Simple Poached Salmon with Lemon-Parsley Orzo

Simple Poached Salmon

Chef Chris and I had a great time doing cooking demos at last night’s “Ladies Night” event at the Portland Sportsman’s Warehouse, supporting Royal Family Kid’s Camps!

The turnout was awesome, and we enjoyed the opportunity to show folks a great, almost full-proof way to prepare a delicate, moist, and delicious salmon dish, regardless of their level of cooking experience.

As promised, here are the recipes!

Chef Perry

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Simple Poached Salmon
4 five-ounce salmon fillets
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste

3Season the salmon pieces with salt and set aside. Choose a heavy pan just large enough to fit the salmon snugly in one layer and add the wine, tarragon, and just enough water to come halfway up the salmon pieces (but do not add the salmon yet).

Season with a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, immediately turn the heat to very low so it’s barely simmering. Add the fish pieces and cook for 3 1/2 minutes (add an extra minute or two if using steaks), then carefully turn the pieces over and cook for 3 minutes more to finish. Ensure that the water never gets hot enough to boil.

Remove the fish pieces to a warm plate then turn the heat to high to reduce the liquid by half. Whisk in the butter and season to taste with salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with a little chopped parsley.

Orzo with Lemon and Parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
3/4 lbs orzo (cooked)
1 lemon, juice & zest
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley
salt freshly ground pepper

4Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.

In a small Dutch oven over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the cooked orzo, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper until well mixed.

Transfer the orzo to a serving bowl and serve warm.


Au Gratin Breakfast Haystacks

Au Gratin Haystacks

Next time you make scalloped potatoes, or potatoes au gratin, and have leftovers (I know, that doesn’t happen often at my house either, so I make a bigger batch on purpose)…save the extra for my Au Gratin Haystacks the next morning.

Super easy to make, just heat equal parts butter and oil (about 1 tbsp. each) – I like grapeseed oil – in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a heaping serving spoon of room temp leftover potatoes au gratin to the hot oil.

I’ll usually zap them for a quick minute first to get the chill from the fridge off of them.

Let the potatoes fry for a few seconds, then press down gently with a spatula until flattened a bit. The crisper you want it, the flatter it needs to be.

Personally, I still like some soft potatoes in the middle.

Fry until golden brown and crisp, then flip and fry the second side. Serve with a sunny-side up, or over-easy egg on top, along with your pig-parts of choice.

Lovely stuff!

-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.


Home Chef Cookbooks


Easy Southern Greens

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m originally from the south, and I love my southern food. One of my favorite is greens and ham.

Served as a side dish with ribs, fried chicken or catfish, you name it, I love it!

Easy Greens RecipeHere’s a super-simple recipe I whipped up the other night. As I didn’t have a handy ham-hock, I substituted by using some Better Than Bullion ham base.

Now, I love BTB, but I’d never used the ham flavor before…lemme tell ya…it’s awesome!

Turned out one of the best batched of greens I’ve ever made, and I didn’t have to cook it 8 hours to get the hocks to cook down.  For this dish I used a combination of kale and red chard…lovely stuff. Oh, and I cooked up a HUGE batch, so if that looks like a lot of bacon in the photos…it is.

If you want a real taste of the south, but are pressed for time, I definitely recommend this recipe…look for it on an upcoming hautemealz meal plan!


Chef Perry

Greens8Easy Southern Greens

Serves 4
4 slices thick bacon
1-2 lbs greens (collard, kale, chard, or a mix)
1 tsp. black pepper
4 cups water
5 tsp. Better than Bullion Ham Base

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes for an extra zing.
1/2 cup chopped white onions
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Hot sauce

(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!)

Mise en Place

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Rinse greens thoroughly, remove tough ribs and stems, and chop leaves. Cut stems into 1 inch pieces. Combine water and ham base to make ham broth. Chop onions. Slice bacon.

Prepare the Dish


Cook the bacon in a skillet until the fat renders and bacon becomes translucent. (Do not drain!)


Transfer bacon and dripping to a large pot over medium heat, add the onions and cook until softened.

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Add greens, stems, pepper flakes (optional), pepper, and ham broth.


Simmer over over medium heat for 45-60 minutes.

Serve greens drained (or not) with minced onion, vinegar and Tabasco, if desired. You can also add a splash of red wine vinegar of hot sauce (or both!)

LikkerPS – Half of the awesomeness of southern-style greens is the potlikker.

Potlikker is the amazingly flavorful broth of the ham stock and cooked down greens. You definitely want some crusty bread or (preferably) a good  savory cornbread to mop it up.

Only a “damnyankee” would throw out the potlikker!


Dicing, blanching, and peeling tomatoes

tomatoes-638x638Heyya hauties!

It’s summer, and that means tomato season!

Now’s the time to hit your Farmer’s Markets and get your ‘maters at the peak of juicy, delicious ripeness.

Next week’s meal plans have tomatoes in several recipes, and a couple of them require some special preparation. So, I popped into the hautemealz.com test kitchen, and whipped up a couple of quick and simple “how to” videos to show you how easy it really is to dice, blanch, and peel tomatoes.

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow our YouTube channel, so you don’t miss a single video…we have some great ones coming up!


-Chef Perry

How to Dice a Tomato

A very simple, safe method of dicing a tomato for the home cook.

Peeling a Tomato

Simple instructions of blanching and peeling tomatoes


Crazy easy light and fluffy omelet! (video)

OmeletHere’s a classic French-style omelet, ala Julie Child, that’s super fast, super simple, and super delicious!

You can make it with just eggs, as I do here, or incorporate some of your favorite ingredients (ham or bacon, fresh chopped veggies, sauteed onions or mushrooms, cheese, etc), just before you start flippin’!

Have a great breakfast!

Chef Perry


Sweet Cranberry Brie Puff Pastries

Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Recipe

This is one of those “happy accident” dishes. I’d intended to make my traditional baked brie, which is wrapped in puff pastry sheets before baking, then slices and eaten with crackers.

When I got to that step in the recipe, I discovered that I had grabbed “Puff Pastry Shells” by mistake.

Opening the box, I found a half dozen little frozen “discs”  of dough, instead of the sheets I was expected.

(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!)

I thought, “What the heck…”

(Okay, more precisely I ranted and raved for a couple of minutes, cooled down a little, and then thought, “What the heck…”)

Now, as is often the case, what turned out was much better than I expected, and I’m glad I grabbed the wrong box. This is how I’ll be making this recipe from now on!

Sweet Brie Puff Pastries

1 (7 to 8-inch) wheel brie cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs yellow mustard
6 puff pastry shells (1 box) baked.

Bake pastry shells according to box instructions.

Blend mustard and brown sugar into a thick paste.

Using a warmed sharp knife, or unflavored dental floss, cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally and separate the top half of the wheel from the bottom half.

Set each half “skin” down in a buttered baking dish. Spread each half with sugar/mustard paste. Sprinkle with cranberries and walnuts

Cover dish with foil and add to oven for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Remove the pastry “lids” and spoon in the softened brie mixture until full, replace lid.

Allow to cool slightly, and serve.


-Chef Perry


Secret #9: Giving Citrus a Roll

Okay, it’s Day 9 of our 20-Day/20-Part series of blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”. Last post, we talked about our 5 Tips for Perfect Pasta!

CitrusToday’s post is short, sweet (and a little sticky…) it’s Secret #9: Giving Citrus a Roll.

Whenever possible, when preparing a recipe that calls for lemon, lime, or orange juice, I try to go with fresh-squeezed. It tastes so much better!

Like many folks, I inherited one of those round “citrus juicers” from my mother’s kitchen, but here’s a trick Dad taught me, for getting the most out of my favorite fruits.

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Blueberry Slush

This recipe is my daughter Gracie’s #1 favorite dessert, and in terms of simplicity, deliciousness, and healthy eating…it’s a trifecta of awesomeness that requires 2-3 ingredients, and about 30 seconds to prepare!

Blueberry Slush

Blueberry Slush
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (I buy fresh, then freeze overnight)
1/2 cup milk, anything from 1% to Whole.
1 tsp preferred sweetener (optional)

Put frozen berries on a bowl, sprinkle with sweetener, and pour the milk over to top until it’s just below the level of the berries.

Let sit 10 seconds, then stir. Repeat until the milk has formed a slush, and there’s no visible liquid in the bottom of the bowl.

Serve immediately.

High in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber; low in calories, and with no fat or cholesterol, blueberries are considered a “Superfood.”

A 14-year study that followed 200,000 participants showed that the flavonoids in blueberries can enhance brain health, help improve your memory, protect your brain from age-related decline (gotta get me some of THAT!) and also help prevent high blood pressure.

Gracie just thinks it’s delicious…and that’s good enough for me!

hautemealz.com Chef, Terry Ramsey, introduced this crazy-easy dish to our family, and it’s become our go-to dessert (and sometimes breakfast, l0l).

Thanks Terry!

-Chef Perry


Highway Robbery! (Or…how to make your own breadcrumbs this year.)

I may have actually said a bad word at the grocery store today. I couldn’t help it…I was so shocked, it just slipped out, when I saw this…

Four and a half bucks for 13 OUNCES of breadcrumbs…BREADCRUMBS!

Breadcrumbs are dried bread, people! It takes roughly a loaf of fresh bread to make 13oz of the dry stuff. And that’s a loaf of cheap white or “wheat” bread…you know, like this:

That’s right, people are paying and extra $3.50 a bag to avoid the inconvenience of tossin’ slices of bread into a warm oven for a few minutes!

Have we completely lost our freakin’ minds???

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat you oven to 300. Lay you bread in a single layer on on your oven racks (remove from oven before pre-heating). Bake 10-15 minutes just just browned. You don’t want them dark, just get some of the moisture out of ’em.
  2. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  3. If you like the little squares, dice each slice in a 1-inch grid…but it’s not really necessary, you can just tear it into chunks. (Oh, and if you’re using these for a coating, instead of making stuffing, just toss the chunks into your food processor and give ’em a pulse.)
  4. Store bread crumbs in an airtight container or food storage bag for up to two weeks at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer.

Congratulations, all that sweat and toil just paid off…you have breadcrumbs!

Seriously though, you can have a lot of fun with making your own. Try stuffing a mustard-coated pork loin with a dressing made with dark Russian rye bread sometime…it’s lovely. My wife likes me to use a nice 12-18 grain whole-wheat bread for stuffing hens (can you imagine what these bozos would charge for THOSE breadcrumbs?)

(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.)

Oh, and if you’re concerned about not having that overly-saged “spice packet”, toss this mixture for each loaf’s worth of finished breadcrumbs.

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Just think, with the money you saved on stuffing…you can make another pumpkin pie! Woo-Hoo!

Have a great Thanksgiving folks!

-Chef Perry


Hautemealz University

Okay, so we’ve always said that hautemealz.com is ideal for busy folks who don’t have time to plan and organize healthy dinners each night of the week.

But…what about folks who just want to learn how to cook nutritious, delicious meals, but don’t want to commit the time and budget to culinary school, or out-of-the-home cooking classes.

Is hautemealz.com a menu plan, or an ongoing cooking class?

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