Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Musing on Recipes

Recipes in magazines, newspapers, and online can spark creativity and cause an interesting, tasty meal to appear on the table. Currently I get recipes from my local newspaper, Food Network Magazine, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, and foodblogs too numerous to list here. I will have an ingredient in my house and want to use it, and head for Google and am on my way to a lovely meal.

My method of using magazines for recipes is to tear out the page if the recipe remotely interests me so I can "find" it easily. I have several places it goes, depending upon how soon I want to try it: on the kitchen bar, on the fridge, in a looseleaf notebook, in a file folder. Hey, it works for me!

When I find something online, I either print it directly from the webpage if I plan to use it soon, or copy/paste to Wordpad and save it to my documents and periodically move all the files into a folder called Recipes. I print it out as needed. I generally cut at least one recipe each week from our Food Section in the newspaper, too.

I am sure many of you do exactly what I am describing. The point I want to make today is that every recipe has value of some sort to everybody, believe it or not. A recipe that did not really appeal could have a portion that is usable. I found a recipe for fried chicken wings that had a lovely piquillo pepper salsa included; I just made that salsa to serve with seared tuna medallions for tonight.

Vegetarians can use recipes with meat; just leave the meat out. I eat very little pork or beef but many of those recipes can be used with chicken. Chicken thighs are appearing in recipes; don't like dark meat? Substitute white meat. Don't like cilantro? Flat leaf parsley gives you the fresh green look and some flavor. Learn to look for the parts of recipes that do appeal. And don't be afraid to use the recipe as just an idea, or as a starting point. This is the hardest part but it does get easier.

The upshot is to look at each recipe you come across for any portion of it that you can add to your repertoire.
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