Grill it all

…sausages, beans, cabbage

What’s for dinner?

My question to myself each day.  Carol likes to cook, so she has taken over on days she doesn’t work. We reached agreement on that a few weeks ago. But the day was Wednesday and I was pondering, “What’s for dinner?”

It was a beautiful day for grilling and I had some fennel sausages from Fatted Calf. That’s a good start. But do I light up the grill just for sausages? The fridge offered cooked Mariquita pinto beans… red beans and rice would be good, but Carol is not a lover of beans. Braised cabbage also had a place on the second shelf. A nice fennel sausage nestled in a bed of braised cabbage would please Carol. Beans, rice, cabbage — that’s stovetop work; I would be back and forth between the kitchen and the grill. Of course the beans, rice and cabbage will hold, but still.


Why not do the beans and cabbage on the grill? They can sit over the gas flame – hardly different than being on the gas range – and I can turn off the center flame and grill the sausage there. Good idea.



And I can cook the rice in lots of boiling water – like pasta – on the stove while the grill is heating up. That takes about 12 minutes and the grill takes 15 to warm up. That’s a plan!

“When I’m making rice salad, a huge pot is just right. Boiled like pasta in too much water, rice gives up its starch. Drained and cooled, it drifts apart into separate grains, no clumping.”

From Pete Wells in a New York Times column on boiling

We have a rice cooker, but once I tried the boiling method, that’s my method of choice. Once cooked, I drain the rice and put the strainer in the empty rice pot with the lid on to hold.


That gives me time to sit on the back porch and contemplate the Pacific Heights skyline while the grill is going. I love that. (OK, a bit of Pacific Heights and a lot of the Alhambra roof and my neighbor’s trees.)


So everything went just right. I loved my beans and sausage and Carol loved her cabbage and sausage. We slathered the sausage with Raye’s mustard, had a bit of the tarragon potato salad on the side and that made a simple, easy, beautiful dinner.

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