F&W’s Marcia Kiesel, once an overachieving griller, recently cried, “Enough!” and toned down her cooking style.
I used to love being an overachieving griller. I didn’t mind doing all the work and then eating after everyone else, still covered in charcoal dust. But these days, I don’t care to fuss over the grill, endlessly turning ribs and chicken wings. If I have to cook one more floppy boneless leg of lamb while taking orders from my guests (so-and-so wants his meat rare, so-and-so wants hers well-done), I’ll scream. So I’ve moved on to a new phase: lazy grilling. Now I opt for quick-cooking items, like salmon fillets that I can dress up with a nifty dill pickle butter. I also focus on ingredients that don’t need lots of tedious checking to see when they’re done—for instance, clams simply pop open when they’re cooked, and all I have to do is top them with a potent Tabasco-horseradish sauce. The most complicated thing I do now? Cut decorative crosshatching into my delicious Asian-glazed hot dogs.