As I was testing these recipes on the grill I realized that I must have walked in and out of the house from kitchen to grill what seemed dozens of times. Out to light the grill, in to get the chicken, out to grill the chicken, in to get the cabbage … you know the drill, it’s a familiar one to anyone who grills.

The March of the Grill Master got me thinking about efficiency. Especially when the purpose of grilling outside is to keep the heat out of the kitchen and then I built up a sweat anyway.

This would be smarter, I thought, if I had a few more things to grill in preparation for future meals, and then something to smoke at the end.

So one more time into the kitchen to rifle through the refrigerator for any bits hanging around that wouldn’t last another day or two, but could be perfect for a salad, frittata or some other quick meal later in the week. The grilled cabbage slaw was one of many that made it to the grill grate.

Grilled peaches got tossed with walnuts and pecorino cheese over greens, smoked salmon made its way into a souffle with some grilled broccoli, and one lone duck breast became the basis for a risotto on a cooler night later in the week.

Next time you light the grill with a plan in mind, what else have you got in your fridge that you can add to the list?

BARBECUED CHICKEN
Brining or salting most meat ahead of time is useful to the final product. It is a little extra work, but really only in the planning, as it takes only a few minutes to put a brine together or spinkle salt.

More and more, I’m buying whole, free-range chickens which I cut into breasts, drumsticks and thighs, and then use the remaining bones for stock. 

While marinating meat can be flavorful, should the marinade have any sugar in it (including that in molasses or tomato products), it can also cause the meat to burn before it’s done on the inside. Instead, brush the meat when it’s almost finished cooking to avoid scorching.

CHICKEN:
5 pounds chicken, bone-in, cut into breasts, drumsticks and thighs

BARBECUE SAUCE:
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy
2 cloves garlic

Makes 2 cups

Combine all ingredients.

Grill chicken over a medium-hot grill until it reaches 155 degrees for breasts and 170 for legs and thighs when you insert an internal-read thermometer, about 35 to 40 minutes. Brush the sauce over one side, grill for 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and brush the other side.

Remove chicken from the grill when the thermometer reads 160 in the breasts and 175 in the legs and thighs.  Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

If you’d like the sauce to be spicy, add a jalapeno pepper to the mix. Really hot? Add the seeds too. I typically make this whole recipe and reserve some for a quick grill another time. If you’d prefer to not have any left over, then cut the recipe in half. 

Serves 4 to 6.

GRILLED CABBAGE SLAW
I thought about both ginger and garlic in this recipe, but I liked it so much without that I skipped it. Feel free to add it if you like.

2 pounds cabbage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Squirt of hot sauce like Siraccha (optional)

Cut the cabbage in wedges so that each wedge has a little bit of the core still attached. This will make it so that the cabbage doesn’t fall apart on the grill once it begins to soften.

Toss the cabbage wedges in a large bowl or platter with the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Grill on a medium to medium-high heat grill with indirect heat. (In other words, put the cabbage on the side that doesn’t have the coals under it.)

Cover and grill for 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so, until the cabbage is tender but not falling apart.
At this point, you could cool and then refrigerate the cabbage for a day or two. 

To make the slaw, cut the core off the wedges and discard. Dice the cabbage (it should make about 5 to 6 cups diced) and toss with the rest of the ingredients. 

Serves 6 to 8.

CINNAMON PECAN OATMEAL COOKIES
Perfect for a summer picnic. For larger cookies, use a No. 12 scoop or another utensil to form 2-inch balls of dough. Bake for 15 minutes instead.

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, combine butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.

Sift all dry ingredients into bowl, add the oats and pecans and mix until just incorporated.

Scoop the dough onto a baking sheet, using a No. 40 scoop or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 10 minutes or until the centers are just cooked and the edges are still lightly golden. 

 
Makes about 3 dozen.

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea,” a recipe book about her experiences cooking aboard the family’s windjammer. She can be reached at: [email protected]