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Learn to cook like a Chef, a selection of my best dinner recipes of all time, from sauces to classic

Its time to share, in this blog i am going to share with you some the best recipes of all time that i have learnt being a chef, from a kiwi classic to traditionally cooked classically plates of food, to easy to make restaurant quality sauces at home that are easy to make. Being a chef is hard work it takes passion and dedication to the extreme, now after 2o years of cooking behind my back i am ready to let go of some of the secrets that i have learnt in the professional kitchen and remastered in the home kitchen for you guys to be able to cook for your families and dinner guests. People often ask me whats your favourite food to cook, such a difficult question to answer, i often reply it depends on the mood i am in, do you often find that your mood or how your feeling dictates what food you feel like eating? When i am tired and feeling a little run down i always go to pasta for me its the ultimate comfort food. when i am feeling really good with a lot of energy i often crave fish something about eating such a clean source of protein that is nourishing to the body

Often when referring to my cooking people say that its my sauces that stand above all else and thats what truly defines how good a cook you are, but as i always say the greatest strength of a cook or of any grounded individual is how balanced they are, so balancing a plate of food, or having completing sauce to match is the real key to good cookery. Often balancing the four Salt, sweet, sour, bitter is the key to a really good plate or table of food. but it can be a complicated process and it take years to develop the palate and some point in my career as a chef it just sort of happens afters years of taste, taste, taste.

Best sauce recipes of all time, restaurant quality

Lets get right down to the good stuff, how to master a good sauce, I have made a sort of hackers code on how to make delicious sauces at home with out having all the hard work. What sauce is your favourite to eat? let me know in the comments if its not here and i will post it for you ASAP

Peppercorn sauce recipe

  • 1 small onion diced

  • 2 cloves garlic chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme

  • 1 jar of green peppercorns

  • 200ml brandy (optional)

  • 300 ml chicken stock or i stock cube mixed with 300ml water

  • 300 ml cream

  • 3 tablespoons cornflour

  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon Place a pan on a medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil, add the onion and a pinch of salt cook for around 5 minutes until soft, add the garlic and thyme, drain the peppercorns and process them to break them up either in a food processor or in a pestle and mortar. Now add the peppercorns and stir them in, add the brandy to the hot pan and set alight with a bbq lighter or blow torch and let it burn off and reduced down, add the stock to the pan with the cream and bring to the boil, simmer gently for about 5 mins, now mix the cornflour with a little water until it reaches a paste and slowly add to the simmering sauce to thicken adding a little at a time until reaches your desired thickness, finally add the chopped tarragon and season to taste, serve with steak and chips or grilled chicken breast, or just dunk your chips in it. yumm! Blue cheese sauce recipe

  • 2 bulbs garlic

  • 1 small onion diced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

  • 300 ml chicken stock or 1 stock cubed mixed with water

  • 400 ml cream

  • 400g blue cheese (i like to use stilton)

  • 300ml water

  • 2 tablespoons cornflour Chopped the top off the garlic so just the tips of the flesh is showing drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch or salt and wrap completely in tin foil, place in an 180 celsius oven and cook for around 20 mins until soft. Place a pan on a medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil, add the onion and a pinch or salt and cook for around 5 minutes until soft, add the rosemary and cook for a minute, add the stock and cream to the pan, now take the garlic and squeeze out the soft flesh and into the pan, add the cream, bring to a simmer, now crumble in the blue cheese and get whisk and stir constantly for 2 or 3 minutes, mix the cornflour with water to make a paste and drizzle into the simmering sauce slowly to reach your desired consistency, taste and season. Its a real favourite of cheese lovers Creme fraiche and dill sauce recipe

  • 2 shallots diced

  • 50g butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme

  • 200 ml white wine(optional)

  • 300 ml chicken stock or 1 stock cube mixed with 300ml water

  • 300ml cream

  • 200g creme fraiche

  • 2 tablespoons of chopped dill

  • 100g butter diced cold

  • 3 tablespoons cornflour Place a pan on a medium heat and melt 50g of butter, add the shallot and a pinch of salt and cook for about 4 minutes until soft, add the time and cook for a minute, now add the wine and reduce down by two thirds, add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer cook for about 3 minutes, now whisk in the creme fraiche, mix the cornflour with cold water to form a paste and slowly add to thicken to your desired consistency , finally add the dill and season to taste, this sauce is delicious served with crispy baked salmon, a real french classic

salsa verde

  • 4 cups packed parsley

  • 4 cups packed basil

  • 2 cups packed mint

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • olive oil In a food processor place the herbs and mustard and process while drizzling in the olive oil until it reaches a pesto like consistency, season with salt and pepper. So fresh and easy to make, delicious served with any roast fish or grilled vegetables especially delicious with grilled seasonal asparagus. This sauce can be made with any fresh herb really you have in your garden or thats in season

Weeknight dinner favourites recipe

Weeknight dinner can often be a headache as what to cook, quick and easy recipes that taste delicious is something that can be achieved. Some of my favourites things to make are curries, Mexican street tacos, mac and cheese or quick pasta dishes.

Try grilling chicken and asparagus, then making the salsa verde and drizzling it over for an easy weeknight dinner

simply make a béchamel, read by blog on perfect béchamel add cheese or choice, i like to add a cheddar, a smoked and a Gruyere, cook pasta spirals al dente, mix with the sauce top with more cheese and some bread crumbs and bake at 180 Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown,

Make easy tex mex tacos, fry pork and beef mince in a pan until cooked seasoned with salt and black pepper and paprika, removed from the pan, now cook 2 diced onions 1 of each red and green capsicums in olive oil for 10 minutes, add chopped garlic cook again for 5 minutes, now add tin tomato a spoon of sugar and a drizzle of vinegar, bring to the simmer and add 2 tablespoon of ground cumin and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, add in 2 chopped red and 2 chopped green chillies. place the mince meat back into the sauce and gently simmer for about 20 minutes, serve with warm small corn tortilla, sour cream, grated cheddar and smashed avocado. If you have more time try with beef rib tex mex You can add more chilli if you like it spicy

My easy curry sauce recipe

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 2 cloves

  • 4 cardamon pods

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 dried red chillies

  • 4 large onions sliced

  • 2 tablespoon grated garlic

  • 2 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 1 800g tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 2 green chillies chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Garam Marsala

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder In a large pan on a medium heat add a enough oil to cover the bottom, add the whole spices and temper them in the oil stirring for about 3 minutes, now add the onion with a good teaspoon of salt stirring frequently cook for 20 mintues, the smell should be quite amazing at this stage, now add the ginger and garlic and green chilli, cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and the powdered spices, and 300ml of water, cook as slowly as possible for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a jug style blender and liquid carefully in small batches. You can add more or less chilli depending on how spicy you like it

I like to marinate chicken thigh or diced lamb shoulder the day before hand in a mix of a Pataks jar tandoori paste and greek yoghurt. simply pour over the sauce in an oven safe baking dish and cook at 160 Celsius until cooked and tender, the chicken will take about and hour the lamb may take about two and a half, simply delicious served with cook rice

Easy fish recipe

I love to eat fish recently i tried red emperor for the first time it was amazing but also so expensive but worth it if you can get it. Simply cooked in a pan with a little olive in a pan on a medium heat with the skin side down, now keep cooking it on the skin until it 2/3 of the way cooked through you will see a small amount of flesh still opaque, now turn the fillet and add a good knob of butter and let the butter foam up, simply squeeze half a lemon into the butter and spoon over the fish cooking for another minute, spoon the butter over the fish when served

Try roasting salmon that has been marinated in lemon zest black pepper and olive for and hour, bake at 180 Celsius on tray lined with baking paper for 8 to 10 minutes for beautifully pink in the middle salmon, serve with grilled vegetables or roasted peppers

salad, salad, salad

Bart and homer Simpson once said you do not win friends with salad, which maybe true however salad is a great weeknight dinner option and can be super tasty. If your fan of salad i recommend spend some meal prep time on a Sunday afternoon or when you have time and prep some tasty salads that the family will love, simply pull them out and serve with roast fish or meat for a perfect, healthy weeknight dinner option. I recommend going to my recipe page and checking out some of the amazing fresh salad recipes that i have crafted for you to enjoy.

Easy weeknight dessert ideas

I love dessert probably best not eaten every night, but psychology says if you stop your self from having something like dessert completely you will want it even more so once every now and then is a good idea. Crepes or pancakes are an easy dessert one cup of flour to one egg and enough milk whisked to running consistency then add in a 20g of melted butter. My two favourite topping are lemon and caster sugar or Nutella

For the quickest berry crumble place frozen berries in a oven safe dish, for the topping place 200g butter 100g flour and 200g or granola or muesli into a food processor and pulse to make a crumble texture, add this to the top of the baking dish and bake at 170 celsius for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and amazing serve with creamy vanilla ice cream

Other healthy options for dessert are baked banana bread served with maple syrup, or try some low calorie ice cream that are good on the market today

I hope that helps you with some ideas that you can incorporate into your weeknight dinners and some ideas to wow your family and friends with. If there are any recipes you would like or in more detail please comment and i will post them for you. I am endeavouring to be post more and more content to help y'all in the kitchen. Happy cooking!!

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