I Tried To Cook Like Gordon Ramsay For A Week And Here's What Happened


I am not an idiot sandwich.

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Hi! I’m Emily — and I like to cook. But I generally,normally stick to the same quick things over and over again, like stir fry or salad.

Hi! I'm Emily — and I like to cook. But I generally,normally stick to the same quick things over and over again, like stir fry or salad.

And while that's total fine and fine, it's not really helping me become a better cook. And it can win pretty boring, TBH.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

So I decided to challenge myself — with the abet of someone who I am literally obsessed with: Gordon Ramsay. 👑

So I decided to challenge myself — with the abet of someone who I am literally obsessed with: Gordon Ramsay. 👑

I figured who better to abet me up my kitchen game than this sexy, impolite British man? He explains things so well and his voice is really soothing when he isn't yelling.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

To prep, I watched a ton of videos on Gordon’s how-to YouTube channel, and picked up my textbook of choice:

To prep, I watched a ton of videos on Gordon's how-to YouTube channel, and picked up my textbook of choice:

It's Gordon Ramsay's domestic Cooking ($25.53 on Amazon), and it has solid advice on everything from fundamental cooking tools to perfectly searing a steak.

Then I set my menu for the week ahead, picking a different dish or lesson to master each day: eggs, soup, salad, seafood, meat, pasta, and dessert.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

I kicked off the week with something I figured would be foolproof: scrambled eggs. How tough could they be, right?

I kicked off the week with something I figured would be foolproof: scrambled eggs. How tough could they be, right?

Gordon’s internet-renowned scrambled eggs are supposed to reach out fluffy and a tiny loose.

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But I screwed up pretty much immediately.

But I screwed up pretty much immediately.

Despite the simple recipe, the eggs were surprisingly tricky to cook correctly. My mistake was starting with a too-sharp tangy pot (instead of heating the eggs up slowly), which meant the eggs overcooked nearly immediately. Oops.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Spicy Mexican soup was next — which was perfect because it actually ended up being the first chilly day of the season.

Spicy Mexican soup was next — which was perfect because it actually ended up being the first chilly day of the season.

SOUP WEATHER!

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But everything started out like a catastrophe because I messed up some of the ingredients.

But everything started out like a catastrophe because I messed up some of the ingredients.

I bought chiles de arbol instead of chipotle chiles (read more here approximately why that's a meaningful contrast), the avocado wasn't as ripe as I'd thought, and I couldn't find Lancashire cheese because we're not in Britain, dammit. After being very close to submitting my letter of resignation on day two, I took a breath and improvised. I found some chipotle seasoning in the back of the pantry, tried ripening the avocado in the oven (didn't work for me ¯_(ツ)_/¯), and used queso fresco instead of Lancashire.

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Once I relaxed, the actual soup allotment was smooth sailing — and a reminder of the importance of seasoning as you depart.

Once I relaxed, the actual soup allotment was smooth sailing — and a reminder of the importance of seasoning as you depart.

In his book, Gordon talks approximately tasting and seasoning throughout the cooking process. I took a quick bite halfway through simmering and, to my disappointment, it didn't taste like much. No heat, no real flavor. So I threw in a bunch of salt, pepper, and more chipotle seasoning. I tried it again, and it honestly tasted like a totally different dish. Holy crap.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

And BTW, the homemade tortilla chips were 💯.

And BTW, the homemade tortilla chips were 💯.

Both the soup and the chips were shockingly simple, particularly considering how much flavor they had. (Again, once I seasoned!) I'm now officially obsessed with chipotle chilis and definitely want to cook with them again.

Biggest Takeaway: Tasting and seasoning as you depart is so valuable, and can manufacture or demolish a dish.
My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Full recipe: Spicy Mexican Soup

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

The downside? I didn’t nail the perfect sear. (But they still tasted fine as hell.)

The downside? I didn't nail the perfect sear. (But they still tasted fine as hell.)

Scallops are simple to work with, but I realized they definitely require very close attention to detail to win them just right. Because they cook so speedily, Gordon recommends laying your scallops clockwise around the pan and flipping them in that order to win the perfect sear. I, of course, forgot which scallop I laid down first so they didn't weren't perfectly seared, but they were tasty AF, so I didn't care.

Biggest Takeaway: Eat more scallops. And pay attention to the order the scallops depart in the pan.
My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Full recipe: Pan-Seared Scallops with Crunchy Apple Salad

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

As a ~salad enthusiast~ myself, I occupy to say this was a quality salad.

As a ~salad enthusiast~ myself, I occupy to say this was a quality salad.

I generally,normally assume that it's a waste of time to manufacture homemade dressings, but this one totally changed my opinion. Everything was so fresh-tasting and complemented the salad so well. Another game changer was the deseeded cucumber: I would generally,normally never do in the added effort in such a seemingly trivial step, but it was so much crispier without the watery seeds!

Biggest Takeaway: Homemade dressings are worth the effort, and searing a steak is total approximately timing.
My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Full recipe: Spicy Beef Salad

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

But despite my gnocchi’s texture, the flavors were still really fine — and it was my fave recipe to prepare.

But despite my gnocchi’s texture, the flavors were still really fine — and it was my fave recipe to prepare.

The ingredients were simple, but each one did something different: The pepper popped, the peas gave a variation in texture, and rosemary made the butter taste really rich.

Biggest Takeaway: Even when you fuck up, cooking is approximately the experience.
My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Full recipe: Homemade Gnocchi

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Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

I made it to the stop of the week! To celebrate? Fancy chocolate tarts with peanut brittle. I knew this was going to be my biggest challenge because besides slicing premade cookie dough or pouring soda into a cake mix, I occupy…never baked.

I made it to the stop of the week! To celebrate? Fancy chocolate tarts with peanut brittle. I knew this was going to be my biggest challenge because besides slicing premade cookie dough or pouring soda into a cake mix, I occupy...never baked.

I know. 😡 But I never understood the point when I could just buy Ben & Jerry's.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Was it exhausting? Yes. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin’-lutely.

Was it exhausting? Yes. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin'-lutely.

By the stop of the week, I was DEAD because cooking is tough work. But as tough as we work to manufacture cooking easier with one-pot recipes that only occupy three ingredients and cooking hacks to speed things up, there's something particularly rewarding in slowing down when you can — and spending time in the kitchen with homemade pasta or from-scratch dessert.

I'm not saying I'm going to manufacture one of these fancy shmancy recipes every single night. (I definitely don't occupy the budget, patience, or time — LOL.) But I will start making stuff like this more often, because it's nice to be intentional approximately it and challenge myself — and it's fun to treat my friends. Aaand it's what Gordon would want.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

So am I a MasterChef? Probs not, but I’ll occupy a grand time trying.

So am I a MasterChef? Probs not, but I'll occupy a grand time trying.

^total I want from life. 😭

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