Recipes are not guides, they are pointers. They are great to learn to cook with, but you don’t learn to actually cook without tossing the recipe books out the window and just jamming around in the kitchen. Some of this is based on my struggles with finding all the ingredients a recipe calls for. Sometimes there’s a cheaper or healthier alternative.
So this is my work process with recipes.
- Read recipe
- Ask “Is there anything I can modify change?”
– Add or modify the vegetables in it?
– Add savory, sweet, sour, spicy tastes?
– Modify or change out, or remove meat? (Chicken instead of pork, potatoes instead of chicken, etc.)
- Ask “What do have I access to & can afford?”
– Regular mushrooms instead of shiitake mushrooms.
– Jalapeños instead of chili peppers
- Ask “What do I have on hand that I can use in this? (aka use what ever is in the fridge!)”
– This works amazing for curries, stir-fry, & hash.
- Go cook something!
You might start with a stir-fry and end with something similar to curry, or start with an omelette and end with hash.
Also, ignore this advice if your baking… I’m horrible at baking, maybe because it depends specific qualities of ingredients.