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 mediabistro.com, 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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GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH PEACH SALSA

2 peaches, cut in 1/4-inch dice

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

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1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 (1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops, about 2 pounds

1. Coat the grill rack or pan with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil. Heat for direct heat cooking.

2. Combine the peaches, red pepper, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Season the pork with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and cumin. Place on grill and cook until the undersides are well-marked and readily releases from the grill surface, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook another 4 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness. (An internal temperature of 145 degrees will result in tender juicy meat that is slightly pink in the center.)

4. Serve chops topped with the salsa. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 250 calories, 33 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 504 mg sodium

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PEACH CLAFOUTI

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1/4 cup sliced almonds

5 tablespoons melted butter

3 ripe peaches, thinly sliced

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

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1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium high; add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become lightly golden and aromatic. Transfer to a plate to cool and remove the pan from the heat.

3. Brush the inside of the skillet very lightly with some of the melted butter. Layer the peaches evenly across the bottom. Combine the remaining butter, eggs, milk, flour, almond and vanilla extracts, salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour the batter over the peaches, top with the toasted almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake in the center of the oven until the clafouti is puffed, golden, set in the center, about 50 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 240 calories, 6 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 119 mg sodium

TIP A clafouti is like a puffed pancake, or a thicker crepe, which deflates quickly as it cools. It is served both as breakfast and dessert.

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GRILLED PEACHES WITH RICOTTA-HONEY TOPPING AND BALSAMIC SYRUP

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup light ricotta

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 large peaches, cut in half and pit removed

1. Bring the vinegar and brown sugar to a boil; reduce and simmer until mixture is the consistency of syrup (a spoon drawn across the pan will leave a trailing line), about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool.

2. Combine the ricotta, honey and almond extract in a blender of food processor; puree until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

3. Coat the grill rack (or pan) with oil or cooking spray; light for direct heat cooking. Brush the oil over the entire surface of the peaches. Grill the peaches until they are well-marked and readily release from the grill surface, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

4. Place the peaches cut side up on 4 plates; top each with a dollop of the ricotta and drizzle with the syrup. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 187 calories, 5 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 44 mg sodium