I decided to be charitable today and share my genius with you all. Or, to be more honest, I was kind of bored and thought this is as good a time as any to share some of my little tips with the world.
One such tip is the importance of researching recipes. I always always always go through cookbooks and websites to see what’s out there and tasty looking. And I try many of the recipes I see. The first time I make a recipe I follow it exactly. From that I can usually play around with it the next time and turn it into something of my own. But it’s important to see what other people are making in order to come up with your own ideas and use them to greatly impress everyone who knows you. When you want to do things and learn how food works, I suggest you research, cook the recipe exactly, and then experiment the next time you make it. When you get used to recipes through this method then you should do what I do whenever I want to try something different: research, pick parts of recipes you like, and make your own dish.
My research today for appetizers and snacks:
I’ll give you an example. One day I decided that I absolutely had to make corn chowder. The only problem was, I had no idea how to do that. So I went online and found several of my trustworthy go-to cooking websites and looked over many different chowder recipes. Some were overly complicated, some had ingredients that I despise, and some were too simple. But the important thing was that they all had certain similar aspects to them. Many had a roux to start off with. A few had creamed corn, and some had just frozen kernels. And so on and so forth. So I took the common aspects and applied them to my own recipe, and then took the bits and pieces that sounded good and used those too, like using creamed corn and corn kernels and adding bacon fat (it isn’t the healthiest of recipes!). I’ve learned by experimenting like this that you can just find a bunch of recipes for the same food and just take from them what you want to. Chances are that it’ll come out spectacular and you will feel like a Culinary God.
Don’t worry, I’ll eventually post that recipe! It’s just a little hard to do because I make it slightly different each time
The next bit of advice is more directly linked to herbs. My herbs still aren’t useful yet so I rely on grocery stores. The problem is that buying those little plastic containers of herbs tends to be a huge rip-off. So I buy the bundles that are dripping wet and always 5x more than what you actually need. But won’t all that go to waste?!? Um…no. Chill out. I told you there was some advice here, didn’t I?
The best example I can give you is with parsley, since that’s what I always like to have on hand. That stuff lasts forever! It’s awesome like that. I can buy a huge bundle, use what I want, and then I take the rest and put it in a cup full of cold water and put it in the fridge. Every once in a while I check the water and add more, or dispose of stalks that become unappealing. The parsley can last quite a few weeks like this and having it around will help you figure out how to use it. Here’s a pic of my parsley after I’ve had it for about 3 weeks:
Yea, it’s a little sad looking, but it’s still good and remember, it has been sitting in my fridge for 3 weeks! I find this system to be much cheaper and way more convenient than buying just a little bunch for an outrageous price whenever I need a tablespoon of parsley in a recipe. And I know there are tube containers you can also buy to keep it more compact in the fridge to save space, but i haven’t gotten around to that yet, so this works just fine.