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Old 06-18-2014, 03:42 PM
 
2,709 posts, read 1,789,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
Do you often cook/invent recipes without a recipe, cooking by the seat of your pants?

My friend commented the other day that she admired my cooking as I was a "natural cook" who rarely followed a recipe...

Never really thought about it before. But I guess I do often cook from things on hand rather than going out to shop for a specific recipe's ingredients.

Especially, I like to use fresh local prodcue in season.

Right now I'm dreaming up a stuffed squash recipe for dinner tomorrow using some of the squash pulp, chopped, dried apricots, brown rice (or maybe barley if I have some), chopped almonds and some grated feta cheese. I'll likely throw in some sauteed in olive oil garlic and onions, too. Moisten the stuffing mix a a bit of vegetable stock.

Stuff the squash, put in a roasting pan with some water, cover with foil and let it cook under tender.

Maybe because I've been cooking a number of years I kind of know what tastes good together..

Do any of you good folks cook this way, too?

All the time, but I've been cooking since I was a teenager, and I've studied countiess cookbooks (I read them like most people read novels), cooking shows (the classics, like Julia and Jacques) and food science.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
1,379 posts, read 1,230,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
Do you often cook/invent recipes without a recipe, cooking by the seat of your pants?
?
You have probably done a lot of cooking, and probably have a lot of talent, too. I often use recipes as just guidelines, and I improvise a lot, and my results range from so-so to great. It's fun learning and getting better. And unless you're pretty darn sure it's going to be good, it's best not to experiment too much when it's cooking for a lot of guests

I learned a lot from my mom. She's an expert at improvising. It is really fun when you create something yourself and it turns out really good.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
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My ex-wife's mom discouraged her daughter a lot. Mom had to be best and had to criticize everything that my ex did and make her feel incapable. That really sucks.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,583,195 times
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In some ways I use the Chinese concept of Yin/Yang when cooking. An equal amount of opposites. If I toss in something soft I add an equal amount of something crispy. Something sweet and equal amount of sour, Something Green an equal amount of something red etc.

It works for me and so far my wife doesn't complain.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:02 AM
 
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Cooking a recipe as written shows you can follow directions and have the basic technical skills. But I like to think of a recipe as a musical chord. Fundamentally, you can know that the ingredients go together. It sounds good, familiar, if a little boring. For it to truly resonate with anybody, you gotta put your stank on it. Amplify, distort, filter, experiment. It's the passion-driven freestyle component that separates the cooks from the chefs.

As my cocinero homies once told me, "Te puedo dar la receta, pero es la mano que prepara que echa el sazon"
Translation: "I could give you the recipe, but the true seasoning is in the hands that make it"

Last edited by pdxchef; 06-19-2014 at 12:10 AM..
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,125 posts, read 9,452,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
In some ways I use the Chinese concept of Yin/Yang when cooking. An equal amount of opposites. If I toss in something soft I add an equal amount of something crispy. Something sweet and equal amount of sour, Something Green an equal amount of something red etc.

It works for me and so far my wife doesn't complain.
What an interesting way of doing things! And it makes perfect sense..just never thought of it that way...but my favorite Oriental sauce has rice vinegar, soy sauce, a bit of brown sugar, sesame oil, sometimes some red chili sauce for heat...I often add fish sauce and some grated ginger for Thai dishes...so the sauce has the sweet, sour, salty, and pungent/hot all mixed in...
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