Great menu ideas for neighborhood bistros

These days…these economic times can be trying.
FOH or back room accounting.
Though good neighborhood bistros remain favorites.
Pasta also remains a perennial favorite…wow ‘em and woo’em with small plates.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
topping off the bottom line with great tips
for great menus.
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Meanwhile pasta panache is ideal as Daily Specials.
Lemon-Parmesan Linguine
Light and fresh.  Also try fresh made lemon pasta.
3/4 pound linguine
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix in lemon juice and peel.
Add pasta–toss to coat, adding reserved cooking water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency. Add cheese–toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
Orzo is trending these days.  Develop an entree or small plate.
Stuffed peppers?  Or served in a broth.
Toasted Orzo with Peas, Onion and Bacon
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
5 bacon slices, chopped
3 1/4 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add orzo and stir until beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Transfer orzo to small bowl. Add onion and bacon to same skillet. Sauté until bacon browns and onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups broth and orzo and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until broth is absorbed and orzo is tender, about 18 minutes. Mix in peas. Add more broth if mixture is dry. Cover and cook until peas are just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Simple classics…
Carmelized Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Linguine
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into thin strips * or fresh roasted
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
12 ounces linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add peppers. Sauté 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, vinegar, and fennel seeds. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in rema ining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to serving bowl.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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