Oh holy butter. I find myself thinking that a lot in class. It's in everything! When a recipe doesn't call for butter, I actually get confused. Maybe I wrote the ingredients down wrong? Maybe I missed a step? Maybe we'll add it at the end? A recipe without butter is beginning to feel like an anomaly.
I stay pretty healthy when I cook for myself at home. I keep to all the "lows" of a health-conscious woman in her mid-twenties...low salt, low carb, low fat. It's a constant effort to stick to these "lows" in class, and not indulge in all the decadent amazing-ness we make. Yet, despite my efforts, I have never consumed this much butter in my life. A taste here and a taste there, to make sure my food is up to par, really adds up.
Every week, my girlfriends and I cook dinner for each other. Whoever hosts provides all the food and wine, and handles the entire cleanup. It's a pretty sweet deal, and it gives all eight of us a chance to catch up in our busy lives.
When it's my turn to host, I spend a few days planning. What should the main course be? Salad? Side dish? Of course, it must always be something we look back on and think, "That was so good." No pressure...right?Continue »
(CBS News) There is nothing better than a delicious salad...especially when you are in culinary school, and your mantra is to be able to still fit into your uniform by graduation.
Fantasy: I stuff myself silly with all the deliciousness that's endlessly available at school (truffle mac and cheese, never-ending supplies of French bread).
Reality: One-bite tastes of all the yummy food, and holding out until I can make a salad at home.Continue »
I know what you're thinking...another stock video? I'm surprised too! But we use stock in some way, shape or form in almost everything we cook in class.
My favorite recipe we've made so far is pork tenderloin served with a subtly spicy sweet and sour sauce (consider the enormity of that statement...we make a ton of good stuff every class). There's just something about the mixture of honey, ginger, jalepenos and pork that worked so well for me. And the base of the sauce? Stock, of course.Continue »
My first in-class evaluation perfectly described my skills as a home cook: strong flavor profiles, messy workstation, uneven knife work... that's me in a nutshell.
I have never cared what my food looks like on a plate (or what my kitchen looks like in the aftermath), so long as everything tastes delicious.
When I first started culinary school, I knew I'd graduate with a greater knowledge of pairing food and a Rolodex of recipes. I did not, however, expect a complete makeover.Continue »
In my last "What's Cooking" post, I demonstrated a healthy and delicious recipe for cooking fish in parchment paper, called Poisson En Papillote.
Now... let's talk fish recipes that are, well, a tad less healthy. I have plenty (are we shocked again?). An entire week of class was dedicated to studying and cooking fish. I thought it'd be fun to share a recipe and some tips from the other two classes!Continue »
Parchment paper does all in a professional kitchen. It removes oil from the surface of soup. It helps pretty little fried potato baskets come out of a mold ever so easily. It cooks vegetables to perfection, and, my recent favorite, it makes for an impressive package to steam fish.
Poisson En Papillote, literally meaning fish cooked in paper, uses white wine, herbs and vegetables to steam fish beautifully. It's is one of the few dishes we've made in class that isn't jam-packed with fat. I know, shocking. But, hey, that's restaurant food for you! For a healthy and delicious meal that's sure to impress, it's hard to beat!
What better side dish to your St. Patrick's Day fare than some yummy mashed potatoes?
On potato day (the best day ever for a carb-lover like myself), we learned a great recipe for mashed potatoes. So good, even, that we were promised, "You will get a marriage proposal out of these."
How can something as simple as mashed potatoes be so seductive? I had my doubts...and then we made them. Oh. My. Gosh.Continue »
(CBS News) Homemade mayonnaise is totally, completely and utterly different from the store-bought stuff.
I actually like homemade mayo, and that's coming from someone who doesn't want mayo anywhere near her sandwiches or pasta salads. All you'll need is an egg, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and oil. These ingredients are usually just laying around my kitchen anyway, so whenever I want to spice up my lunch or dinner, homemade mayo is right at my fingertips.Video: Learn to make homemade mayo Continue »
(CBS News) Oh, chicken stock. Just when I thought I was making it right, turns out I was making it all wrong. But no longer will I have to sneak a bouillon cube or a splash of pre-made stock into my recipes.
I now understand how to turn water into a beautiful sheer and golden stock that adds so much flavor to my soups, stews and even rice! TIP: Use chicken stock instead of water when you are making rice. So good!Continue »
(CBS News) I hate onions. If there is an onion somewhere on my plate, I will find it. I knew it would be a problem in culinary school. I mean, what isn't cooked with onions?! I decided I would go in with an open mind, and try everything, even if there are onions in it.
On day one, I came face to face with a caramelized pearl onion that I needed to try. So, I said a little prayer and went for it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. We used a technique called "glacer a brun," which basically just means cooking your onions until tender and then caramelizing them. I figure that if I ate them and didn't mind the taste, then anyone who likes onions will love this technique! It can be used with any kind of vegetable you'd like.Continue »
(CBS News) I love cooking with tomatoes. Admittedly, I always have relied on the canned variety of unseasoned sauce and chopped tomatoes for my homemade pasta sauces, soups and chili.
But, now that I'm in culinary school, the can will have to stay in the cabinet. Week one, and my home cooking habits already have changed.Continue »
(CBS News) Have you ever wondered why mashed potatoes in a restaurant usually taste so much better than the ones you make at home?
Or why seemingly simple kitchen tasks like peeling hard-boiled eggs always look so much easier when chefs do it on TV?
Me, too.Continue »