Scott’s Lazy Sunday Tri-Tip Caesar Salad

This Sunday dinner is perfect when BBQ season has arrived. This afternoon in Menlo Park was ideal – light up the Weber BBQ (charcoal version) and go! The ingredients are super simple: a Santa Maria-seasoned Tri-Tip from Trader Joe’s (or your favorite alternative) and a package of one of those Caesar Lite pre-packaged salads.

For a 5:30 PM dinner, start this at about 4 PM. You’ll have plenty of time to read the Sunday papers in between while things are happening. Add a bottle of Bogle’s Phantom and you’re truly good to go! Serves 2.

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Scott’s Favorite Ultra-Quick Stir-Fry

This is one of my all-time favorite quick meals – you can literally walk in the door and have a wonderful hot and healthy meal on the table in less that ten minutes!

And, Trader Joe’s would be happy – all of the ingredients come from there: Fire Roasted Vegetables in Balsamic Butter Sauce (frozen), Organic Brown Rice (frozen), and Just Chicken (fresh chicken pieces).

Add a splash of Chardonnay (a current favorite is the Olivet Lane Estate Russian River Valley Chardonnay from Pellegrini) and you’ve got a delightful, fresh, and very tasty stir-fry. Serves 2-3.

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Beef and Onion Stew


This recipe was inspired by the Holiday 2000 Williams-Sonoma Taste magazine.


Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.


3 pounds boneless, well-marbled
stew beef, cubed

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1-1/2 pounds pearl onions or
shallots, peeled

3 celery stalks, peeled and sliced

1 14-1/2-ounce can diced, peeled

1 tablespoon tomato paste


1 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

4 whole cloves

3 whole allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch of nutmeg

Drain beef, reserving marinade. Melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions and celery until softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.

Add remaining olive oil to pan. Sauté beef, in batches if necessary, until browned, about 10 minutes. Return onions and celery to pan. Add reserved marinade, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and enough water to just cover beef. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer partially covered, until beef is tender and sauce is thickened, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Yield: 4-6 servings

(Added: January 13, 2002)

Hamersley’s Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Everyone needs an everyday roast chicken recipe – and this is ours! It a minor adaptation of the original by Gordon Hamersley, chef-owner of Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston — as published in Fine Cooking magazine. We lived in Boston over 15 years ago and used to love hitting Hamersley’s Bistro for this roast chicken dinner! We were back in Boston in 2007 and enjoyed another lovely edition of this dish!


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbs. fresh, chopped)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 Tbs. fresh, chopped)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 whole roasting chicken (about 3-1/2 lb.),
    rinsed under cold water and dried
  • 1-2 onions, cut into thick slices
  • 8-10 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed (but not


  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, the mustard, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half into the herb mixture; squeeze the juice from the other half into a small bowl and reserve. Reserve the squeezed lemon halves.
  3. Spoon the herb mixture over the chicken and inside its cavity, rubbing to coat the chicken thoroughly. Put the reserved lemon halves inside the chicken’s cavity.
  4. Using a bowl, coat the potatoes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and either chopped fresh rosemary or herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
  5. Put the onion slices onto the bottom of the roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Put the chicken in the pan, breast side up. Surround the chicken with the potatoes.
  7. Cook until the meat is tender and the juices run clear at the thigh, about 1-1/4 hours. By this time, the potatoes should also be tender.
  8. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Pour the juices from inside the chicken’s cavity into the roasting pan and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to a serving bowl.
  9. Spoon off and discard as much fat as possible from the juices in the roasting pan. Set the pan with the juices over medium-low heat and pour in the reserved lemon juice along with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the pan juices into a serving pitcher.
  10. Cut the chicken into pieces. Serve with the pan juices poured individually over the chicken pieces.

(Originally Added: April 21, 2001)

[Update – January 1, 2009: Here’s Gordon Hamersly’s cook book titled Bistro Cooking at Home
. Here’s another version of Hamersly’s Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon & Parsley and another version from Relish that was adapted from his Bistro Cooking book (see this article about making this version). Here’s a picture of the dish as served at Hamersly’s.]