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  • Recipe or no recipe

    I'm wondering how many people have a "wing it" attitude to their cooking. For years I followed recipes until a light went off and I realized I could just make it up and I would come up with a good dish. This is easy to do with the stove top, one pan dishes I like to make.
    Example: Chicken thighs sauteed, add onions, green pepper, garlic and cook until chicken is safely cooked through. Add canned diced tomatoes, wine and spices of your choice. Easy to give it a Spanish, Italian or French tweaking depending on the spices you choose. Add mushrooms, chillies, olives or a whole host of other ingredients and you can give the dish whatever "ethnicity" you like. The most basic one I describe takes less than an hour to make and when served over pasta with a salad on the side makes for an inexpensive, good tasting, well balanced and healthy meal.

    Anyone else?
    John

    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

  • #2
    When I do outreaches, science demonstrations for school kids, I tell them that I always follow my "recipe". I explain that cooking is a kind of science, and if you want consistent results you have to do it the same way every time.

    In the kitchen I tend to vary ingredients (and amounts of ingredients) just to see what will happen.
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    • #3
      Wing it, unless it's a specific dish I am doing.
      Wisdom is personal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JBark View Post
        I'm wondering how many people have a "wing it" attitude to their cooking.
        My wife does that, then she can't understand why the same dish doesn't come out the same each time and for some reason, tastes different. Myself, I tend to follow the recipe to the letter, unless its soup or something like that where I will add spices a little here and there to tweak the taste but only after its already pretty much done.
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        • #5
          Jbark,correct me,but isn't your wife french?
          I follow recipes only for pastries,a science according to me.
          That rug really tied the room together

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          • #6
            A bit of both. Some things I do as close to exactly the same as I can while some I "wing it"

            “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JBark View Post
              I'm wondering how many people have a "wing it" attitude to their cooking. For years I followed recipes until a light went off and I realized I could just make it up and I would come up with a good dish. This is easy to do with the stove top, one pan dishes I like to make.
              Example: Chicken thighs sauteed, add onions, green pepper, garlic and cook until chicken is safely cooked through. Add canned diced tomatoes, wine and spices of your choice. Easy to give it a Spanish, Italian or French tweaking depending on the spices you choose. Add mushrooms, chillies, olives or a whole host of other ingredients and you can give the dish whatever "ethnicity" you like. The most basic one I describe takes less than an hour to make and when served over pasta with a salad on the side makes for an inexpensive, good tasting, well balanced and healthy meal.

              Anyone else?
              I 'wing it', but I've been cooking ever since I opened ration pack 'A' on exercise in 1980 (chicken curry). I believe it was ration pack 'C' that came with inedible peanuts and raisins. I threw the first packet of this mix away, but afterwards kept them to put in the rice that came with 'A'. That was my first 'winging it' and I haven't looked back since.

              It doesn't always work. I made a varient of Jamie Olivers Crab Briks here. I decided to bulk out the mixture using a thick cream cheese. This proved to be a mistake as the cheese melted the filo. Tasted fine but presentation was an issue.
              Originally posted by sebfrench76 View Post
              Jbark,correct me,but isn't your wife french?
              I follow recipes only for pastries,a science according to me.
              However, to constantly 'wing it' you do need to have a reasonable grasp of the basics. I get that from being our households everyday cook. However, my wife is better at following a recipe and that makes her a better baker, which is essentially a science rather than an art.
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              • #8
                Nick you're right.Pastry is a variant of alchemy..
                (i suddently think at all our Russian members here,we're giving to them a délicate example of how the "west" is light and decadent:talking about cooking tips on a history forum..)
                "Sacrilege!"
                That rug really tied the room together

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sebfrench76 View Post
                  Nick you're right.Pastry is a variant of alchemy..
                  (i suddently think at all our Russian members here,we're giving to them a délicate example of how the "west" is light and decadent:talking about cooking tips on a history forum..)
                  "Sacrilege!"
                  And that by people that think of themselves as men. Bunch of pansys I say. Scared to try some cooking because it might reflect on their selfrespect as mongomen

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                  • #10
                    1st time or two I look at directions... then add-on with some winging it.
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                    • #11
                      Unless I'm making something that requires me to follow exactly to get a certain flavour or effect (making fudge for example) I wing it. I have many food allergies and flavour preferences so I frequently have to modify or make up my own version. Due to financial constraints I tend to use the microwave mostly and that means not only changing ingredients but method too.
                      The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sebfrench76 View Post
                        Jbark,correct me,but isn't your wife french?
                        I follow recipes only for pastries,a science according to me.
                        Oui...and what the hell, I go and marry a woman who can't cook to save her life. Damn good goalkeeper but stay the hell out of my kitchen!
                        John

                        Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          I 'wing it', but I've been cooking ever since I opened ration pack 'A' on exercise in 1980 (chicken curry). I believe it was ration pack 'C' that came with inedible peanuts and raisins. I threw the first packet of this mix away, but afterwards kept them to put in the rice that came with 'A'. That was my first 'winging it' and I haven't looked back since.
                          I started cooking around then when I was a student. Found a cookbook that was perfect for my roommates and I, The Campus Survival Cookbook. Worked well and none of us ever diviated from the recipes. My favorite was named after the dogfood Alpo: ground beef, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, macaroni all cooked up in a pan and melt two cheeses on top when you are done. Feels like a cannon ball in your stomach.

                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          It doesn't always work. I made a varient of Jamie Olivers Crab Briks here. I decided to bulk out the mixture using a thick cream cheese. This proved to be a mistake as the cheese melted the filo. Tasted fine but presentation was an issue.
                          However, to constantly 'wing it' you do need to have a reasonable grasp of the basics. I get that from being our households everyday cook. However, my wife is better at following a recipe and that makes her a better baker, which is essentially a science rather than an art.
                          That looks great. Agreed, my basics are centered around typical meat dishes and stews and I need to break into new areas. I too am the every day cook but my imagination has lost its energy. I think I need more wine. I took my first attempt at baking a few weeks ago with a yogurt cake for my wife (trying to make it like grandma used to) and I found out how far off my oven is from its set temperature. Oh, and somehow I left out the vanilla...but it didn't taste half bad. Outside was a bit dark brown but inside was okay.
                          John

                          Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                          • #14
                            Turkey Day

                            TURKEY RECIPE




                            I thought this sounded good! Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing ingredient -- imagine that. When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when turkey is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. Give this a try.



                            8 - 15 lb. turkey
                            1 cup melted butter
                            1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good)
                            1 cup un-popped popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT IS BEST)
                            Salt/pepper to taste



                            Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper.
                            Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan making sure the neck end is toward the front of the oven, not the back.



                            After about 4 hours listen for the popping sounds.



                            When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it's done.



                            And, you thought I didn't cook...


                            Passed on from D1J1

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                            • #15
                              JBark, ^^That's outdoors - open-fire - cowboy-style - hunting-trip - one pan cooking.
                              I love it, cook [me] cleans only The Pan&The Knife and cutting board, everyone else his own plate.

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