While we look forward to Chef Lynn Michelle’s delicious monthly recipes, our team appreciates a home chef who’s willing to think outside the recipe box. Adjusting a recipe to taste can make a meal so much more satisfying and inspire you to put your culinary skills to the test. But it’s important to remember that at its core, cooking is a science, and even the most artistic interpretation of flan might not stand up to a time-tested recipe.
Before you go adding more flour here and a squeeze of lemon there, we’re laying out some ground rules for altering recipes that could just save your dinner. Use these tips to experiment with recipes more successfully.
Start with a recipe you know.
The first step in bending recipe rules is to start with a recipe you know and love. If you begin with a dish you’ve never made before then try to change something, you won’t know what went wrong. So go ahead and add zucchini or cocoa powder to grandma’s banana bread recipe. If the loaf comes out too waxy, gooey, or dry, you’ll know what the culprit was.
Focus on flavors and inclusions instead of structural ingredients.
Extracts, liqueurs, herbs, spices, grated citrus zests, and such can be exchanged for one another, as can inclusions like chopped nuts or dried fruit or chocolate pieces, without changing the structure or texture of the recipe. Adding a few dashes of salt and some sage to your autumn soup will enhance the taste while adding too much butternut squash purée might turn your broth into a paste.
Go one ingredient at a time.
When you’re comfortable experimenting with structural ingredients, we suggest starting small, adjusting one ingredient – like sugar, oil, or heavy cream – at a time. Keep notes to remind yourself of what you liked and what you didn’t so you can dial up or dial down the additions next time.
Take a break from cooking and reservation-booking when you invite Chef Lynn Michelle to cook in your home or vacation rental. She’ll take care of every stage of the cooking process, from shopping to clean-up, so you can spend more time around the table with your friends and family. Give her a call at 843-422-5480 or click here to book your next meal.