06/26/15

My favorite Italian “Salad”

Tomato Salami appetizer

This dish is a cool, refreshing combination of some of my very favorite foods… fresh tomatoes with salt, sweet basil right out of my garden, a drizzle of good olive oil, and some lovely pecorino-romano cheese shavings.

And, of course, an amazing salami. My personal favorites are finocchiona or sopressata from my beloved Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon.

Here’s what I do:

2 fresh vine-ripened or Roma tomatoes (firm), sliced 1/2 inch.
1 tsp. fine sea salt
2 Tbs. minced fresh sweet basil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 oz Pecorino-Romano, or asiago cheese, shaved.

Laying out the tomato slices in a single layer, assemble ingredients in the order listed, on a chilled platter or plate. Cover with plastic-wrap and let rest and cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve.

This is really three dishes in one. For a light, delicious appetizer, serve on a plate (as above) and allow guests to serve themselves. For an amazing salad, chop the sliced salami into matchsticks, and serve over a bed of arugula and baby spinach with a modest splash of vinaigrette…I like Balsamic, myself.

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.

 

Finally, for a tasty entree, plate up three of four pieces of each item, add some fresh ground black pepper, maybe a few roasted peppers, and enjoy with some freshly pan-toasted garlic bread, like these I made from a couple of leftover ciabatta rolls (recipe below).

Ciabatta garlic toast

Cut rolls in half, along the middle, then separate along the pre-cut line. Each whole roll will make 4 pieces of toast.

Heat 1 Tbs of butter, and 1 tsp. olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter has stopped foaming, sprinkle the pan with a little garlic & parsley salt (I like Lowry’s), and toast the rolls, cut side down until crisp and golden.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry


06/25/15

Reheating in the Microwave

Reheating in the Microwave

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you enjoyed this tip, 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.

 

 

06/17/15

The Chili-Cheese Torpedo

IMG_3931Let me preface this by saying…this ain’t something you want to eat often, or a lot of.

This is a fatty. greasy, salty, high-calorie gut bomb comfort food, that needs to be shared between a lot of people…but if you can’t accept how that is a beautiful, joie de vivre experience that everyone should succumb to, in moderation of course, every once in a while…

Well…we probably can’t be friends.

Take a loaf of crusty French bread and cut out a large space from the center.

IMG_3919

Cut 1/2 inch thick slices out of the Velveeta, and create a “wall” around the edges of the bread, as a reservoir for the chili.

Chili Cheese in baked loaf

Pour in 2-3 cups of your favorite homemade chili (I suppose you could use canned chili as well, just don’t admit it publicly.) I use our “Real Deal Chili“, our Brisket Chili, or our Ground Turkey Masa Chili (pictured)…all three are awesome.

IMG_3921 (800x600)

Wrap the whole loaf with aluminum foil and bake in a 450 degree F oven for 20-30 minutes.

IMG_3923
IMG_3929Allow the torpedo to rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, pop the french-bread piece that you cut from the loaf at the start, into a 400F oven until toasty and golden.

Slice into chunks and serve.

Top with diced onions, and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!

(…and then go do some sit-ups)

 

IMG_3926

:)

-Chef Perry

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.

06/17/15

How done is your steak?


Quick rule of thumb from Dads that Cook…

And here’s MY favorite method of grilling a perfect steak (click here for this post)…

Perfect Valentine steaks on a charcoal chimney

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this post, 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.

 

 

06/12/15

WE DID IT!

MY KITCHEN Outreach Van

WE DID IT!

Thank you all so much! Here’s the new outreach van, suited up and ready to play!

We’re going to leave this account open, as we still need to get new tires, ongoing maintenance, and a few odds and ends. If anyone feels like contributing, well…we’ll put it to good use!

1924363_980453261989507_1223448435796426515_nEach one of you have made a HUGE influence in the lives of countless children who will learn new skills, self sufficiency, and gain important self-worth though the MY KITCHEN Program!

Also, a massive, never-ending THANK YOU to Bob Lees at The Sign Shack llc in Hillsboro, Oregon for the FANTASTIC job he did on the outreach van (at cost!!!)

If you need signage of any kind, please give Bob a call!

Thank you Bob, so much, for helping us help kids!

– Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this post, 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.

 

 

06/9/15

Pesto Penne with Grilled Italian Sausage

Pesto Penne with Grilled Italian Sausage

4 Sweet Italian pork sausages
1 lb Penne Pasta
Pesto Sauce:
4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup+ pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup+ freshly grated Asiago cheese
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (to taste)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Classic Basil Pesto recipePesto:

Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic in blender or food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses; blend until smooth, adding salt a little at a time, to taste.

Transfer to bowl. (If you’re making your pesto more than a hour in advance, top it with 1/2 inch olive oil before chilling.

Preheat the grill on medium heat, and start water heating for pasta.

Grilling Italian Sausages

Photo by Byron Ohler. Used with permission.

Grill the sausages until slightly browned and marked with grill marks. You can grill some thinly buttered slices of Italian bread, as well.

By 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.

 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions on the box, then drain. Be sure to read our Tips for Perfect Pasta!

Return the drained pasta to the pot. Toss with pesto sauce and lemon juice. If the pesto is too thick for your liking, add a small amount of the hot pasta water and re-toss.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve pasta in bowls with Italian sausages.

Optional (but a good idea) sprinkle the finished dish with a little extra toasted pine nuts, asiago cheese, and freshly chopped Italian parsley.

Serve and enjoy.

-Chef Perry

06/7/15

Bacon, Manchego, and Pico Breakfast Bagel

Bacon manchego pico breakfast bagel recipe

This is my wife’s new favorite breakfast sandwich: bacon, Manchengo cheese, and pico de gallo on a toasted everything bagel!

1 “Everything” bagel
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 strips of bacon, halved
1 thin slice (1oz) Manchego cheese
2 Tbs. fresh pepper pico de gallo (see pico de gallo recipe here)   

Butter the cut sides of bagel and toast in a medium hot skillet until golden brown. Remove bagels and set aside.

Cook bacon over medium heat, on one side, until it reaches your preferred doneness. Flip the slices, keeping them together to form a square and top with cheese. Cook 1-2 more minutes, covered, until cheese has melted.

Place the bacon & cheese on top of the bottom bagel slice, add pico de gallo, and top bagel slice.

Serve immediately. (It’s important to serve as soon as possible, so the pick is still cold, and the bacon is still hot.)

You could replace the Manchego with just about any cheese. Either a sharp cheddar, or a smoked Goulda would be awesome in this recipe, as well.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

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.

06/5/15

How long should ground beef sit in the fridge?

ground beef in fridge

A SimplySmartDinnerPlans subscriber asks:

“In your vast wisdom and knowledge how long do you believe raw ground beef can sit in the fridge?”

Well, first of all, thank you! That will make my wife laugh for hours! :)

Ground beef:

According to the USDA: Raw ground meats, all poultry, seafood, and variety meats: Refrigerate 1 to 2 days. Raw roasts, steaks, and chops (beef, veal, lamb, and pork): Refrigerate 3 to 5 days. Cooked meat, poultry, and seafood: Store in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days.

Taking ANYTHING the government says with a massive grain of salt, my limit is typically 4-5 days tops. Rule of thumb, when in doubt, throw it out. Grey is bad, any unpleasant smell is bad.

Also, if you’ve defrosted your ground beef in the microwave, you should use it immediately.

Commercially processed ground beef is iffy enough with out worrying about age!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this tip, 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.

 

 

06/2/15

How MY KITCHEN Outreach Works (the Reader’s Digest version…)

MY KITCHEN Outreach

Want to help us, help kids?

Our MY KITCHEN Outreach has three main goals:

1. Provide meals for children and families in need.

2. Teach basic nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes for at-risk kids.

3. Support other like-minded ministries and programs by providing the above services to their clients.

You can support and help grow the MY KITCHEN Outreach, and receive delicious, healthy recipes, cooking tips, and our free weekly meal plans…and it won’t cost you a penny!

Here’s the “Reader’s Digest Version” of how it works:

By signing up for our free weekly newsletter and meal plans, and visiting our website to view new recipes, articles, and to download your new plans, you’ll have the opportunity to see relevant ads from food, lifestyle, business, and outreach related companies on our pages. Like this one:

Or this one:

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Either way, you help us increase our funding and ability to feed the hungry, and teach cooking classes for at-risk kids, without taking away from the other important charities and programs you currently help fund!

How’s that for a win-win? You can sign up right here!


 

THANK YOU for helping us make a difference in a child’s life!

MY KITCHEN ClassChefs Perry, Terry, and Chris
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
www.joinmykitchen.com

PS – If you’re already a subscriber (and thank you!) the most important that you can do to support this outreach is to share this information with family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else you know!

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