Posts in Large Plates
Vermont Skiing Fondue

The 18th century Swiss fondue using aged cheese and wine to make stale bread palatable, is as much a social eating tradition as it is a culinary one. Remind family and friends that they must not drop meat, bread, fruit, or veggies into the pot. Folklore suggests that anyone who loses their food in the cheese must kiss the person sitting next to them--a peck on the cheek is all that is required.

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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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OFYR Grilled Lobster Tails with Wasabi Lime Butter

The 100 million year old, tender clawed, muscular tailed Maine lobster species was once fed to prisoners and considered a poor man's protein. Today, this cold water crustacean found from Maine to the Carolinas boasts a pricey delicacy reputation. It is one of the few foods that has been prepared the same way for hundreds of years whether served in a rustic New England clam shack, or in a fine dining establishment--boiled with a side of clarified butter. Some may argue, "why mess with something that works?" True. But for those never completely satisfied with the status quo, those wanderlust taste seekers, this recipe is dedicated to the culinary wanderlust.

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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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