Why We Follow Recipes

For the record, I don’t really think recipes apply to me. Even when I bake–Think you can replace some of the liquids in banana bread with banana pudding? Nope. I follow them now only when I am testing for the Washington Post, because, er, that’s kind of the point.

This week I set out to try two recipes I mentioned here from the current Martha Stewart Living. The broiled chicken and broccolini in spicy peanut sauce was successful…and I followed the recipe for the sauce. With six different ingredients it just made sense to go with what the professionals prescribe. A timesaver to not have to taste and adjust. I highly recommend you try this simple and delicious dish, though I did broil it for 15 minutes, about 5 more than the recipe calls for.

Then I tried the lovely sounding pork with plums and red onion. This dish was not successful and, you guessed it, I didn’t follow the recipe. It calls for pork tenderloin sliced and pounded thin; I used a couple of thick-ish pork chops. It calls for 1/4 cup of red-wine vinegar; who knows how much I used but it was the only flavor that remained when the plates hit the table. Oh I blustered that I should have followed my instincts and substituted wine or sherry, but maybe, just maybe, I should have tried following the recipe. (And you can follow the link in this post to see them.)

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