Help us help kids (and get a great book!)

Home Chef Book Fundraiser

Cover in FrameI’m donating 100% of sales from “The Home Chef’s Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking” AND “The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” to the MY KITCHEN OUTREACH Program, to help feed the hungry, and teach important life skills to at-risk and special-needs youth.

This guidebook would make a great gift for struggling families, college students, and young couples trying to eat healthy on a limited budget!

Proceeds will only be used to pay for teaching materials, supplies, and ingredients for classes. I’ll post the results here, at MY KITCHEN Outreach Program on Monday, October 16th.

Please place your order, on Amazon, before midnight TONIGHT, to help support the outreach!

Cover in frameThese funds will be earmarked specifically for the new youth classes we’ll be doing for the high school in Stevenson WA, and for our annual turkey roast (10 this year!) for The Father’s Heart Street Ministry. Anything left over will go into the general use fund for MK.

Order your copies of “The Home Chef’s Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking” HERE.

BOTH are availabe on my Amazon author page: www.perryperkinsbooks.com

PLEASE LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW (by using the “sharing buttons”, below!)

Thank you for helping us help kids!

Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

Thai Red Fish Curry

Frugal Red Fish Curry recipe

The Home Chef's Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking(Excerpt from “The Home Chef’s Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking” Available October 15, 2017. This is the first in a series of guidebooks to delve deeper into specific topics discussed in, “The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” – available on Amazon.)

Regarding Curry…

“Curry” can be a confusing term. It’s the name of an entire family of Indian, and Indian-influenced, dishes, but it’s also the name of spice blends within those dishes, and those blend of spices are different from region to region, and, typically, house to house.

Instead of a specific recipe, with set ingredients, think of it as a term like “sauce”, for which there can be uncountable varieties (and my mom’s is always better than your mom’s…)

Curries in Thailand (usually a mix of curry spice paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, and herbs) mainly differ from the curries in Indian cuisine in their use of fresh ingredients such as herbs and aromatic leaves, instead of a mix of dried, and then toasted and ground, spices.

The dry, powdery stuff we buy in the jars is a lot like kissing your sister…similar…but not quite the same thing.

My personal favorite Indian blend (when not toasting and grinding it fresh) is the “Bombay Curry” from my beloved Market Spice, in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Curries (the dishes) are a great way to add a touch of the exotic to a frugal dinner, while using up leftover meats and veggies, at the same time.

Think about it…both India and Thailand are home to some of the poorest people (and the best food) on the planet.

Once again, it’s less about what you’ve got, than what you can do with it.

Thai Red Fish Curry

1lb tilapia
1 knob of ginger, peeled
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
Juice of half a lime
2-3 fresh red chilies
1 Tbs tomato puree
1 onion, very finely chopped
Oil
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup water
A generous pinch of salt
Cilantro to garnish

To make the curry paste blend together the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, lime juice, chilies, tomato puree and a little oil.

Heat a little more oil in a large saucepan and begin to fry the onions. After 5 minutes add the paste and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Tip in the coconut milk and water and continue to cook to allow the flavors to infuse, and the sauce to reduce a bit.

Season the sauce to taste before adding the fish in large, skinless chunks. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the fish is completely done.

At this point one can serve the dish, though if the sauce is a little thin one may opt to remove the fish from the sauce and turn the heat up for a little while.

Ensure it is served piping hot, sticky rice, mango slices, and fresh cilantro are optional.

Monthly BBQ for 20…for $10?

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RAFFLE!

Premier 7-Course BBQ Dinner for up to 20!
Value: $400.00

Chef Perry will come to your home* and put on a classic Southern BBQ dinner of slow-smoked pulled-pork and all the trimmings for up to 20 guests!

Perry is a cookbook author, food blogger, cooking instructor, and frequent guest chef on AM Northwest. As a third-generation professional chef, he specializes in traditional Eastern Carolina and Texas BBQ.

Enter to win, and be a guest at your own party!

Tickets are just $10 each, and will be available from the 1st to the 5th of each month.

Winner will be drawn from a hat by Gracie on the 6th (watch for the video!)

buy-raffle-ticket

Da Fine Print

*Mutually agreed date. Use of a kitchen in required,
Travel charges apply beyond 90 minutes of Longview, WA.

Boeuf Bourguignon for Julia’s Birthday

American Masters: Julia Child

Today would be Julia Child’s 105th birthday.

IMG_3999This was the very first “dish that Julia made on “The French Chef” and that was deliberate. Her goal in choosing this dish (as mine is in The Home Chef) was to demystify what was, and still is, considered one of the most delicious meals you can make, and thereby demystify cooking in general.

In fact, the original title of The French Chef, was “French Cooking for the Servant-less American Housewife.”

Her point: It’s beef stew with red wine…anyone can make it. It also shows so many great techniques of French cooking, and the basic building blocks of preparing better food, for anyone who has an interest.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

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Boeuf Bourguignon ala Julia Child

For the Stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil                                                 
  • 3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced                                         
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt                                                           
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons flour                                                    
  • 3 C red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chianti)
  • 2 -3 cups beef stock                                                   
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed                                              
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

For the braised onions

  • 1 lg. Sweet onion, diced                                            
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil                                          
  • 1⁄2 cup beef stock
  • salt & fresh ground pepper                                        
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley                                                          

For the Sautéed Mushrooms

  • 1 lb mushroom, quartered                                          
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Root Veggies

  • 1lb small Yukon Gold potatoes                                
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp of salt                                                                 
  • ½ lb peeled baby carrots
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.

Put the tablespoon of olive oil in a large stainless steel pan and warm over medium-high heat.

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Dry off the cubes of beef and fry them, a few at a time in the hot oil until nicely browned on all sides. Do not crowd the pan.

Once browned, remove to the casserole.

In the same oil/fat, sauté the onions until softened, and set them aside till needed. Deglaze the pan with a little red wine, scraping up the browned bits of meat that are stuck to the bottom.

Add the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs

Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove.

Cover and place in the oven, adjusting the heat so that the liquid is at a low simmer for three hours.

The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

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While the meat is cooking, prepare the veggies:

Pre-heat oven to 400F

Halve the potatoes, add to a large bowl with carrots and chopped celery, and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, and toss again.

Place the veggies in a single layer, cut side up, on a foil-covered roasting pan, or sheet.

Roast until just medium brown, and not quite cooked through. (10-12 minutes)

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For the mushrooms:

Heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet.

As soon as the foam begins to subside add the mushrooms, tossing and shaking frequently, for about five minutes.

As soon as they’ve browned lightly, remove from heat.

To Finish the Stew:

When the beef is done, remove the casserole from the oven and empty into a sieve over a saucepan.

Return the solids to the pot, and add all of the veggies to the meat.

Skim the fat off the sauce and bring it to a simmer, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface. You should have around 2 1/2 cups of sauce, thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

If it’s too thick, add a little stock. Too thin, simmer to reduce to the right consistency.

Taste for seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

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If you’re serving immediately, warm over medium-low heat and simmer a couple of minutes.

Serve in the casserole or on a warm platter, garnished with fresh parsley.

If serving later or the next day, allow the casserole to cool and place cold, covered casserole in the refrigerator.

20 minutes prior to serving, place over medium low heat and simmer very slowly for ten minutes, occasionally basting the meat and veggies.

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Do you know what’s in your Sushi?

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For my fellow fish-heads…

Fishy Business (From: Eater Seattle)

After an investigation that found escolar mislabeled as white tuna or albacore at Oto Sushi (8105 161st Ave NE, Redmond) and Sushi Tokyo (6311 Roosevelt Way NE, Roosevelt, Seattle), and tilapia mislabeled as Tai red snapper at the latter restaurant, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has ordered the businesses to label their products properly and to pay costs and fees totaling thousands of dollars each.

“The investigators determined that the restaurants had purchased correctly named fish but changed the names on their menus,” the announcement explains.

Read the rest of the article, on Eater Seattle, here.

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

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GraceSushi
My ‘little chef” workin’ the sticks and enjoying our weekly sushi date

We are standing at the edge of a cliff

IMG_3999We are standing at the edge of a cliff.

Our health, our finances, even the very fabric of our families are poised to plunge over the brink.

At our backs is the home kitchen, the family…our lives.

Before us nothing less than total destruction.

We have an obligation, a moral imperative if you will, to regain control of our children’s health, our planet’s sustainability, even our nation’s greatness. We must recapture our ability to take care of ourselves and our families at a fundamental level, to stop, as it were, having someone else feed up the fish, and instead learn to fish for ourselves.
And I believe it starts in the kitchen.

For parents, the priority is that their kids not go hungry. Not having enough food to give your kids has an effect on the parents in that home. I look at my nine year old daughter and think how would I feel if I had to put her to bed hungry and how would I respond to everything else in my life if I had to do that?

I don’t want anyone to go through that. I think there need to be more voices out there bringing this to our attention. There’s something wrong with kids going to bed hungry every night in the richest country in the world.

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Much of the problem is in a lack of fundamental education. It really doesn’t matter how healthy a food is, or how inexpensive, people aren’t going to buy what they don’t know how to prepare, especially when money is tight and every dollar has to count.

I’ve had kids in our grocery-shopping field trips tell me that it was the first time they can ever remember being in the produce department, except in passing on the way to the canned, frozen, or “convenience” food sections. Kids in their late teens who couldn’t identify a cucumber from a zucchini.

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Do you know what Lima beans, Carrots, Pumpkin (fresh), Sweet potatoes, Collards, Kale, Mustard greens, Spinach, Turnip greens, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chayote, Pear squash, Eggplant, Okra, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash, all have in common?

They are among the healthiest, least expensive, and simple to prepare vegetables in the grocery store or market. Just about any person who walks the aisles can afford these ingredients. Simple…that is, if someone has taught you. Otherwise they might as well have been grown on another planet.

But if, like many second and third generation families below the poverty line, your only experience with these foods is mushy school lunch carrots and zucchini, cloying holiday “sweet potatoes”, or God help us all…canned spinach…are you going to spend your last few food dollars experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients, or are you going to grab a few boxes of mac & cheese, some frozen chicken nuggets, or maybe some ice cream for a special treat?

And, honestly, do YOU know how to prepare all of these ingredients? Are you willing to bet your child’s opportunity to eat this week on it?

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Neither are many, many poor families out there, who, faced with the agonizing decision of something that tastes good even though it’s killing them, and going to bed without anything at all, make the sad, but logical choice that something, anything, regardless of health concerns, is better than nothing, all too common.

This is where our politicians, big food and (yes, I’ll say it) the corporate manipulation of the women’s liberation movement of the sixties and seventies, when anything that got Mom out of the “slavery of the kitchen” was progressive and positive (and lined food manufacturer’s pockets), has gotten us.

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From those first glorified c-rations, to the sugar, salt, and dye loaded poison in pretty packages on our store shelves today – greed and laziness have turned what was once the greatest nation on earth into a wheezing, pill-popping country that pours drugs into our hyperactive babies and stomach-stapling our teenage girls to combat the growing epidemic of a society happily starving the brains of our future generations, while eating itself to death so that Kraft Foods can see a bump in their stock price, and give their senior executives seven-figure bonuses.

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Throughout history, citizens whose nutritional needs were ignored by the rich and powerful for their own gain, from Rome, to Imperial Russia, to the French Revolution, to the genocides of modern Africa, when pushed to the edge of the cliff have universally responded the same way…

Heads rolled, cities burned, and thrones toppled.

We are standing at the edge of the cliff.

~Chef Perry Perkins

The Home Chef: Transforming The American Kitchen

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“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

 

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Pasta alla Carbonara on AM Northwest

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As the saying goes, “a great time was had by all.”

Well, I can’t speak for all, but I can tell you, this guy had a blast cooking Pasta alla Carbonara (recipe below) on AM Northwest yesterday morning!

There were some oddities for this television newbie…(a prop sink with no water, and a kitchen counter on wheels took a little getting used to), but getting to work with the supremely talented and funny Helen Raptis at KATU, was awesome. 

(Thank you, Helen, for the second bite…that meant a lot!)

I can’t think of a better way to have launched “The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen”, and the guidebooks, classes, and podcasts to follow.

Here’s the clip, if you didn’t get a chance to watch:

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Click here to watch

Thank you, again, to Helen, Janice, and every at K2 for this amazing opportunity, I can’t wait to come back!

~Chef Perry

Chef Perry’s Pasta alla Carbonara

(serves 4)
1 pound dry pasta (I used campanelle)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces guanciale (pork jowl bacon), cubed small
1 large shallot clove, finely chopped
2 Tbs sweet cream butter
4 large egg yolks
Roasted mushrooms (optional)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped

campanelle pasta
“Campanelle” means Little Bells in Italian.

Note: make the sauce while the pasta’s cooking so the pasta will be hot and ready when the sauce is done; the pasta needs to be hot when adding the egg yolks, so that the heat of the pasta cooks them.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (“al dente.”)  Drain the pasta well, keeping a 1/2 cup of cooking water, in case you need to it in the sauce.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and saute for about 3 minutes, until the meat is crisp and the fat is rendered, drain off all but about 2Tbs of the fat. Toss the shallots into the fat and saute for less than a minute to soften, add the roasted mushrooms and butter.

Home Chef Pasta alla Carbonara
Add the hot, drained campanelle to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the pasta in the fats. Beat the egg yolks and Parmesan together, stirring well to prevent lumps.

Carbonara with egg yolks

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but not scramble.

Adding pasta to sauce

Thin out the sauce a little with the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with a large pinch of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve with small bowls of extra cheese.

Chef Perrys Pasta alla Carbonara
“The Italian’s were eating with forks, when the French were still eating each other!”

~ Mario Batali