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



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)

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

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


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.


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


Chef P’s Penny Pincher Mock Southern Catfish

Southern Fried Tilapia

Had a hankering for fried catfish this week…until I priced it at my local fist monger’s shop.

The poor country-boy in me just couldn’t shell out $12.50/lb for somethin’ I can catch with a cane pole and a couple of smelly chicken livers. Glancing around, I noticed that tilapia fillets were on sale $2.98/lb.

Well, there you go.

Fresh tilapia fillets can be rarer than an honest politician, in chain grocery stores, but the frozen, individual portioned version will work just fine, too. Just make sure you thaw them before soaking.

If you’re feeling brave, buy whole tilapia (usually cheaper, too) and fillet them yourself. I like my whole tilapia fillets scaled, but with the skin left on, as it adds an extra crunch and a little fat, but to each their own. My local Asian super-market has tanks of live tilapia, which they’ll net and fillet for you…doesn’t get much fresher than that!

Chef P’s Mock Fried Catfish

  •     6 (4oz) tilapia fillets
  •     2 cups milk
  •     1 tsp sea salt
  •     2 cups yellow cornmeal
  •     1 Tbs seasoned salt
  •     2 tsp coarse black pepper
  •     1/2 tsp onion powder
  •     2 tsp garlic salt 
  •     Vegetable oil

Southern Fried Tilapia

Place tilapia fillets in a single layer in a shallow dish; cover with milk, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Combine cornmeal, seasoned salt, pepper, and onion powder in a shallow dish, and mix well.

Southern Fried Tilapia

Remove catfish fillets from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from milk, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle evenly with garlic salt.

Pre-heat your deep fryer, or add oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a large skillet; heat to 350F.

Southern Fried Tilapia

Dredge catfish fillets in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.

Home Chef’s Note: Dad had a trick he learned while cooking in Georgia. Place your fish fillet on top of the cornmeal mixture, mound the remaining cornmeal over the top until completely covered, then give the whole thing a firm press with an open hand. Shake off the excess and continue.

Southern Fried Tilapia

Fry fillets, in batches, about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.*

*The darker ou let them brown, within reason, the crispier the finished fillets will be.

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!

Southern Fried Tilapia

Drain on wire racks over paper towels.

Speaking for my people, you’ll be on these like a hungry ‘gator on a French poodle!

Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program


Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Simple Tangy Coleslaw

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise & Simple Tangy Coleslaw


Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

  • 2 tbsp. sweet paprika 1 tbsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2 (6-oz. ea.) tilapia fillets 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Kaiser buns 1/4 cup mango salsa
  • 1/2 avocado

Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise 1 sprig cilantro
  • 1/2 lime

Mise en Place:

In a shallow dish, combine paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & red pepper. Remove skin & pit from avocado and slice the flesh. Chop the cilantro. Make the Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise: Juice the lime. In a small bowl combine, mayonnaise, cilantro, and lime juice. Cover and chill. Butter & toast the buns.


Brush fish with oil, and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook fish, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Spread Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise on the cut side of buns. Place blackened fish on bottom half of bun, add slices of avocado, top with mango salsa, and cover with top half of bun.


Simple Tangy Coleslaw

  • 1/2 lb. green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Heat vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved, allow to cool.

Shred cabbage.

Toss dressing with cabbage, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

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.


Poached Broiled Salmon

Broil-Poached Smokehouse Maple Salmon

Poached Broiled Salmon

So, at our house salmon is a weekly menu item, and we have some amazing recipes for this most perfect of fish. This is a great one, in that to only does it create a perfectly moist, perfectly delicious dish, but it’s also crazy easy to make!

McCormick "Maple Smokehouse" SeasoningBroil-poaching might be a new method for you, but it’s a great way to get a moist-in-the-middle, crunchy on the top fillet.

You can spice however you like, a bbq rub, or Italian seasoning is nice, but for my money, this stuff is the bomb.

I found these McCormick spice blends recently and they are amazing!

Broil-Poached Smokehouse Maple Salmon

1 Lb. fresh Pacific salmon or steelhead fillet
4 tsp. Better Than Bullion Organic Chicken Base
4 cups boiling water
2 Tbs. McCormick Grill Mates “Maple Smokehouse” Seasoning

Bring oven broiler to 500F

Better Than Bullion Organic Chicken Base

Bring water and chicken base to a simmer over medium heat in an oven safe pan.

Smokehouse Maple Salmon Recipe

Season salmon fillet with maple-smokehouse seasoning, and place gently, skin-side down, into broth.

Smokehouse Maple Salmon Recipe

Cover pan and remove from heat. Let rest 5 minutes.

Smokehouse Maple Salmon Recipe

Uncover and slide the pan under broiler and cook until golden, 3-5 minutes.

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.

Smokehouse Maple Salmon Recipe

Serve over steamed spinach cooked with lots of lemon juice.


Chef Perry

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.”


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.

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.


Bacon and Shrimp Soft Tacos

Bacon & Shrimp Soft Tacos

Bacon and Shrimp Soft Tacos

Was planning on making a batch of my bacon-wrapped “Mojo Shrimp” appetizers the other night, but plans fell through. Looking around the kitchen I noticed a stack of fresh gorditas, and though, “Hmmm…”

Victoria added this one to the “Top 10″ list…

Shrimp-N-Bacon Soft Tacos

¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 tsp lime juice
½ tsp smoked paprika

1lb raw shrimp (26-30ct) shelled & deveined
½ white onion, julienned
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon, chopped

2 avocados, peeled & sliced
6 flour gorditas, warmed
6 Tbs Crema (Mexican sour cream)
1 batch Perk’s Pico de Gallo

Make Pico, and chill 1-2 hours while preparing the rest of the meal.

Mix first 5 ingredients, and toss with shrimp. Cover and fridge 1 hour.

Sweat onions, with bacon and garlic in a medium-low pan 10-15 minutes, until onions start to clear.

Add shrimp (discard marinade), cover and cook until shrimp are just pink through.

Assemble contents of pan, along with remaining ingredients, evenly on gorditas, and serve.

Serves 4-6

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.


Poisson Meuniere with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

How to make Tilapia Delicious (and very French)…Poisson Meuniere

In her autobiography, Julia Child writes:

“It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top … I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection.”

Julia would later state that it was the most exciting meal of her life.

SO looking forward to making this dish at our fundraising pop-up dinner in February, “Julia Child’s Paris!

Poisson Meuniere with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Poisson Meuniere

2 6- to 8-ounce skinless fish fillets (tilapia sole, cod, flounder, etc.)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Optional: lemon slices

Add the butter to a heavy saucepan and cook on medium heat until the butter melts, the foam starts to subside, brown flecks appear and the butter just starts to brown. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. It will continue to darken once you remove from heat. It should smelly nutty. If it smells burned, you will have to start over (sorry!). Set butter aside.

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 a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. In another small bowl, add the milk. Heat a heavy skillet on high heat (no oil) for four minutes.

Meanwhile, dip the fish fillets into the milk and then into the flour, tapping off any excess. Add the oil to the skillet, tilting the skillet to coat the bottom. Place the fish in the skillet — carefully, as the oil may splatter.

Cook for six minutes undisturbed on high heat. With a spatula, turn the fish over and, if the pan looks dry, add another tablespoon of oil. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, give or take a minute depending on the thickness of your fillet.

Drizzle the lemon juice on top of the fish followed by a scattering of parsley and a generous drizzling of brown butter. 

Enjoy immediately, serving with Crazy Creamy Once-A-Year Mashed Potatoes and more lemon wedges at the table if desired.