Tag Archives: The Professional Chef

Challenge: Grilling, Broiling, Roasting, and Baking (Kitchen Bootcamp April)

After another great Kitchen Bootcamp challenge in March, I thought I’d keep things rolling and announce the new challenge for April right away!

Warmer weather is on its way, so I thought we’d tackle the grilling chapter (Chapter 20) in The Professional Chef this month.  The chapter actually covers grilling, broiling, roasting, and baking meats.  So, there should be something for everyone… Even if the weather turns cold, or you aren’t really into grilling!

The chapter covers all of the proper techniques for grilling, broiling, roasting, or baking meat, along with carving tips and a bunch of great recipes. Of course, as with all of the challenges, you don’t have to strictly follow the chapter in The Professional Chef… Feel free to use the resources you have on hand, along with your own creativity!  And, if you aren’t a meat eater, don’t fret. Veggie dishes will be accepted for this challenge, as well!

I’ll be posting the roundup on Monday, April 30th… So, please submit your blog posts by Sunday, April 29th in order to have them included in the post.  And, of course, I’d like to remind you that if you would like to have a photo included in the post, you must submit it along with your blog post.  I won’t take images directly from your site or blog post!

New Book for May!

While I still have your attention, I also wanted to announce that the Kitchen Bootcamp challenges will start referencing a new book starting in May – The New Best Recipe (from America’s Test Kitchen and the editors of Cook’s Illustrated).  We have covered most of the chapters in The Professional Chef, so I thought it would be nice to do something different.

Of course, you are not obligated to purchase a copy of the book in order to participate… But, I wanted to give everyone a heads up in case you are interested in purchasing a copy (and, it’s definitely a book I recommend!) before the next challenge!

Please Note – The links to The Profesional Chef and The New Best Recipe provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

Challenge: Potatoes (Kitchen Bootcamp March)

It feels good to be back in the swing of things, doesn’t it? I enjoyed last month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, and I’m ready for the next one!

For the March challenge, I thought we’d tackle one of the few remaining chapters of The Professional Chef that we haven’t covered yet – Cooking Potatoes (Chapter 26).  Potatoes may seem like a very simple ingredient, but they lend themselves well to a lot of different cooking techniques – roasting, sauteeing, baking, frying, steaming, boiling… You get the picture!

As I have said in previous months, you are free to use any source that you choose for the challenge.  I love my copy of The Professional Chef and I will be using that as a guide (along with other cookbooks that I own).  But, I encourage you to use whatever you have on hand.  The only rule is that you make a dish that features potatoes.  Simple, right?

Need more inspiration? Be sure to check out the Facebook group created specifically for the Kitchen Bootcamp challenges!

To be included in the roundup on Thursday, March 29th, please submit your blog posts to me by Wednesday, March 28th.  Be sure to include a photo in your submission if you would like one included in the roundup… I won’t steal photos directly from your site!

Please Note – The links to The Professional Chef provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

Challenge: Eggs (Kitchen Bootcamp January/February)

I’ve taken a bit of a break from the Kitchen Bootcamp challenges over the holidays (and a few weeks after the holidays, too!).  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who had a busy schedule and not too much time to worry about sharpening my kitchen skills and trying new things!

But, that’s all about to change. It’s time for a new Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!

Even while I’ve been taking a break from the challenges here on the site, the Facebook group has been going strong, and there’s been some discussion about the new challenge.  I asked for suggestions, and the one that jumped out at me was the chapter on cooking eggs (Chapter 29 in The Professional Chef)… Thanks, Chia!

Eggs may seem like a simple ingredient… And, they certainly can be! But, I challenge you to learn something new this month! I’ve never poached an egg (nor do I typically eat poached eggs), so that’s something I’m determined to conquer for this challenge.  For you, it could be something as simple as mastering the perfect hard boiled egg or fluffy scrambled eggs. Of course, you could tackle a savory souffle, too. Really, any egg recipes are fine (though, let’s stay away from cakes and cookies and other baking that just uses an egg or two).  And, as always, you can use whatever sources you have on hand. If you have a copy of The Professional Chef, that’s a great one… And, that’s what I’ll be using!

Since I’m announcing this challenge a bit late, and since February is a short month, I’m going to make it a combined January/February challenge.  I’ll be posting the roundup of all of your recipes on Tuesday, February 28th, so be sure to submit your blog post by Monday, February 27th.  Also, please be sure to upload a photo when you submit your post if you’d like me to include one in the post… I won’t take photos from your site directly!

One More Thing…

While I have your attention, I’d love your feedback on one more thing… We’ve covered most of the chapters in The Professional Chef.  So, thinking ahead to upcoming months.  Would you like to revisit prior chapters, or move on to a new book? And, do you have a book in mind? Feel free to leave your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions in the comments!

Please Note – The links to The Professional Chef provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

Challenge: Fillings, Frostings, and Dessert Sauces (Kitchen Bootcamp Holiday)

I loved all of the enthusiasm for the October Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, so I won’t waste any time… Let’s get right to the next challenge!

You might hate me for this one, but I decided that this month we will tackle the chapter on Fillings, Frostings, and Dessert Sauces (Chapter 38 in The Professional Chef). With the holidays right around the corner, I always like to step things up a bit with my desserts. And, nothing takes a dessert to the next level quite the way a great filling, frosting, or sauce does. Who’s with me?

So for this challenge, try something new! Have you always wanted to try your hand at some swiss meringue buttercream? Or perhaps you want to perfect your filling for the perfect pumpkin pie to impress your relatives. Perhaps you just want to make a quick caramel sauce to serve on top of some ice cream for a relaxing sundae party at home. That’s what I love about these challenges… You can see what grabs your attention and go with it!

As always, I’ll be using The Professional Chef as my guide and reference for the challenge. It’s a great source of information and has some great recipes and ideas in this chapter. You are welcome to use any sources you have available to you, though. Just tackle any filling, frosting, or dessert sauce you can find!

Since everyone’s schedules are busy this time of year, I’m going to make this a combined holiday challenge for November and December. I’ll be posting the roundup  of all of your fillings, frostings, and sauces on Monday, December 19th.. So, if you would like to participate, please be sure to submit your post (and a photo, if you would like one to be included!) no later than Sunday, December 18th.

If you’re new to my Kitchen Bootcamp challenges, I’d love to have you join us. Here are all of the details to get you started.  Want to chat about the challenge in the meantime? I’ve created a Facebook group so that you can share your blog posts, ask questions, or even brag about your awesome recipes as you are working on the challenge.

Please Note – The links to The Professional Chef provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

Ricotta Gnocchi

A few months ago, I introduced my husband to ricotta gnocchi. I ordered it at one of our favorite local restaurants, and he gave me a skeptical look. But, then he took a bite. Ever since, he’s been hooked.

The thing is, I’ve never actually made gnocchi before. Not successfully, at least. I’ve attempted to make sweet potato gnocchi in the past, but they turned out gummy. And, we ended up ordering takeout that night. So, I’ve shyed away from it ever since.

For this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, I decided that it was time that I revisit gnocchi. Since my husband is so smitten with ricotta gnocchi, I figured that was a good place to start. The fact that it’s not made with potatoes and wasn’t as likely to be a gummy mess like my last gnocchi attempt certainly didn’t hurt, either.

I used the recipe in The Professional Chef as my guide for the gnocchi. I was really surprised how easy the recipe was. I really should have given it a try sooner! The only slight issue that I had was that the batter is supposed to be shaped into quenelles using two spoons as it’s dropped into the boiling water. My quenelle skills are a bit lacking, so I ended up with more of a lopsided dumpling shape. But, they tasted fantastic. My hubby said they were as good as the ones from the restaurant and informed me that I should add them to his Husband’s Picks category right away. I consider that a success! Continue Reading