04/29/13

Old School Sauces

Okay, so I’ve been researching “turn of the century” (1900’s) recipes for an upcoming dinner we’ll be cooking, and was intrigued at how cooks from that time period used breadcrumbs and egg yolks as thickeners for sauces.

Made this sauce tonight, incorporating some of those old techniques and, I’m telling ya…amazing!

Chicken_With_Egg_Sauce

1 cup chicken stock
dash of black pepper and garlic powder
2 eggs yolks, room temp
2-3 Tbs. fine breadcrumbs
1/4 cup sour cream

Bring stock to a simmer.

Mix egg yolks until smooth and slowly incorporate into the stock, whisking constantly, until smooth.

Whisk in bread crumbs, then sour cream, until smooth. Cook at a low simmer 5-8 minutes until thickened.

Serve over chicken and/or steamed veggies (asparagus or broccoli would be ideal).

Enjoy!

-Chef Perry

 

 

04/27/13

Freezing One-Cup Servings of Homemade Stock

Found another great use for my Pampered Chef* 1-Cup Prep Bowls (typically I used these for my mise en place). They’re also perfect for freezing 1 cup servings of homemade stock for future recipes!

In a previous post on making stock (see link below), I showed you how to use an ice-cube tray to make smaller servings of stock, which are great for when I just want to add a little flavor to a sauce, or for steaming veggies.

However, sometimes I need a larger quantity for rice dishes, gravies, soup bases, etc. In those cases, these one-cup servings really come in handy.

Chx Stock Mise

Just fill the bowls, cover and freeze over night. Cover and freeze overnight, then set the bowls, one at at time, in a shallow bowl of hot water for a few seconds, to loosen your brothcicle. (A butter knife, slipped between the ice and glass, helps pop them loose.)

If you use your stock quickly, as I do, a standard gallon-size zip bag is fine for storage. If you’re concerned about air effecting it over time, you can vacuum pack the individual servings.

Now you always have fresh, tasty stock (that doesn’t taste like an aluminum can) right at your finger tips, whenever you need it!

Here’s my previous post on how to make your own chicken stock at home…and here’s one of my favorite super simple recipes that uses homemade chicken stock: Chicken Rice!

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
hautemealz.com

*If you’re interested in picking up some of these bowls, or other Pampered Chef products, we have a couple of hautemealz.com subscribers who would be happy to help you out. Send us a note and we’ll get you their contact info!

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Mother and Daughter Making a SaladAt hautemealz.com, we’re all about helping busy families get back to the dinner table and share delicious, nutritious meals together, by helping you with the research, planning, and list-making that takes so much time…time that most of us just don’t have.

We create and personally test “real food” recipes for every night of the month, provide an easy-to-follow itemized grocery list for every week of the month, and offer constant support and training through our weekly newsletter, interactive blog, and social media sites…all for just $5.00 a month!

Classic, lighter-side, diabetic-friendly, and gluten-free meal plans in 2, 4, & 6 servings, are available.

04/27/13

Sauteed mushrooms: Canned vs Fresh

sauteed mushrooms

Our friend Tami asks:

Ok chef perry… I have a question that i should probably know the answer too but bcuz I am cooking for a large group of people, who i want to be impressed, I thought I better ask the expert… I am making a slow cooker (4 cookers full) beef roast with gravy and au jus, and i want to add canned mushrooms. It says that the roasts take 6-8 hours and the mushrooms aren’t on the recipe…

Do I wait to add them til towards the end? Will they get mushy if I add them in the beginning??? Your expertise would be greatly appreciated 😉


My response:

Well Tami, your canned mushrooms are going to be mushy straight out of the can, lol. If you MUST used canned, drain them and add about 10 minutes before the roast is done, as they only need to be warmed.

However, I beg you…I implore you…buy some fresh white mushrooms, as small as you can get, halve or quarter them, saute in butter with a little salt, until starting to brown, crank up the heat and then deglaze the hot pan (and mushrooms) with some good beef broth (1/2 cup per pound of mushrooms) and cook on high, stirring, until most of the liquid has cooked away.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Let cool and add THOSE babies to the pot 10 minutes before done.

I promise you…you’ll never buy another can of mushrooms…

Sauteed MushroomsOh, and if you ever want to make these sauteed mushrooms to serve over a steak, burger, etc (ie: not in a stew) add a finely diced shallot, some ground black pepper, and 4 cloves of minced fresh garlic per pound of mushrooms, from the beginning.

Deglaze with 1/2 cup beef broth, 1/4 cup red wine, mixed.

If you want to take THAT up a notch, see Chef Chris’s mushroom pan sauce.

Lovely stuff!

Thanks for asking!

-Chef Perry
www.simplysmartdinnerplans.com

04/26/13

Green Bean Bacon Bundles

Green Bean Bundles

These just came out of the oven…one of my favorite (and super simple) “fancy schmancy” side dishes:

Green Bean Bacon Bundles
4 servings

32 fresh green beans, trimmed and washed
4 slices of bacon (thin cut)
1 cup Rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar (or sub)
1 tsp. salt
4 toothpicks

Bring equal parts water and vinegar to a simmer (about 1 cup each, for a small batch), add sugar and salt. Add green beans and simmer 8-10 minutes, until a bit softened, but still crisp.

Remove beans from hot water and submerge in ice water to stop cooking. Let cool 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 450F

Bundle 8 beans together, wrap with a slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick.

Bake 10-15 minutes, until bacon is crisp.

Set on paper towels to drain, serve hot.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

04/24/13

Portuguese Linguisa “Pigs in a Blanket”

Lingucia Wraps

HAPPY NATIONAL PIGS IN A BLANKET DAY!

In the United States, the term “pigs in a blanket” often refers to hot dogs, sausages, cocktail or breakfast/link sausages wrapped in biscuit dough, pancake, or croissant dough, and baked. Canned dough is most common. They are somewhat similar to a sausage roll, but typically served as an appetizer, a children’s dish, or as a breakfast entree. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

Zenner's linguisa recipes

Linguica is a Portuguese smoke-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika. Heavenly stuff! It only seemed reasonable that this sausage-of-the-gods would make awesome pigs-in-blankets. You could make a larger “wiener wrap” version of these, as well.

Suínos em um cobertor! (Pigs in a blanket)

There really could not be a much simpler recipe that this, and it’s SO good!

1lb Zenner’s Portuguese linguisa sausage
8 Rhodes dinner rolls (dough), thawed
Cooking spray
Sweet Hot Mustard (or your favorite)

Proof the rolls according to package directions.

Cooking with rhodes dinner rolls

Meanwhile, cut the linquisa into 8 equal pieces, and sear in a hot pan, until just browned on all sides (doesn’t need to be heated through) remove and set on paper towels to drain and cool.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

Zenner Linguisa

Flatten each roll into a 4 x 4-inch square, and set on a sprayed baking pan.

Place a round of linguisa on the dough and roll the dough around the sausage, pinching the ends closed, and folding under.

Bread 005

Cover the pan with plastic-wrap and let the dough rise again, 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F

Remove plastic wrap, and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10-15 minutes, and serve with mustard.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

04/22/13

What food defines your childhood?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this morning, talking about foods of our childhood, and dishes really optimize a time and place for us.

For my friend, it was local chile peppers, grown everywhere around his home town in New Mexico, and finding their way into almost every dish. He claims that he can’t consider something comfort food, if it doesn’t include some hit of those chilies.

For me, as strange as it may sound, it was probably the Burger King Whopper.

(I know…that’s sad…read on…)

Burger_King_Whopper_Combo

I grew up in what the current PC lingo refers to as a “food anxious” home. Back then we just called it “poor”. I’m sure many of you grew up in the same place, where the last days/weeks of the month were punctuated with ramen noodles, baked potatoes, and government cheese…and sometimes not even those.

Between the ages of six and about twelve (when I got my first dish-washing job), when my mom’s disability check would arrive on the first of the month, we would celebrate surviving another 30 days with a big time splurge, really blowing out all the stops and walking six blocks up Burnside to the Rockwood Burger King, for a whopper (heavy onion/heavy pickle), small fries, and a chocolate milk-shake.

We’d eat slow, really savoring our meal, and reveling in our temporary wealth.

photo7I’ve eaten some nose-bleed expensive dinners, in some very nice restaurants in the three decades since, but I gotta be honest…I’m not sure I can say that I’ve ever felt more anticipation, or experienced more pleasure from a first bite…that I did when biting into one of those big, drippy burgers, after a particularly “anxious” month.

So, when I think of my childhood, from the standpoint of a specific food item, I think about the Whopper, which represented, for us, a good day.

And yes…a couple of times a year, when I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll pull into the local BK, and order my old combo (assuaging my guilt with a diet coke instead of the shake, lol)….and, you know something? I still feel a little of that old rush, as I walk back to my table…and that first anxiety-free bite still tastes wonderful.

What about you? In the encyclopedia of your childhood, what one picture would top the “Food” page?

Tell us about it…

Chef Perry

04/18/13

Cheese Béchamel (Mornay) Sauce

Cheese



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Man, oh man…is there anything better than a good cheese sauce? Gooey, warm, decadent, cheese…mmm…cheeeeeeese…

Hmm? Sorry…I seem to have slipped away for a moment there…

Yes, cheese sauce, and for those of you who attended our last Hautemealz Supper Club event, you learned how to prepare Chef Terry’s amazing Cheese Béchamel (Mornay) Sauce.



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CheeseBechamel-Mornay-SauceThis lovin’ spoonful of cheesy awesomeness is perfect for topping fresh steamed veggies (Broccoli, cauliflower & carrots with bechamel are a holiday dinner staple at our house!), nachos, spooning over a grilled chicken breast or pasta, as the topping for your favorite cheese-steak sandwich, in a Big Gulp cup with a straw…okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

So here’s the recipe, just like it went down at the Supper Club party.

Let us know, below, what you plan to use it on!

-Chef Perry

SC2 Terry1 - Copy

Chef Terry getting all steamed up about cheese!

Cheese Béchamel (Mornay) Sauce

Béchamel, Espangole, Hollandaise, Tomato and Veloute, are the five “Mother” sauces of French Cuisine. Béchamel is a white sauce made with a roux (equal parts butter and flour) and milk.

A Mornay sauce is Bechamel with cheese.

There are a couple tricks with roux-based sauces:

1) to avoid lumps, add warm liquid to warm roux, or cold liquid to cold roux;

2) cook the roux-based sauce for at least 25 minutes to achieve a smooth and silky texture.

Active Time: 15 min.                                                     Total Time: 40 min.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. Tillamook sweet cream butter
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • salt & white pepper
  • 1 cup grated Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 oz. grated wasabi Gouda cheese (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Heat the milk, onion and aromatics in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Turn off the heat just before it boils (little bubbles will begin to appear around the edge) and set it aside for 15 minutes.

In another sauce pan, make the roux by melting the butter, adding the flour and then stirring constantly over medium heat for 2 minutes. Quickly pour the warm milk through a strainer into the roux and whisk until thickened.

Stir until the sauce comes to a boil. Set the pan over very low heat or transfer to a double boiler. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season the sauce with salt & white pepper. Stir in the grated cheeses, Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper until smooth. If you are not ready to use the sauce, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming.

This recipe will produce 2 cups of sauce.

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MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.

 

 


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04/16/13

Chef Chris’s Mushroom Pan Sauce

SC2 Chris2

If you joined us for last weekend’s Hautemealz Supper Club party, you know that, for our demonstration of the making of classic sauces, Chef Chris’s Mushroom Pan Sauce totally stole the show!

Giving credit where credit is due, we’re posting that recipe first, and will follow up this week with:

Chef Terry’s Cheese Béchamel (Mornay) Sauce
Chef Perry’s Classis Pomodoro Sauce
Chef Terry’s Lemon Mousse

(These will be live links, as the recipes are posted.)

Thank you everyone for joining us for another fantastic evening, and we look forward to doing it again soon!

-Chef Perry

Chef Chris’s Mushroom Pan Sauce

A lot people, when they sear a nice steak or chop, they take that pan and toss it in the sink to wash. In doing so, they are throwing out some of the best flavor of the meal.

Those nice, crispy bits left in the bottom of the pan…are called the fond. Fond is the residue of the natural sugars that have been cooked out of the meat and caramelized to the bottom of the pan. This fond is the foundation of most of those wonderful sauces that you get at your favorite high-end restaurant, and one the the foundations of fine cooking in almost every cuisine.

Active Time: 5 min.                                                       Total Time: 15 min.


  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil or butter
  • ½ lb. mushrooms
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tbsp. Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  •  Salt & pepper to taste

Pan Sauce Mise

For this demonstration, Chef Chris used 8oz of beef short ribs (pictured, but not served) to create his fond.

Mise en Place

Thinly slice the shallot and the mushrooms. Measure out the wine and the broth.

Preparation

After frying your steak or chop, in a pan over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and add the olive oil or butter to pan. Sauté the mushrooms for about five minutes. Add the shallots and sauté for another two minutes.

Turn heat back up to high, and deglaze* the pan with the red wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the beef broth bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, again. At the end add the butter and allow to thicken slightly.

SC2 Mushroom Pan Sauce1

Slice the rested meat, across the grain, drizzle with pan sauce, and serve.

Chef Chris served this sauce over a simple zucchini, pan seared briefly in butter, with a dash of salt and pepper.

*Deglaze: loosening the browned bits or “fond” from the bottom of the pan by heating the pan (after removing the meat) and adding water, broth, or wine. Deglazing works best in a cast-iron, or stainless steel pan. “Non-stick” pans do not produce adequate fond to deglaze, or create a pan sauce.

04/11/13

Thanksgiving dinner from that new-fangled device…the microwave

Today we have a great story by hautemealz.com Facebook friend, Colleen Anderson.

Any funny microwave stories in your family?

Thanks for the chuckle, Colleen!

-Chef Perry

Thanksgiving dinner from that new-fangled device…the microwave
By Colleen Anderson

micro1

I was born in the 60’s and grew up with a 1950’s style Mom. Except that she HATED to cook. To say that she was a bad cook is a disservice to bad cooks all over the planet. If it did not come in a box, package or a can, she did not cook it.

I was 10 years old before I realized that the fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle could actually be purchased and eaten. I thought they were just there to show you what was in the cans. The first time I was even in that aisle was with a friend’s Mom.

So I learned to cook at a very young age for self-preservation. I joined 4-H just to learn how to cook.

bADcOOK

In 1981, my Mother got a new way to cook…the microwave. The early models were big. This one resembled a mini fridge and took up the entire counter space above the dishwasher.

She decided that this was the wave of the future and she planned to make the entire Thanksgiving dinner in the microwave. She had some cookbook and used them as a guide. By guide I mean, not as much something to follow, but as suggestions on what to do. 


Ingredients were purchased, special microwave dishes and utensils were acquired, and the big day approached.

turkeyThe cookbook indicated that the turkey should be put in the regular oven to brown for an hour or so. My Mom decided that using the regular oven at all was too old fashioned and she instead microwaved the bird for longer.

Vegetables could be heard making popping sounds from the depths of the microwave and straining against the plastic wrap to escape the cooking vessel. Rolls seemed to not brown but almost wrinkle as they cooked.

Worst of all there was no turkey smell throughout the house.

When the dinner was set out on the table it resembled a traditional turkey dinner, kind of. But something was off. The skin was raw looking but cooked at the same time. Then, as the bird was carved, it was pink all the way through.

It was disgusting. It turns out that putting it in the real oven was not just for the skin to brown but to change the color of the whole bird.

87970114

The rolls resembled small cannon balls waiting to be used as weapons. The stuffing would not come out of the casserole dish except in the center. All the vegetables looked like they had exploded from the inside.

My Mom, not one to be dismayed by this unappetizing meal, declared it a success and the new way to cook. Somehow my siblings and I muddled though the meal.

Leftovers abounded.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

A few hours after dinner, I declared that I needed to put gas in my car so I would not have to do it in the morning. I looked at my youngest sister, with whom I did not get along very well,. and with pity, I asked her if she wanted to come with me. She looked at me quizzically as I mouthed the word “pizza”. She jumped up from the couch and the two of us were out the door before anyone could question the trip.

The pizza place was crowed. I wondered if others had been at the mercy of microwaves.

04/8/13

Food Bloggers Against Hunger…5 things you can do, starting today.

Food Bloggers Against HungerThe International Food Bloggers Conference has asked food bloggers to dedicate a post today (April 8th) to discuss hunger in America. This day of awareness is hosted by The Giving Table. Here’s more about it from the NY Times.

So, let’s discuss this…

1 in 5 children are hungry in America.

Yes, America. They live in Oregon, Washington, California, Dallas, New York, Colorado, and every other state. From coast to coast there are millions of children who have no idea where their next meal is going to come from.
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