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How to write recipes

 
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PicnicMaster1



Joined: 01 Jun 2017
Posts: 23
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: How to write recipes Reply with quote

As this is a discussion forum, I thought I'd just vent some frustrations with how recipes are written.

I consider myself a "good amateur" cook and have been cooking for a good number of years. I'm constantly on the internet and in magazines looking for new idea or recipes.

I get frustrated when cooks, even "pros" leave out important details like "a little minced garlic" (how much is a little?) or "simmer" (for how long?) or "sear a steak on both sides in a very hot pan"...how hot ? how long ? You don't sear a 1 inch steak the same time as a much thicker piece of meat.

Welcome any comments if you share my frustration or disagree.

Thanks
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1176
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some recipes are indeed poorly written - but the objections you raised are actually part of knowing how to cook. you don't do it "by the numbers" - there's too many variables.

a little garlic - well, how about "three cloves of garlic" then?
how big are your cloves? does anybody at the table detest garlic?
the first time through a new dish I stick pretty dang close to the recipe -

and more than once it's been too much garlic or too much salt or too much sugar.
an experienced cook has a feel for how much seasoning is "to taste" for them, the pot quantity, etc. example: I hate sage - I leave it out - period - just don't go there....don't care how much is called for in the dish....

a simmer direction should include time or condition. 'until tender' etc. - but I can imagine there's cases where the goal of the simmer is obvious.

"You don't sear a 1 inch steak the same time as a much thicker piece of meat. " well, perhaps one does. are you searing the meat or cooking it to done? a thin cut might well be near done by the time you get a medium sear on both sides . . . thicker cuts you get the color/crust/sear and then finish cook it. the time to sear a thin steak and a 3 inch thick steak is actually pretty close. a thin cut you've seasoned and left on the counter for an hour is likely done just from searing, a thick cut seasoned and left out, no. and straight from the fridge is another set of timings . . . if they cited the hot pan temperature, how would you measure it? and how many other kitchens could measure it?

a whole lotta' cooking is technique - and "technique" is different discipline than "recipe" and a whole lotta' home cooks don't really understand what some recipe terms and some cooking techniques really are. they're working from inherited knowledge - and genes can play tricks on you.
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