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

06/8/17

When Good Kids Cook Bad Food (and what to do about it)

teaching kids to cook

When Good Kids Cook Bad Food (and what to do about it)

Excerpt from: “The Home Chef’s Guide to Cooking with Kids.”
Coming Soon.

teaching kids to cookLearning to cook from a father who’s also a professional chef, isn’t always…fun.

I’m not talking about these television “stand and stir” celebrity chefs who smile, and make jokes, and have a team of cooking-college pukes doing all their mize off camera, either. I’m talkin’ about OLD SCHOOL chefs, the kind who viewed an 8oz steel ladle as a “tool of instruction”, if you know what I mean.

If you’ve ever cooked with me (and I apologize) try to imagine a guy who looks a lot like me, but with a hair-trigger temper, even less patience, and a MUCH more relaxed attitude toward profanity and volume.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my dad was a GREAT dad, he just wasn’t a very congenial teacher. I struggle with this myself (ask my wife about her one and only cooking lesson some time…) but I try to do a better job of keeping my emotions, and expectations, in check when working with my own daughter in the kitchen.

This morning was a good example…

The Pickle decided, as a celebration of the first day of summer vacation, that she was going to cook me breakfast. A lovely thing that happens more and more often these days. (Woo-Hoo!)

This morning she decided to make French-style scrambled eggs, a specialty of hers, but she got a little…exuberant…with the spices. WAY too much salt and pepper and, even on a burger roll, it was almost inedible.

 Want to help me feed hungry families, teach at-risk & special-needs kids to cook for themselves and their families, and change lives?

Become a patron!

Now, while my father would likely have just tossed the whole thing in the trash and told me to “do it right this time”, I paused, took a breath, and thought about the opportunities in the situation.

First (and it’s important that this be first) what was GOOD about the dish? Well, the eggs were cooked perfectly, exactly the light and fluffy consistency that I like. Likewise, the toast with exactly the right shade. Looking in the kitchen I could see that the ingredients had been put away, and the cookware, if not washed, had at least been moved to the sink, and the eggs were still hot when she served it.

These are all simple, but very important, elements of a finished dish, and I made sure to let her know that she’d done that right.

teaching kids to cook

1. Inspiration will always produce better results than fear.

teaching kids to cookWorking closely with at-risk kids, many of whom have never (literally) boiled water before, has taught me that fear and anxiety, which most of these kids are already dealing with, will do nothing but increase the likelihood of an injury or mistake. My personal philosophy is that the younger the child, the more praise and encouragement is required. Are they holding the spoon right?

Praise them!

Did they crack that egg without getting any (or very little) shell in it?

Praise them!

Do they just generally seem to have a good attitude and are willing to listen?

PRAISE THEM!

Basically, go watch a few episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, and do exactly the opposite!

You see, no one is born knowing how to cook, or enjoying the tasks required to do so. When we’re praised for something, the brain creates new neural pathways and releases endorphins and dopamine to the pleasure centers of the brain, increasing the likelihood that we will remember to do it THAT WAY again, because doing it THAT WAY makes us feel good.

teaching kids to cook

Negative feedback also creates these pathways, but as a warning NOT to do it that way, which may seem like a good thing, but it’s not. Negative feelings (or lack of dopamine reception) triggers the human flight response, because, on an instinctive level, it’s easier to just NOT do it again (run away), than to risk doing it wrong.

This is why a lot of people don’t “like” to cook…their brain tells them it’s going to make them feel bad, and so they should avoid it.

And, before you start asking, “If YOUR dad was so tough, why do YOU love to cook?” it’s because as much as Chef Frank could rant, and rail, and slam frying pans, he also knew how to PRAISE.

When I did something right, he made a big deal out of it, he bragged to others about it in front of me. I guess you could say he made me feel good MORE than he made me feel bad, and though (at least in my case) that might sometimes work, it’s a risky way to do things.

teaching kids to cook
Also, it’s important to remember that any time a child brings you something they’ve made, even a bowl of mashed bananas covered in powdered sugar, they’re offering you a part of themselves, they’re giving you a precious gift and trusting you with it, and their goofy little brains can’t always distinguish between you rejecting a SANDWICH, and you rejecting THEM.

BUT (and there’s always a big butt) as much as patience, and praise, and making it “feel good” are important, there are still absolutes in the kitchen, there are rules, and reasons for those rules, and it’s far easier to establish those from the beginning, than to try to add them in later.

We observe the safety rules: proper knife handling, bar mops in place for handling hot pans, appropriate clothing for cooking (protective of heat and splatters, not slip, foot-protecting shoes, nothing too loose or baggy that might catch fire, long hair pinned back, or under a cap, keeping our station free of clutter and dirty cookware to avoid accidents, etc.

o-MESSY-SINK-facebook
We understand that, outside of the professional kitchen, clean-up is part of the cook’s job.

Cookware is rinsed, dishwasher is filled, and counters and stove-tops are wiped down BEFORE we eat. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them to clean-up as they go. This is a habit that will make their whole life easier, inside and outside the kitchen.

Oh, and a modern-day tip on praise? Take pictures of your kids cooking and/or their finished dishes, and post them for your friends and family to see. To a 9y/o having another adult come up to them and say, “Wow, that omelet you made last week looked SO good!” is a really, really big deal.

2. Every mistake is a learning opportunity.

First of all, EVERYBODY makes a bad dish now and then. I’ve been cooking, personally and professionally for more than 4 decades, and I will still, on occasion, put out a stinker.

An important truth to remember is that, if you really want to master a craft, cooking or anything else, and you’re NOT making the occasional mistake…you’re not trying hard enough, and you’re not growing your skills. It’s been said, and I believe it, that “Good cooking comes from experience, and experience comes from bad cooking. Every mistake is a learning opportunity.

This morning’s eggs were an opportunity to reinforce three important cooking principles to my daughter:

a. Sometimes, less is more. Great cooking isn’t about a laundry list of spices and ingredients, it’s about knowing what to DO with them, and when. If the main ingredient is egg, you want that to be the dominate flavor, and not buried under a bunch of spices.

b. A smart chef under-seasons while cooking, and re-seasons before plating. Or, as my dad used to say, “It’s a hell of a lot easier to add more salt, than to take it back out!” Which leads to…

teaching kids to cookc. Always, always, ALWAYS taste your food as you go! First of all, it’s educational. If you’ve ever tasted a spoonful of beef bourguignon just on the heat, it’s a nasty, depressing thing.

But when you taste is again after hours of simmering and reducing, allowing the flavors to marry and the alcohol to cook off, you realize that there’s something transformative, almost magical, that you can do to raw ingredients when you understand certain techniques and when to use them.

No dish should ever be plated without a final tasting, and any adjustments required (if any) at that point.

Here are a couple of more tips:

1. Have a plan, and work the plan

Even when you’re having them start a dish from scratch, YOU, as the teacher, should already know exactly what needs to be done. Make sure you have all of the ingredients, the proper cookware, and anything else needed for the dish.

Make sure it’s something YOU know how to make, so you’re ready to step in with advice and guidance if things start to go off plan. Nothing is more discouraging to the learner than having to scrap a dish because they weren’t supplied with the right ingredients and tools. It’s like the old saying, “Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to!”

teaching kids to cook
2. Never teach in a rush, or under pressure

Trying to teach an 8y/o how to make turkey gravy when you’re cooking six other dishes and have a dozen family members showing up in two hours for Thanksgiving dinner is…bad. (And half those dishes should have been cooked days in advance…what were you thinking?”)

I kid, I kid…sorta.

Teaching, well…anything requires a calm, focused head, and getting frustrated and demonstrating that cooking is stressful and no fun, is the last thing you want to do. Teach when you have the energy, the positivity, and the TIME to do so. A smart chef knows when to order a pizza, too.

3. Then, always have a Plan B.

Speaking of pizza…what’s for dinner if that casserole catches fire, or a cup of salt is mistaken for a cup of sugar? Don’t make your child feel guilty for “ruining dinner, and NOW what are we going to eat???”

When the Pickle’s in charge of dinner, I know in advance that if the spaghetti turns into a solid ball of gluten, or the chicken gets immolated, there’s sandwich fixin’s, or omelet ingredients, or the phone number for the local delivery place, close at hand. Praise what went right, discuss what went wrong, and then laugh it off and go eat dinner.

How about you? Any nuggets of wisdom to add, either as the learner or the teacher, for encouraging a little chef?

Have FUN,

Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.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.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

05/15/16
MY KITCHEN Outreach Class

Great outreach class at Evergreen Middle School

MY KITCHEN Outreach Class

MY KITCHEN Outreach had an amazing morning, and made some new buddies, teaching this AWESOME group of kids at the Evergreen Middle School Life Skills Class how to make quesadillas! (Recipe below.)

MY KITCHEN Outreach Class

We discussed the basics of kitchen safety, and then the kids each assembled their own quesadillas, and we showed them how to cook them to crispy, golden-brown perfection.

MY KITCHEN Outreach Class
They were a hit!

MY KITCHEN Outreach Class
Thank you so much, Ginny Dias, Mike Seymour, and William H Johnson Jr for all your help, you are the bomb(s)!

Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

MY KITCHEN Outreach Class
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.

 

Ham & Cheese Quesadillas
MY KITCHEN Quesadillas
Serves 1-2

2 flour/corn blend soft tortillas
1/4 cup diced ham
1/2 cup shredded “Mexican-blend” cheese
1/4 cup bagged broccoli slaw
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Dash of salt & pepper

Toppings:
Simple guacamole (see our recipe here)
Mexican-style Crema (sour cream)
Shredded lettuce

Preheat a dry pan over medium heat. Lay one tortilla in the pan and let cook until just starting to color (1-2 minutes).

Flip the tortilla, and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 of the cheese, and then 1/2 of each of the remaining ingredients.

Cook until cheese has melted, then folk in half (tongs work better than spatula, but use what you’ve got). Repeat with second tortilla.

Cut in 1/2 or in 1/3’s and serve with crema, guacamole, and shredded lettuce.

04/20/16
South African Bunny Chow

Cook the World: South African Bunny Chow

South African Bunny Chow

As most of you know, my daughter Grace and I are working our away around the world (well, at least the map in my office) on a journey to cook a dish from all 257 countries. Each week she picks a country from the map and we research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try.

We shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while. We post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s about the recipes.

Last week, we visited Brazil and whipped up a nice pot of Moqueca, or Brazilian Fish Stew.

This week, we’re going take a look at the South Africa, “fast food” Bunny Chow. First of all, take a deep breath….there is no bunny in “bunny chow” 😉

South African Bunny Chow

IMG_8822 (768x1024)Bunny chow, often referred to as “a bunny”, is a hugely popular South African fast food dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry. One story has it that a people known as Banias (an Indian caste) first created the scooped-out bread and curry dish at a restaurant-cum-cafe called Kapitan’s on the corner of Victoria and Albert streets in Durban.

The dish was a means to serve take-out to excluded people as, during the apartheid regime, Indians were not allowed in certain shops and cafes, so the shop owners found a way of serving the people through back windows, etc. This was an easy and effective way to serve the workers.

Another story opines that the origin of this hand-held dish was due to Indian golf caddies not being allowed to carry cutlery during apartheid.

Regardless of its origins, this delicious snack can be found in hocker centers and street stands all over South Africa. Bunny chows are mainly eaten using the fingers; it is unusual to see locals use utensils when eating this dish, and it’s typically served to customers wrapped in the previous day’s newspaper.

IMG_8826 (729x1024)Bunny Chow
Ingredients
3 lbs beef shank (or beef cheek)
salt
2 Tbsp. Bombay curry powder
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
5 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tomatoes, diced
1/8 t cayenne
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/2 C water
1 lb cubed hash-brown potatoes
8 large dinner rolls

South African Bunny Chow

Salt beef shanks liberally, and coat with 2 tsps. curry powder. Wrap everything tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.

South African Bunny Chow

In a large sauté pan set over high heat, brown the beef in 3 tablespoons of butter.

Remove the beef to a plate and reserve, and return the pan to the stove.

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.

 

Add the remaining butter with the fat in the pan, lower the heat to medium, and sauté the onions.

Stir constantly, until the onions are completely soft and browned—about 15–20 minutes.

South African Bunny Chow

Add the ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom, fennel, and cumin to the pan, and sauté for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, cayenne, remaining curry powder, cinnamon, bay leaves, and water. Season with a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a simmer.

South African Bunny Chow

Drop the heat to low and add the browned beef. Cover and cook for 2 hours.

South African Bunny Chow

While the beef braises, pre-heat the oven 400°F. Roast the potatoes on baking sheet, until they turn a light shade of golden brown and are crispy..

South African Bunny Chow

After one and one-half hours, the tomatoes in the braise should have mostly collapsed into the sauce and the beef should be almost completely tender.

South African Bunny Chow

Add the potatoes to the curry braise and cook for another 45 minutes. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature and store for a week in the fridge.

South African Bunny Chow

When ready to serve, hollow out the center of each dinner roll, by pulling out large chunks of bread with your fingers. Leave enough bread so that the roll stays intact.

South African Bunny Chow

Fill the cavity with curry, top with Carrot Salad, and serve with the excavated chunks of bread on the side for dipping.

South African Bunny Chow

Carrot Salad

2 carrots, peeled, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ bunch coriander, chopped,
2 long green chilies (optional), finely chopped
1 tbsp white vinegar

Meanwhile, to make carrot salad, combine all ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

South African Carrot Salad

04/17/16
Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Cook the World: Moqueca – Brazilian Fish Stew

Moqueca – Brazilian Fish Stew

Cook the World

Moqueca Brazilian Fish StewApproximately once a week, my daughter Grace pick a country from the map and we research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.

We post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s about the recipe.

Last time, we visited Australia and roasted an Australian Sunday Lamb roast…it was SO good!

This time, we’re going down under to take a look at Brazil, and a very popular local fish/coconut soup, Moqueca.

NOTE: While the coconut and sauteed veggie flavors really sang in this dish, I wasn’t too impressed with the flavor (or lack of) in the white fish. I’ve read that some versions use salmon instead, and I’ll be trying that soon. Likely give it a quick pan-sear to add some caramelization.

Brazilian cuisine has European, African and Amerindian influences. It varies greatly by region, reflecting the country’s mix of native and immigrant populations, and its continental size as well. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences. Enslaved Africans also had a role in developing Brazilian cuisine, especially in the coastal states, which is where Moqueca originally developed.
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.

Brazilians have been making Moqueca for at least 300 years.The dish is usually seasoned with onion, tomatoes, coriander, chives, and olive oil.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew
Moqueca – Brazilian Fish Stew
Yield: Serves 4

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 cup chopped spring onion, or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
1 14-ounce can coconut milk

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew
Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew
 In a large covered pan (such as a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.)

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onion.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Use a large spoon to remove about half of the vegetables (you’ll put them right back in). Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish. Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then add back the previously removed vegetables, covering the fish.

Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.

Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.
Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice or with crusty bread.

Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.

04/12/16
Australian Roast Lamb Dinner

Cook the World: Recipe 5 ~ Australian Sunday Lamb

Australian Roast Lamb Dinner

IMG_8689 (800x600)Approximately once a week, my daughter Grace will pick a country from the map and we’ll research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We’ll shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.

We’ll post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s going to be about the recipes.

Last time, we visited The Philippines and tried our hand at Chicken Adobo…it was awesome!

This time, we’re going down under to take a look at Australia.

Aboriginal inhabitants were mainly hunter-gatherers, employing an array of light-weight techniques depending on habitat, rather than farming crops and domesticating animals in the way that European explorers were used to. English seafarer William Dampier observed in 1697, “The earth affords them [Aboriginals] no food at all. There is neither herb, root, pulse nor any sort of grain for them to eat that we saw.” Aboriginal cooking, to this day, involves little more that unseasoned animal protein cooking directly on or in a fire.

By the 1820s, Australian “squatters”  began taking advantage of the endless grazing to raise herd animals, relying heavily on beef, lamb, and, along the vast coastlines, an abundance of fish and seafood.

In the early 1900’s, With an increasing availability of eggs, butter, flour, sugar and the latest grocery items, the typical diet become more varied, but still focused a great deal on cheap meat, included shepherd’s pie and Irish stew.

The fanciest meal, reserved for midday on Sundays, was a baked dinner of lamb or beef and vegetables.

IMG_6270 (1024x641)

SUNDAY LAMB DINNER
Serves 4

  • (2.2 lbs) leg of lamb
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2.5 tsp of sea salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
  • Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 8 potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 white onions
  • 6-8 Radishes
  • 2 each Parsnips, beets

Leg of lamb American lamb board

A big thank you to the American Lamb Board, who provided this beautiful leg of lamb to us after attending the 2015 International Blogger’s Conference. Easily the best leg of lamb I’ve ever cooked with.

This lamb roast, considered to be the national dish of Australia, can be done in a kettle BBQ or a conventional oven.

Preheat the oven to 290F.

Cut the peeled potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips into inch-thick slices. Cut the onions into quarters and then place vegetables into a baking tray with trimmed radishes. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt.


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.


Australian Roast Lamb Dinner

Cover the lamb in olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt. Use the point of a sharp knife to make small incisions all over the lamb. Place the garlic slivers in the holes and tuck rosemary sprigs under netting.

Australian Roast Lamb Dinner

Place the lamb onto the baking tray with the vegetables beneath it to catch drippings.

Roast for 90 minutes. Test meat to see if it’s done by slicing it in the thickest part. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to rest. Cover lamb in foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Australian Roast Lamb Dinner

Slice and serve with potatoes, and remaining veggies.

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.

 

12/28/15
Traditional Filipino Recipes

Cook the World Project – Recipe 4: The Philippines

Filipino Adobo Chicken Recipe

This is our fourth post, as my eight-year old daughter and I continue our journey to cook our way around the world.

Approximately once a week, Grace will pick a country and we’ll research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We’ll shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.

We’ll post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s going to be about the recipes.

Last time, we visited Russia and tried the amazing (and amazingly filling) Chicken Kotletki.

6This week, Gracie stayed on the east side of the map and chose… The Philippines! Now, I have a lot of friends, and even a few family members who are Filipino, so I was pretty excited about this week.

A mixed cuisine of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American, Philippine cuisine has many outside influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate.

In 3200 BCE, Austronesians from the southern China Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Taiwan settled in the region that is now called the Philippines. They brought with them knowledge of rice cultivation and other farming practices which increased the number and variety of edible dish ingredients available for cooking.

Trade with the various neighboring kingdoms brought with it foods and cooking methods which are still commonly used in the Philippines today, such as Bagoong, Patis, Rendang, and the infusion of coconut milk in condiments. Through this trade, cuisine from as far away as India and Arabia enriched the palettes of the local Austronesians.

Spanish colonizers and friars in the 16th century brought with them produce from the Americas like chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and the method of sauteing with garlic and onions. Spanish and Mexican dishes were eventually incorporated into Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes usually being prepared for special occasions.

Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques, styles of cooking, and ingredients find their way into the country. [Wikipedia] Another common feature in Philippine cuisine comes in the a pairing of something sweet with something salty (such as our chicken and rice dishes, below), and results in surprisingly pleasing combinations. Vinegar is a common ingredient, as well.

MapThings we learned about The Philippines:

  • Cooking and eating in the Philippines has traditionally been an informal and communal affair centered around the family kitchen.
  • Filipinos traditionally eat three main meals a day: agahan (breakfast), tanghalían (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called meriénda.
  • Food tends to be served all at once and not in courses.
  • Unlike many of their Asian counterparts Filipinos do not eat with chopsticks. Due to Western influence, food is often eaten using flatware—forks, & knives.

8

After much deliberation, we settled on Filipino Adobo Chicken, Biko (sweet coconut rice), and Ginisang Sitaw (savory green beans) for dinner. Let me tell you, it was a HUGE hit!

Adobo is one of the most popular Filipino dishes and is considered unofficially by many as the national dish. It usually consists of pork or chicken, sometimes both, stewed or braised in a sauce usually made from vinegar, cooking oil, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and soy sauce. Adobo is popular not solely for its simplicity and ease of preparation, but also for its ability to be stored for days without spoiling, and even improve in flavor with a day or two of storage.

Chicken Adobo Recipe

PREP TIME : 15 minutes (+ 8 hours to marinade)
TOTAL TIME : 60 minutes

2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs
3 dried bay leaves
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
salt and whole peppercorn

Filipino Adobo Chicken Recipe

In a large container, combine the soy sauce and garlic then marinade the chicken for 5-8 hours

Place the cooking oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough, add the marinated chicken (drained), and cook it on all the sides for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned.

Pour-in the remaining marinade, add water, and bring to a boil

Add the bay leaves and peppercorns, and simmer until the chicken is tender (about 30 minutes). Add the vinegar, stir, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt. De-bone and chop the chicken (optional).

Stir and serve.

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.

 

Biko

PREP TIME : 5 minutes TOTAL TIME : 45 minutes

  • 2 cups sticky rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar

Wash the rice, set in a pot and add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed by the rice (it should be a little under-cooked). In another pan over medium heat, dissolve the brown sugar in the coconut milk.

Filipino Biko Recipe

Let it simmer until thick, then add the cooked rice and mix until it all reaches a very thick consistency.

Filipino Biko Recipe

Spread the sticky sweet rice and flatten evenly. Keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Cut in squares and serve.

Filipino Biko Recipe

Ginisang Sitaw RecipeGinisang Sitaw Recipe

PREP TIME : 5 minutes TOTAL TIME : 30 minutes

  • 1 bunch string beans; trimmed
  • 1 medium tomato, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onion, and tomato. Add the fish sauce, sprinkle the ground black pepper, and stir.

Add the string beans and stir gently. Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes.

Stir to distribute the ingredients, and serve.

Ginisang Sitaw Recipe

 

11/12/15

Cook the World ~ Russian Chicken Kotletki with Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce & Sweet Cabbage Salad

This is our third post, as my six-year old daughter and I continue our journey to cook our way around the world.

Approximately once a week, Grace will pick a country and we’ll research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We’ll shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.

We’ll post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s going to be about the recipes.

Russian Chicken KotletkiFebruary 16th, 2014

Last time, we visited the Hawaiian Islands for one of my all-time favorite foods: Salmon Poke. This week, Gracie went for that big orange country at the top of the map…Russia!

Russia is by area the largest country in the world, with a hugely diverse cuisine, so it would be nearly impossible to chose a single dish that would represent all of it. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish, poultry, game, cabbage, berries, and honey.

Additionally, Russia cuisine enjoys a plethora of breads, pancakes, cereals, beer and, of course, the ubiquitous Russian vodka.

Mushrooms are also a huge part of Russian cuisine and they are included in just about every way possible. With the addition of sour cream and fresh dill, the flavor profile of this week’s dish is classic Russian.

Here are some things we learned about Russia:

~ Russia is so big that it includes 11 time zones. At its easternmost point, Russia is only about 50 miles from Alaska.

~ In the city, most people live in high-rise apartments. The apartments are small and some families share kitchens or bathrooms.

~ A traditional Russian meal consists of fish, potatoes, vegetables and bread. Fresh meat and vegetables were once very hard to get, but new trade agreements have increased the supply.

~ Only about 10% of the land in Russia can be used for farming because of the cold. The largest crops grown are potatoes, barley, and wheat.

Russian Chicken Kotletki


Chicken Kotletki with Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce & Sweet Cabbage Salad
Serves 4

4 cups cooked long grain rice, hotRussian Chicken Kotletki
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken*
2 Tbsp. butter
16 oz button mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
thyme
salt, pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon flour
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced

Mise en Place

Cube chicken (equal parts white and dark meat), clean and quarter mushrooms, chop onion and celery. Mince garlic and dill.

Need some help with your chopping, dicing, and mincing? See this post.

*You can bake your own chicken or use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for this dish.

Russian Chicken Kotletki

Prepare the Dish

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic, and thyme (whole stalk). Season with salt and pepper. Add flour, mix well, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and sour cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook ten minutes to thicken.

3Stir in the cooked chicken and stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let rest, off heat, 10 minutes. Remove thyme stem.

Sprinkle Kotletki with fresh dill, and serve over hot rice, with cabbage salad.

Sweet Cabbage Salad

The sweet-tart, acidic component to this salad pairs perfectly with the rich, luxurious mushroom sauce in the Kotletki.

1 half a small head of cabbage
2 small cucumbers
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
1 medium yellow bell pepper
8 radishes
1 apple
fresh herbs (scallions, dill, parsley)
2-3 Tbsp. sunflower oil
2-3 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
salt, pepper, to taste

Shred cabbage. Julienne cukes, carrots, and bell pepper. Slice celery, apple, and radishes (thin). Mince herbs.

For the dressing: Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and whisk to combine.

Toss veggies with dressing and serve immediately, or chill up to 1 hour.

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.

 

11/5/15

Cook the World Project – Recipe 2: Hawaiian Poke

8

This is our second post, as my six-year old daughter and I begin our journey to cook our way around the world.

Salmon poke recipeApproximately once a week, Grace will pick a country and we’ll research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We’ll shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.

We’ll post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s going to be about the recipes.

Last week, we cooked up a delicious pot of “osh” from Uzbekistan.

Hawaiian RecipesThis week Gracie picked one of our families favorite places in the world…The Hawaiian Islands.

Grace has only been there once, and she was still hanging out inside mom’s tum, so she’s really looking forward to seeing more of the sights our next trip.

Oh, and despite the fact that it’s not exactly it’s own country, I’m going to side with the justification that it once was, and stick with that story…my blog, my rules.

As soon as she picked Hawaii, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. As good as my kalua pork is, I had to go with my very favorite dish. Luckily, the kiddo concurred… poke. (don’t worry, I can promise you, there will be more than one recipe from the islands, Spam Musubi comes immediately to mine.)

Salmon Poke

Poke (poke-a) is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Pokē is the Hawaiian verb for “to slice or cut”. Native Hawaiians have always eaten poke, and it should not be confused with raw fish dishes such as ceviche which use vinegar or citrus juice to “cure” the fish.

For centuries, Hawaiian fishermen cut their catch of raw fish into cubes and seasoned it with whatever ingredients they had. Modern versions make use of seasonings brought by the many different cultures of the Islands, such as soy sauce, onions, tomatoes, and chilies. Poke is so common in the Hawaiian culture, that you can stop at a local grocery store and choose from several freshly made varieties.

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.

 

Now, I’m from Oregon and I’m a fisherman…so I love my salmon. Fresh and firm, in poke it plays perfectly against the crunch of the raw onions. The combination of the furikake seasoning and the shoyu (soy) sauce gives a perfect contrast of sweet, salty, and savory…my favorite combination. Add in just enough red pepper flakes to command your respect without overwhelming the delicate flavor of the salmon, and…well, it’s worth a plane ticket to Oahu!

Things we learned about Hawaii:

  1. Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee.
  2. The largest contiguous ranch, in the United States, is in Hawaii. The Parker Ranch near Kamuela has about 480,000 acres of land.
  3. The big island of Hawaii is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.
  4. Sea salt was the most common seasoning in ancient Hawaii. It was often mixed together with roasted and mashed kukui nuts and seaweed and was called inamona.
  5. Hawaii residents consume the most Spam per capita in the United States. Spam is so popular in Hawaii that it is sometimes referred to as “The Hawaiian Steak.”

Furikake Salmon Pokē

  • 1 pound sushi grade salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbs sea salt
  • 1 Tbs crushed red chili flakes (opt)
  • 2 Tbs furikake rice seasoning
  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Salmon Poke

Remove pin bones from salmon fillet. See detailed instructions in this post.

removing pin bones from salmon

Cut salmon fillet into sections, and, sliding a very sharp knife along the bottom of the steak, remove the skin, and cube the meat.

Removing skin from salmon

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Salmon poke recipe

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

So awesome!

furikake1Furikake

You can get Furikake seasoning at most any Asian market, or try your hand at making your own.

Homemade Furikake Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sea salt, to taste
  • 3 sheets nori (that stuff you wrap around sushi rolls)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons bonito flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet to medium high.

Pour in the sesame seeds and shake to distribute evenly over the surface of the skillet.

Toast, shaking occasionally, until the seeds are fragrant. Immediately pour the seeds into a dry, clean bowl to cool and stir in the sea salt. Allow to cool completely before proceeding.

Use kitchen shears cut the nori into 1-inch strips. Stack the strips and cut cross-wise into very thin strips over the bowl of sesame seeds.

Use the kitchen shears again to roughly cut up the bonito flakes.

Add the sugar and stir all ingredients together, then transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid.

This is ready to use immediately but can be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for up to two months.