One of my favorite game-day (or ANY day) party snacks! Quick and simple to make, delicious to eat, and always a patty favorite!
The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen
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.
Home Chef Andrea A. asks:Is using Cream of Mushroom Soup in a recipe really the height of bad cooking, as suggested by The Food Network?
First of all, keep in mind that Food Network will get awfully high-and-mighty about “fresh, organic” ingredients in their stand-and-stir shows, while playing ads for frozen pizza between episodes…so there’s that.
That doesn’t mean it can’t taste good. My mother made a classic green bean dish for Thanksgiving that involved this canned-soup shortcut. I was awesome! But then, holiday dishes like that are a kind of familiar comfort food, there’s the nostalgia factor. It was complimented by other holiday dishes that involved more kitchen expertise, made with fresh ingredients.
Contemporary Home Chefs and cooks have a much wider range of ingredients and methods at their disposal than a 1970s American housewife did.
Is it “bad cooking”? No, it’s just lazy cooking. The result is not unlike you’d get at a fast food restaurant that also depends on cheap canned and frozen-food shortcuts. In which case, why bother to cook at home?
For myself, I like making soups and soup stocks from scratch. The effort is rewarding. (it’s not that hard, it’s fun to do, and it makes the house smell good) But like most people, regardless of what overpaid Food TV “Celebrities” think, I’m not above using convenient shortcuts, guilt-free, when I have eight dishes on my menu, and it’s a quick alternative for a side dish.
So, I wouldn’t call it the “height of bad cooking”, but there are better natural options that are not only much lower in sodium, but have vastly better flavor.
To make your own, use my recipe for Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce, using whole milk instead of the heavy whipping cream:
Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce
2 strips apple-wood bacon, chopped
8 oz white mushrooms, freshly sliced
1 stick butter
4 lg cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbs. coarse black pepper
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Mix all ingredients, except cream, and roast at 350F until mushrooms are dark and leathery. Combine these ingredients with cream in a blender and puree until smooth.
Just because half of the country (and their grills) are currently buried in snow, is no reason to give up on ribs! And these ones always get rave reviews.
Firm yet tender, they pull off the bone with each succulent bite. For the sake of disclosure, I learned the amazing method from an episode of “Restaurant Impossible” with Chef Robert Irvine.
When I don’t have all day to slow cook my pork ribs in the smoker, this is my go-to recipe.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. To prepare the ribs, remove the silver skin from the back or under the rib side.
Then rub the trimmed rib racks with my Burnin’ Love dry rub (see recipe, below).
Place the racks onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and repeat with a second layer. Place in the oven (don’t panic, the plastic won’t melt at this low temperature) and roast for 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. The plastic wrap will have filled with steam and “puffed up”, I try to let the ribs rest until the wrap has completely collapsed.
Now you have a decision to make. You can sprinkle the ribs with more rub (this is how I like them…), and serve them as “Dry Ribs”, or….
Unwrap, place on a cookie sheet and coat with BBQ sauce (see recipe below). Roast, in the oven set to broil, until the sauce is caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the sauced ribs and allow to rest, 3 to 5 minutes.
BTW…if you CAN dig out your Traeger, here’s my recipe for that…
Finally, portion the ribs into serving-size pieces, and serve.
Chef Perry chefperryperkins.com
“Burnin’ Love” Dry Rub ¼ C sea salt ½ C light brown sugar 2 Tbs garlic powder 2 Tbs onion powder 2 Tbs Italian seasonings (spicy, if you can find them.) 2 Tbs smoked paprika 1 Tbs coarse black pepper 1 Tbs ground white pepper 1 Tbs hickory salt 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
Combine all in a tightly sealed glass jar. Store in a cool, dark area.
Dirty Little Secret Sauce (If you need a diabetic friendly sauce, try this one!) 1 C “Sweet Baby Rays” (Brown Sugar, or Sweet & Spicy)
1/2 cup Thai-style sweet chili sauce 1/2 C apple cider vinegar 1/2 C Coca Cola 1/4 cup butter
Bring all ingredients to a simmer, blend well and allow to cool. Best after 48 hours.
I’m a big believer that bqq and grilling should be a part of everyone’s meal planning all year ’round. In fact, I find that my appetite is sharper when cooking in colder weather, and food out of the smoker, or off the grill… like these steaks, taste better.
Amazing Traeger SteaksPrep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes smoke, 10 minutes cook Pellets: Oak2 – 1 1/2 inch thick Rib-eye or New York Strip steaks Seasoned salt to taste Herb Butter (see recipe below.)Season steaks on both sides.Start your Traeger on smoke with lid open for 5 minutes to get started. Close the lid and allow interior to heat up for an additional 10 minutes.Place your steaks on the grill in the SMOKE mode, and cook for 30 minutes. Then take them off the grill and set aside.
Turn your Traeger to HIGH. When the grill reaches 400 – 425 degrees put the steaks back on the grill, and sear for 5 minutes per side for rare-to medium rare. Because you’re cooking in an enclosed environment, you don’t have to flip your steaks, but I still do because I like the pretty grill marks.Remove the steaks from the grill to a warmed platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Add a dollop of herb butter to each steak, re-cover, and let rest an additional 5 minutes.
Serve whole, or slice thinly across the grain, spooning melted butter from the platter over each steak.
Good accompaniment include: baked potatoes, roasted asparagus (both are very nice with the herb butter, see below), and a fresh Caesar salad.
It’s the most primitive of all the cooking methods.
Picture our ancient ancestors spearing chunks of raw meat on sticks and gathering around a communal fire to cook their meal.
What would summer be without the sights, and sounds, and smells of meat searing to perfection over glowing coals? The laughter of friends and family, and the sharing of a delicious, flame-kissed meal?
“Grilling: A Home Chef’s Guide” includes dozens of Chef-tested, fully-illustrated recipes, tricks, techniques, and resources for grilling just about anything you can cook over fire!
I guarantee that you will see an instant, and significant improvement in your outdoor cooking! No more wiener flambé, carbonized chicken, or particle-board steaks.
Clear your calendar, strap on your apron, you’re about to become the grilling-god of your family!
I go through a LOT of chicken stock in my kitchen, so I like to make my own, and this simple chicken stock is my go to.
I discovered a few years back the those chicken wing-tips that I usually cut off the wings before cooking, have a near perfect ratio of skin to bone for making a rich, delicious stock.
I keep a zip-bag in the freezer and toss my wing tips in it whenever I cook a chicken, or chicken wings. About once a month, I’m usually ready to make a half-gallon batch of stock.
Note:If you don’t have the wing-tips, you can use the leftover carcass of a rotisserie or roasted chicken, instead.
Here’s the recipe…
Chef Perry joinmykitchen.com
Simple Chicken Stock
1 gallon water
1 lb chicken wing tips
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs salt
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp. black pepper
Note: You can customize your stock based on the recipe you plan to use it for, I made my last batch specifically for some roasted mushroom udon soup, so I also added 2 Tbs of Thai fish sauce, 1 cup of roasted mushrooms, star anise, and fresh cilantro to the stock.
Want to help me feed hungry families, teach at-risk & special-needs kids to cook for themselves and their families, and change lives?
Had the good fortune to stop at the Medford, Oregon IN-N-OUT Burger on my way home from the International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento.I, of course, grabbed a half dozen extras to bring home for the family.
When I finally rolled in around 1am, I was too exhausted to eat, so the whole box went into the fridge for later, and I collapsed into bed.
The next morning, I posted a picture of my treasure on Facebook, and a friend of mine replied, “Hamburgers taste horrible after being refrigerated.“To which I replied, “Not if you know how to reheat them, they don’t.“
In retrospect, I realized (as I often do…) that my knee-jerk response, while correct, was a little snarky and not particularly helpful. Also that, while perhaps a bit of a buzz-kill, my friend was technically correct ~ a cold, congealed burger is a pretty awful thing.
God doesn’t want is to eat like that.
So, in the sincere hope that nothing as glorious as a Double Double Animal Style is ever eaten chilled, or even worse, microwaved, I give you…
Tips for reheating a IN-N-OUT Burger
First of all…never, EVER, reheat a burger fully assembled!
Microwaving is about the worst thing you can to to both ground-beef, and lettuce. The way the microwave works in by causing water molecules to vibrate at high speeds until they get hot. This is an instant method for draining all the good juices out of a burger patty, as well as rupturing the water-holding cells in your lettuce, turning it into limp, gray, sludge.
Take the veggies off and put them back in the fridge. If you can’t replace them with fresh, shock them in a little ice water just before serving (be sure to pat them dry.) This will crisp them back up…some.
Want to help me feed hungry families, teach at-risk & special-needs kids to cook for themselves and their families, and change lives?
Seal the buns, single layer, in a zip bag, and set aside at room temp.
3. Heat 1/4 inch of chicken stock or water in a microwave-safe container (with a lid) big enough to lay the burger/cheese patties in a single layer. Heat the liquid until steaming, then set the patties in (liquid should not cover, just be on the bottom). Set the bagged buns on top. Place the lid on and set aside for 2-3 minutes.
If the buns are soggy out of the fridge, you can toast them, cut sides down, in a dry pan first (optional), or if they’re just plain cheap burger buns, use fresh one (they’re like 8 for a dollar, you cheap bastard…)
When meat has heated through, and the cheese is soft, drain the patty on a paper towel, reassemble and enjoy!
You can do the same in a liddled skillet. Just make sure it’s off the heat (move to a cold burner) before adding the meat.
Personal opinion: ANY hot sandwich, once assembled, should be wrapped fully in foil and allowed to “rest” at least 5 minutes.
Just can’t get an In N’ Out in your neck of the woods? Here’s my favorite to make at home, the “Dungeon Burger!”
Baby bell peppers stuffed with a combination of hot (or sweet) Italian sausage, beer brats, or even ground beef, turkey, or chorizo. Wrapped in bacon, grilled to perfection, then glazed with your favorite barbecue sauce! (I like Sweet Baby Rays, thinned with a little apple cider vinegar.)
This is one of my signature recipes, and it never fails to rock my customer’s worlds! I had great fun preparing these at the Kenmore booth at the 2013 Ribfest in Chicago, as a Sears’s Grilling in Happiness blogger , with ExtremeMakeover: Home Edition superstar Ty Pennington (who is an awesome, funny, crazy guy, btw!)
Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire! And…trust me on this, MUCH easier to make when there isn’t a live audience and 3 television cameras in your face!
Even so, it’s totally worth it!
Oh, sooo good…
Chef Perry’s Dragon Claws
24 whole baby bell peppers
12 slices (thin sliced) bacon
1 lb. Johnsonville Beer Brats
1 cup Sweet BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
Slice the tops off each baby bell, and remove the seeds and veins from each pepper, and rinse again.
Mix glaze ingredients over medium low heat, and keep warm.
Remove the meat from casings (if using bratwurst).
Stuff each pepper with sausage, and packing it tightly.
Wrap each pepper with 1/2 slice of bacon, and secure with a pre-soaked toothpick, or pre-soaked skewers.
Repeat with all remaining peppers.
Fire up your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. About 25 briquettes in a Weber Smokey Joe.
For gas grills: have the two outside burners on high, and the middle on low.
Add a few chips of fruit wood to the fire about 10 minutes before adding the peppers (optional). If you’re using a gas grill, use a smoke box.
Grill the Dragon Claws over direct heat, 8-10 minutes, turning as need, until the bacon begins to crisp.
Move grilled peppers to indirect heat, glaze one side of each pepper, flip and repeat. Keep brushing with glaze, and turning until the glaze is set (about 5 minutes).
Remove, allow to rest at least 15 minutes, and then serve warm.
To make these on the Traeger:
20 minutes on “Smoke”, then grill 15 minutes at 300F (lid down), brush with glaze and flip, brush with glaze and grill 10 more minutes (lid down).
For a full-meal-deal, try this same recipe using larger Anaheim Peppers! (This was the original recipe, hence the name “Dragon Claws!”)