02/27/16

Updating your pantry: 3 tips for a healthier kitchen

Pantry by Affordable Custom Closets

Many folks, either when finally deciding to get healthy, or “gettin’ back on the horse” have to do some major overhauls of the food they eat, and, therefore, the food they stock.

In my business, I plan very different menus and recipes each week, and am often picking up foods or ingredients that I haven’t worked with before.

I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) some tips to survive diet, menu, and pantry make-overs.

Here are my top three:

When changing up your pantry…

1. Don’t go buy a ton of food you’ve never eaten.

Try to stick to healthier versions of what you know (1% milk instead of 2%, lowfat yogurt instead of full-fat, etc), and add 2-3 “new foods” each trip.

This will keep you from finding your pantry overflowing (and your wallet empty) in a few months with a bunch of stuff you don’t like, and won’t eat.

2. Buy new foods in small portions. Based on tip #1 – if you like the ingredient, you can always go back and buy more, but a 25lb bag of brown rice takes up a LOT of space…especially if you won’t eat it. The “bulk foods” section of your store, or your local farmer’s market, can be a great place to get small portions!

3. Buy what you like to eat (referring to “real food”), and practice portion control instead of deprivation.

A little butter is NOT bad for you…pouring half a cup of it on your “steamed” veggies is. A baked potato is NOT bad for you…a bag of frozen French fries in one serving, is.

Portion control is key, you have trained your body and your mind to respond to certain “drugs”…you can’t just expect to cut them off cold turkey (pardon the pun). In the long term, deprivation will lead to failure every time.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, in fact, embrace new, healthy foods and ingredients. For many of us, variety and adventure are just as important as discipline (maybe more so) when it comes to sticking with a healthy lifestyle.

Hope that helps!

– Chef Perry
www.joinmykitchen.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.

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02/26/16
Steamed Asian Chicken

Best Chicken Baste Ever

Steamed Asian Chicken
This recipe (Asian steamed chicken) is one of my favorite dishes, mostly because of the fantastic baste that flavors the meat. This baste is awesome when used as a dip while grilling chicken, or brushed over a whole chicken 3-4 times while roasting. Fantastic on grilled shrimp and fish, too.

Asian Chicken Baste

1/2 cup dry sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons mirin
1 Tbsp minced ginger root
1 Tbsp lemongrass paste
1 large garlic clove, minced

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate 2-24 hours. To make a marinade, add another cup of sake and two cups of cold water.

Enjoy,

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, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

02/24/16
CFC Banner

Concert N Cusine for a Cause!

CFC Banner

Concert ‘n Cuisine for a Cause 2016

Our AMAZING friends at Beltran Properties are hosting and Food and Wine Gala event on our behalf this June! We will be one of a number of “International Cuisine” food booths that you will be able to sample at the gorgeous Lady Hill Winery

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This event is raising money for our local at-risk kids and our brave veterans!

Come enjoy a night of entertainment with Portland’s own Nu Wavers.  

Lady Hill Winery and Ordnance Brewing will add to your enjoyment of the amazing food tastings you will receive with your ticket purchase.

PicturefrontMy Kitchen Outreach Program is a hands-on learning program; a series of basic nutrition, planning, shopping, and cooking classes for at-risk youth and families. 

GOAL: To raise Funds MY KITCHEN’S “One in 5″ Campaign for a Food Truck so we can visit schools and various other sites to conduct cooking classes and feed at-risk kids all around Portland and the surrounding areas.

http://i1.wp.com/www.blackandgoldclassic.com/Img/Design/BlackGoldLogo.png?resize=131%2C139Stan Brock’s Black and Gold events support the Green Beret Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation. Both provide immediate and ongoing support to wounded soldiers, their families, and to the families of our fallen.

Adult ticket includes: one time through food stations, glass of wine/beer.

Get Your Tickets Here

Ages 6-18 $10   (Use the dropdown above to choose this option)
Kids 5 and under free
Adults: $25.00 in advance
At the Door: $30

Friday, June 3, 2016

Doors Open 5:30PM
Event Begins 6:00 PM

Tickets Non Refundable.

Huge, huge, HUGE Thank You to Jaimy, Sherine and all of our friends at Beltran Properties!

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02/23/16
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The most important thing you’ve ever watched on NetFlix…

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“The Food industry has a vested interest in destroying the home cooking culture.”
 
If you want to know who we’re fighting against, and why…watch this amazing Netflix series based on one of my all-time favorite books, “Cooked” by Michael Pollan.

 

Here’s a preview…

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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, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

02/22/16
Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce and Simple Spaetzle

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce and Simple Spaetzle

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce and Simple Spaetzle

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce and Simple Spaetzle
Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless pork loin chops (6oz each)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 cups plain dried bread crumbs
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs butter

Dill sauce:

1½ c. sour cream
1 Tbs dill
2 Tbs lemon juice
½ tsp. salt

Slicing a whole pork loin

Note: I like to cut my pork steaks from a whole pork loin. This let’s me choose my own thickness, and it’s WAY cheaper than buying them pre-cut.

For Dill Sauce

Whisk the sour cream, dill, lemon juice, and salt together in a medium bowl until smooth, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Begin by placing each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are an even 1/4-inch thick.

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce and Simple Spaetzle

Assemble the Pork

Brine the pork steaks in a solution of 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 quart of water. Brine for 6-8 hours, then rinse and dry.

Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper.

Dredging in flour

Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.

Coat in egg-wash

Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.

Coat in breadcrumbs

Heat oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side.

Fried pork cutlet

Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter while still hot. Garnish with the dill sauce before serving.

Homemade spaetzle

Simple Spaetzle
4 servings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup 2% milk
2 tsp. salt
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. butter

In a large bowl, stir the flour, eggs, milk and salt until smooth (dough will be sticky). In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Pour dough into a colander, cheese grater (shown) or spaetzle maker coated with cooking spray; place over boiling broth.

Making spaetzle

With a wooden spoon, press dough until small pieces drop into boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes or until spaetzle are tender and float. Remove with a slotted spoon; toss with butter.

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.

02/20/16
Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup)

Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup) ala Le Couteaux Trois

Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup)

This rich, creamy French soup was a big hit at our recent Le Couteaux Trois pop-up restaurant, “Julia Child’s Paris.”

A little history:

France was beset with famine following the Seven Year War (1756-1763). Native son Antoine Auguste Parmentier, who had been fed the commonly regarded as poisonous “potato root” in a German prison-of-war camp, returned to France to find his country men starving.

He set up potato soup kitchens throughout Paris to assist the poor. Ultimately, Louis XVI recognized his work by saying, “France will thank you some day for having found bread for the poor.” In fact, he is best honored by the pleasure his country take in digesting Potage Parmentier.


Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup)

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1lb russets peeled & roughly chopped
  • 3 large leeks (1lb), thinly sliced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley or chives OR
  • 1/3 cup decorative micro-greens

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly, about 8 to 12 minutes (this time will vary greatly depending on the surface area of the bottom of your pot).

Add the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Potato & Leek Soup

If you want a “chunky” soup, strain out the solids and set them aside, if not, leave them in for this next step. Blend soup until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches.

Add the cream, and season to taste with salt (I start with 1 teaspoon and go from there, tasting frequently) and lemon juice.

Leek & Patato Soup

Blend again and return to pot to keep warm (add solids back in now, if you removed them earlier.)

Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche and a healthy sprinkling of minced parsley.

Potato Leek Soup

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.

 

02/18/16
Depression, suicide, and bullies

Suicide, Depression, and Cowards

Depression, Suicide, and Cowards

Taking a quick off-ramp from the food to talk about something that is important to me. Dealing with the homeless and with at-risk and abused kids, we see our share of depression. Personally, I see it in the mirror every morning, just before I take that little “happy pill” that keeps my brain firing the way it should.

Saw another comment yesterday about Robin Williams being a coward for committing suicide and, frankly, it pisses me off.

People who suffer from depression don’t make thier choices from a lack of courage, strength, or moral integrity. They make choices based on the fact that depression has disengaged their ability to care.

If I take the battery out of your new car, and it won’t start, is it broken? Is it a “worthless piece of shit” (a phrase I’ve seen used more than once in reference to suicide) that’s only good for the junk yard?

How about the soldier who takes a bullet in the spine…is he weak? Is he a coward for not getting up out of that wheelchair and walking? Does he need to just suck it up? Be a better man?

Of course not.

In both cases, something vital to the end result has been removed from the process. It doesn’t matter how hard you turn the key, or how many times, the car’s not going to start with a missing battery. It doesn’t matter how brave or strong the soldier is, he’s not going to stand up and walk.

He CAN’T, because something vital to his ability to do so has been removed from his control.

This is what depression is like; it removes your ability to care. It clips the red wire and disengages hope.

Can’t you understand? To you, the decision to commit suicide WOULD be cowardice, because YOU still have the ability to CARE. Your high-handed, sanctimonious judgement and dismissal of the victim of depression, is on par with me assuming my 1992 P.O.S. mini-van is more valuable than your brand-new Lamborghini, because someone stole your battery and now it doesn’t start.

When you call someone a coward for something they have no control over…well there’s an old saying that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

And frankly, anyone who would put down a victim is nothing more than a school-yard bully…and everyone knows who the biggest coward in the school yard really is…

-Chef P

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.

 

02/15/16
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My 7 Favorite Recipes for National Breakfast Week


It’s National Breakfast Week!

Here’s a week’s worth of my favorite ways to start the day…


7. Patatas y Huevos Burritos

A little taste of my own childhood. Hearty and filling…lots of love on very little coin.

 


6. Sriracha Bacon Pancake Wraps

This recipe was actually invented while racing out of Chef Terry’s kitchen one day, on our way to a cooking event.

He had made pancakes, eggs, and bacon for his family that morning and, feeling slightly peckish (as always), I rolled all three together, and splashed it with a manly helping of Sriracha sauce, not realizing that the pancakes had already been drizzled with maple syrup.

The combination of sweet-spicy-savory-crunchy-soft and eggy turned out to be fantastic!


5. Taylor’s Pork Roll Breakfast Biscuit

Taylor’s Pork roll (regionally known as Taylor Ham)is a pork-based processed meat originating and commonly available in New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. It was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton, New Jersey, and sold as “Taylor Ham”.

Other producers entered the market, and subsequent food labeling regulations required Taylor to designate it as a “pork roll” alongside their competitors.


4. Quick and Easy Pork Meatball Pho

Sometimes the best breakfast isn’t even breakfast. A steaming, spicy bowl of Pho can really get your blood pumping on a cold morning! Need it more “breakfasty?” – Lay a lightly poached egg over the top and dig in!


3. Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

One of my all-time favorite breakfast dishes, biscuits and gravy, especially homemade sausage gravy is crazy easy to make from scratch, and SO much tastier than anything you’re going to find in a bottle or can. In fact, it’s so easy that I put together a quick video to show you, step-by-step, how simple this 5-ingredient dish really is!

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.


2. Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast. It is derived from the German pfannkuchen.


1. My #1 favorite breakfast: Hangtown Fry!~

Oysters may not be your thing, and that’s okay…somebody has to be wrong. Farm-fresh scrambled eggs, fresh Willapa extra-small oysters sauteed in butter with garlic and shallots, smokey bacon right out of the Traeger… oh, baby!

If I see this on the menu, I close it up and order…with a side of rye toast, please…

02/12/16
The Scott Baio sandwich

New class idea: What’s YOUR Celebrity Sandwich?

Celebrity sandwichesThinking about doing this as a “Sandwich Class” for MY KITCHEN summer camps and classes this year.

For the last hundred years, especially on the east coast, superstar names on deli sandwiches have been de rigueur, and it’s a tradition I love.

Class idea: “Create your own Celebrity Sandwich”

We’d have a couple of examples pre-made (simple stuff like turley/cheddar, PB/banana) and quartered for the kids to try, and a brief lesson on complimentary and contrasting flavor and texture combinations. Then have them walk thru a huge “sandwich bar” of ingredients, writing their own recipe (lesson 2) before building their sandwich.

Sandwiches would be rated on comp/contrasting flavors, as well as how well they followed their own recipes.

Two of my personal favorite celebrity sandwiches are:

The Scott Baio sandwich

The Scott Baio:  Sesame seed hero. Sopressata, Prosciotto, mozrella, more prosciotto, provelone, basil mix (sliced basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper), banana peppers.

The Adam Sandler Sandwich
The Adam Sandler:  Nova Scotia smoked salmon, smoked sturgeon, lettuce, tomato, and onion

By the way, here’s mine:

The Chef Perry
Head cheese, thin sliced beef tongue, salt & pepper, horseradish mayo, thin sliced pickled cucumbers, spiralized daikon radish, alfalfa sprouts, cilantro, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar on a toasted pretzel hoagie roll. Serve with spicy pickle wedges, and a vanilla cream soda.

What would YOUR “Celebrity Sandwich” look like?

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, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.