Pampered Chef Recipes

Pampered Chef Recipes are recipes for adventurous cooks. There is a website where you can join and look at thousands of interesting recipes. I refer many people to the website for their recipes. Pampered Chef recipes are scrumptious. The recipes are split into Appetisers and Snacks, Beverages, Breakfast and Brunch, Cooking Methods, Crafts, Desserts, Especially For Kids, Holiday, Main Dishes, Preparation Time and Side Dishes. There are many dinner recipes that are less than 500 calories per person. Each of their recipes that I produced was scrummy and you are given details of their nutrient content.

The recipes are not costly, and you have to make with fresh products, which aid a healthy diet, but are more expensive than cheaper processed foods. I use these recipes during important occasions such as dinner parties, birthday meals, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th July. In fact I look for any excuse to use these recipes, they are so good!

Pampered Chef recipes are provided by a group of experts who are employed by the business. Recipes are given to their web page every day. Apart from the cooks from the company producing and providing the recipes to the business’s homepage, you can also find additional information on the net. On my blog I have provided some examples of recipes from their website. As a chef I know the importance of balancing good wholesome food with color, taste, texture and nutrition. These recipes deal with all these principles. There are also recipes for special diets, such as diabetes and celiacs. So, are you feeling adventurous or just looking for a change? A lot of the recipes are very straightforward and can be prepared with the minimum of cooking experience.

Don’t forget, apart from these recipes providing an eating experience, they also provide you with all the essential nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, which we need on a regular basis to remain hydrated.

One of the recipes I have included is Fried Chicken Salad which uses fresh ingredients such as iceberg lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, baby tomatoes, radishes, onions and ranch dressing. Now how about that for fresh salad ingredients!

Becoming a Chef

So you watch Food channels on television, you read Gourmet magazines and fancy cookbooks and think you could become a Chef. The food channels are great for inspiration for the home cook who is only cooking for 4 but in reality it is very far removed from a commercial working kitchen. Becoming a Chef is not for the faint hearted, of course that is dependable on where you wish to work for example, a cafe or a 5 star hotel. Also it depends on what kind of Chef you want to become, a restaurant Chef, or a personal Chef, or what kind of area you wish to specialize in, desserts, pan work, buffet work,or a la carte. The areas for specialization are endless, these days however a Chef has general knowledge and experience in all areas but can have a passion or strength for a particular niche and this can become their trademark or point of difference when applying for a job.

Being a Chef requires a lot of special attributes that may not be required at other jobs. For starters you have to be able to stand on your feet for long periods of time, so covered sturdy shoes are a must, in fact covered shoes are a safety regulation and you would never be able to enter a kitchen without them. You have to be able to stand the heat in the kitchen, so when someone says “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen” that is exactly true. You will also experience loud noises, people yelling and sometimes in the heat of the moment fellow staff saying things they regret because they are under pressure. A busy kitchen is a stressful place to work in for everyone involved.

When a kitchen is churning out 500 meals a day that’s a lot of pressure on everybody. If you’re a sensitive type then a fast paced kitchen is probably not for you, as you would be easily offended. I remember when I was working as a prep Chef and the Sous Chef would whack you on the leg or push you aside if you were in his way. He obviously didn’t have time or the manners to say “excuse me”, but the kitchen staff got used to it and we learned not to take offence, that was just the way he worked. Usually in the kitchen, everyone works at a fast pace during service, things might be said that under normal circumstances wouldn’t be, tempers can get heated, but staff all have the same goal, to create a beautiful meal, and have it served in minimum time all without mishap. There is no time for petty arguments, or grudges, everyone has to pull together in order to have a co-operative working kitchen.

Then when the service is over that is the time for apologies between staff, maybe debriefing, differences aired, and opinions given, then everything is back to normal until the next service. Though it can be a fast paced job at times, it can be so rewarding. The skills learnt are with you for life and you’ll never be without a job, as people always have money to eat out and that’s just the cooking skills you will acquire. Other skills obtained along the way can be many, these can include:

1. Ability to work under pressure.
2. Creativity, as you work with food and put your own creative flair on it, that becomes a very satisfying skill.
3. Adapting to different environments, in a kitchen you may move from station to station, or maybe hot to cold.
4. Adapting recipes,learning ways to improvise without affecting the end result.
5. Costing recipes, of course you want to be making money on everything that is produced in the kitchen.
6. Interpersonal and communication skills as you will have to communicate with suppliers and staff
7. Negotiating skills, as you meet with suppliers to get the best deal.

These are just some of the skills you can acquire as you learn to become a Chef.

The friendships you make are life long, Chef’s are very loyal to one another as only they realize the commitment and long hours that go into the job. Chef’s usually socialise out of work as they keep similar work hours. The opportunity to use your creative skills with food is apparent. If you have a passion for food and for cooking then your almost there. However, it would pay to get some kind of formal training, though in saying that experience counts for a lot, but it’s a good idea to know hygiene regulations regarding food and basic cooking skills and techniques. There are many training schools for Chefs around the country.

There are some questions you need to ask yourself. What area do you want to specialize in? Do you wish to become a Head Chef one day? Do you wish to run your own catering business?
How committed can you be? Do you have the support of your family? Any Chef will tell you, a Chef’s life is not very family orientated, as they mostly work nights and weekends and most holidays.
There are ways you can find out if this is for you. Cook for friends, have dinner parties.

Get them to honestly critique your food. This way you can truly find out if you have got what it takes. There are many cookbooks and restaurant recipes that you can get hold of to practice with. Be creative in your cooking, use a basic recipe and add your own signature, you may create a delicious dish from this. Most importantly, be passionate about cooking, your creating something that people will love from a list of ingredients. Go for it! Being a Chef can be a most rewarding career.

Guide to Standardized Recipe

Standardized Recipe Ideology

A standardized recipe refers to a particular standard-of-use of certain metrics in cooking – Standard sizes, time, temperature, amount, etc. Abiding by this rule creates uniformity in kitchen produce, whether or not it is tangible or intangible.

The idea of a standardized recipe is definitely not alien to many of us anymore. In fact, it has been very widely used around the globe and there are certain metrics to a standardized recipe that we must follow. In the kitchen, a standardized recipe is a crucial part of standardizing dishes, ingredients and elements in a restaurant that might lead to gain or loss during operational hours. Certain restaurants benchmark standardized recipes in their kitchen, some do not. There are pros and cons of using standardized recipes.

Benefits of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Creates an absolute standard in kitchen produce and cooking activities.
  2. Allows smooth transition between different kitchen staffs.
  3. Maintains food quality and food standards during kitchen operational hours.
  4. Guiding tool for newcomers to the kitchen.
  5. Refresh minds of kitchen staff after some time. (Eliminating guesswork)
  6. Referral material should there be any disputes.
  7. Base for costing when kitchen costs are calculated.
  8. Be a great guide to implementing a new menu should there be any need.
  9. Planning and costing purposes when a particular event needs accounting/kitchen control auditing.
  10. Prevents raw food leftovers (with good Kitchen Control)

Cons of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Inconvenient – This can be from the Head Chef keeping the list of standardized recipe in his room and had it locked or having three big books of standardized recipe and need kitchen staff to flip over one by one to get everything done. Inconvenience is the number ONE factor that led to kitchen staff not using standardized recipes.
  2. Time consuming – This is also one of the reasons why standardized recipe are not followed. During peak hours, a kitchen do not have time to waste, and every second counts.
  3. Better variations – Some Chefs prefer to follow their centric of taste, some are just worship their own believes. This could cause a problem when there is no proper training provided and Kitchen Control.
  4. Rules are meant to be broken – There are always different people/consumers around your restaurant. What’s important, the customers. When standardized recipes are not tested regularly on the restaurant, inaccurate information may be provided in the standardized recipe. Solution: Leave room or space for food/cooking variation. This usually happen when the Head Chef is not properly organized or trained well for his position.
  5. A secret no more – Some restaurateurs or Chefs frown on making a book of standardized recipe because they want to protect their food knowledge. This is a classic perception: Someone comes by, takes all the recipe and leave the restaurant after a month.
  6. When it’s gone, it’s really gone – At certain times in a restaurant, a piece of recipe sheet can get lost. When it’s lost, there will be a slight havoc in understanding as the Head Chef needs to take action immediately. On another situation, it can also be ‘stolen’ or ‘retrieved’ as management of the restaurant changes, and/or someone steals the particular information, or the restaurant faces mishaps like kitchen on fire.

Standardized recipes do not necessarily have certain standards that you need to follow. There are many ways to actually personalize your standardized recipe, keep them into your book and use them for referrals in the future. Alternatively, you can also save them into your computer, and organize them well. Whatever it is, standardized recipes serve good purposes in a kitchen – Take the time to actually follow the steps, and you might just get happier guests/customers.

There are three (3) common ways of writing a recipe:

  1. Paragraph-style recipes
  2. List-style recipes
  3. Action-style recipes

Paragraph Style Recipes This way of writing a recipe is classic – And they serve their own purpose in writing that way. There are many pros and cons to this kind of writing style, and we’d like to leave it up to you to figure it out. Anyway, here’s an example of a paragraph-style written recipe:

Put your skillet on the pan and turn on the heat to low. Now take a bowl, crack 2 fresh eggs inside and add in some salt and pepper. Next, grab a whisk and start beating it until it’s mixed or quite fluffy. When your skillet is hot enough, add in 1 tbsp of oil, and swirl the oil around. You’ll notice the oil runs faster on hot pans. When your pan and oil is hot enough, turn on the heat to high and pour in your eggs. Leave the heat on high until your eggs (at the side of the pan) forms a solid texture. At this time, reduce your heat to low. When your egg is cooked enough, flip it over and top it off with some ikan kering! Voilá!

Paragraph-style recipes can work at certain extent. Be sure to choose your methods of writing well.

List-style Recipes The list-style writing of recipes is one of the easiest, practical and most common ways of writing a recipe. This method consist of two sections – The header, and footer. Header consist of different elements such as recipe title, temperature, yield, time, etc, while the footer contains methods to use these ingredients. An example of list-style recipes:

-Eggs with Ikan Kering 2 no Eggs
-1 tbsp Oil
-Ikan kering

  1. Heat up your pan in low heat, crack two eggs into a bowl and add seasoning. Whisk well.
  2. When your pan is hot enough, add in your oil and wait until it’s hot.
  3. Pour it in and turn your heat to high, until you see the sides of your eggs are actually solid in texture.
  4. Reduce your heat to low, and cook the eggs well. Flip over.
  5. Top it off with some crumbled ikan kering and voilá!

Action-style recipes Action style recipes has been known as the killer way of listing recipes, amount, methods and ingredients in a very organized and well-mannered. The first step will usually contain ingredients and methods limited to only a particular food preparation, and the list continues and combines with step two and three. Here’s an example:

Action-style recipes can be very directive and you can add in more information to your liking. Choose which is best for you and your audience, then pick the right one and give them value.

Standard Elements in a Standardized Recipe Although we may see certain standard recipe metrics in a standardized recipe that may be both relevant and irrelevant to you, there are certain practical usage to it, and customizing your standardized recipe a good way to go when you need to emphasize certain recipe metrics in a recipe sheet. In a way, always think of your end-users rather than yourself.

Common Recipe Elements in a Standardized Recipe

  1. Ingredients
  2. Temperature
  3. Equipments & Utensils Needed
  4. Amount
  5. Method
  6. Media (Picture/Video)

These metrics are the basics – But what makes a better Standardized Recipe is to actually explain in detail what is the outcome, what should you avoid, what should you do and not do, etc. While these may be too long to squeeze into your methods area or the miscellaneous box in the action style recipe, you should include a section to it.

Recommended Standard Recipe Elements to Add These recommended standard recipe elements are absolutely optional and should only be included at selected times. Note that most recipes require only the simplest of steps to take, and portrayal of information should be as concise, clear and to the point as possible.

  1. Taste – At what degree should this dish taste like, and how you can stretch its seasoning properties from there.
  2. Precautions and Warnings – Precautions while handling these food mix or cooking methods.
  3. Tips & Advice – Best way to beef up preparation methods and cook well without the need for practical training.
  4. What to do while waiting – Important steps or methods to follow or take while waiting cooking or preparing a food ingredient or food ingredient mixes, etc.
  5. Alternatives – Alternatives to this cooking method, or that food ingredient which might not be available in certain areas of the world. Should there be any alternative ways to do it, it should be pointed out.
  6. Halal status – Halal status is very important. Certain foods are pre-packed in a non-halal manner, or foods containing pork-based materials used in preparation or alcohol usage. For example, rum flavoring. Comes in halal and non-halal.
  7. Garnishing recommendations – This should be included and portrayed after recipe methods.
  8. Miscellaneous information – This information should be portrayed at the very bottom of the recipe, stating ways on how to prepare and cut this meat, or measure the intensity of cooking in the meat. This could also serve as a section where you throw in a combination of Taste (No. 1) and Tips & Advice (No. 3).