01/16/18

The New SimplySmartDinnerPlans Cookbook

SimplySmartDinnerPlans Cookbook

100% of pre-sales go to the MY KITCHEN Outreach, to continue and expand our new “After-school” Program, teaching hands-on cooking, shopping, and nutrition skills for kids!

Every single recipe in the Heart Healthy Plan (Classic, and GF coming soon!) beautifully printed and bound in 8.5 x 11 perfect-bound paperback!

600 pages of delicious, healthy, easy-to-prepare dinners at your fingertips!

Take your recipes with you where ever you go, jot down notes and ideas directly in your book, and enjoy the exclusive SimplySmartDesserts chapter, found only in the cookbook!

Pre-order your copy today! (ships February 1, 2018)



01/15/18

Fire Camp Recipes: Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Easy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Eagle Creek Fire Animal ShelterIn September of 2017, the MY KITCHEN Crew, along with many amazing helpers, spent two week in Stevenson, WA, cooking and serving meals to the shelter volunteers, evacuees, and firefighters at the emergency shelter there.

The shelter had been set up to temporarily house families, pets, and livestock from the Eagle Creek fires in the Columbia Gorge. 

Many of these folks wouldn’t have left the danger zones without their animals (I wouldn’t have), and thanks to an amazing group of local volunteers, they were able to bring them here.

A dozen or so shelter volunteers fed, calmed, and cared for several hundred animals (more, if you count all the chickens, lol) and it was hard work. A LOT of hard work, and someone needed to feed these folks.

We were lucky enough to be the ones they called.

Eagle Creek Fire Shelter

We cooked three meals a day, and covered a lot of my favorite dishes, as well as some new ones. This is the first of those “fire camp” recipes, that I’m posting. Many more will follow.

Cooking for the Eagle Creek Fires

MamaGinny…therapist, babysitter, fixer, force of nature…we couldn’t have done it without her!

Our time in Stevenson was invigorating, exhausting, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes heart-breaking, but I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to serve some hot food, and put smiles on the faces of some very frightened and worried folks.

Eagle Creek Fire Evacuee Camp

The bosses (and the real heroes of the Eagle Creek Fire Animal Shelter) Pam Seaman & Jean Foster!

We developed some great relationships, and new friendships during our time at firecamp, and many of those new friends are working with us at the MY KITCHEN Outreach classes that we’ve been teaching to the kids in Carson, WA.

An opportunity that arose from meeting the amazing Karen Douglass, another shelter volunteer, who also happens to be Superintendent of the Stevenson-Carson School District!

This one is one of my favorite dishes, regardless of where I’m cooking it. I have other recipes for these enchiladas, but this is the exact version I made at camp, with the donated ingredients we had available.

Enjoy!

~Chef Perry

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or two rotisserie chickens, shredded)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 12 large corn tortillas
  • 1 (28 ounce) can green chili enchilada sauce
  • 1 (36 ounce) package shredded “Mexican blend” cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Mexican sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

chopped chicken breast

Season chicken with garlic salt. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, chop, and set aside.

charring tortillas

With metal tongs, char each tortilla over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed, but still flexible.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Spread a little of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup of chicken, 2 Tbs of cheese, 2 Tbs of sour cream, and 2 Tbs enchilada sauce.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Roll, and  arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the remaining chicken, 1/2 the cheese, and 1/2 of the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Repeat, coating the remaining enchiladas (2nd layer) thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and cheese.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

This recipes is also AMAZING using grilled chicken thighs! Follow this recipe (but skip the sauce):


01/13/18

The SimplySmartDinnerPlans Cookbook

SimplySmartDinnerPlans CookbookChef tested, delicious, nutritious 4-serving dinner recipes for every night of the week…for an entire year!

Weekly plans are organized according to a main ingredient (chicken, salmon, pork chops, ground beef, and more), utilizing that ingredient in a unique meals, 2-3 times over the course of the week to avoid waste and help your budget, with photos of each recipe and step-by-step instructions.

Included with each weekly plan is an all-inclusive itemized grocery shopping list, organized by store section for quick, efficient shopping

Find the time to bring your family back to the dinner table, with our simple to prepare, budget friendly, dinner plans.

600 pages of delicious, healthy, easy-to-prepare dinners at your fingertips.

Click image to see an example of the recipes.

Click image to see an example of the recipes.

Classic, and Gluten Free Collections Coming Soon!


 Pre-order your copy today! (ships February 1, 2018)


If you have heart-health issues, any form of diabetes, or other health concerns, and your doctor has recommended restricting you intake of sodium and/sugars (ie: carbs), or just want to eat healthier, but have trouble finding the time to do so, then the Heart Healthy Plan is probably what you’re looking for.

Traditional advice from the medical/health community suggests that, for weight loss, we eat around 1,200-1500 calories a day, and are supposed to eat 4-5 times each day, with a moderate breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a couple of small snacks.

Shrimp Bacon Soft TacosTypically this would mean having a breakfast of about 250 calories, a snack at 150 calories, lunch at 250 calories and another 150 calories snack at around 4pm,  and for dinner around 400-600 calories of high-protein and low-fat.

We follow the same guidelines of great tasting, easy to prepare, seasonal, and adventurous, dishes.

(Without using a bunch of “fake food” along the way!)


Click image to see example Shopping List.

Click to see an example of the shopping lists

Each meal also includes a “Nutritional Facts” label, allowing you to see exactly what you’re eating, and how it fits into your personal nutrition goals.

What our Customers are Saying…

“SimplySmartDinnerPlans is awesome! You cook but the planning is already done. A fantastic way to gather around the dinner table!”
~ Amy J Roloff: Little People, Big World

“Thank you for including the meal number on the grocery list. I’m only home 2 days this week, so with this added feature I am able to choose which meals I will make, and easily see what ingredients I’ll need. Bravo!!!”
~ Marjorie G.

“Wonderful recipes! I love the hints for cooking, the shopping/pantry list, and the pictures of the entrees. It really helps me “see” what I’m preparing!”
~ Tami M.

Skirt Steak Tacos“I wanted you to know I love your program and recipes! My son was just recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and I was needing recipes that were delicious and gave me the low carbs with the nutrition label. I love your helpful tips.

“Thank-you Chef Perry for another tasty meal – Classic Steak Diane – that sauce was amazing. Your menu’s have reduced my weekend stress a ton and we love the recipes! THANKS!”
~ Robin G.

BBQ Chicken ThighsI feel rejuvenated in my cooking, which is awesome since this has been a stressful time.Thanks again!”
~ Misty A.

Pre-order your copy today! (ships February 1, 2018)

 

Zuchinni Bow Tie Salad

01/13/18

Easy Pork Potstickers ala the MY KITCHEN Kids

As we saw in yesterday’s update video, the kids in Carson had a great time making pork pot-stickers and restaurant-style fried rice, in our first “Advanced Cooking” class, for our MY KITCHEN Program graduates.

The kid’s did an amazing job (their pot-stickers turned out a LOT better than my early attempts, lol) and everyone was excited that they could now make one of thier favorite snacks at home, for a fraction of the cost, and they tasted better!

Here they are, to show YOU how to do it…

Steaming PotstickersEasy Pork Potstickers

Yield 48 potstickers, approximately

Home Chef note: This recipe can be easily halved (the wrappers come in packs of 48, hence the recipe size) and the meat mixture freezes well, for a quick batch later.

  • ¾ Lb. ground pork or other meat                        
  • 1 cup minced cabbage
  • 2 Tbs. minced ginger                        
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 6 scallions, or green onions*            
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. good soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Gyoza (pot-sticker) dipping sauce
  • 48 pot-sticker (dumpling) wrappers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten in a bowl                
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil or vegetable oil      
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil                        
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar (unseasoned)

Pork Mix for Pot-Stickers *the white and green parts separated, both minced

Combine meat, cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallion whites, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, Gyoza sauce, and vinegar in a bowl.

Most recipes have you make a dipping sauce, but put nothing in the meat mixture in the way of seasonings.

Personally, I prefer to add a little “dippin’ sauce” flavor directly to the meat. You can always serve with additional (warmed) dipping sauce, on the side.

Click here to learn more about our non-profit MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, and to get 52 weeks of free dinner plans with shopping lists!

Lay a wrapper on a clean, dry surface, and using your finger or a brush, spread a bit of egg along half of its circumference:

 How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home

Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center. (Do not overfill.)

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Fold over the wrapper (like a taco)

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Seal by crimping the edges together with a fork

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Place pot-stickers on a plate; if you want to wait a few hours before cooking, cover plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Or freeze, for up to two weeks.

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

To Fry:

Put about 2 tablespoons combined oils in a large nonstick skillet and turn heat to medium-high.

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home

A minute later, add pot-stickers, one at a time; they can touch one another, but should still sit flat in one layer.

Cook about 2 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and most of the oil has been absorbed.

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Add 1/4 cup water per dozen pot-stickers to pan, and cover.

Lower heat to medium, and let simmer about 3 minutes.

How to make the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Uncover pot-stickers, return heat to medium-high and cook another minute or two, until bottoms are dark brown and crisp and water evaporates. (Use more oil if necessary.)

Serve hot, with sauce.

Pan Fried Pot-stickers recipe


How to steam the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

If you like what I’m posting, please share!

If you love what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!

To Steam:

 Spray the grates of your steaming basket with oil, cover, and place them over a skillet of simmering water.

Allow 2-3 minutes for the steamer to warm (if using bamboo, less is metal)

Lay pot-stickers on the grate(s), not touching, and cover.

How to steam the best Pork Pot-stickers at home recipe

Allow to steam 6-8 minutes, until translucent.

Remove pot-stickers from basket, and place on a warm serving plate.

Serve hot, with sauce.

Steamed Pot-stickers recipe

Wanna save a little ink?

Print Friendly Recipe

100% of the ad-revenue from this blog goes to support our non-profit outreach program, teaching hands-on cooking, shopping, and nutrition skills for at-risk and special needs kids, and after-school programs like this one…so PLEASE share!

Thank you for helping us help kids!

~Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
www.fosterhope.net

01/12/18

Our first Advanced Class in Carson, WA

Advanced Cooking Class in Carson WA

Here’s a quick update video of our first “Advanced Class” for the graduates of our 6-Week program in Carson WA.

The kids wanted to learn how to make pot-stickers, and they nailed it!

100% of the ad-revenue from this video goes to support our non-profit outreach program, teaching hands-on cooking, shopping, and nutrition skills for at-risk and special needs kids, and after-school programs like this one…so PLEASE share!

Thanks!

~Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
www.fosterhope.net

01/9/18

Chef Perry’s Bacon Salmon Chowder

This recipe is an old favorite, my own riff on my Dad’s signature clam chowder, using our fresh Pacific Northwest Salmon.

Bacon Salmon Chowder

BACON SALMON CHOWDER

Ingredients:

STOCK
2 lbs. salmon spine, head, and tail
1 gallon fresh water
1/4 cup fine sea salt
2 Bay leaves
4 cups (total) chopped carrots, shallots, & celery (optional)

CHOWDER
2lbs (2) fresh salmon steaks, cut 4in thick
2 extra-large russet potatoes
1/4 cup sweet cream butter
4 cups chopped carrots, sweet onions, & celery
1lb thick bacon (cooked and chopped)
Fine sea salt
1/4 cup AP flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 Tbs. coarse black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. Mexican chili powder

TOPPINGS
1 (8oz) bag large Garlic-Butter Croutons
Coarse black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

FOR THE STOCK:

Bring a gallon of water to a low simmer, in a large stock pot. Add about a Tbs. of sea salt, then the salmon head, spine, and tail.

Simmer, uncovered, for 4-6 hours. You can do this in the morning, or even the day before.

(I like to add some carrots, celery, and shallots, if I’m making more stock than I need for this recipe.)

Once the stock has cooked, scoop out the big pieces with a slotted spoon, discard, and then strain the solids. Then do a second straining, through cheesecloth, to get a clean stock.

Once your stock is strained, wipe the pot clean, set in on a back burner over low heat, and return the stock to it. Keep it warm.

FOR THE CHOWDER:

Peel russet potatoes, and slice them into large cubes, set aside in a bowl, covered in cold water.

Melt butter in a large frying pan, and sauté the chopped celery and onions, over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. You just want them with a little caramelization on the outsides, but still crunchy.

Add the cooked, chopped bacon, and stir it in with the veggies. Let this cook a few more minutes, until the bacon has rendered and is heated through. Remove the bacon and veggies from the pan, reserving as much of the butter and bacon drippings as possible.

Once all of the solids are moved from the pan, raise the heat to medium-high. You can add a little oil here, if needed.

Season both sides of the salmon steaks with fine sea salt.

Fry the salmon until it’s nicely browned, then flip and do the same to the other side. The salmon is still basically raw at this point, but it’ll finish cooking in the stock. This browning is what really adds the flavor to your chowder.

While your browning the salmon, it’s a good time to start heating up the stock, on medium heat. Add the potatoes, then bring the stock to a high simmer.

When the salmon has brown on both sides, move it to the stock pot, on top of the potatoes, and reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Add some butter to the frying pan, if needed, to reach about 1/4 cup of fat in the pan.

Add 1/4 of flour to the fat in the frying pan. Mix and keep it moving until your roux becomes golden brown, and starts to smell nutty.

Once your roux in golden (which means the flour has been cooked), it’s time to start adding the salmon stock, a half a cup at a time. At first, your roux is going to sizzle and seize up into a paste. DON’T PANIC! This is what it’s supposed to do.

Keep adding hot stock, and stirring until smooth, then adding more stock, etc., etc., until you reach the consistency of a thin gravy. Somewhere along here, you’ll want to trade in you spoon for a whisk. Keep whisking, until it’s smooth, with a silky looking finish.

Remove the potatoes and salmon from the stock, and add in your thinned roux, whisking until smooth.

Set the stockpot aside, on low heat, UNCOVERED.

Break the salmon steaks into large chunks. You can go smaller, or even shred it, if you prefer, but I like it like this. Set aside.

Add two cups of WARMED whole milk to the broth, and whisk it in.

Next, add in the salmon chunks. Carefully add the cooked potatoes, celery, onions, and bacon into the pot, and stir gently, just enough to combine everything.

After tasting our chowder, add a little more sea salt, if needed.

Add black pepper, to taste, and then the Mexican Chili Powder. (If you can’t find the Mexican kind, regular chili powder works, too.) Stir those lovely seasonings into your chowder!

Allow the chowder to rest for about a half an hour, to let the flavors, and then portion it into bowls for serving.

Add some garlic butter croutons on top, then a sprinkle of coarse black pepper (to taste). Finally add a sprinkle of Italian parsley, to give the dish a little color.

And there you have it! Chef Perry’s soon to be famous (hopefully!) Bacon Salmon Chowder.

Guaranteed to warm all the down to those frozen toes!

Serve immediately.

For more delicious, simple, and (mostly) healthy Home Chef recipes, tips, and kitchen tricks, pick up my latest “next level” cookbook, “BACON!: A Home Chef’s Guide” at www.perryperkinsbooks.com

And be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don’t miss a dish!

Let’s Cook!

~Chef Perry

01/6/18

SimplySmartDinnerPlans page is back up!

Free weekly dinner plans and shopping lists

SimplySmartDinnerPlansThe new dinner plans page is (finally) up and running again!

I’ve made a few changes in the update…no more passwords, no more “one plan a week.”

All 52 weeks of free, healthy, easy-to-prepare, “real food” dinner plans, with itemized weekly shopping lists.

Classic, Heart Healthy, or Gluten-Free Plans!

The whole year, available to everyone, all the time…

Check it out at SimplySmartDinnerPlans

Be sure to sign up for the Newsletter, too!

Enjoy!

~Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
www.joinmykitchen.com

AsSeenOnLogo

 

 

12/14/17

A Favorite from the New Book: Maple Bacon Roasted Carrots

Bacon Maple Roasted Carrots

It may be a cliche that everything tastes better with bacon, but sometimes things are a cliche for a reason…and this is certainly one of those times!

Crispy, salty bacon wrapped around savory roasted carrots glazed in sweet maple syrup… that’s about as perfect as a side dish gets!

Maple Bacon Roasted Carrots

2 pounds carrots, peeled (I like a multicolor mix of red, purple, yellow, & orange 7-8”)
1 lb. bacon, thin-cut
¼ cup real maple syrup

Peel the carrots, and brush on all side with maple syrup (this helps keep the bacon in place.)

Wrap each carrot in a slice of bacon.

Arrange the carrots on a wire rack, on a foil wrapped baking sheet, and roast in a preheated 400F. oven.

Cook until the bacon is crispy and the carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes, brushing with maple syrup halfway through.

Serve immediately.


Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThe Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen” was your overview of the basic concepts and tips for taking your cooking to the next level, but let’s face it, you can only fit so much information into one book!

Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

This one is all about BACON.

amazon

11/23/17

The Secret to Crispy Turkey Skin

Perfect Turkey Skin

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I picked up this trick a few weeks ago from a fellow chef’s blog (I wish I could remember, but whoever you are, thank you!) and tried it for the first time with this year’s Thanksgiving turkey…it’s magic!

First of all, I ALWAYS brine my turkey, which, while making for moist, succulent meat, can cause problems with getting the skin, saturated by the brine, to crisp and brown evenly. And, let’s face it…crispy is skin is the whole reason for roasting a turkey in the first place!

Here’s the trick to perfect, crispy skin on a brined turkey…

Brine your bird for 24 hours (this is the brine I use).

Then, remove the bird from the brine, pat it dry (inside and out), and place it breast-side-up in a baking dish in the bottom of your fridge, UNCOVERED, for another 24 hours.

Remove from the fridge 2 hours before roasting, and let it rest on the counter.

Then, of course, roast it uncovered.

The skin on this turkey was amazing, by far the best results I’ve ever gotten.

If you’re a skin-junkie (that didn’t sound right…) like me, you gotta try this!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

11/5/17

MY KITCHEN Outreach Recipes: Toad in a Hole

Toad in the Hole

For my friend, Sharon!

This is one of the first recipes I learned as a child, and one of the first I taught my own daughter. It’s a great “first step” recipe when teaching kids to cook, and is always a part of our egg class, in our 6-week MY KITCHEN Outreach series.

My kiddo is ten now, and has moved on to omelets and frittatas, but no TeamPerk camping trip would be complete without a breakfast of Toad in the Hole, and a side of English -style bacon!

BTW, before I get outraged letters from my friends “across the pond”…this “American” breakfast is not to be confused with the British Toad-In-The-Hole, which is sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter, and hails from England.

Also know as: “Eggs in the basket”, “bird’s nests”, “one eyed jack”, “cowboy eggs”, “gashouse eggs”, “a hole in one”, “eggs in a nest”, “eggs in a frame”, “rocky mountain toast” (which would make me think of a very different dish, lol), “spit in the ocean” (yuck), and “popeye eggs.”

Whatever you call it, is a super simple, delicious, one-pan breakfast!

One of our current amazing MY KITCHEN students, Noah, has fallen in love with this recipe, and makes it regularly for his family. He’s even asked for his own skillet, spatula, and biscuit cutter for Christmas! (Which warms this old chef’s heart.)

Toad in the Hole recipe

Noah and his masterpiece!


 
Noah’s Toad in the Hole

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 1 slice deli-style honey ham
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Use a biscuit cutter* to cut a 3-in. hole in the middle of the bread. In a small skillet, melt the butter; place the bread in the skillet, over medium heat.

Crack an egg into each bread hole (be careful not to break the yolk), and cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat until the bread is lightly browned.

Hey, like what I’m posting? Please share! If you love what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!

Turn, add the diced ham to the other side of the pan, and cook the other side until egg reaches desired consistency.

Plate, season with salt and pepper, and spoon the warmed ham over the top.

Serve immediately.

*If you don’t own a biscuit cutter (get one, they’re cheap!), a wide-mouth juice glass will work. My dad cut both ends out of a tuna can, and used that same can for more than 30 years to make this dish (and his buttermilk biscuits!)

Optional: Lay 1 slice of cheese on each egg and then the bread rounds, after flipping. I use thin-sliced American cheese, because I like how it tastes with egg yolk, and it melts quickly. Noah preferred a Mexican shredded cheese blend. He also adds an additional egg…my kind of cook!

Home Chef Note:  Waste not, want not. Toast the circle of bread in the same pan with the Toad in the Hole!

Go Cook!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com