Eating nutritious and delicious food

11 Nov 2021

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Eating nutritious and delicious food

Our chefs make meals that are not only delicious, but also very healthy.


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Charcuterie - CookinGenie blog

26 Apr 2021

Whether it be displayed out at your dinner party, the beginning of date night, or accompanying your favorite bottle of wine, a charcuterie board is a perfect accouterment. Charcuterie (pronounced “shahrkyut-uh-ree) is the French word for the art of cookery dedicated to the preparation of preserved meats, typically pork. The name charcuterie dates back to 15th-century shops which sold many different styles of pork, from terrines and pâtés to hams and sausages. They also specialized in confit, another preservation style involving slowly cooking protein in its rendered fat, for other delicacies like foie gras, a preparation of fatty duck or goose liver. The chef that runs the establishment is referred to as a Charcutier. In a more modern French kitchen, charcuterie is typically handled by a Garde Manger, a chef who is in charge of cold items like salads, cold soups, fruit, and charcuterie.  

Before they got to dinner parties: the origins of Charcuterie 

Charcuterie started as a way of life for people who were looking to preserve what they had excess of. Someone could take and eat what they could fresh from their kill and smoke or cure what they couldn’t currently use or didn’t want to go bad. Early examples of American cookbooks have recipes for a preserved culinary survival food called Pemmican, which is a loaf of dried beef, berries, and tallow to form a high-energy, simple food source. This was introduced by Native Americans and then eventually adopted by European fur traders and then found its way to the arctic as it was easy to prepare and would last for a long time before going bad.  

In modern kitchens, when you see a charcuterie board on a dinner party menu, it refers to an artisan-level crafted assortment of meats and sometimes cheeses that seek to work as something to nibble on before the main course. It is often selected with the flavor profile of the wine, menu, or season in mind. In the summer, a cool and crisp Moscato will cut through a razor-thin slice of a rich prosciutto or serrano ham. Likewise, spicy dried chorizo or soppressata will help finish that bottle of bold, tannin-rich Cabernet Sauvignon on a cold winter night.  

In general, charcuterie typically has three main branches: whole-muscle, pâtés, and cured sausages. Whole muscle typically refers to a whole loin of muscle, cured in salt and sometimes spices. It can include anything from American Bacon, Prosciutto, Speck, Jamon Serrano, Country Ham, Pancetta, Bresaola, Cappocollo, Guanciale, and Lardo. Pâtés can be any type of culinary preparation of forcemeat, herbs, fats, and spices. The most famous one people would know by name is probably pâté de foie gras, made from the livers of fattened geese, but most cultures around the world have their own takes on meat-pastes. Cured sausages cover anything from the pepperonis and salamis that you find in your local deli to finely crafted dry-aged Spanish Chorizo or French Saucisson.  

Nowadays most specialty grocers, Mediterranean wine bars, and some high-end pubs will carry a varying assortment of curated meats and cheeses. In Cleveland, we even have access to locally made craft cheese and charcuterie. Places like The Brooklyn Cheese Shop and Astoria Cafe & Market, produce many varieties of their old-world preparations and recipes. If you are looking to assemble a charcuterie spread for your dinner party guests, CookinGenie can help. There are many Genies who can create this incredibly classy looking starter for your guests.  

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How Chefs Manage Their Own Business

09 Jun 2021

If you’re a talented chef, you probably know the rewarding feeling of cooking for friends and family and being met with rave reviews. They might ask you when your restaurant is opening, half-seriously urge you to start a catering business, and proudly proclaim that they would pay good money to eat your food. But even as a chef, the idea of opening a restaurant or catering company is daunting. It certainly is fulfilling to share your cooking with people, but you may not want the risk or commitment of trying to launch your own business.

What if there was an easier way, a way to earn money cooking the food you love, but in a casual setting, without the all-consuming obligation of running your own business? Well, for professional chefs and skilled home cooks alike, CookinGenie is just that.

(Also ReadWhat is CookinGenie)

With CookinGenie, chefs have a platform to essentially manage their own business but in a flexible manner. CookinGenie allows chefs (genies) to create their own menus, set their own prices, and make their own schedules to fit around their busy lives. They can do all this while building their personal brand and establishing a base of regular clients. At CookinGenie, the genies have total creative control of the food. They can change menu items seasonally and can source ingredients from the local stores they love. To fulfill an order, they arrive at the client’s home, cook a meal, clean up, and earn money sharing their talents with satisfied customers.

This setup is dramatically different from most traditional chef jobs. Typically, the life of a restaurant chef entails working long hours in a hot, sweaty commercial kitchen, all while under the pressure of trying to satisfy a packed dining room. It’s hectic, stressful, exhausting, and often doesn’t pay well. Plus, most chefs in a restaurant are preparing someone else’s menu, either the head chef’s or the owner’s, so it’s hard to let creativity and passion flourish. Although the hours may be a little more normal, working in a catering company offers many of the same challenges.

CookinGenie, on the other hand, provides all the joy and excitement of cooking for others without the serious drawbacks of other chef jobs. The genie decides what’s on the menu and when they want to be available to cook. All of the cooking is done in a relaxed setting in the client’s home; there’s no pressure to keep up with the pace of service. The genie gets the personal satisfaction of interacting directly with the people enjoying the fruits of their hard work, instead of the food being sent out into the void of a dining room. CookinGenie chefs are compensated competitively and even have the opportunity to collect tips from happy customers.

(Also ReadFresh Home Cooked food: A CookinGenie Perspective by Michael Booth)

All told, CookinGenie is a fantastic way to make money and manage your own business as a chef. The flexibility allows chefs to continue other pursuits while also earning extra income as a genie and building a following. From a work perspective, there is simply no beating the creative liberties and stress-free atmosphere CookinGenie provides. In the crazy world of cooking, CookinGenie proves that there really is a better way to be a chef.

If you’re a talented local chef or home cook and CookinGenie sounds great to you, then we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at: careers@cookingenie.com

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What Dad Really Wants_CookinGenie

06 Jul 2021

Let’s face it, Dads are hard to shop for. If your dad is anything like mine, when you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day, he insists he doesn’t want anything, citing the fact that “he already has everything he needs.”

While that’s a sweet sentiment, it can put kids trying to do something nice for Father’s Day in a bind. If you’re in this boat, don’t overthink it. The holiday is about showing dad how much you appreciate him, and you don’t need to shell out for a designer watch to do that.

A 2019 survey conducted by Omaha Steaks found that 3 of 4 dads prefer an experience over a physical gift for Father’s Day. That could be going to a ball game, catching a concert, or seeing a movie, but the survey found that the experience dads want the most for their big day is a home-cooked meal. (Another survey found most dads don’t want to go out to eat for Father’s Day.)

Of the 2,000 dads surveyed, 41% of them said their ideal Father’s Day would be spent enjoying a big, juicy steak with their family, and 79% of respondents said they love to bond with their children over food.

So, there you have it. The best gift for dad this year is the simplest, a delicious home cooked meal. But that raises other concerns. What if you don’t feel like handling all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning required? Or maybe, since Dad is usually the one manning the grill, your steak cooking skills are a little rusty?

Well, luckily, CookinGenie is here to help. With CookinGenie, you can book a talented chef to come to your home with everything they need to cook Dad a meal fit for a king. While the genie takes care of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, you can kick back and spend some quality time with the man who made you who you are.

If your father is like those surveyed and is hankering a juicy steak this year, CookinGenie’s got you covered. Try genie Lamont’s elegant Pan-Seared Filet with Grilled Shrimp and Fennel Slaw. Or perhaps dad would prefer something a little more classic like genie Quentin’s Honey-Bourbon Sirloin with a Loaded Potato. For an adventurous twist on steak dinner, treat dad to genie Tateayona’s Latin-inspired Flank Stank with Chimichurri.

But if your dad’s not a steak guy, no problem. CookinGenie offers a delicious variety of pastas, salads, vegetarian dishes, desserts, seafood dishes, and more to satisfy any father. If dad is a bit of a foodie, there’s a wide selection of authentic Thai, Indian, Latin, Italian, Korean, and Middle eastern dishes to choose from. Plus, there’s plenty of tasty kid-friendly meals available to keep the whole family at peace. Whatever your dad prefers, CookinGenie can whip up the stunning feast he deserves.

This Father’s Day, keep it simple. Instead of dress socks or a novelty coffee mug, try CookingGenie and give dad what he really wants.

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