Beach Camp Chili with Beans

 

Two meat Chili with Beans Recipe

I don’t typically use very many canned foods, in fact I can be kind of an ass on the subject, but there are exceptions to every rule.beef and pork chili recipe

One of those exception is my families annual week-long vacation on the Oregon Coast.

Crabbing, clamming, fishing, beach-combing, sand-castles…there’s WAY too much on the agenda to spend all day in the kitchen! So…we make exceptions, and sometimes we get some very happy surprises.

This is one of them!

Beach Camp Chili

  • 1lb boneless pork steak (or any cheap, meaty cut of pork)
  • 4 strips thick bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs chili powder, divided
  • 2 Tbs cumin powder, divided
  • 1 Tbs sea salt
  • 1 Tbs coarse black pepper.
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs bacon fat
  • 1lb ground beef (80/20)
  • 28oz Centro fine diced tomatoes
  • 28oz Bush’s baked beans
  • 28oz red kidney beans, drained

Toppings

  • Shredded Mexi-cheese
  • 1/2 white onion, fine dice
  • Crema (Mexican sour cream)
  • Hot Cornbread

Mix salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

Bring pork steak to room temp, pat dry, and rub generously on both sides with spice mix. Set aside.

Mirepoix: In a heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, over medium heat:

Sauté the bacon, celery, onions, and carrots in 1 Tbs (each of oil and butter), cook until softened and beginning to caramelize. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

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Increase heat and sear the pork steak until well browned on both sides. Remove from pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, add mire poix, and pork. Top with tomatoes (with juice), cover and cook, covered, at a very low simmer for 4-6 hours.

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Remove pork, chop coarse, and add back to the pot.

Fry the ground beef with garlic and the remaining spice blend, until cooked through. Do not drain. Add ground beef to pot, along with baked beans, and drained kidney beans. Increase heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced, and the chili starts to thicken.

beef and pork chili with beans

Remove from heat and let rest 1 hour, uncovered.

Stir and serve with toppings and cornbread!

~Chef Perry


PS – Be sure to subscribe to this blog, and get many more healthy, delicious, budget-friendly tips, techniques, and recipes!


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Healthy School Lunches your Kids will Eat!

healthy homemade school lunches

A healthy breakfast & lunch are vital for attention and learning, and help keep kids focused and alert all day. I’ve taught hundreds of kids to plan and cook for themselves, and the vast majority of them, given the opportunity, will choose healthy, nutritious foods if they taste good, are offered in variety, and if they feel like they are allowed to choose for themselves.

Healthy school lunch ideas
Click the image to watch this morning’s segment on the AM Northwest webpage!

Ham and cheese wraps in lunch boxVariety

Kids get bored with the same old, same old…and a variety of foods helps ensure more balanced nutrition.

  • Wraps are sturdier and less messy to eat. Who wants to eat a smooshed sandwich?
  • Quesadillas are quick and easy to make. Ham & Cheese, Pizza, Turkey and cheddar
  • Vary hot and cold lunches. A thermos of their favorite soup or stew is a nice break from cold lunch, especially in winter.
  • A hot sandwich, wrapped in foil, will stay warm in a thermos, all day!
  • Pita Pockets are easy to eat, less messy, and because pita it denser than sandwich bread, you can assemble them the night before, and they won’t get soggy.

Tip: Small rewards for bringing home rinsed dishes and thermos’ are totally worth it!

yumbox-lunchboxLeftovers of favorite dinners make GREAT lunches

  • Slightly under-cook veggies, so they don’t turn to mush when re-heated.
  • If you struggle to get them to eat it at home, don’t bother packing it for lunch.
  • Let you kid’s help make the meal. Kid’s LOVE to bring and brag, and are twice as likely to eat something they helped make.
  • No kid worth their My Little Pony back-pack doesn’t like cold pizza!

Lunchable

Homemade “Lunchables”

Kids love stuff they can assemble!

  • Deli meat: slice it into cracker-size squares, and put it right back in the bag!
  • Cheese slices: Ditto
  • Crackers, whole wheat pita pockets, small flour tortillas
  • Raw veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Pickles
  • Trail mix
  • Treat (cookie, pudding, yogurt, etc.)
  • A 011316.f.ff.LostItalianwhole rotisserie chicken can make a week’s worth of protein for one hungry teen-ager or a couple of littles! Chicken legs, chicken with rice (use your rice-cooker), chicken salad wraps, sliced chicken-breast pitas…the list is endless!
  • Check out the bulk food section, it’s not just rice and beans anymore. Buying staple lunch items in bulk can save a ton of money over the same items in pretty bags.
  • Want to add a little more variety, without buying the whole produce section? Check out my post, “Shopping the Salad Bar!” over on our outreach page!

Make a master list of healthy lunch ingredients, and let your kids take turns choosing items from each food group the next time you go shopping. It works, it really does.

Save yourself some time!

Does it really need to be sliced on a perfect bias? Does every sandwich need to be cut into cute shapes and adorned with smiley faces? We’re not Martha Stewart, people, and nobody’s giving out Michelin Stars for the contents of our kid’s lunch bags. 😉

CARROTSTICKSFresh fruits and veggies begin to lose their flavor and texture as soon as they’re cut. My daughter is just as happy gnawing on a 4 inch hunk of cucumber, or popping whole grape tomatoes. Slice you veggies into manageable pieces in advance, and store in a large, sealed container of cold water for the week.

Spend those precious minutes assembling fresh, quality foods that your kids will eat. Flavor will trump fancy every time!

Chef or Cob salads are quick and easy to assemble. Send with a small reuseable container of their favorite dressing, and a baggie of croutons.

What to Skip

Bananas do NOT travel well, and nobody want to eat a brown, mushy banana. Save the bananas for breakfast! Always wrap the stems in foil.

Prepackaged “lunchables”. Sure they’re convenient, but you’re paying double, sometimes triple, for something you can easily assemble (with fresh fruit and veggies!) yourself.

16236AProbably the biggest rip-off in home-packed lunches are juice boxes.

Non-recyclable containers filled with a few swallow of sugar-laden “fruit” juice, and a grossly inflated price…ugh! Invest in a few reusable drink bottles, and fill them with pure, no-sugar-added juices at a fraction of the cost.

This goes for just about any “individual serving size” items (chips, cookies, fruits & veggies, trail-mix, etc.,)

All of these can be purchased in family-size portions, and added to a sandwich baggie for pennies on the dollar.

Assemble

Make it a team effort!

Make a (supervised) lunch “assembly line” in the morning. Kids can pick and choose what they want from a selection of meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies. All YOU need to do is pop a treat in the bag at the end of the line!

Stop over-paying for greasy burgers, spongy pizza, and chemical-laden processed “convenience” foods, and give your kids a leg up on learning with fresh, healthy, money-saving lunches.

They deserve it (and so do you!)

~Chef Perry

PS – Be sure to subscribe to my blog, and get many more healthy, delicious, budget-friendly tips, techniques, and recipes!


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Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole (GF)

Top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese.

Cooked up a couple of breakfast casseroles for a friend this week. They turned out great! My Green Chili Egg puff requires flour, and they needed another one that was gluten-free. So I came up with this one.

It takes some steps the night before, but makes for a quick and easy breakfast the next morning.

Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb bratwurst sausage (beer, or sweet Italian sausage)
  • 1 ½  cups diced sweet onion
  • 8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen shredded O’Brien hash browns, cooked crisp
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup diced red/yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2lb grape tomatoes, halved.
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (from about 6 onions)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

For Mikey: You can swap out the bell peppers for 2 small cans of diced green chilies, well drained. 😉

Prep:

Lightly coat a foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread hash-browns in a single layer, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and bake until crisp.

Cut all veggies.

Remove sausage from casings.

Toss sliced mushrooms with 1 Tbs. of oil, a little salt and pepper, and spread on another lined cookie-sheet. Roast in oven at 350F, until the mushroom are well browned.

Assemble:

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onions, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and mushrooms have given off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Throughout cooking, chop to crumble sausage.  Drain the liquid.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray, layer potatoes (no need to thaw), sausage mixture, then 1 cup cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, and green onions.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, basil, and pepper.

Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add half of the remaining cheese and whisk again.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

Pour egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Alternately, you can bake this casserole immediately.)

Cook:

In the morning, top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese. preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 60-70 minutes, or until egg in middle is just set (no jiggle) and edges are lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Great with a dollop of Mexican Crema, and some chopped cilantro or Italian Parsley.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

(Hey, if you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please do so! Don’t miss a single new recipe, Chef’s tip, or technique! The link is at the top of the right-hand column.)


Order The Home Chef Book
       Click on the Cover!

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.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

 

Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

Bacon Bleu Burger

A nice juicy medium-rare bacon-mushroom-swiss has always been my go-to burger, but this Bacon & Bleu might just give it a run for it’s money!

The blue-cheese sauce is amazing, and would make an ideal crudites dip, as well.

Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground beef patties* (80/20% lean)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on grill.
  • 4 romaine leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • Additional slices of cooked pepper bacon to add whole (optional)

*Take your burgers up a notch by using your own custom burger blend.

Here’s mine, using brisket, sirloin, and bacon!

Creamy Bleu Cheese Sauce

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices of thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese and chopped, cooked bacon. Set aside at room temp.

Spread each bottom bun with mayo, and top with lettuce, then tomato.

Salt and grill the beef patties, and sprinkle each with a little garlic powder, as it comes off the grill, then place on the bottom buns, on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the bacon-cheese spread the top of grilled burger patties.

Top with remaining buns.

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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My Mama’s Favorite Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

Hot Roast Beef Sandwich

636114443114791851--1-Kresge-s-Lunch-counter-sheboyganToday would have been my Mama’s 73rd birthday and, like we did every year on her birthday (and every year since she moved to Heaven) we’ll be having her very favorite dinner… a Hot Roast Beef Sandwich.

This was also our traditional meal at the Newberry’s lunch counter in Downtown Portland every Christmas season, when we made our annual trek to the “big city” to see the window displays, ride the Christmas monorail, and get my picture taken with Santa.

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Every bite of the delicious comfort food dinner brings a wave of happy childhood memories.

Mama’s Favorite Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1/2 bunch of celery, leaves removed
1 sweet onion, peeled, ends trimmed, quartered root to stem
1/2 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 lbs beef top round roast
4 garlic cloves, halved
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 cup red wine
1 stick butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. browning liquid
8 slices white bread, for serving
Creamy Mashed Potatoes

The Roast

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion in the bottom of a roasting pan, and add wine and just enough water to just cover the vegetables.

Poke 8 holes in the sides and top of your roast and inster the the garlic pieces. Rub the whole roast with oil and sprinnkle generously on all sides with steak seasoning.

tritip6Over medium-high heat, heat a dry skilliet for 5-8 minutes and sear all sides of the roast until well browned.

Place the roast on top of the veggies (do not wash the skillet – we’ll use it again), cover the pan with foil, and roast until the meat reaches 130F (about 2 hours). Move the roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then move to the fridge to chill for 2 hours.

IMG_4515The Gravy

Strain the roasting-pan juices; discard the vegetables (do not wipe out the pan!) Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, and whisk until the roux is a golden brown, and smells nutty. Slowly whisk the roasting pan juices and the browning liquid, and simmer until thickened, whisking constantly.

Slice the roast beef as thin as possible, and add the slices to the hot gravy. Set a slice of bread on each plate, and heap with beef gravy mixture.

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Top the beef with another slice and bread, add potatoes to the plate, and ladle the remaining gravy on top.

Happy birthday, Mama!

~Chef Perry


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

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A healthy, home-cooked dinner…in 5 minutes?

potatoHow nice would it be to come home from work and have a healthy, home cooked dinner on the table…in about 5 minutes?

1. Cook up a big batch of seasoned ground beef, pork, or turkey over the weekend, portion into family-serving sizes, and freeze.

2. Before you leave for work, pop some nice big russet potatoes in the slow-cooker (see video, below), take a package of the ground meat out of the freezer, and set it in the bottom of the fridge to thaw.

(Or, make this dinner on Monday or Tuesday night, and you don’t even have to freeze the meat!)

3. When you get home, just pop the meat in the microwave (maybe with a package of your favorite frozen veggies, sloppy-joe sauce, or chili).

4. Lay out the cooked potatoes, meat, veggies, maybe some shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, etc., and KABOOM…5 minute potato bar, baby!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com


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

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Ultimate Mother’s Day Meals Guide

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Click cover for your free cookbook!

Mother’s Day is almost here, and, as a Home Chef, food is OF COURSE going to be a major part of celebrating Mom!

Now, before dragging Mom off to a two-hour brunch at a fancy restaurant, ask her what SHE wants…a quiet breakfast in bed? A nice dinner with the whole family? It’s her day, right? Find out how SHE wants to celebrate it.

Also, where does she want her meal? At the dinner table, a breakfast nook, al fresco, in a bubble bath? She put’s up with us 24/7/365…she can eat where ever she wants!

Just in case you end up in the kitchen, I’ve come up with some recipes to keep in your Mother’s Day arsenal and deploy based on how much time Mom actually wants to spend celebrating herself.

Best Mother's Day Recipes

For breakfast, I propose a make-ahead menu, something you can prep (and clean up after) the night before. This might be the only morning Mom gets to sleep in all year…don’t wake her up early to the clanging of pots and pans.

If Mom is up for a nice long brunch, consider several small, light dishes with lots of fresh fruits and greens. You don’t want her too filled up before she hits the spa, right?

Chef Perrys Pasta alla Carbonara

Dinner…I say go all out! This is the time to let your inner Iron Chef shine! Just make sure that you know what Mom likes and wants to eat. Again, and nice slow-cooker, or low maintenance (read: less dirty dishes for you) is ideal, so you can enjoy a great meal, and have time afterward to play a game, or watch Mom’s favorite movie together.

Apple Crisp

And…of course…dessert. I mean, we’re talking about Mom, right? Mother’s Day dessert is about quality over quantity, and less is more with the rich, decadent dessert recipes we’re looking at.

Breakfasts

  • Blackberry Banana Smoothies
    Sweet Potato Gratin Stacks
  • Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby 
  • Patatas y Huevos Tacos 
  • Truffles Flower Eggs 
  • Mother’s Day Chili Egg Puffs

Appetizers

  • Caprese Tomato Bites 
  • Garlic-Parmesan Baked Chicken Wings
  • Sweet & Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates on the Grill
  • Pho Deviled Eggs
  • Bacon & Shrimp Mini Soft Tacos

Dinners

  • Slow Cooker Pork and Sweet Potato Curry
  • Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Garlic-Mushroom Cream sauce
  • Redneck Ratatouille
  • Risotto ai Funghi Porcini
  • Pasta alla Carbonara
  • Poisson Meunière

Desserts

  • Easy Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe
  • Mint Oreo Truffles
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pot de Creme
  • Sweet Butter Rum Plantains
  • Banana Bread Muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze

So let’s jump in…let’s show Mom just how awesome she is!

Click the cover (above) to download your free guidebook and recipes.

Happy Mother’s Day!

~ Chef Perry


The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen

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.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

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