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Cook Like a Chef! Professional Culinary Secrets You Can Use At Home

It’s not everyday you get to work alongside a professional chef in a professional kitchen.  But that’s what I did today.  Thermador Luxury Appliances invited me, along with a small group of other bloggers, to join them in their state-of-the-art showroom facility, which boasts some of the most innovative kitchen appliances on the market, including their new Steam and Convection Oven, which will be officially launched in the U.S. mid-September.

While there, the company treated us to a chef-prepared breakfast, complete with fresh blueberry pancakes and buttermilk syrup.  We were then invited to join the chefs for lunch preparation in the Thermador showroom kitchen.  The menu included Peppered Beef Tenderloin, Creme Fraiche Mashed Potatoes, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee.  It was a tough day.  All that good food to taste and try.   But I did it for you.  Because I was determined to learn all of the secret’s of a chef’s kitchen and share them with you.  How to they get the food to taste so good?  How do they keep food prep clean and simple?  The Thermador chefs willingly spilled a few of their best secrets, simple ways you can make your food prep go from icky to inspired.  And you can go them all right from the comfort of your own home kitchen.

Perfect Beef Tenderloin

The highlight of today’s lunch was a beautiful beef tenderloin, browned and nicely seasoned on the outside.  Pink and warm on the inside.  Beef tenderloin is one of those meats I’ve never felt comfortable making at home.  Thankfully, Chef Kyle Jakobi offered a few surefire suggestions for perfectly cooked meat everytime.

(1) Before cooking, season the outside of the beef tenderloin, then brown it on a hot, oiled griddle or pan.  Use tongs to gently turn the meat, ensuring that all sides are equally browned.

(2)  Transfer tenderloin to a baking dish.  Insert an oven safe meat-thermometer into the center of the meat.  Bake in an oven preheated to 250 degrees until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 125 degrees.  Remove the meat, allow to sit for a few minutes before cutting.  Serve with creamy horseradish and tomato jam.

Creamy, Flavorful Mashed Potatoes

Mashed postatoes are mashed potatoes are mashed potatoes, right?  Sure.  Unless you make them in a chef’s kitchen.  Then, they become a revelation.  The Thermador chef’s diced the potatoes before boiling (smaller potato pieces mean quicker cooking time), then drained the water and hand-mashed them with the addition of a melted mixture of milk, sour cream, heavy creamy, creme fraiche, and cream cheese.

Sound decadent?  The true flavor came from the addition of a tablespoon or two of clarified butter. The subtle, clean flavor of clarified butter in mashed potatoes is absolutely gorgeous, and so easy to do at home!  Just heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat while stirring constantly.  When the butter begins to foam, skim the foamy parts away until all that’s left is a clear, yellow sauce.  Pour that sauce into your mashed potatoes.  Then, sprinkle with ample amounts of salt and fresh-ground pepper.  But, be warned.  After eating potatoes this way, you may want to move to Idaho and grow your own potato farm.  Heaven.

Creme Brulee Can Be Easy!

You’d never make creme brulee at home, right?  It’s a delicacy reserved for only the finest visits to the fanciest restaurants.  Yet, after watching the chef’s prepare these adorable creme brulee cups, it became quite clear that it’s a task that most home cooks could easily undertake.  The keys to making creme brulee at home are:

(1) Follow your creme brulee recipe exactly, paying special heed to the part where you bake it in a water bath.  The water bath is key to creating it’s creamy, non-curdled consistency.

(2) Don’t be afraid to get a small kitchen torch.  They aren’t so terrifying as you might think.  They fit nicely in your hand and are very simple to operate.

(3) When creating your brulee crust, sprinkle sugar in a thin, even layer across your creme brulee.   Hold the ramekin in your hand, turning it nearly upside down, then torch it slowly until the sugar burns.  This method of holding the brulee in your hand actually makes it more easy to maneuver the heat into the exact places you want.  Since hest rises, you’re going to get better results this way, than if you try to hold the torch upside down and brown the creme brulee’s on your table.

Just a few simple tips, but they are just the thing you need to turn your kitchen from home cooked to professionally made.  Thanks, Thermador chefs!

For one of the Thermador chef’s great breakfast recipes, CLICK HERE to visit Shaina’s article on Breakfast and Brunch in Minutes.

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