Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Herb Drizzle

Plain Greek yogurt isn’t just a tasty, nutritious breakfast or snack for you and your family—your chicken wants some too! This rich, thick, creamy marinade loaded with warm, earthy spices, garlic, and lemon creates wonderfully juicy, tender chicken breasts and terrific golden color. Just give them enough time in the fridge to soak up the flavor.

An easy drizzle of fresh lemon juice spiked with a couple fresh herbs is all you need to finish this simple—and simply delicious—Mediterranean-style dinner for four.

Serves 4

  • 7 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tsp finely chopped tarragon

  1. Combine the yogurt, garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and next 5 ingredients (through lemon zest) in a bowl.
  2. Place the chicken in a large, sealable plastic bag and scrape the yogurt mixture into it. Seal and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Ready to Mix

Yogurt Mixture

Chicken in Marinade
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil, swirling to coat.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off excess. Season with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Cook until browned on the bottom, 6-7 minutes.
  • Turn and cook until the other side is golden brown and the chicken is done, 5-6 minutes longer, depending on thickness.

Marinated Chicken

Beginning to Cook

After Turning
  1. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, mint, and tarragon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Lemon-Herb Drizzle
Plate the chicken breasts and drizzle with the lemon-herb mixture. Serve right away.

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Herb Drizzle

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Rice Salad with Peas and Honey-Orange Dressing

This bowl full of goodness is on the table in the time it takes to cook the wild rice. Grains, seeds, nuts, peas, fruit—it’s all good, and good for you. The best part? A combination of crunchy, chewy, and tender textures along with a sweet and slightly tart fresh dressing make this simple side dish as flavorful as it is nutritious.

5-6 servings

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large or 2 small naval oranges)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup broken walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkins seeds 

  1. Combine the orange juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl, stirring until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Combine the wild rice, basmati rice, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the honey-orange dressing and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. (May also be covered and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Honey-Orange Dressing

Basmati and Wild Rice

Rice and Pea Mixture

Rice Salad with Peas and Honey-Orange Dressing

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Turkey and Spinach Potpie

Traditional potpie is extra special (and extra delicious) because the piecrust is made from scratch—and everything is better from scratch. That said, you can still make a very tasty pie with warm, scrumptious filling and no fuss by using store-bought piecrusts. No guilt necessary.

For this recipe, I substituted fresh spinach for the traditional green peas and used lean turkey breast instead of chicken. Bottom line: It’s all good. Hey, it’s potpie.

Serves 4

  • olive oil, for oiling skillet
  • 1 14.1-oz package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 lb shredded cooked turkey breast or thigh meat (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups baby spinach (or chopped regular spinach)
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 7 minutes.
  2. Gradually stir the flour into the vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until beginning to thicken, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the shredded, cooked turkey and spinach and cook, stirring until the spinach is wilted, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Check for seasoning, adding more salt, as needed. Let cool 15 minutes.
Carrot, Onion, and Celery

Flour Added

Broth and Milk Added

Thickened Broth Mixture

Turkey and Spinach Added

Cooled Filling
  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Lightly oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place 1 piecrust in the bottom, pressing gently against the sides.
  3. Pour the cooled filling into the prepared skillet. Top with the remaining piecrust, crimping the edges around the border. Brush with egg white, and make 3 to 4 small slits in the top crust (or follow package directions).
  4. Bake the potpie until golden and bubbly, 25-30 minutes.
Bottom Piecrust

Filled Pie
Ready to Bake

Baked Pie
Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Turkey and Spinach Potpie

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chicken Verde Tacos with Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Even taco night can be light, nutritious, and healthful when you combine lean chicken breast with a bunch of fresh plant foodscount ’em: tomatillos, scallions, chiles, garlic, cilantro, lime, tomato, red onion, bell pepper…ok, the black beans are canned and the corn is frozen, but they’re still good for you.

Note: The salsa verde here is fairly thin and spicy, so I kept the corn and bean salsa chunky and mild. Balance works.

Makes about 10 tacos

  • 6 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped (seeded, for less heat)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
  • 1 cup yellow corn (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 10 6-inch, corn or flour tortillas, warmed or charred over a gas flame
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salsa Verde Ingredients

  1. Place the tomatillos and next 5 ingredients (through lime juice) in a food processor and season with salt. Process until thin and pourable. Transfer to a serving bowl or jar and set aside.
  2. Combine the corn and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a bowl and season with salt. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
Note: Both salsas can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving.

Ready to Process

Processed Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Serve the tortillas with chicken and both salsas on the side and let your guests make their own tacos.

Chicken Verde Tacos with Corn and Black Bean Salsa