chef Coey webCorey attended the Restaurant School of Philadelphia. He has experience cooking in hotels and restaurants and has 10 years working in senior living. In his free time he barbecues his favorite recipes for family and friends, and occasionally participates in Iron Chef competitions. He enjoys working with seniors because of the home-like feel of the work environment and freedom to be creative with the menu and cuisine.

What are your all-time favorite main dishes, sides and desserts?
My favorite food to cook is comfort food and nothing says comfort food like Southern cooking: barbecue that has been slow cooking all day and homemade sides to complete the meal – potato salad and coleslaw are my go-to options. The dessert I make most is peanut butter pie. I have been making it for years, it’s a crowd pleaser and my kids always ask for it!
What makes a meal more appealing to older people with decreased appetites?
Everyone likes variety and our residents are no different. Our community’s menu features a 12-week rotation, so there’s always something new to enjoy! We research magazines for popular recipes and ask residents what they grew up eating and add that to our menus.
How do you ensure that your meals are nutritionally complete?
The foods we eat need to have balance. Balancing the fats on the plate with vitamin packed vegetables and good carbs like sweet potatoes and grains will ensure that you are getting the nutrition you need for the day. Also, there are ways to use less salt and sugar. A great substitute for salt is to use fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and parsley. For sugar, I try to use natural sweeteners like honey and agave.

beer braised short ribs dutch oven web

RECIPE: Braised Short Ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 beef short ribs, a splash of red wine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 6 thin slices of bacon - diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 carrots - diced
2 shallots, finely minced, 1 medium onion - diced
4 cups beef broth (enough to almost cover the ribs)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge them in the flour. Set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove and set aside. Drain off any excess fat.
Add olive oil to the pan with the bacon fat and raise the heat to High. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove the ribs and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the carrots, shallots and onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Splash in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Add the broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid. Finally, add the cooked bacon.
Put on a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until the ribs are fork-tender and falling off the bone - 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes with the lid on before serving. At the last minute, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. (You can also refrigerate the mixture, then remove the solid fat from the top.)
For each serving arrange 2 ribs on a bed of the grits, or the like, spooning a little juice over the top.

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