Scott’s Potato Salad


This recipe was inspired by a Warm Potato Salad recipe in the June 2001 issue of Gourmet magazine.

  • 2 1/2 lb small (1 1/2- to 2-inch) Yukon
    Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole dill pickle, chopped


  1. Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a saucepan, then simmer until just tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are simmering, whisk together mayonnaise, oil, vinegar,
    garlic, chives, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
  3. Drain potatoes in a colander and cool 5 minutes. Add to dressing along with
    celery, tomatoes, and pickle. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: this recipe is good even if the celery and/or tomatoes aren’t

Added: July 29, 2001

Update: See also this recipe from Elise Bauer with the additional “secret ingredient” of a bit of pickle juice! The additional tartness from the pickle juice is very nice!

Scott’s Perfect Pot Roast

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in the September 26, 2001 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food section on the subject of comfort food in the days post-9/11.

That particular recipe credits Chronicle food writer Robin Davis who says she loves this dish for the aroma that drifts through the house as the meat cooks — and for the leftovers. The cooking aroma does make the long cooking time tolerable. Serve this with some creamy mashed potatoes for a wonderfully soothing comfort meal. Save your leftovers…they’re even better tomorrow!


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 2-1/2 to 3 pound chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl. Use 1 cup of the hot (preferably boiling) water. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand for 30 minutes to soften.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid, squeezing as much liquid as
    possible back into the bowl. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.[Update: January 2006 – there’s a great tip in the March 2006 issue of Fine Cooking magazine about using a French press coffee maker for rehydrating the porcini mushrooms. Turns out that a small French press is ideal for doing this – and avoids the need for using a filter for the liquid, etc.]
  3. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until translucent.
  6. Reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the onions begin to brown, stirring from time to time.
  7. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the onions turn a deep golden brown.
  8. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits in the pot. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  9. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same Dutch oven over high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Brown well on all sides. Transfer the meat to a platter.
  10. Add the mushroom-soaking liquid to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
  11. Return the brisket to the pot, along with the onion-wine mixture, the remaining 3 cups water, the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
  12. Tightly cover the pan. Place in the oven and cook for about 3 hours, until the brisket is very tender.
  13. Transfer the meat to a platter and tent with foil.
  14. Remove the bay leaves from the cooking liquid. Working in batches, puree the cooking liquid in a processor until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Adjust seasoning and rewarm, if necessary.
  15. Cut the brisket across the grain into thin slices. Arrange on a platter.
  16. Spoon the sauce over the meat.

(Added: October 12, 2001)


Scott’s Lemon Pasta Salad with Chicken

We enjoy making this Lemon Pasta Salad on for lunch on a Sunday and then
munching on it cold throughout the week either for lunch or when we need a
snack. It’s really good either warm right when you make it or cold.

Our inspiration for this salad came from one of our local markets, Andronico’s, who makes a version of this salad for their deli. Our original base recipe comes from a recipe in Bon Appetit, July 2000 issue where the writer claimed it was her own version of the deli version from Gelsons Market in Los Angeles. We tried a couple of our own variations before settling on this particular version.

The recipe uses about a pound (plus or minus — it doesn’t matter much) of
chicken (mostly breast meat). For convenience, I often get either a roasted chicken from the local market and strip it – or pick up two of the Louis Rich pre-cooked chicken breast pieces (two 6-oz packages) and use that. Of course, you can also cook chicken breasts specifically for the recipe!


  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of chicken cut into 3/4 inch strips
  • 12 oz of lemon-pepper fettucine (we use
    Mendocino Pasta’s)
  • 2 1/2 cups snow peas cut into matchstick size strips
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts (raw or toasted, your pleasure)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


  1. Boil the water (salted) and cook the pasta al dente style. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix chicken pieces, snow pea strips, pine nuts and Italian parsley.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and mustard together and then slowly add the canola oil while mixing all the time into a smooth consistent mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture slowly over the pasta and other ingredients in the large bowl, mixing all the while. Toss until well coated and mixed.

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.]

Scott’s Favorite Slow Roasted Chipotle Pork

Slow Roasted Chipotle Pork

Updated: December 25, 2021 during Covid times! This is our Christmas dinner today!

This is truly one of those 5 minutes to prepare recipes. Basically, coat the pork shoulder roast, throw it in the Dutch oven and then into the real oven for slow roasting. The hard part is done!

Makes really great pork tortillas — or just pork to pile onto your plate. Great with salsa on the side!

I originally came across a version of this recipe in The New Cooks Tour of Sonoma by Michele Anna Jordan. It became a Loftesness family favorite from the first time we tried it!


  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 pork shoulder roast, about 3 1/2 lbs
  • 2 dozen small corn tortillas
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt and chipotle powder and rub it into the pork, being sure to cover the entire surface of the meat with the mixture.
  2. Put the pork in a clay roaster or other deep roasting pan with a lid, place the covered roaster in the oven, and turn the heat to 275°F.
  3. Cook until the pork falls apart when you press it with the back of a fork, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove it from the oven and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the tortillas on a medium-hot griddle, turning them frequently, until they are warmed through and soft. (Alternatively, heat them on a plate in the microwave). Wrap them in a tea towel and place them in a basket.
  5. Transfer the pork to a large serving platter and use two forks to pull it into chunks.
  6. Add the lime wedges to the platter, place the cilantro in a small serving bowl, and serve immediately, with the tortillas on the side.
  7. To fill the tortillas, set two, one on top of the other, on a plate, spoon some of the pork on top, squeeze a little lime juice over the pork, sprinkle some cilantro on top and fold in half.


We had some romaine lettuce left over from an
earlier salad and found that adding a bit of lettuce to the tortilla filling added a refreshing bit of ‘crunchiness’ to the taste. Yum!

Another good side dish is sautéed peppers and onions (3 sliced bell peppers, 1 sliced yellow onion, olive oil, touch of cumin, and touch of paprika). Goes great in the tortillas! We had this for our Christmas 2021 dinner.

Here’s a link to Elise Bauer’s blog post about a recent Wall St. Journal recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Melted Apples that we made recently. Also very nice without the heat of the chipotle pepper.

Note that she starts the roasting at 450 degrees uncovered for the first 30 minutes before covering it and reducing the heat to 325 degrees. I find roasting at 275 degrees works well – low and slow makes for fall apart tender pork!