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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Organizing Your Kitchen Like a Pro (AM Northwest appearance)

Free Printable Shopping List Reminder

If, like, me, you have the memory span of a brain-damaged goldfish, keeping one of these list reminders on the fridge is a HUGE help in having the ingredients you need, when you need them.

Just right-click on the image and save this PDF to your desktop, for a handy list reminder that you can print as needed!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh, and if you tuned in to AM Northwest this morning for my segment on Kitchen Organization (I’ll post the link to the clip here, this afternoon), thank you!

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the video…(click on image)

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

And here’s some notes on what we talked about (and a couple we ran out of time for…)

The “two step” kitchen plan

  • The tools and utensils you use most for cooking should be within two steps of the cooking area
  • The tools and utensils you use most for prep should be within two steps of the cooking area

Your Knives

  • Have them sharpened (honing is NOT sharpening)
  • Magnetic holder vs. knife block.

Your Spices

  • No spices, oils, or vinegars over the stove
  • Write your purchase dates on bottles
  • Buy in bulk, and refill bottles (squeeze bottles for oils)

Cupboards

  • Middle (eye level to counter): Items you use most
  • Upper (eye level and above): Items you use frequently, and/or hard shelf life (cookies, crackers, cereal)
  • Lower (Counter and below): Items you use the least, bulk storage, etc.

The Fridge

  • Meat on the bottom shelf
  • Leftovers on the Middle shelf
  • Names and dates on kitchen tape
  • Packaged, unopened on the top

The Freezer

  • Names and dates on kitchen tape
  • Vacuum sealers
  • Have a defrosting schedule

Make a List

  • Checkbox shopping list & pen, on fridge
  • Download mine (above)
  • Make your own
  • Pre-print the items you get every time you go to the store
  • Organize list for a single path through the store
  • Never shop hungry, or without your list

Or, check our my FREE 52 Weeks of dinner plans, and weekly shopping lists.

Available in Classic, Heart Healthy (Diabetic Friendly), and Gluten Free!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

Home Chef Cookbooks

Chef Perry’s Best Recipes of 2017

Best Recipes of 2017

 

As 2017 slips into the history books, it’s time for the annual “Best Of” post!

Here are the 10 recipes and technique posts that YOU, dear readers, visited and revisited the most.

From re-heating your favorite burger, to Julia’s most famous dish, to the best fried chicken…ever.

They’re all here!

(Click on each title, for the full recipe…)

Enjoy,

~Chef Perry

  1. If you haven’t subscribed to my updates, let’s start the new year off right, and sign up now! 😉

Miracle Microwave Chicken Recipe

12 Minute Miracle Chicken

I love doing this recipe in my cooking classes, just for the look on my students faces when I tell them we’re going to make “microwave chicken.” But really, we’re making poached chicken, we’re just using the microwave as the heat source. This is a great technique to shave some time off dinner prep, by multitasking while the chicken cooks.

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Boeuf Bourguignon for Julia’s Birthday

This was the very first “dish that Julia made on “The French Chef” and that was deliberate. Her goal in choosing this dish (as mine is in The Home Chef) was to demystify what was, and still is, considered one of the most delicious meals you can make, and thereby demystify cooking in general.

Pasta Carbonara on AM Northwest

Pasta alla Carbonara on AM Northwest

As the saying goes, “a great time was had by all.”

Well, I can’t speak for all, but I can tell you, this guy had a blast cooking Pasta alla Carbonara on AM Northwest!

Green Chile Egg Puff Recipe

Mother’s Day Green Chili Egg Puff

Easily, the best egg dish I’ve ever had, and it’ll be the traditional Christmas breakfast at our house from now on!

Light, fluffy, savory, ethereal…like eating an egg-flavored angel!

Dragon Claws Appetizer Recipe

“Dragon Claws” BBQ Appetizer

This one was no surprise, as it’s been in the top ten list every year since it posted after my Kenmore Grills demo at RibFest!

Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire! And…trust me on this, MUCH easier to make when there isn’t a live audience and 3 television cameras in your face!

Redneck Ratatouille Recipe

Converting Crock-Pot Recipes for the Oven

Great news…you can, absolutely, cook your crock-pot recipes in the oven, using a dutch oven, cassoulet pan, or even a cast-iron skillet and some foil.

As you know, we often include crock-pot and slow-roast recipes in our weekly meal plans, so we have a LOT of practice doing conversions!

How to reheat an IN-N-OUT (or any) Burger

In the sincere hope that nothing as glorious as a Double-Double Animal Style is ever eaten chilled, or even worse, microwaved, I give you…how to reheat an In-N-Out (or any) burger to (almost) as good as new!

he Best Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Dad Perkins’ Southern Fried Chicken

This is a taste of my childhood, as it was a taste of my father’s childhood.

It’s so good, and I love it so much, that I pulled my poor old dad out of a well-earned retirement to cook up a huge batch for our wedding rehearsal dinner.

It was, of course, a smashing success (she still said “yes” the next day…)

Easiest Chicken Stock Recipe

Easiest Chicken Stock Recipe Ever

I’m going to say, right up front, that there’s no replacement for a deep, rich stock that’s simmered for hours, pulling every bit from flavor out of the meat and veggies, and into the liquid.

However, there are easier ways to do it, and this is my favorite…using the crock pot!

The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen

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, and nothing you don’t, to take your own culinary creations to the next level, while saving time, money, and waste doing so.

My Best Recipe (according to my wife…)

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Smothered Burritos (or “Wet” Burritos, depending on where they’re served), were born at a the Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids, MI, where it’s called the Beltline Bar Wet Burrito. Love burritos and enchiladas? With these delicious monsters, you get the best of both worlds.

The original calls for seasoned ground beef and beans wrapped in a flour tortilla, covered in red chili sauce and cheese. What makes this NOT an enchilada, is that it uses a flour tortilla, where an enchilada is made with a corn tortilla.

I like to swap out the ground beef with Carne Adovada (Mexican pork in red sauce.) I think shredded beef brisket would be amazing, as well!

I don’t make this dish very often, as it’s a lot of work, and not even remotely healthy. Still, once or twice a year isn’t going to do too much damage!

Chef P’s Smothered Burritos

1 batch Carne Adovada*
1 batch Spanish rice*
1 batch Easy Guacamole*
1 batch Pico de Gallo*
8 extra-large flour tortillas, warmed
4 cups shredded Mexi Cheese
1 Cup sour cream (plus extra)
4 Tbs Cilantro (finely diced.)

*Recipes follow

To Assemble:

Pre-heat oven to 350F

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Place tortilla on a pre-warmed plate and spread 2 Tbs sour cream down the center, leaving two inches of tortilla at each end. Spoon 1/4 cup of Spanish Rice over the sour cream, then, using a slotted spoon, add 2/3 cup of the Carne Adovada over the rice.

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Fold up ends of tortilla and roll into a burrito, keeping the ends tucked.

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Coat the bottom of a baking dish with Carne Adovada sauce, and lay the finished burritos on top.

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Top with 1/2 of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.

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Cover with remaining Carne Adovada sauce…

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Then the remaining cheese.

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Bake 1 hour (place the baking dish on a cookie-sheet ~ you’ll thank me!) then allow to cool 20-30 minutes on stove-top.

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To Plate:

Coat each plate with refried beans, then top each with a burrito. Top each burrito with additional sauce, and dollop with sour cream,

Serve with warm chips, guacamole, remaining pico de gallo. Sprinkle all with cilantro.

Additional Recipes:

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Carne Adovada
1 C Pico de Gallo, below
2 lbs boneless pork picnic ribs
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt
1 C olive oil
2 yellow onions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 small can tomato paste
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp red pepper powder

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Trim pork of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

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Season the pork cubes generously with salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic.

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Mix in diced onions. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides. 

Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Drain oil and dispose.

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Add the pico, tomato paste, chili powder, red pepper powder, and broth, stirring until blended.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 hours.

Remove solids with a slotted spoon, and raise the heat to a high simmer, reducing the sauce by half. Remove from heat, add the solids back in, and stir. Cover and set aside.

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Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups* chicken stock
2 Tbs tomato paste
Pinch of oregano
2 teaspoons each: salt, chili powder, and cumin

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, I use 3 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

Combine all ingredients in your rice cooker, and cook per cooker instructions.

If you don’t have a rice cooker:

In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic.

Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer, covered.

Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork, and set aside, uncovered.

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Simple Guacamole

3 medium Haas avocados, ripe. Peeled and diced.
1 Tbs lime juice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.

Fresh Pepper Pico

Fresh Pepper Pico de Gallo

5 fresh Roma tomatoes, chilled and diced
1/2 large white onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs fresh minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Restaurant Style Refried Beans

1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
(or, 2 cups canned refried beans + 1 cup stock)
1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons each ground cumin, chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper to the crock-pot. Cook on high for 9 hours (4 hours, low, for canned). At this point the beans will be tender and a bunch of them will have popped open.

Use an immersion blender to puree the beans until smooth. Add more water as needed, or if you’re feeling decadent add a couple tablespoons of butter! (Skip this step if using canned refried beans)

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bacon Primavera

Bacon Primavera recipe

A world famous pasta dish from…Nova Scotia?

Created in In 1975, by New York chef Sirio Maccioni, at the Nova Scotia summer home of Italian Baron Carlo Amato, Pasta Primavera became a classic dish of the 1970’s with its combination of butter, cream and cheese, with vegetables and pasta.

Bacon was, of course, simply the next logical step.

The Veggies
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1/4 Cup Olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

The Sauce
2 pounds plum tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 strips thick-cut pepper bacon, chopped
1 med onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pinch of red pepper flakes
12 ounces trottole pasta (my new favorite!)
1/8 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
Grated Pecorino, for serving

Blanch and peel your tomatoes (see video), reserving the water.

Bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil. Hull the tomatoes and cut a shallow “x” through the skin on the bottom of each. Prepare an ice bath.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and squeeze out and discard the seeds, then chop the tomatoes into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.

Bacon Primavera

Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels, and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, simmering until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 5-6 minutes. SeVeggiest aside (keep warm)

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss the carrots, zukes, and yellow squash with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat.

Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets.

Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

trottole3Meanwhile, cook the trottole according to “Perfect Pasta” directions in the reserved pot of tomato water until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Save 1 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Add pasta to the sauce, in the skillet, with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Toss to coat. Add more water if necessary for desired consistency.

Stir in half the bacon and half the herbs, toss in th veggies, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the pasta, sauce, and veggies among plates, and top with the remaining bacon and herbs.

Sprinkle with Pecorino, and serve.


The Home Chef's Guide to Bacon!The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the basic concepts and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This one is all about BACON.

amazon

Chef Perry’s Bacon & Four-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Bacon Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Here’s a sneak-peek from the upcoming Home Chef Guidebook: “Bacon!” Let’s face it, as comfort foods go, scalloped potatoes are pretty hard to beat, and this version is completely over the top!

Creamy, cheesy goodness with a umami blast of bacon…these potatoes are my happy place!

~ Chef Perry

Bacon & Four-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, unpeeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small sweet onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup sweet cream butter (for cheese sauce)
  • 1/4 cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded raclette or comte cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz Thick bacon lardons, fried crisp and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously brush a large baking dish with butter. Combine the mozzarella, asiago and raclette in a bowl (but NOT the Parmesan).

Cut bacon into lardons.

Bacon Lardons

Fry until crisp, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

Fried Bacon Lardons

For the Roux: In 2-quart saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic in butter about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper (this is a roux). Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until smooth and golden brown; remove from heat. Stir in milk a little at a time, repeat with heavy cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

You now have a Béchamel, one of the 5 French “Mother Sauces” and the backbone of cheese sauces.

Remove the white sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese blend, 1/2 a cup at a time, until smooth. Keep warm.

Sliced Yellow Potatoes

Slice the potatoes skin on (optional). I like mine a little thicker, but you can slice them thinner than this, according to your preference. Blanch the potato slices in simmering, salted, water until just starting to soften. Shock in cold water to stop cooking.

Sliced potatoes in dish

To the baking dish, add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the bacon lardons, half of the cheese sauce, and pepper to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes and bacon on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the remaining bacon, then cheese sauce over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the Parmesan.

Bacon Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThe Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the basic concepts and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This one is all about BACON. amazon


 

“Bacon! A Home Chef’s Guide” NOW AVAILABLE!

The Home Chef's Guide to Bacon!“The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the professional techniques, concepts, and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but…let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This 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 techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat.

Click here to order your copies today for the bacon-junkies on your Christmas list, and get free shipping!

Welcome, Home Chefs!

~Chef Perry
http://www.chefperryperkins.com

The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen 
The Home Chef’s Guide to Frugal Fine Cooking 
Bacon! A Home Chef’s Guide