Chef Chris’ Sweet-Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

I know that this isn’t the first time I’ve griped about this, but it’s my party and I’ll whine if I want to! 😉

One of the few downsides to being a chef and/or food blogger, is that you very seldom get invited over for a home-cooked dinner. Like…ever. Friends and family see the pretty photos and “exotic” recipes you post, and think, “Man, I can’t cook for THEM!

Which is kinda silly, as most chefs LOVE to be cooked for and our standards (or at least mine) aren’t nearly as high as people seem to think. I love Chicken McNuggets and Kraft Mac & Cheese as much as the next red-blooded American fatty!

So, to compensate for this lack of socialization, at least for our family’s sake, we tend to invite other chefs over, and they reciprocate, because every chef secretly (or not so secretly) knows that he or she is the better cook anyway, so there’s no intimidation. 😉

Last week we we’re invited over by my best friend, Chef Chris Renner and his family, for dinner and it was, of course, amazing.

Sousvide Steak with Sweet Potato Hash

Chef Chris made steaks, which he cooked sous-vide for 12 hours, and then caramelized with a blow torch, and they were unbelievably good. He accompanied those with his own Sweet Potato Hash (recipe below), which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for a week. I brought a bag of salad.

There’s no money in trying to out-cook Chef Chris, believe me…I know.

Seriously, I was one of the best dinners I’ve eaten in a long time, and that hash is going to be a permanent addition to my holiday cooking menu.

Chef graciously shared the recipe with me, so I could share it with you, and I know it’s short notice, but if you can squeeze this into your Thanksgiving menu, you really, really, should! It’s certainly on mine.

IMG_4660Chef Chris’ Sweet Potato Hash

  • 4 med sweet potatoes, diced 1-inch cube
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1/2 pound of bacon lardons
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Over medium heat melt butter and oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add bacon cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add sweet potatoes and onion. Cook stirring occasionally (don’t stir too often) until potatoes are cooked. (You should get some nice caramelized bits that add a lot of flavor.)

Serves 4

Sousvide Steak with Sweet Potato Hash


Looking for more great holiday recipes? Check out the new guidebook, “Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef’s Guide.” NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!

Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef's Guide

 

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My Best Holiday Cooking Tips in One Video

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Here’s a quick video of my favorite holiday cooking tips, tricks, and techniques for a safe and savory holiday feast.

Including:

~How to brine your turkey
~Safe Stuffing & Dressing
~Roasting Tips
~Carving the Perfect Bird

Be sure to subscribe to my channel for more professional kitchen tips and recipes.

Happy Holidays!

~Chef Perry


Looking for more great holiday recipes? Check out the new guidebook, “Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef’s Guide.” NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!

Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef's Guide

Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef’s Guide

Holiday Cooking Home Chef GuideOkay, my friends… “Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef’s Guide” will launch on Monday, November 19th!

Everything from the perfect 90 minute roast turkey, to my peach-ginger smoked ham, to a very special Christmas Eve Cioppino.

Dozens of traditional and non-traditional holiday favorites, appetizers, side dishes, and delicious desserts, along with my best tips for a stress-free holiday feast!

UPDATE: Now available on Amazon!

Thanks!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

PS: He’s a peek inside at one of my favorite recipes…

Candied Bacon Brie

Candied Bacon Brie

  • 1 – 8 oz. brie round               ½ pound thin bacon, diced
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar     1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup     pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon 10-15 minutes until just barely crisp.

Drain grease and add the bacon back to the skillet.

Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until bubbly.

Line a baking dish with foil, then spray lightly with cooking spray.

Add the unwrapped brie to baking dish, and top with candied bacon mixture.

Bake brie for 10-15 minutes, then let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

The Best Holiday Turkey in 90 Minutes!

Fast Roast Turkey

Just in time for Thanksgiving…perfect roasted whole turkey in just 90 minutes!

Every year I cook up a bunch of turkeys (11 this year, a new record!) and take them to a local homeless shelter for their annual Thanksgiving dinner. Even with some amazing volunteer’s help, that’s a lot of turkeys!

Spatchcocking* not only allows me to roast a turkey in (less than) half the time, it also results in more even roasting (ie: a juicy turkey breast), and more flavor by browning all of the skin, not just the skin on top.

Here’s a video I put together of the whole process, from roasting to slicing…

*Spatchcocking involves removing the backbone from tail to neck so that the bird can be opened out flat (also referred to as butterflying). This method results in a much shorter cooking time. It also allows for easier access to the cavity and exterior of the chicken for seasoning purposes.

This method works just as well for all types of poultry, roasting an average-sized chicken in just 30 minutes!

The Highlights

  • 12-14lb turkey, spatchcocked
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Roast 90 minutes, rest 20 minutes

Oh, and if you really want to amp up the flavor and juiciness of your bird, brine it! You can check our our post My Best Brined Turkey Recipe, over at our youth outreach site, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Chef Perry

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; and get even more Chef’s tips, tricks, and techniques. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)


Looking for more great holiday recipes? Check out the new guidebook, “Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef’s Guide.” NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!


Holiday Cooking: A Home Chef's Guide

Asiago Sourdough Bread

cheese bread 1

Asiago Sourdough bread

For the Bread:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c sour dough starter (room temp)
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c shredded Asiago cheese (divided for each loaf)
  • 2 Tbsp yellow corn meal

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup Asiago, shredded
  • 2 tsp. roasted garlic

Mix topping ingredients and set aside at room temp.

Combine sugar, salt, & shortening in a large mixing bowl.

Add Sour dough starter, and stir until sugar dissolves.

Gradually add flour, stirring until dough leaves sides of bowl.

Turn dough onto heavily floured surface: Knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a greased bowl. Turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place 85 degrees F. free from drafts, at least 1 hour or until doubled in size. Dough will be sticky.

Punch down dough & allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface: Divide dough in half.  Butter a loaf pan, sprinkle with corn meal. Set aside till needed.

Roll each half into a rectangle. Add the shredded cheese and roll into dough with rolling pin, or press by hand into bread dough. Roll up jelly roll fashion.

Place dough seam side down in loaf pans; turn edges under.

Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray, and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes, remove from oven and spread the tops with butter-cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or until loaves sound hallow when tapped. If top gets too brown, tent loosely with foil.

Remove to wire rack to cool before slicing.

Yield 2 loaves.

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Enjoy!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

Home Chef Cookbooks

Headcheese: What it is (and isn’t!)

headcheese-sand

(Copied from my other blog: http://www.deependothepool.com)

Ever wonder why they call headcheese “cheese”, when there are no dairy products involved in the process?

Okay, first things first, while one of my favorite foods, I will be the first to admit that head-cheese is a victim of terrible branding, perhaps the worst in the food world, right up there with “bird’s nest soup” and “lung pie.”

What it isn’t:

  • Headcheese is not “cheese” in any form.
  • Headcheese is not brains, eyeballs, or any of the “yucky stuff.” 😉
  • Head cheese is not Spam (and vice-versa.)

https://i0.wp.com/i.huffpost.com/gen/1442938/thumbs/o-HEAD-CHEESE-570.jpgHeadcheese is traditionally make from the meat pulled from a whole pig’s head, simmered in a savory, seasoned stock, with a foot or two (for the collagen in the tendons) until falling off the bone.

Cheek meat, tongue, and various other tasty bits from the nooks and crannies of the skull (but never the brain) are used to make up the tureen of meat, then suspended in the collagen-heavy cooking stock, which turns into a solid gelatin when the whole thing is chilled.

This gelatin is called “aspic”.

Okay, so back to the point…why the heck is it called head “cheese?”

This requires a bit of a history lesson. In the 1700’s when this process (tureens in aspic) became popular, the word “cheese” wasn’t used just in reference to diary items, but instead referred to a process of forming ingredients into a loaf, pressing it under weight, and chilling until solid.

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8c19000/8c19600/8c19691v.jpg

This was known as “cheesing.”

Two of the most popular cheesed foods were were “cheesed curds” (what we call now cheese) and tureens of meat in aspic, especially those with the tender and delicious meat from the faces and cheeks of pigs and calves. This was referred to as “cheesed head”, as it was made by boiling the picking off the meat of the cheeks and neck, pressing them in the pan with aspic, and chilling until solid (aka “cheesing.”)

Which eventually morphed into the term we use today… headcheese.

Typically it’s sliced for cold sandwiches, and served on rye bread with mustard and thinly sliced sweet onions…as least at my house! 😉

Chef’s Note: If for some reason that grosses you out (and it shouldn’t, it’s basically the same thing they do with hotdogs, only using higher quality parts) you can some comfort in the fact that the stuff you see labeled “Headcheese” in the supermarket deli counter, is actually just chopped pork shoulder in aspic, NOT meat from the head, as the process for making the real thing is considered too expensive and labor-intensive to be worth it. (Welcome to the tagline of American food…)

https://ww2.kqed.org/bayareabites/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2015/01/CamHungNo1Split.jpg

 

Your best bet for authentic headcheese is to visit our local Russian market, which is also a great place to pick up some artisanal rye bread.

Hopefully I’ve eased some suspicions and some contempt prior to investigation, and (even more) hopefully, I’ve encouraged a few folks to get out of their comfort zone and try something new.

Who knows, a “cheesed-head” sandwich might be your new favorite thing!

Chef Perry
deependothepool.com