For the most part, life without air conditioning isn’t so bad. (Though you wouldn’t know it based on the reaction people have when you tell them your house is stuck at a permanent 85° in the summertime.) Still, when you could probably advertise your house as a bikram yoga studio, doing things like brewing beer ON THE STOVE for three hours or TURNING THE OVEN ON to bake cornbread feel absolutely insane. And sometimes you will go out of your way just to avoid creating any extra heat in the house. Like grilling your entire dinner!
We had twice baked potatoes and green beans on the menu and the thought of roasting those potatoes in a 400° oven for 45 minutes sounded HORRIBLE so I said “why not” and just tossed them on the grill. Yeah the skins got
burnt as hell a little crispy, but otherwise this was so dang easy. Just poke with a fork, toss on the grill over medium heat, flip every 15-ish minutes for an hour and bam, fully cooked sweet potatoes!
For the green beans, I decided to go the cast-iron skillet route. Mostly because we don’t own a grill basket, but partly because I felt all “home, home on the range” sautéing in a skillet over a flame. Do you think cowboys in the Wild West chopped up fresh tarragon to add to their butter-roasted green beans?? Alls I did was melt some butter and sauté the beans, then I added about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, salt and pepper, closed the lid and let that liquid cook out before turning off the heat and tossing in a couple tablespoons of tarragon. Seriously, once you add tarragon, you’ll never go back.
I ended up splitting the potatoes open and mashing butter, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, maple syrup and a generous pinch of salt together right inside the skins, then served it up al fresco. Because it’s summer and that means it’s time to eat all meals outdoors. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty impressed with myself. Especially because there was a point when I saw those charred potato skins and thought we were going to end up ordering pizza for dinner.
And the best part was that I didn’t make the house hot! Or, at least any hotter than it already was…