Instructables
Picture of Cooking experimentally
The aim of this instructable is to give you the confidence to try out a more experimental and creative approach to cooking. Most recipe books just tell you the steps you need to prepare a particular recipe, but don't talk much about why the author has chosen the ingredients they did, how different cooking techniques work and how to do them right, and so on.

The result of this is that many people either stick to the few simple recipes they know, or feel that they always have to have a recipe from a book before they can cook something good. This is sad, because making up your own recipes and trying out new ideas to see what they taste like is the most enjoyable part of cooking.

What I'm trying to do here is to give you some basic pointers towards a more experimental approach, then present some simple techniques and recipes which you can adapt yourself according to the ingredients at hand or your own imagination. 
 
 
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Step 1: Guidelines for experimental cookery

In the next few steps, I've set out some basic guidelines which are worth bearing in mind as you're cooking. These aren't meant to be taken super-seriously, just as things to keep in the back of your mind that will hopefully both encourage you to try out new ideas, and help you develop the culinary imagination to come up with good results.
I think that this is a great article, which is broader in scope than many
ganglion (author)  steveastrouk3 years ago
Thanks! :-D

I was a bit disheartened by the lack of interest, but I'm glad someone appreciated it.
lemonie3 years ago

You really need to show people how to cook some of these things.
People go looking for "how to make-" more often than food-philosophy.

L
ganglion (author)  lemonie3 years ago
Well my idea was that there are enough articles like that, which just describe how to make a particular dish, but not enough like mine, which is more about breaking away from recipes and developing your own skills and intuition.

In the second section, I do set out some basic generic recipes (stew, stir fry, bake etc.).

When writing this, I was thinking of people like my mum, who are scared to try anything new without a recipe. But everybody has their own way of approaching things.
Well I agree with breaking away from recipes and developing your own skills and intuition, but that's something you learn by doing it. If you can write a manual / book / instruction-set - it's general-psychology, how people live their lives etc.
The site is for makes and I like recipes!

L
Kozz3 years ago
An excellent thing to remember is that "cooking is an art, baking is science". Baked goods require the right balance of salt, sugar, leavening, acidity, and so forth. They're much trickier, and you can't simply decide to omit things like baking powder.

Cooking, on the other hand, gives you confidence. Find recipes you like, and get to know them well. You can then start replacing one vegetable with another, try different spices, and so on.
ganglion (author)  Kozz3 years ago
Yes, I've pointed out in step 3 that some things have to be done right to work at all.