MikeMiss: The Every Day Cook

The inspiration behind “MikeMiss: The Every Day Cook” derives from his childhood. Mike will showcase his passion for food and cooking as well as chronicle the journey. The show will take viewers through each dish’s history, preparation and relative stages of cooking it. Each episode will also feature him talking about his favorite food experiences. There will also be a dash of sports talk. The show will combine entertainment, education and interaction. Mike wanted to create something lighthearted yet still share his real experience as an every day cook with no trained culinary experience. While his family recipes come naturally to him, he will also expand into dishes outside his comfort zone.

The “Every Day Cook” will be doing TV specials, virtual events as well as live audience events across the Philadelphia region. Mike will also invite Philly area VIP guests to help prepare meals and talk about their own cooking experiences on selected themed shows.

EPISODE 3: “Mike’s Chicken Milanese”

                               Images above taken from the control room 

Mike prepares his delicious Chicken Milanese with Polenta. 

SPECIAL GUEST: Emilio Mignucci returned to the show as moderator. Mike displayed his chicken cutting skills and technique. As Mike prepared the dish, the two talked Italian specialties and shared a couple stories. The duo then took questions from the audience. 

Mike’s Chicken Milanese & Polenta:

Chicken Milanese is a very easy dinner to prepare, so log as you have all your materials organized. I like to think of Chicken Milanese as “Pumped Up Chicken Cutlets.” The chicken is basically a somewhat thicker version of cutlets that make wonderful sandwiches. This is a more formal presentation and uses the technique of parallel slicing of the whole part boneless chicken breast. This recipe will serve four people very easily. I pair the chicken with a side of homemade polenta (recipe below).
 
INGREDIENTS
 
2 thick boneless chicken breasts (sliced into thin slices using a parallel cut. A parallel cut is done by placing the left hand on top of the thick breast and slicing horizontally into very thin pieces)
Flour
Bread crumbs (either plain, Italian seasoned or a mix of both)
Egg mixture of three beaten eggs blended with about 1/4 milk (as in a scrambled egg mixture)
Vegetable oil or peanut oil (for frying the chicken)
Arugula
Shaved parmesan Reggiano from a wedge
Splash of olive oil and a squeeze of 1/2 lemon to be used as a dressing for the arugula
 
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.: 
2. Assemble three flat but wide bowls, one with flour, the second with the egg mixture, the third with bread crumbs. Coat bottom of a large frying pan with the vegetable oil and heat until the oil is hot.  Take the slices of the chicken breast one at a time and dredge in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs, coating both sides (push down on the pieces to flatten then slightly. Set aside each piece on a plate. When the oil is very hot, place the slices into the pan and fry on both sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken pieces and set them on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
3. Bake the chicken in a baking dish for about 15 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, mix the Arugula with olive oil and lemon juice. Place a small amount of the Arugula on top of a couple of pieces of the cutlets on your dinner plate, and top that with shavings of the parmesan Reggiano.
 
FOR THE POLENTA
1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour in 1 cup of cornmeal (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill stone ground cornmeal) and reduce heat. Stir frequently until the cornmeal starts to thicken (about 10 minutes). When polenta is at a desired thickness, remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of butter, then 1/2 grated parmesan cheese.
 

EPISODE 2:  “Painless Pasta Dough”  

                         Images above taken from VIP Room (Q&A one-on-one/each guest) 

Mike prepares fresh homemade pasta with a delicious mushroom/sausage sage sauce.

SPECIAL GUEST: Emilio Mignucci. He is a third generation owner at Di Bruno Bros. (www.dibruno.com) –  historic specialty food retailer and serves as the Vice President of Culinary Pioneering. 

EMILIO moderated the event. Mike demonstrated his take of making fresh pasta with his delicious mushroom/sausage sage sauce. Mike answered questions from the audience. Then, the duo jointly began answering questions from the audience as they drank some wine and traded entertaining stories and small talk to conclude the show.   

Mike’s Homemade Pasta with mushroom/sausage sage sauce:

In the second installment of The Every Day Cook….. 

Mike whipped up a batch of fresh pasta dough, which was used within a cream sauce of sausage, mushrooms and sage brown butter. The whole dinner was created in about 35 minutes, from making the fresh pasta, to plating and was an example on how the everyday Joe or Jane can produce a wonderfully gourmet meal within a short amount of time.  

The following is the recipe for Fresh Pasta Mushrooms and Sausage:

FOR THE PASTA

2 Cups 00 Flour (found in grocery stores or Italian specialty stores)

2 eggs

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE SAUCE:

3 pieces good Italian sausage 

1 package of mixed mushrooms (shitake, white button, portabella, oyster), usually purchasable in grocery stores, chopped.

1 shallot (chopped loosely)

4 cloves garlic (chopped fine)

8 fresh sage leaves (chopped)

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup white wine

Half stick of butter

Light cream (to add at end for consistency)

Grated Parmesan Reggiano

Chopped parsley for garnish

–Place the flour into a food processor and pulsate a few times to loosen it up. Then, crack your eggs into a small bowl, add the salt, olive oil and water and beat the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
 
–Turn on food processor and slowly pour your egg mixture into the hole at the top of the machine. Let processor mix the blend for about 20-30 seconds until it forms a dough ball which should circulate along the sides of the processor bowl. (if it appears too dry and crumbly, add a touch more water; if the dough appears too wet, add a touch more flour)
.
–Remove the pasta dough from the processor and knead it slightly in flour that you have placed on a flat surface. Form a nice ball with your hands that has a smooth texture. Wrap the ball with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30 minutes. (If you aren’t ready to make this full dinner, the dough will keep wonderfully in the refrigerator for a day)
 
—Making the pasta is a diligent, but fairly easy process. (You must have either a manual pasta roller/cutter, or a Kitchen Aid machine, with a pasta roller/cutter attachment. Cut toe ball of dough into sections and on a flat, flour coated surface, manipulate the dough into thinner rectangles –A rolling pin is great for this). When you have the sections of dough in reasonably thin rectangles, then flatten it further by sending it through the pasta roller several times. (I start with setting 1, and send it though 2, 3, 4 and finally 5. At that point, you should have a long, smooth rectangle of dough. Move the handle of the pasta roller apparatus to the cutting side. Send the long, smooth rectangle of dough through the linguine cutter and you will have a ice batch of fresh linguine, ready to be boiled.
 
–If you are a multi tasker, you may be able to brown your sausage at the same time you are making the pasta dough. Take about 3 pieces (thick links) of Italian sausage. De-skin the sausages lengthwise with a sharp knife, and discard the skins. Break off the sausage in pieces and place in a heated frying pan (place a tad of olive oil in pan before frying). Lower the heat to medium so as not to burn the meat. With a spatula, break up the sausage as its cooking, into small bits. When sausage is nearly browned, remove from pan into a small bowl.
 
–Add a touch more oil to the heated frying pan. Saute in the following order: shallots, then garlic, then chopped sage leaves for about 3 minutes. Then add your chopped mushrooms, continuing to the stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. after about 5 minutes. You should be getting a crust on the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the mixture now with the white wine and stir. In a couple of minutes add the chicken broth and stir. In 2 more minutes, add the butter to the middle of the pan and stir. Then add the light cream and stir, and simmer for a few more minutes until you get the perfect creamy consistency with the sauce.
 
–Meanwhile, you are currently heating a full large pot of water on another burner of your stove. Get that water up to a boil. Once boiled, little by little, place your pasta noodles into the water. (Fresh pasta takes about 3 minutes to fully cook). When the noodles rise to the surface, they are cooked. Take a pair of tongs and slowly pull the noodles out in stages, let the water drain off, then place them into the sauce mixture. Incorporate the noodles within the sauce by stirring. And voila, you are ready to plate!
 
—top the plate pasta with some grated parmesan Reggiano and a garnish of chopped parsley and the dish is done!
 

EPISODE 1:  “Game Time Chili”

                         Images above taken from VIP Room

Mike prepared one of his favorite warm, hearty comfort foods (chili). There are many ways to make chili but one way to make Mike’s famous bowl of chili! He walked the audience through the recipe and answered several questions from them. His best friend Shima even made a “cameo” appearance!

MIKE’S THREE HOUR CHILI:

 
2 lb piece of top round steak (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
2 tblsp cooking oil (vegetable or peanut oil)
2 medium or 1 big yellow onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
2 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
12 oz chicken or beef broth
12 oz dark beer (porter or stout; Guiness works!)
28 oz can whole tomatoes (chopped loosely with food processor or hand squeezed)
small can tomato sauce (Hunts or like brand)
6 oz can tomato paste
2 cans of beans (if desired. Big or small red kidney beans, or black beans work)
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon maple syrup
 
SEASONING (assemble in small bowl)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
11/2 teaspoon onion powder
11/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic power
dash of black pepper
 
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat cooking oil in a sturdy pot and add chunks of beef, browning the beef all over (5-6 minutes) while stirring. When all browned, remove meat from pot to another bowl. Add chopped peppers and onions (touch more cooking oil). Saute until tender, then add chopped garlic and cook for couple more minutes. Sprinkle in seasoning mixture, along with flour and maple syrup and stir. Add broth to deglaze the hot pot, then add beef and all remaining ingredients, including the beans.(If you don’t want beans, no problem) Cover at a lower heat, stirring occasionally. The beef chunks will be melt in your mouth after the chili has cooked on a reasonable low heat for about 3 hours. Eat chili as is, or pour over some steamed rice. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and or parsley.

 

LASAGNA:

  1. SAUCE (OR GRAVY): The staple of any lasagna is a great red tomato sauce or gravy, depending on what it was called in your house. Most people have their own recipes for their sauce. I use a good tomato puree as my base, a 28 oz can poured on top of some sizzled garlic and fresh basil in olive oil, then a can of water, then a touch of red wine, and then some tomato paste as a thickener. But the flavor of this sauce is enhanced by a combination of meatballs and sausage, which have been browned on a skillet and once browned, allowed to slowly cook in the sauce. I usually stew my sauce or gravy, with the meat, for about 3 hours, at a lower burner temperature. Probably everyone out there has their own recipe for meatballs. I use ground beef, mixed with salt, pepper, an egg, some moist bread, some fresh parsley, and sprinkled grated, romano cheese.
  1. NOODLES: It is perfectly fine to use boxed lasagna noodles for your lasagna. San Giorgio, Ronzoni or DiCicco brands are fine because they are processed with ridges, which provide a nice airy feel once placed down in your lasagna pan. That allows for a nice heat transfer through the lasagna when baking. However, fresh lasagna noodles also may be used. You may fancy making your own homemade pasta to use as your lasagna noodles. Or, you can purchase fresh lasagna noodles in your favorite Italian specialty store. Be aware that the fresher noodles will cook more delicately than the boxed and your lasagna may come out a little too soft. If you are using the boxed pasta, follow the instructions on the box for al dente. I usually take the noodles off the burner at the al dente time, run some cold water into the pot, and leave the noodles there until I’m ready to assemble the lasagna.
  1. CHEESE MIXTURE: The cheese for a lasagna is a mixture of ricotta (2 lbs), grated mozzarella (8 oz), grated pecorino romano cheese (1 cup), 2 eggs, chopped fresh parsley, touch of garlic power (optional).
  1. THE MEAT: This is an arduous process, but well worth the time. Remove the meatballs and sausage from your cooked sauce (3 hours, remember), and set aside. Then, slice the meatballs and sausage into round pieces.
  1. ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA: From here, it’s easy. The lasagna will be three layers. First, cover the bottom of your lasagna pan or glass Pyrex dish with a little bit of sauce (so the bottom noodles won’t stick to the pan). Then, layer on top of that sauce three cooked noodles. Next, layer with a large spoon the cheese mixture until the noodles are all covered. Next, layer the meat over the cheese. Next, ladle some sauce across the meat, then sprinkle the romano cheese over the sauce. Repeat the process with noodles, ricotta mixture, meat, sauce and romano cheese.
  1. TOP LAYER: Once you top off the lasagna with the final three strips of noodles, sauce up the top to cover the noodles (that will keep them from drying out once you bake it), then sprinkle more romano cheese across the top.
  1. BAKE IT: Pre-heat an oven to 325 degree and cook uncovered for about 1 hour. Once the lasagna is baked, let it set for about 15 minutes or so to congeal.

Cut into the lasagna with a spatula to make small squares and then go to town. You will love it! And please tell me how it came out for you.

 

MikeMiss: The Every Day Cook

The inspiration behind “MikeMiss: The Every Day Cook” derives from his childhood. Mike will showcase his passion for food and cooking as well as chronicle the journey. The show will take viewers through each dish’s history, preparation and relative stages of cooking it. Each episode will also feature him talking about his favorite food experiences. There will also be a dash of sports talk. The show will combine entertainment, education and interaction. Mike wanted to create something lighthearted yet still share his real experience as an every day cook with no trained culinary experience. While his family recipes come naturally to him, he will also expand into dishes outside his comfort zone.

The “Every Day Cook” will be doing TV specials, virtual events as well as live audience events across the Philadelphia region. Mike will also invite Philly area VIP guests to help prepare meals and talk about their own cooking experiences on selected themed shows.

EPISODE 2:  “Painless Pasta Dough”  

                        Images above taken from VIP Room (Q&A one-on-one/each guest) 

Mike prepares fresh homemade pasta with a delicious mushroom/sausage sage sauce.

SPECIAL GUEST: Emilio Mignucci. He is a third generation owner at Di Bruno Bros. (www.dibruno.com) –  historic specialty food retailer and serves as the Vice President of Culinary Pioneering. 

EMILIO moderated the event. Mike demonstrated his take of making fresh pasta with his delicious mushroom/sausage sage sauce. Mike answered questions from the audience. Then, the duo jointly began answering questions from the audience as they drank some wine and traded entertaining stories and small talk to conclude the show.   

Mike’s Homemade Pasta with mushroom/sausage sage sauce:

In the second installment of The Every Day Cook….. 

Mike whipped up a batch of fresh pasta dough, which was used within a cream sauce of sausage, mushrooms and sage brown butter. The whole dinner was created in about 35 minutes, from making the fresh pasta, to plating and was an example on how the everyday Joe or Jane can produce a wonderfully gourmet meal within a short amount of time.  

The following is the recipe for Fresh Pasta Mushrooms and Sausage:

FOR THE PASTA

2 Cups 00 Flour (found in grocery stores or Italian specialty stores)

2 eggs

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE SAUCE:

3 pieces good Italian sausage 

1 package of mixed mushrooms (shitake, white button, portabella, oyster), usually purchasable in grocery stores, chopped.

1 shallot (chopped loosely)

4 cloves garlic (chopped fine)

8 fresh sage leaves (chopped)

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup white wine

Half stick of butter

Light cream (to add at end for consistency)

Grated Parmesan Reggiano

Chopped parsley for garnish

–Place the flour into a food processor and pulsate a few times to loosen it up. Then, crack your eggs into a small bowl, add the salt, olive oil and water and beat the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
 
–Turn on food processor and slowly pour your egg mixture into the hole at the top of the machine. Let processor mix the blend for about 20-30 seconds until it forms a dough ball which should circulate along the sides of the processor bowl. (if it appears too dry and crumbly, add a touch more water; if the dough appears too wet, add a touch more flour)
.
–Remove the pasta dough from the processor and knead it slightly in flour that you have placed on a flat surface. Form a nice ball with your hands that has a smooth texture. Wrap the ball with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30 minutes. (If you aren’t ready to make this full dinner, the dough will keep wonderfully in the refrigerator for a day)
 
—Making the pasta is a diligent, but fairly easy process. (You must have either a manual pasta roller/cutter, or a Kitchen Aid machine, with a pasta roller/cutter attachment. Cut toe ball of dough into sections and on a flat, flour coated surface, manipulate the dough into thinner rectangles –A rolling pin is great for this). When you have the sections of dough in reasonably thin rectangles, then flatten it further by sending it through the pasta roller several times. (I start with setting 1, and send it though 2, 3, 4 and finally 5. At that point, you should have a long, smooth rectangle of dough. Move the handle of the pasta roller apparatus to the cutting side. Send the long, smooth rectangle of dough through the linguine cutter and you will have a ice batch of fresh linguine, ready to be boiled.
 
–If you are a multi tasker, you may be able to brown your sausage at the same time you are making the pasta dough. Take about 3 pieces (thick links) of Italian sausage. De-skin the sausages lengthwise with a sharp knife, and discard the skins. Break off the sausage in pieces and place in a heated frying pan (place a tad of olive oil in pan before frying). Lower the heat to medium so as not to burn the meat. With a spatula, break up the sausage as its cooking, into small bits. When sausage is nearly browned, remove from pan into a small bowl.
 
–Add a touch more oil to the heated frying pan. Saute in the following order: shallots, then garlic, then chopped sage leaves for about 3 minutes. Then add your chopped mushrooms, continuing to the stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. after about 5 minutes. You should be getting a crust on the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the mixture now with the white wine and stir. In a couple of minutes add the chicken broth and stir. In 2 more minutes, add the butter to the middle of the pan and stir. Then add the light cream and stir, and simmer for a few more minutes until you get the perfect creamy consistency with the sauce.
 
–Meanwhile, you are currently heating a full large pot of water on another burner of your stove. Get that water up to a boil. Once boiled, little by little, place your pasta noodles into the water. (Fresh pasta takes about 3 minutes to fully cook). When the noodles rise to the surface, they are cooked. Take a pair of tongs and slowly pull the noodles out in stages, let the water drain off, then place them into the sauce mixture. Incorporate the noodles within the sauce by stirring. And voila, you are ready to plate!
 
—top the plate pasta with some grated parmesan Reggiano and a garnish of chopped parsley and the dish is done!
 

EPISODE 1:  “Game Time Chili”

Images above taken from VIP Room. 

Mike prepared one of his favorite warm, hearty comfort foods (chili). There are many ways to make chili but one way to make Mike’s famous bowl of chili! He walked the audience through the recipe and answered several questions from them. His best friend Shima even made a “cameo” appearance!

MIKE’S THREE HOUR CHILI:

 
2 lb piece of top round steak (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
2 tblsp cooking oil (vegetable or peanut oil)
2 medium or 1 big yellow onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
2 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
12 oz chicken or beef broth
12 oz dark beer (porter or stout; Guiness works!)
28 oz can whole tomatoes (chopped loosely with food processor or hand squeezed)
small can tomato sauce (Hunts or like brand)
6 oz can tomato paste
2 cans of beans (if desired. Big or small red kidney beans, or black beans work)
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon maple syrup
 
SEASONING (assemble in small bowl)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
11/2 teaspoon onion powder
11/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic power
dash of black pepper
 
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat cooking oil in a sturdy pot and add chunks of beef, browning the beef all over (5-6 minutes) while stirring. When all browned, remove meat from pot to another bowl. Add chopped peppers and onions (touch more cooking oil). Saute until tender, then add chopped garlic and cook for couple more minutes. Sprinkle in seasoning mixture, along with flour and maple syrup and stir. Add broth to deglaze the hot pot, then add beef and all remaining ingredients, including the beans.(If you don’t want beans, no problem) Cover at a lower heat, stirring occasionally. The beef chunks will be melt in your mouth after the chili has cooked on a reasonable low heat for about 3 hours. Eat chili as is, or pour over some steamed rice. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and or parsley.

THE EVERY DAY COOK YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Mike will be doing periodical free live segment clips called “Pasta Pointers”, which he shares tips he’s learned and created over the years making pasta as a non-culinary every day cook.   

The Every Day Cook Featured on Phl 17

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