Tag Archives: local

Shrimp & Grits



Salt the water well and bring to a boil.   Add the grits and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, garlic and lemon infused olive oils.

Clean the shrimp and pat dry.  Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; remove and discard or save for another use.  Remove 1 TB of bacon fat and add to the grits.  Add the shrimp to the remaining grease.  Cook until the shrimp turn pink. Add the parsley and turmeric – saute for 3 more minutes.

Spoon the grits into a serving bowl, add the shrimp and mix well.

Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain well. In grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.

Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture and mix well.


Green Beans

anvilGreen beans are often served at Rosh Hashanah.  The word for green beans in Aramaic is derived from the Hebrew word rubiyah – “to grow”, so green beans are said to bring growth in the new year.   I added cherry tomatoes, as they tend to be finishing their season when the new year arrives.  The tasty vinaigrette is what makes this dish stand out – the infused oil and vinegar are each out-of-this-world and combine to make a delightful sauce for the vegetables.  Makes a great side dish with this brisket recipe and spinach-pomegranate salad.


  • 2 LB    Green Beans (any stems removed)


  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes (stemmed, cleaned well)


  • 10       Basil leaves


  • 2 TB   Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Salt



Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Emulsify the fig balsamic vinaigrette, garlic infused olive oil, mustard and 1/4 tsp salt (optional) to make a vinaigrette.

Place the basil leaves on the bottom of a baking dish and top each leaf with 2-3 tomatoes, a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp olive oil.   Bake until the tomatoes are tender, but not collapsed, about 30-45 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt generously.  Cut the green beans in half, blanch them in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pot and allow to cool.

When you are ready to serve the dish, heat 1 TB olive oil in a large frying pan then add the beans and saute, just until hot.  Plate the beans, remove the tomatoes from the baking pan with a slotted spoon and carefully place them atop the green beans.  Drizzle the vegetables with the vinaigrette and serve.

Peach & Tomato Salad

I stumbled on this wonderful combination accidentally, when I set out to make a tomato salad, but returned home to find I had purchased weakly flavored tomatoes.  Luckily, I had also picked up some peaches at the same stand that sold the tomatoes.  I decided to add the peaches to ‘cover’ the lack of sweetness in the tomatoes and the fuzzy fruit took the dish to a new level.  This is a seasonal recipe – fresh, full flavored peaches are a necessity and great tomatoes really do make for a mush tastier salad.


  • 2          Peaches (pitted and sliced thin)
  • 1/2     small Onion (sweet – Vidalia, etc., quartered then sliced thin)
  • 1          Tomato (sliced to medium thickness, soak in balsamic and salt if the flavor is weak)
  • 1/2 C  Cucumber (seeded and sliced to medium thickness, about 1/4 inch)
  • 1/4 C  Lucini Cucumber & Shallot Vinaigrette (start with 1/4 C, adding more to taste)


Soak the onions in ice water for 10 minutes to mellow their flavor (soak the tomatoes in balsamic and salt, if necessary).

Toss the peaches, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Add dressing, salt and pepper to taste

Elote – Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob

Here is a twist on that Mexican street food favorite – Elote.  There are many toppings available, but I love the most common combination of  heat, salt and citrusy lime.  Traditional recipes use butter and mayonnaise, but this healthier alternative is just as bursting with flavor.

Grilled corn goodness

Grilled corn goodness



Start your grill.  Prepare the ears of corn by carefully peeling back the husk without damaging and then removing all of the silk.  Tie the open end with a piece of husk or cooking twine  and then soak the corn (husks and all) in cold water for 20 minutes.  Remove the and grill on a rack set about 6 inches over hot coals until the husks are charred – about 12-20 minutes.  Grills seem to heat radically so keep a close eye on your corn.  The corn is cooked when the kernels feel tender.

While corn is grilling, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and spices.

Brush the olive oil mixture onto hot cobs of corn and sprinkle with the cheese.  Season the corn with more salt, chili powder or paprika if desired.  Serve corn with the lime wedges – one wedge per ear of corn.

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


  • 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


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!!

Syracuse Salt Potatoes recipe

One of the dishes I remember well from my youth is Salt Potatoes.  They were particularly wonderful when served outdoors – BBQ, picnic, pot luck, etc.  It turns out that they are particular to Central New York, especially the Syracuse area.  While they are normally served with a melted, partially-clarified butter, I prefer them with olive oil, which adds more of a flavor compliment (and I am a butter lover).  They are awesome with the new Lucini infused olive oils – each adds a different complexity to this wonderful potato preparation.  I remember some families added fresh chives, basil or thyme leaves, but the infused oils provide even more flavor.

The recipe really couldn’t be any simpler and when you use a young potato, particularly fresh from a garden or farmer’s market, you really have a knockout side dish.  This is nice to have in your repertoire for times when you would like a change from baked or mashed potatoes.


Thats a lot of Salt Potatoes!

Thats a lot of Salt Potatoes!

6 C     Water

1 C      Kosher Salt

2 LB   Potatoes (new, young, red bliss, etc.  should be consistent in size)

1/4 C  Butter (or Lucini Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil)


Add the salt to the water and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until tender (keep track of the smaller potatoes and removing any before overcooking) – about 20 minutes.  Strain any access water from the potatoes and then toss in butter, or better yet, one (or a selection) of the Lucini infused olive oils.

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.