Sizzling Spanish Garlic Prawns – A Mother’s Day Appetizer

Gambas Al Ajillo

Gambas Al Ajillo – Tapas Style Sizzling Shrimp, Serves 3

Tender, juicy, garlicy shrimp and toasty bread for dipping…seriously, does it get better than that?

Gambas Al Ajillo  (Sizzling Garlic Prawns) is a staple dish in Spanish tapas bars, and for good reason. Typically served with a crisp, white wine, there are two classic preparation of this tapa, depending on whether you prefer to peel the prawns before cooking, I prefer NOT to peel, or remove the heads them first, as there’s so much flavor in the head and shells, and I want that rich shrimpiness infused into the olive oil.

Traditionally cooked and served in a terracotta dish, if you don’t have one (I don’t) use a 10” cast-iron skillet, and leave the heads and shells on. Serve sizzling in the pan, on a trivet (with a warning), as you want the oil to stay hot for dipping.

  •     12 xlg raw prawns, butterflied
  •     3 Tbs. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  •     1 tsp. chili flakes (opt)
  •     2 tsp. smoked paprika
  •     olive oil
  •     6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  •     ¼ cup dry sherry

Pour oil into you cast-iron skillet, and heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook to infuse the oil, for 8-10 minutes. Remove garlic from oil, and raise the heat to medium-high.

Butterlying prawns

To butterfly the prawns simply slit the prawns length-ways (but not all the way through) and remove the vein (stomach). Rinse cavity in cold water, pat dry, and toss prawns with sherry and spices. Rub the prawns to get the spices until well coated, and under the shells.

Add prawns to oil (oil should be about half the depth of the prawns).

Cook prawns in oil for 5 – 8 minutes, depending on the size of the dish or dishes, or until pink and sizzling, add back the sweated garlic, and lemon wedges for the last minute (don’t let the garlic brown).

Remove the pan from the heat.

Sprinkle with the parsley and green onion, and serve with crusty bread, lemon wedges, and toothpicks

FYI…

What’s the difference between a shrimp and a prawn?

Short answer: Not much.

sf_shrmpw07eThe flavors of shrimp and prawns are almost indistinguishable, especially once cooked with other flavors.

If you just have to know, you’ll need to get your shrimp/prawns whole and intact.

Claws at the end of two legs means shrimp, three means prawn. Seriously.

In most parts of the world, especially in the US, “prawn” and “shrimp” are interchangeable terms. Prawns are usually larger, and from fresh water, and shrimp a bit smaller, and from salt water. Both come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes.


The Home Chef: Transforming the American KitchenWe 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

amazon

 

 

.

Advertisements

National Oyster Day AND #baconweek? Oh, yes…

Angels on Horseback recipe

Today is #baconweek AND National Oyster Day!

This is the one we’ve been waiting for, people…the perfect storm!

In honor of this momentous occasion, here’s a freebie from “Bacon: A Home Chef’s Guide”, that also happens to be my all-time favorite appetizer!

angels on horseback recipe

Angels on Horseback (Bacon-Wrapped Oysters)

Angels on horseback, or oysters wrapped in bacon, is a classic oyster dish that is very common on the East Coast. and is often seen as a wedding appetizer on Long Island in New York.

The recipe was first published in 1888, in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. The dish is to be credited to Urbain Dubois, the chef of the German emperor.

b8c63a1b151f58df6e8f28ede2a4a6e5

By the In the 1930s, Angels on Horseback had become a popular picnic goody, and was ubiquitous on Sunday brunch menus.

In the 1960’s, a popular variation on this dish became to serve the oyster raw, wrapped in fried bacon (delicious, but some folks have texture issues with this one), as well as adding a liberal dose of hot red pepper sauce, before broiling…known as “Angels in Hell.” Seriously, I don’t make this stuff up!

Angels on Horseback where included in the 1990’s bestseller, “1001 Foods to Die For.” (Great book, btw!)

With only three ingredients in the prep list – bacon, oysters, cayenne pepper, and a squirt of lime juice, sprinkled with parsley – this dish couldn’t be easier to prepare.

P1120811This is how God wants you to eat his oysters…

  • 2 dozen fresh small oysters (shucked) 
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • 12 strips thin sliced, apple-wood smoked bacon
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 limes

Slice bacon strips in half. Be sure to use thin-cut bacon.

Season each oyster with a light pinch of cayenne pepper.

Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each oyster and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a baking dish. (Don’t use a rack – you want the fat to pool, so it’s pulled into the oysters!)

angels on horseback

Cook the bacon-wrapped oysters under the broiler until they’re crispy, about 5-6 minutes.

Flip, and return to the broiler to crisp the other side (another 2-4 minutes). Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with lime wedges.

Angels on Horseback are traditionally served on buttered toast points.

BTW – These make an AMAZING filling for an Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich!

#baconweek and National Oyster Day…it may not happen again in our lifetime, my friends…make the most of it!

😉

~Chef Perry


Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThis one is all about BACON!

Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…

Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.

Bacon is kinda a big deal.

Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!

amazon

Shrimp-N-Bacon Soft Tacos #baconweek

Shrimp-Soft-Tacos-with-Pork-Cheek-Bacon-Lardons

So far this week, we’ve looked at How to make our own bacon, Peanut Butter Bacon Waffles, and Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo.

Today, we’re going to toss some seafood in with that porcine perfection, in one of my all time favorite Home Chef Umami-bomb recipes:

Shrimp-N-Bacon Soft Tacos

Marinade
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 tsp lime juice
½ tsp smoked paprika

Fillin’
1lb raw shrimp (26-30ct) shelled & deveined
½ white onion, julienned
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon, chopped

Fixin’s
2 avocados, peeled & sliced
6 flour gorditas, warmed
6 Tbs Crema (Mexican sour cream)
1 batch Perk’s Pico de Gallo

Make Pico, and chill 1-2 hours while preparing the rest of the meal.

Mix first 5 ingredients, and toss with shrimp. Cover and fridge 1 hour.

Sweat onions, with bacon and garlic in a medium-low pan 10-15 minutes, until onions start to clear.

Add shrimp (discard marinade), cover and cook until shrimp are just pink through.

Assemble contents of pan, along with remaining ingredients, evenly on gorditas, and serve.

Serves 4-6


Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThis one is all about BACON!

Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…

Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.

Bacon is kinda a big deal.

Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!

amazon

Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo #baconweek

Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo

Everything’s better with bacon, right?

If you don’t believe that…this recipe will convert you!

Guanciale (gwan-chalie), an Italian-style bacon made from hog jowl, is a prized gourmet delicacy in central Italy. Typically, it’s dry-cured, hand-coated with fresh cracked peppercorns, then smoked over smoldering hickory logs for nearly 24 hours. The result is a meat with a noticeably richer flavor than typical bacon, and is a popular addition to such classic dishes as spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta all’amatriciana.

I found it with the uncut bacon, and smoked hocks, at Fred Meyer, for about 1/2 the price of good bacon (about $2.50/lb).

Here’s what I do with it:

Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo

1 pound dried fettuccine or spaghetti
1/2 lb chicken tenders, brined and grilled
1/2 lb pork cheeks (jowls) bacon, or Guanciale
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs yolks
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350d

Slice guanciale into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a rack over a a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bacon appears crisp at the edges. Remove to paper towels to rest. Reserve the fat in the pan.

Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. NEVER RINSE YOUR PASTA.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, add garlic. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Roughly chop bacon and return to pan, heat, and then toss cooked pasta with bacon and fat, over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the asiago, and chicken, and toss to combine thoroughly.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sprinkle with remaining Asiago and garnish with raw egg yolk.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

PS – The raw egg yolk is another Italian thing, and adds an extra layer of richness to the recipe. Once served, break the yolk and gently fold into the dish. Alternatively, you can add the yolks to the pasta along with the sauce and blend it in then.


Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThe Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the basic concepts and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This one is all about BACON.

amazon

Grandma Perkins’ Peanut Butter Bacon Waffles

Bacon and Peanut Butter Waffles

FullSizeRenderPlaying with our new toy this morning! $4 GoodWill waffle maker (brand new, baby!), and it works great!

Mom was more of a “pop-tart” kinda gal, but when Dad would come over early, or I’d stay the night at his place, sometimes he’d make his Mom’s waffles. Loaded with cooked bacon and smeared with butter, crunchy peanut butter, an drizzled with hot maple syrup…Oh, Yeah!

I haven’t made waffles in a coon’s age, but after stumbling across this one for such a great price, I was inspired to give it a shot.

It was…a taste of heaven.

Now, in all fairness, I’ve taken a few liberties with Nona’s recipe. I have no idea what kind of flour she used (likely whatever was cheapest), and I doubt she’d ever heard of Turbinado sugar, lol, but the important parts of her recipe are still the backbone of this one, the crispy bacon, the crunchy peanut butter, and, of course…the love.

Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen“The Home Chef” is part syllabus, part autobiography, part call-to-arms, revealing the rapidly evolving landscape of cooking in America. A manifesto on how to cook real food in your own kitchen, and more importantly…why you should.

Grandma Perkins’ PB Bacon Waffles

(Makes 4 large waffles)
3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbs Turbinado Sugar, plus extra or sprinkling
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 lb thick bacon, fried crisp and chopped
Butter, Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, and real maple syrup, for serving

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and mix well.

In another bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well, mix into the dry ingredients until well incorporated (a few lumps are fine), fold in the chopped bacon.

https://i2.wp.com/blog.kingarthurflour.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Maple-Bacon-Waffles1.jpg

Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron (you don’t need to use any oil, as there’s enough in the batter to make the waffles release easily.) Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles.

Perkins_WaffleIron
Grandma’s Waffle Iron
NonaPerkins
Nona Perkins

The Sugar: Once the waffle are cooked solid, but still light, open the waffle Iron and sprinkle the surface of the waffle generously with Turbinado Sugar, then close it back up to finish. This will add a sweet, caramelized crunch to your waffles. If you have a flip iron, like the one I just got, you can do this on both side, which I highly recommend.

Spread* each waffle with butter, then peanut butter, then drizzle with hot syrup**, and serve immediately.

*This ain’t Denny’s. The secret to the perfect waffle is to make sue that EVER SINGLE SQUARE gets butter and PB. If you’re not willing to be that obsessive, have corn-flakes.
**Cold maple syrup is sign of sloth, and an abomination to God. ALWAYS warm the syrup before serving.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThe Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the basic concepts and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This one is all about BACON.

amazon

Makin’ Bacon!

1

As Potentate Maximus and Supreme Despot-for-Life, here in the People’s Republic of my Office/Garage, I hereby use my ultimate authority to declare this:

“NATIONAL BACON WEEK!”

All bacon, all week, all day. Recipes to follow…2 a day, unless I forget, or the chest pains get me. You may return to your hovels.

(…and no more “Maximus” jokes…you jerks!) 😜

 

Oh, and this one’s for Duane…

a3329943429a4c7929b3fcf54aa40d8dLike any recipe, the better the quality basic ingredients that you start out with, the better your result are going to be. Buy the best pork belly you can find!

  • 3lb skinless, boneless pork belly
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. pink curing salt
  • apple wood chunks/chips

Curing

Curing_pork_belliesCombine the pepper, sugar, paprika, salt & curing salt in a small bowl. Place belly on a foil lined tray and pat dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle half of the cure mixture evenly over the surface of the belly, and rub it in. Flip the belly and repeat with the rest of the mix. Be sure to cover the entire exterior, including the sides.

Drop the rubbed belly into a big zip-bag, and refrigerate for one week, flipping the belly and massaging (in the bag) once a day.

After a week, remove the belly from the bag and rinse in cold water, to remove excess cure. Pat dry with paper towels, and refrigerate uncovered another 24 hours. Use a rack over a pan to catch drippings. (This extra drying helps the shoulder take the smoke.)

Probe1Smoking

Place a probe (I push mine through a halved potato, for a “base) at the back of the grill grate., to measure your smoker’s internal temp. 

Place the second probe into the thickest part of the center of the belly (from the side) to track the temp of the meat.

3

Smoke the belly, using the apple wood, at 150-190°F for 3-4 hours, to an internal temp of 150F.

Home Chef Note: This step does not COOK your bacon, it’s just adding smoke.  Bacon will still be “raw” when done (ie: you’ll still need to fry it, before eating).

Refrigerate your bacon in an airtight zip-bag for up to a week, slicing and cooking as needed.

Now that you have a baseline for comparison, experiment with different woods, sugars, and spices until you have your perfect custom-made bacon!

quote-slicing-a-warm-slab-of-bacon-is-a-lot-like-giving-a-ferret-a-shave-no-matter-how-careful-alton-brown-76-65-24

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThis one is all about BACON!

Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…

Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.

Bacon is kinda a big deal.

Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!

amazon

 

 

Chef Perry on AM Northwest May 2nd!

Spatula Final
Hey Peeps,
 
Just a heads up, I’ll be doing a very special segment on AM Northwest this Wednesday (May 2nd, 9:00 am pst), which I’m calling:
 
Chef Perry’s “Spatula City” Episode!
 
(If you’re too young to get that reference, you can think of it as, “The One with all the Spatulas.”
 
(If you’re too young for THAT reference…shut up.) 😉
 
Anyway…
 
If you’ve ever wondered why there are 27 zillion different kinds of spatulas, and what they’re intended for…
 
If you’ve experienced the embarrassment and ridicule of being seen using the WRONG spatula…
 
If you have drawers of spatulas that you hide from you family, your friends, and your Pastor, and you just CAN’T stop buying more…
 
Be sure to tune in!
 
😉
 
~Chef Perry