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Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know

We started with salt and pepper and ended with scallops and polenta-and we are still flabbergasted at how easy it all was.
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Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 44.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can't stop watching these. I just got started on these and I've learned so much!! It's fascinating. Thanks chef!!
Date published: 2021-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creative cooking to learn the basics I am a basic "chef" in my kitchen. The unusual recipes made the presentations so much more interesting than if Chef Kahlenberg prepared something like Spaghetti and Meatballs or Macaroni and Cheese. The lectures included many useful and easy to include ideas for everyday cooking. Tips, techniques, explanations of the what, when, how, and why in the preparations were so informative. Enjoyed the bit of humor throughout. Terms for cooking methods and how they applied will definitely enhance even the simplest recipes that one may prepare at home. Seeing how Chef Kahlenberg used mostly basic utensils and equipment makes me think I could actually poach an Octopus if I could pole one out of a Midwest lake.
Date published: 2021-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great dishes I loved this course. Great dishes and explanations. Nice little starter.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good course Good. My only issue was his accent that I had difficulty to understand: Australian. He also does not smile at all :-(
Date published: 2021-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy and tasty food! The lessons are so easy to learn, and if you try them yourself, they seem even better! Very tasty! I strongly recommend this course!
Date published: 2021-02-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Misleading Title As a beginning home cook, I was looking for/expecting to learn "Cooking Basics", not how to poach an octopus. Perhaps you could could offer a more fundamental course. It was perfectly fine for what it taught, but title was misleading.
Date published: 2021-02-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This is not basic cooking at all. I just bought this and watched the first lesson. Very disappointed. These are difficult dishes that are for professional chefs, not “cooking basics.” I never cook any meals containing lobster or octopus, and many of the dishes use very high amounts of butter, cream and other high cholesterol foods. I have been buying TGC for years and enjoy most of them. My advice is, if you want a much better TGC course that is really good, try “The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking.” Ironically, even though the course title sounds like it is for gourmet chefs, it is excellent, provides foundational skills and is perfect for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced level cooks.
Date published: 2020-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cooking is fun. There are so many tips and steps to making great food, Chef did an excellent job explaining the steps. It takes time to learn I'll to re-watch some videos
Date published: 2020-12-14
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Overview

Learn how to prepare dozens of recipes with step-by-step instructions for meats, pasta, vegetables, seafood, and more, with tips and tricks from an experienced professional chef.

About

Sean Kahlenberg
Sean Kahlenberg

Home cooking is a very unique thing that has gone away a bit. There’s a sort of freedom when you cook for yourself; a certain joy to it.

INSTITUTION

The Culinary Institute of America

Sean Kahlenberg is a Chef-Instructor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Hyde Park, New York, where he also earned his AOS in Culinary Arts. Additionally, he is a Certified Hospitality Educator. Chef Kahlenberg began his cooking career in his hometown of Wollongong, Australia, where he learned the trade of hospitality and restaurant and hotel management. After moving to the United States and graduating from the CIA, he worked at the famed Café des Artistes in New York City, the Commander’s Palace in Las Vegas, the Michelin-starred restaurants of Bradley Ogden and Daniel Boulud, and then became the chef de cuisine of Society Café at Wynn Resorts. After several years at Society Café, Chef Kahlenberg took the position of senior restaurant consultant and corporate chef for Blau + Associates, where he worked on projects for the Edgewater Casino, River Cree Resort and Casino, Turning Stone Resort Casino, and more. At the same time, he oversaw the operations of Simon Restaurant & Lounge, Honey Salt, R Steak & Seafood, and Buddy V’s Ristorante.

 

After his time traveling as a consulting chef, Chef Kahlenberg returned to the CIA in Hyde Park, where he has taught numerous classes, including Intraventure Operations. He also oversees the innovation kitchen on campus and serves as the executive chef of the school’s Italian restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici.

By This Expert

Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know
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Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know

Trailer

Risotto and What to Do with the Leftovers

01: Risotto and What to Do with the Leftovers

Rice is one of the most versatile grains in the world, and this risi e bisi, “rice with peas,” is one of the most delicious ways to use it. Among other techniques, you’ll learn how to keep the chlorophyll from turning black while cooking, how to relax the risotto on the plate for best presentation, and how to make perfect arancini with the leftovers.

29 min
Choosing the Best Method to Cook Vegetables

02: Choosing the Best Method to Cook Vegetables

Should you peel a vegetable before cooking or not? Cook it in water or oil? Put a lid on the pot or leave it off? Add salt to the water—and if so, why? Chef Kahlenberg answers these questions and more as he begins with kitchen basics. Learn which knives you need in the kitchen and other tools you might need to add.

26 min
An Elegant Corn Soup with Lobster

03: An Elegant Corn Soup with Lobster

In this lesson, you will cook, shave, and milk corn to create a delicious corn soup with julienned vegetables, an accompaniment to freshly cooked lobster. And once the lobster is cooked, you’ll learn the correct way to separate it to best access all its sweet meat.

31 min
Sautéed Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower

04: Sautéed Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower

As you begin to prepare your scallops, Chef Kahlenberg shares the “secret” way chefs decide whether or not this seafood is truly fresh. You’ll also learn how to season and baste scallops to perfection. Roasted and puréed cauliflower seasoned with a white mirepoix makes just the right side dish.

28 min
How to Poach an Octopus

05: How to Poach an Octopus

In this lesson, you’ll learn a dual-cooking method for preparing octopus—poaching and sautéing—for just the right flavor and consistency, as well as how to cut and plate the octopus. Your meal is completed with fingerling potatoes and a Spanish romesco sauce.

26 min
How to Break Down and Roast a Chicken

06: How to Break Down and Roast a Chicken

In this lesson, you’ll learn how and why to truss a chicken before roasting and the best way to season and oil the bird. Using a chef’s thermometer, you’ll learn how to manage the Maillard reaction while making sure the interior retains its juices.

35 min
Braising Short Ribs and Making Polenta

07: Braising Short Ribs and Making Polenta

Cooking short ribs takes patience because it takes time to break down the connective tissue in the protein—but the result is well worth it! In this lesson, you will simmer, steam, and braise the meat before plating with cheesy polenta and delicious root vegetables.

28 min
Pork Milanese and the Art of Breading

08: Pork Milanese and the Art of Breading

Learn how to safely pound pork to create a thin, wide cutlet that will fill almost your entire plate. You’ll also learn how to bread the pork with seasoned flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and how to pan fry it, not deep fry. In addition, you’ll make a beautiful salad with suprêmed grapefruit.

35 min
Grilled Salmon: Breaking Down a Round Fish

09: Grilled Salmon: Breaking Down a Round Fish

Starting with a whole salmon, you’ll learn how to check for freshness; create the filets; and remove the ribs, pin bones, skin, and as much bloodline as possible. In addition to finishing the salmon on a grill pan, you’ll learn how to parch and cook quinoa for a delicious quinoa pilaf.

39 min
One-Dish Cookery: Coq au Vin

10: One-Dish Cookery: Coq au Vin

Coq au vin is a French chicken dish, all made in one pot. You’ll learn how to create a 24-hour marinade, braise the chicken while keeping the fond golden-brown, safely add and cook off brandy, and create the perfectly sized cartouche for oven cooking. To accompany the chicken, you’ll make a pomme purée and a garnish of onions and mushrooms.

32 min
Monkfish: From Bycatch to Haute Cuisine

11: Monkfish: From Bycatch to Haute Cuisine

You might think monkfish is an unusual choice for a gourmet meal: It’s a bottom-feeder formerly called garbage fish and is considered so “ugly” that it’s almost never sold with the head on. But with Chef Kahlenberg’s instruction, you will turn monkfish to a golden-brown delicacy, accompanied by a whole-grain salad.

28 min
How to Make Rack of Lamb Persillade

12: How to Make Rack of Lamb Persillade

What really brings color to this meal is the bright green persillade that will coat the lamb after it has been seared in a pan and before it goes into the oven. You’ll also learn to make a caponata—a warm vegetable salad with eggplant, raisins, capers, and pine nuts—as an accompaniment. A beautiful meal.

36 min
Making Your Own Pasta: Potato Gnocchi

13: Making Your Own Pasta: Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi, sometimes called Italian dumplings, is a pasta made with flour and potatoes. Learn about a few of the 200+ types of potatoes, their range of starch-to-moisture ratios, and which potatoes are best for making gnocchi. You’ll learn to mill, cut, and shape this pasta with a gnocchi pallet—and make a delicious sauce to accompany this Mediterranean comfort food.

23 min
Making Your Own Pasta: Butternut Agnolotti

14: Making Your Own Pasta: Butternut Agnolotti

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to determine exactly how much flour and eggs you’ll need to measure for pasta. Once the dough is made and rested, you’ll learn how to use the pasta roller until the dough is exactly the correct consistency and how to use a piping bag to insert the roasted butternut squash mixture. Delicious!

25 min
Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

15: Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

To brine or not to brine? While there are pros and cons to both, in this lesson, you’ll learn Chef Kahlenberg’s method of brining and cooking turkey, as well as creating delicious stuffing and cranberry sauce. With the chef’s tips on prep and cook times, it will all come together exactly as you’ve always hoped.

50 min
Seafood Delight: How to Make Cioppino

16: Seafood Delight: How to Make Cioppino

Cioppino is a Portuguese seafood stew that made its way to San Francisco and is now considered a classic of that area. For this dish, you’ll learn how to prepare shrimp, mussels, calamari, clams, halibut, and scallops, as well as cleaning, cutting, and cooking leeks. Grill a baguette to finish and you’ll have the perfect seafood meal!

39 min
Finding Your Roots: Maple-Roasted Celeriac

17: Finding Your Roots: Maple-Roasted Celeriac

While vegan menus can be a challenge for any chef, as umami can be difficult to include, Chef Kahlenberg shares his own tricks to address the issue. You’ll learn how to clean, peel, and prepare celeriac; clean and prepare a variety of carrots; and how to season, cook, and plate this delicious vegan meal.

29 min
How to Make Great Paella

18: How to Make Great Paella

Paella is an ancient, summertime, one-pot seafood and rice dish originating near Valencia, updated here to include pork and chicken. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to render fat from chorizo to use as a cooking medium, create a sofrito, parch rice, bloom saffron, prepare artichokes—and bring it all together in one special pan for a unique culinary experience.

32 min
Smoking Pork with Mexican Street Corn

19: Smoking Pork with Mexican Street Corn

This recipe requires a bit of advanced planning, as the marinated and fully seasoned pork must be smoked for 16 hours. You’ll also learn how to prepare corn so it can both steam and grill at the same time for maximum flavor, and to create and dress the perfect Virginia slaw.

35 min
Dover Sole: Breaking Down a Flat Fish

20: Dover Sole: Breaking Down a Flat Fish

Dover sole is a flat fish and a bottom-feeder that almost always comes whole with the intestines left in, requiring very different preparation and cooking than a round fish. Chef Kahlenberg demonstrates how to remove the skin by hand, which must be done before cooking. You’ll also make perfectly sized fondant potatoes, as well as beautiful asparagus.

34 min
You Too Can Make Ratatouille

21: You Too Can Make Ratatouille

This French vegetable stew is given such a beautiful presentation by Chef Kahlenberg that it almost looks like a work of art! Step by step, you’ll learn how to remove the bitterness from eggplant and how to cut all vegetables to the exact same size, including using a ring mold for the red and green peppers. In addition, you’ll make a delicious branzino and tapenade.

33 min
Making Roast Beef and Potato Gratin

22: Making Roast Beef and Potato Gratin

Learn how to trim, score, and tie beef before you start cooking to help with flavor and presentation later on. After oven searing, you’ll use a chef’s thermometer to determine when to remove the meat, resting it with carryover cooking to complete the process. You’ll learn to make a delicious potato gratin, as well.

29 min
Patience, Pickles, and Crispy Fried Chicken

23: Patience, Pickles, and Crispy Fried Chicken

These easy-to-make pickles need to sit in brine for one week before eating, so you’ll need to start early on that one! The chicken also requires patience, as you’ll prepare your 9-cut, leaving it for 24 hours in brine and then 24 hours in buttermilk. At that point, it will be ready for dredging in spiced flour and fried to a beautiful golden brown. Coleslaw is the perfect way to top off this classic American dish.

26 min
My Big Steak: Executing a Three-Course Meal

24: My Big Steak: Executing a Three-Course Meal

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a three-course meal and have it all come together with perfect timing. You’ll prepare filet mignon from a beef tenderloin, create a spinach salad, a potato salad, and a chocolate tarte with raspberry coulis. Bon appétit!

58 min