Knowing how to understand and follow a recipe can mean the difference between disaster and success. Perhaps you have heard this cute little poem:
I didn’t have paprika so I used another spice.
I didn’t have potatoes so I substituted rice.
I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used tomato paste;
(A whole can, not a half can; I don’t believe in waste).
A friend gave me this recipe and said “you just can’t beat it.”
There must be something wrong with her; I can’t even eat it!
Before You Begin
To ensure good results, before you begin cooking, read the entire recipe completely. Be sure that you have all of the ingredients, cooking tools, and time required.
If the ingredient list in the recipe calls for the ingredient to be prepared in a certain manner, such as diced, chilled, heated, or cooked, be sure to do this before beginning.
How a Recipe Works
A recipe is usually made up of two parts – a list of ingredients needed and directions for using those ingredients to make the dish you are preparing.
Most recipes list ingredients in the order that they are to be used.
Following the Recipe
The first time you make a dish using a particular recipe, don’t double or half the amounts as some dishes won’t turn out right if you do.
Unless you have made the dish before, it is a good practice to follow the recipe exactly as written. Once you have tried the recipe, you can feel more comfortable doing a little experimenting.
Many recipes use abbreviation for certain terms. Some of the more common terms are below.
c = cup
t = teaspoon
tsp = teaspoon
T = tablespoon
Tbs = tablespoon
If your recipe requires a large quantity of an ingredient that is to be added in small amounts at a time, measure the full amount out all at once and then take from the measured out ingredient when you have to add in smaller amounts. If you lose track of what you have added along the way, this will ensure that you put in the correct amount called for in the recipe.