Salt, Pepper and a Dollop of Cream

One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks

When recipes are not as they should be

Now I’ve spent a few bob or two on cookbooks over the years.  Some are tried and tested, some will continue to lanquish on my shelf.  And guess why. I have a few pet hates with these cookbooks and here are my top three {chefs beware}:

1.         When the photo and the method do not match

I recently bought a cook book with stunning photography and was captured by a dish with aubergines.  As you know, I love aubergines so this recipe called me based on the photo.  But reading through the directions I quickly found that the photo bore NO relation to the method described.  Hmmm.

2.         When ingredients are not listed in the index

This really bugs me.  As you know I’ve over 100 books but don’t have a photographic memory so when I know I’ve seen a lovely recipe in a book but can’t remember which one, I expect to be able to find it fast using the index.  If I’m looking for a chicken dish or one featuring aubergines, I expect to be able to look at the index and find chicken and aubergine listed there.

3.         When recipes are destined to fail

I made fish cakes the other day and followed the recipe to the letter, putting the cakes in the oven to turn golden brown as promised and cook through.  What came out bore NO resemblance to the photo.  In fact there was no way they could ever look like the photo in all honesty {I reckon they were deep fried for the sake of a lovely photo}. My cakes spread into a soggy mess that ended in the bin.  And why – because even though the cakes had firmed in the fridge, the ingredients released too much liquid during cooking.  There was no starch to soak it up.  Yes people, this recipe needed FLOUR!

So chefs and cookbook authors, please test your recipes before you print them and in addition, get someone else {like me!} to test them to refine your methodology and ingredient listing.  And PLEASE make sure to include all main ingredients used in the index.  And finally, no more photos for the sake of a nice photo – I want to know what my finished dish will look like.

Rant over…time for coffee!

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2012 by in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , .

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