01/2/17

Chef Perry’s Most Popular Recipes of 2016

Chef Perry Dragon Claws

Grilling up “Dragon Claws” at RibFest 2014


 
If there was ever a year that we needed to focus on what brings us together, on friends, family, and good food, it was 2016!

We cooked up a lot of great meals around here, discovered some amazing new ingredients, and had a minimum of epic fails…all in all, a great year in the kitchen!

Here are the top 10 most popular recipes from the blog this last year, based on your visits…

Au Gratin Haystacks

  10. Au Gratin Breakfast 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.

 Salmon Poke at Home

9. Poke Stop’s Salmon Poke

Fresh and firm, the salmon plays nicely against the crunch of the raw onions. The combination of the furikake seasoning and the shoyu sauce create a perfect contrast of sweet, salty, and savory…my favorite combination.



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Bratwurst Sliders with Maple Mustard

8. Bratwurst Pretzel Sliders with Maple-Mustard Caramelized Onions

THIS is comfort food, baby! Rich, juicy brats, sweet caramelized onions, the tang of mustard, all brought together, and complimented perfectly with a soft, salty, and delicious pretzel roll bun.

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7. Perfect Oven Pork Ribs

These ribs always get rave reviews. Firm yet tender, they pull off the bone with each succulent bite. For the sake of disclosure, I learned the amazing method from an episode of “Restaurant Impossible” with Chef Robert Irvine.

 Easy Meatball Pho

6. Quick and Easy Pork Meatball Pho

Pho (fuhh) is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà).  A popular street and night food, pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam.

With the Vietnam war and the victory of the North Vietnamese, phở was brought to many countries by Vietnamese refugees fleeing Vietnam from the 1970s onwards.

This is one of my favorite dishes in the world, and it’s really good for you!

 

St. Louis dry ribs on Traeger

5. 3-2-1 Baby Back Ribs on the Traeger (Video)

Perfect baby back pork ribs, as easy as 3-2-1


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.

 

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4. How to BBQ a Pig in La Caja China (Video)

Enjoy, and if you’re inspired to roast your own pigs (or lambs, briskets, turkeys, ribs…you name it), let us know and we can give you lots more tips and tricks!

 Best Traeger Steak Recipe

3. Amazing Traeger Steaks with Fresh Herb Butter

For my money, one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. The rich combination of the herb-butter and the smokiness in the meat is incomparable to any other method I’ve had.

 

Baby Dragon Claws

2. “Dragon Claw” BBQ Appetizer

Baby bell peppers stuffed with a combination of hot (or sweet) Italian sausage and ground turkey, onions, and peppers, wrapped in bacon, smoked, then glazed with a honey butter barbecue sauce.

Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire!

Oh, soooo good…

And NUMERO UNO…for the 4th year in a row…

 best pulled pork sliders

 The best dang pulled pork sliders!

Pulled pork is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Here’s my award winning recipe using your Traeger, gas grill, or even your oven.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, there you go…the ten recipes you enjoyed the most from 2016!

Thank you for hanging out with us last year, and I look forward to sharing many more great recipes and meals with you in the coming year.

Have a great 2017!

Chef Perry



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11/23/16

The Best Turkey Gravy You’ve Ever Tasted

The best turkey gravy ever
 

It wasn’t a proper Thanksgiving or Christmas without Dad showing up early in the day with a couple of armloads of groceries and his knife-roll. (It also wasn’t a holiday meal without Mom reminding Dad she was neither his sous chef, nor his wife, that it was her kitchen, not his restaurant, and if he wanted the butter he could damn well get it out of the fridge himself…)

We had an…interesting…family dynamic.

But, back to the point…

One of the amazing things to come out of those grocery bags were the ingredients for Dad’s homemade turkey gravy. That gravy was, I kid you not, the best part of the dinner. It could have turned an old flip-flop into haute cuisine. I’m not comparing mom’s turkey to a flip flop, but…well…

Dad’s been gone for almost a decade, Mom for almost three, but I still feel their presence, the friendly bickering, and the underlying love for each other that neither knew how to express, when I whip up the gravy each year.

You can make pretty much any type of gravy with this recipe, simply by changing up the type of stock or broth you use. It’s the simple, old-school way that gravy’s been made for hundreds of years.

And it’s still just as good.

Dad Perkins’ Turkey Gravy
(Makes 10-12 generous servings)

1/2 cup (1 stick) Sweet cream butter
1/2 cup AP Flour
4 cups hot homemade turkey stock (below)
2-4 cups boiling water*

The Roux.
Melt your butter in a heavy bottom stock pot over medium heat.

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4

When the foam has cooked off the butter, add flour and whisk vigorously to a smooth paste. This is call a “roux.”

5

Continue whisking slowly until roux becomes deep brown in color. You know when your roux is done by the roasted nutty smell.

Add hot stock, one cup at a time (the first will create a thick paste…press on) whisking in each until smooth.

6

Once all your stock is incorporated, keep whisking at a lower simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add hot water (again, a cup at a time) until you reach the desired consistency.

Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

*You can also use milk, just make sure it’s hot. Rule of thumb – never add cold liquid to a hot one (especially milk, as it will curdle.)
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*Simple Turkey Stock
2 whole turkey thighs and/or necks, skin on
Salt and pepper
6 cloves of peeled garlic
2 tsp. whole peppercorns
1/2 cup butter
1 lg. yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2 lg. Carrots, roughly chopped
1 stalk each: rosemary, sage, thyme
2 bay leaves
8 cups of water

Preheat over to 350F

Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper. And roast about 40 minutes, until skin is a deep golden brown.

Best turkey gravy ever

Left/Center: Turkey thighs and necks, roasted for stock. Right: Brined turkey thighs ready for dinner!

Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottom stock pot over medium heat. Add peppercorns and garlic and sauté a couple of minutes, stirring, to infuse the butter. Add onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté until carrots begin to brown.

Add water and bring to a simmer.

Add fresh herbs (whole) and bay leaves.

Perfect Chicken Stock

Add roasted turkey thighs and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by 1/2. Strain your stock and discard the herb, bones, skin, and veggie remnants.

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Roughly chop the meat, and return it to the stock (optional, but great for gravy). Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.

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11/21/16

Chef Perry’s Perfect Turkey Brine

Simple Turkey Brine

Always, always, always brine your turkey!

There, I feel better now…

This is a simple overnight brine that will yield an amazingly moist and delicious turkey. One gallon is good for a  15 to 20-pound bird, and works best for fresh turkeys. Check the label of your turkey and make sure it hasn’t been “injected” with any kind of “solution” (ie: plain iodized salt water…ick.)

Trust me, this brine, combined with a properly cooked turkey (try my Perfect Roast Turkey in 90 Minutes) will make you a Thanksgiving legend!

Perfect 90 Minute Turkey

Perfect 90 Minute Turkey

1 gallon water
2 cups kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 stalk fresh rosemary
1 stalk fresh sage leaves
1 stalk fresh thyme leaves
2 cups apple juice

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and sugar and stir until completely dissolved; bring water back to a boil. Add cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, sage and thyme to the water, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook mixture at a simmer for about 20 minutes.

Simple Turkey BrineAdd apple juice, and refrigerate brine until completely cooled. Then add to a container to completely submerge turkey. Brine 8-10 hours, or overnight.

Important: Rinse turkey thoroughly after brining, and before roasting.

By the way, you can buy you fresh herb separately, but many stores carry them in these convenient “poultry herbs” pre-packs, especially around the holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

11/18/16

Garlic-Ginger Grilled Chicken Thighs with Broccoli Slaw

For my money, the thigh of the chicken is God’s country. Naturally moist and full of flavor, it’s the easiest to cook and most forgiving part of the bird.

Here’s one of my favorite preparations…

Best chicken thigh

Garlic-Ginger Chicken Thighs

Active Time: 15 min.                                                    

Total Time: 25 min.

  • 2 chicken thighs, w/ skin & bone
  • 1/2 lg. sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for the grill

Mise en Place

Skin and thinly slice the onion. Skin and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Juice the orange.

IMG_2964 - CopyCombine the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, orange juice and black pepper in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

Prepare the Dish

Preheat a grill to medium high and oil the grate, OR preheat oven broiler to high, and set your oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. broil/grill the chicken skin-side down until marked, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and continue to broil/grill until cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Broccoli Slaw

Active Time: 15 min.                                                    

Total Time: 45 min.

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt 1/2 oz. sunflower seeds, raw
  • 1 dash salt 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1/2 lemon 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2/3 tsp. spicy brown mustard 1 dash ea. salt & black pepper
  • 2/3 lb. broccoli stalks 2 med. carrots

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place sunflower seeds and salt on a rimmed baking sheet and shake to combine. Toast seeds until aromatic, about 10 minutes. Cool and reserve. Juice the lemon.

Prepare the Dish

Combine yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, salt & black pepper.

Whisk to incorporate and reserve.

Peel tough outer layer of broccoli stalks and trim off 1/4 inch from bottoms of stalks. Shred stalks in food processor, then shred carrots. Combine shredded broccoli and carrots with dressing and toss to combine.

Sprinkle with sunflower seeds 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.

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11/17/16

Chef P’s Tuna Casserole

Sometimes you just get the weirdest cravings…I probably haven’t had tuna casserole in 30 years, but today, out of the blue, I just had to have some. I looked up Mom’s old recipe (ie: The Betty Crocker Cookbook) made a few upgrades, and whipping up a VERY tasty one-pan dinner.

Very nice on a cold, rainy night!

Here you go,  Joella!

The Best Tuna Casserole

Chef P’s Tuna Casserole

1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I like Cabot’s), divided
1 cup shredded Grueyre cheese
2 cups frozen sweet green peas
1 lb home-canned tuna (Or, if you must, 3 (6oz) cans, drained)
12 oz. homemade cream of mushroom soup, reduced (it’s super easy, here’s the first step) or 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs, or, for hardcore comfort-foodiness, crushed Ritz Crackers.
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

In a small bowl, toss breadcrumbs, half of each cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika. (You can take this up a notch, btw, if you’re making your own mushroom soup, roast some peeled fresh garlic along with the ‘shrooms. Add these into the next step.)

    
Thoroughly mix cooked noodles, onion, remaining cheese, peas, tuna, and soup. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish, and top with breadcrumb/cheese mixture.

The Best Tuna Casserole
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.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

A casserole is basically just a very thick stew, and like a stew, it gets better with a little time. I like to make mine the day before, or let it rest at least an hour before serving. For the day before preparation, let the cooked casserole cool to room temp before you wrap it that. This keeps the breadcrumbs from getting mushy from condensation.

Serve with a fresh green salad, and enjoy!

~ Chef Perry

 

11/7/16

Basic Knife Skills that will keep all your fingers attached

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This is the first lesson we teach the kids in the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program…

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.

 

11/4/16

What is a MY KITCHEN “SupperClub” Party?

MY KITCHEN SupperClub

One method of getting the word out for our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, is to throw “SupperClub Parties” with families, friends, and supporters of our non-profit charity.

It’s all about fun, highlighting the things that the MK chefs do best: teaching hands-on cooking skills, and serving amazing food!

MY KITCHEN SupperClub

Prepping kale slaw for our “Farmers Market” SupperClub

 

MY KITCHEN SupperClub

Fun, Food, & Friends!

How it works:

Each host invites 10-15 friends over to their house, and we share a little bit about what we do, give some hands-on cooking demos of several recipes that follow a specific theme chosen by the host, maybe drink a little wine (at the host’s discretion), and then enjoy the fruits of our labors with a multi-course tapas-style meal of the dishes we’ve just learned to prepare.

Attendees are welcome to participate in the prep and cooking, or not, no pressure.

It’s a casual, low-stress, lots-of-laughs night with friends and family, that helps us help kids…

How’s THAT for a win-win?

See you there!

Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program
www.joinmykitchen.com

PS – Here are a couple of sample themes:

Kale Slaw

Theme: Farmer’s Market

Synopsis: Three simple vegetable dishes that highlight seasonally fresh produce

Meal: Copper Pennies, Kale Slaw, Italian Green Beans

 Pork Shoulders in Smoker

Theme: Creating Your Signature BBQ Sauce

Synopsis: Attendees will learn the basic elements of a BBQ sauce, then create their own from a wide variety of ingredients.

Meal: Pulled Pork Sliders, Cilantro-Sesame Slaw

Mushroom Pan Sauce

Theme: Perfect Pan Sauces

Synopsis: Instruction on three of the basic “Mother Sauces” of French cooking: Mornay (cheese), Tomato, and Mushroom Beurre Blanc.

Meal: Chicken Marsala, Pasta Rustica, Vegetable Trio with Mornay

  • If you would like to consider hosting your own SupperClub, and would like a full list of available themes, please contact us at mykitchenoutreach@gmail.com; Subject line: “SupperClub”

MY KITCHEN SupperClub

The Fine Print

Host pays for the cost of ingredients and materials only. All shopping, prep, delivery, and service are provided at no additional fee by the MY KITCHEN Program. Travel expenses outside of the Portland/Metro area will be considered a material expense. An invoice for food/material costs will be provided by MY KITCHEN. Payment in full must be received at least 1 week prior to the event date. Due to shopping requirements, cancellations within the last 72 hours will be non-refundable.

Host will provide space for a MY KITCHEN information and donation table (which we provide), as well as 10-15 minutes for our chefs to present the outreach to guests (typically just prior to the class).

Additional sides, beverages, and desserts may be added to the base menu for an additional fee. MY KITCHEN is not licensed to provide or serve alcohol, but you are certainly welcome to do so yourselves. Plating and serving-ware are provided by the host, or by us for an additional fee.

10 Guest minimum.*

Per our “Personal Chef” status, the States of Oregon/Washington require that there must be a residential kitchen onsite, and that we use that facility to prepare food.

Gratuities are not included in ingredient/materials pricing, nor required, but if you love the class (and you will) we never turn down a tip! All gratuities will be considered a donation to the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, and used soley for the outreach. Tax-deductible receipts for tips and donations are can be provided.

*Obviously, our goal in these SupperClubs is to raise funds and support for the MY KITCHEN Program. Please keep this is mind when inviting attendees to your event, and consider those with the ability, means, and desire to partner with charities like ours to help mentor kids and feed the hungry.

Thank you for helping us help kids!


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.

 

11/3/16
the difference between stuffing & dressing

The difference between dressing and stuffing

the difference between stuffing & dressing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I posted a very brief chef’s rant on this subject a couple of days ago, and I was amazing to learn how many people actually didn’t know the difference between “stuffing” and “dressing”.

So…

It’s only “stuffing” if you cook it INSIDE the bird. If you cook it OUTSIDE the bird, it’s “dressing” (A dressing is placed around the protein on a plate or platter, to “dress” the dish.)

Want some more great holiday tips and recipes? Check out or free Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide!

Typically, I do both…what doesn’t fit inside the turkey is baked in a dish. Then we mix the two together to spread the tasty flavor if the turkey drippings throughout.

Doesn’t stuffing from inside the bird make you sick?

Oh, and I had a friend on FaceBook ask: I always thought stuffing was the best way to give everyone salmonella for thanksgiving, what are your thoughts?”

My response:

Nah, but then I don’t think that Elvis was abducted by aliens and is still alive on the planet Zorb, either.

The stuffing myth is based on the stuffing staying in the “danger zone” for an extended period of 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.

newsletter:

The three rules of safe stuffing:

1. Never stuff a bird with cold stuffing, as the meat will dry out long before the stuffing is cooked. Always stuff with cooked (or at least heated) stuffing,

2. Stuffing should be COOKED in the bird, not LEFT in it. Remove stuffing from the bird while still hot, and serve separately.

3. Not quite as important as the first two, but not a bad idea…once you remove the stuffing from the bird, spoon it into a casserole dish and pop it under the broiler for 10-15 minutes (watch closely so it doesn’t burn) or until it reaches an internal temp of 165F.

The added bonus to this step is you get a lovely, golden, breadcrumb crust across the whole surface.

Thanksgiving stuffing in muffin pans

If you want to fancy this up a bit, brown the stuffing in a muffin pan, and serve individually.

So, no…I’m not concerned with the “no stuffing” myth, follow the safety rules, and you’ll be fine.

Personally, I’d be more worried about getting sick from a grocery store turkey! 😉

A better way

By the way, there is a third option, which I feel…in my not-so-humble opinion…trumps both of the aforementioned styles. Check it out in yesterday’s “Perfect Turkey” post!

This has been a public service announcement, we now return you to your regularly scheduled political griping and Starbucks bashing… :)

Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

11/2/16

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Simple Tangy Coleslaw

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

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


 

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich

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

Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise

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

Mise en Place:

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

Preparation:

Brush fish with oil, and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.

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

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

 

Simple Tangy Coleslaw

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

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

Shred cabbage.

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

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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10/31/16

Next Level Grilled Cheese Tip

Perfect Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese and tomato soup…is there anything better on a rainy Autumn afternoon? I think not!

Here’s a quick tip to bring your good old-fashioned grilled cheese up a notch, by adding another level of cheesy goodness and texture…

Step One: Make your grilled cheese the old fashioned way (white or whole wheat bread, melted butter in a medium-hot pan NOT on the bread, extra sharp cheddar cheese). I threw in a couple of slices of deli ham, but that’s optional.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Step Two: Once you get the first side a perfect golden-brown, flip, and quickly sprinkle a little freshly grated cheddar, Asiago, or Romano cheese over the still-hot surface, and cover.

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Step Three: Uncover when the bottom side is done and the grated cheese on top has softened or melted.

Step Four: Flip again and let grill until the grated cheese has cooked to a golden, crunchy perfection.

Cut and serve immediately, preferably with a hot bowl of tomato-basil soup!

Next Level Grilled Cheese

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.