Bigger Plates

/Bigger Plates


2018-02-06T06:19:19+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is one of those elegantly simple recipes that is way more than the sum of it’s
parts; it’s all about the best ingredients. Do get the best fresh pasta, the juiciest
lemons, the richest cream – you’ll be very happy you did! To serve 4, you’ll need:
½ stick (¼ C.) unsalted European butter
1 C. heavy cream
4 Tb. fresh lemon juice
3 tsp. lemon zest
1 Lb. fresh linguini
Salt, pepper
Fresh Parmesan for grating
Melt the butter in a large skillet then stir in the cream and lemon juice. Remove
the pan from the heat, cover it and keep it warm. Cook the pasta – fresh only
takes a couple minutes – then drain it and reserve about ½ C. of the pasta water.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with the lemon zest and a Tb. or two of
the pasta water and mix well. Add more pasta water if it seems dry, correct the
seasoning, and serve with lots of grated Parmesan. Lovely, elegant, and smart –
just like you!


2018-02-06T06:17:29+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is a mixture that you can use for a multitude of meaty things – meatloaf and
meatballs being the most obvious. But with a few tweaks you can make this go in
a variety of directions – here is the basic formula. To serve 4-6 you’ll need:
1 Lb. 80/20 ground beef (don’t go for the lean stuff; fat = flavor)
½ Lb. pork sausage
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. panko bread crumbs or fine bread crumbs
¼ C. milk or cream
½ small onion, fine dice
Salt, pepper, herbs to taste (you might not need much depending on the spiciness
in your sausage)
In a large bowl mix the beef and pork together – your hands work best here – then
add the beaten eggs. In a small bowl mix the crumbs and cream together, then
combine that with the meat mixture along with the onions. You can form this into
a meatloaf and bake for 1 hour at 350, or make it into meatballs to be simmered
in sauce or baked in the oven. You can glaze the meatloaf with a mixture of
ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard, you can mix in a cup of sautéed diced
mushrooms, you can get your meatballs into a hoagie… can go nuts once you
have this basic formula down. Experiment, and have fun with your meat!!


2018-02-06T06:16:00+00:00February 6th, 2018|


1 lb. large raw frozen prawns, thawed and peeled
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
Olive oil for sautéing
3 jars Cucina Fresca Smoked tomato sauce (if you can’t find this, use 1 28 oz. can
best quality imported diced tomatoes)
½ cup raisins or currants
1 Tb. each cinnamon and cumin
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
If you can’t find Cucina Fresca Smoked tomato sauce – which is amazing, by the
way, you might want to add 1 Tb. smoked paprika for that extra punch of flavor.
Sauté’ the onion in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan till the
onion gets translucent, then toss in your garlic. Let that cook for less than a
minute, and then add the tomato sauce. Add your spices and let it all simmer
together for at least 10 to 15 minutes– you want the flavors to blend. Then put in
the prawns and let them cook till they’re pink and firm. Don’t let them cook too
long; it won’t take more than 3 or 4 minutes. Stir this around well, and serve it
over whole wheat couscous. Broccoli with salt, olive oil, and lots of lemon zest
goes great as a side dish, and if you have some, you might want to scatter some
slivered almonds on top. This will serve 4 people; it’s easy, and it’s really really


2018-02-06T06:14:46+00:00February 6th, 2018|

We came up with this in cooking class recently, and it’s easy, quick, healthy, and oh yeah –
seriously good! For 4 to 6 people you’ll need:
½ cup soy sauce
1 Tb. red chili flakes (more or less, depending on what you like)
1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
1 large head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 seedless English cucumber, diced
2-3 scallions, minced (optional)
3-4 Tb. peanut oil
1-2 Tb. rice wine vinegar or to taste
1 Tb. toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Combine the soy sauce and chili flakes in a large saucepan of water and bring to a simmer.
Carefully put in the chicken pieces, stirring well, and keep at a simmer till the chicken is no
longer pink and cooked through. Again, being careful, drop in the broccoli pieces – this is why
you need a big pan – and just let them blanch for about a minute. When they’re bright green
and still crunchy, drain the pan well. If you do this over a big bowl you’ll have the basis for a
great soup for the next day. Let the chicken and broccoli cool for at least 20 minutes, or chill
covered in the fridge, and then when you’re ready add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, add
more soy, vinegar, or sesame if you want to, and you’ll have a truly delicious salad. If you serve
this over cooked cooled brown rice it’ll feed even more people!


2018-02-06T06:13:47+00:00February 6th, 2018|

I found this recipe a few years ago and it’s so fun; it’s the essence of summer and
simplicity. To serve 4, you’ll need:
1 Lb. linguine
1 Lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
4 – 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 -3 sprigs basil plus leaves for garnish
3 Tb. olive oil plus more for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ½ C. water
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
Combine all of the above ingredients except the Parmesan in a large straight sided
skillet. Bring to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, then stir and turn the mixture
with tongs. It’s done when the pasta is al dente and the water has almost
evaporated, about 9 minutes. Season the pasta with the salt and pepper, top with
the grated Parm, and serve. A delicious dinner in 15 minutes!


2018-02-06T06:13:18+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is a recipe that has served our family well for years – it showcases the
deliciousness of fresh clams and everyone loves it. I’ve adapted it from all the
giant pots of clam we’ve enjoyed over the years at Long beach. Planning on at
least a pound of clams per person, to serve 4, you’ll need:
4-5 lb. cleaned small clams in shell
4 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
4 – 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ C. chopped fresh parsley
Large squeeze fresh lemon (optional)
Add the olive oil to a large tall pot with a lid. Heat to almost smoking, toss in the
garlic, count to 10, then toss in several large handfuls of clams. A mess will be
made but don’t worry, it’s worth it. Put on the lid, count to 10 again, then turn
down the heat to medium. Cook and shake for 2 to 3 minutes more until they’re
open and ready. Get rid of any that don’t open. Transfer the clams to bowls, pour
the juice over, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with lots of bread to soak up the
juice. Or serve over pasta – either way, they’re great!
To clean fresh clams: Choose whole, undamaged clams. Shortly before cooking,
soak the clams in fresh water for about 20 minutes. They clean themselves by
breathing in the fresh water and breathing out the stuff you don’t want. Pull them
out of the water, leaving the sand and other gunk behind. Scrub them if they have
lots of barnacles or other sea stuff on them, then cook and enjoy.


2018-02-06T06:12:41+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is a wonderful way to cook the best fresh wild salmon; it’s a quick pan roast
that they use at Ray’s Boathouse and it’s great. The salsa is optional but pretty
great too. To serve 4, you’ll need:
4 8oz. salmon fillets, skin on
Salt and pepper
2 Tb. olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350. Season the flesh side of the salmon with salt and
pepper. Heat the olive oil in an iron or ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.
Add your salmon, flesh side down, and sear for 4 minutes – don’t move it as you
want a crust to form. Turn the fillets over to the skin side and put the pan right in
the oven to roast for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness. You
want a little translucence still in the middle of the fish. Serve with the salsa and
except applause!!
Use this when nectarines are ripe and delicious – so good! For about 2 cups of
salsa, combine:
2-3 large nectarines, chopped
½ small white onion, minced
2 Tb. fresh lime juice
1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced
½ bunch cilantro, minced
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
Mix all this up, adjust the seasoning, and enjoy!!


2018-02-06T05:56:48+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is a great recipe to have on hand when it’s hot, you don’t wanna cook, but you want
something good. You can use more or less olive oil, vinegar, and salt – these are guidelines.
¾ C. good olive oil
1 ½ Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ Tb red wine vinegar
3 to 4 lbs. of ripe tomatoes, cut into medium dice
Handful of basil or oregano leaves, chopped
Sea salt and fresh pepper
1 large clove garlic, very finely minced
1 lb. spiral pasta
Blend oil and vinegars in a big bowl, then add the tomatoes and squish ‘em to release some
juice. Stir in whichever herb you’re using then add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover the bowl
and let the whole thing marinate at room temp for about an hour. Cook the pasta, drain it, and
add it to the tomato mixture. Let the pasta/tomato mixture stand for 15 minutes at room
temp; it will absorb all kinds of flavor and get delicious. Season it a bit more with salt and
pepper and serve to your grateful, cool guests.


2018-02-06T05:56:15+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This is simple, inexpensive, and really tasty; fresh spring peas and new mint will
guarantee you a fine meal. To serve 4, you’ll need:
1 Lb. pasta (shells or any small cup-shaped pasta)
1 C. fresh peas (you can use frozen & thawed in a pinch)
Mint pesto (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmesan (leave out for vegans)
2 green onions, chopped for garnish
Handful fresh mint leaves, chopped for garnish
Olive oil, salt, and fresh pepper to taste
Boil the pasta till it’s al dente and drain, reserving ½ C. of the cooking water.
Working quickly, put the hot pasta in a big serving bowl and toss in the peas. Now
mix in ½ cup of your pesto, adjust the seasoning, and see how it looks. If it seems
dry put in a little of the reserved pasta water. Then sprinkle on the parmesan and
top with the green onions and mint. Fresh, delicious, and springy!
1 C. fresh mint leaves (or ¾ C. mint and ¼ C. parsley)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tsp. lemon zest
2-3 Tb. olive oil
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Put all of the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and process till
chunky. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil till it’s the consistency
you like. Adjust the seasoning then serve over almost any protein, or with
vegetables, pasta, or crostini. So good!


2018-02-06T05:54:59+00:00February 6th, 2018|

This was adapted from a more complex recipe, but the results are just as good;
the relish would also be good with chicken or even duck. To serve four:
1 1 to 2 lb. pork tenderloin (brined if possible)
8 dried Mission figs, soaked in hot water for an hour and drained
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tb. water
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 Tb. soy sauce
Preheat your oven to 425. Dry the pork then season it with salt and pepper. Heat
a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat, coat with olive oil, and add the
pork. Brown it on all sides, about 4 minutes. While the pork browns, chop the figs
and the onion. Combine vinegar, water, and soy sauce in a small bowl. When the
pork is brown, move it from the pan to a plate, then add the fig, onion, and
vinegar mixture to the pan, scraping up any lovely browned bits. Put the pork
back in the pan, snuggle it into the figs and onion, and pop it in the oven for about
15 minutes or until your thermometer reads 145-150 for medium. Take the pork
out and tent it for 5 minutes while you stir the relish a bit. Serve your tenderloin
sliced with the relish alongside on a large platter and revel in the porky