Catalina Cooking: Méli Mélo here we go …

Méli Mélo. Courtesy photo

The morning started at 3:40 with the sound of the transit system outside of my daughter’s place in Culver City. It was a nice sound as it reminded me of the time I lived in Amsterdam. So nice. So Early. Since when do the cable cars run that early? Anyway coffee and off to see Nathan and Lance at Kozwel Boatworks. Need to get to Santa Ana and back to Culver City and to Redondo.

Our boat is in great great hands although Kelly was not there … So Lina and Lou, (family visiting from France) I take down to Rocky Point where Marcus hooks them up with SUP. I’m not a fan, but the 16-year-old French girls were quite happy even as I gave them a chat about the rules and whatnot. I am their guardian as Tay, Kev and Tally took off for France and “tag,” I was it.

Well Marcus just goes “oh no, they just paddled in back of the Luhrs pulling away from the fuel dock after we told them the “rules of the sea.” Oh, well. I left in shame and I went to the office to do some paperwork. Later I picked the girls up and we did a quick Captain Kidd’s run and headed home.

OK. So dinner time and they look like they have not had anything to eat in months. They were tired, I am beat and don’t feel much like shopping. We all have those days. So let’s see what I can find. Well a bell pepper, some of the stringy Ahi, a 1/3 box of Angel’s hair, 1/2 box fettuccini. We were in … .but no capers. This is what I did for dinner. You do what you do and always break the rules … excepting the one about overcooking pasta.

• A piece of roast chicken breast with nice fatty skin

• A piece of Ahi with all the tail stringy madness that you don’t care if you over cook it.

• 2 carrots

• 1 Bell pepper

• Couple shallots

• A Few green onions

• 6 nice tomatoes

• 3 garlic cloves

• A few sprigs of fresh dill

• Vietnamese garlic chili paste

• Salt and Cracked black pepper

• Feta Cheese.

• 2 lemons juiced

• Olive Oil.

• Mixed pastas or one kind. Whatever keeps you from shopping in this heat while staying inland.

In a hot sauce pan, put a bit of olive oil in and the skin of the chicken chopped a bit. At this point just chop, dice whatever you want. Add the chicken, bell pepper, shallots carrots and slowly sauté reducing the heat. Add the Ahi and when cooked just flake it. Take the tomatoes and garlic and blend into a puree and pour this over the sauce you are making. Heat for a bit and remove from the heat. Let it get to room temp.

Meanwhile in a large pot add extra water that you normally would when cooking pasta. Look at the times on your pasta and put the longest first. I had fettuccini that cooks 12-14 and angels hair that cooks in 4-5. I did 8 minutes with the fett and added the hair for another 4 minutes. Remove drain right away and toss with the room temp sauce now. Put the lemon juice over it with the dill and chili paste. Maybe add some more olive oil. To go go on the side, I found a couple of cucumbers that I sliced thick and some smaller tomatoes that I quartered. Tossed with lemon juice, salt and cracked pepper. Sneak a tablespoon of table sugar in. I added just a bit of onion and garlic powder because I was getting lazy. Top with the crumbled feta and green onions. It turned out amazing. Sometimes unplanned meals work the best. No brains … No thoughts … No headaches! Pineapple heads forever. Thank you and remember. 1. No rules ever. 2. Never ever overcook the pasta ever. Ever! The Cheesestore of Beverly Hills Rules … Hi Guys … Miss you.

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at


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