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Cooking By Taste

January 30, 2013

I have a very scientific mind, which means it likes rules and procedures. This means that I find it hard to deviate from a recipe, though the past 2 1/2 years now, I’ve had to do so out of necessity. And cooking something without any recipe at all – forget it.

This has led to a few embarrassing meals as I’ve served something without tasting it first. I just trust the recipe implicitly. Also, beyond adding more salt, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to actually fix a dish. However, I have learned one thing recently, from my friend M.K. Hutchins which I felt was revelatory. That fact was that sweet and sour tastes can sort of cancel each other out. So, when I recently made a chili that I felt was too acidic, I just added a tiny amount of brown sugar, and I found it much more palatable.

I should still learn how to tell the difference between the many herbs and spices I keep in stock, and which ones will complement each other. The only way to do that is to be more perceptive of what I eat, be aware of what other recipes put together, and through my own trial and error.

What tips do you have for cooking by taste?

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