I LOVE to cook, you can’t tell? If you have glanced at my blog then you probably noticed the majority of my posts are recipes. Nothing fancy, just what I happened to whip up that day. Food is a very important part of my life, I mean eating is just the best! Right? Right.
The funny thing about me writing recipes is I don’t usually follow them. That’s the beauty of cooking, food is actually pretty forgiving with flavor. The key is to start with a little and add more as you need it; always tasting as you go. Also don’t skip the salt! Salt is your friend, I promise. Salt enhances the flavor of food when you cook with it. I go into more detail about why here.
When I say I don’t follow a recipe I don’t mean that I just make things up willy-nilly (ok well, sometimes I do). What I mean is I use a recipe as more of a guide rather than a set of strict directions. Unless I’m baking, baked goods are much less forgiving. But when I cook I just throw in a handful of this with a splash of that, a pinch here and a dash there; then “tada” a delicious dish is born and quickly devoured.
Using a recipe as a guide tells me more or less what type and proportion of ingredients to use. If this “just winging” style gives you anxiety then don’t worry about it, follow the measurements. You’re no less of a home-chef by doing so. Just keep in mind that everyone has a different flavor palette. Sometimes the measurements that work for me may not work for you. Maybe you want to taste more pepper? Then by all means, add more pepper! If you follow a recipe, taste it, if it’s not what you want then tweak it a little. If it seems bland but all the flavors are there then try adding some salt. This will enhance your food not make it salty.
My take away here is that you should simply try to have some fun with cooking. Make it your own. Make it taste the way you want. Follow a recipe or wing-it as you go. If you feel a little overwhelmed then just remember these tips:
1. Always taste as you go.
2. Tweak as needed, but start with a little. It’s a lot easier to add more then it is to take away.
3. Try to use fresh and high quality ingredients.
4. Don’t skip the salt!
5. Have fun, it’s all a learning curve.