What's The Difference Between a Top Chef and a Home Cook?

Being a top tier chef is much different than being a home cook. A chef needs to mitigate all the variables that happen day to day. From the customer relationships, managing people, keeping the consistency of hospitality all while cooking all items on a menu the exact same every single day. While no day is the same working in a restaurant, the consistency and quality of food has to be and that is the biggest difference between a top chef and a home cook.


A home cook has the luxury of making whatever they want when they want. They can cook something new everyday and use what ever leftovers they have in the fridge or they can go rouge and make something new every single day. There will always be room for error and nothing will come out the same but that's the gift and curse of being a home cook. For today's episode, I brought my top tier chef friend to the studio to cook a delicious Persian gnocchi dish so you can see the differences in steps & techniques that a top chef would use to create a dish vs how I, a pro home cook, would make a sweet potato gnocchi dish for loved ones.Scroll down for the full recipes or click here for the full video!


Parisian Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup of bread flour

  • 1 cup of milk

  • 5 tablespoons of butter

  • 5 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Instructions:

  1. Start by tightly tying a string to the handles of a large pot. Add water and bring to a gently simmer.

  2. Next, using a medium sized sauce pot on medium heat bring the milk and butter to just about boiling. Slowly add the flour and use a spatula to mix it in. Keep turning it until a dough form and it pulls from the side.

  3. Next, add the dough into a mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the salt and eggs one at a time until each egg has been absorbed.

  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag with the tip cut off and start pushing the dough out while cutting it against the string and into the pot of simmering water.

  5. Let the gnocchi cook for 30 seconds or until they float to the top. Take them out of a strainer and place them onto a sheet pan lined with oil.

Seared Parisian Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Green Garlic


Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil

  • 1 cup of boiled persian gnocchi

  • 2 tablespoons of sliced green garlic stems

  • 1 cup of seared mushrooms (half oyster & maitaki)

  • 1/2 cup of leek stock

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • Squeeze of lemon

  • Pinch of salt

  • Grated parmesan to finish

  • Olive oil to finish

  • Pea shoots & edible flower to finish


Instructions:

  1. Start by searing your mushrooms with some oil and salt. Once they start to release some water add in some green garlic tops and cook for another minute. Take them out of the pan and set aside.

  2. Add in the gnocchi to the now empty pan and let them sear and puff up. Next, add in the green garlic and let them perfume for about 1 minute. Next, add in the sautéed mushroom and give it a toss.

  3. Deglaze with leek stock then add in some butter to emulsify into a creamy sauce. Give a squeeze of lemon and adjust for salt. Plate it up and top with grated parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, pea shoots, and flowers.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups of flour

Instructions:

  1. Start by roasting the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes at 450F. Once a knife can go in with no resistance, peel the skin off the sweet potato and place into a bowl. Smash in some salt and let it cool down a little.

  2. Then crack in 2 eggs and 2 cups of flour and mix until a rough dough forms.

  3. Heavily flour your working surface and start kneading your dough until it comes together. Be careful to not add too much flour since the dough will become dense if you do. Add just enough so that it comes together but is still soft.

  4. Once the dough comes together, cut the dough into a few pieces and roll into logs. Cut each log into 1 inch gnocchi pieces and set aside.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Bacon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 5-6 slices of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of flour

  • 3 tablespoons of white wine

  • 1/3 cup of milk or cream

  • 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1 tablespoon of manchego, grated

  • Handful of spring peas

  • Handful of kale

  • 3/4 cup of sweet potato gnocchi, uncooked


Instructions:

  1. In a saute pan on medium heat, add in your bacon and render out its fat. Scoop out bacon but leave the fat in the pan. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until slightly translucent.

  2. Next, spoon in 2 tablespoons of flour and give it a mix. Cook it about 1 - 2 minutes to toast out the raw flour flavor. Splash in the white wine and reduce down by about half.

  3. Next, splash in half of the milk/cream and stir to combine. Add in the rest of the milk, stir, and let it thicken. Finally add these cheeses and mix until melted.

  4. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch in some kale for 30 seconds. Pull out the kale and roughly chop and mix into your sauce. Add in the frozen spring peas as well.

  5. Drop your sweet potato gnocchi into the gently simmering water. Once they float to the top, pull them out, and drop them into your sauce along with your chopped bacon from earlier. Mix everything together with a splash of pasta water and enjoy while hot.

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