For years, Tom has avoided “creepy looking” artichokes. Thanks to Chef Paul and a grocery store visit, the cooking novice successfully confronts his fear by eating Sautéed Beef Tenderloin Tips with Artichokes, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Kalijira Rice and Stuffed Artichokes Le Jeune Chef. Tom hopes his steely display of courage will inspire others.
Cooking Key Focus: Artichokes
Refusing to accept Tom’s typical order at a Mexican restaurant (a chicken sandwich), Chef Paul celebrates the rich diversity of Mexican cuisine with a variety of dishes: Chef Paul’s Quesadillas, Jen’s Fabulous Vegan Enchiladas and Tex Mex Asado. To his credit, Tom manages to locate some chicken in Chef Paul’s Quesadillas.
Cooking Key Focus: Tortillas
A trip to the farm produces lots of fresh ingredients and a traumatized Tom, who—following Chef Paul’s instructions—“borrows” a few eggs from some unsuspecting chickens. Fortunately, Chef Paul manages to calm his cohort by making Poached Egg and Green Nest on Pan-Seared Hash along with an Omelet and Frittata. But Tom has never felt so guilty about breakfast.
Cooking Key Focus: Roasting Garlic
Even though he has chicken, cheese and pasta at his disposal, Chef Paul refuses to make Tom’s favorite Italian dish: chicken parmesan. Instead, the esteemed chef does everyone a favor by creating Herb Seared Chicken Breast, Warm Zucchini Stew with Angel-Hair Pasta and Broccoli Parmesan. Tom takes solace in that at least one of the recipes features the word “parmesan.”
Cooking Key Focus: Blanching Vegetables
What the food dictionary refers to as appetizers, Chef Paul and Tom label “football food:” Seafood Potato ‘Football’ Crisps and Eddie’s Crabmeat-Stuffed Mushrooms. Granted, both dishes are worthy of a touchdown celebration, but since their favorite teams (the Bills and the Vikings) are a combined 0-8 in the Super Bowl, the duo should consider a new moniker for their creations.
Cooking Key Focus: Mushrooms
In a quest for fresh seafood, Chef Paul and Tom visit a street market in New Orleans. The experience is a new one for Tom, who usually purchases fish from the frozen-food aisle. However, Tom is so impressed with Chef Paul’s Smothered Crawfish “Etouffee” and Sauteed Shrimp with Tequila Sauce, Mango Salsa that he wonders why they didn’t buy alligator on a stick.
Cooking Key Focus: Shrimp
Tom gets chills of excitement when the ice-cream truck visits his neighborhood. As for Chef Paul, he gets chills when soufflés visit his kitchen. Fortunately, Chef Paul’s preferred form of excitement prevails as he makes Frozen Espresso Hazelnut Souffle, Hot Chocolate Souffle, Hot Raspberry Souffle and Sausage, Asparagus and Havarti Cheese Souffle. Poor Tom doesn’t even get a Creamsicle.
Cooking Key Focus: Béchamel
Tom’s idea of an Asian adventure is an overseas jaunt. Chef Paul’s thought is more cost effective but just as tasty: a trip to the grocery store. Without a frequent-flyer mile, Chef Paul creates Southeast Asian Spicy Coconut Pork and Miso-Crusted Red Snapper, Vegetable Nabemono. Tom likes the dishes, but remains miffed that Chef Paul stranded him at curb-side pickup.
Cooking Key Focus: Filleting Fish
The microwave “defrost” button typically serves as Tom’s magic one-step “braising” method. Fortunately, Chef Paul shows the correct way by featuring Braised Lamb in Cabernet Franc with Currants and Dried Plums and Braised Osso Bucco with Bacon. He even makes Spatzeli on the side. Thanks to Chef Paul, Tom will never look at his microwave the same.
Cooking Key Focus: Lamb
A longtime fan of breaded foods on restaurant menus, Tom learns how to bread on his own as Chef Paul reveals three simple breading procedures for Breast of Chicken Franchese with King Crab Sauce, Chicken Piccata and Pan-Fried Chicken Breast with Fontina Cheese and Fresh Sage. Tom is so impressed with Chef Paul’s results that he goes a whole week without takeout.
Cooking Key Focus: Crab
"Soup and Sandwich"
Finally free to make his “famous” grilled cheese sandwich, Tom quickly realizes there’s a big catch: He has to milk a cow. The cooking novice takes one for the team and is rewarded with Taleggio Prosciutto Grilled Cheese, My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Cream of Asparagus Soup and, of course, Tom’s Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich. While not a big fan of grilled cheese, Chef Paul is a lot happier than Tom’s cow.
Cooking Key Focus: Soft Italian Cheeses
Tom shows unrivaled faith in Chef Paul by unplugging his bread machine and allowing the master teacher to reveal the best way to make bread. Chef Paul rewards such resolve by crafting Lean Italian Bread, Braided Rich Egg Bread and Sausage and Cheese Bread. Tom’s only complaint? The lack of preservatives will force him to make bread again real soon.
Cooking Key Focus: Yeast
Proving he’s not a master teacher for nothing, Chef Paul shows why he won that presitigous recognition by teaching Tom’s naïve taste buds a valuable lesson: Beans can be flavorful. Chef Paul makes his case with Pork and Greens, Chef Paul’s Country Turkey Chili and Black-eyed Peas. Tom is just thankful the lesson didn’t include a PowerPoint presentation.
Cooking Key Focus: Dried Beans
Even though one is from upstate New York and the other from southeast Pennsylvania, Chef Paul and Tom show they learned a lot during their trip to New Orleans by making a tasty Gumbo Fruits de Mer and an amazing dessert, Bananas Foster. However, their friendship is strained when Tom discovers that Chef Paul received many more beads than he did.
Cooking Key Focus: Pepper