Sunday, July 23, 2017

Balsamic Glaze with Maple and Lemon amazing topping for salmon, chicken, roasted vegetables, fresh strawberries and more!

Balsamic vinegar is a ubiquitous kitchen staple, especially the affordable, supermarket condimento grade. But why settle for using it straight from the bottle? This recipe for a balsamic glaze adds a touch of maple and citrus, concentrating the flavors of an already complex, sweet/sour treat. While definitely not the authentic Modena or Reggio Emilia balsamic reduction, not barrel-aged for 12 to 25 years, the glaze does rate high marks for versatile deliciousness. And as a bonus, it only takes minutes to prepare. 

Recently the glaze was popular brushed on salmon fillets and drizzled atop grilled nectarine halves. Quick, easy and incredibly flavorful, this Balsamic Glaze with Maple and Lemon is a winner!  

Photo: Iron Skillet Salmon

Photo: Butter-basted Salmon Brushed with Balsamic Glaze

Maple, Balsamic and Lemon Glaze

1/4 cup lemon juice (or other citrus juice)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients (lemon juice through garlic) in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Do NOT let it foam up and boil over.
  2. Lower the heat enough to maintain a bubbling simmer and cook to reduce for roughly 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. As it cools the liquid will thicken; thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Not thick enough? give it a few more minutes on the heat.
  3. Stir in the olive oil and you're ready to go.


  • Grill or broil a salmon fillet or steak, brushing occasionally with the glaze as you cook. Avoid flareups! OR use as a finishing glaze immediately after you pull the fish from the grill or skillet.
  • This should hold for several weeks in the fridge, but it never lasts that long in my galley. 
  • See also the recipe and steps for my Balsamic Reduction.

Friday, June 30, 2017

White Bean Chicken Chili - a quick version

This recipe is a speedier chicken version of Chile Verde, a boat or shoreside favorite when I have time to cook from scratch. However roasting chiles and tomatillos, slowly simmering chicken pieces, soaking and cooking dried beans and grilling fresh corn doesn't work when you want dinner soon... like right now... "is dinner ready yet?" soon. This week I pulled a container of White Bean Chicken Chili out of the freezer and looked like a hero when a quick meal was in order. 

I've found that the flavors mellow and deepen when the chili is cooled and reheated, a tasty bonus when making a double batch to freeze. You might want to add additional chicken broth or maybe some green taco or enchilada sauce if the chili thickens too much after a day or two in the fridge, or decide to use the thicker chili as a terrific taco and enchilada filling. Fill some crispy, store-bought tortilla chip scoops with thick chili for an easy appetizer, or griddle some cheese and chili-filled quesadillas for lunch. Yummy! 

Photo: White Bean Chicken Chili topped with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of green enchilada sauce.
What's your favorite chili recipe? I have too many favorites to pick just one, but this recipe certainly rates two thumbs up for Quick and Tasty.

White Bean Chicken Chili
based on a recipe at epicurious (link)

4 servings, but you will want to double the recipe for tasty leftovers, or to have some to freeze.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon chili powder (Penzey's Chili 3000 preferred)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 Poblano chiles, roasted, deseeded & chopped (or canned chiles)
6 chicken thighs, cooked & shredded (or use rotisserie chicken) 
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 cans (15-oz) cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
2+ cups low-salt chicken broth
salt and white pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 cup Mexican crema (optional)

Topping suggestions:
fresh salsa:tomato/cilantro/green onion/lime
fresh cilantro
grated pepper jack or cheddar cheese
avocado chunks
sour cream
lime wedges
hot sauce (green Tabasco preferred) 
corn tortilla strips 


  1. Use a medium pot and heat the olive oil. Cook the onion until softened. 
  2. Add the next 6 ingredients, garlic through smoked paprika, and heat until fragrant. 
  3. Toss in the chopped chiles and shredded chicken, turning to coat all with the spice mixture. Cook for a few minutes, adding more olive oil if the pot begin to dry out.
  4. Add the corn, beans, and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste, adding salt and white pepper if desired.
  5. Mash some of the beans to thicken the chili somewhat. Stir in the crema, if using, and add more chicken broth if you want a soupier chili.
  6. Let the chili sit to blend the flavors, reheating gently to serve with a variety of toppings.
  • Like so many other soups and chilis, this chili will thicken and develop a deeper, more mellow flavor after an overnight rest in the fridge.
  • Adding a few Tablespoons of lime juice or green enchilada sauce to the pot offers a popular flavor adjustment.
  • Add more broth for a looser mix to create a delicious southwestern soup.
  • Serve the chili over cooked rice or potatoes for a heartier dish. 

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