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Old 06-08-2007, 11:00 PM   #1
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Yes, Mine TV-Chef! (How often do you follow their ingredient lists *exactly*)?

I have a theory. It's not a very popular theory, nor one which is likely to be proven with this audience, but it's a theory nonetheless.

So, what is my scientific observation threatening enough to TV-chefs and cookbook authors that they will scream and yell that we're "Doing it wrong" when they hear of it?

It is thus:

Normal people do not bother to use freerange/organic/fresh ingredients when they don't normally buy such, nor do they kill themselves to find 'unique' products.

What do I mean by that? Well, my mother doesn't like cooking, or food. She likes eating, but doesn't overly care what things taste like. The rice she uses for Risotto? 'White' rice. Not Arborio or any of the others, but standard white rice. Needless to say, her risotto... isn't.

Most of the people I know won't go and try to find fresh jeruselem artichokes, just because a recipe calls for them. They'll substitute sour cream for yoghourt because they've got the former or don't want to buy and then waste the latter. They won't buy something that's only going to be half used, nor will they buy fresh when frozen is WAY cheaper. Spices and herbs get changed at will, marinating times are shortened, no-one goes to a farmers market to get their produce, and the worst offense is usuallly mushrooms. I don't even know where to buy morels, chanterelles, and you should have seen my face light up when I found Porcinis dried.


I think most people find obtaining the more unusual ingredients takes away the fun of cooking. I know that I no longer bother looking for unusual ingredients, because I'm so rarely successful in finding them that I loose too much time I could be working, studying, doing housework, or cooking. So I just don't bother. Saves me time and money, I put more effort into making the food then finding the ingredients, and I don't think my food suffers.

So, how stringent are we in purchasing? Do you go the extra mile to buy a fresh product you're only going to use a quarter of? Do you buy organic products, go hunting for the spices and order exotics from catalogues (Not really an option in Australia, the idea of mail order food not being one that's considered good), or do you swap out for what you can get locally with the minimum of effort?

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Old 06-08-2007, 11:27 PM   #2
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I do my best to go the extra mile to make the recipe with the ingredients called for. It can't always be done though. I try not to mess with the integrity of a recipe, but, if I can't find a major ingredient I either make something else or just change it if I like everything else about the recipe.

I will pay more for a "smart" chicken ($11.00) versus $4.00 for a "regular" chicken (and not very big at all). The flavor, texture, EVERYTHING, about the smart chicken is worth the money!!!!!

I think the unusual ingredients is what makes cooking fun!!!!
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:33 PM   #3
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Half the fun is the looking..I've found all types of interesting things on my shopping trips..Life is always so rushed, take a minute, look at all the beautiful produce, go to the farmers market, breath in the smells of fresh herbs and fruits and veggies, feel the warm sun on your face,and then go home and put together a wonderful meal..Sit, eat, enjoy,then do your homework, the dishes and think of all you gained today. Go the extra MILE!
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:34 PM   #4
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Given that Buck and I live in an area where MANY ingredients are not available, I do my best to duplicate the recipe with the ingredients I can get.

As a result, I've prepared some dishes via their recipes that are not exactly "correct" as specified, but they've been quite good.

IMO, this is what cooking is about.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
and think of all you gained today.
Well you coulda' left that out
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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Day to day, I don't select recipes that call for obscure igredients. On weekends and when I'm preparing a special recipe, I seek out the obscure ingredients and take the time to do it right. On these occasions, I don't substitute because recreating the dish is the objective.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
Given that Buck and I live in an area where MANY ingredients are not available, I do my best to duplicate the recipe with the ingredients I can get.

As a result, I've prepared some dishes via their recipes that are not exactly "correct" as specified, but they've been quite good.

IMO, this is what cooking is about.
I have to do this many, many times too. When you live out in the country, it is very hard to go to the "corner market" for something that more than likely is not available in my area. So there again, it is choose something you do have the ingredients for instead.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:22 AM   #8
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Recipes are just suggestions of combinations of ingredients, not necessarily blueprints, like when baking. If people always went by what the given recipe states and never experimented, well, that would be no fun at all, imo.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:09 AM   #9
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The first time or two I use a new recipe I follow it to the letter. (as best as possible) After that if I like the dish I may continue to follow it as is, but most times I add a little more of this, or less of that, somtimes adding something totally different. Like TATTRAT said, in the end I view them as suggestions.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:22 AM   #10
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If you're trying to re-create a dish, if that's your goal when using a specific recipe, then it's always best to follow the recipe and to get the specific ingredients. If not, then what's the point? I've had people try to make my recipes and tell me that it didn't come out, or it was missing something. I ask them ,"Did you cook it like this?", or "Did you use this ingrdient?". When they tell me no, I want to smack them upside the head. When I ask them why, and they tell me ,"Oh, I didn't feel like it" or "Oh, was I supposed to do that?, or "Oh, I didn't see that", then I REALLY want to smack them upside the head. If a person does not want to follow my recipe then fine. That's their problem. But don't complain that it didn't turn out when you ****ed it up.

On the other hand, if you're using a recipe more for the general idea and for the technique, then the ingredients don't matter as much. BUT, you also reap what you sow. Don't expect the dish to come out the best that it can possibly be if you're not going to use the best possible ingredients.
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