04/10/17

An elegant (and easier) Easter Dinner!

Easter leg of lamb dinner


 

Easter dinner should feel like a special occasion, one might even say a holiday!

So why should you have to spend hours and hours slaving away in the kitchen, while the rest of your friend’s and family are hangin’ out?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start cooking a little on Thursday, and spread the work out over the next three days?

Well…you can!


 
The Menu: Reverse Seared Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin Strawberry Spinach Salad Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat

This SimplySmartDinnerPlans special menu features a succulent roast leg of lamb with a simple, savory, and delicious pan-reduction sauce, a decadent gratin that bakes alongside the lamb, and a bright and beautiful spinach and strawberry salad.

 A sumptuous (and fun to say) Pots de Crème au Chocolat finishes off a meal that sure to impress, while still allowing you to spend more time with the ones you love. Just remember, these ingredients (see list below) were not included in your weekly shopping list, so you’ll need to swap out a meal if you want to do this.

Okay, here’s the plan…(all recipes, below…) Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb (Prep on Sunday, Cook on Sunday) The leg of lamb takes just over two hours to cook but doesn’t require much attention during that time. Put it in the oven in the afternoon, and you’ll be free to go about other tasks until you take it out and make the sauce just before dinner. Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin (Prep on Saturday, Cook on Sunday) The gratin can be assembled up to one day ahead. Cover and chill it, then take it out of the fridge when you put the lamb in the oven (so it can stand at room temperature for one hour). When the lamb has roasted for one hour and it’s time to uncover it, place the gratin in the oven alongside the roasting pan so both dishes can cook at the same time. 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.

Strawberry Spinach Salad (Prep on Thursday, Assemble on Sunday) The base for the vinaigrette—the vinegar, sugar, and oil—can be mixed together up to three days ahead. Chill it, covered, then let it stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before tossing it with the salad.

Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat (Cook on Friday) Before our present obsession with chocolate mousse, lovers of French cooking were filling individual porcelain pots with intensely rich, dense chocolate custard.

Oh, and if you’re looking for simply (and simple) stupendous make-ahead breakfast/brunch for Easter morning, check out Nana’s Chili Egg Puff!

SUNDAY SCHEDULE (We always serve around 4pm, adjust this schedule to your own liking.)

12:30pm Rub lamb and leave on counter to come to temp 1:30pm Lamb in oven 2:30pm Potato Gratin in oven 3:30pm Lamb out of oven to rest, make pan sauce 3:40: Assemble toss, and chill salad 3:55pm Slice lamb and plate 4:00pm Serve

RECIPES

Reverse grilled leg of lamb Easter

Reverse Seared Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb Serves up to 12, with leftovers. 1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 pounds) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 8 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper Sauce: 1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 cups diced onions 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup red wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using your hands, rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice. Pat the garlic and rosemary evenly all over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place the lamb in a roasting pan. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 hour longer for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone.)

If possible, pull from the heat at around 140F, and finish on the grill over hot coals (toss a few springs of rosemary on the fire, for an extra punch.)

Remove lamb from pan, or grill,  and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Position the roasting pan over your stove burners. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan, and stir to combine with pan drippings. Add chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any fond (that’s a fancy chef word for those yummy brown bits that stick to the bottom of your roasting/frying pan). Reduce over high heat until sauce consistency. Strain before serving, if desired.

Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

Serve with warmed soft rolls (I like potato rolls) and plenty of sweet cream butter.

Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin 4 Servings 1 pound Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, sliced very thinly 1 leek, white parts only, well-washed and cut into thin rings 1/2 pound asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 1/2 cups cream salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste pinch freshly-grated nutmeg 1 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/2 cup grated good-quality Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the potato slices, leek rings, and asparagus pieces. Add the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally and very gently with a rubber spatula so the potato slices don‘t fall apart, over medium-high heat until the cream boils.

Pour mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate until ready to cook. (at 400F)

Removed foil, Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven around 40 minutes until top is bubbly and golden, and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes. The dish will thicken slightly as it cools.

 Strawberry Spinach Salad Strawberry Spinach Salad 4 Servings 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon minced onion 10 ounces fresh spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces 1 quart strawberries – cleaned, hulled and sliced 1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Pots de Creme Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat 4 Servings

Although this marvelous dessert looks very sophisticated, there is no great secret to success. Just start with the right kind of small, heatproof cups and a good-quality French, Swiss or Belgian bittersweet chocolate.

Mix the ingredients following the recipe instructions precisely, then strain the mixture to rid it of any lumps. Baking the filled pots in a water bath provides the gentle, moist heat the custard needs to thicken properly.

1 cup heavy cream 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces 3 egg yolks 2 Tbs. sugar 1 to 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Have a pot of boiling water ready.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and well blended. Let cool slightly.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Using a whisk, beat until pale yellow and thick enough to fall from the whisk in a lazy ribbon, about 5 minutes.

Slowly stir in the warm chocolate cream and add the vanilla extract, to taste.

Place six 1/4-cup pot de crème pots with lids or ramekins in a baking pan. Pour the chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the pots or ramekins, dividing it evenly. Pour boiling water into the baking pan to a depth of 1 inch. Cover the pots with their lids or the ramekins with a single sheet of aluminum foil. Bake until the custards are just set at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. They should still tremble slightly.

Remove the baking pan from the oven. Place the pots or ramekins on a wire rack, remove the lids or aluminum foil and let cool at room temperature. When cool, cover again and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

SHOPPING Meat 1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 pounds) Produce 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 cloves garlic, finely minced 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 cups diced onions 1 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, sliced very thinly 1 leek, white parts only, well-washed and cut into thin rings 1/2 pound asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 tablespoon minced onion 10 ounces fresh spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces 1 quart strawberries – cleaned, hulled and sliced Seasonings/Baking 2 Tbs. sugar 1 to 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste pinch freshly-grated nutmeg 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1/2 cup white sugar 1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered Canned/Boxed/Bottled/Other 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup red wine 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar Dairy 2 1/2 cups cream 1/2 cup grated good-quality Gruyere cheese 1/4 lb sweet cream butter, softened Other 3 egg yolks 8-12 potato rolls Easter Wine and Beef Pairings Beverage pairings: A subtle Merlot or a firm, acidic Sauvignon Blanc would be nice wine options with this menu. For beer, look towards an American pale ale. Enough hops to cut through the fat without overpowering, and the fruitiness will go well with the gaminess of the lamb. A Belgian pale would bring more sweetness, and spicyness from the yeast and hop.

Personally, I like a thick, inky porter, with just about any red meat…but that’s just me.

04/7/17

Chicken Georgia with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

 

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This is one of my favorite comfort-food dishes.  Creamy, umami, and enough veggies to keep the guilt away. I’m not, typically, a big fan of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts…but this is the kind of recipe that’s the exception to the rule!

Enjoy,

Chef Perry

Chicken Georgia with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower & Green Salad

Chicken Georgia (4a)
Active Time: 5 min.                                                   Total Time: 35 min.


  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pinch ea. salt & black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 4 tsp. flour
  • 2 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pre-bagged salad

Toss the salad with dressing, and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon.

Dust chicken with flour and add to the pan. Cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. Transfer chicken to platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Return the veggie mixture to the pan with drippings, add a teaspoon or two of hot water, and whisk to create your pan sauce.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving or just until the cheese has melted, top with mushroom sauce.

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.

 

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (4b)
Active Time: 15 min.                                                     Total Time: 21 min.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 3 tsp. cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 dash ea. salt & black pepper
  • 3 tsp. butter

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.

Place rinsed cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl. No additional water is needed! Cover the bowl with microwave safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent. Microwave on high for four minutes.

In a food processor (or with a good old fashioned potato masher), puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper until almost smooth.

Serve hot with pats of butter (opt.)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

IMG_3999Check out many more recipe, and next level techniques in my new book, “The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen!”

Part syllabus, part autobiography, part call-to-arms, The Home Chef is about the rapidly evolving landscape of cooking in America, and how to cook real food, the best food possible, in your own kitchen, and more importantly…why you should.

Filled with insider tips and tricks from the professional kitchen, hundreds of links and resources to (free) professional level education, and easy to follow instructions from a professional cooking instructor…

Everything you need, and nothing you don’t, to take your own culinary creations to the next level, while saving time, money, and waste doing so.

The Home Chef: Transforming the American Kitchen is culinary school for the home cook.

03/9/16
Deconstructed California Roll

Deconstructed California Roll Salad

Deconstructed California Roll

Okay, let’s face it…some folks love to make sushi. Rolling perfect cylinders with their little bamboo mats, slicing perfect rings with their razor sharp Yanagibas (sushi knifes), and topping them with brightly-colored little garnishes of this and that.

Some of us, however, just love to EAT sushi.

And no sushi is more ubiquitous to the Western sushi-bar than California Roll.

Califoria Roll with Tobiko

California Roll with Tobiko from FISHES restaurant, Cannon Beach, Oregon

First appearing in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the California Roll is a maki-zushi, a kind of sushi roll, usually made inside-out, containing cucumber, crab meat or imitation crab, and avocado.

Though there are many variations of additional ingredients, these are the “mainstay” of the California roll.

As one of the most popular styles of sushi in the US market, the California Roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularity


Ichiro Mashita, a sushi chef, first substituted avocado for toro (fatty tuna) in hope that removing the raw fish would make it more palatable to Western customers, and realized the oily texture of avocado was a perfect substitute for toro. He also made the roll “inside-out” (with the rice on the outside), because Americans didn’t like seeing and chewing the nori on the outside of the roll.

By the 1980s, the California Roll was the single most popular item in the sushi craze that was sweeping across the United States.

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.

 

This recipe allows for the same flavors and textures of the traditional California roll, without requiring the skills or equipment necessary to create the more familiar rolled presentation, with Furikake seasoning replacing the traditional nori (seaweed sheets).

Furikake seasoning can be found in Asian grocery stores, or can be ordered from our Amazon.com store.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

Deconstructed California Roll Salad

1 batch sushi rice (recipe below), room temp.
2 Tbsp. Furikaki seasoning
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 small cucumber
8 oz. imitation crab or lobster
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
Pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for serving (opt)

Mise en Place

Prepare the rice (recipe below). Peel, seed, and cut cucumber into half-rounds. Break imitation crab into bite-sized portions. Peeled and pit the avocado, and slice 1/4-inch thick.

Prepare the Dish

Divide the cooled rice between two plates, and sprinkle with 1/2 of the Furikaki seasoning and 1/2 of the toasted sesame seeds. Top with crab, cucumber, and avocado, the sprinkle with remaining Furikaki seasoning and sesame seeds.

Serve immediately with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce (all optional).

Sushi Rice

1 cup sushi or short grain rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt

Rinse rice in a mixing bowl 2 to 3 times, or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 1 cup of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture.

Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.

Makes 2 cups

 

 

05/16/15

Bigger and better things…

MY KITCHEN Outreach Van

Apologies for my lack of Photoshop skills, but you get the idea! :)

SimplySmartDinnerPlans “MY KITCHEN” Outreach is growing…and that’s a great thing!

The more we grow, the more ministries and outreach programs we can partner with to teach at-risk kids to cook healthy, and the more hungry kids and families we can feed!

Unfortunately, our growth has also brought about the demise of the old mini-van we used to haul all of the gear we need to set up classes, kitchens, deliver food, etc.

So, it’s time to move on to better, and much bigger means of transportation…a MY KITCHEN cargo van!

Many of you have been asking how you can help, or donate towards this project, so I’ve created this GoFundMe page to help you do just that.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and generosity, every dollar is appreciated and no gift is too small!

Also: every single penny that’s donated will go directly towards the purchase and set-up of the van. If there are any leftover monies, they will be placed in the general outreach fund, to be used for future classes.

Thank you very much!

Chefs Perry, Terry & Chris
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program

PSClick this link to learn more about the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, and while you’re there, be sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter full of great cooking tips, and delicious recipes!

MY KITCHEN Outreach Program

12/4/14

SimplySmartDinnerPlans Christmas Feast!

As you know, we’re all about meal plans here at SimplySmartDinnerPlans, and for many of us the meal we most look forward to each year is Christmas dinner.

So, as our way of saying thank you to all of our amazing subscribers, we’ve put together a next-level free Christmas Feast plan for you this holiday season!

The Christmas Feast in available in our Classic, Heart & Healthy (diabetic friendly) and Gluten Free options, just like they standard weekly menu, and includes detailed recipes, a shopping list, and cooking timelines for a holiday table that’s stress-free and sure to please!

As always, you can easily mix-and-match recipes on the shopping list, and prepare just those dishes that fit your own feast!

Christmas Dinner Meal Plan

The Menu:

~ Porcini Prime Rib ~
~ Onion Mushroom Gravy ~
~ Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes ~
~ Onion Mushroom Gravy ~
~ Stephanie’s 60-Second Brussels Sprouts ~
~ Brie en Croute* ~
~ Asparagus & Zucchini Crudite ~
~ Easy Cranberry Pie ~
~ Tom & Jerry Cocktail ~

*Replaced on our gluten-free menu with Christmas Panettone Bread

How do I get the Christmas Feast Meal Plan?

Chef Perry's Porcini Prime RibIf you’re already a SimplySmartDinnerPlans subscriber, you don’t have to do anything! Starting today, the Christmas Meal Plans will be available for download on the Members Only page of the website, just like the standard weekly plans. You can download one, or all, of them, any time. The Members Only Page monthly password is listed in each Friday’s newsletter.

If you’re not a subscriber yet, well…sign up here! After all, membership is free…what have you got to lose?

We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Remember, when you sign up for SimplySmartDinnerPlans, you not only save time, save money, and eat healthier, you helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!

From all of us at SimplySmartDinnerPlans, we wish you and your family a joyous (and delicious) Christmas, and an amazing new year!

-Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris

 

06/19/14

Cheese & Wine – The Perfect Pair

Peanut butter and jelly. Soup and salad. Pizza and beer. There are many great pairings in the world of food, but cheese and wine might be the greatest of them all. Check out this infographic from Cabot Creamery Cooperative and see what cheeses perfectly compliment your favorite wines. Trust us, your tastebuds will thank you.

Also be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get other delicious meal ideas and food pairing tips straight to your inbox!

 -Chef Perry

perfect wine and cheese pairings
Presented By Cabot Creamery

05/5/14

Choosing a New Grill: How Much Grill Do You Need?

Summer’s coming….and that means grill season! Father’s Day cookouts, graduation parties, 4th of July shindigs…the good weather/good food list goes on and on!

If you’re looking for your first grill, a new grill for a new space, or it’s just time to replace ol’ faithful… make sure you’re investing in a grill that will make your time outdoors a bit more memorable.

In a good way.

Finding the right grill for your particular lifestyle can be a challenge and there are many options to choose from. With so many choices out there it can be tough to narrow down your search and, before you know it, you’re staring blankly at your 200th website, in a full-blown Google-coma.

Never fear…if you keep a few simple things in mind, both the process of shopping for and buying your next grill should be much easier.

If I could only have one grill, year-around, I would go with propane. You can use wood pellets, chips, or chunks to get that smoke flavor, and, for the typical backyard griller, the conveniences all fall on the side of gas.

Most grills fall into one of three price ranges: 

Entry-level Grills:

These grills are your basic work-horse. One or two burners, a grate, and a lid. Cost is reasonable, starting at around a hundred, and moving up into the three-hundred-dollar range. In this class you’re not likely to find a lot of bells and whistles like rotisseries, or off-set burners. If you’re an occasional griller, single or with a small family, this is probably a good place to start.

Inexpensive doesn’t mean you want to buy junk. I’m a big believer in the “wiggle test”. Place you hand at one corner of the grill and give it a gentle shake. If there’s a lot of shimmyin’ and shakin’ going on… it’s probably not very well built, and you might want to keep looking.

Mid-level Grills:

These are a bit more expensive, but offer more features than the entry-level gas grill. Prices from three hundred fifty to around a thousand dollars. In this range you’re starting to look at long-term grills, built to withstand heavier use, and including multi-control burners and some of those “convenience features” we just talked about.

This type of grill will typically handle anything that the griller of a medium to large family is going to throw at it.

Deluxe Grills:

The cream of the crop! Starting at around fifteen-hundred, and going up, and up, and up.

These high-end grills often feature big BTU ratings (BTU stands for British thermal unit, which indicates the amount of gas that a grill is able to burn, which corresponds to how much heat it can put out), enough cooking space to feed the whole team, and enough high-tech hardware to launch the space-shuttle. If you like to throw parties, and do some high-volume grilling…and you’ve got the swag, well…life is short!

One guy’s opinion…I’ve owned a LOT of grills over the years, and when it comes to gas grills it’s always best in the long run to choose an established manufacturer in order to get a quality product. This is one of those cases where you really do get what you pay for.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans

04/21/14

Old Fashioned Russet Potato Pie

Russet Potato Pie

This is a favorite from my childhood, and my father’s Southern roots, it was always part of our Thanksgiving meal plan.

If you’re making this dish after a holiday, like maybe Easter, and you have some leftover baked ham, sprinkle 1/2 cup of finely chopped ham between each layer, and use some sharp or extra sharp cheddar (Cabot Cheese makes favorite aged white cheddar) to turn this yummy side dish into an amazing entree!

Old Fashioned Russet Potato Pie
1 9″ pie crust
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cube of butter
1 cup heavy cream
Salt
Black Pepper
Granulated garlic
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or other white cheese
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
2 cups chopped ham (optional)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Combine cheeses and set aside.

Peel and slice potatoes as thinly as possible. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil and blanch the potatoes for 5-6 minutes. Drain, and place potatoes an ice-water bath to stop cooking. Drain and spread on paper towels. Pat dry.

Russet Potato PieArrange 1/3 of potato rounds, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles in the bottom of the pie crush; sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and garlic, then 1/3 of the parsley and thyme, and 1/4 cup of cheese blend. Dot with teaspoons of butter, and pour 1/4 cup cream over all.

Repeat layering 2 more times with remaining potato, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, cheese, and cream. Pour remaining cream over all, and top with remaining cheese.

(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!)

Bake gratin until golden on top and potatoes are very tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. If the pie crust becomes too brown, cover with edges with a ring of foil.

Let potato pie rest 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com



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04/17/14

Tips & Recipes for an Amazing Easter Dinner (and leftovers!)

It’s almost Easter!

Here are some of the best recipes, menus, and leftovers tips we’ve put together over the last few years…

Just click on the picture to view each post!

Happy Easter!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

Lamb Easter Dinner

Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb, Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat.

Easter Ham Dinner

Honey Baked Ham with Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans

Reheating Turkeys and Hams

Reheating Turkeys and Hams

Leftover Easter Egg Recipes

Leftover Easter Egg Recipes

03/7/14

What’s New at Hautemealz

1551712_719287194762404_1321413378_nHey everyone,

We’ve seen some big changes to hautemealz.com since we launched our 2.0 initiative on January first, and the feedback has been awesome. We’re so glad to hear how you’re enjoying the expanded menu options each week.

But, as the old saying goes…you ain’t see nuthin’ yet!

One of the challenges that we’ve had in the past is that the name “hautemealz”, because of its pronunciation and spelling, is difficult for folks to remember, doesn’t play well in audio marketing, and does not convey a clear meaning of what we offer – many folks still assume that we deliver “hot meals” to their door!

ILP1Also, as we do more and more community outreach, and other food-related adventures, we want to make sure that we’re not muddling the message by having “all of our eggs in one basket” (and under one name).

So, after much consideration, and input from several top marketing professionals, we’ve decided it’s time to re-brand ourselves.

As part of this re-branding phase of 2.0, we started working on some new business name ideas.  We came up with 20-plus snappy titles, narrowed those down to our top half-dozen, and then submitted those to some of our amazing friends in the marketing and promotions fields.

The new name had to clearly define the purpose of our meal plans – quickness, nutritional value, and ease of use –  be easy to spell, and easy to remember.

What we came up with (and are VERY excited about) is…

SSDP NEW LOGO tweaked

Is that what we do, in a nutshell, or what?

As you can see, we’re keeping the hautemealz.com name and style…but it will become the “umbrella” over our various culinary projects.

Under that umbrella are SimplySmartDinnerPlans (the weekly recipes, shopping list, blog, and helpline), as well as our local private chef services, personal tutoring and workshops, and our community outreach programs (to be named soon) as well as whatever else the future brings.

cleaning retroSo, all of that to say…please pardon our dust, over the next few weeks, as we start shifting our branding of the meal plans to the new format, but never fear…Terry, Chris, and I will still be here for you, and we will remain “the chefs at hautemealz.com!”

Also, please feel free to share the news with anyone and everyone you know who’s life might be made a little easier with dinner plans that are, well…”Simply Smart!”

What do you think?

-Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans

PS – Just to say thank you, for reading to the end...here’s a yummy (and super-simple) dessert, just for you! Our “Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pot de Creme!”

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