Tag Archives: entree

Salmon with Pomegranate Salsa

I love to prepare healthy fish dishes in the winter, particularly recipes that use fruit (so I can pretend it isn’t freezing outside).  This is one of my favorite fish/fruit preparations and find it is best with salmon, although firm white fish will also work.

Marinated Salmon


  • 1LB     Salmon fillets (4 fillets, preferrably wild salmon, can substitute bass, cod or snapper)
  • 2 TB    Lucini Garlic-Infused Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp   Cayenne Pepper (can substitute chili powder or paprika)
  • 4 TB    Lime Juice (fresh, can substitute orange juice)
  • 1/3 C  White Wine
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 C       Pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 1 TB    Jalapeno Pepper (seeded and chopped small)
  • 1/2 C  Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped small, can substitute red or green, but yellow is the best visually)
  • 1/4      Onion (chopped small, if you have time, allow the onion to sit for 10 minutes in ice-water, then drain well)
  • 1/4 C  Cilantro (fresh leaves, chopped small)
  • 2 TB    Lucini Basil-Infused Olive Oil
  • 2 TB    Lucini Pinot Grigio White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 TB    Lucini Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


Combine the garlic-infused olive oil, garlic, cayenne pepper, 2 TB lime juice, white wine and salt.  Mix well in a bowl large enough to hold the fish.  Add the fish and allow to fish marinate for 1 to 2 hrs.  Meanwhile to prepare the pomegranate salsa — combine the pomegranate,  2 TB lime juice, onion, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, vinegar and basil olive oil.  Add salt, pepper and more lime juice to taste.  Mix the salsa well and let it rest refrigerated until ready to use.  Heat the remaining 3 TB olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, add the salmon fillets and cook until browned on each side and cooked, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets.   Serve with the pomegranate salsa.


Chicken Parmigiana

This version of Chicken Parmigiana (Parmesan) is baked/broiled, rather than fried for great calorie/fat savings without losing any flavor.  No one believes it is baked when I serve it!!



In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and oil together over medium high heat until the garlic just turns light gold, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on low until sauce thickens – 15-20 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.  Cover and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Whisk together mustard, vinegar, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper, and 1 TB melted butter in a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, and toss to coat well.  In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well and add in 1 TB melted butter.  Then dredge each chicken piece in the crumb mixture until well coated.  Place each thigh on a non-stick baking pan (or Silpat) and press the crumbs in gently.  Bake in the middle of the oven until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn heat up to broil.  Place a basil leaf, then a slice of mozzarella on each thigh.  Return to oven and broil for 2 minutes.  Ready to serve – I usually serve with pasta.

Chicken & Dumplings


  • 1 1/2 LB   Chicken Thighs
  • 3 TB           Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1                 Onion  (medium, chopped large)
  • 5                 Carrots (medium, consistent thickness, cut lengthwise – 1 inch)
  • 2 tsp         Paprika (smoked or Hungarian sweet)
  • 1 tsp          Turmeric (optional)
  • 1 C             Flour (All-purpose, sifted)
  • 1 C             Chicken Stock (homemade or low-sodium canned if necessary)
  • 2 TB          Dill (fresh, chopped fine)
  • 2 tsp         Baking Powder
  • 10 TB       Milk, divided
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper (fresh, ground)


In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, turmeric and paprika.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, dill, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk ( 8 tablespoons) to form a moist and soft batter.  It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon (add additional 2 tablespoons milk if too thick).  Roll the dough out on a solid surface, about 1/8″ thick and cut into strips, 1″ to 2″ long.

With floured hands drop the strips of dough into the slowly boiling broth, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook).  Cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 20 minutes.

Chicken Chasseur – Hunter’s Chicken

This recipe is adapted from the first recipe I attempted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  One of my “chores” at age 15 was cooking dinner for my family, so I went through all of the chicken recipes in the book.  This was one of my favorites and I still make it every once in awhile.  In the winter I like to use a variety of herbs (usually bay leaves,  sage, rosemary and thyme) – I find the aromas and flavor very comforting.



  • 2 TB Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8        Chicken Thighs(remove fat and skin, about 2 pounds)
  • 1        Onion (medium, peeled and chopped, about 1 cup)
  • 1 TB  Flour
  • 1 C     dry White Wine
  • 1/2 jar Lucini Organic Plum Tomatoes
  • 5        Garlic cloves (peeled, finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon)
  • 20      Mushrooms (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 TB  Basil (fresh, chopped fine)
  • 1 tsp  Salt
  • 1/2 tsp  Black Pepper (freshly ground)


Heat the olive oil until it is hot in a large nonstick skillet.  Add the chicken thighs in one layer, and cook for 5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.  Transfer the thighs to a large, sturdy saucepan, arranging them side by side in a single layer in the pan.  Add the onion to the drippings in the skillet and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the flour, mix it in well, and cook for 30 seconds more.  Then mix in the wine and tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and the transfer it into the saucepan containing the chicken.
Stir in the garlic, mushrooms, basil, salt, pepper and soy sauce.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the chicken from scorching, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 25 minutes.  Serve two thighs per person with some of the vegetables and sauce.

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Maple Chicken recipe – Vermont

Maple Chicken is a traditional chicken preparation in Vermont.  Of course, maple syrup is the culinary pride of the state and I find it pairs well with chicken and pork.  The combination of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar may seem like it will be too sweet, but here the balsamic actually cuts the bright, sugary syrup, adding a sour note to the sauce.  Sometimes I use the balsamic in more traditional savory sauces and gravy and there it contributes more sweetness.

I love paring this dish with broccoli rabe, because its slight bitterness makes a nice counterpoint to the sweet maple sauce, and mushrooms for their earthy, umami quality.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and dry the chicken parts well, then season with the salt, pepper and, if using,  paprika/cayenne pepper.  Allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes.  While the chicken sits, make the sauce by heating the maple syrup over medium flame for 1 minute and then add the balsamic.  Simmer until the syrup ‘melts’ and the sauce has an even color.

Place the chicken in a well-oiled baking dish and then top with half of the sauce.  Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breast is 160 degrees.  Drizzle the chicken with the lemon oil, turn down the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes – the chicken should have a deep brown color, but not black.  Remove from the oven, top with the remaining sauce and serve.

Quick Tip – Grilling Chicken

Just sharing a couple quick tips for those of you grilling chicken this weekend – some favorite brines, rubs, sauces and marinades and lessons I have learned from many years of chicken grilling.  Happy Holiday!!

Be sure to brine for an hour or less!

Be sure to brine for an hour or less!

  • The first step is to brine, rub and/or marinate your chicken before grilling.  Chicken is a relatively light flavored meat, so you will want to add flavor before serving.  Here are some of my favorite chicken brines, rubs, sauces and marinades:
  • It is fun to play around with brine, rub marinade recipes, adding some local flavor or just adjusting spices to better fit your eaters.  I prefer brines, which do not contain oil, to marinades, as the fats block the liquid water-holding capacity in the meat, thus inhibiting the addition of flavor.  Chicken should brine for a much shorter time than other meats – only 30 minutes to an hour.  I do like marinades for chicken pieces, and if I’m feeling particularly energetic, will sometimes combine a brine with a rub.
  • Remove the chicken and allow it to reach room temperature before grilling – do not allow meat, particularly chicken, to sit unrefrigerated for too long however – an hour at most.
  • I setup my grill with all of the charcoal distributed only half of the grill.  This way you can place the chicken over the half without coals, allowing the chicken to cook slowly over indirect heat.
  • To test for doneness, prick a thigh and make sure the juices run clear.
  • For whole chicken, the entire cooking process takes place over indirect heat.  For cut-up chicken pieces, I start the pieces over the coals and cook them about 2 minutes on each side, until you get those nice grill marks.  Then, move the pieces to the other, cooler side of the grill to finish.  Again, check to make sure the juices run clear to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Grill temperatures ran fluctuate broadly, so you have to pay close attention when grilling a whole chicken.  Unlike beef, you do NOT want to serve chicken rare or even medium rare.
  • Be sure to lightly oil the part of the grill that will be holding the chicken and the chicken itself.  Without lubrication your chicken may stick to the grill – particularly if you place it over direct heat.
  • Allow your chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes for pieces and 10-12 minutes for whole chicken before serving.  This allows juices to redistribute to the external portions of the meat.
Rest for 5-10 minutes.

Rest for 5-10 minutes.

If you’re looking for a smashing (but simple) dessert, try these Gingersnap Cookies.

Beef Brisket


I love serving this brisket dish for Rosh Hashanah and other holiday meals and it goes great with this salad and braised red cabbage or these green beans.  None of the steps are complicated and the low and slow roast allows time to socialize with your guests.  Do keep an eye on the brisket as overcooking eventually leads to dried out meat.

The recipe was inspired by one found in Art Smith’s Back to the Table, which I first followed for Thanksgiving 2001.  There are many great recipes in this book and I cannot recommend it (and his other books) more highly – I refer to some of the recipes so often it has started falling apart!  His love of food and recognition of the important place it holds in all of our lives is inspirational.

A splash of Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic and a 1/2 cup of dried fruit added just before serving brings  a brightness that balances well with the robust umami of the beef and the red wine.


  • 3-4   lb     Beef Brisket
  • 1       Tb     Salt
  • 1       tsp    Pepper
  • 2       tsp    Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2  tsp    Brown Sugar
  • 1       tsp    Chili powder
  • 2       Tb    Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1                 large Onion, large dice
  • 1                 Carrot, thick slices
  • 1                 Celery stalk, thick slices
  • 5                Garlic cloves
  • 1/2  C       dry Red wine
  • 2       C       Stock (Beef is best, but chicken and mushroom work well; homemade HIGHLY recommended)
  • 3                 Bay leaves
  • 1/2  C       Shittake Mushrooms (large chop, stems removed)
  • 4       tsp   Arrowroot dissolved in water (about 1 Tb)
  • Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic (optional)



Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder.   Season the brisket evenly with this mixture and allow to sit for 30 minutes (I do 15 minutes refrigerated, then 15 minutes at room temperature out of the reach of meat-loving children or pets).

Heat a large, non-stick, oven-safe cooking vessel over medium-high heat.   Add olive oil and brown the brisket on both sides (about 3 minutes per side, but definitely browned, not gray).  Remove brisket to a plate.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until the onions become translucent and the carrots begin to soften.

Add red wine and deglaze the pan – dissolving all the browned beef and veggie tastiness off the bottom of the pan and into the wine (about 5 minutes).  Add bay leaves and stock and bring to boil.  Place your browned brisket on top of the vegetables; cover and place in oven.

Bake for about 2 hours at 300F – remove when the meat is tender when prodded with a fork.   Allow the brisket and to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.

While the meat rests, add the mushrooms to the liquid in the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce for 5 minutes.  Turn temperature down to low and add arrowroot slurry.  Stir immediately and thoroughly until you achieve gravy consistency.

Carve the brisket across the grain.  I serve this with the gravy, vegetables from the pan, mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.  For an added dimension of flavor, add a splash of  Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic on top of the brisket just before serving.