Creating an original recipe is easier than you think. In fact, each time you add a few of your own touches to a dish, you are taking ownership of that recipe and making it an original. Being able to make foods that suit your particular tastes is one of the most important aspects of cooking.
Just follow these simple steps to take an existing recipe and make it your own.
Select a recipe. Start with something you know you like and can improve, or a recipe that you think would taste great with a new twist.
Change at least three of the ingredients. An easy change to make is substituting one spice for another, such as using fresh jalapeño peppers for cayenne pepper. Changing the meat you use also adds variety—many chicken dishes taste great with lean pork. Or you can substitute your favorite vegetables instead of the ones called for in a stir-fry recipe.
Do a taste test. Experiment with different ingredients and enjoy creating new dishes again and again. And don't be turned off by unsuccessful attempts. Trying new things let's you discover what you do— and don't—like.
Here's an example. Take a distinctive, flavorful dish like Fresh Raspberry Pork Salad (recipe below), which combines pork chops, raspberries, celery and sliced almonds on a bed of lettuce with a tangy dressing of raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Then, make a few substitutions:
When you're done, you have a whole new, original taste sensation—Pecan-Pork Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing. But don't stop there, keep trying new combinations until you create your own original recipe repertoire, perfectly suited to your own tastes.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Season chops; brush lightly with oil. Cook, turning occasionally to brown evenly, until chops are just done. Remove, keep warm. Add remaining oil to pan and quickly sauté garlic until tender, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in raspberry vinaigrette dressing; cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through.
In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, raspberries and celery. Divide lettuce mixture onto plates and top with dressing. Slice each chop into strips and fan over salads. Sprinkle with almonds.
Provided by the National Pork Producers Council
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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This page modified January 2007
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