03/31/16
Ponzu grilled pork steaks

Perfect Ponzu Pork Steaks

Ponzu grilled pork steaks

I love pork steaks! They’re inexpensive, loaded with flavor, and perfect for quick grilling.

    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup ponzu sauce (Asian section)
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    4 bone-in pork steaks
    4 Tbs. apricot jam

Mix all marinade ingredients, and pour over the pork steaks in a heavy gallon zip bag.

Marinate at least 4 hours, flipping the bag occasionally.

Remove pork from marinade and cook on one side over medium-high heat on charcoal or gas grill for no more than 10 minutes.

Grilling pork steaks

Cooking time for second side is shorter by 1-2 minutes. 3/4″ or thinner, 5-6 minutes maximum per side, thicker than 3/4″ 6-7 minutes maximum per side.

After 2 minutes grilling on a side, rotate chops 45 degrees for even cooking.

Turn over when juices pool on upper surface and meat appears to be cooked half-way through, brush the cooked side (top) top with apricot jam.

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03/30/16
Beef prices dropping

Beef prices coming down!

Perfect Valentine steaks on a charcoal chimney

Where’s the beef? On dining tables across America, according to Bloomberg. Americans are on track to eat more red meat this year than in the previous 12 months for the first time since 2006, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating people will consume 54.3 pounds of beef in 2016.

A combination of cheaper beef prices and a larger inventory of cattle across the country fueled a push towards increased beef consumption, with the USDA noting current cattle counts at a five-year high. With beef at a lower price point, some restaurants have added new deals to promote beef-based menu items. (Read the rest of this article on Eater…)

And it’s not just Eater sayin’ so, many of the top bloggers are a-buzz with glorious return of the beef!

According to Time.com, wholesale prices for beef have already fallen 23% from an all-time high in May and analysts believe that by the time the weather warms up the effects of the obese cows stuffing their faces with corn will trickle down to consumers, who can expect cheaper beef prices.

So where’s the beef? Right now it’s in a feed lot sucking mind-bending quantities of carbs down its gullet, our Jabba the Hutt of American agriculture, growing ever more corpulent all to become gloriously affordable burger patties for your Fourth of July grilling party.

In celebration of this auspicious event, here are three of our favorite cow-centric dishes for your dining pleasure…

Braciole (Italian steak roll) with Caprese Salad

Braciole Italian beef roll recipe Ninja Cooker

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Flank Steak, Asparagus & Red Pepper Stir Fry

Flank Steak Stir Fry with Aspargus

Perfect Grilled Chimney Steaks

Perfect Valentine steaks on a charcoal chimney

03/28/16

Braised Lamb Shank Tacos

Braised lamb shank tacos

In the United States, we tend to like chicken as our white meat of choice and beef as our red meat, but 63 percent of the world’s population eats goat. mutton, and lamb.

Lamb and mutton are the primary source of animal protein in regions in North Africa, the Middle East, India, and parts of Europe. There is a growing popularity for lamb in the U.S., especially among people of specific ethnic backgrounds. The USDA defines “lamb” as the meat of sheep less than 12 months old. Most of the American lamb comes from six to eight month old animals. 

Lamb shanks and stews have become particularly popular due to their superior and intriguing taste.

Given my ‘druthers, I would probably choose lamb over beef nine out of ten times!

Braised lamb shank tacos

Braised Lamb Shank Tacos
1 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. chile powder
1 16 -ounce can tomato sauce
2 lamb shanks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
Corn tortillas*, warmed, for serving
Cilantro, chopped
White onions, chopped

*I found a corn/flour mix that I really liked. Corn flavor, with the softer flour tortilla mouth feel.

Combine cumin, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, brown sugar, chile powder and tomatoes; whisk to combine.

Braised lamb shank
Put the lamb in a large bowl and add 2/3 of the marinade; coating on all sides.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, transfer to the oven and braise until very tender, about 2 hours. (Flip the lamb shanks at 1 hour).

Braised lamb shank tacos

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Skim off any excess fat and spoon any reduced marinade from the pan into a small mixing bowl and mix with the reserved (uncooked) marinade.  

Remove the lamb and pull the meat off the bone, discarding the bones and fat.

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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Braised lamb shank tacos

Shred the meat with your fingers (or forks) and transfer to a bowl. Pour the warmed braising liquid over the meat and toss to coat.

Braised lamb shank tacos

In a dry pan, brown tortillas on both sides.

Braised lamb tacos

Divide lamb among corn tortillas and top with cilantro and onions.

Braised lamb shank tacos

03/26/16
Classic Easter Recipes

Easter Ham Dinner

Classic Easter Recipes

It’s almost Easter! Here’s my traditional menu…Peach-Ginger Smoked Holiday Ham, Sweet Potato Gratin Stacks, Roasted Garlic Asparagus, and Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pot de Creme!

Peach-Ginger Smoked Holiday Ham

I love just about any combination of spicy and sweet, and this peach-ginger glazed ham recipe is no exception.

My wife has informed me that this is the only ham recipe I am to use for Easter, from now on!

Sweet Potato Gratin Stacks

Sweet Potato Gratin Stacks

This might be my favorite side dish, unless I’m alone, and then I just might eat the whole pan straight from the muffin tins with a plastic fork…

Garlic roasted asparagus

Garlic Roasted Asparagus

I love this way of preparing asparagus. The flavors work together enhancing each other, and the irresistible addition of garlic mellows and sweetens as it bakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pot de Creme

Given the French name, and silky smooth consistency, this can be served as a hoity-toity dessert, but it’s really pretty darn simple to make…

 

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.

 

03/23/16
The Perfect Ramen Recipe

Ramen, the Right Way

The Perfect Ramen Recipe

First, Some Top Ramen History

Momofuku Ando began the Nissin company as part of a small family operation in 1948. Facing major food shortages after World War II, Ando decided that a inexpensive, quality, and convenient ramen product would help feed the hungry masses of post war Japan.

In 1958, Ando and Nissin introduced the first instant ramen, Chicken flavor. Ironically, it was largely considered a luxury food, as it was six times more expensive that the fresh Japanese noodles (udon) sold in Japanese grocery stores at the time.

Types of RamenThe conservative Japanese culinary scene rejected instant ramen, branding it a novelty food with little future. They were, or course, completely wrong….and Chicken Ramen sold beyond its inventor’s wildest dreams. Almost instantly (if you’ll pardon the pun), dozens of other companies were stuffing the shelves with their own versions.

By the end of ’58, grocery stores were dedicating whole aisles with this wildly popular new staple for the Japanese kitchen.

The rest of course, is history.

These days, Ramen in the US is highly misunderstood. The butt of jokes as the 4-year staple of broke, lazy college students. Ironically, nothing could be further from the truth, and Ramen…properly prepared Ramen may just be the hew food craze of the West.

The Sushi of the new millennium.

Best ramen soup ingredients

THE STOCK
8 oz Clam broth
16 oz. hot water
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup dry sake
1/2 lb thin sliced pork belly, in 1-inch slices
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
2 tsp. Sesame oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, sliced into matchsticks
1 Tbsp. bonito flakes
1 star anise
1/2 lb raw jumbo shrimp

Perfect Ramen Recipe

Heat oils in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until onions have softened. Add pork belly and cook 5 more minutes, stirring.

Perfect Ramen Recipe

Add clam broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, bonito, salt, pepper, and sake. Bring to a simmer then add water and star anise. Return to simmer. Meanwhile, toss peeled and deviened shrimp in a bowl with 1/4 cup of lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. of fish sauce. (Make another bowl of the marinate for brushing.)

Let rest 10 minutes.

Steaming shrimp

Meanwhile, steam the shrimp over the simmering stock, brushing with the marinade until just pink through. Set shrimp aside.

Steamed shrimp

Strain stock through a fine sieve, rinse the pot, and set pork belly and cooked veggies aside. Run stock through a fat separator, and return the defatted stock to the pan.

Perfect stock for ramen soup

Bring back to a simmer and reduce by 1/4.

THE GARNISHES
1 large egg, hard-boiled, peeled, and halved.
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion

DOING NOODLES RIGHT
1 packet of ramen noodles per person.

Like most Asian noodle recipes, the real secret of great ramen lay in two factors, the broth, and the noodles.

If “ramen” makes you shudder at the thought of a bowl of mushy, slimy pasta, here’s how they’re supposed to be served.

IMG_8341 (1024x768)

1. Open the ramen packet and immediately throw away that nasty, salty “flavor” packet. Nothing good can come from it.

2. Bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the noodles and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain.

Shocking ramen in ice water

3. Immediately plunge the noodles in a large bowl of ice water, and stir. Let sit until completely chilled, then drain and set aside. By chilling the noodles you stop the cooking process, and tighten the gluten in the noodles back up, making them chewy and elastic to the bite again.

Perfect bowl of ramen

ASSEMBLING THE PERFECT BOWL

Place chilled noodles, shrimp, pork belly mixture, shrimp, cilantro, egg, and raw onions into a soup bowl.

Ladle simmering broth over the ingredients in the bowl, and serve immediately.

As soon as the stock has cooled enough to not burn yourself, dig in!

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.

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03/19/16

The Best Caesar Dressing

Perfect Caesar salad dressing recipe

Our friend Heather asks:

Hey there Chef Perry! I wondered if you had a recipe for Caesar salad Dressing? I had a chicken Caesar salad for the first time and I loved it. Store stuff usually all tastes cruddy.

Okay, first things first…a perfect Caesar dressing requires both raw egg yolks and anchovies fillets. If those are a deal-breaker, just walk away now and buy a bottle of Newman’s Own, lol.

The Best Caesar Dressing
4 anchovy oil-packed fillets, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 large farm-fresh egg yolks
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup grapeseed oil

The Salad
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
3 cups torn 1″ pieces sourdough bread, toasted
3 romaine hearts
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

The secret of a great Caesar is all in the dressing. The eggs yolks creates an amazingly rich emulsion, and the anchovies bring a briny umami that takes it to the next level (and no, the dressing won’t taste fishy).

Combine chopped anchovies garlic, add a pinch of  salt. Using the back of a Tablespoon, mash into a paste, then scrape that mash into a bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard. Adding a drop at a time, gradually whisk in 2 Tbs olive oil, then 1/2 cup grape-seed oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy.

Whisk in 3 Tbs Parmesan. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lemon juice (to taste). Personally, I prefer my dressing as freshly made as possible, but you can make it a day ahead, just wait on adding the cheese.

If you’re adding a meat (like grilled chicken or shrimp) be sure to balance the amount of salt in the meat with what you put in the dressing. Remember: it’s a whole lot easier to add a little more salt, than to take it back out, lol.

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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03/17/16

Sloppy Joe Bashed Potatoes

Sloppy Joe Bashed Potatoes

Sloppy Joe Bashed Potatoes
3/4 lbs ground beef
3/4 lbs ground pork
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1⁄2 Tbs yellow mustard
2 tsp. chili powder
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
6 hamburger buns or six med baked russet potatoes.

Bake potatoes in the oven (or start them in the morning in the crock pot).

Saute garlic, bell pepper, celery, and onion in a very large skillet with a little oil, until just softened, season with salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add ground meat to the pan, and brown, chopping into small pieces, and drain when done. Add back in the veggies and all remaining ingredient (except buns).

Cook on medium-low for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Serve on toasted buns or, as above, over Bashed Potatoes.

Bashed = Baked + Mashed. Bake the potatoes, carefully scoop out the whites, whip with butter, sour cream, salt & pepper, and stuff the whole mess back into the jacket. That is a “bashed” potato.

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.

 

03/16/16

MY KITCHEN Outreach ~ New Classes!

HelpUsGREAT News! We’ve just scheduled three new series of classes with the awesome foster kids from Impact NW, that’s 30+ new students through our 6-week program. Plus, we’ll be adding the optional Food Handler’s License class this year!

We’d like to ask you to partner with us in this new series of classes, by purchasing a copy of the MY KITCHEN Cookbook to sponsor a student.

AND…we’ve going to offer you 20% off!

The MY KITCHEN Cookbook & Class Syllabus is a collection of the recipes, lessons and basic cooking techniques that we teach students, and have prepared for other organizations as part of SimplySmartDinnerPlans’ MY KITCHEN Outreach program.

18
100% of sales goes to the outreach program, and for every book you purchase, we can provide the syllabus to two of our students!

List Price: $14.95
Use this Discount Code in the next 24 hours for 20% off: K6DL3XFX Order here!

Thank you!

Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
Mentoring Youth ~ Fostering Hope


Final_Cover

 

03/15/16
What is a Po'Boy

What is a Po’boy Sandwich?

What is a Po'Boy

I love sandwiches.

Slap some meat, some fresh veggies, maybe a little cheese between two pieces of bread, and you probably shouldn’t turn your back on it around me.

With such a massive variety of options, it tough to point at one and say, “That’s my favorite!”, but somewhere very high on the list would be a classic New Orleans Dressed Oyster Po’Boy.

The po’ boy, a style of sub sandwich from Louisiana, typically consists of meat, often roast beef with gravy, fried seafood, chicken, or ham,served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread. The traditional versions are served hot and include fried shrimp and oysters. Soft shell crab, catfish, crawfish, Louisiana hot sausage, fried chicken breast, roast beef, and French fries are what’s most often found on the local menus.

A “dressed” po’ boy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo; onions are optional.

In 1929, during a four-month strike against the New Orleans streetcar company, a local sandwich shop served striking drivers free sandwiches. The servers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”, and the name was quickly adopted to refer the the sandwiches themselves. In Louisiana dialect, this was eventually shortened to “po’ boy.”

parkway-history-1

Many feel that what makes a po-boy special is the French bread. Be warned, this isn’t your local grocery-store’s “French bread”. Baked locally, in the old brick ovens of real bakeries, New Orleans French bread has a crunchy crust with a light, airy center. It’s the contrast between crust and center that makes the po’boy loaf unique.

If, like me, you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of being on the opposite side of the continent from The Big Easy, you can make a tasty, if not perfect, approximation with a “take & bake” baguette, toasted until golden in a 400F oven.

Deep fry a few shucked oysters with seasoned flour, slap them on the split loaf with some mayo (or tartar sauce), shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and chopped onions…then sit back and enjoy the best sandwich ever…

Well…one of them, anyway.

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03/11/16

Name one dish…


EveryDay

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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