The Memorial Day weekend launches a joyous spree of outdoor grilling and dining lasting until the first frost. Nothing matches the flavor or the pleasure of sharing a patio or backyard meal.
But if you think grilling is best suited to larger households, be assured that fire and food are well-suited to a household of two.
Most small charcoal-fueled grills and hibachi cooking units have enough surface space to accommodate an entree, such as beef or fish steaks, chicken breasts or kebabs.
However, I don't recommend squeezing ears of corn or a couple of baking potatoes onto the grill along with the main course. If your food is crowded, it doesn't cook properly.
Instead, I suggest making side dishes off the grill. Salads that use beans, vegetables or pasta instead of a base of lettuce or other delicate green can be made in advance and kept at room temperature for 30 minutes. In fact, hearty salads usually taste better if prepared ahead of time so the flavors blend.
Potato salad with chipotle mustard vinaigrette is especially well-suited to pair with grilled entrees. The smoky flavor of the chile is a delicious match to a hamburger or skirt steak.
The mustard called for in the following recipe is a new product from Robert Rothschild Farm LLC, a condiment company. You should be able to find it in gourmet-food stores and some natural-food stores.
Bev Bennett writes for Tribune Media Services.
Potato Salad With Chipotle Mustard Vinaigrette
5 small-medium new potatoes, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces, unpeeled
2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
1 medium celery rib, chopped
4 teaspoons chipotle mustard (see note)
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Place potatoes in a bowl with scallions and celery.
In a cup, stir together mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Stir gently but well.
Note: If you can't find chipotle mustard, use a Dijon-style mustard and add a pinch of chipotle chile powder.
Per serving: 228 calories, 3 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 563 milligrams sodium.
Analysis provided by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.