How Fussy Should One Be?

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Senior Cook
Jan 19, 2016
So because you fail to mention that the chicken you made for them happen to be the fantastic "40 Clove Garlic Chicken" and you just mention that there was 'some garlic' and a few other spices.

LOL - we get it - you are jealously hiding your recipes from being copied! :LOL: :LOL:
Not at all. They aren't written down. I really don't measure except when baking. Here is an ingredient list for my Cuban black beans and rice. It is sometimes called moros y cristianos. 2 bags of soaked black turtle beans, a glug of olive oil, a head of garlic, a couple of onions, a large jar of Spanish pimientos with the liquid, a green bell pepper or two, some bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer the beans under a covering of water for 3 or 4 hours. Add the other ingredients that have been sauteed. Serve it on long grain rice and, as an option, add a fried egg on top of each serving. Makes a dozen or so servings. It freezes very well and is usually even better after thawing and heating. This is comfort food from my youth. I've made it countless times over many decades. I've never written it out until now. I'll bet you could make it from this information.

You probably recognize the Spanish trinity (onion, bell pepper and garlic) in there which is very very common in Cuban cooking.

How about a Cuban dessert. During WWII it was very hard to get fresh milk so the Cubans began making flan (a custard) using canned milk. Here it is. Put a small pile of sugar (I'm guessing here but I would say about a third of a cup) in a glass pie pan and put it in the oven under the broiler. Watch it like a hawk. As soon as the sugar has liquified and caramelized take it out of the oven swirl the caramelized sugar and leave it to cool. When it has cooled the caramelized sugar will be hard and cracked. Mix a can of evaporated milk, a can of sweetened condensed milk, 4 eggs, a little vanilla and the juice of 1/4 lemon. Pour it over the hardened caramel and bake it at 350 until it is done. It is done when the top of the flan moves just a little with jiggled. 1/2 hour perhaps depending on your oven and the weather in your kitchen. Let the finished custard cool and refrigerate it. When you want to serve, run a knife around it and invert the custard over a dinner plate. It will be covered with liquid caramel. This was my grandmothers method. Try it. It is a treat.

This is how I cook. If I have a recipe from some source I rarely go past the ingredient list


Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Sep 13, 2010
near Montreal, Quebec
@fmw I consider those two to be recipe, just not detailed recipes. The method as described, is an important part of the recipe.
People ask me for recipes and I give them ingredient lists
That's more than an ingredient list. BTW, a former member, @kadesma, who died a number of years ago (miss you kadesma), wrote loads of recipes and they were almost all like that - very little in terms of amounts and instructions that weren't in detailed steps. We all loved her recipes. People have recently mentioned still using one of her recipes. I don't remember which one though.


Chef Extraordinaire
Mar 1, 2002
Boston and Cape Cod
I hardly ever use measuring spoons since i can tell by eyeballing how much to use.

I cook by the seat of my pants most times. I follow a new recipe exactly the first time and then adjust from there.

I do exactly measure/weigh everything then baking. You have to be exact.
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