Welcome to the latest inspiring installment of our Chefs at Home series. While we have all been at home more than expected this summer, that doesn’t mean cooking, sharing, and enjoying great food needs to stop. We continue to challenge our chefs share their creativity with you and post here what they are making at home.

both - Salmon and watermelon

Executive Chef and F&B Manager Matt Porter at Sonesta Suites Scottsdale shares two of his favorite summer recipes this week. See below for more about what you might find on his table at home, and read why Chef Matt loves these flavors so much.

I love this salmon recipe because it screams refreshing, quick to prepare, healthy, light summer cooking. I would have done it on the barbie, but it was crazy hot outside (like normal in Arizona in July) and felt I would have needed too many of the watermelon cocktails (recipe below) to get me through the cooking process! It is a great year-round dish as well, as you can easily find all the ingredients at any time and can be done during the week – since you can make the salad the day ahead if you want and then just cook the salmon in time to serve. If you can’t find the ancho citrus spice, you can substitute Cajun seasoning and get close to the same effect.

Ancho Citrus Rubbed Scottish Salmon w/ Mango Jicama Salad

Serves 4-6
½ English Cucumber
1 Mango
½ Red Onion
½ Jicama
1 Small Bunch Cilantro
½ Lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper
Ancho Citrus Spice Mix or Cajun Seasoning
3# Scottish Salmon

salmon prep

Slice cucumbers, mango, jicama, and red onion into julienne. Chop cilantro. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, squeeze juice of ½ lemon, add salt and pepper, and drizzle with EVOO. Let rest for approximately 30 minutes. The EVOO, lemon juice and juice from mixture will create your dressing as it rests.

Cut the salmon into whatever size pieces you prefer depending on how you are serving it—6 oz or 4oz approx. Rub the spice mix on the salmon and either cook in a pan or grill on the BBQ to desired doneness.

Once the salmon is cooked to perfection, arrange as preferred and use the additional “dressing” from your salad to drizzle over the salmon. Add an additional drizzle of EVOO as well as you serve.

plated salmon

So, about the watermelon cocktail? What can I say except. . . SUMMERTIME!!!! This is about the best thing there is to enjoy while hanging by the pool. (If you don’t have a pool in Arizona, you are crazy!!! My family and I spend just about every day in the pool since we live in.. you know, 110 degree average weather!!) It is a very versatile drink as you can use any liquor you like. Vodka, tequila, rum, you name it, you can use it in this drink. I like the addition of the Sprite as it gives it some life with the bubbles and just gives an extra citrus kick to the watermelon. The addition of the salt just draws out a little more flavor which as a chef, I appreciate of course.

Salty Watermelon Cocktail

Makes 1 large cocktail with additional watermelon juice for more drinks (for yourself or a friend)

½ watermelon-use 3 oz for the drink
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Vodka or Tequila
1 oz Sprite or 7 Up
Pinch of Sea Salt
Watermelon wedge and lime ring for garnish

cocktail closeup

Puree watermelon in blender. Strain to try to make it as smooth as possible. OR. You can leave it over night to separate if you are that organized. Remove froth from top until you get to the juice only. (Regardless of method used, you will have additional juice to make multiple drinks.)

Add all juices to a cocktail shaker with the pinch of salt and whichever spirit you have on hand. Once combined, pour into glass filled with ice and top with the Sprite. Garnish as desired.

[wpvideo Q8B3WycC]

Did you enjoy this post? Read all of the recipes in our Chefs at Home series!

Chef Robert Graham, Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria

Chef Mark Kapolnek, Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront.

Chef Kevin Baker, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Chef Jason Routzahn, Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Chef Kevin Davis, Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta

Chef Patrick Newman, Sonesta Bee Cave Austin

Chef Brian Dandro, Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island/Royal Sonesta Boston

Chef Gunter Weber, The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis