Tag Archives: extra virgin

Maine Lobster Roll recipe

Lobster is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of foods from Maine.  Though not as abundant as it used to be, the tasty crustacean is still ubiquitous to coastal towns.  Nothing is more reminiscent of a summer weekend in Maine than a lobster roll served in a cardboard carrier with a side of chips and slaw!!!

Lobster rolls are great when prepared with freshly cooked lobster, but equally wonderful with leftovers from a lobster bake.  I actually like to switch out the mayo for Lucini Basil Infused Olive Oil, as it binds together the lobster ‘salad’ well without overpowering the wonderful lobster flavor that is the star of the roll.   Some people add cayenne or lemon, but I recommend serving the rolls with lemon wedges (and hot sauce) on the side.  There is a lot of debate about adding celery to lobster rolls, but I will add some if i’m in the mood.  So simple and a tasty treat!

Lobster is a great source of selenium, potassium and vitamin B12.

Cotton candy, sweetie, go, let me see the Lobster Roll!

Cotton candy, sweetie go, lemme see the Lobster Roll

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB     Lobster (meat from a 3 LB lobster, chopped or torn in large chunks)
  • 1/4 C   Lucini Basil Infused Olive Oil (or the traditional mayo)
  • 1/4 C  Celery (chopped fine; optional)
  • 4           Hot Dog Buns (preferably the rectangular “New-England style”)
  • 1 TB     Butter

Preparation:

Mix the ingredients, except the butter and buns and refrigerate.  Remove the lobster from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.  Melt butter on a griddle or in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook each side of buns until just golden.  Fill the buns with the lobster mix and serve with lemon wedges, hot sauce, chips and slaw!!

Advertisements

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.

Roasted Potato Salad

This simple potato salad recipe is always a hit at family meals, picnics and barbecues.  If you find potatoes at a farmers market, those will work best in this recipe, as the potatoes are front and center here, not hiding behind strong mayonnaise or dressing. I love creamy potato salads as well, but this one brings out the full flavor of the potatoes through roasting, the light spices and fruity olive oil add a beautiful color and complimentary taste.  If so inclined, you can jazz it up a bit with some chopped olives, green peppers or even kim chee!

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450.  Mix oil, turmeric, chili powder, paprika and mustard seed.  Cut potatoes into even, small bite size pieces and then toss in oil.  Roast potatoes for 10 minutes, transfer to a bowl and then cool in freezer until potatoes reach room temperature.

Mix other ingredients well.  Add potatoes and stir until all the potato pieces are coated.

Italian Comfort in a Jar

This yummy bean recipe is  from Art Smith’s blog:

TUSCAN BEANS IN A JAR
Makes 8-12 servings

2 pounds Tuscan beans, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator
10 Roma tomatoes
¼ pound pancetta, diced
2 small onions, diced
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer Lucini brand)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Drain the beans and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cut an X on the ends of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the water in batches, if necessary. After 40 seconds, remove and plunge into an ice-water bath. Leave in the ice water for 40 seconds and drain. The skins should peel right off. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place a large Dutch oven over high heat, toss in the pancetta, and render until it begins to turn brown and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain off some of the fat and toss in the onions, sautéing for 4 minutes or until the onions begin to look translucent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beans, sautéing for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2½ hours. When the beans are done, add the basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately or let cool, then ladle into jars and refrigerate for later use. They will keep for up to three days.

Beef Brisket

brisket1

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Preparation:

chopped_vegs1

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.

Salmon w/ Hazelnuts & Pineapple

salmon hazelnut

Not only is salmon a beautiful and flavorful fish, but it is also one of the best sources of omega3 fatty acids – conducive to brain cell development and shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and hypertension.  This preparation compliments the naturally full flavor of salmon with the earthy, bass notes of Lucini’s Roasted Hazelnut & Extra Virgin Vinaigrette and the slightly sharp sweet and sour of pineapple.  The bell pepper and roasted hazelnuts add visual and textural complexity.

If possible, you should use wild salmon for this dish.  Farmed salmon is lower in omega-3s and often contains PCB and other contaminants and remnants of drugs or other chemicals used in the salmon farms.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb            Salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup   Lucini Roasted Hazelnut & Extra Virgin Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup   Soy sauce
  • 1 Tb          fresh Lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp    Turmeric
  • 1                 Bell Pepper (cut into thin strips)
  • 1/2 cup   Pineapple (large chop of fresh or organic canned without syrup)
  • 1/4 cup   Hazelnuts (roasted, chopped)
  • 2 Tb          Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation:

Wash and dry salmon and place in a coverable bowl.  Emulsify the vinaigrette, soy sauce, lemon juice and turmeric.  Reserve 1/2 of this mixture and pour the other 1/2 over the fish.  Cover salmon and refrigerate for 35-45 minutes.

While the salmon marinates, roast the hazelnuts in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the skins begin to blister.  Allow nuts to cool and then chop and save.

Remove salmon from refrigerator.  Heat 1 Tb of olive oil in a non-stick pan and then add salmon to the pan skin side down.  Oil another smaller pan on the bottom and immediately place this other pan on top of the fish to keep the fish from curling during the cooking process.  Cook for 4 minutes with the skin down, then turn the salmon over and cook skin side up for two more minutes.

While you cook the fish, heat the other 1 Tb of olive oil in another pan.  When the pan is hot, add the peppers, pineapple and reserved marinade and saute for 2 minutes.

To serve, top each 1/4 lb serving of salmon with a corresponding 1/4 of hazelnuts, peppers, pineapple and sauce from your pan.

Simple Sardine & Bean Salad

Sardines, beans, turmeric and flax seeds are four tasty sources of nutrients.  I like to use fresh beans, but sometimes they can be hard to find.  This recipe packs a protein punch, and anchors a quick lunch or dinner when paired with a green salad or some dark, leafy greens.  Lucini Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette adds a perfect, bright splash to counter the potential heaviness of the beans and fat of the fish.  And while sardines, beans and flax seeds may sound like the building blocks of a bland, “health over flavor” meal, this dish cedes no points in the taste department.

Ingredients:

  • 1      can   Olive Oil packed Sardines (drained)
  • 1      can   Organic Beans (Red or White Kidney, Black, Fava, Cannelini or Adzuki – use 1.5 C fresh, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup   Sun-dried Tomatoes (sliced crosswise)
  • 1                Scallion (green and white parts chopped)
  • 1/3 cup   Lucini Cherry Balsamic & Rosemary Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 tsp    Salt
  • 1/4 tsp    ground Paprika (preferably smoked)
  • 1/8 tsp    ground Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp    ground Turmeric
  • 1      Tb     Flax seeds, ground (optional)
  • 1      Tb     Lucini Basil-infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation:

Combine the first eight ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add more salt, pepper or paprika to taste.  Cover bowl and rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and mix in flax seeds and olive oil before serving.

This dish was inspired, in part, by Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.