Bill Frater

What's Cooking with Chef Gray

 Vegetable Pad Thai 

serves 2-3
for the sauce
3-4 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
for the noodles
8 oz wide Pad Thai rice noodles, also called Banh Pho
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
crushed red pepper, as much as you like
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
1 heaping cup of cubed fried tofu, available at Asian stores
a big hand full of bean sprouts
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons roasted, chopped peanuts
3-4 cilantro sprigs, chopped
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
1. Place all the sauce ingredients in a non stick sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on low for about 2 minutes, or till the sauce has thickened just a little. Turn off heat and set aside.
2. Soak and drain the noodles according to package instructions. If the package doesn't have instructions, soak the noodles in warm water for about 15 minutes or till they become pliable. Then drain.
3. Heat the oil in a large wok. Add the crushed red pepper. As soon as they sizzle, add the garlic, broccoli and carrots. Toss on medium-high heat till the broccoli turns bright green and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the soaked noodles, tofu and the sauce. Toss on medium-high heat till everything is well combine and the noodles are cooked, but still a little chewy, and not mushy.
5. Turn off heat, and add the bean sprouts, and green onions and mix well.
6. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges on the side.


Veggie Pesto Risotto
Servings 2-3
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 tea spoon of Truffle Oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup pesto sauce
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the zucchini
1 lb zucchini, Cut into half moons
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (I like Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning)
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (plus 1 tsp zest)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts, basil, yeast , lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse until ground to a fine paste, about 1 minute. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425 F for the zucchini, and have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Warm the vegetable broth in a saucepan. Keep it warm on the lowest setting possible as you prepare the risotto.
Preheat a heavy-bottomed 4 quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion in oil and a pinch of salt until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to stir and coat with oil. Add the white wine and stir occasionally, until wine is mostly absorbed, 4 minutes or so. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low.
Add the broth by the cupful, stirring the risotto after each addition until the broth is mostly absorbed (6 to 8 minutes). After 2 cupfuls, add about half of the pesto and stir well, then continue to cook, adding broth by the cupful, stirring, and letting the liquid absorb.
At some point in there, your oven will be preheated. Toss the zucchini with oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast for about 6 minutes on each side, or until softened and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
With your last addition of broth, add the remainder of the pesto. Taste for salt and add the other 1/4 teaspoon if needed. Risotto is ready when the rice is chewy but still firm, and the sauce is very creamy. For a firmer risotto, just cook a few minutes extra to absorb more of the liquid.
To serve: scoop risotto into each bowl, and top with zucchini. Drizzle with extra pesto and garnish with a few toasted pine nuts.


Chef Gray’s Dad’s Chile Verde Recipe

  • Cook time: 2 ½ hours
  • Serves about 6.



  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
  • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 2 Serrano seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  •  Poblano chiles (optional)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken stock

1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.

If you want the additional flavor of chiles other than jalapenos, you can add a couple poblano chiles. Either use canned green chiles orroast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.

2 Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Serrano peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

3 Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.

4 Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan. Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat).  Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.) Enjoy

                                Beef Stroganoff Recipe

2.5 pounds beef chuck roast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 ounces butter

4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (10 ounce) can condensed beef broth

1 teaspoon prepared (Dijon)mustard

8 sliced mushrooms (Brown)

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup white wine

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

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  1. Remove any fat and gristle from the roast and cut into strips 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches long. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef strips quickly, then push the beef strips off to one side. Add the onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, then push to the side with the beef strips.
  3. Stir the flour into the juices on the empty side of the pan. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and stir in mustard. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  4. Five minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream, and white wine. Heat briefly then salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with Rice or Potatoes

T-Pain's  Cedar Plank Salmon
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 (2-pounds) salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick)
  • Equipment: a cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches)


Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 45 min, keeping it immersed.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure . Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.
Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.
"Sully's" Roasted RosemLemon Whole Chicken 


  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus 3 whole fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 5 juniper berries*
  • 1 whole Lemon cut into slices 
  • 1 stem of Rosemerry chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or coarse kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 5- to 6-pound whole chicken (preferably organic), backbone and neck removed (reserved for Light Homemade Chicken Stock , if making)


Combine chopped rosemary and next 4 ingredients in mortar and crush with pestle or blend in mini processor until coarse paste forms. Mix in oil. Rinse chicken; pat dry. Rub 1 teaspoon herb mixture over bone side of chicken. Turn chicken over and open like book; place chicken, skin side up, on work surface. Loosen skin from breast and thigh meat; rub remaining herb mixture over meat under skin. Rub any remaining herb mixture on outside of chicken.
Place rosemary sprigs in 13x9x2-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Place chicken, skin side up, atop rosemary sprigs in dish. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roast chicken uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170°F, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer chicken to platter and serve.

Robbie Merrill from GodSmack


  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk,* whisked to blend
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Thai curry paste*
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut crosswise in half
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 Kaffir Lime leaves


Bring 1/4 cup coconut milk and curry paste to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Add bell pepper and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring

Fergie from the Blace Eye Pea’s

1 side, skin-on, sockeye salmon, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, pin bones removed
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 cups of Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the oven 3 inches from the broiler. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and place the salmon on the pan.

Place the sugar, zest, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a small food processor and process for 1 minute or until well combined. Evenly spread the mixture onto the salmon and allow to sit for 45 minutes, at room temperature.

Turn the oven on to the high broiler setting for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, place the salmon into the oven and broil for 6 to 8 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish reaches an internal temperature of 131 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Joe Hann From Linkin Park

4 large short ribs
2 scallions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sake.
Cucumber Kimchi, recipe follows, optional

Score ribs every 1/2-inch along the length and width of the bone, making sure not to cut too deep so the meat will stay attached to the bone.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl to make the marinade. Pour the marinade over the ribs and push the sauce into the cuts so it gets all the way down to the bone. Turn the ribs over face down in the marinade and cover for about 2 hours in the ridge.
Remove ribs from the marinade and barbecue over a charcoal grill. Serve ribs with Cucumber Kimchi, steamed brown rice..




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