I don’t always follow recipes, but when I do, I tweak them just a little bit. I can’t help it. Sometimes this happens because I don’t have enough of a certain ingredient, or maybe I didn’t feel like buying a whole container of sour cream when all I need is a couple of tablespoons (used cream cheese instead). Sometimes I just feel the dish could use a little something extra. Like garlic. I’m always suspicious when I read a recipe that calls for 1 clove of garlic. I mean, seriously!? One? Clearly they haven’t tested this recipe enough or just don’t know about the benefits of garlic. So I add a few more.
Most recipes are very forgiving when it comes to tweaking them (except for certain baked goods). Keep tasting while you cook and add things like salt and spices gradually. Taste to see how the flavor develop. Cooking isn’t really hard. It just takes practice. Just like riding a bike or playing the piano. Keep trying. Keep tasting.
Mark Bittman has a great book called “The Kitchen Matrix” – and while the title may sound daunting, it’s actually not. Packed with photographs, it emphasizes creativity, improvisation, and simplicity as the keys to varied cooking. Even if you’re not into reading cookbooks or experimenting with what’s in your saute pan, it’s still great inspiration for when the midweek-dinner dullness sets in. Which even happens to us, despite me being a cookbook addict. I look through magazines to find inspiration as well, which is where this meal came from.