Winner of the “Easy Breezy Summer Recipe Contest”!
This month’s Home Chef is Mindee Curtis of Omaha, Nebraska. Mom to 11-month-old Barrett and married to Ray Curtis, Mindee is a successful biologist, who works (part time now as she raises Barrett) at Creighton University doing clinical and research work in histology and immunobiochemistry.
Of course, she’s also a foodie and chef. The Curtises, says Mindee, “love trying restaurants and will often plan our vacations and weekend excursions around where we will be eating!” They also love the outdoors and regularly visit MindeeTs parents’ farm outside of Omaha (or the Curtis family “country house,” as she likes to call it) where they can bike, hike, fish and more. Even better, time with family lets her plan parties, family gatherings, and great meals with her mom, sister and aunt.
Mindee’s recipe for Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers won the U.S. Wellness Meats “Easy Breezy Summer Recipe Contest,” and she shared her thoughts on grassfed meat, cooking and family with us,
How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I’ve been baking and cooking all my life. Since I come from a family of great cooks, gardeners, and foodies, it was a natural progression for me.
Why is eating grassfed meat different? How does it affect your cooking? Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
I came to use grassfed meats primarily because I prefer the taste. I have since learned about the health benefits including higher Omega-3 levels, which has only encouraged me to continue using grassfed meats.
How did you learn about grassfed meat?
I first purchased them at a local store.
Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
For me, great cooking is really defined by the ingredients used. The best, freshest, and highest quality ingredients need very little manipulation to taste wonderful. I am a huge proponet of using local and seasonally available food — it tastes great and is better for the environment.
What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
Seek out quality, local (if possible) ingredients and never stop learning new recipes and techniques.
What advice do you have for families in the kitchen? And for encouraging everyone in the family to eat the same meal?
I grew up eating dinner with my family almost every night, and I do the same now with my family. It really is the time people connect in the otherwise busy day.