Recipes – Bungalow Chef | Mike Mech Tradtional Family Recipes Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:11:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Pecan Pralines Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:26:31 +0000

As a youngster, I was blessed to go on food related travel adventures with my family. One trip, that instilled an array of memories, was to the Brown Country, Indiana Maple Syrup Festival where we visited a farm that processed maple syrup. The amazing aroma from the sugar shack was something I will never forget…sweet with an amber smoldering smell that wafted through the air. It was just incredible. I also recall learning that it takes 40 gallons of tree sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. Can you believe it?  The whole process still amazes me today.

Maple Syrup Pecan Pralines

Maple Syrup Pecan Pralines

Brown Country, Indiana

My family and I at the Brown Country Maple Syrup Festival

As you know, I love using handcrafted products in my recipes. And Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup is one that goes beyond pancakes and is perfect to bake and cook with as well. My Pecan Praline recipe is generations old and uses all fresh, natural products.

Pecan Pralines

Yields 12-15 pieces

1 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch table salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup real maple syrup (Burton’s Maplewood Farm)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I pre-roast them to intensify the flavor)

In a heavy sauce pan:
Combine the sugar, salt, milk, and maple syrup. Using a candy thermometer, heat mixture to 235 degrees. Wipe down the sides of the pot with a damp wet pastry brush then let boil for two minutes. Pull off heat, add the butter but do not stir. Just let the butter melt. Cool mixture down to 160 degrees, then add the pecans and beat with a wooden spoon until thickened and taking on an opaque like color. Using a teaspoon, place on parchment paper.  Let cool.  Place in an airtight container to store.

Mike Mech,“The Bungalow Chef”



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Bungalow Chef’s Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:01:36 +0000
Red Arrow Highway Sign in Harbor County, Michigan

Red Arrow Highway Sign in Harbor County, Michigan

Late summer means fresh peaches in the Midwest and I love to drive the historic Red Arrow Highway in Harbor County, Michigan to purchase them from the local farmers’ groves. Red Haven peaches are the most popular peaches in the area and they’re the one all others are judged against. So, it’s no surprise that I always buy them by the bushel! And that first bite is beyond wonderful. The juice, full of sweet summertime flavor, flows down my chin every time. Red Haven delights are the best and they’re also good for baking.

My Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble isn’t your grandmother’s dessert but it sure is special thanks to Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup. Served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re sure to have a winning dessert.


Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble

Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble!



Bungalow Chef’s Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble

7-8 medium size, fresh ripe peaches. Skin on, pitted and cut into 8-10 wedges
1 lemon (juice only)
1/3 cup Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup additional Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add cut fresh peaches, lemon juice, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla and cornstarch. Mix well, let sit for ten minutes for the flavors to marinate into the peaches. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray or rub it with butter. Put the peach mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.

In a separate bowl, add the rolled oats, brown sugar, softened butter, additional maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Toss together lightly then place over the peach mixture patting down to create a crumbly crust.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until the peach mixture is bubbling and the crumble is golden brown.  Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”



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The Bungalow Chef’s Cool and Refreshing Onion Dip Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:50:51 +0000

My hand made Onion Dip is a welcome addition to any late summer pool or patio party. Mine is so easy to make and filled with fresh sweet onion flavor, that once you try it, you’ll never consider purchasing that dry boxed powder mix again.

Home made onion chip dip

Home made onion dip

As a child, our milkman delivered super-sized cans of potato chips along with his usual dairy selections. We always had them on hand. Do you remember the mid-century Sputnik like chip and dip bowls with the hanger above the base so the dip almost touched the chips below? With chips and dip as vogue as the Twist in those days, this iconic vessel was in a lot of homes…including ours.

I consider my cool and refreshing recipe “dipping perfection” for your favorite chips. And, I’ll be so bold as to say, it’s ideal for dipping anything from a crudité platter. But I also love to serve this as a topping on a baked potato with a big steak dinner or even as a filling for a brunch omelet.

Bungalow Chef’s Cool and Refreshing Onion Dip

Serves 8-10 people

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups finely diced Spanish onions or yellow onions
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground horseradish (optional)

In a heavy sauté pan, heat oil, add the chopped onions and sprinkle with the sugar and kosher salt. Stir often, slowly caramelize the onions over medium heat until they are deep golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Add the garlic powder, pepper, salt, and horseradish. Then toss in the cooled sautéed onions and blend well.  Transfer to your serving bowl and garnish with the paprika.

Best if made a day in advance so the flavors can meld over night.




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Bungalow Bread Or…The Blizzard of 1967 Survival Bread Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:02:20 +0000

The blizzard of 1967 hit Chicago and the surrounding area on January 26th with a record setting 23 inches of snow followed by high winds and drifting.  To this day, it remains the worst winter storm in Chicago history. My small Mayberry-esque suburb of Blue Island, Illinois was in its path and, for a boy of 8 years old, it became a magical dream world. School was called off, snow forts were built and there was endless television on all THREE channels. However, for my parents, there was serious concern for the safety of family and friends. Just returning from work was a challenge for Dad and with little warning of the storm, Mom found grocery store shelves quickly emptied of bread, milk and daily staples.

Chicago Blizzard of 1967

Chicago Blizzard of 1967

This was when Mom taught me about bread being the staff of life. Interestingly, she always kept yeast in the house and we had plenty of flour and sugar left from the holiday baking season. Mom pulled me into her emergency mode and shared with me the art of bread baking.  She dug out the vintage crock-like Bauer Bowl (which I cherish and still use today) and my Great Grandmother Rose Schade’s bread recipe.

Bungalow bread still warm from the oven

Bungalow bread still warm from the oven

I quickly learned from a master the techniques of working with yeast, kneading dough, letting it rise and punching it down to rise once again. Loaf after loaf of glorious bread went into the oven and was shared with family, friends and neighbors. All of that bread with its warm and comforting aroma, as well as that iconic ’67 snow storm, will remain with me forever.

Bungalow Bread

Yields 4 Loaves

2 packages of dry active yeast
4 cups of warm milk (at 100 to 110 degrees)
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons salt
10-12 cups of all-purpose flour (additional flour for kneading)
2 egg whites beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
6 tablespoons of butter to finish the crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Use extra butter to grease the bread tins well.

Add the yeast to 1 cup of the warmed milk and the sugar. Stir well until the yeast starts to work or foams.

Place the remaining milk, melted butter, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time with a wooden spoon. After the 5th cup add the yeast mixture. Keep on adding the rest of the flour cup by cup until a stiff dough forms.

After the flour is incorporated, remove the dough to a well-floured board, and knead for 5 minutes. You want the dough smooth, supple and no longer tacky. You might need to add a bit more flour to handle the dough. Butter the inside of a large crock-style bowl well. Place the dough in the bowl and flip it a few times to cover all sides with butter.  Then cover the bowl with a towel, and allow rising in a warm, and draft free spot until the dough has doubled twice its size. Depending on the temperature of the kitchen it could take up to two hours. Note: A warmer draft free kitchen will help assist in the rise of the bread.

Remove the dough from the bowl, and punch down the dough three or four times. Return to the floured board, and knead for 5 more minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions, shape into loafs, and place into prepared bread pans. Cover the loaves again, and let rise again until doubled in size.

Using a sharp knife, score the center of each loaf slightly and brush with the beaten egg whites.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and nicely browned.

Remove bread from the pans and let cool on a rack. Using the additional butter, slather the tops of the warm bread to give a finish coat and a crispy crust.

Happy snow days!


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The Bungalow Chef’s Apple Strudel Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:10:13 +0000

How can anyone resist Apple Strudel fresh from the oven? The crisp and flaky crust wrapped around fresh apples and raisins, and the warm aroma of cinnamon and butter…are amazing. As a child, I was taught the technique of stretching the dough over a kitchen table but today, I use fillo dough. I love Organic Fillo Dough by The Fillo Factory. It’s made with clean vegan ingredients and is easy to use.  This dough comes in 13” x 18” sheets which are perfect.

Apple Strudel made with Fillo-Factory fillo dough

Apple Strudel made with Fillo-Factory fillo dough


Growing up as a mid-century kid, I remember the television show Hogan’s Heroes with the beloved character, Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz, never passing up a slice of Apple Strudel.  And as Schultz preferred, I always serve mine “mit schlag”, with whipped cream.

Apple Strudel “mit schlag”

Apple Strudel “mit schlag”

The Bungalow Chef’s Apple Strudel

6-8 servings

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees


5 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (un-seasoned)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

8 sheets of fillo dough (Thawed per the directions on The Fillo Factory’s Organic Fillo Dough box)
½ cup melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a large mixing bowl, add the diced apples, raisins, melted butter, bread crumbs, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and mix well.

Place one sheet of fillo dough on a large kitchen towel. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Layer and repeat the process using all 8 sheets of dough. Tap down using the backside of a baking sheet.

Spoon the apple mixture along the long side on the fillo sheets. Roll like a jelly roll. Brush the seam area with melted butter. Transfer onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet with seam side down. Bush with remaining butter and cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes. Let it set for one hour before slicing with a serrated knife and serving.

For a variation on this strudel recipe, I often use fresh pears or summer plums.

Chef’s Tip: Keep the dough from drying out by covering with barely damp kitchen towels or plastic wrap.


Mike Mech


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