One Prep, Two Meals: Grilled Peppers

Grilled peppers upgrade many quick, easy meals. Get one prep, two meal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you search through the blog’s recipe index, it quickly becomes obvious that grilling and smoking are my favorite ways to prepare peppers. Sure, raw peppers add a crisp, sweet flavor to everything from salads to summer rolls. But quickly cut free their cores and place them on a hot grill, and you have an immediate upgrade to salsas, sauces, kebabs, black bean burgers, and even canning projects. Set them on a grill over low heat and smoking woodchips, and you can smoke chilies until they are dry enough to store for winter use or just enough to puree them into my favorite chili paste.

For many of these uses, I’m grilling bumper crops of peppers until I run out of coals. But you can enjoy the same intense flavor with just a pepper or two for a weeknight meal. Better yet, make room for just a little extra veg and you can prep two meals at once. I lean toward pasta on the grilling night: I multitask by cooking the pasta while I’m prepping or monitoring the grill, and then I make a creamy sauce base while I’m waiting for the peppers to cool enough to peel. The next night, all I need to do is chop up the grilled veg before stirring it into batter for savory pancakes.
Learn to make Creamy Grilled Bell Pepper Pasta and Grilled Pepper Pancakes with Goat Cheese

Fired Up

Cooking over fire is simple and adaptable for not just meats but also vegetables and fruit. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
This time of year, I’m always fired up about preparing food on the grill. Just this last week, I was grilling sourdough pizza aboard the Blue Mule and smoking cherries to infuse in bourbon and to pickle. Although I throw plenty of more traditional foods on the grill, like shrimp and fish, I increasingly fill my beat-up Weber kettle grill with vegetables and fruit.

The Twice as Tasty collection of grilling and smoking recipes has grown large enough that I recently broke it into its own category on the Recipes page. But many preparations are so simple and adaptable that once you get the hang of how your grill or smoker handles produce, you’ll realize you don’t need a recipe and can use the tool to prepare multiple meals and even frozen or canned treats.
Read more about grilling and smoking your harvest

Prepare to Pickle

Pickling lets you extend the life of almost everything you grow. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Pickling lets you extend the life of almost everything you grow. You can pickle and eat your creation quickly, or you can let the jars sit for weeks to slowly preserve and flavor the produce.

As I mentioned while describing the pros and cons of pickling, the process, whether using vinegar or salt brine, safely preserves low-acid foods and can be varied to incorporate your favorite flavors and the size of your harvest. Pickling is a preservation technique but not a storage one; you need to pair it with canning or refrigerating. Some tips and tricks will help you successfully make pickles.

Read more about preparing to pickle

Prepare to Can

You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. As summer temperatures peak and the garden explodes, canning supplies take up semipermanent residence on the kitchen counter, and many evenings feature the “ping” of sealing jars.

As I mentioned while describing the pros and cons of canning, it’s a time-consuming process with must-follow rules and specialized tools. That’s part of why I’m such a fan of canning large batches and even multiple batches: If I’m going to spend the time, I want to fill a row of jars. Otherwise, I choose a quick preservation method like refrigerating or freezing. I even stash produce in the fridge or freezer to can later when I have a decent stockpile and more time. Doing so breaks up the canning process, making it seem less of a project.

Even though they take effort, canning projects are worth it, and some of my most delicious preservation recipes are stored stably and safely at room temperature in jars.
Read more about water-bath canning