Anyone Can Cook

You may call me Chef Michael. 👨🏼‍🍳😉 It has been a banner year for my foodie aspirations. From experimenting with Blue Apron to enrolling in cooking classes (Sur La Table and Central Market), my skill set has only improved. And one big takeaway I’ve gleaned from all of this amazing food, apron-wearing, and chiffonade technique: Anyone can cook!

10. Anyone can cook.

One of my goals growing up was to learn how to cook. (I didn’t want to live on cheap ramen, hot dogs, and mac & cheese for the rest of my life. Although, I do love a good mac & cheese. So many options to make that upscale…but I digress.)

And, this may surprise some, but I was kind of a picky eater as a young lad. As you’ll see below, my taste buds have changed and now I’m pretty much open to anything. (Except fried chicken or anything bone-in. Are you shocked? Ask me about that in the comments. I have my reasons. Also, I still haven’t tried oysters. Or liver. Or blood pudding. Okay, maybe I’m still a tad picky?)

I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for some time, primarily so I could remember what I’ve learned, tasted, and documented. The following is a cooking class and menu journal from June 2016 to June 2017. I’ve taken several of these classes solo and met new people. But the most fun, by far, has been when I’ve cooked with friends. (If you ever want to join me in a class, just raise your hand. ✋🏼)

But first…mise en place.

Master of the Grill

  • Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable and Bread Salad
  • Grilled Argentine Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Grilled Stuffed Chicken with Prosciutto and Fontina

Summer Macarons

  • Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons
  • Vanilla Birthday Cake Macaron with Sprinkles

Spectacular Summer Brunch

  • New England Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Old Bay Hollandaise
  • Crispy Bacon, Leek and Potato Hash with Chive Crème Fraîche
  • Lemon-Blackberry Mini Bundt Cakes

Celebrating Julia Child

  • Aïgo Bouïdo (Provençal Garlic Soup)
  • Steak au Poivre
  • Ratatouille
  • Mousseline au Chocolat

Homemade Ravioli Workshop

  • Basic Pasta Dough
  • Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato-Pancetta Sauce
  • Gorgonzola Ravioli with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce

Chinese Take Out

  • Classic Fried Eggrolls
  • Kung Pao Chicken
  • BBQ Pork Fried Rice
  • Wok-Fried Green Beans

Flavors of Tuscany

  • Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu
  • Grilled Steak with Salsa Verde
  • Broccoli Rabe with Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan
  • Tiramisu Gelato

Mexican Street-Style Tacos

  • Fresh Handmade Corn Tortillas
  • Pork Carnitas with Pickled Red Onions
  • Grilled Fish Tacos with Smoked Chile Salsa

Croissants from Scratch

  • Croissant Dough
  • Classic Croissant
  • Chocolate-Filled Croissants
  • Morning Buns (Croissant Dough Rolled with Cinnamon and Sugar)

Bacon Infused Steak & Lobster Dinner

  • Maple-Glazed Pork Belly with Crispy Cracklings & Chipotle Aioli
  • Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Lobster, Shrimp & Bacon
  • Beef Fillet Steaks Seared in Rendered Bacon Drippings
  • Balsamic Onions
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Crispy Crumbled Bacon Topping

Wine Country Favorites

  • Dried Fig Tapenade and Goat Cheese Crostini
  • Seared Chicken with Riesling Crème Fraîche and Tarragon
  • Endive and Radicchio Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette and Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Wine Poached Pears with Cardamom Scented Sabayon

Date Night: Ireland

  • Irish Apple and Parsnip Soup
  • Guinness and Maple Glazed Salmon
  • Potato Mash with Braised Cabbage (Colcannon)
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Party on the Patio

  • Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
  • Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herb Pesto
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet

Healthy Cooking with Scanpan

  • Spiced Chickpea Fritters with Smoked Salmon
  • Pan-Roasted Chicken with Sage White Wine Sauce
  • Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Vinaigrette
  • Crepes Suzette

Summer Paella Party

  • Paella Mixta (with Shellfish)
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad with Manchego and Parsley-Almond Vinaigrette
  • Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

I’m excited for my next class: Tropical Tiki Party. Be watching for tantalizing food photos on Insta.

Don’t let tricky recipes or previous kitchen fiascos prevent you from becoming a better chef.

Take chances. Make mistakes.


And let’s co-host a dinner party together!

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