Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots


What a great class this week! We took the youth to the local Fred Meyer (They’ve been amazingly generous with our program, so we like to reciprocate whenever possible!) and cruised the aisles talking about how to shop, fresh vs. not fresh, checking labels, how to stretch your budget and still eat real food, etc.

Then, to REALLY get them out of the box, we gathered up all of the ingredients for braised Brussels sprouts with Bacon (recipe below), and then went back to the kitchen to learn how to cook these always popular (ha ha) little cabbages!aPost - Copy

THEY LOVED ‘EM! (Even Mark, our fearless leader from Impact NW who was…dubious, to say the least! LOL)

Next class is the appreciation dinner, where the kids will prep, cook, and serve a 5-course gourmet dinner for the Impact NW staff, their own foster parents, and other VIPs!

Thank you!

Chef Perry

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots1½ lbs. Brussels sprouts
½ lb smoked bacon
1/4 cup shallots, diced
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
Kosher salt to tasteTrim the stems off the Brussels sprouts, then slice a small “X” in the stem end, about 1/2 inch deep.Dice the bacon and add to a cold sauté pan along with the diced shallots.
Heat slowly over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the fat starts to render and the meat turns golden brown and crispy but not burnt.Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté over medium-high heat for a few minutes, or until they’re slightly browned.
This caramelization will add a lot of flavor to the recipe.Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half (5 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Stir in the butter, season with Kosher salt and serve right away!

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.



Spanish Tapas & Wines Class: In Good Taste

Did you know that Spanish tapas started over 300 years ago, when inn-keepers along Spanish coach lines would sell sherry to thirsty travelers, while fresh horses were being hitched to the coach?


When patrons began complaining about the number of flies that were getting into their tipple, the inn-keepers began topping the cups with a slice of bread to keep the pests out. To their delight, they discovered that the travelers bought more wine  when a snack was included, and the simple, local, and unpretentious tradition of tapas (small plates) was born.

Now, tapas is enjoyed on a daily basis throughout Spain, usually around four in the afternoon, and is often a mini “food crawl” to several favorite spots to hold folks over until the traditional dinner at around eleven at night.

In Good Taste Cooking SchoolI enjoyed a fantastic night out, last night, with a focus (as you might have guessed) on all things Spain at a local class: Spanish Tapas and Wines from Spain. 

This 3-hour In Good Taste Cooking School class explored numerous regions of Spain featuring different Spanish wines and small dishes.  It was a demonstration class where the Chef Erika Reagor of Thrive Pacific NW (a local Portland food truck) both entertained and educated ten of us foodies, as we sat back, tasted and enjoyed.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Chef Erika Reagor of Thive Pacific NWChef Erika is also a certified Nutrition Educator, Health Counselor and Nutrition Consultant. She teaches cooking classes based on whole food preparations and alternative ingredients.  She has been an in-home chef for the past 6 years, providing the benefits of fresh, whole, and affordable meals for numerous clients.

13 (800x598)This was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken, and the most fun.

The braised ribs in adobo  were absolutely amazing (and I know ribs), and the Spanish octopus was, hands down, one of the best foods I’ve ever put in my mouth.

26 (707x800)If you’re interested in Spanish cuisine, tapas, enhancing you cooking skills, of just sharing some amazing food with some friendly foodies, I strongly recommend taking a class at In Good Taste.

Thanks Chef Erika and In Good Taste for showing us a great time!

-Chef Perry

The Menu:

Open-faced Crab Empanadas

Open-faced Crab Empanadas
Crab simmered in a rich tomato sauce and topped on a savory pastry.
Wine Pairing: Segura Viudas Brut Rererva

Spanish Octopus, Confit Potato, & Smoked Paprika with Romesco Sauce

Spanish Octopus, Confit Potato, with Romesco Sauce
(Pulpo con Patatas)
Tender octopus served with smokey potatoes
Wine Pairing: Tapena Verdejo

Serrano Ham Croquettes with Roasted Pepper Coulis

Serrano Ham Croquettes with Roasted Pepper Coulis
(Croquetas de Jamon)
Fried little balls of ham and cheese.  Yummy!

Tapas-Style Meatballs over Braised Greens

Tapas-Style Meatballs over Braised Greens
(Albondigas en Salsa)
Wine Pairing: 2010 Ergo Tempranillo – This was my favorite wine of the evening, delicious and not at all tannic.

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Salsa Verde

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Salsa Verde
Marinated and Grilled Lamb with a Spanish-style sauce of 10 different herbs and spices.

Braised Pork in Adobo Sauce

Braised Pork in Adobo Sauce
Both pork shoulder and ribs are slow cooked in sherry and spices to create a most tender and flavorful dish.
Wine Pairing: 2009 Las Rocas Granacha

Creme Catalana with Winter Fruit Compote

Creme Catalana with Winter Fruit Compote
A baked custard with spices and orange zest.
Pairing: Dry Sherry