05/28/15

What kind of onion should you use?

All about onions and shallots

Onions…

I love them all – whites for my pico de gallo, yellow for caramelized onions, red for pickled onions, and shallots for…well, everything!

Which is YOUR favorite?

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

By the way, if you’re enjoying our recipes, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week, no charge!

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids through our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program!


 

05/25/15

Cooking for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Mud Run!

Amy Roloff Mud RunHad a wonderful time cooking for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Mud Run! Lot’s of laughs and support-building for all of the amazing charity groups that Amy’s Foundation supports!

Amy Roloff Mud Run

The whole thing was filmed for an upcoming episode of “Little People, Big World”, so TLC has asked everyone not to post any pictures of the actual Mud Run, but here are some fun shots of the cooking and eating… MY two favorite sporting events!

Amy Roloff Mud Run

Be sure to tune in to TLC on August 1st for this episode of “Little People, Big World!”

Amy Roloff Mud Run

Huge THANK YOU to our awesome volunteers at this event: Dana Ramsey, Wade, Diane, Alaine, and Timothy Anderson! We couldn’t have done it without you!

See all of this pictures, here.

-Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris
www.joinmykitchen.com

05/20/15

Memorial Day Grilling: My 5 Favorite Recipes

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On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who have given their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

Traditionally, Memorial Day is also a time when families gather together, and of course, when families gather together, more often than not, someone fires up a grill! Here are 5 of my favorite recipes to enjoy with your family, as you remember, honor, and celebrate the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Traeger Steaks with Herb Butter

Let’s start at the top, shall we? Nothing beats a great, grilled steak…and mypreferred method of branding my cow is on my Traeger Big Tex. Get some nice char marks on both sides and then give it a dollop of fresh made herb butter.

Man, oh man…

Best Traeger Steak Recipe

By the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday, no charge!

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

Sweet & Spicy “BBQ” Grilled Chicken

After a nice thick steak, the second most popular Memorial Day dinner at my place is sweet & spicy “bbq” grilled chicken. This recipe is a party in your mouth!

Sweet Chili BBQ Chicken

Bacon-Salmon Bites

My old pal David Johnson happens to be one of the premier fishing guides on the Oregon Coast, and, in fact, in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Needless to say, David ends up with a lot of salmon and steelhead in his freezer!

Dave’s wife Tesha, probably through necessity, has learned how to cook her husband’s finned trophies is various and amazing ways. I had the opportunity to smoke some briskets for Dave’s birthday party this summer, and Tesha prepare these absolutely amazing salmon appetizers.

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Chicago Style Hot Dog

Of course, it wouldn’t be Memorial day without tossing a few tube steaks on the grill, and my favorite way to dress up the dog is Chicago Style! Check out our recipe and instructions on How to Grill the Perfect Hot Dog!

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Dragon Claws

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a bbq (at least at my house) without the Dragon Claws. I originally developed this recipe to wow visitors at the Kenmore tent at RibFest, it did… and it’s been wowing them ever since, become a Pinterest sensation that’s been “pinned” nearly 100,000 times!

Dragon Claws Recipe

So, this year, if you can, find a family who has made the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom. Let them tell you about their fallen hero. Give them a hug, a handshake, and thank them.

Then bring them to your table, and feed them something yummy.

To all the heroes, past and present, from the bottom of our hearts, we say, “Thank You!”

Chefs Perry. Terry, & Chris.

05/16/15

Bigger and better things…

MY KITCHEN Outreach Van

Apologies for my lack of Photoshop skills, but you get the idea! :)

SimplySmartDinnerPlans “MY KITCHEN” Outreach is growing…and that’s a great thing!

The more we grow, the more ministries and outreach programs we can partner with to teach at-risk kids to cook healthy, and the more hungry kids and families we can feed!

Unfortunately, our growth has also brought about the demise of the old mini-van we used to haul all of the gear we need to set up classes, kitchens, deliver food, etc.

So, it’s time to move on to better, and much bigger means of transportation…a MY KITCHEN cargo van!

Many of you have been asking how you can help, or donate towards this project, so I’ve created this GoFundMe page to help you do just that.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and generosity, every dollar is appreciated and no gift is too small!

Also: every single penny that’s donated will go directly towards the purchase and set-up of the van. If there are any leftover monies, they will be placed in the general outreach fund, to be used for future classes.

Thank you very much!

Chefs Perry, Terry & Chris
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program

PSClick this link to learn more about the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, and while you’re there, be sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter full of great cooking tips, and delicious recipes!

MY KITCHEN Outreach Program

05/14/15

Happy National Biscuit Day!

Easy biscuits and sausage gravy recipes

It was a biscuits & gravy kinda morning! Nothin’ better than homemade sausage gravy, right!

Then I find out that it’s Nation Biscuit Day!

My friend Peter Battaglia from A Food Obsession, says I knew this in my  “subconscious chef’s mind” (now THERE’S a neighborhood you don’t want to wander through at night…)

Perfect Sausage GravyRegardless, I’m happy to whip up a batch of these for any reason, holiday or not. Sausage gravy is so simply to make that it always baffles me that anyone would buy the canned or packaged stuff!

Here’s the how-to video recipe for my personal sausage gravy, as I learned if from Chef Frank Perkins (my father), who learned it from Chef Frank Ray Perkins (his father), lol.


For an equally simple and delicious biscuit recipe, check out my pal Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate blog for these Classic 3 Ingredient Southern Biscuits.

Like everything on Christy’s site…they’re awesome.

So, have a great National Biscuit Day, and if you missed them this morning, whip up a homemade batch of biscuits and gravy for dinner tonight… it’ll still be breakfast time somewhere!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

PSplease subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send a week’s worth of amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday, no charge!

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

05/13/15

Our first pop-up restaurant!

MY KITCHEN Fundraiser

Planning our first BIG fund-raising dinner for our MY KITCHEN Outreach, this September 12th. Our one-night only pop-up restaurant, “Le Couteaux Trois“, will be at an undisclosed (for now) location in the Portland/Metro area.

The evening will include a 5-course gourmet dinner with a selection of entrees, dessert, music from the 20’s & 30’s, and perhaps even a little dancing if the spirit takes us.

This will be a “jacket & tie” event, with limited seating. Tickets will be a minimum donation of $45.00* per seat, purchased in advance.

*There will be six seats available at the Chef’s Table, which will come with a few nice “extras” and lots of witty and urbane conversation with Chef Chris and Chef Terry (and I’ll be there, too.)

Chef’s Table seats will be reserved for the first six donations of $100.00 or more.

All proceeds will go to the MY KITCHEN Ministry, to feed hungry children, and teach important shopping, cooking, and nutrition skills to at-risk kids.

Please comment below if you would like to be placed on the reserved seating list (you will receive the link to purchase your tickets in advance of public sales.)

Please note if you’re interested in seating at the Chef’s Table, as well.

Look forward to an amazing evening.

Chef Perry
Le Couteaux Trois

05/6/15

Pork neck bones …really.

Cooking Pork Neck Bones

Subscriber and long-time friend Rebecca asks:

Help! I was just given some pork neck bones. What do I do with them? Usually I would boil beef down and make soup. Is that what you do with pork too?

Rebecca,

I LOVE pork neck bones. Truly one of the great under-appreciated cuts!

I usually use them to make stock for soup or Pho. Pork neck bones make the best stock!

homemade pork stock recipeUnfortunately, I haven’t posted a pork neck recipe, yet, but you can use our Chicken Stock recipe, and just replace the meat.

I would salt the raw neck bones, and roast them at 400 degrees until dark brown and starting to crisp, them throw them directly into the stock pot.

For the Pho version, you can check out this post:

Just sub the beef stock for your pork broth, and the meatballs with the tasty bits of pork from the necks.

By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week, no charge!

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

After browning, they would also be excellent in split pea soup, Southern style greens, or instead of roasting, brown them in a pan, deglaze with red wine, and build a classic ragu like the one in our Braciole recipe.

 Enjoy!

Chef Perry

05/5/15

Amazing St. Louis Style Dry Ribs

St. Louis dry ribs on Traeger

 Just a quick post and recipe this morning, after having what may be the best pork ribs I’ve ever eaten, last night!

St. Louis dry ribs on TraegerPicked up a couple of racks of St. Louis style ribs, and decided to crack open a bottle of Da Kine Smokey Hawaiian Rub that I picked up in Oahu, earlier this year.

This rub uses smoked paprika and Kona coffee…two of my favorite things in all the world.

You can get the rub at the link above (I’m not affiliated with them in any way), and it’s a freakin’ steal at $5.95 a bottle.

I did these ribs at 2-2-1, instead of the more typical 3-2-1 method, and they turned our absolutely perfect, needing just a slight bite to come cleanly off the bone.

So, prep your Traeger, or other smoker per usual (here’s our 3-2-1 Ribs video on that, if you need it.)

You start with nothing but a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt, and a spray bottle of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, mixed 50/50.

By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week, no charge!.

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

Da Kine St. Louis Dry Ribs

  • Spray the ribs with the juice/vinegar mix, and apply coarse sea salt (about 3 Tbs. per rack, or to taste.)
  • Smoke the ribs (on the “smoke” setting) for 2 hours, spraying with juice/vinegar mix every 20 minutes.
  • Wrap ribs in a double layer of foil, after giving them another spray, and cook another 2 hours at the 225F setting.
  • Unwrap the ribs, spray again, and apply Da Kine Smoke Rub to the racks to your taste (I like it heavy). Cover loosely in foil and let rest 10 minutes.
St. Louis dry ribs on Traeger

Unwrapped and ready to grill!

  • While ribs are resting, crank your smoker up to it’s highest heat (or fire up a grill) and grill, bone-side down for 10-15 minutes, flip and repeat.
  • Tent ribs loosely with foil and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

St. Louis dry ribs on Traeger

 

 

 

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