In the Kitchen: Summer's reality sets in

In the Kitchen: Summer's reality sets in
Josh Goldman, of the Soigne Group, created this Cobbler cocktail, one of the specialty drinksavailable at Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Fellow sun-soaked citizens,

And so now we enter our post-July 4 phase, that stage of summer when the initial excitement has worn off and we’re dealing with the day-to-day realities of temperatures that soar into (gasp!) the 80s. It is cold comfort knowing that in another month we’ll be looking back on these days with longing. Still, we must soldier on. Truly, we are heroes.

In this week’s In the Kitchen newsletter, we take a broad view of summer, starting with alcohol, because, well, is there anything better than a chilly glass of rosé or an icy cocktail on the porch?

— Russ Parsons

Sherry, baby

Do you love that sherry cobbler cocktail from Belcampo? No need to make the trek to Santa Monica. Jenn Harris shows you how it’s done in the latest installment of her charming “Jenn and Tonic” cocktail video series. 

Finding a few good rosés

It wasn’t so long ago that we were having to exhort people to give rosé a try. Remember all those “Seriously, it’s not Mateus anymore!” stories? Those days are long gone. So distant, in fact, that even though store shelves seem to be flooded with rosés, it’s getting tough to find affordable good-quality bottles. Our wine writer S. Irene Virbila surveyed the field and came up with five solid recommendations, ranging in price from $10 to $25. 

Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Great aioli: worth the effort

There are some food-and-wine pairings that seem so natural that it’s almost impossible to think of making a substitution. For example, it would disturb the natural order of the universe to serve anything but rosé with aioli — that wonderful garlicky mayonnaise from Provence. Here’s how to make the best. It’s going to take some elbow grease, but the result will be well worth it. 

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

In — and out — of the kitchen

During the cooler months, the kitchen is a kind of cozy refuge. It’s actually kind of comforting to see the windows steam up while you’re boiling water for pasta. Not so much during summer. We still love to cook, but especially when it comes to weeknight dinners, we like to be away from the stove as quickly as possible. Here are a dozen recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes. Best of all, they’re readily adaptable to whatever ingredients you might have on hand. 

Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Fresh food for families

Finally, because the heat hasn’t totally drained us of our social responsibility, Market Match is a great program that gives low-income shoppers a $10 bonus for buying fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market. Talk about a win-win: good food for families that need it, plus more sales for small farmers.

Russ Parsons / Los Angeles Times

What we’re reading:

Corn has gotten a bad rap these days — so much syrup, so little cob. But in the Washington Post, Tamar Haspel offers a thoughtful -- if contrarian -- re-appreciation.

Wonderful Greek cookbook author Diane Kochilas has this heartfelt, decidedly nonculinary take on individual and collective responsibility for her country’s financial situation.

Check out the thousands of recipes on our Recipe Database


We’d love hear from you. Email us at

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1