu features a lot of “meat and veg” type meals, which makes it easy to throw the protein on the grill, but there are a lot of other ways to grill-ify a meal.
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Pretty much any quesadilla recipe can be thrown on the grill, and those grill marks on the tortilla? Super nom nom. All you have to do is assemble the quesadillas just as you would, and then place them on top of a hot grill. They’re done when the cheese is melty. Want protein like chicken or steak in your quesadilla? Double down by cooking that on the grill first before stuffing in into the tortilla.
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Pizzas and flatbreads are also great on the grill, and I’ve found it’s actually a way to get close to the taste of wood-fired pizza if you don’t happen to have a wood-fired oven on hand. It might take a little trial and error to get the temp just right (you need high enough heat to brown the crust and bubble the cheese, yet not so high that the bottom gets burned), but it’s totally worth the effort.
Obviously, burgers and sliders are a grill’s best friend, so any meal kit recipe that comes on a bun is fair game for grilling. Just make the patties as instructed, and cook them on the grill instead of on the stovetop. And don’t forget to toast the buns on the grill, too!
Most recently, my box from Home Chef contained Peach BBQ Chicken Breast and Crispy Broccoli and Beef Kefta Lettuce Wraps with Red Peppers and Tzatziki. According to the provided recipes, the meatballs were to be cooked in a sauté pan, and the chicken was to be baked in the oven.
But that simply wouldn’t do! After a little bit of strategizing, I came up with a plan for making them grill-friendly. The chicken was easy, I just seasoned the provided breasts and plunked them down on the grill. For the kefta, I made the meatballs as instructed and then cooked them on the grill alongside the red pepper.
My grill did not let me down, and I think both meals benefited from the technique shift. Grilled chicken is always a good time, but the slightly smoky flavor from the grill paired beautifully with Home Chef’s peach BBQ sauce recipe. The sweetness and tanginess were MADE for grilling. Even better, though, were the lettuce wraps. The crunch that developed on the outside of the ground beef took this dish to the next level, and the char on the red pepper was divine. Grilled meatball lettuce wraps are 100% going into my grilling rotation.
I chuckle that it’s taken me so long to come around to the glory that is grilling. It’s an American summertime staple, after all! I may be fashionably late to the party, but I have now arrived. And I’m so glad I can invite my favorite meal kits to join in the celebration.
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Are you also gaga for grilling? Let us know in the comments!