Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1⁄2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 rack pork spareribs (about 5 pounds), trimmed

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1⁄2 cup cherry preserves, at room temperature


1. Combine the sugar, cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Season the entire surface of the ribs with the spice mixture.

2. Heat the grill for indirect low-heat grilling, about 300 degrees.

3. Place the rack, bone side down, on the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and grill for 1 hour. Brush both sides of the rack with half the cherry preserves. Continue grilling, bone side down with the lid closed, 1 hour longer.

4. Brush the ribs with the remaining preserves and grill until, when you lift the rack at one end with tongs, it bends enough in the middle that the meat begins to tear easily, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.

5. Remove from the grill and allow the ribs to rest 5 minutes before cutting between the bones into individual ribs. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 392 calories, 31 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 23 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 564 mg sodium



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2 tablespoons lime juice (plus wedges for garnish)

1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

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1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne

4 (6-ounce) boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even 1⁄4-inch thickness


1. Combine the lime juice, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne. Add the chicken, turning it once to coat the chicken in the mixture. Allow it to stand 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, wrap two bricks in foil. Oil the grill grates and heat the grill for direct high-heat cooking. Place the chicken diagonally across the grates and place the first brick on top of 2 cutlets and the second brick on the remaining 2 cutlets. Grill 3 minutes, turn and replace the bricks and grill until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally in the center registers 160 degrees, another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve garnished with lime slices and cilantro sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 188 calories, 35 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 374 mg sodium



3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 large portobello mushroom caps

4 (1⁄4-inch-thick) slices red onion

2 red bell peppers, cut in half, stem and seeds removed

4 sandwich or hamburger rolls, split

4 ounces soft goat cheese


1. Coat grill rack with spray or oil and heat the grill for medium-high, direct heat.

2. Combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil and thyme in a bowl; add the mushrooms, turning once to coat both sides and let sit 5 minutes.

3. Brush the onion with some of the mushroom marinade and place on the grill. Cook 2 minutes and add the peppers, skin side down. Add the mushrooms and brush the onions and mushrooms with any marinade remaining in the bowl. When the vegetables release easily from the grill surface and are well-marked on the undersides, about 4 minutes, turn and cook until just tender, about another 4 minutes.

4. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the grill until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. While the rolls toast, brush off the blistered skin from the peppers.

5. Spread the cut surface of the bottom of each roll with the goat cheese. Add the mushroom and pepper, close the sandwich and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 262 calories 13 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 374 mg sodium