Last night was a cooking kind of night!
It all started with an episode of Master Chef Australia I watched with my sister during our trip this summer. My eyes stayed open watching Marco Pierre White stir the cherry tomatoes, despite my extreme jet lag.
On this episode, Marco Pierre White, a world-renowned chef and judge on Master Chef Australia, showed contestants how to make a simple tomato sauce.
Here is his recipe:
So I thought I would try making tomato sauce from scratch since it’s the perfect time of year for tomatoes and I have a million outside in my garden.
Things to note before you try his recipe:
- He makes it look like it takes no time at all. This is false.
- Apparently he feels no need to give you exact amounts in his recipe, so my tomato sauce is just an approximation.
- When you watch the show, he does none of the measuring or the time-consuming tasks, so you don’t realize how much work it is until you do it.
I started the tomato sauce around 5pm and did not finish until 10pm because it had to reduce for multiple hours. My only tip in making this sauce is make a quadruple recipe so you can freeze most of it for later because it is too much work to make for one meal. While it did taste delicious, I am still not sure if it was worth it.
The second thing I cooked last night was New York Strip Steak and I am proud to say it turned out perfectly.
Cooking the perfect steak is a skill that everyone needs to master and after seeing a video of Gordon Ramsay cooking a New York Strip Steak, I can do it too. And so can you!
Here is the video I watched before turning my stovetop to high:
The secret to this steak is to make sure the pan is sizzling hot so you get the perfect sear on your steak. The main reason to sear a steak, other than for flavoring, is to render the fat down. This gives the meat flavoring while removing the layer of natural fat that surrounds the steak. And make sure you sear the edges of the steak as well, since that’s where much of the fat is located.
Ramsay’s recipe is simple and stunning. With just a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, butter, and thyme, you too can make a steak fit for a restaurant.
And then began the second half of the night: the baking half.
So most people know I am obsessed with the show Master Chef. (This time I’m referencing the American version.) I only started watching last summer, but I am so impressed with the talent of the home cooks on the show.
After traveling this summer, I am in the process of watching the latest season now. And in the episode I just watched, they made perfect sticky buns. So of course, I had to make perfect sticky buns as well.
Sticky buns are very involved because you have to be careful with the yeast and give the dough time to rise. You must warm the yeast and scald the milk and then let the milk mixture cool to room temperature before adding in the yeast and eggs and the dry ingredients. And this is just the dough.
After you have made the dough and it is rising, you start making the inner mixture and the topping. My mom and I love nuts, so ours had lots of pecans.
After hours of rising and extra time spent in the oven, we enjoyed delicious homemade sticky buns with extra to spare.
Word of advice: these are not for the faint-of-heart bakers. They took hours to make!
Finally, the last adventure in our baking night was banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips.
I bought bananas a few days ago and they were already spotted with brown dots, so I decided to not let them go to waste. This is the perfect recipe for anyone challenged in the kitchen or who is looking for a fast and easy recipe.
Here is the recipe I used:
With prep time under 10 minutes, you just let the bread cook for 65 minutes and you’re good to go! After it cooled, I flipped it onto a cutting board and cut slices for breakfast.
It was a busy night overall, but so much fun! I am at home in the kitchen and I hope some of these recipes and tips can help you hone your cooking and baking skills as well!