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Cook's Corner

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If you go
What: Parkview Foundation’s Cookin’ Men
When: Doors open at 7 p.m. April 26
Where: Grand Wayne Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Cost: $50 advance or $65 at the door; www.parkviewfoundations.org
Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Ryan Kay and his father, Larry Kay, will be among cooks at the Parkview Foundation’s Cookin’ Men.

Father, son whipping up good eats for good cause

– Parkview Foundation’s 11th annual Cookin’ Men is April 26, and as of last week, 99 men had committed to the upcoming fundraiser for women’s health.

Father and son Larry and Ryan Kay of Allen County are among the men ready to serve their dishes. This is the second year Larry, 57, director of technology at Fort Wayne Metals, and Ryan, 28, a financial adviser with Braun Wealth Management Group and president of the Purdue Alumni Club of Fort Wayne, have participated.

“They won’t station us together,” the elder Kay says.

The event is laid out with eight to 10 pods or tables together, Ryan says.

Larry says they contacted someone on the committee to find out how they could get involved after attending the event.

Asked if the cooks are competitive, Larry says the event is “pure fun.”

His son agrees. “No competition,” he says. “Cookin’ Men doesn’t give awards.”

“They’re trying to encourage people to prepare,” Larry says. “The alternative is (that) you make enough to have leftovers to eat afterwards. It was a lot of fun. Very cordial. Last year, we took samples around to other guys. Last year, it was fun. We were serving soup and playing off each other.”

This year, they plan to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup and Amaretto Cake.

“What I’ve typically done is decide what I want to make and try it on the family so by the time I make it for Cookin’ Men, I’ve made it a dozen times,” Larry says. “This soup I tried at Panera, and I made it. I tweaked it to what I want.”

Ryan smiles and explains why he has chosen to make Amaretto Cake.

“I wanted to make something sweeter, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on (it). Last year, I was next to Michael Kelly. I think his dish had alcohol inside it, and I had tabbouleh. It was a hard sell. This year, Amaretto Cake. I learned my lesson.”

Each has his own advice for other men thinking of participating.

“Go for it! It is such a fun event. Everybody has such a great time. And it’s a wonderful charity that they’re doing this for,” Larry says.

Ryan says, “My best memories are going around and talking to other chefs and getting to know them. And talking about why they made their dish, and trying the dishes. That’s the biggest thing. I had a friend from Chicago, he’s coming back this year. He said that this was an amazing thing for Fort Wayne.”

Q. Who taught each of you to cook?

Larry: I just learned from my mother and mother-in-law. Both are fabulous chefs.

Ryan: Self-taught. I was lucky enough to come home from school to a home-cooked meal every single night. And since I married Kristen, I come home to a home-cooked meal. When I was in college, I’d come home, and Dad was cooking.

Q. Who does most of the cooking at home?

Ryan: Without a doubt, my wife. She has a passion for it.

Larry: I do at this house. After the kids got out of school, my wife, Katrina, started dieting. So if I didn’t want a veggie burger or a wheat grass shake, I had to fix something. When Ryan and his sister (Kassee Lamm) went off to college, I told my wife that I wanted pots and pans for Christmas, and that’s what I got. The black Calphalon. And nobody messes with my pots and pans.

Q. Do you have a favorite cookbook?

Larry: I don’t. I pick up recipes all over the place. I cook with my iPad on the counter.

Ryan: So do I. We have some favorite recipes. With me, it’s not a certain book, it’s more of a certain dish: fish tacos. I would scroll through the recipes, and it may be a mess of recipes. As far as (actual) cookbooks, we get a lot of recipes on the websites.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

16 ounces cooked chicken breast with bones, cubed

1 tablespoon Morton Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup water

1 cup orzo pasta

1/2 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup white wine

3 (32 ounce) boxes of chicken broth

3 carrots, chopped in thin slices

3 sticks celery, chopped

1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Sea salt, to taste

Ground pepper, to taste

4 ounces fresh spinach, thinly sliced

1 lemon thinly sliced, remove any seeds

1 lemon thinly sliced, garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chickens breasts (skin side up) and water in the pan. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over the chicken breasts. Liberally season with Morton Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend. Cook in oven for two hours in a covered pan. Remove skin and bones, cut into 3/8 -inch cubes. This can be done the day before preparing the soup. Following directions on the orzo package, prepare al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Sauté the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil and butter. Add wine to the mixture, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, carrots and celery. Season with oregano, parsley, salt and black pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir orzo, spinach and lemon slices into the broth. Add chicken. Cook until the chicken and orzo are heated through. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and serve with fresh rolls. Makes 12 servings.

– Submitted by Larry Kay

Corn Chowder, Italian sausage version

1 pound ground mild Italian sausage, remove skin

14 ounces skinless smoked sausage, cubed

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1/4 cup all purpose flour

6 cups whole milk

2 cups whipping cream

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

16 ounces corn kernels, gold/white mix

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Green onion finely chopped for garnish

In a large stockpot, brown sausage, garlic and onion over medium heat until cooked through. Drain pan and add flour, mix well and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk, cream, potatoes and corn to sausage mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onions. Makes 12 servings.

– Submitted by Larry Kay

Java Chili

2 teaspoons oil

2 red onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound beef sirloin, cubed

1 (14 1/2 ounces) can diced tomatoes

1 bottle Kona Brewing Co. Pipeline Porter beer

1 cup strong coffee

2 (6 ounces) cans tomato paste

1 (14 ounces) can beef broth

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt

2 (15 ounces) cans kidney beans

2 chili peppers, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper diced

Heat oil. Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown. Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Add spices. Stir in kidney beans and peppers. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Makes 12 servings.

– Submitted by Ryan Kay

Amaretto Cake

Cake:

1 (18 1/2 ounces) box white cake mix

1 (3 ounces) box vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

Glaze:

1 stick butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup amaretto liqueur

1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan. Mix cake ingredients. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown. To make glaze: Melt the glaze ingredients in small stovetop pan and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 3 minutes. Pour the glaze over the finished cake. Makes 10 servings.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-88; fax 461-8648 or email dparker@jg.net.

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