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Old 05-07-2008, 11:34 AM   #1
Senior Cook
vilasman's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 323
Exploring new foods, recipe experimentation

Ok this may seem like a dumb question, I hope not...

Right now there are certain dishes that i would like to master. Baked Beans, A good lamb dish, lamb kabobs, I can make pretty good ice cream already, white cake, yellow cake and lets say whole wheat bread to name a few.

I have a pile of cook books, On occasion like when the soiree that my wife held last week at our house is held out of town, I go to the local bookstore to drink latte's and ... hide.

on the off chance that any one is interested here is the website of my wife's organization http://www.deltapsiepsilon.com/

now I have to behave

anyway, you look through all those cook books and you think that looks interesting... but how do you decide what you want to try?

I geuss my initial answer to that question is, you know what main ingredients you like and you pick recipes that feature those things but i am interested in hearing what others have to say

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,352
For me I really don't use a lot of recipes. I create things off the top of my head. I started cooking when I was young and learned a lot from my mother. We had a small restaurant with home cooked food. She only used recipes for baking.

Baked beans--easy...

Start with a pork and beans in a can. Put the contents in a baking dish.

Add Ketchup, Molasses(optional but nice, not too much), brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, a little vinegar. quarter an onion, break into pieces and dot around the beans. Taste it. You should have a tangy taste happening. Lay some uncooked bacon over the top.

Pop the pan in the oven and bake until thickened.... Awesome beans..
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
Executive Chef
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
I get ideas from recipes but never follow one. Sometimes I'll use 2,3 and 4 different recipes to come up with a dish. Or use just one or two ingredients that someone put together to come up with my own, like the recent lobster dish. How could lobster meat and a fried egg covered in yolk not be tasty? Since I couldn't remember the other ingredients to the original dish, I came up with my own.

Inspiration cannot be found, it comes to you. And most of the time at the weirdest moment.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Philly PA
Posts: 702
I rarely follow a recipe exactly. Like Jeeks I will look at a bunch for ideas times techniques etc.

I usually get my "inspiration" from an ingredient that I want to use be it a herb or a slab of meat or a piece of equipment or process I want to try.

For example this week I had a surplus of eggplant and mint so I decided to go with a middle eastern themed dinner. I made eggplant/roasted pepper spread and some meat patties flavored with dill & parsely and a mint yoghurt topping sauce for them served with pita.... nice easy tasty dinner

edit to add:

My method works well with homestyle comfort food type cooking which is what i usually make. There are alot of classic recipes and sauces that I would like to learn for these I would start with a recipe. One particular book that I have been interested in is the Silver Spoonhttp://www.amazon.com/Silver-Spoon-Phaidon-Press/dp/0714845310 cookbook which is sort of an Italian cooking bible.It has alot of classic traditional recipes that are short and to the point. I would like to start working my way through that book when I have the chance
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