Cooking Cove: Cooking in the morning for dinner in the evening

By Barbara Beltrami

Backyard barbecues are good, but there are times, especially on a hot summer evening, when even the most dedicated grill master doesn’t want to stand over a hot grill flipping and grilling, no matter how cold the beer is or how chilled the martini is. their other hand. This is the time to turn to cold cuts of meat or poultry, or perhaps some poached fish. Preceded by a cold soup and accompanied by homemade potato salad, coleslaw or a crisp green salad seasoned with fresh herbs, this is a dinner that will delight your family and company and keep you away from the heat of the grill and the kitchen.

Grilled marinated steak

ADDITION: Makes 6 servings


One 3-pound fillet steak, or boneless

1 glass of dry red wine

1/4 cup sweet vermouth

1/4 red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup tomato sauce

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat grill to high; brush the steak with a little olive oil; grill, turning once, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 F and is pink inside for medium; cook longer for better browning. Transfer to a shallow non-reactive container. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine wine, vermouth, vinegar, oil, onion, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaves, ginger root, and salt and pepper; simmer for 5 minutes, then pour over hot steak. Let cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, slice, arrange on a plate and spoon over the marinade. Serve with rice salad, snow peas and onions.

Poached salmon with dill and cucumber sauce

Poached salmon with dill and cucumber sauce

ADDITION: Makes 4 servings


3 glasses of dry white wine

1 small onion, minced

3 ribs celery with leaves, chopped

3 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley

Four 6-8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup minced peeled and seeded cucumber

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

3 tablespoons of ground fresh fennel

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a deep pan, mix the wine, onion, celery and parsley; add 3 inches of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Carefully place the salmon fillets in the liquid (make sure they are completely submerged) and bring the liquid back to a boil. Cover and cook gently until salmon is the same shade of pink inside as outside, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spatula, carefully remove the fillets, peel off the skin and place on a plate, clean off any white bits and leave for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Cover and chill until ready to serve. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, onion, garlic, lime juice, dill, and salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate.

Walnut Grilled Chicken Salad

ADDITION: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 cups grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup finely chopped celery ribs

2 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup fresh chopped chives

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles

1 cup ground walnuts

1 cup halved seedless green grapes

1 cup cooked fresh or frozen peas


In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, shallots, dill, parsley, chives, and pickles; add mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat evenly, then fold in walnuts, grapes and peas. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

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