Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Day 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!
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Andrew Zimmern’s Swedish Meatballs

This is dinner tonight! I like mine with creamy mashed potatoes, and a fresh “Bob & Larry” salad!
 
Might even have a jar of lingonberry jam around here somewhere…or maybe a trip to Ikea is in order (THAT would be a $300 jar of jam…) 😉
 
Bork bork bork!
 
~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

The right way to cut with a Chef’s Knife

Here’s a quick video covering the correct way to hold a chef’s knife, and how to grip the food with your other hand to avoid cutting yourself.

Be patient with yourself, many beginners find that this new grip takes some getting used to, but it definitely provides extra control over the blade.

Go Cook!

~Chef Perry

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

BACON SALMON CHOWDER

Ingredients:

STOCK
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)

CHOWDER
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

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

FOR THE STOCK:

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.

FOR THE CHOWDER:

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 http://www.perryperkinsbooks.com

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

Let’s Cook!

~Chef Perry

Pasta Fajioli…an easy way to empty the fridge

Pasta Fajioli AM Northwest

Had great fun being back on AM Northwest last week (watch the clip, below), and got to talk about one of my all-time favorite subjects…comfort food. It’s getting chilly up here in the PNW, and nothing warms you back up like a good pot of soup.

One of my Facebook friends commented that whenever I’m on the show, I always do Italian recipes.

It’s true.

I love French food, and Asian food, and pretty much ANY food, but if I’m going to present the best version of something, something you can taste the love in, it’s probably going to be an old Italian Grandmother’s recipe.

The Home Chef's Guide to Frugal Fine CookingI love this recipe, not just because it’s delicious, and brings back great childhood memories, but because it’s one of those dishes that proves you don’t have to spend a lot, to make an amazing meal.  Pasta is cheap. Beans are cheap. Carrots, onions, celery? Cheap. Add whatever leftover meat and veggies from last night’s dinner, and presto…you have soup!

(For more tips, tricks, and recipes for great eating on a budget, check out my new book, “The Home Chef’s Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking” on Amazon.com!)

Soggiorno caldo!

~Chef Perry

Pasta Fajioli Recipe for AMNW
(pasta va-zool)

1 lb meat, cooked and chopped (roast chicken, sausage, hamburger, etc.)
36 oz “Quick and Easy Chicken Stock
28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained (or 6 Romas, freshly roasted*)
15 oz tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
4 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cups beans (cannellini, kidney beans, etc,) rinsed and drained
2 tsp minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp coarse black pepper
8 ounces uncooked pasta (ditalini, macaroni, etc.)
4 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Additional veggies: Whatcha’got? Pretty much any leftover veggies will compliment this soup. Peas, corn, sauteed mushrooms, green beans, cabbage…empty that fridge!

Mirepoix for soup

Make the mirepoix: In a saute pan, heat oil over medium low, and saute onions, celery, and carrots until just beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and transfer to a stock pot.

Pasta Fajioli AM Northwest

Add broth, sauce, beans, oregano, and black pepper.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add pasta, parsley, and any additional veggies; simmer, covered, 10-14 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Pasta Fajioli AM Northwest

Stir in meat, and serve with crusty, warm bread.

Yield: 10-12 servings

*To roast your own: Place 6 Roma tomatoes on a very hot grill, under a broiler, or directly on above a gas burner. Char, rotating frequently, until blackened on all sides. Place tomatoes in a large zip bag and seal, allowing them to steam 20-30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the bag, and peel off most of the charred skin (I ike to leave a little, for flavor). Dice the tomatoes, place in a bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, and just cover with hot water. Allow to come to room temp before using the tomatoes and water in this recipe.

Here’s the clip from AM Northwest:

Pasta Fajioli Recipe AM Northwest
Click on image to be redirected to AM Northwest’s video page

 

Tips for Perfect BBQ Chicken (Video)

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe
Click image for Video

Video Text:

Hey, this is Chef Perry, thanks for joining me!

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeToday we’re gonna talk GRILLING. Specifically, some of my favorite tips for grilling chicken. Now, while boneless-skinless chicken breasts are the current darling of the American grill, I almost always opt for thighs instead.

They have more flavor, and are more forgiving than breasts, as they don’t dry out nearly as quickly.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeTip One: I always brine my chicken for a couple of hours in a simple salt & sugar brine. This adds some flavor, and helps the chicken to retain a lot of moisture.

Tip 2: With chicken, whether it’s boneless thighs, or whole drumsticks, I prefer to dip instead of brush, so I have a bowl of my favorite sauce right next to the grill.

First off, we’re going to get a 2 zone fire going under our grill (see link below). You can do the same thing with a gas grill, by turning one side on HIGH and the other side on LOW (or the outside burners on HIGH and the middle to LOW.)

Brush the thighs with a little oil, and place them on the hot side of the grill. If you brined them, don’t add any salt.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeOnce they have a little char on both sides, dip each thigh into your sauce bowl, making sure to coat both sides evenly. Place the sauced thighs on the LOW side of the grill, to help set the first layer of glaze.

After a minute or two, flip them over. Once the glaze has set on both sides, dip them again. For a thick sauce, like this one, you probably only need to dip them twice.

For thinner sauces it might take 3 or 4 dips to get a really good glaze.

Put them back on the LOW side, and repeat as needed. If you like a little more char on your chicken, flip the chicken quickly back onto the hot side, just before they’re done. Be careful, most sauces have a lot of sugar, and a “little char” can quickly become a burnt mess.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on Pretzel BunMy favorite way to serve these thighs is on a toasted pretzel bun with some homemade sesame-cilantro slaw (recipe below).

So, there you go. Any questions? Post them below, or use the contact form!

If you like this post, please share! If you LOVE these posts and want to help me cook for the hungry and teach at-risk kids how to cook, please consider becoming a patron on my Patreon Page!

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