Posts tagged: Basil

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

This dish was inspired by Barbara Lynch. I don’t cook chicken that often but this one came out pretty good. Chef Dan made some suggestions of turning it in to a soup or stew.

Serves: 3


2 lbs. Chicken Thighs (6), bonless, skinless
1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
1 Onion, thinly sliced
3 Pickled Jalapenos, thinly sliced
4  Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
1 lb Grape Tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 tablespoons Basil
2 tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
1 1/2 cups of Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped


Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

In large skillet, over a medium-high heat olive oil. Add chicken to the skillet, season with pepper, salt, cayenne, and basil. Brown for 4 minutes. Turn chicken and season again. Brown for an additional 4 minutes, then remove to a plate. Add bell pepper, onion, jalapenos and garlic to skillet. Season with rest of cayenne, basil, salt and pepper, about  1 tablespoon of each. Reduce heat so medium-low and saute for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add wine and simmer for 5 more minutes until wine is almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes to skillet and add the chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Plate the chicken and spoon the vegetables over the chicken along with some of the juice. Garnish with parsley.

Pan Fried Tilapia with Shallots and A to Z Salad

Simple and quick meal.


2 6-8 ounce Tilapia fillets
2 shallots
16 asparagus stalks
2 medium zucchini
4-6 green onions
2 tablespoons pepper infused extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons course ground pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoons basil leaves
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons thyme leaves
Grated Romano Cheese


For the A to Z salad, cut asparagus in 1/2 inch lengths on the diagonal. Boil for 5 minutes or until the asparagus can easily be speared with a fork. Remove from heat and drain water. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to cut the zucchini into strips lengthwise. Cut green onion into 1 inch lengths. Add vegetables to a salad bowl. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix vegetables and oil.

Pan Fried Tilapia with Shallots and A to Z Salad

Pan Fried Tilapia with Shallots and A to Z Salad

Thinly slice shallots. Add shallot slices and 2 tablespoons of pepper infused olive oil to a medium to large skillet. Over a medium heat cook shallots for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, mix dry spices. Melt 1/4 cup butter. For each side of the tilapia fillets, brush with melted butter and dust with spice mixture. Lightly pat the fillet. Move the shallots to the edge of the skillet a fry the tilapia in the same skillet for 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Serve tilapia topped with shalots. Serve A to Z salad topped with Romano cheese.

Basil and Oregano Roasted Red Potatoes

Great side for beef or pork dishes. Easy to make and very tasty.


1 lb C size, Red Potatoes (approximately 16)
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon course ground pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Black Tip Shark with Mango/Habanero Chutney with Basil/Oregano Roasted Red Potatoes

Black Tip Shark with Mango/Habanero Chutney with Basil/Oregano Roasted Red Potatoes

Cut potatoes into 1/8th’s for pieces about 1/2 inch. Bring a pot of water to boil and add potatoes. Boil for 5-10 minutes until the potatoes soften enough to be moderately easy to spear with a fork.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a glad Ziploc bag (or similar) Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne and olive oil. Drain potatoes and wash with cold water to cool. Add potatoes to Ziploc bag and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or potatoes are fully coated.

In a 9×13 Pyrex casserole dish, lightly coat with cooking spray and add potatoes from Ziploc and spread evenly. Bake potatoes in oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.


Of course and spice or seasoning can be added to the mix. I have used the pre-made potato topping mixes. I have also used various vinaigrette salad dressings. As always experimentation is encouraged.

Pine Nut Encrusted Salmon Steaks


I had some extra pine nuts from a recent baba ganoush and came up with the following recipe. WOW – The flavors explode in your mouth.


2 8 ounce Salmon steaks
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon course ground pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cooking spray
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley


Pine Nut Encrusted Salmon Steak

Pine Nut Encrusted Salmon Steak

Combine the pine nuts, salt, pepper, oregano and basil in a food processor. Chop until pine nuts are finely chopped. This mixture is very close to a pesto. The mixture should have a paste type texture. Use 2 tablespoons of mixture to coat each salmon steak.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium to large skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the salmon steaks to the skillet pine nut side down. Cook approximately 3 minutes until pine nuts are browned.

Remove salmon steaks and place in an oven safe Pyrex or similar dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until salmon flakes with a fork.

Plate and garnish with finely chopped parsley and a lemon and a lime wedge.

Universal Chimichurri


Bison Rib-Eye with Chimichurri

Chimichurri … chim-EE-churrrrrrrr-EE … chiiimmmmm-ee-CHURY …CHIM-ee-CHEW-ree. It dances on your tongue, and just wait until you taste it!

No! It has nothing to do with Mary Poppins flying around England, hanging on the end of a silly umbrella!

Chimichurri is perhaps one of the most recognizable culinary exports of Argentina. Usually used as a sauce for various meats. It can, however, be used in many other applications. Think of it as general condiment much like ketchup, though always fresh and with a lot more flavor.


Since this is “Universal” Chimichurri the ingredient list is rather vague, giving only a general idea of what to use. Feel free to experiment, add a little bit of this, take away a little of that.

A big bunch of green stuff (weeds)

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Arugula
  • Green Onions

Smelly stuff

  • Garlic
  • Onion

Hot spicy stuff

  • Jalapeno
  • Serrano
  • Habanero
  • Cayenne

Sour/Acid stuff

  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Some type of Vinegar

Oily Stuff

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Quaker State 10W40 (maybe not)


  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bell Pepper


Toss everything into a blender or food processor, blend until ingredients are well mixed. Make as chunky or smooth as you would like, I prefer a smooth sauce.


This is a sauce that can be different every time you make it. Find proportions that work for you then refine it with each new batch.

If you come up with a really exceptional version please share!

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