I finally sat down and put in the hard, mental work to figure out…
What are my top 5 favorite recipes of all time?
And why would I even bother to answer this question?
Well, the reason is because EVERYONE I meet asks me this question when they find out I’m a chef.
It could be when I’m touring apartments in Pheonix
At a networking event for entrepreneurs in Marina Del Rey
At a lounge schmoozing with the locals.
Or on a first date.
I’ve also decided that I am going to TEACH each recipe to the families in the Kids Can Cook Inner Circle (our monthly culinary coaching program) because they are SO good.
So here they are, (in NO particular order)
- Arancini – These are fried risotto bowls with mozzarella in the middle. After our recent gourmet lesson in January making Classic Risotto, Seafood, Roasted Broccoli and Cannoli with sweet Ricotta and Chocolate chips, I took the leftover risotto and formed themed into balls, stuffed them with cheese and lastly breaded and fried them until they’re crispy and delicious. Serve this with a warmed marinara sauce and you’re in culinary heaven.
- Lomo Saltado – This is a Peruvian steak, potato and vegetable stir-fry that fuses South American and Chinese cuisine into something that explodes with flavor. In 2013, I took a cooking class in Lima, Peru on a rooftop over the city and when I learned to make this dish, it instantly became a favorite. I might save this for June, which is my birthday month, and the gourmet lesson theme is: “Chef’s Choice”
- Chicken Caesar Salad – It seems simple…but it’s actually a highly complex dish to pull off successfully. Why? First, you need to make a dressing from scratch with anchovies, garlic, lemon, egg yolk and perfectly whisked olive oil. Next, make homemade croutons with good bread. Also make nicely grilled or pan-seared chicken breast that’s NOT dry and tasteless. Put it all together and it’s one of those masterpieces that I can eat 1-2x a week forever.
- Steak & Grilled Vegetables – Steak shows up twice here because it’s my favorite way to treat myself. A perfectly grilled steak that’s medium-rare that’s basted with butter, garlic and aromatics makes life worth living. The key part is pairing it with a side dish that bursts with texture, color and flavor. You saute (or grill) a vegetable medley of yellow squash, onion, bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini and then in a bowl add some good Extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It’s just the perfect and light side dish to balance the heftiness of the steak and fill you with vitamins and joy.
- Shawarma Wrap with Tzatziki. This is the only dish I haven’t made because to make authentic shawarma you have to stack the lamb slices on a skewer and use a special device to roast it for hours as it rotates. I will attempt a simplified version of this recipe at some point. You take the shaved meat and place it in a lavash or pita wrap with fresh tzatziki (one of my favorite sauces) and it’s the perfect on-the-go meal. I’ll be teaching tzatziki and how to make homemade pita soon enough.
Getting hungry reading about this?
Imagine your child greeting you with a plate of steak with grilled vegetables, or a chicken caesar salad after you come from a long day of work.
See the smile and pride when your child invites you into the dining room to enjoy a meal that he or she made from scratch.
The reason he or she made it, was from LIFT Enrichment’s virtual cooking classes
You can join the classes for the month of February if you click here (link) and make Veggie Ramen, Lasagna with Spinach, Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, Valentine’s Day Cupcakes and much more