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Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to find a good recipe on the internet

Recipe searching tips
I am constantly looking up new recipes to meet the needs of my clients and also to keep me interested and keep me learning new things. Mostly, I wander the internet in search of info. When I tell people that's how I roll, some home chefs are really surprised I trust the internet. But if you know how to interpret the info and what to look for, you can find some great stuff! Here are some of my tips, 10 of them to be exact, to finding recipes that work.
  1. If a recipe ingredient list has more then 3 canned products in it, keep looking. I am especially weary of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup.
  2. If a recipe suggests margarine, Miracle Whip®™ or Velveeta®™ or if the cake recipe starts with a boxed cake mix, keep looking.
  3. If a recipe states you need to buy some over-exposed, overly-commercial, pseudo-famous, TV chef’s personal spice blend or use his custom-made equipment, keep looking.
  4. Only use recipes from sites where the recipes are actually tested and home chefs can post their comments, good or bad.
  5. Identify the chefs you can trust and go to their websites directly. Some folks I trust: Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa); Martha "The Convict" Stewart; Nigella Lawson; Alton Brown (though his procedures are often too anal retentive for me); the queen herself, Julia Child; David Lebovitz; Susan Purdy; Amanada Hesser; Marcella Hazan; Paula Wolfert; and of course, Mark Bittman.
  6. If a recipe is full of spelling errors and the food is measured using coffee cups and homey terms like a smidge or titch, keep looking.
  7. If you're looking for ethnic authentic recipes, go to sites from the country you are looking up, not general massive archives.
  8. Avoid the websites with 200 versions of the same items, obviously they have no editor or webmaster and they waste lots of your time. Instead try magazine archives: Epicurious; Gourmet; Food and Wine; Saveur; Fine Cooking, Bon Appétit. They will be edited and tested.
  9. Remember you have no guarantee a recipe, especially a baking recipe, will work. Don't take it personally, it might take a few tries to get it right, especially at this altitude.
  10. I like to download 3 or 4 different version of a recipe and then combine them to achieve the best possible flavors and most efficient procedure.