Beat the Heat with Summer Salads!

Okay, it’s summer…and it’s hot. 

I don’t like hot…I tend to lose my cherub-like demeanor when it’s hot. 😉 

This time of year, we (at the TeamPerk Clubhouse) tend to live on a lot of no-cook dishes and salads. This morning, I get to share some of my favorites on AM Northwest.

Strawberry VinegretteSimple Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 1 C strawberries, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Combine the strawberries, honey, oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree* until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately or store (refrigerated) up to 48 hours.

*For a “chunkier” dressing combine the chopped strawberries with the remaining ingredients and let it rest for an hour or so (do not puree.) This process is called “macerating” (marinating fruit with vinegar).

Summer Salads AMNW

Balance

An interesting dish has a balance of flavors and textures. If there’s a sweet (fruit – fresh or dried), add a salt like nuts, olives, anchovies, etc. Soft textures like tomatoes, or cheese, pair nicely with the crunch of celery, radishes, croutons, chopped apple…you get the idea.

This is one of the reasons I love this recipe, as it hits all the right notes:

  • Sweet: Strawberries & Honey
  • Savory/Fat: Olive Oil
  • Salty: Salt
  • Tangy: Vinegar

Chef’s Note: PLEASE don’t drown the beautiful flavors of your fresh, seasonal ingredients with a heavy, fatty sauce. Dressing should be used with a light hand to enhance the flavor of vegetables, not to cover them up.

Sometimes just a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with your tomatoes, cucumbers, and maybe a little feta, really hits the spot.

Here are a few more of my summer favorites:

shrimpacado

Shrimp-A-Cado Salad

I found the original recipe in my father’s copy of A Chef’s Companion, and substituted the prawns for crab (it was cheaper, and I love prawns!) Dad used to make the original recipe when he’d ticked Mom off, and was tryin’ to make good.

So, we had it… a LOT. 😉

 

downloadBow Tie Pasta with Zucchini Sauce
Serves 4

2 cup bow-tie pasta
2 cloves garlic
2 medium zucchini
1 medium shallot, or small yellow onion.
1 Tablespoon grape-seed oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tsp. Better Than Bullion chicken base
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook pasta in salted water, according to package instructions. Prepare zucchini sauce while pasta cooks.

Peel and mince garlic, dice the shallot (or onion).

Rinse and grate zucchini.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and minced garlic, with a dash of salt, and saute until the onion are translucent. Add zucchini, and cook until mixture softens and zucchini yields some liquid, about 5 minutes.

Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid, and mix in chicken base (with the liquid) to create broth.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of the broth at a time to zucchini mixture. Add drained pasta. Stir, coating pasta evenly with sauce. Add more broth as needed (I used the whole 1/2 cup).

Transfer pasta to large bowl for serving. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

California Roll

Deconstructed California Roll Salad

First appearing in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the California Roll is a maki-zushi, a kind of sushi roll, usually made inside-out, containing cucumber, crab meat or imitation crab, and avocado.

Though there are many variations of additional ingredients, these are the “mainstay” of the California roll.

As one of the most popular styles of sushi in the US market, the California Roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularityIchiro Mashita, a sushi chef, first substituted avocado for toro (fatty tuna) in hope that removing the raw fish would make it more palatable to Western customers, and realized the oily texture of avocado was a perfect substitute for toro. He also made the roll “inside-out” (with the rice on the outside), because Americans didn’t like seeing and chewing the nori on the outside of the roll.

By the 1980s, the California Roll was the single most popular item in the sushi craze that was sweeping across the United States.

This recipe allows for the same flavors and textures of the traditional California roll, without requiring the skills or equipment necessary to create the more familiar rolled presentation, with Furikake seasoning replacing the traditional nori (seaweed sheets).

Furikake seasoning can be found in Asian grocery stores, or can be ordered from our Amazon.com store.

  • 1 batch sushi rice (recipe below), room temp.
  • 2 Tbsp. Furikaki seasoning
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 8 oz. imitation crab or lobster
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for serving (opt)

Mise en Place

Prepare the rice (recipe below). Peel, seed, and cut cucumber into half-rounds. Break imitation crab into bite-sized portions. Peeled and pit the avocado, and slice 1/4-inch thick.

Prepare the Dish

Divide the cooled rice between two plates, and sprinkle with 1/2 of the Furikaki seasoning and 1/2 of the toasted sesame seeds. Top with crab, cucumber, and avocado, the sprinkle with remaining Furikaki seasoning and sesame seeds.

Serve immediately with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce (all optional).

Sushi Rice

  • 1 cup sushi or short grain rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt

Rinse rice in a mixing bowl 2 to 3 times, or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 1 cup of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture.

Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.

Makes 2 cups

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Moroccan Carrot Salad with Paprika and Cumin

I love Moroccan food, especially the numerous “small dishes” that lead up to the entree. The cold carrot salad is one of my favorites, and this is my favorite recipe for that dish

  • 1 lb. fresh carrots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, partially crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Slice carrots into 1/2 inch thick rounds, and boil in salted water until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and immediately cover the carrots with cold water to stop further cooking. Once cold, drain again.

In a medium pot or skillet, gently sauté the garlic cloves in the olive oil for two or three minutes over low heat. Discard the garlic, and add the carrots, lemon juice, cilantro, mint, and spices.

Sauté over low heat for another two minutes, and remove from the heat.

Serve either warm or chilled (I prefer chilled).

Marinated-Asian-Cucumber-Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar
  • 2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and pour over the cucumber and onions.

Cover and refrigerate until cold. Stir in sesame seeds, and serve.

This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least 1 hour.


 

Cover in frameThe 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.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

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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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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

Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Cooking

Valentines Guide for Guys
Click the cover for your guide!

Ladies…

Don’t find chili-mac particularly romantic?

Buffalo Wings don’t get your motor revvin’?

Chicken on a beer can doesn’t light your fire?

Print my free “Home Chef’s Guide to Valentine’s Day (for Guys!)” and leave it in his man-cave!

  • 17 Delicious Dessert, Dinner and Brunch recipes, with full color step-by-step photos, designed for all skill levels.
  • Key points on what really makes a meal “romantic”…besides the food!
  • Cooking Terms Glossary (just in case…)
  • PLUS…your Iron Chef can contact ME, personally, if they have any questions!

Act Fastthe  “Home Chef’s Guide to Valentine’s Day (for Guys!)” is only available for a couple of weeks each year.

Here’s just ONE of the delicious recipes from the free guide (as seen on AM Northwest this morning): Nutella Mug Brownies! Here’s the video from this morning’s segment on AM Northwest!

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Click Image for Video

Nutella Mug BrowniesOne-Minute Nutella Mug Brownies

  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 1 Tbsp milk chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, gently whisked
  • 2 Tbs all purpose flour, rounded
  • 2 Tbs homemade whipped cream (see guide)

Adapted from the recipe by Gemma Stafford

In a large microwavable mug add the Nutella and egg and whisk together.

Add flour and mix until you have a smooth batter. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

Microwave for roughly 45 seconds – 1 minute. (Microwave timing might vary). Keep a close eye on your mug while in the microwave so it doesn’t overflow or overcook.

Check your brownie at 40 seconds, if it feels firm to the touch it is done, proceed in 10 second increments if it is not done. When the brownie is set and firm on top it is done. Let the brownie cool and minutes before serving

Serve with some homemade whipped cream, or vanilla bean ice-cream, while it’s still warm. (Gemma cooked for 1 minute in her recipe)

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and eNewsletter, and get weekly updates with my latest recipes, Home Chef tips, and MY KITCHEN Outreach updates.

Sign up right HERE!

Note to the guys: The management at SimplySmartDinnerPlans (that’s me) takes NO responsibility for this post being forwarded to you, left on your pillow, or stapled to your chest…especially if it came from your wife or girlfriend!

Looking for more amazing, and simple recipe and how-to videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel and see them all!

Chef Perry's YouTube Channel 

Now, go cook real food!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

The Home Chef
Click on the image to learn more about my HOME CHEF series!