Goat cheese gnocchi with pistou and vegetables | foodsciencenerd.com

Culinary School in a Weekend

Posted on Posted in Culinary Science, Recipes

I recently applied to my dream job at America’s Test Kitchen.  Now, I am very comfortable in the kitchen (despite how ridiculously small my kitchen is) and I am confident in my skills, but since I have never been to culinary school, there are certain skills that I’ve never had a reason to perfect as a home cook or as a dietitian (do you know what goes into Bearnaise sauce?  Cuz I do.).  For example, I’ve never filleted a fish, baked pate a choux, or made the various challenging components of Eggs Benedict.  It’s not that I couldn’t do these things, I just never had.  So, guess what I did… I made a list of every technique that I was shaky on and decided to go through all of them in one weekend!

Culinary school crash course | foodsciencenerd.com
That’s my boyfriend’s lovely handwriting. (Mine’s no better.)

After making a list of techniques and ideas, I put together a list of recipes that combined a lot of these skills that would be doable in a weekend plus a few evenings.  I went to Wegmans and just went totally nuts.  The resulting menu was as follows:

Thursday night:

  • Skin-on salmon
  • Homemade pasta* with brown butter sage sauce
  • Roasted broccoli rabe and broiled cherry tomatoes
    Homemade Pasta | foodsciencenerd.com

Friday night:

  • Roasted rainbow beets with citrus vinaigrette
  • Goat cheese gnocchi with beet green (don’t waste food!) pistou, toasted cashews, crispy prosciutto, and blanched cauliflower and asparagus
  • Chocolate souffle for 2 topped with candied lemon

Goat cheese gnocchi with pistou and vegetables | foodsciencenerd.com


Eggs Benedict | foodsciencenerd.com


Later in the week:

Wherever you see a link to a recipe, that is where I got my instruction from… but that doesn’t mean I stuck to the recipe!  In many cases, I halved or quartered the recipe because if I made this much food in one weekend, I’d go insane with all the leftovers.  I also didn’t follow instructions when it came to cutesy flourishes, and rather stuck to the basic techniques and used them in my own constructions.  And wherever you see an asterisk, that’s where I royally messed up and had to start over- some of these recipes are very touchy, but that’s what practice is for.  Everything ended up a success!

Eventually I’ll get around to writing posts and recipes for most of these, but all-in-all it was a weekend I’d like to remember and recreate.  Stay tuned later in the spring for my take on these recipes and techniques, and to see all the beautiful pictures I took!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!