Makin’ Bacon!


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:


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_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.)


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.


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!


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!





Happy Grilled Cheese Day!

 Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I love all things caprese (tomato/mozzarella/basil), so when I found a lovely block of white cheddar labeled “Tomato-Basil”, it didn’t event require a second thought…(if you can’t find it, a couple of thick slices of provolone are pretty awesome, too!)

Yeah, it rocked.

Oh, and if you can find this “Everything” Italian bread…it was amazing!

Chef Perry

The Ultimate Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
4 thick slices of rustic artisan bread (your choice)
3.5 oz Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheese (sliced ½ inch thick)
1 firm beefsteak tomato, sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1-2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Coarse sea salt, to taste

Brush each sliced of bread (both sides) with a little olive oil.

Layer 2 pieces of the bread with cheese slices and chopped basil.

Pre-heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat, and drizzle with a melted butter. 

Grill sandwiches until golden brown, add tomato, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, to taste.

Top both pieces with remaining bread, flip and grill until cheese has melted.

DO NOT cover the pan with a lid to melt cheese, it will make your bread soggy!

Three Little Pigs Chili

3 Little Pigs Chili

Three Little Pigs Chili is one of my favorite “get rid of the leftovers” recipes!

  •     1/2 pound of ground pork
  •     2 yellow bell peppers, 1/2-inch dice
  •     1 lg yellow onion,  1/2-inch dice
  •     4 cloves garlic, minced
  •     4 lg beefsteak tomatoes, peeled & crushed (see video)
  •     Olive oil
  •     salt and ground black pepper to taste
  •     1/2 pound leftover pulled pork
  •     1/2 pound leftover roast pork loin*, cubed
  •     4 cups chicken stock
  •     1 cup black beans, dry

    1 cup kidney beans, dry

*Boneless picnic ribs, pork chops, pork steaks, whatever you got!

Homemade chili seasoning

  •     1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •     4 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
  •     2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  •     2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •     2 teaspoons dried parsley
  •     2 teaspoons salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Home Chef Note: Buying your beans dry, and soaking them overnight is not only a huge money-saver, but it’s much, much healthier (canned beans can have up to 20x the sodium of dried), and your final bean is firm and delicious, not a bowl of mush that tastes like the can. It’s really a simple swap: for each can called for, soak 1/2 cup of dry beans in 2 cups of water for 8-10 hours, or overnight.

In a bowl, stir together seasoning ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Blanch and crush your tomatoes (see video)

Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, and a little sea salt, in 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium-low heat, until softened. Scoop of the solids and set aside.

Raise the heat to medium and, in the same pan (un-wiped), brown the ground pork, with a little more sea-salt, breaking it up until crumbled into 1/2 inch chunks.

Add the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan, add chili seasoning, and stir to combine. After 1-2 minutes of stirring (it’ll get thick), add tomatoes and stir to combine, then stir in the chicken stock, beans, and remaining meats.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 60-90 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt, and ground black pepper to taste.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool 1 hour, then serve.



~Chef Perry

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


Chef Perry’s 3-Meat Chili

Chef Perry's 3 Meat Chili

Okay, so…under normal circumstances, I would have soaked dry beans overnight, and roasted fresh Roma tomatoes on my grill, but this was a last minute dinner decision, and I was pressed for time.

If have have a chance, those steps would make this recipe even better!

Still, it’s pretty awesome, just like this…

Chef Perry’s 3-Meat Chili

1 lg. sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, thin sliced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 can each: dark red beans, black beans, butter beans, kidney beans, rinsed
2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 sm. can diced green chilies, drained
2 cups beef stock
1 Tbs. Mexican chili powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
8 oz pulled pork bbq
1lb roasted pork shoulder, chopped
1lb ground pork, sauteed and chopped (with salt to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large pot:

Sweat onion and garlic in oil, with chili power and cumin, until onions are soft, but not browning.

Increase heat to medium and add the tomatoes and green chilies. Bring to a simmer (stirring) until reduced to a thin paste.

Stir in the rinsed beans, and add beef stock to cover by 1 inch. Reduce heat to medium low.

Cook at a low simmer 1-2 hours, or until the liquid has reduced to the height of the beans.

Chef Perry's 3 Meat Chili

Stir in the meats and black pepper, and remove from heat.

LET COOL COMPLETELY (at least 2 hours, overnight is better).

If refrigerated, allow the chili to come to room temp, then slowly reheat, from low to medium, stirring often.

Taste for salt, and adjust accordingly.

Serve with shredded extra-sharp cheddar, chopped sweet onion, and cilantro.

Home Chef Note: There’s no heat in this. If you want a little fire, saute 1/2-1 seeded & minced habanero pepper with the onion and garlic.


Beef: Leftover brisket, and ground beef.
Bird: BBQ Chicken thighs (off the bone), ground turkey
Vegetarian: Just don’t.

The Home Chef BookPart syllabus, part autobiography, part call-to-arms, The Home Chef is about the rapidly evolving landscape of cooking in America, and how to cook real food, the best food possible, in your own kitchen, and more importantly…why you should.

Filled with insider tips and tricks from the professional kitchen, hundreds of links and resources to (free) professional level education, and easy to follow instructions from a professional cooking instructor, The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen is culinary school for the home cook.

Everything you need to take your own culinary creations to the next level, while saving time, money, and waste doing so!

Pick up your copy on today!