Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole (GF)

Top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese.

Cooked up a couple of breakfast casseroles for a friend this week. They turned out great! My Green Chili Egg puff requires flour, and they needed another one that was gluten-free. So I came up with this one.

It takes some steps the night before, but makes for a quick and easy breakfast the next morning.

Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb bratwurst sausage (beer, or sweet Italian sausage)
  • 1 ½  cups diced sweet onion
  • 8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen shredded O’Brien hash browns, cooked crisp
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup diced red/yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2lb grape tomatoes, halved.
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (from about 6 onions)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

For Mikey: You can swap out the bell peppers for 2 small cans of diced green chilies, well drained. 😉

Prep:

Lightly coat a foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread hash-browns in a single layer, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and bake until crisp.

Cut all veggies.

Remove sausage from casings.

Toss sliced mushrooms with 1 Tbs. of oil, a little salt and pepper, and spread on another lined cookie-sheet. Roast in oven at 350F, until the mushroom are well browned.

Assemble:

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onions, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and mushrooms have given off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Throughout cooking, chop to crumble sausage.  Drain the liquid.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray, layer potatoes (no need to thaw), sausage mixture, then 1 cup cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, and green onions.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, basil, and pepper.

Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add half of the remaining cheese and whisk again.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

Pour egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Alternately, you can bake this casserole immediately.)

Cook:

In the morning, top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese. preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 60-70 minutes, or until egg in middle is just set (no jiggle) and edges are lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Great with a dollop of Mexican Crema, and some chopped cilantro or Italian Parsley.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

(Hey, if you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please do so! Don’t miss a single new recipe, Chef’s tip, or technique! The link is at the top of the right-hand column.)


Order The Home Chef Book
       Click on the Cover!

We are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

 

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Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

Bacon Bleu Burger

A nice juicy medium-rare bacon-mushroom-swiss has always been my go-to burger, but this Bacon & Bleu might just give it a run for it’s money!

The blue-cheese sauce is amazing, and would make an ideal crudites dip, as well.

Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground beef patties* (80/20% lean)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on grill.
  • 4 romaine leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • Additional slices of cooked pepper bacon to add whole (optional)

*Take your burgers up a notch by using your own custom burger blend.

Here’s mine, using brisket, sirloin, and bacon!

Creamy Bleu Cheese Sauce

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices of thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese and chopped, cooked bacon. Set aside at room temp.

Spread each bottom bun with mayo, and top with lettuce, then tomato.

Salt and grill the beef patties, and sprinkle each with a little garlic powder, as it comes off the grill, then place on the bottom buns, on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the bacon-cheese spread the top of grilled burger patties.

Top with remaining buns.

Get out there and grill!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ For even more BBQ and grilling articles and recipes, check out my outdoor cooking blog at www.lacajachinacooking.com


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Tips for Summer Grilling (AM Northwest)

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Hey, if you followed the link from AM Northwest, thanks for watching the show! We had a great time (as always) and (also as always) I only got halfway through my notes! 😉

Here’s an overview of what we covered, and what we didn’t have time to share, as well as some videos and links to some of my favorite (and delicious) ways to put these tips into practice!

Grill Like a Pro AM Northwest
Click here to watch the segment on AM Northwest!

Be sure to subscribe to my page (in the upper right-hand corner) to get all of my latest tips, tricks, and recipes!

~Chef Perry

Brining & Cuban Mojo Marinade Recipe

Spatch-cocking & Injecting

(Be sure to subscribe to My YouTube page, so you don’t miss a single video!

Near Room Temp Meat

In order to achieve the best results in your BBQ and grilling, you will want your meat to be near room temperature when cooking begins. You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. You can increase the rate at which it warms by placing it on a highly conductive metal, like aluminum (this is also a great way to speed up the thawing process for frozen foods.

Dragon Claws Appetizer

Dragon Claws AM Northwest
Click HERE for the recipe!

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Multi-zone grilling

Click on the link to see my article on multi-zone grilling, the various configurations, and which works best for different types of BBQ & grilling.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs

How to use the A-MAZE-N Smoker

Resting

See the article at this link to learn how and why resting meat before cutting can make or break your meal!

Cleaning

Clean your grill while it’s still HOT. Burn any remaining crud to carbon, brush with s stuff metal grill-brush. Cool until warm to the touch, and brush lightly with a high-heat oil, like Grape-seed.

Chimney Steaks

My personal favorite way to quick-grill a steak for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Now, get out there and grill!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ For even more BBQ and grilling articles and recipes, check out my outdoor cooking blog at www.lacajachinacooking.com


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Lovely leftovers: Pork Loin Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Aioli

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Garlic Grilled Whole Pork LoinLast week I grilled up a beautiful whole pork loin for a 4th of July party. As always, I cooked WAY more food that we could all eat, so I was able to bring a 3lb chunk that baby home with me to make my favorite tacos!

This recipe can be easily adapted to use use leftover pork shoulder, brisket, or even grilled chicken (I recommend using dark meat).

You can also kick up the heat by adding a few fresh jalapeno slices when sauteing the onions.

Pork Loin Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Aioli

  • 2 cups cooked pork loin, 1in cube
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. Hickory salt
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 cups leftover Maque Choux
  • 16oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 2oz diced green chilies

Pork Loin Tacos

Combine pork loin cubes with seasonings, and stir to coat the meat. Add to slow cooker.

Add all remaining ingredients (above) to slow cooker, mix, and cook 4 hours on low.

Taste for seasoning.

Tacos

  • 8 flour gordita-style tortillas, warmed
  • 8 Tbs fresh white onion, diced
  • 8 Tbs Cilantro Aioli

Cilantro Avocado AioliCilantro Avocado Aioli

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 -3 drop hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 small avocados, peeled & cubed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and mix until blended.

Cilantro Avocado AioliTaste for seasoning.

Chill before serving.

Note: If you chop the pork even smaller (1/4 in. dice) this would make an amazing taco dip, with warm corn tortilla chips!

Enjoy!

~Chef Perry

 


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4th of July Grilling Party Menu

Here’s the menu (and recipes) for my”4th of July BBQ Party” raffle winners, Ron & Karen Wilkinson!

If you were there, thanks again!

*This menu was designed to serve 40.

Menu:

  • Bacon Wrapped Pickles
  • Dragon Claws
  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Loins (whole)
  • Cedar Plank Salmon
  • Maque Choux
  • Sesame Cilantro Slaw

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Bacon Wrapped Pickle Spears

  • 60 “Crunchy Dill” pickle spear
  • 60 slice of thin-sliced bacon (I like the double smoked apple-wood.)
  • You favorite brand of Buttermilk Ranch dressing, for dipping
  • 60 toothpicks

Pre-heat the grill.

Follow video instructions for prep, and grill over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp.

Serve hot, with cold Ranch Dressing for dipping.

bacon-wrapped-pork-loin

Ultimate Bacon-Garlic Pork Loin Roast

BRINE (for both)

  • 1 gallon water                         
  • 1 cup salt.
  • 1 cup sugar

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. When done with the brine, remove from brine, rinse under running water and pat dry. You may season some at this point but DO NOT ADD SALT if you brine.

  • 20 pounds pork loin not tenderloin                
  • 28 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper         
  • 2 teaspoon paprika

COOK

Grill pork loin over direct heat just to sear on all sides.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Mix the seasonings in small bowl and rub it on the pork. Coat with the garlic on top of the fat cap.

Lay out your bacon on a large cutting board, edges touching, to the length of yoru pork loin. Set the roast in the lower third of the bacon and wrap the bacon, one slice at a time, over the roast, securing both ends at the side of the roast.

Add the pork loin to a baking pan, on a rack, and insert your thermometer probe in one end.

Cook the pork for 60-75 minutes or until it has reached a temperature of 145F.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing & serving.

Cedar Plank Salmon

Cedar Plank Salmon

  • 1/2 cup mild honey
  • 1/4 cup McCormick’s Maple Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 2 (10lb) salmon fillets with skin (1 1/2 0- 2in. thick)
  • Cedar grilling planks (about 15 by 6 inches)

Soak your cedar grilling plank(s) in water to cover 2 hours, 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.

Portion your salmon filets as large as possible, but still fitting the on the planks.

Stir together (warmed) honey, McCormick seasoning, 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 directly over hot coals, 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.

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Maque Choux with Bacon

Any Southerner worth his Moon Pie knows that bacon and corn go great together. I mean, bacon goes great with just about everything, sure, but pair it with fresh, sweet corn and you really have something special!

This old school, simple side-dish is one of my all-time favorites. Corn and bacon drippings with onion and bell pepper, topped with crispy bits of bacon.

If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, something inside of you has died.

  • 48 cups fresh sweet corn kernels                           
  • 2 lbs bacon
  • 4 1/2 cups chopped sweet onions (3 large)                       
  • 3 cup chopped red, yellow, bell pepper
  • 3 tsp. salt                                                              
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper                                
  • 12 firm Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cup chopped green onions                                 
  • 4 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbs sweet cream butter

Cut the sweet corn from the cobs. Chop the sweet onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, pat dry, crumble and set aside. Pour off the melted fat, leaving a thin layer in the pan.

Add the remaining ingredients (except corn & cilantro) to the bacon drippings and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, over medium heat.

Pour the cooked ingredients into a baking dish. Stir in the raw corn, green onions, and reserved bacon. Let rest 2-3 minutes, and serve, topped with fresh cilantro.

If using frozen corn, pop the pan in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, before serving.

IMG_3499-800x600Sesame-Cilantro Slaw

  • 30 cups slaw mix                                       
  • 20 Tbs rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 40 Tbs Best Foods mayonnaise                 
  • 40 tsp sugar substitute
  • 20 tsp black pepper                                   
  • 40 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 10 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mayo, sugar sub, and pepper until smooth. Add cabbage and cilantro, and toss to coat well.

Chill 20 minutes.

In the meantime, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, until golden and aromatic. Set aside to cool.

When ready to served, give the slaw a stir, spoon onto plates (or sandwiches) and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


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Mastering the White Sauces

Sauce Bechamel

Sauce Bechamel is a milk based French Mother Sauce, which means it’s the base for a whole family of secondary sauces like Mornay, Cheddar Cheese Sauce, or even a simple cream sauce (see below).

The 5 French Mother Sauces:

  • Béchamel (light roux, milk, herbs and spices)
  • Velouté (light roux with stock)
  • Espagnole (dark roux, beef stock, mirepoix, tomato paste)
  • Sauce Tomat (dark roux, pork stock, tomatoes, mirepoix)
  • Hollandaise (no roux, egg yolks, melted butter)

Standard Bechamel (1 quart)

  • 4oz white roux
  • 1qt whole milk
  • 1/4 white onion, skin peeled off
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • Salt, White Pepper and Nutmeg To Taste

The Roux: Combine flour and butter in a small pan, and cook over moderate heat, to make a white roux. In a separate pot, heat up milk to a simmer.

Add roux to the milk, making sure that both the milk and the roux are not too hot.

Whisk the roux and milk together and bring to a simmer. Add bay leaf, clove, and white onion. Simmer for about 30 minutes, and thin with milk if necessary.

Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste. The nutmeg should not be recognizable, but is just to add depth of flavor.

Finish by straining through cheesecloth.

Secondary Sauces:

Almost any milk or cream based sauce that you will make, will start with a classic Bechamel. Here are three of my favorite secondary sauces that are based on the recipe above.

Each of these are based on 1qt of Bechamel.

1200px-Making_White_sauce_5Standard Cream Sauce
8oz of heavy cream, heated
Season with salt, white pepper and a dash of lemon juice to taste
Favorite herbs and spices to taste
Strain through a cheesecloth for a smooth, creamy finish

Mornay Sauce
Stir in 4oz of Gruyere and 2 oz of Parmesan cheese, both grated
Turn off heat and whisk in 2 oz of unsalted butter
Adjust consistency with warm milk as necessary

Cheddar cheese sauceCheddar Cheese Sauce
8oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Stir all ingredients into warm bechamel until cheddar cheese is melted

Mustard Sauce
Stir in 4oz good dijon mustard
Remove from heat and whisk in 4 oz of unsalted butter
Strain through cheesecloth
(You can spice this up by using hot Chinese mustard!)


The Home Chef Book
Click on the Cover!

We are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

It’s the shame that makes it taste so good…

guilty pleasure food

People who love to cook, and Chef’s and professional cooks especially, know that we’re judged by what we eat, or at least my what we ADMIT we eat. 😉

be-honest-is-this-too-much-lettuce-because-bacon-7079897Based on the types of memes that readers share on my Facebook pages, it seems like most folks think I live solely on bacon and brisket, and little else. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a middle-aged chef, who wants to be an OLD chef, I don’t eat bacon nearly as often as I post about it which, in a strange way, seems to make it taste better the few times a month that I indulge.

Brisket, I smoke maybe 5-6 a year, which makes upwards of 30 meals for my family of three.

Another thing that those of us who excessively (or annoyingly) post recipes and photos of our better creations can attest to, it that we don’t get invited over for dinner much.

By the way…our pride is our downfall, as our friends and family tend to think that they can’t cook as good, or at least as fancy, as we do, and are maybe a little intimidated to serve their own “home cooked” favorites to us.

Again, not true…

If you play the classic “What’s your death-row meal” with 10 cooks, 8 or 9 of the responses are going to be a simple, inexpensive, home-cooked dish that our moms or grandmas cooked for us, and not some Thomas Keller 22-course tasting menu, as five-hundred bucks a pop.

Most of us love the same foods you do, and we LOVE to have other folks cook for us.

Likewise, Chef’s especially, often have a laundry list of some of the nastiest, unhealthy, processed comfort foods on their “guilty pleasures” list, even as we preach natural, organic, farm-to-table menus to the masses.

We just don’t talk about it, and we don’t post THOSE pictures. 😉

Top 3 on MY Guilt Pleasure list:

Earns KraftBoxed Mac & Cheese
I grew up on this glowing orange stable of the American pantry.

And not the “good stuff” either, but the store-brand, ten for a buck, boxes of stale macaroni, and powdered “cheez food”. Loved it then, love it now.

Disclaimer: I’ve upgraded Mom’s “water and margarine” version with whole milk, sweet cream butter, and sometimes a handful of extra-sharp cheddar, but it’s still basically the same stuff.

ravygaly2Canned Ravioli and Sauce
No explanation. Didn’t eat it growing up, and only discovered it in college when my kitchen was reduced to a hot plate and tiny microwave (both hidden under my bed, as both were against the rules…screw “the man”).

I still like it straight-up, 2 minutes in the nuke-box, right from the bowl, or stuffed into soft potato rolls.

Some of my fellow-students would eat it cold, straight from the can, but I’m pretty sure Jesus doesn’t want us to do that.

Microwave Bean & Cheese Burritos
photoThese are my go-to “I’ve been writing for 12 hours and I can’t leave my laptop” meal (in fact, it was lunch today).

I always have a stack of them in the low-boy freezer next to my desk. Wrap in paper-towels, nuke two minutes, and slather in Taco Bell Fire Sauce (God help me), and…if I’m feelin’ fancy, a fistful of queso…they’ve kept me going through many a nail-biting deadline.

How about you?

What are YOUR favorite convenience or comfort foods that you relish with a fair spoonful of shame?

What’s your guilty pleasure?

~Chef Perry


The Home Chef: Transforming the American KitchenAnd…in complete contradiction to this post… 😉

We are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins