How to Create Your Own Recipes


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So, you want to start making your own recipes, huh? Now you might be thinking, Woah, hold up there. I have no clue where to start, my cooking knowledge isn't that deep, or perhaps you have no clue what flavors should go together. All valid concerns, but before we begin diving deep into how to make your recipes, let me say it's easier than you think. All it takes is a little creativity and a love for cooking, and you will be set in no time.


One of my favorite things to do Is go through a grocery store and pick up a large number of random ingredients that my eyes wander to. I come into my kitchen and have at it. I let whatever sounds, looks, and smells good go together and let the dish come together on its own. This could be very daunting, but there is an easier way to make your recipes.

Recipe alteration is a quick and straightforward way to embark on creating a new dish. Now, what on earth is this recipe alteration anyways? Most simply, it's taking a recipe from a cookbook and changing it around, so it doesn't resemble what it looks like in the first place. What the book is giving you is a foundation for a recipe. To make this a little easier, I'll split this process up into steps.

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Step One

Choose what kind of cuisine you are interested in. If you aren't interested in what you are cooking, you may as well dump everything in the trash and go to a restaurant. For recipe making to occur, you have to be interested in what you are cooking, or none of the flavors will develop how you want- trust me, I know.

 

Step Two

Alright, you've chosen your preferred cuisine, perhaps it's French. Now you'll want to take a look at a French cookbook and see what catches your eye; tab a few of them so you can easily come back to them. And if any of them are similar, that's even better!

 

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Step Three

Now that you've found some interesting recipes and perhaps some that are similar, we will embark on changing them up. Choose your top recipes and look at its ingredients and methods. Decide on your top three, perhaps, and look at what interests you in each one. Is it the types of herbs used? The choice of meat or sauce? Decide on what you want to keep and what is not to your fancy.

 

Step Four

This is where the fun part comes in; you've found your foundational recipe; perhaps it has to do with chicken and potatoes. Split up the individual key elements of your recipe and begin the modification process. So, you plan to use chicken; take a look at two things here. How do I want it cooked? And what flavors do I want?


The cooking process is entirely up to you and is where the other recipes come in handy; perhaps your foundation recipe wants it baked, but another recipe wants it grilled- choose what sounds best to you. Early on, when you start this process, it might take some time to decide and figure out how you will cook each element of your dish, but with practice, you will learn the fundamentals, and this step will be easy.


Where I have the most fun is the flavor. One book that's helped me more than anything has been The Flavor Bible. You can read about it here, but essentially it has almost every ingredient imagninable listed, and with its what ingredients pair with it. I highly recommend using this book to find what flavorings go with your dish. I find it most helpful to look at three categories for each dish: Warmth, Acidity, and Lightness. You want something with warmer/ comforting notes such as cheese, acidity to bring out the flavor and cut through the warmth, and finally lightness such as pepper or a collection of herbs.

 

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That was a lot, I know, But what we are looking at doing in this step is to take the individual elements of your dish, alter the way they are prepared, and change up the flavor using an ingredient reference guide. You can also do this by walking through a store, but I find that The Flavor Bible is beneficial.

And so that's all there is to it. No really, you're all done. You've found some recipes that interest you, narrowed down the list, split up the key elements, and have chosen how to prepare them differently and with ingredients that interest you. You've taken a basic recipe and made it your own with your twist. You can now successfully say you've made your own recipe!

Now, as you go along, I recommend you keep track of what you put into a dish and quickly jot down some of the broader steps you took to make it, in case you want to make it again. You can refine this into a cleaner format later, but a recipe doesn't have to look like one from a book or on this website. As long as it makes sense to you, that's what matters.


And so, with your new information, I hope you can embark on making your recipes. Remember, a recipe doesn't have to be started on a blank sheet of paper; use inspiration from other chefs to guide you in your own cooking and learning journey.


Cheers,

Chef Olson

"The Flying Chef"

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