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Old 04-24-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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groovyland

Hello, I'm Steve and I'm a hack cook. I rarely follow recipes and repeat a lot of 'go to' dishes. The problem is if I do happen to make a great dish I can never repeat it. I hope I can learn a little discipline and to get some tips for new dishes.

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC.

Just remember when you cook, you can wing it. But when you try your hand at baking, it is a science and you do have to follow the recipe.
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to D.C.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:49 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC, Steve...
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:22 PM   #5
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Hello and welcome to DC...
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:58 PM   #6
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Welcome to DC! I am a "wing it" savory cook, but when it comes to baking, I do follow recipes (I prefer to use the ratio method and scale up or down). That way, I can improvise liquids, and type of fat as long as I stick to the formula.

I keep a notebook handy in the kitchen and jot down the ingredients, cooking temp, approx. time, etc. so that I can repeat it again. I strive to have a low, medium, and high note in each dish (e.g., Italian tomato-based dishes can achieve that high note by adding a bit of sweetness to off-set the acid--a touch of sugar, a bit more sweet basil, etc. The "earthy/woodsy" herbs" often are the medium note, and the low note is achieved by the sauteed/carmelized onions, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, etc.). My advice when winging it, focus on your flavour profiles and keep track of what works and what doesn't. Taste every step of the way. And, salt is your friend (you can also achieve this by using anchovy paste, fish sauce, or a bit of miso).

I will do rough measurements/weights, but will tweak to taste. I start with the protein and work the sides to compliment the flavour profile. My go-to dishes are things like grilled salmon, burgers, walleye, and oven-roasted chicken breasts. I don't really need to jot things down. Because there are so many different dishes one can make, I rather enjoy not eating the same thing over and over. Grew up in a family with a 7-day meal rotation. Not for me!
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