OK, you’ve bought ingredients, rewritten the recipe and you’re ready.
You’ve set up your workspace, got the pots out, found the knives, measurers and stirrers and whatnot. Now on with the cooking.
Tip: follow the recipe exactly, at least the first time. Measure ingredients, set timers.
This is where you’ll discover the parts of the recipe you hadn’t noticed before: it fails to tell you what temperature to set the oven or the stovetop element to. It mentions adding in an item that never appeared in the list of ingredients. Or it uses some cooking term that you just don’t really understand. You may need to do some quick web searching…
Ultimately though you come up with a finished dish. Maybe take a photo before you tuck in. I hope it was delicious.
But here’s an important step: make some notes on your recipe. I’ll often add a
Delicious! to remind myself for next time. Or it might be a longer note about some problem with the cooking process or a thought on how it could be improved —
too spicy — use less chilli.
If you detected a problem, like adding an ingredient that wasn’t mentioned, or steps that should have been in a different sequence, then edit the recipe ready for next time.
If the recipe worked out for me then I’m likely to cook it again, perhaps with some variations — different veges are in season or I couldn’t get a particular ingredient and either left it out or found a substitute. I note that down.
We live in a rural area and buy ingredients from our local small town. The chance we won’t be able to get hold of some slightly ‘exotic’ ingredient is very high.
Also: cook the recipe again in a few days or weeks if you enjoyed the food. The next time through should be a bit easier because now you have some clues about what you’re doing.
I’m adding a few screenshots that show some of my comments.
Next time: links to a few recipes I really like because they’re simple and delicious.