I used to be an incessant recipe follower. I was terrified if I didn't measure every single grain of salt exactly, my dish would be ruined. Then I began to realize that even if I followed all the directions to a T, it still might not taste good (earth shattering for my rule following tendencies). Recipe writers are not infallible and sometimes their "delicious" is my "meh". Then there are other times when veering from a strict recipe produces unexpectedly great results (not always, but sometimes). As I've branched out in the kitchen a bit and tried more of this thing called cooking, I've loosened up how I throw things together. Instead of a word-for-word translation of a recipe, I'm trying to view my concoctions as an equation of food (like one of those really complicated calculus ones with unsolvable variables and all). I still don't really love cooking but it does seem less stressful these days. Measuring is so 2008 (except in baking, that is like a science experiment).
For example, stuffed peppers have become one of my favorite recipes to experiment with. The equation is typically: sweet pepper (container if you will?), some grain, a veggie, a bean, sometimes a meat, sometimes a sauce binder, always topped with lots of yummy cheese. It allows for lots of flexibility for what I have on hand or a certain ingredient I am craving that day. And all those pieces (minus the cheese) sound pretty healthy, right?
This particular occasion, I had some quinoa I thought tasted like soap, so I had the brilliant idea to combine it with things that tasted good in hopes of using it up. Red pepper + gross quinoa + corn + black beans + chicken sausage + green enchilada sauce + pepper jack cheese = an easy dinner for myself and Kurt, so I can fool him into thinking I possess a few domestic skills.
Top with sour cream and cilantro...or whatever you want. There are no rules with food equations.
I thought the quinoa still tasted a little suspect but Kurt approved. I think I will stick to rice in the future.
What variables should I shake up next time?!