Posts in LARGE PLATES
Portuguese Cockles

Cockles are literally the sweet hearts of the shellfish world. Heart-shaped ribbed mollusks, they are prized for their petit, sweet, tender meat. A simple broth backdrop of parsley, garlic, and white wine proved just the right base for sopping up cockle flavored juices. While any dry, white wine may be substituted, a young slightly effervescent Portuguese  crisp, full-bodied, wood-aged white wine from the Vinho Verde region makes this bivalve dish authentic.

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Lobster Brioche Sliders

On every American's bucket list should be a trip up the Maine coast for lighthouse gazing, puffin gawking, and an excursion out to sea with local lobstermen to experience the hauling and trapping of this coveted crustacean. All of course before tying on a bib and heading to a no frills roadside lobster shack where you can gorge on a 2 pounder without breaking the bank. In the meantime, get crackin' at home! These limited ingredient, served hot, ready in minutes, crowd pleasing lobster brioche sliders are perfect for backyard bbq's when frankly it is just too darn hot to build a fire.

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Normandy Mussel Pot

The grand finale of any cycling adventure in Normandy, however, should be a hole-in-the-wall stop for a steaming pot of mussels made with hard cider or apple brandy, crème fraîche, and leeks. Easy to prepare, and a wonderful journey to the coast of Normandy right from home, these delicious mollusks make a quick weeknight supper, a delicious pre dinner small plate, or a lovely addition to a New England clambake.

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Gordon Hamersley's Seared Rack of Lamb

Although this recipe is from his out of print cookbook, Bistro Cooking at Home, you may be able to find a copy on the Internet. When Gordon Hamersley announced he was closing his beloved South End restaurant, the book immediately sold for about $200 online. Today, you can find a used copy at a much more reasonable price. This elegant and exotic preparation has a reputation for changing the minds of lamb eating skeptics.

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Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken with Peanut Sauce & Coconut Rice

Chicken lovers flock to this tangy tart marinade. Coupled with a knock out peanut sauce, this is a dream weeknight dinner that keeps on giving throughout the week. On its own, the sauce is the perfect vehicle for dipping steamed broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and cauliflower. Don't let the long list of ingredients dissuade from making--once made, 1000 times repeated.

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Baja Fish Tacos

 A healthy diet should include fish as a weekly rotation and fish tacos often steal the show. This is an easy, inexpensive version utilizing cod because it is easy to find and costs significantly less than other species. To boot, the usual thickness of cod makes for lovely strips that hold their shape when moved from the baking tray to the serving platter. Why Baja? After some internet research, it appears that the lime crema makes it a dish typical of Southern California. 

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American Cassoulet

In the spirit of rugged American individualism, this flavorful recipe messes with a classic French dish. Relying less on pork parts not easily procured in U.S. supermarkets, store bought confit duck legs, and time saving short cuts, this plate delivers the best combination of traditional French cooking and American free spirited kitchen ingenuity (AKA efficiency)

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Elegant Pork Rib Roast with Sautéed Apples

Modern pig farming has given the lowly hog a bad wrap. Raised to be leaner and healthier, most supermarket pork cuts in the U.S. are engineered tasteless and rubbery textured pieces of meat. However, if you choose the cut carefully, and cook it to just barely pink, pork can be elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. The rib roast provides a thick layer of fat that helps maintain juicy flesh. To boot, it makes for an impressive dinner centerpiece looking almost too pretty to slice.

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Lamb Sliders with Harissa & Yogurt Sauce

The menu at Dune, the beachfront burger lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, serves a delicious lamb burger with roasted red peppers and Manchego cheese on a grilled onion roll bun. The chef claims the secret to tender lamb burgers is to loosely pack the meat and to salt only the exterior of the lamb patties. This recipe swaps the cheese for a yogurt-based sauce that enhances the naturally sweet ovine meat. Supermarket ground lamb has the perfect fat ratio and is no longer a special order item. The yogurt sauce is a traditional condiment served with lamb. Use it like ketchup and spread on the bun for a tangy, This tasty, lean, mean burger may be the new bbq favorite.

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Grilled Red Snapper with Caramelized Pineapple

A Gulf of Mexico inhabitant, the red snapper is a delicately textured, sweet flakey white fish. The grilling master and celebrity chef, Bobby Flay, inspired this recipe adaptation. The butter can be made ahead, even frozen a week in advance, which turns this dinner into a weeknight healthy, fast, and fight at the table for the biggest hunk of snapper supper. Served side by side with a margarita, it is a festive treat for weekend gatherings.

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Grilled Lobster Tails with Wasabi Lime Butter

Lobster tails also provide for an eating experience in which a bib is unnecessary. Grilling the tails makes for a quick and decadent feast. The wasabi butter plays brilliantly off the sweet meat and the kick will surprise and delight guests. 

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Rack of Lamb with Dijon Herb Coating

Healthier and more sustainably raised than beef, learning to prepare lamb should be a goal of every carnivorous home chef. Lamb is one of the few nearly completely grass-fed animals available from a  local farmer's market shepherd in nearly all regions of the United States.

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Sake Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass

When a local haunt shutters after nearly twenty years and it was owned by the handsome, generously spirited celebrity chef, Ming Tsai, there is real cause to wonder if a dish that has graced the menu for two decades might really be cooked at home. Ming credits his signature sake miso black cod as one of the dishes that cemented his career. It is this fish that helped catapult this Ivy League graduate with a mechanical engineering degree into a coveted circle of James Beard award-winning best chefs in America status. The consummate teacher, Ming, shares this recipe in his first cookbook, BLUE GINGER.  This recipe veers only from Ming's in that it is simplified by serving without sushi rolls and Ming's soy syrup glaze, but a wasabi potato puree instead. So yummy is this fish it just may become part of the regular family dinner rotation, or at the very least a not soon to be forgotten meal for social gatherings.

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Tuscan Steak with Parmesan Butter, Vincotto & Arugula

Visiting Tuscany teases all of the senses. Rolling hills dotted with miles of sunflower fields, solitary cypress trees, centuries old farmhouses, vineyards, and olive groves seem to jump from the paintings of Renaissance masterpieces. Sun-drenched rustic charm is as true of its landscapes as it is of its people. Tuscan steak, known as Bistecca alla Fiorentina to the locals, is one of the most popular dishes in the region.

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Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Seeds

Lamb, a breed that stores its fat in its tails, often takes center stage at the table. Stews, skewers, tajines, and meatballs are all made from lamb. For those brave hearts ready to dive into unfamiliar territory, a mouthful or two of these meatballs introduce your palate to a complex intersection of European meets Mediterranean meets African cuisine. No worries--you won't start bleating by eating lamb meatballs. 

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