back to top
Food

I Spent A Week Making Gordon Ramsay Recipes And I Am Legit Changed

I am not an idiot sandwich.

Posted on

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

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

Advertisement

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

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

My challenge? To spend a week in a ~MasterClass~ of sorts — cooking one of his recipes every day, starting simple with scrambled eggs and working all the way up to fancy chocolate tarts.

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

It's Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking ($25.53 on Amazon), and it has solid advice on everything from essential 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.

Advertisement

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

But I screwed up pretty much immediately.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

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

So I tried again. And while my eggs weren't quite as creamy as Gordon's, they were definitely delicious!

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

These eggs were very tasty, but the butter and crème fraîche made them a little too rich to be an everyday meal, IMO. But if I ever open a brunch restaurant (a girl can dream), this will be the first thing on the menu.

Biggest Takeaway: Cooking over high heat isn't just for getting it over with — it can completely change the taste and texture of a dish.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Gordon's Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Advertisement

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

Fox

I bought chiles de arbol instead of chipotle chiles (read more here about why that's a significant difference), 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.

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

In his book, Gordon talks about tasting and seasoning throughout the cooking process. I took a quick bite midway 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.

And BTW, the homemade tortilla chips were 💯.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Both the soup and the chips were shockingly simple, especially 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 go is so important, and can make or break a dish.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Spicy Mexican Soup

Despite Gordon's lentil salad being kinda ugly to look at, I was excited to try it — because it's probably most similar to what I'd normally cook for myself.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

I'm a pescatarian, and recipes like this are the reason I can cut meat out of my diet. The salad had so much flavor, lots of protein, and was very filling. Plus, it's pretty foolproof: No matter how much you overcook or undercook it, it won’t kill you and will still (most likely!) taste good. That's a plus in my book.

Biggest Takeaway: Lemon makes everything taste better and boiling lentils in vegetable stock gives them way more flavor.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: via Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking cookbook.

Advertisement

Seafood can be intimidating — but of all the fish I’ve ever cooked for myself, these scallops had the best taste-to-ease ratio. They only took a few minutes to prep and cook through.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

I made these for me and my BFF Jordan and the first thing we wondered was why we didn't make these more often! You legit just sprinkle some salt and pepper and put them on the pan for — I'm serious — three minutes. I mean, they're definitely expensive so they're more of a treat. But ughh, what a treat. 😋

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Scallops are simple to work with, but I realized they definitely require very close attention to detail to get them just right. Because they cook so fast, Gordon recommends laying your scallops clockwise around the pan and flipping them in that order to get 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 go in the pan.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Pan-Seared Scallops with Crunchy Apple Salad

I was really nervous to cook beef because... I don't eat meat. But what kind of MasterChef would I be if I didn't know how to cook a steak? So I wanted to at least try.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Gordon's cookbook taught me a bunch of smart tips, but there were two that seemed to be the most important: 1) Bring the meat to room temperature first, so it can cook evenly. And 2) Leave it alone once it's in the pan so that the sides get that nice caramelized color.

Advertisement

I served the steak to my roommates, who both (thankfully) survived and loved it.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed, Gabbie Van Tassel, Alex Castellanos

Not only was I paranoid about killing them with undercooked meat, but Gabby relieved my concern: "It was dark pink, almost light purple. Perfectly cooked." Alex enjoyed it too, but was pretty upset that there wasn't any cheese: "I like cheese in my salad."

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

I usually think that it's a waste of time to make 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 usually never put 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 all about timing.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Spicy Beef Salad

Making homemade gnocchi was definitely a process. On one hand, it made me feel like a badass. On the other hand, my batch was a little gummy.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

Homemade gnocchi is really tricky to get right, as I would find out. But like baking, it's a very therapeutic experience. The next time you have a rough day, I recommend rolling those moldy potatoes (yeah, you're supposed to use really old potatoes) you have into pasta magic.

(Or semi-magic, in my case. I did some research to find out why my gnocchi had a gummy texture, and I think it's because I overworked the dough. You ultimately want to knead gnocchi dough as little as possible. Lesson learned!)

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

Fox

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 about the experience.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Homemade Gnocchi

I made it to the end 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 have...never baked.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

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

It was a bittersweet ending: I botched the peanut brittle, but the tarts were incredible.

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

But maybe even more important: After making these tarts, I totally get why some people are so into baking. The repetition of mixing, kneading, and pouring is so much more relaxing than the flurry of fast activity involved in cooking a meal. And, after serving these to friends, I realized that there's something so ~loving~ about baking for others. People love free food in general, but baking requires a level of patience and time that really shows how much you care. (Plus, sugar makes people insanely happy.)

Recipe-wise: These tarts were crispy and sweet but surprisingly not as nauseatingly rich as you would expect from a literal block of chocolate. All I can say is I am a changed woman.

Biggest Takeaway: Bake for your friends. You won't regret it.

My MasterChef Rating: 🔥🔥🔥 / 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Full recipe: Mini Chocolate Tarts with Peanut Brittle

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

Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

By the end of the week, I was DEAD because cooking is hard work. But as hard as we work to make cooking easier with one-pot recipes that only have three ingredients and cooking hacks to speed things up, there's something especially 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 make one of these fancy shmancy recipes every single night. (I definitely don't have the budget, patience, or time — LOL.) But I will start making stuff like this more often, because it's nice to be intentional about it and challenge myself — and it's fun to treat my friends. Aaand it's what Gordon would want.

Promoted

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss