Tuesday's Tip of the Day: When Testing a Recipe for the First Time
Did you know that there are professional recipe testers and developers that test recipes for a living? These individuals work for magazines, celebrity chefs, restaurant groups, cooking schools, food blogs, and for huge corporations, like King Arthurs. I am one of those individuals and absolutely love what I do. I know you may be wondering how that could be a full time job, but think about it. When you pick up a cookbook, go to a restaurant or read the label for pie dough on the back of King Arthurs AP Flour, you expect it to be perfect. Well, someone has to take ownership of that and make sure it is tested time and time again to ensure that indeed, it is flawless and that you, the consumer, are set up for success.
Most of you will never have a desire or need to develop new recipes, but the tips I have learned through doing so professionally, can lead you to success when testing a recipe for the first time.
1. Whenever you begin a new recipe, make sure you read through the entire recipe. Does it make sense? Are the ingredients readily available or will you have to seek out specialty stores that may carry them?
2. Read through and highlight any techniques that you may not be familiar with. For example, what does “trussing a chicken” mean and how do I do that? Do I need special tools beside a nifty YouTube video?
3. Look at the time it will take to cook, marinate, bake, rest, etc., to make sure you have that time. This way, you can easily decide if that key lime pie can be enjoyed tonight or tomorrow. You cannot rush recipes!
4. Any special notes. Make sure you look for any side-notes that may make it easier for you to prep, cook, store, slice, serve, etc.
5. Make sure you have every ingredient. Go through the ingredient list, one ingredient at a time, and literally pull out that ingredient. Place them on a baking sheet and write down any ingredients you may not have, including equipment like cooking twine.
6. Before you start cooking, make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped per recipe specifics, pots, pans, whisk, etc. are pulled, and oven is preheated. Too often, people begin recipes only to realize they are short an egg or the 9x13 baking dish is still at their friends house from last night’s potluck.
7. Room! Make sure you have room in your fridge if something needs to marinate or on your stovetop if something needs to set after coming straight from the oven.
8. Hot mitts and kitchen towels. Make sure you have what you need to keep the kitchen tidy, organized and moving smoothly. This will no doubt keep you on point and focused. After all, “a cluttered kitchen is a cluttered mind.”
Now with that, I hope you find great success from every recipe you aspire to master. Cooking should be fun, shared with family and friends and thoroughly enjoyed around The Table Together!
Cheers to starting a new tradition around the table together!
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!