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Grilling...serving dilemma

DH decided he wanted to do a family get together, we'll have around 10 people. Great, I figured, throw chicken kebobs and London broil on the grill, make some salads, done. However, he informed me that he has no desire to be cooking while the guests are over. His solution was to cook the stuff in the morning and reheat. Obviously, he's oblivious to the fact that reheating something grilled which has been in the fridge a couple of hours is not a good thing.
Plan B...I'm thinking I can still do the chicken kebabs if they are on skewers with veg to keep them moist and reheat (covered, sprinkle some broth to moisten) in the oven.
Grilled flank steak...what do you think about serving it room temp with chimichurri and/or salsa? I'd keep it whole after grilling, refrig, and slice before serving.
I just really didn't want to have all "cold" foods for dinner.

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  1. I'd say you're on the right track with serving at room temp. Might want to consider skirt steak, easy to cook and very tasty.

    1. he has an interesting perspective on grilling. :)

      as you say, the flank steak is fine at room temp.

      instead of kebabs, perhaps something more like satay? you can cook them and store them, then reheat with a lot of flavorful sauce in the oven. but, frankly? these cook so quickly you may as well just cook them at the last minute.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I agree with cooking at the last minute. Shortly before the guests arrive, cook the flank steak and kabobs (or satay) and let them rest on platters under foil. They will be moist and fine at a warmish-room temp.

        Personally, I would not cook much earlier and put in the refrigerator.

      2. To us, half the fun of having people around this time of year is the lingering around the grill with glasses of wine. It's not like you're planning on cooking whole chickens, your kebabs and beef won't take long at all.

        1. Are YOU willing to be grill-master for the event? He's right that it's not fun for him to be grilling (getting smoked, worrying about timing, needing to clean grates / handle hot coals afterwards, worrying about any small children and hot grill) when it's his family that's there and he wants to be enjoying conversations with them.

          Warming already grilled meats is perfectly fine, both for safety and quality, if you have some sauces/marinades to help keep them moist.

          1. Flank steak also makes a nice dinner salad with apples and Bleu cheese.

            1. Change the menu to avoid grilling. Or do the grilling yourself.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mwhitmore

                this circles back to his contention (a frequent disagreement we have when entertaining) that we should be able to have people over without anyone spending time in the kitchen. I like making everything fresh. So perhaps I can come up with some hybrid/compromise like cooking the steak an hour before to give him time to clean up and I'll cook the chicken kebobs at dinner time.
                Frankly, I'm starting to think pizza delivery is the only thing that meets the criteria!

                1. re: BeeZee

                  spending lots of time in the kitchen while you have guests can be a drag, so to an extent he has a point. as do you with wanting to serve hot fresh food. :) but making a power struggle out of it will end badly.

                  there are all sorts of foods that can be made the day before and simply re-heated or are wonderful served room temp. look for recipes/dishes that come from hot climates, like the mediterranean, africa and the middle-east. much of their year it's too hot to be cooking mid-day, or even evening-time, and a/c is not as ubiquitous. the foods tend to be light, but bursting with flavor from fresh herbs and citrus.

              2. Your solution is best - Satay, London broil cooks very fast and there's no reason to do it before - INHMO. However, if you're doing grilled veggies with the London Broil - I would cook the veggies first on separate skews and do the meat last second. you can rewarm the veg if you want while the meat is cooking.

                If I were you - I would just assign him his duties and tell him you'll handle the grill and that you'll start at x time and be done at y' . Of course this requires lots of prep, but if the focus and goal is spending time with the fam then it's worth it.

                Even if it's an informal family gathering you still want to do it right.

                4 Replies
                1. re: sparky403

                  I'd like to emphasize your point about cooking the skewered meat and vegetables on different skewers. The meat takes FAR less time. FAR.

                  1. re: sparky403

                    Butterflied leg of lamb takes 30 minutes with minimal tending. I think the poor dear can handle it :) Many versions. Here's one I googled. Seasonings can be whatever you prefer.


                    1. re: c oliver

                      I think you missed the point, c oliver. DH does NOT want to be grilling while guests are there. In a respectful relationship, the feelings of both parties are honored.

                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        Therefore DH should plan the menu since he seems to have more restrictions than she.

                  2. I like grilled chicken breasts at room temp or even cold, better than I like grilled beef that way......But maybe that's just me.

                    Or you can grill fish, that doesn't take as much time on the grill as meats do.

                    Larger cuts of meat, like a tri tip roast, are very simple and require very little hands on time at the grill. Sear them, then cover and let bake on the grill for about 45 mins. Done.

                    1. How about grilling flank steak to rare and then reheating quickly in oven to medium rare. I just made the steak where you rest it in a marinade and it was delicious. It was from the question 'do you marinate your steak'.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Gloriaa

                        This is how a restaurant or caterer would prepare and serve....a very fine suggestion for thin cuts of beef which needs to be sliced for presentation or serving.

                      2. I'd either choose a different dish or grill directly before guests are scheduled to arrive and serve at room temp or split the difference and have some grilled/some non-grilled or start the grilling before arrive but complete while there.

                        1. Assuming there is a little room for compromise, how about whole chicken(s). I like to cook them indirect when I'm doing them on the grill. You can start them before the Guests arrive, and they will need little or no attention until you pull them off.

                          1. If you'd consider baby back ribs, they do very well when cooked until tender a day ahead of time, then glazed and heated on the grill briefly.

                            Put the ribs in a baking dish and add a dry rub. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Add 1/2 c. water, and put in a 300F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Pull from oven, let cool, and return to fridge.

                            Pull from fridge about an hour before tossing them on the grill. Put on grill, baste with BBQ sauce, and cover for 20 minutes. It's an impressive dish that looks and tastes like you spent hours on it.

                            It's best if you make your own dry rub and BBQ sauce, but you can use commercial versions.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: JonParker

                              I was going to suggest that too. Every year we host a July 4th party and I make the ribs in the oven the day before. I even reheat them in the oven on a low temp while guests are arriving and having snacks and then we just finish them off on the grill to crisp them up. Works beautifully and it only requires about 10-15 minutes of grill time in total.

                              1. re: valerie

                                I did mine with a blue cheese cole slaw and a pasta salad, both made the day before. There was almost no time or labor involved on the day of our get together -- we spent it all with our guests.

                            2. How about grilling earlier, then wrapping in foil, and then some heavy towels or a blanket, and the put into an empty cooler. Should keep it warm for a while...

                              1. "it all depends..." as in, how much grill space do you have? Can you fit enough food on the grill for everyone, in one go?
                                When I am making kebobs for a large group (i.e. 20+), I cook the cubed meat ahead of time (rare/med-rare), chill, thread on skewers, and then finish on the grill. In that scenario, the meat is cooked the day before.
                                I've also reheated items on the grill, in the same way I'd use an oven... covered and wrapped in foil. Keeps the kitchen cool :)

                                1. SIL does something interesting with flank stak or London Broil. She slices thin when raw and then into marinade. She gets grill screaming hot and lays out strips of meat. By the time they're all on, she turns once. By time all turned, they're ready to come off.

                                  I'd probably go with some kinda meat on a stick. I'd throw on hot grill about time guest were due to arrive. Once they got a little color, would turn one side OFF and set other side as low as it would go. Food on off side would continue cooking slowly and probably not be seriously over-cooked.

                                  1. I've made my peace with this thing. Especially since the weather heading into next week (the dinner is next weekend) is looking hot and thunderstormy...
                                    Likely to make chicken sate and some kind of cold shrimp thing like a cooked "seviche" type of preparation. I can get the chicken cooked quickly and serve warmish. If weather turns bad, I can deal with in indoors.
                                    As has been debated, DH and I have differing opinions of how to deal with dinner guests, but it's easy for me to compromise since I'm that kind of gal ;-)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BeeZee

                                      I love fine cooking's roasted shrimp cocktail. You can always serve them without the sauce, just cold garlicky roasted shrimp. You must use big shrimp, very delicious!

                                    2. He can mark it/sear it on the grill shortly before the guests arrive and then you or he can finish it in the oven - I have to do this often when I have to much to fit on a grill and a short period of time to get hot food out all at once (just did it last night with u10 shrimp and tenderloin) - it actually controls the temp of meat very well and also it splits up the work and timing - Also, room temp meat is totally fine - warm up some tortillas to wrap the steak and chimichurri in - it's not traditional but I'm sure your guests will love it - makes standing up to eat much easier.