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Does it really matter?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lapinrose, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Posted on the What I'm eating tonight thread but started a new thread as felt we could talk about this.

    Cooking everyday meals is often a case of what
    food you've got in. None of us is entering a competition to be judged
    on the correctness of our food. I had to when doing my cookery training,
    classic dishes had to be just that and exact down to the last grain of
    salt, but once you've learnt all that, or read the recipe or seen it on
    TV, you have to adjust to what you've got, what you can afford and who
    you're cooking for.
    I've seen some horrific adaptations of classic recipes that does that, call them by the classic namel to me that is a crime, you cannot go off on your own idea and still call it by the proper name if you are telling other people this is how to do this, just like cook-in sauces.
    It's OK to make your own version but do say it's your own, but I will never make the belly pork
    stroganoff or the sausages with saffron risotto that I came across on
    one school's SoW, no recipes btw!!
     
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I agree. We're having beef and ale stew tonight and I might change it slightly, either in a Chinese direction or in a North African direction.
    Now - stewed or braised beef is common in Chinese food and whilst a tagine would be more likely to contain mutton or more probably goat than beef, neither of them would contain ale!
    But - who cares? It will taste good.
    I like to try to be authentic at times, in the interests of seeing exactly how something should taste, but I'm also all for saying sod authenticity acccording to my whims and what I've got that needs eating.
    But...
    I also agree with this. What ever we eat tonight isn't going to be Sichuan red braised beef, nor will it be a tagine. It will be delicious though. Just as pasta with cream and bacon, whilst tasty, isn't a carbonara; Caesar salad with marinated anchovies instead of salted ones isn't a Caesar salad (neither is it tasty, mind) and a pizza with red Thai curry on it isn't a pizza - it's a crime against humanity.
    By all means make them your own but accept happily that they're not the real thing and enjoy them for what they are.
    I don't blame you. Ye gods.
     
  3. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Life's too short.
    Yes, it is nice to do it authentically from time to time but what if you have a real disliking for an ingredient in the dish or worse still, if you're allergic to it?! Do you just strike that dish from your repertoire? No, of course not. My beef stroganoff doesn't have mushrooms but it still tastes fantastic. I sometimes put sweet chilli sauce in my cottage pie - does that make me a heathen?
    At the end of the day, I am not a Michelin starred chef. I am a normal person who cooks with love and care but sometimes I take shortcuts so I can spend time with my family. More important than never using oven chips (always have a bag in the freezer and I don't see why I shouldn't). Rant over.
     
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Pork belly stroganoff.............bleugh!
    But I make a yummy red pepper and saffron risotto that I usually serve with fish, but good quality, meaty bangers would be lovely with it. Can't see what's wrong with that but the risotto does require a skill set you'd be unlikely to find in a school, so to find it on a SoW makes me think it's not quite like mine!
     
  5. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter


    Omi would turn in her grave if she knew how I have 'adulterated'some of her classics!
    Sometimes it is because I can't get the same ingredients as her recipes call for. For example her famous rabbit recipe calls for little strips of bacon fat threeaded through...I think they are called 'lardons' over here? (Omi used to have a special needle, a bit like a thick, curvrd darning needle to thread them with)..I 'can' get them in the UK, but it is a bit of a pfaff!...and I sometimes long for buttermilk to be more readily available!....thankfully there is the German deli which means I can buy some good online (like the green jelly I love!)
    Sometimes it is because Omi's recipes are less than clear. She lists the ingredients - often without any guidance on weight, and then halfway through the method she mentions an ingredient that wasn't in the list! (And this unique style is why I love her old recipe books!)
    Sometimes ingredients change...cuts of meat are either no longer available, or they are the same cut but leaner....and so you make subtle changes to a recipe to allow for this.
    Pork Belly stroganoff? sacrilege!....porkbelly was made for a mound of red cabbage with apple!
    Sausage and saffron ristto?...well, I'd give it a taste....I've made Bockwiurst Pad Thai before (a using up leftovers experiment) that was surprisingly tasty!

     
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Agree wholeheartedly.
    Oven chips have got me out of many a scrape. If I'm honest, fish fingers, chips and beans counts among my very favourite teas.

    The issue I have with belly pork stroganoff is purely based on the fact that it would be a braised dish, by necessity, to cook the belly pork properly. Stroganoffs, whatever they feature, should be quickly cooked, so that the meat is still juicy and slightly pink. Belly pork stroganoff would be weird.
     
  7. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Exactly, this was at a special unit, beyond even a PRU and recommended using Wall's sausages and turmeric instead of saffron!!!!

     
  8. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Yes, but do you call them by the original name? I learnt and can replicate the dish I was taught countless number of times and am happy to call that by it's original name. But to me the joy and pleasure is adding my own twist. Say coq au vin, but using white wine instead of red, it's still coq au vin but not as many know it.
    Do any of you have your own twist on original dishes thatmake a great new dish?
     
  9. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I've always made Coq au Vin with white wine ! Plus: how many people make it with chicken and not cockerel ( not easy to find, I've only found it twice in the last four years)
     
  10. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    One day this week she fancied shepherds pie. Because I find it difficult to hold things at the moment, rather than try to peel the spuds, I cooked them in the microwave in their jackets. Removing the skins and keeping the potatoes intact was fairly easy. I decided to cut them into chunks and lightly saute them in butter, then poured off the excess butter, added some cream and pepper then topped the mince with this before baking it in the oven.
    It was sort of shepherds pie, but it wasn't shepherds pie as you would expect it to be served. Is it a great new dish? Not really. It's the same dish with a different and interesting twist. Quite nice as it turned out and I'd do it like that again, neccessity being the mother of invention in this instance, rather than inspiration.
     
  11. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Ahh, you forgot to add the Shepherds!!
    I've always called lamb mince, Shepherds pie and beef mince, cottage pie, but is this the only real difference? From myknowledge it always used to be made with leftover roast meat, anyway one of my hospital reading books is A history of British Food,so when I finally get a date for the op, I will be able to answer all these things!!

     
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    You'll notice I omitted to use an apostrophe in shepherds. This is because I'm never certain whether it should be placed before or after the last s.
     
  13. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    this evening we are having naan with our tagine as we've had couscous twice in the last 10 days and fancied a change: does the blending of continents and styles <u>really</u> matter? I think not!
     

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