The last part of our trip was spent on the Lithuanian coast in several resort towns by the Baltic Sea. We were there pretty early in the season so it was still a bit chilly at the beach and I just got my feet wet, although Apolinaras actually swam a couple of days!
We spent a lot of time exploring Nida, which has gorgeous sand dunes and a lighthouse that can be spotted from all angles. Apolinaras spent many summers here, so it was really fun to see all his favorite spots.
Another one of the highlights was walking through the Hill of Witches in Juodkrante, which is home to hundreds of wooden sculptures carved by Lithuanian artists.
Many were inspired by folklore and fairy tales and several were interactive.
We felt like kids again and had a blast posing with them all!
We also really enjoyed checking out the Devils’ Museum in Kaunas. One of the most popular customs is the use of art to scare away evil spirits. It’s thought that the devil hates being mocked and leaves when people make fun of him. Therefore many people collect devil sculptures and display them in their homes.
After indulging in traditional Lithuanian dishes like those yummy zeppelins and these fried dumplings stuffed with mushrooms and covered in cheese for the majority of our trip, I was ready for some lighter fare once we arrived in Palanga.
After strolling the grounds of the Amber Museum and the boardwalk, I ordered a crispy pan fried chicken breast topped with grilled pineapple, a berry sauce, and whole walnuts for lunch.
I just loved the flavor combination and was inspired to create something similar after we got home. For my version, I coated the chicken with finely ground walnuts and bread crumbs and topped it with a sauce made from berry preserves and lemon juice for a bit of tang. Then I topped the chicken with chunks of fresh pineapple!
So this ends the recap of our trip to Lithuania. I’m so happy that we were able to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary exploring Apolinaras’ homeland together!
Walnut Crusted Pineapple Chicken
1 cup walnuts, pulsed in the food processor until finely ground
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, pounded flat until 1/2-inch thick
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup of your favorite berry preserves (I used Trader Joe’s reduced sugar blackberry)
Juice of one lemon
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
Heat oven to 350˚F. Mix ground walnuts, bread crumbs, and salt in a shallow pan. Put the flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour. Place the beaten eggs in another shallow dish and dredge both sides of the flour coated chicken in the egg mixture; place chicken in the walnut mixture and coat well on all sides.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick pan and sear two walnut coated chicken breasts on both sides. Repeat with remaining tablespoon of oil and two chicken breasts. Place seared chicken breasts in a 13×9-inch baking dish and bake at 350˚F for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
Make the sauce by mixing berry preserves and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon sauce over cooked chicken and sprinkle chopped pineapple evenly on top. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 386 calories, 23.8g fat, 2.7g fiber, 9.0g protein per serving
Cost: $1.92 per serving