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A Summer Dinner With SUNY: Entrée

Teak dining table set for dinner overlooking large lake or river.

Continuing in our summer recipe series, we now present recipes for the main course, or entrée, for all the foodies out there. This is the main event we’ve all been waiting for after some fantastic appetizers to warm our palates. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our recipes for cold appetizers and a hot appetizer to get your meal started.

For our entrée course, several SUNY culinary programs have generously supplied us with fresh, delicious recipes perfect for the summer months. These entrée recipes, ranging from simple to sophisticated, have been provided by Erie Community CollegeSchenectady County Community CollegeSUNY Cobleskill, and Finger Lakes Community College. Today we will have the opportunity to dine on the following entrées:

Fresh cooking is all about using ingredients that are in season. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out Cobleskill’s very own farmer’s market, Schoharie Fresh, to pick up fresh, in-season produce to help you put these meals together.


Roasted Salmon with Strawberry Arugula Salad

Recipe courtesey of Josephine Allsbrook, Instructor and Developer of the Canalside Learning Garden at Erie Community College

The strawberries and arugula in this dish are in season and will bring color and freshness to your meal. ECC student Ashanti Sheard, who wrote this recipe, calls the flavor combinations an “explosion of happy” in your mouth!


  • 4 salmon pieces (2 lbs)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 16 oz sliced strawberries
  • 10 oz arugula greens
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Rinse salmon and pat dry thoroughly. Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper. Place three lemon slices on top of each piece of salmon. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (time may vary depending on thickness of the salmon).
  2. In a jar add balsamic vinegar, mustard, ¼ cup EVOO, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper shake well refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Toss the strawberries with arugula greens and red onions.
  4. Divide greens between plates and drizzle with dressing, top with salmon and garnish with chives.

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State Fair Chicken

Recipe courtesy of David E. Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts & Tourism at Schenectady County Community College

This is a great family meal, and nothing says summer like smelling chicken cooking on the grill. This recipe makes 4 servings.


  • 2 whole chickens (split & remove backbone)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp black pepper, ground


  1. Put all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put chicken in a zip lock bag, pour marinade over chicken and marinate for at least 1-2 hours, up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and cook over grill until done and internal temperature reaches 165-180F. Bring marinade to a boil and use to baste chicken as it cooks.

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Lemon Caper Chicken with Rice Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of JoAnne Cloughly, Department Chair of Agriculture and Food Management at SUNY Cobleskill

This light recipe makes use of summery lemon and other simple, refreshing ingredients. It makes 4 servings.

Lemon Caper Chicken Ingredients:

SUNY Cobleskill's Lemon Caper Chicken with Rice Pilaf.

SUNY Cobleskill’s Lemon Caper Chicken with Rice Pilaf.

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 chicken cutlets, trimmed and lightly pounded
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 finely minced clove garlic
  • ¼ cup half-and-half

Lemon Caper Chicken Directions:

  1. On a flat dish, combine kosher salt, pepper, lemon pepper and 2 tablespoons of the flour.
  2. Coat chicken cutlets in flour mixture and place on a plate.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Brown chicken until cooked through, about 7 minutes, turning once.
  5. Transfer to a fresh plate when done.
  6. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, chicken broth, capers, garlic and remaining zest until smooth. Pour into skillet with drippings and whisk until combined.
  7. Add half-and-half.
  8. Return chicken to pan and heat through, 2 minutes.
  9. To serve, spoon sauce over cutlets and serve with rice pilaf.

Rice Pilaf Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rice Pilaf Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, melt butter in a small pot with a lid.
  2. Add rice and sauté 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat with butter
  3. Add hot stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil.
  4. Turn heat to lowest setting and place lid on pot.
  5. Cook approximately 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove lid and then remove bay leaf.
  8. Fluff rice with a fork and season with salt and pepper before serving.

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Charred Beef Deckle with Grape Tomato Confit, Potato Latke, and Chimichurri Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Jamie Rotter, Program Coordinator of Culinary Arts at Finger Lakes Community College

This recipe was used as an entrée for an Argentine menu at FLCC’s student restaurant, Julia, last fall, and was also cooked in a competition sponsored by the New York State Beef Council. This large recipe, perfect for a summer dinner party, makes 16 servings.

Charred Beef Deckle Ingredients:

  • 2 flank steaks
  • 3 oz SPG (salt, pepper, garlic) mix

Charred Beef Deckle Directions:

  1. Once the lip section has been separated from the eye of the rib, lay it flat on the board. Be sure to remove any solid fat from the meat.
  2. Season the beef with the SPG.
  3. Start cooking the meat 20 minutes before serving. If possible, char the outside thoroughly, and leave the inside very rare. If charring is not possible, sear on very high heat.
  4. Wait to slice until after you prepare the other ingredients.

Grape Tomato Confit Ingredients:

  • 3 pints grape tomatoes, split
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil (or enough to cover tomatoes)
  • ¼ oz SPG
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar

Grape Tomato Confit Directions:

  1. Wash and split the grape tomatoes. Remove seeds with the tip of a paring knife.
  2. Cover the tomatoes and the garlic cloves with the olive oil and roast in 350F oven, 15–20 minutes, until they take on a cooked appearance.
  3. Remove from the oven and pour off the excess oil and the garlic cloves. Save for later use or discard.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and then toss the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Keep hot before serving at 160F or higher.

Potato Latkes Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 2 oz onions, minced
  • 2 oz fennel, minced
  • 5 oz lemon juice
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 10 oz bread flour
  • 2 bunches of chives, fresh, chopped
  • 3 oz salt and pepper


  1. Place the potato shreds in a steel bowl with the lemon juice and onion. Toss together and hold 20 minutes.
  2. Wring excess water from the potatoes and add the eggs, flour, SPG, and chives.
  3. Form into pancakes using a ⅓ cup measure. Form them on the flat grill and then pan fry at 350F until golden and crispy outside. Drain on paper towels. If the cakes need to be recrisped, they can be flashed again in the fryer.

Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dry oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce


  1. Make sure that the parsley is very clean.
  2. Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 2 minutes, or until the product is smooth and well mixed.
  3. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Final assembly:

  1. Sear beef, charring if possible. This product should be “black and blue” if possible.
  2. Plate first the potato pancake, spoon the tomato confit on top of the pancake, and place the skewered beef, removed from the skewer, on top of the whole works.
  3. Spoon chimichurri over the beef and dot along the plate as a functional garnish.

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Pan Seared Gorgonzola and Shallot Crusted Filet with Potato Croquette, Forest Mushrooms, and Dressed Haricots Verts

Recipe courtesy of Jamie Rotter, Program Coordinator of Culinary Arts at Finger Lakes Community College

This recipe was cooked for FLCC’s president’s retirement dinner this year. It makes 6 servings.

Gorgonzola and Shallot Crusted Filet Ingredients:

  • 8oz. Filet Mignon
  • ¼ c shallots, minced
  • 1 c Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ c Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • ¼ c red wine
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Sea salt

Gorgonzola and Shallot Crusted Filet Directions:

  1. Heat a ribbed cast iron skillet until very hot.
  2. Season the steaks liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and sear, making marks on the steak. Hold seared steaks at room temperature.
  3. Sauté the shallots until soft; deglaze with the red wine and reduce by two thirds.
  4. Cool the shallot mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 475F.
  6. 15 minutes prior to serving, place the shallot mixture in a bowl with the gorgonzola and the panko crumbs.
  7. Combine until there is a homogeneous mixture.
  8. Place the steaks on a half sheet and coat the top of each steak with the crumb mixture.
  9. Finish the steaks to an internal temp of 120F and allow to rest 5 minutes prior to plating.

Potato Croquettes Ingredients:

  • 8 russet potatoes
  • 2 bunches of ramps or scallions, whites only
  • 4 oz butter
  • ½ pt cream
  • ¼ cup parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp SPG (salt, pepper, garlic) mix
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs, seasoned

Potato Croquettes Directions:

  1. Chop scallions or ramps and saute to soften.
  2. Make mashed potatoes using the potatoes, butter, cream, parmesan, and SPG.
  3. Spread the finished mashed potato on a half sheet to cool.
  4. When the potatoes have cooled enough to work with, portion using a spoon or ice cream scoop.
  5. Flatten each portion to form a disc one inch or less thick.
  6. Bread each disc using the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.
  7. Deep fry each disc until they reach an internal temperature of 160F and have a golden brown exterior.
  8. Remove with a spider or tongs to a paper lined plate.
  9. Plate at once on hot plates.

Dressed Haricots Verts (baby green beans) Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh haricots verts, snipped at stem end only; blanched
  • 2 Tbsp veggie base
  • 1 Tbsp fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil), dry
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • 1 pt apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp SPG

Dressed Haricots Verts Directions:

  1. In a small saucepot, bring the veggie base, apple cider, vinegar and ½ c of water to boil.
  2. Combine the arrowroot with enough cold water to make a functional slurry.
  3. Add the slurry to the boiling liquid and allow to simmer for 30 seconds. Add the fines herbes and SPG.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. In a small amount of oil, sauté the green beans until al dente.
  6. Toss the sauce into the finished beans and serve immediately.

Forest Mushrooms in Red Wine Demi Glace Ingredients:

Forest Mushrooms in Red Wine Demi Glace Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the demi per directions on the container and put aside.
  2. In a tiny amount of oil, sear the mushrooms.
  3. Add the red wine and deglaze. Reduce by ⅔.
  4. Add the demi, bring to temp and plate at once.

When all components have been completed, plate the entrée as follows:

  1. Heat the plates!
  2. Beans go down at the center of the plate. Be sure to toss the beans well with the sauce.
  3. Place the croquette at 2 o clock on the plate.
  4. Place the crusted steak across the beans and propped up on the croquette.
  5. Sauce the plates. Be sure to get mushrooms on each plate.
  6. Wipe plates and serve at once.
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Written by Jenna Colozza

Jenna was a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media when an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo studying English literature.

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There are 3 comments

  • Edna Oneal says:

    That’s great. I like your recipes so much. Thanks for sharing.

  • A Summer Dinner With SUNY ? that is cool

  • ajay says:

    Seems pretty cool

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