My Favorite Grilled Ratatouille

“Ratatouille doesn’t sound delicious. It sounds like “rat” and “patootie.” Rat-patootie, which does not sound delicious.” – Linguini

With all respect to Monsieur Linguini, while ratatouille may not sound delicious, it tastes freakin’ awesome! This Grilled Ratatouille is one of my all-time favorite side dishes for grilled or rotisserie chicken.

Ratatouille (pronounced rat-eh- too-ee) is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. The full name of the dish is ratatouille niçoise.

There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is to simply sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cooks, including Julia Child, insist on a layering approach, where the aubergine and the courgettes are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce.

American chef Thomas Keller popularized a contemporary variation, confit byaldi, for the 2007 animated film Ratatouille. Ratatouille is a dish extremely popular with dieters.

This is because not only is it low in fat and calories, but high in nutrients.

Personally, I think the most flavorful way or preparing ratatouille is on the grill, creating a deep smoky flavor while maintaining the integrity of very delicate veggies like squash and eggplant.

Here’s how I do it…

See my post over at Latin Touch, for the full recipe!

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La Caja China 4 Cookbook Set ~ Save 20% + Free Shipping!

Caja China Cookbook Sale

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Chef Perry’s Guide to Creating Your Signature BBQ Sauce

make your own bbq sauce

Hey boys and girls!

Well, Valentine’s day has passed, and if you didn’t get your copy of my “Valentine’s Guide for Guys”, you’re just going to have to wait until next February. (Sorry!)

The good news is, that means it time for a new promotion!

This time, I’m offering my exclusive “Guide to Creating Your Signature BBQ Sauce!”

Available ONLY to CajaCooking Newsletter subscribers, and only for a short time. Sign up now to the free weekly newsletter, and you’ll get this PDF guide with your welcome email, in seconds!

From the basic elements of a bbq sauce, to recipes for regional favorites, to my own favorite recipes…they’re all in there!

Don’t miss out, get it now!

~Chef Perry

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Pulled Porchetta Sandwiches in La Caja China

Pulled Porchetta Sandwiches

Across Italy, porchetta is usually sold by pitchmen with their typically white-painted vans, especially during public displays or holidays. Porchetta both from shoulder, and from loin, was introduced to the USA by Italian immigrants of the early 20th century.

This  is one up my very favorite recipes from La Caja China Cooking 2018!

La Caja China Cooking 2018Pulled Porchetta Sandwiches

  • 2 (8lb) pork shoulders
  • 6 Tbs Fennel Seeds
  • 24 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt & pepper
  • 12 Tbs fresh rosemary
  • 2 C red wine
  • 32 oz sliced pancetta
  • 24 crusty Italian rolls
  • 4 C Sesame Cilantro Slaw
  • 6 C Italian parsley

Debone and flatten meat so that it may be rolled. Place the fennel, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, wine, and pancetta in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.

Pulled Porchetta SandwichesSpread ½ the pancetta mixture evenly over the pork, roll back up and tie tightly.

Place racks inside the box skin side down, attach probe from the wired thermometer and run wire under short aluminum top frame.

Cover box with the ash pan and charcoal grid.

Want one of these beauties? Click HERE!

Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for Model #1 Box or 18lbs. for Model #2, or Semi Pro Box and light up. Once lit (20-25 minutes) spread the charcoal evenly over the charcoal grid. Cooking time starts right now. After 1 hour (1st hour) add 9 lbs. of charcoal (note time).

Continue to add 9 lbs. of charcoal every hour until you reach 195 F on the meat thermometer. Once you reach 195 F, lift the charcoal grid shake it well to remove the ashes, now place it on top of the long handles. Do not place on the grass or floor – it will damage them.

Removing ashes from La Caja China

IMPORTANT: Do not open the box until you reach the desired temperature.

Use a large metal scoop to clean off the pan, and dispose of the ashes.

Add 8lbs of fresh coals.

After 30 minutes, take a peak by lifting the charcoal pan by one end only. You will continue doing this every 10 minutes until the skin is crispy to your liking.  Remove shoulders from Caja and allow to rest 30 minutes. Simmer juices until reduced by half. Keep warm.

Heat the rolls. Shredding pork shouldersShred the pork, mixing back in with the reserved juices, after defatting (optional).

Place ¼ cup of meat on the warm roll and spoon over a little of the pan juices onto the sandwich.

Top meat with caramelized onions, the ¼ cup of slaw.

Pulled Porchetta SandwichesEnjoy everyone, and remember…it GOOD to think inside the box!

~Chef Perry

Oh, and don’t forget to…

La Caja China Cooking Newsletter

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La Caja China Cooking 2018 Edition!

Fully updated for its 10th anniversary, La Caja China Cooking 2018 has more recipes, updated tips and techniques, and is now fully illustrated with step-by-step photos of my recipes in action.

La Caja China Cooking 2018

Click Image to Order on Amazon!

You’ll also find tips on new equipment, new social media resources, and links to my free online videos of the very best food you can make in, and on, a roasting box!

Speaking of videos, if you haven’t subscribed to the La Caja China Cooking YouTube Channel, you’re missing out! From ribs, to chicken, to the entire process of roasting a whole pig…it’s all there waiting for you, so please subscribe!

For even more La Caja China love, visit by blog at

It’s good to think inside the box!

Oh, and I’ve also just launched the “La Caja China Cooking Newsletter!” Exclusive recipes, chef’s tips & tricks, and giveaways! and I’ll send you my FREE PDF, the “La Caja China Pro Guidebook.” The best mods and techniques I’ve learned in over 10 years of roasting, grilling, and smoking with the Magic Box! Sign up here!

~Chef Perry
La Caja China Cooking 2018
La Caja China World
La Caja China Party!
La Caja China Grill!

(All titles available on Amazon)

La Caja China Cookbooks

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Announcing the La Caja China Cooking Newsletter!

La Caja China Cooking NewsletterHere’s some big news…before TOMORROW’S really BIG news..

We’ve just launched a free “La Caja China Cooking Newsletter!”

Each week, I’ll share my latest tips, trick, techniques, and videos with subscribers, answer your questions, share product reviews, and maybe even do some give-aways…

We’ll also post our favorite photos (with kudos) from our readers!

Oh, and you’ll also get some of my favorite La Caja China roasting, grilling, and smoking recipes, which will ONLY be available in the newsletter!

Sign up now, and to say “thanks”, I’ll send you the fully revised and updated “La Caja China Pro” eGuidebook, packed with all of the ideas, tweaks, and pimps I’ve picked up over a decade of cooking with the magic box!

Oh, and you REALLY want to be signed up right away, as there’ll be some pretty cool stuff in the first issue, pertaining to tomorrow’s BIG NEWS!

Here’s the link: (click it…you know you want to!)

~Chef Perry

La Caja China Guidebook


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Teriyaki Bacon Salmon Bombs on La Caja China

A quick and simple recipe for your top-grill that’s a real crowd pleaser!

Bacon, salmon, and teriyaki sauce…what’s not to like?


Chef Perry

PS – If you like what I’m posting, please share! If you LOVE what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!

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The Ultimate Caja Christmas!

Did a lucky someone get a Caja China roasting box this Christmas?

Give them a gift that will keep giving delicious presents all year long!

How to’s, time-tested techniques, and hundreds of mouth-watering caja-friendly recipes to help them get the most from their new Magic Box!

Pick them up on Amazon at:!

Merry Christmas!

~Chef Perry

La Caja China Cookbooks

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Help us Help a Family this Christmas!

MY KITCHEN Outreach Program

Each year, as part of the James1:27 Project, of our MY KITCHEN Outreach, we choose a family in need to bless at Christmas.

This year, we have a single mom, with several young ones, who is having to find a new place to live. She works a full time job, and receives no form of government assistance, but, as they say…life has happened, and they need some help.

Bacon! A Home Chef's GuideThis year, our fund-raising just happens to coincide with the release of my newest Home Chef Guidebook, “BACON!”

So…let’s make the most of that!

Today (Friday) through this Sunday, 100% of the sales of this guidebook, or ANY of my books on Amazon (, including all La Caja China Cooking titles, will be donated to this year’s family.

If you’re still looking to fill some Christmas present slots…buy ’em a book! 😉

(The Home Chef Series, “MEAT FIRE GOOD”, and “Just A Spoonful” are all great gift options for non-caja owners!)

If you would like to give directly to the family, please contact me.

Also, we’re looking for some folks who might be willing to offer a “Matching Funds” deal, as part of their year-end charitable giving. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, I can provide tax-deductible recipes. Again, please contact me in you’re interested.

Lastly, PLEASE share this request with your friends and family.

Merry Christmas my friends!

~Chef Perry

La Caja China Cooking

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Chef P’s Smoked Swineapple

I’ve gotten a lot of messages and emails this year, asking me when I was going to get around to trying out the big fad recipe of 2016, the infamous “Amazing Swineapple” (A Frankensteinian flavor bomb of a pork-stuffed fresh pineapple wrapped in bacon!)

Well, as I promised to do my own take on it before the year is over, AND today just happens to be National Bacon Day, here we go…

I used our Burnin’ Love Pork Rub recipe, and my go to Yoshida’s Original sauce. I also decided to precook the pork, both for safety reasons, and to get some smoke and char into the flavor profile. It also makes the whole thing WAY quicker to cook, which gives you a better consistency on the pineapple.

Ingredients for Swineapple
1 Large Pineapple (the larger the better)
1 lb. of good quality, thin sliced, bacon (I like the “low sodium” for this recipe)
5/6 Boneless Pork Ribs (Picnic cut, from the shoulder)
Burnin’ Love Pork Rub (see recipe here)
Yoshida’s Original Sauce

Rubbed pork ribs for swineapple
Rub pork ribs with seasoning and refrigerate overnight in a zip bag. Remove to counter one hour before you plan to start cooking.

Grilling ribs for Swineapple
Grill ribs over direct high heat on well seared on all sides, but not overcooked (1-2 minutes per side). Brush with sauce as you turn each side.

Heat your smoker to 250F.

Coring pineapple for Smoked Swineapple recipe
Slice the rind off of the pineapple, cut off one end (do not discard) and carefully core out the center leaving an outer edge approx 1 inch thick.

Coring pineapple for Smoked Swineapple recipe
Stuff the pineapple with the pork ribs, packing them in tight.

Smoked Swineapple recipe
Carefully position the pineapple end you saved earlier back onto the end of the pineapple, securing with toothpicks.
MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

IMG_2842 (1024x768)
Create a “bacon weave” (see instructions here)

acon weave wrapped swineapple
Wrap the pineapple with bacon weave, and pinning in place with toothpicks. Sprinkle exterior generously with more rub.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
Place in the pre-heated smoker for 3 hours.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
When the smoked swineapple is finished remove all of the toothpicks, remove the top, slice and serve immediately.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
This is great over some simple white rice!

Chef Perry

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple

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