Cooking Perfect Shrimp (the easy way)

Cooking perfect shrimp the easy way

Unless I can get live shrimp, I typically use frozen. Most of the “fresh” shrimp you’ll find at a grocery store has been previously frozen anyway, so flash-frozen will typically be fresher and of better quality anyway.

If you do buy it from the seafood counter, buy it early in the day. It’s usually put in the case frozen, first thing in the morning, and allowed to slowly thaw during the day. I never buy seafood counter shrimp after 2pm.

I like to get the “easy peel” stuff, so I can cook with the shells on, which not only helps keep the shrimp from over-cooking, and getting rubbery, but also adds a lot more flavor.

Tip: look for the words “flash frozen on boat” on the packaging.

Here’s the best way I’ve found to get perfecty cooked, juicy, tender shrimp from frozen.

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a full boil.

Remove from heat, add 1 cup of frozen shrimp, and cover.

Let rest 8-10 minutes, off heat.

Remove the shrimp from water and serve immediately (for warm dishes), or transfer to a bowl of ice water to quick chill and stop cooking, for cold salads, coctails, etc.

You can heat your salted water in the microwave, as well.

You’re welcome! 😉

~Chef Perry

PS – If your dish calls for sauteing, or grilling, skip this method and thaw your frozen shrimp in cold, salted water overnight in the fridge.

Order The Home Chef Book

We 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.


~Chef Perry



4th of July Grilling Party Menu

Here’s the menu (and recipes) for my”4th of July BBQ Party” raffle winners, Ron & Karen Wilkinson!

If you were there, thanks again!

*This menu was designed to serve 40.


  • Bacon Wrapped Pickles
  • Dragon Claws
  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Loins (whole)
  • Cedar Plank Salmon
  • Maque Choux
  • Sesame Cilantro Slaw


Bacon Wrapped Pickle Spears

  • 60 “Crunchy Dill” pickle spear
  • 60 slice of thin-sliced bacon (I like the double smoked apple-wood.)
  • You favorite brand of Buttermilk Ranch dressing, for dipping
  • 60 toothpicks

Pre-heat the grill.

Follow video instructions for prep, and grill over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp.

Serve hot, with cold Ranch Dressing for dipping.


Ultimate Bacon-Garlic Pork Loin Roast

BRINE (for both)

  • 1 gallon water                         
  • 1 cup salt.
  • 1 cup sugar

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. When done with the brine, remove from brine, rinse under running water and pat dry. You may season some at this point but DO NOT ADD SALT if you brine.

  • 20 pounds pork loin not tenderloin                
  • 28 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper         
  • 2 teaspoon paprika


Grill pork loin over direct heat just to sear on all sides.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Mix the seasonings in small bowl and rub it on the pork. Coat with the garlic on top of the fat cap.

Lay out your bacon on a large cutting board, edges touching, to the length of yoru pork loin. Set the roast in the lower third of the bacon and wrap the bacon, one slice at a time, over the roast, securing both ends at the side of the roast.

Add the pork loin to a baking pan, on a rack, and insert your thermometer probe in one end.

Cook the pork for 60-75 minutes or until it has reached a temperature of 145F.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing & serving.

Cedar Plank Salmon

Cedar Plank Salmon

  • 1/2 cup mild honey
  • 1/4 cup McCormick’s Maple Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 2 (10lb) salmon fillets with skin (1 1/2 0- 2in. thick)
  • Cedar grilling planks (about 15 by 6 inches)

Soak your cedar grilling plank(s) in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure . Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.

Portion your salmon filets as large as possible, but still fitting the on the planks.

Stir together (warmed) honey, McCormick seasoning, salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill directly over hot coals, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes.

Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.


Maque Choux with Bacon

Any Southerner worth his Moon Pie knows that bacon and corn go great together. I mean, bacon goes great with just about everything, sure, but pair it with fresh, sweet corn and you really have something special!

This old school, simple side-dish is one of my all-time favorites. Corn and bacon drippings with onion and bell pepper, topped with crispy bits of bacon.

If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, something inside of you has died.

  • 48 cups fresh sweet corn kernels                           
  • 2 lbs bacon
  • 4 1/2 cups chopped sweet onions (3 large)                       
  • 3 cup chopped red, yellow, bell pepper
  • 3 tsp. salt                                                              
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper                                
  • 12 firm Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cup chopped green onions                                 
  • 4 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbs sweet cream butter

Cut the sweet corn from the cobs. Chop the sweet onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, pat dry, crumble and set aside. Pour off the melted fat, leaving a thin layer in the pan.

Add the remaining ingredients (except corn & cilantro) to the bacon drippings and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, over medium heat.

Pour the cooked ingredients into a baking dish. Stir in the raw corn, green onions, and reserved bacon. Let rest 2-3 minutes, and serve, topped with fresh cilantro.

If using frozen corn, pop the pan in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, before serving.

IMG_3499-800x600Sesame-Cilantro Slaw

  • 30 cups slaw mix                                       
  • 20 Tbs rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 40 Tbs Best Foods mayonnaise                 
  • 40 tsp sugar substitute
  • 20 tsp black pepper                                   
  • 40 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 10 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mayo, sugar sub, and pepper until smooth. Add cabbage and cilantro, and toss to coat well.

Chill 20 minutes.

In the meantime, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, until golden and aromatic. Set aside to cool.

When ready to served, give the slaw a stir, spoon onto plates (or sandwiches) and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.




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


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.


Chef Perry P. Perkins





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.


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!


Chef Perry’s Bacon Salmon Chowder

This recipe is an old favorite, my own riff on my Dad’s signature clam chowder, using our fresh Pacific Northwest Salmon.

Bacon Salmon Chowder



2 lbs. salmon spine, head, and tail
1 gallon fresh water
1/4 cup fine sea salt
2 Bay leaves
4 cups (total) chopped carrots, shallots, & celery (optional)

2lbs (2) fresh salmon steaks, cut 4in thick
2 extra-large russet potatoes
1/4 cup sweet cream butter
4 cups chopped carrots, sweet onions, & celery
1lb thick bacon (cooked and chopped)
Fine sea salt
1/4 cup AP flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 Tbs. coarse black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. Mexican chili powder

1 (8oz) bag large Garlic-Butter Croutons
Coarse black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped


Bring a gallon of water to a low simmer, in a large stock pot. Add about a Tbs. of sea salt, then the salmon head, spine, and tail.

Simmer, uncovered, for 4-6 hours. You can do this in the morning, or even the day before.

(I like to add some carrots, celery, and shallots, if I’m making more stock than I need for this recipe.)

Once the stock has cooked, scoop out the big pieces with a slotted spoon, discard, and then strain the solids. Then do a second straining, through cheesecloth, to get a clean stock.

Once your stock is strained, wipe the pot clean, set in on a back burner over low heat, and return the stock to it. Keep it warm.


Peel russet potatoes, and slice them into large cubes, set aside in a bowl, covered in cold water.

Melt butter in a large frying pan, and sauté the chopped celery and onions, over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. You just want them with a little caramelization on the outsides, but still crunchy.

Add the cooked, chopped bacon, and stir it in with the veggies. Let this cook a few more minutes, until the bacon has rendered and is heated through. Remove the bacon and veggies from the pan, reserving as much of the butter and bacon drippings as possible.

Once all of the solids are moved from the pan, raise the heat to medium-high. You can add a little oil here, if needed.

Season both sides of the salmon steaks with fine sea salt.

Fry the salmon until it’s nicely browned, then flip and do the same to the other side. The salmon is still basically raw at this point, but it’ll finish cooking in the stock. This browning is what really adds the flavor to your chowder.

While your browning the salmon, it’s a good time to start heating up the stock, on medium heat. Add the potatoes, then bring the stock to a high simmer.

When the salmon has brown on both sides, move it to the stock pot, on top of the potatoes, and reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Add some butter to the frying pan, if needed, to reach about 1/4 cup of fat in the pan.

Add 1/4 of flour to the fat in the frying pan. Mix and keep it moving until your roux becomes golden brown, and starts to smell nutty.

Once your roux in golden (which means the flour has been cooked), it’s time to start adding the salmon stock, a half a cup at a time. At first, your roux is going to sizzle and seize up into a paste. DON’T PANIC! This is what it’s supposed to do.

Keep adding hot stock, and stirring until smooth, then adding more stock, etc., etc., until you reach the consistency of a thin gravy. Somewhere along here, you’ll want to trade in you spoon for a whisk. Keep whisking, until it’s smooth, with a silky looking finish.

Remove the potatoes and salmon from the stock, and add in your thinned roux, whisking until smooth.

Set the stockpot aside, on low heat, UNCOVERED.

Break the salmon steaks into large chunks. You can go smaller, or even shred it, if you prefer, but I like it like this. Set aside.

Add two cups of WARMED whole milk to the broth, and whisk it in.

Next, add in the salmon chunks.  Carefully add the cooked potatoes, celery, onions, and bacon into the pot, and stir gently, just enough to combine everything.

After tasting our chowder, add a little more sea salt, if needed.

Add black pepper, to taste, and then the Mexican Chili Powder. (If you can’t find the Mexican kind, regular chili powder works, too.) Stir those lovely seasonings into your chowder!

Allow the chowder to rest for about a half an hour, to let the flavors, and then portion it into bowls for serving.

Add some garlic butter croutons on top, then a sprinkle of coarse black pepper (to taste). Finally add a sprinkle of Italian parsley, to give the dish a little color.

And there you have it! Chef Perry’s soon to be famous (hopefully!) Bacon Salmon Chowder.

Guaranteed to warm all the down to those frozen toes!

Serve immediately.

For more delicious, simple, and (mostly) healthy Home Chef recipes, tips, and kitchen tricks, pick up my latest “next level” cookbook, “BACON!: A Home Chef’s Guide” at

And be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don’t miss a dish!

Let’s Cook!

~Chef Perry

Chef Perry’s Shrimp Po’boy

Chef Perry's Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich

Justin Kennedy, head chef and general manager of Parkway Bakery & Tavern, a New Orleans staple that’s been serving po’boys for almost 90 years. According to Kennedy, the “poor boy” sandwich was created in 1929 during the Great Depression.

95130fab705a7ffdf23c57d5200a2f93--shrimp-po-boy-po-boy“The street car conductors were not getting paid, so they went on strike,” Kennedy explains. “Benny and Clovis Martin, who were former conductors themselves, had a grocery and coffee stand. They put the word out, if a hungry striker in need came by their shop, they would feed that poor boy.”

Though the first po’boy was made with fried potatoes, roast beef and gravy on French bread, the sandwich has evolved to include many fillings, including the popular shrimp version.

In our recipe, we marinate shrimp in hot sauce and buttermilk before breading them in a spiced cornmeal mixture and frying them until crisp.

Shrimp Po'Boy

Then we layer the shrimp on a classic French roll with hot sauce-laden mayo, lettuce, tomato and sliced cornichons. This is a sandwich that requires two hands and your full attention (see the recipe).

Po'boy Bread“Po’boy bread is light and airy, never too dense inside, with a thin, crisp crust. This makes it easy for the star of the po’boy to be the filling, with the bread playing a beautiful supporting role,” Lagasse explains.

The one thing to keep in mind is how fast the bread goes stale. You’re going to want to buy your bread the same day you’re making your sandwiches to ensure it maintains its light and fluffy interior.

The Recipe

1lb deep fried (or baked) tiny breaded shrimp
¼ cup Crystal hot sauce, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
Two 10-inch po’boy rolls or French hero rolls, halved lengthwise
1 beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced cornichons, for garnish


Whisk together ½ tablespoon of salt with cayenne, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and pepper, and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce with the mayonnaise, add spices, and mix until smooth.

Spread the mayonnaise mixture on both halves of the rolls. On the bottom halves, divide the fried shrimp, top with the sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and sliced cornichons.

Affix the top halves, then slice in half and serve.

Home Chef Note: For an equally awesome Po’ Boy, replace the shrimp with battered, deep friend oysters (extra-small.)

Oyster Po'Boy Sandwich