Recipe Tweaking For the Home Chef

“What’s for supper?” You’ve heard it at least a thousand times, but what’s the answer? It could be, “whatever?” But you love to cook. OK, you like to cook, but coming up with something special every night can be a challenge to the most enterprising chef. You do consider yourself a chef, don’t you? You are, but you may not know it yet.

Chicken, beef, and pork have unlimited possibilities. Our task is to ensure that a variety of tastes and appearances will grace the plates of the hungry masses. I have a “ditsy” friend that once said “they need to invent some new animals for us to cook!” The point is, what can we fix that’s yummy for our family and not repeat it too often?

Chicken is an inexpensive meat that most people love. Baked, fried, broiled, and my favorite: barbecued. The job of cooking is one of planning and executing every day. All we need is some imagination to put a plate of goodness in front of our loved ones. You could always roll the chicken in a batch of commercial brand crumbs and bake it. But that’s a little ho-hum. You wouldn’t want the family to think you’re anything but a master of cuisine. If we take that same chicken and roll it in a mixture of half bread crumbs and half Parmesan cheese…well, we have a culinary delight!

Most families have several cookbooks on the bookshelf just waiting their turn to be useful. If you keep in mind that a cookbook is just a guide, you’ll make great strides in your quest for mouth watering meals. Don’t let that book rule you; you are its master! Find something you want to cook. Let’s say chili. Take the ingredients from several recipes and make it YOUR recipe. What do you think the great chefs do? You won’t catch them using a recipe straight out of the book. It’s a simple process that you can use in your daily meal preparation.

Let’s see, one recipe for chili calls for ground beef and another calls for ground pork. One says 2 cloves of garlic and one says 1 tablespoon of garlic finely chopped. Which one is right? They both are, but YOUR version of the recipe is the best. No one in your family likes garlic? Leave it out. You have some ground beef and ground pork? Put half and half in there. You like bell peppers but the recipe didn’t call for them? Put ’em in there. See how easy that is? You just created your very own recipe for chili.

That’s what good cooking is all about; making it yours. If it works for the chefs in the high class restaurants, it’ll work for you. Now get in that kitchen and put your spin on a recipe in that old, neglected cookbook. You’ll feel better about your meals because they’re yours and your family will wonder if you’re taking cooking lessons from an award winning chef!