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

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

METRO photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Backyard barbecues are fine, but there are times, particularly on a hot summer evening, when even the most dedicated grill meister doesn’t want to stand over a hot grate and flip and baste, no matter how cold the beer or how chilled the martini in their other hand. This is the time to turn to cold sliced meat or poultry or maybe some poached fish. Preceded by a cold soup and accompanied by homemade potato salad, coleslaw or a crisp green salad laced with fresh herbs it’s a dinner that will please your family as well as company and keep you from the heat of the grill and the kitchen.  

Marinated Grilled Steak

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


One 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 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat grill to high; brush steak with a little of the 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 more well done. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish. In a medium nonreactive saucepan combine wine, vermouth, vinegar, oil, onion, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaves, ginger root and salt and pepper; bring to a low simmer for 5 minutes, then pour over hot steak. Let cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, slice, arrange on a platter and spoon marinade over it. 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 minced peeled and seeded cucumber

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a deep skillet combine the wine, onion, celery and parsley; add 3 inches water and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Carefully place the salmon fillets in the liquid (be sure they are fully submerged) and bring liquid back to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until salmon is the same shade of pink on the inside as the outside, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spatula, carefully remove the fillets, peel off their skin and place them on a platter, dab off any white bits and let sit 15 minutes to cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, cucumber, onion, garlic, lime juice, dill, and salt and pepper; 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 freshly ground pepper to taste

4 cups diced grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup finely diced celery ribs

2 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup fresh snipped 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. In a medium bowl toss together the chicken, celery, shallot, dill, parsley, chives and pickles; add mayonnaise mixture and toss to evenly coat, then fold in the walnuts, grapes and peas. Cover and place in fridge until chilled.