Cooking Cove: Cooking in the morning for dinner

By Barbara Beltrami

Backyard barbecues are fine, but there are times, especially on hot summer evenings, when even the most dedicated grill master doesn’t want to stand over a hot grill and pour a beer, no matter how cold it is or how cold the martini is. In their other hand. It’s time to turn to cold cuts of beef or chicken or perhaps some poached fish. Served with a side of cold soup and homemade potato salad, coleslaw or a crisp green salad loaded with fresh herbs, this is a dinner that will please your family and company and save you from the heat of the grill and kitchen.

Marinated grilled steak

yield: Makes 6 servings


A 3-pound flank or boneless sirloin steak

1 cup 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 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root

Salt and fresh pepper to taste


Preheat grill on 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 rare; Cook longer for better results. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish. Combine wine, vermouth, vinegar, oil, onion, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaf, ginger root, and salt and pepper in a medium nonreactive saucepan; Bring to a low simmer for 5 minutes, then pour over the 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 marinade over. Serve with rice salad, snow peas and scallions.

Wine-poached salmon with dill-cucumber sauce

Wine-poached salmon with dill-cucumber sauce

yield: Makes 4 servings


3 cups dry white wine

1 small onion, chopped

3 celery ribs with leaves, chopped

3 flat leaf parsley sprigs

Four 6-8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup peeled and seeded cucumber

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Salt and fresh pepper to taste


Combine wine, onion, celery and parsley in deep skillet; Add 3 inches of water and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Carefully place the salmon fillets in the liquid (make sure they are completely submerged) and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover and cook gently until the salmon is as pink on the outside as the inside, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spatula, carefully remove the fillets, peel off their skin and place them on a plate, tapping off any white bits and let sit for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine yogurt, cucumber, onion, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl; Cover and refrigerate.

Nutty Grilled Chicken Salad

yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

Salt and fresh pepper to taste

4 cups grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup finely chopped celery ribs

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup fresh chopped chives

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles

1 cup chopped 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. Toss together chicken, celery, shallot, dill, parsley, chives and pickles in a medium bowl; Add the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat evenly, then fold in the walnuts, grapes and peas. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

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