New Website – Bungalow Chef | Mike Mech Tradtional Family Recipes Thu, 30 Aug 2018 23:08:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Petite Lemon Curd Tarts in Mini Fillo Cups Wed, 29 Aug 2018 09:00:17 +0000

Lemon Curd is one of my favorite go-to desserts! Recipes for this English heritage delight date back to the 1800’s where it was a much different consistency that what we know today. It wasn’t until much later it that it was served with scones or as a spread on pancakes or waffles with fresh blueberries.

Addictive Petite Lemon Curd Tarts

Addictive Petite Lemon Curd Tarts


Can anyone refuse classic Petite Lemon Curd Tarts? I don’t think so! A light and lemony curd cradled in delicate petite Fillo Factory cups. . .perfection! Easy to make with all natural ingredients, these tarts are sure to make you look like a master pastry chef.

Petite Lemon Curd Tarts in Mini Fillo Cups

Approximately 15 portions

1 box of The Fillo Factory Mini Fillo Shells
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (Use the yellow outer skin only as the pith can be bitter. I use my trusted Microplane.)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (You’ll need 7-8 lemons depending on size. Roll with the palm of your hand on a flat surface before juicing.)
8 extra large room temperature egg yolks
Dash of Kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter quartered lengthwise and diced into small cubes

Using a medium size heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt. Whisk together and cook over medium heat. Add butter when mixture is slightly warm. Whisk continually for about 5 minutes over heat until the mixture thickens to coating stage. Remove from heat and using a sieve, pour the curd through and push the remaining curd with a wooden spoon through the sieve. Let cool slightly and deposit in the Fillo Cups. Garnish with candied lemon peel, fresh fruit or dust with confectioners sugar.

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Grilled Peaches with Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup Thu, 09 Aug 2018 09:00:55 +0000

I love fresh peaches and grilling only intensifies their flavor and sweetness. They take me back to the carefree days of childhood summers in Michigan where my family vacationed on a small rowboat lake named Lake Van Auken in Van Buren County. (It was our “On Golden Pond” spot in the heart of peach country.)

Grilled Michigan Peaches

Grilled Michigan Peaches


This is a quick dessert that will have everyone talking and asking for more! Topped with Palisade Peach Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup from Burton’s Maplewood Farm makes it truly magical.

Grilled Peaches with Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup

8 servings
4 Large ripe peaches (Use freestone peaches if possible and if you can find them I recommend the Red Haven variety. Always pick a peach that has a great aroma and gives just a bit when you squeeze it. Rinse the peaches well, dry and cut in half removing the pit.) Olive oil 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Olive oil
Palisade Peach Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup or your favorite maple syrup
Vanilla ice cream
Crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers to garnish Toasted almonds or pecans are optional

Using a clean gas grill, preheat to medium or 350 degrees.

Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon then set aside.

Brush the cut side of the peaches with olive oil and place on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes then rotate and continue grilling for another 2-3 minutes. Turn them over and grill for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Move each peach portion to an individual serving dish, drizzle Burton’s Maple Syrup into the cavity of the peach. Quickly add a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream, top with toasted almond or pecans, and garish with crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers. (Whipped cream works great as well!)

Enjoy and Happy Summer!

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

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Bungalow Chef’s Summer Berry Upside Down Cake Thu, 02 Aug 2018 09:00:48 +0000

My childhood summers are relived with this great summer berry snack cake. Family trips to Michigan’s berry belt, roadside farm stands and “u-pick” farms on “The Red Arrow Highway” are some of my sweetest summer memories.

A blend of berries gives this cake a balance of tart and sweet. Served with whipped cream or ice cream it will please the whole family.

Upside Down Berry Cake! A summer treat.

Upside Down Berry Cake! A summer treat.

Bungalow Chef’s Summer Berry Upside Down Cake

Yields 6-8 servings

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature, divided
1 1/4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups fresh mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) cut in half if large
3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. (I always use my Lodge cast-iron skillet.) Add the lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Toss the berries and 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest in a bowl and arrange over the sugar mixture in the skillet. Any cut berries should be placed cut side up.

When mixing the dough, I use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Place the remaining butter and sugar in the mixer and beat on a high speed until the mixture in light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add the vanilla and the remaining lemon zest. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining salt. Now add 1/3 of the milk and 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well on a low speed. Continue adding the milk and dry ingredients at this rate. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as needed and mix until the batter is blended. (Dough will be thick and heavy.) Spread the batter onto the berries in the skillet.

Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake is golden brown in color and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Run a small paring knife around the edge of the cake.

Warm the skillet over low heat on your range for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and, invert the cake on a platter or cake stand. Dust the cake with powder sugar and serve with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!  Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”


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Bungalow Chef’s Rhubarb Custard Pie Thu, 31 May 2018 21:51:37 +0000

With summer right around the corner, one of the first garden and kitchen food memories I have is the rhubarb plant. Otherwise known as the “PIE PLANT”, this gem is always more than plentiful in Midwest gardens. Rhubarb, due to its tartness, traditionally pairs well with strawberries in a jam, jelly or pie, which is a personal favorite.

Rhubarb Custard Pies

Rhubarb Custard Pies


My Rhubarb Custard Pie recipe is from my great grandmother, Rose Schade. Yes, it’s tart but the creamy rich egg custard is pure velvet and the height of perfection when served with a dollop of whipped cream! Using your favorite pie crust recipe, or mine from my “Marching On to the Best Pie Crust Ever!” post or even an easy pre-made crust from your local grocery store’s refrigerated case will do. Just follow the directions below!

Bungalow Chef’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

Yields 1-9 inch pie or about 8 servings.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 lb. fresh rhubarb
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Dash of salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 stick melted unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream or Half and Half


Pie Shell: (Preheat oven to 375 degrees)
1 9-inch pie shell. Chill the dough for 30 minutes after rolling and lining the pie pan, then line with a piece of parchment paper and, using pie weights or dried beans, bake for
15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights then continue baking for 5-10 more
minutes until the crust is light in color. Let cool.

Filling: (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)
Remove leaves from rhubarb and rinse well. Remove fiber like strings. Cut stalks length wise in half and then into 1 inch pieces for about 4-5 cups.

In a small bowl, combine the rhubarb with the granulated sugar and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes tossing occasionally. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and cream or half and half. Add the salt, melted butter, flour and mix until smooth. Place the rhubarb into the pie-shell and pour on the custard mixture.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Use a foil tent if browning too quickly and bake until the custard is slightly firm in the center. Cool before serving.

As a young boy in Cicero, IL, my father would “borrow a stalk of rhubarb” before his morning newspaper route to give a bit of added energy to his day! Back then, professional baseball players enjoyed it the same way!


Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”



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Bungalow Chef’s Chicken Liver Paté Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:44:23 +0000

A classic retro appetizer for sure! Rich in flavor and super easy to prepare. Great to serve with sliced and toasted baguettes, cocktail rye or upscale crackers. Serve ramekins filled with finely diced red onion, chopped hardboiled eggs, chopped dill pickles, cornichons, capers, or diced cucumbers for garnish.

My homemade paté. Yum.

My homemade paté. Yum.

Bungalow Chef’s Chicken Liver Paté

About 8 servings as an appetizer


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 large Spanish onion diced fine
1 garlic clove minced
1 lb. fresh chicken livers, deveined, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup brandy, cognac or port wine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Using a heavy skillet (I always use my favorite Lodge cast iron skillet) melt the butter over medium heat, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until lightly transparent.

Flaming the brandy or cognac

Flaming the brandy or cognac

Add chicken livers and turn them over to brown evenly on all sides. Depending on their size, cook livers for 5-8 minutes until they are cooked through. Remove pan from heat and add the liquor of choice. Then return to heat using caution if the pan ignites. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the mixture sauce thickens up.

Using a food processor, pulse chicken liver mixture until finely chopped. Add the cream and seasonings then pulse until smooth. Cool, cover securely and place in the refrigerator. Serve chilled with the recommended garnish items.

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

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Bungalow Chef Roast Chicken Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:11:24 +0000

Truly one of my favorite simple meals is a great roast chicken. So easy, flavorful, and everyone thinks you slaved for hours. I believe if you asked every Chef what their favorite home cooked meal is, a roast chicken would be the hands down winner. The leftovers are amazing for chicken salad or soup, and the bones great for stock.

Perfect Sunday Roast Chicken

Perfect Sunday Roast Chicken


Roast chicken that has made many Sunday dinner appearances in my bungalow and will continue to do so during the cold winter months. Just add peeled potatoes and root vegetables to this for a true comfort meal. And, the drippings make a wonderful sauce by crafting a roux and adding chicken stock.

Bungalow Chef Roast Chicken

Serves: 4

One 4-5 lb. roasting chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towel
2.5 tsp. kosher salt
1 large yellow onion cut in half
1/2 large lemon
large spring of Rosemary

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees

Season the chicken with the salt inside and out. Place 1/2 of the onion, the 1/2 of the lemon and the rosemary in the chickens cavity (Bum) Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.

Let the chicken come to room temperature before you place it in the oven. Place the chicken and remaining onion half into a shallow roasting pan or cast iron skillet. (I use a le Creuset Roasting Pan or a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.)  Roast for 45 minutes to an hour. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of an inner thigh resisters 165 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.  Carve and serve.

Simple and Delicious!

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”


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Bungalow Chef’s Baked Apples with White Wine Thu, 01 Mar 2018 16:11:24 +0000

Do you remember baked apples as a child? I do. My Mother would bake them as a “sensible” dessert in the fall and winter months. And they were always served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Well here is my adult version! The aroma reminds me of a fresh baked apple pie, with all the nutty flavored spices and butter. This is the perfect light dessert and ideal as the finish to a Sunday family dinner of roasted chicken, beef or pork Roast.

Baked apples hot from the oven

Bungalow Chef’s Baked Apples with White Wine

Servings: 8
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

8 baking apples like Johnathan or Golden Delicious, cored
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup raisins
6 tablespoons soften unsalted Butter
1 cup dry white wine (I’ve used “White Vermouth” and it worked well.)
16 tsp brown sugar
Sprinkling of cinnamon

Adjust the rack to be in the middle position. Place the apples in an oven proof baking dish or small roasting pan. Add the water to the pan. In each cavity of the apple, divide the butter and raisins. Then drizzle the wine over the apples and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon

Cover loosely with foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the apples are fork tender.  Service with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a great cup of Coffee!

Enjoy!   Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”




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Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles Thu, 08 Feb 2018 17:41:54 +0000

It seems that I just finished Christmas Chocolate production for “House of Fine Chocolates” and now I’m working full steam ahead for Valentine’s Day! They say chocolate is for lovers and in the day of the Aztecs, chocolate was thought to be an aphrodisiac. (That made it quite popular because it was linked to romance!)

How to make chocolate truffles

Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles


Back then, common folks would use the cocoa bean as money and thus…the thought of “gifting” chocolate was born. Below is an easy Chocolate Truffle recipe for beginning chocolatiers at home. I started with this basic recipe over 30 years ago.
How about making these together with the one you love? It might be the start of romantic Valentine’s Day tradition!

Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles

18 oz. of bittersweet chocolate 66% to 70% in cocoa solids will do. (Chips or bars should be chopped and slivered into small pieces.)
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of table salt, salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cutting into small pieces at room temperature
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 teaspoon vanilla (or one vanilla bean steeped in the heavy cream)
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (European)

1. Place chocolate (chopped or chips) into a mixing bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream to a strong boil, pour over chocolate and mix until smooth.
3. Add the Cognac and vanilla and blend well.
4. Add the butter and stir just a few times.  Place into the refrigerator and let set for 3-4-hours. You might have to let it warm up a bit to form the truffles.
5. Using a small spring action ice-cream scoop, teaspoon or melon baller, make equal portion sizes about the size of a nickel.
6. Using the palms of your hands roll into smooth balls then dredge into the cocoa.
7. Place in an airtight container and store in a cool place.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy!   Mike Mech  “The Bungalow Chef”

Visit The House Of Fine Chocolates website



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Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Heart Cookies Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:27:10 +0000

The pairing of peanut butter and chocolate has been one of America’s favorite flavor combinations for years. And my Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies are a special Valentine’s Day treat you can share with those that you love…or make just for yourself?

I’ve always cherished the classic Peanut Butter cookie. Did you know the first commercial recipe was published before WW 1? No wonder they have been a generational favorite.

Valentine's Day Peanut Butter Cookies

Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Cookies

I remember as a tyke in my parent’s mid-century home it seemed that we had an endless supply of these cookies in my Mom’s aqua kitchen. And they were always ready to be served after school with a tall glass of Borden’s Milk. (We had a milkman and a milk box on the porch, did you?)  I’m always asked why is the hash-mark design used for decoration on Peanut Butter cookies. Well, it wasn’t really a decoration. It was to assist in pushing down the dough so the cookies would bake evenly. I’ve always use a vintage family heirloom Rodger’s Brother’s silver fork dipped in ice water to do the trick.

Here is the original recipe with a few bungalow twists for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure your family will love these and they’re great for gifts as well! Heck they’re worth making if it’s just for yourself! Enjoy.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
Yield: about 30-36 cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
12 oz. of tempered dark chocolate (or chocolate compound) for dipping

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk all dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda).
2. Beat the two eggs well.
3. Using a medium size mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together, adding the eggs and peanut butter then mix until fluffy.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture and blend well.
5. Portion dough into 1-inch balls and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Repeat until all the dough is portioned.
6. Using the back side of a glass or coffee mug press down the dough ball until it’s nearly 1.75 inches in diameter.  Using a back side of a wooden spoon indent the top of each cookie to create the double crescent shape of the top of a heart.
7.  Using your fingers, taper the bottom of each dough portion to a “V” shape.
8. Using a fork dipped in ice water, create the traditional hash tags marks in each cookie.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch very closely as they have a tendency to brown very quickly.  Let cool, remove and place on wire racks for one hour.
10.  Using your tempered chocolate or chocolate compound, dip half of the hearts into the chocolate and let set.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk! Happy Valentine’s Day!




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Bungalow Chef’s Rosemary Potato Soufflé Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:06:26 +0000

If you keep up with my Recipe Revival blog you know that Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of the year. Full of culinary traditions and flavorful memories, we all step out of our weekday routine and create the ultimate family feast on this special Thursday in November. Whether you’re a turkey aficionado, dressing devotee or pumpkin pie enthusiast, we all have our favorites. However, you rarely hear folks say that the potato dish is the one they look forward to with zeal on this day of honoring America’s first harvest feast. Well, that’s about to change.

Potato Soufflé

Rosemary Potato Soufflé. Better than mashed potatoes.

I’ve been making my Rosemary Potato Soufflé for years and it always makes an appearance at my Thanksgiving and special occasion dinner tables. Believe me, it will impress your guests with it’s beautiful golden color, puffed airy texture and rich silky flavor. And…what you will be very happy to know is you can make it the day before which will save you time as well as allow for additional cooking space on your kitchen stove.

So, start a new tradition this year and add my Rosemary Potato Soufflé to you holiday menu. You never know…your guests might make it their new Thanksgiving favorite. If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, refrigerate and when chilled, form into patties and fry in butter.

Leftovers make Potato Pancakes!

Leftovers make Potato Pancakes!

Want more flavorful side dishes that compliment your holiday table? Just click on the links below.
Best Thanksgiving Dressing
Cranberry Sauce with Lemon and Maple Syrup
Sauteéd Brussels Sprouts With Horseradish
Grandma Esther’s Braised Red Cabbage

Bungalow Chef’s Rosemary Potato Soufflé

Yield 8-10 servings

Equipment: 2 qt. soufflé or deep baking dish, stock pot and vegetable ricer or masher

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

5 lbs. red potatoes
2 1/2 cups of heavy cream or a bit more depending on the starch of the potatoes
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 stick of butter (melted and warmed with the cream)
8 oz cream cheese (cut into small bits)
1 egg (room temperature and beaten)
1/4 tsp baking power
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and placed the potatoes in a stock pot with water just covering the potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil and simmer until fork tender. Drain well.

In a small saucepan heat heavy cream, chopped rosemary, and butter to a low simmer.

Using the ricer or masher, start processing the potatoes. Incorporate the cream cheese, cream-butter and blend well. Mix in the egg and baking powder.

Place in the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until it starts puffing up and turning golden brown. This can be made the day before. Just bring up to room temperature before you place it in the oven.


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