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Old 08-20-2016, 06:00 PM   #1
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Measurements

So my recipe called for 1 tsp of red peppercorns.

and that was it - wha??? do I grind them? do I measure whole peppercorns? do I measure ground peppercorns? Is it 1 tsp whole? or 1 tsp ground?

The specific recipe was/is for a marinade. The marinade is actually quite mild very citrusy. I originally ground 1 tsp whole - then added another tsp whole.
Finally in the end I added a pinch of pepperoncini just like Lydia B would

But I often find it confusing if the recipe's are not clear... as in...
1 cup pasta
1 cup rice
etc etc

pasta are all different sizes - 1 cup orzo is certainly not 1 cup macaroni!
uncooked rice is certainly a different measure than cooked. Ok, I admit that most rice recipes do specify cooked or uncooked - but I think you all get the hint and have been there before.

So what are your solutions?

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Old 08-20-2016, 06:18 PM   #2
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If the recipe is unclear you have to guess. There is clearly a difference between:

1 tsp Ground Red Peppercorns

and

1 tsp Red Peppercorns, ground

I always have an issue with ambiguous statements such as one small (or large) onion. Who's to judge if it's large medium or small? How about: 1 Cup of diced onion.

Fortunately, a little more onion or a little less usually doesn't make a difference in the finished recipe.

I struggle most with "1 Cup shredded cheese" packed or loosely measured?
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:19 PM   #3
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Put in as much as you think you would like, and remember, you can always add more, but it is harder to take out...
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:24 PM   #4
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I hear you Rock,

and yes Andy... how about a "medium size Eggplant" or "3 Leeks" ...
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:34 PM   #5
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Yep, it's kind of a guessing game. As far as the peppercorns for the marinade you mentioned, I would at least crush them a little. Hard to say without the volume of the rest of the ingredients and how much you like pepper. I'm a pepper fanatic.

As mentioned - leeks, onions, bell peppers, and things like that are personal preference. If a recipe calls for a certain amount of chopped onion for example, I often add a little more just because I love onion.

Here's a guide to pasta measuring that I've had in my faves for quite a while, it might come in handy.

Ounces to Cups: A Guide to Estimating Pasta Yield | The Kitchn
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:40 AM   #6
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Cooking is an art as well as a science. This is one of those things that comes with practice.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
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No no no, don't say that, GG. I've always thought of it as "cooking is art, baking is science". I wasn't that great at science, but I'm decent enough at baking. Art was my thing in school, and I shine with my cooking. If I have to consider cooking to be science, I'm in deep trouble.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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I would automatically assume it's ground.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
I would automatically assume it's ground.
I wouldn't. In fact, if the recipe just called for 1 teaspoon of red peppercorns, I would leave them whole unless it said that they were to be ground or cracked. It's not uncommon to use whole peppercorns in a marinade or in some stews.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
No no no, don't say that, GG. I've always thought of it as "cooking is art, baking is science". I wasn't that great at science, but I'm decent enough at baking. Art was my thing in school, and I shine with my cooking. If I have to consider cooking to be science, I'm in deep trouble.
CG - I know you're a fan of the Food Lab Cooking and baking both involve chemistry and physics, but cooking is more forgiving
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