The reason why your meal might fail to turn out right is that you may not have followed the recipe the way you’re supposed to. You might have heard people say that they missed one ingredient and resulted in using another. Instead of paprika, they choose another spice. Instead of ketchup, they used tomato paste.
While your food will cook, it may not be the same quality as what is in the recipe. Again, some spices (especially in cuisines foods) only work with some foods. The moment you substitute one spice or one ingredient for another, you mess the food.
Following a recipe right will give you the exact results you see on the recipe. This means observing all parts of the recipe.
Parts of a Recipe to Observe
Before you start cooking, read the recipe from start to finish and ensure you have all it takes to follow it. Some of the parts you need to observe include:
- The Serving – The serving tells you the number of people a recipe serves. On some recipes, this number is at the bottom but on most, it is the first thing you see. The number tells you whether you need more or less food and how to adjust to meet your needs. On some foods such as cakes, when you double the quantity up or half the food, you need to ensure you maintain the ratio of ingredients to avoid spoiling the end result.
- Ingredients and their Quantities – Ingredients appear in a list with the quantity of each ingredient preceding it. On a recipe, ingredients appear in the order they are used to ensure you do not skip any ingredient. Before you start cooking, ensure you have all the ingredients to avoid substitutions which might affect the quality of your meal. The same way you ensure you have all the tools when making wooden items including jointer planer combo and saws is the same way you need to have all ingredients ready. Some ingredients require preparation. For instance, if you see diced carrots, it means you have to dice the carrots before adding them to the recipe.
- Directions – Directions are instructions on a recipe that tell you what to do. They appear in sequence in order they will be done. Most of the directions appear in point form but others are in paragraph form.
- Equipment – The recipe does not have a list of needed equipment but the directions might state the equipment you need. For instance, “grease a 10-inch tin.” When reading through the recipe, ensure you have the equipment needed.
- Temperature and Time – These two are important in achieving the quality of the food in the recipe. For instance, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Some do not state the specific temperature and will tell you vaguely, boil the water. Time settings on recipes might not be accurate – most of these are just estimates. As such, you need to have between 15 and 20 minutes extra to ensure that you get the right quality. Observe your food to identify when it cooks to prevent overcooking or burning. For instance, if your cake has risen and browned and a knife comes out dry when you pierce, you need to remove it even if the timer is still counting.
You might see abbreviations on some recipes. Some of these are confusing. They include:
- C for cup
- t for teaspoon
- Tsp for teaspoon
- T for tablespoon
- Tbs for tablespoon
Understand Ingredient Measures
Do you have a weighing scale in your kitchen? This small device will help you follow a recipe better to get the flavor and the quality of food you need. Some recipes need specific amounts without reducing or increasing. For instance, when making coffee, a gram of extra coffee can mean the difference between bitter coffee and sweet and refreshing coffee.
Sometimes, the ingredients appear as one cup. If you do not have measuring cups and spoons, you need to know how to convert the cup into grams. For instance, one cup is equivalent to 128 grams.
Conclusion If your recipe requires you to add a small number of ingredients at a time, it is best to prep the ingredients and add little at a time then prepare small quantities of ingredients and add at a time. If you are missing some ingredients, search for them in time to ensure you get the quality of the meal as in the ingredient.