The weather has become cool enough that I have switched over to heating the house. With this change, my cooking behavior will also change. The main difference is that I will (mostly) stop using the grill outside and begin using the oven inside. Colder outdoor temperatures inhibit the efficiency of the grill, especially when relying on direct heat, and warming the house with the oven is now welcome.
Broiling: Many of the things I cook quickly on the grill, I will broil instead. I have a really great Nordicware Oven Pan, which has a non-stick cast aluminum top, that is awesome with things like boneless pork chops and salmon.
Roasting: I have been getting a little better at roasting, but I have big plans for this season. I’ve had two big problems. The first is that the cooking times in recipes are usually completely wrong, most likely because I am cooking for myself and not buying thirty pound slabs of meat. I am relying more on roasting thermometers instead. The other problem is that I have been trying to get good results with inexpensive cuts of meat. I’ve decided that life is too short for that. I’m going to be looking for butcher shops that sell “prime” grades, and I am going to be buying cuts that are ideal for roasting.
Steaks: My favorite steak to cook on the grill is strip steak. I can cook strip steak indoors, usually on a cast iron grill pan, but it’s just not as good as when I cook it on the grill. Recently, I’ve had the most luck indoors cooking tenderloin steaks, or filet mignon. I think this season, I’ll just stop buying strip steaks.
Pizza: During the summer, I cook thin-crust frozen pizza on my grill. During the colder months, I make pizza from homemade crust, baked on my Baking Steel. The cooking time for this method is short, but the baking steel wants to preheat for an hour, which necessarily warms the house quite a bit.
Baking Bread: I still haven’t managed to bake an amazing loaf of bread, but even not-so-amazing homemade bread is pretty good. This is definitely the time of year to be baking bread.
- Red Beans & Rice
- Chana Dal
- Meat loaf
Grilled Cheese: This doesn’t really heat the house, but it is definitely a comfort food during the colder seasons. Always served with tomato soup.