Sauces

Sauces don’t get enough respect. A good sauce doesn’t drown the flavors, but brings them out and enhances them. There are just a few sauce recipes on this site, but day-to-day cooking often involves preparing dinner and, as you go, suddenly realizing just what kind of sauce you need to improvise for your dish. Since there is far too much to say about flavor (and most of that you’ll need to determine from experimentation), I’d like to talk just a little about technique.

Cookbooks

Everywhere one turns, one can find cookbooks. So many cookbooks. My kitchen has them piled high. And then, there are millions of recipes (billions?) that have been tested and tried and published online in forums like this.

To Measure or Not

To measure or not to measure. That is the question. Whether 'tis better in the kitchen to suffer the dangers of guesstimating, or to take measuring cups and tablespoons against them, and thereby to eliminate them. To measure, and be precise. Ah, but there’s the rub, for in the tedium of that precision, what errors and burned dishes may come?

The fight is probably as old as the first written recipe. Is the cook a chemist, whose job is to calculate precise measurements and stick to them, or an artist, basing her/his recipes on feel?

There is a great deal of amateur chemistry in cooking. There are often precise volumes of different materials that produce different effects, and precise temperatures for certain reactions. And there are plenty of rules you can take for granted:

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