Repurpose Me: Your Chop Platter Is Practical

Remember those large round china plates that tend to end up at the back of your china cabinet? The ones that look like they've hardly ever been used, because they haven't been?

When I hear Chef Alton Brown talk about multi-taskers, this is the piece of vintage dinnerware I think of: the round platter or chop plate.

These platters are usually about 12 inches in diameter and in the vintage days of meat and potatoes for supper, they were the go-to serving piece for piles of pork chops.

Today, fatty meats are not in favor, and even with lower-fat pork - "the other white meat" - pork chops may not be found on the family menu as often as they once were.

But there are plenty of ways to repurpose this china. Its generous size makes it great to serve a family or a crowd. Here are some ideas:

  • A really big salad
  • Vegetable tray of carrots, celery, broccoli, pepper strips, etc. Just use a color-coordinated bowl in the center to hold the dip
  • Corn on the cob
  • Sliced fruit, especially watermelon or cantaloupe
  • A pile of muffins or cupcakes
  • A large stack of sandwiches or burgers
  • Pad Thai noodles with seafood
  • Grilled meat, like ribs, or chicken. Even pork chops

For anything that is juicy, choose a chop plate in coupe shape -- smooth overall with a bit more height at the sides. For pastries and baked goods, the rim shape versions give extra color and pattern around the edge to make the food look even better.

A vintage chop plate or round platter - once stowed in the back of the kitchen cabinet - is still a practical and creative addition to your next meal for a crowd, whether on the buffet or picnic table, or in the dining room.

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