Lean Cuisine Culinary Roundtable Chef Elizabeth Karmel believes that “food is the purest form of communication,” and her Pecan Chicken - an easy-to-make, healthier spin on chicken fingers - communicates the “essence of fond memories” from her Southern upbringing.

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Buttermilk brine
  • Salt & pepper
  • Seasoned flour with paprika, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Egg wash
  • Saltine crackers
  • Crushed pecans

1. Cut the chicken breast into thirds and soak them buttermilk brine with a little salt and pepper for a few hours in the fridge to infuse flavor.

2. Coat the chicken completely with the seasoned flour.

3. Dip them quickly in the egg wash and bury the chicken a mixture of crushed saltine crackers and pecans. The trick is speed, by dipping and burying them with one hand.

4. When baking, use a drying rack to elevate the chicken to allow the air to roast it thoroughly and get that crispy texture without frying. Bake the chicken at 350°F for 20 minutes.

5. Serve the tasty treat with a little fire roasted romanesco sauce.

We can’t wait for you to try this yummy dish!

Let’s talk ginger with our Culinary Roundtable Chef Brad Farmerie

Commonly used as a palate cleanser, ginger is a staple in the regional cuisines of China and Southeast Asia. In folk medicine, it is also known to increase blood circulation and aid digestion. So how do we use this well-rounded ingredient?

Taste of Ginger

"Ginger has heat like chili peppers, but it has more of a background heat - like a secondary whisper," says Chef Brad. It also cuts sweetness, like that of carrots. Basically, it’s a balancer of flavors. 

Peeling Ginger 

Anyone can tell you, peeling ginger can be time-consuming and troublesome. Getting to all those nooks and crannies between roots can be quite a chore. However, Chef Brad had a rather brilliant tool to peel it easily: a spoon! Ginger’s fibers go along the root, north to south of its length, so a spoon can cut along the fibers with a simple movement. Just like scraping your bowl for the last morsels of a meal, you can scrape the skin off of ginger with a regular spoon. So easy and unexpected!      

We have some fun ways to use ginger coming up in a few weeks. Stay tuned!                

Our master spiceologist and Culinary Roundtable Chef Lior Lev Sercarz uses about 120 different herbs and flavors, and he shared with us some practical know-hows on spice. 
In this spice blend for a Chicken Makhani, we are using the following spices:
Cardamom
Cinnamon
Caraway
Curry powder
Celery seeds
Mustard seeds 
Cloves
Annatto seeds 
Chili Flakes
Anise
Cumin 
Mixing: In general, Chef Lior recommends about 9-23 herbs in any mixture. Here are some of his favorite spices used in this blend.
Annatto seeds: Natural starch, the seeds create a natural color for mustards, which is preferable to using chemicals.
Celery seeds: Natural sodium, ground into celery powder and perfect for curry meats
Dry vs. Fresh Herbs: Chef Lior recommends using dried herbs for meats as their dryness release the flavors. In fact, dried herbs can be more impactful than fresh herbs. 
Toasting: Toasting releases the natural oils to extract better flavor from the spices. When you toast the herbs, it’s the smell that lets you know when they’re done. The aroma will be undeniable. 
Grinding: You want to have a fine powder form of the spices as it dissolves faster than in its natural form. You can grind them by using a pestle & mortar or a regular blender, but Chef Lior actually prefers a coffee grinder. 
Those are the rules of thumb on spice! Have fun mixing!

Our master spiceologist and Culinary Roundtable Chef Lior Lev Sercarz uses about 120 different herbs and flavors, and he shared with us some practical know-hows on spice. 

In this spice blend for a Chicken Makhani, we are using the following spices:

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Caraway
  • Curry powder
  • Celery seeds
  • Mustard seeds 
  • Cloves
  • Annatto seeds 
  • Chili Flakes
  • Anise
  • Cumin 

Mixing: In general, Chef Lior recommends about 9-23 herbs in any mixture. Here are some of his favorite spices used in this blend.

Annatto seeds: Natural starch, the seeds create a natural color for mustards, which is preferable to using chemicals.

Celery seeds: Natural sodium, ground into celery powder and perfect for curry meats

Dry vs. Fresh Herbs: Chef Lior recommends using dried herbs for meats as their dryness release the flavors. In fact, dried herbs can be more impactful than fresh herbs. 

Toasting: Toasting releases the natural oils to extract better flavor from the spices. When you toast the herbs, it’s the smell that lets you know when they’re done. The aroma will be undeniable. 

Grinding: You want to have a fine powder form of the spices as it dissolves faster than in its natural form. You can grind them by using a pestle & mortar or a regular blender, but Chef Lior actually prefers a coffee grinder. 

Those are the rules of thumb on spice! Have fun mixing!

Today we’re craving a little Latin flavor! Our Culinary Roundtable Chef Michelle Bernstein created the most lovely mojo de ajo (roasted garlic oil) with a Miami Cuban twist using the following ingredients:
- Olive Oil- Sliced garlic- Cumin- Sliced Jalapenos (toasted) - Sour orange (if you can’t find this, use fresh orange and lime in equal parts) - Chopped cilantro- Salt
1. Simmer the garlic slices in olive oil in low heat until they’re golden brown, and add in the cumin and sliced jalapenos to toast together.
2. Squeeze in a fresh sour orange to the prepared sauce.
3. Add some chopped cilantro.
4. Taste with salt and adjust accordingly. 
You can take this mojo de ajo and drizzle over anything from fish to vegetables. We chose grilled shrimp for this dish! 
Enjoy! 

Today we’re craving a little Latin flavor! Our Culinary Roundtable Chef Michelle Bernstein created the most lovely mojo de ajo (roasted garlic oil) with a Miami Cuban twist using the following ingredients:

- Olive Oil
- Sliced garlic
- Cumin
- Sliced Jalapenos (toasted) 
- Sour orange (if you can’t find this, use fresh orange and lime in equal parts) 
- Chopped cilantro
- Salt

1. Simmer the garlic slices in olive oil in low heat until they’re golden brown, and add in the cumin and sliced jalapenos to toast together.

2. Squeeze in a fresh sour orange to the prepared sauce.

3. Add some chopped cilantro.

4. Taste with salt and adjust accordingly. 

You can take this mojo de ajo and drizzle over anything from fish to vegetables. We chose grilled shrimp for this dish! 

Enjoy! 

Here’s a very simple, easy-to-make dish by Lean Cuisine Culinary Roundtable Chef Paul Kahan. All you need are the following ingredients:

- Button or porcini mushrooms
- Parsley
- Chives 
- Lemons or lemon juice
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan cheese 

1. Shave down the mushrooms with a mandolin slicer, or cut them thinly with a knife.

2. Sprinkle a bit of finely chopped parsley and chives to your liking.

3. Squeeze in a fresh half of lemon and drizzle some olive oil to the mix. The mushrooms will soak up the flavor. 

5. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and toss the mix with your hands. 

6. Taste, and adjust the flavors accordingly. 

Et voila, there’s your simple mushroom and parmesan dish! 

This could be great antipasto or served over arugula (bitter) as well. Enjoy!