Sunday, July 24, 2011


This is a great recipe from one of my favorite summer cookbooks, "The Cuisine of California" by Diane Rossen Worthington.

Photo by Bruce Barone.


1 California chile (I used a Jalapeno from my garden.)
2 very rip avocados
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I used a bit more.)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (I did not peel them.)
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro


1. To peel chile, place on broiler pan and broil approximately 6 inches from heat until blackened on all side. Use tongs to turn chile. NOTE: I used my grill outside.
2. Put chile in a plastic bag and close tightly. Let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Remove chile from bag, drain and peel off skin. Make a slit in chile and open it up. Core, cut off stem, scrape off seeds and ribs and coarsely chop.
4. In a medium bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork until soft and pureed. (I leave some chunks in it.)
5. Add lemon juice, onion, chile, cumin and salt and mix to combine. Gently mix in tomatoes and cilantro.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Simple and delicious!!!

Sockeye Salmon with cucumber dill sauce, salad, and grilled chipotle corn.

For the sauce: peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber; 1/2 cup sour cream; 1/2 tsp sugar; some Dijon mustard; 1/8 tsp salt; 1/8 tsp white pepper; zest of one lemon; 1 tbl dried dill.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spicy Lime-Ginger Grilled Shrimp

A summer favorite from a favorite summer cookbook: "The Taste of Summer, Inspired Recipes for Casual Entertaining" by Diane Rossen Worthington.

Spicy Lime-Ginger Grilled Shrimp. Photo by Bruce Barone.


3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (I added more.)
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime marmalade
1/3 cup olive oil


1. If using bamboo skewers, soak in cold water for at least one hour.
2. Combine all the above, except for the olive oil. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until thoroughly incorporated. Taste for seasoning.
3. Thread the shrimp on skewers and lay them in a shallow, non-aluminum dish. Pour half the marinade over the shrimp and marinade for at least 1/2 hour, turning once or twice.
4. When ready to serve, prepare the barbecue for medium-high grilling. Place the skewered shrimp on the grill. Baste each side with the marinade and grill until cooked, about 3 minutes of each side.

YUM! A perfect appetizer to serve before eating this:

Hamburger, Corn-on-the-cob, Tabouli. Photo by Bruce Barone.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leftovers and Salmon Cakes

People tell me I have a gift for transforming leftovers into delicious meals.  Often, I use leftovers for pizza ingredients, as pictured here.

Last night I made Salmon Cakes, completely with leftovers:

1 cup grilled Sockeye Salmon
1 cup grilled corn
1 cup smashed red potatoes
1/2 diced jalapeno pepper

It was just enough for Susan and I to each have one. I served it with lettuce, basil, and arugula from my garden and corn-on-the-cob. And a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pasta Primavera

A few days ago, after working in my garden, I sat in my garden with a Moretti beer nearby and finished reading How Italian Food Conquered The World by John F. Mariani (Foreward by Lidia Bastianich). It is a fascinating book and I plan to recommend it to my brother, Dennis, who has written extensively about early Italian immigration to America, a topic Mariani writes about in the first few chapters of his book.

I have had the good fortune to eat at some of the restaurants Mariani mentions in the book and he pays homage to the author of one of my often-consulted cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (The Classic Italian Cookbook).

Let's read an excerpt from the book about Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque, and Pasta Primavera:

"How ironic, then, that Le Cirque's most famous dish came to be something called pasta primavera. The story about how this dish came to be has at least two versions, though Maccioni's has the most support. He says that his wife, Egidiana, merely tossed it together from whatever was in the refrigerator to feed Vergnes (the French Chef at Le Cirque) and guests Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey of the Times while on a trip to Canada. The dish, which means "springtime pasta," was made with pine nuts, tomatoes, chopped string beans, frozen peas, and broccoli, with heavy cream.

"Whatever pasta primavera origins were, Vergnes never listed the dish on Le Cirque's menu and refused to make it, saying it would "contaminate" the kitchen. If requested--which it was, dozens of times a day--the dish was cooked up in a pan of hot water in the kitchen corridor and finished at the table by Maccioni or a captain. Then, after Claiborne published a recipe in the Times for the dish he called "inspired," pasta primavera became all the rage among Le Cirque's clientele. It even supplanted fettuccine all'Alfredo as the most famous non-red-sauce pasta dish in New York. Of course, chefs in Italy had no idea what this dish was when Americans asked them to make it."

Maccioni's recipe can be found here.

Inspired, I made a version for Susan and I later that day. A version, I say, as there are as many recipes for pasta primavera as there are for meatloaf. Susan does not like cream sauces so I made a cream-less pasta primavera.

I simply combined: steamed broccoli, steamed yellow squash (seeded and sliced), saute diced red pepper, sliced Vidalia onion, sliced garlic (from my garden), 1/4 cup white wine, 1 ripe tomato (seeded and chopped), and mafalde pasta. I served it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil (from my garden). I would have added frozen peas, which I had, but I forgot!

Cream-less Pasta Primavera with greens from my garden.