Alright people this is important, so listen up! I’m not a chef, I’m a rebel chef. What the sam-heck does that mean, you ask? It means that I’ve taught myself to cook over the past 15 years, my own stupid way. I don’t have any formal training (that’s kind of a lie, more on that later) and I’ve never worked in a professional kitchen (another lie come to think of it, isn’t this fun?!). My skills in the kitchen have been passed down, absorbed and honed over many years and so very many mistakes made. That being said, I’ve made it my mission to fully understand and master as many cooking techniques, concepts and foundational skills as possible because I absolutely. and completely. hate. using. recipes.
There, I said it. It took me a whole paragraph to get here. I hate using recipes, you guys. I find them limiting, daunting, boring and a few other -’ings’ we can circle back to later on. My hope with this blog and our videos is to, over time, convince you to do the same. Not because there isn’t value in having wonderful recipes you can reach for and trust- there definitely is. I merely want to teach, encourage and inspire you to find freedom and flexibility in your kitchen by mastering the basics and realizing that you don’t need the damn recipe. You don’t need to measure and you don’t need to use the exact same listed ingredients. If you understand HOW a soup becomes a soup, a casserole a casserole, how to perfectly brown and sear your meat and how to make a delicious pan sauce out of ANYTHING then you can start to see recipes as little nuggets of inspiration and not dogmatic laws that must be followed to the exact “T”.
So the disclaimer is this- I am not a recipe developer. In fact, I might be the exact opposite. I never measure, I rarely make the same dish the same way twice and I cook on a teeeny tiny adorable 45 year old ELECTRIC (barf) cooktop in my home. So: I encourage you to try these recipes as written once (or maybe even twice) to get the feel of things. If you are new to cooking, let alone Confident Cooking, you can use them to build a foundation of understanding for how things really work in the kitchen. Or, more specifically, how things work in YOUR kitchen. You’ll notice when you look at our recipes that there will be one or two ‘core skills’ identified at the beginning. I would like to personally request that these are where you focus your intention, not upon the specific ingredients.
This is all to say that these recipes are approximations and summaries of dishes that I have made many times in my career but on my electric stove top (your gas range or other will hold and distribute heat differently than mine), my seasoning preferences/disregard for measuring spoons (read about how to eyeball measurements in one of my future posts!), my preferences for every dish to have 3x the standard amount of sauce, and so on and so forth. The ‘recipes’ on this site are meant to help get you comfortable, nay, confident with core techniques.