Have you ever wished you could create delicious, healthy, beautiful and foolproof recipes like a professional chef, but always thought that creating a tasty dish from scratch is beyond your skills? Here are some tips that’ll show you just how easy making up a recipe of your own can be.
As you know, there are plenty of recipes on this blog, and they’re all well loved and delicious by those who try them. First of all me and my husband! I often take inspiration from my favourite chefs, restaurants, cookbooks and food blogs to create new recipes. Sometimes the inspiration comes from a trip I’ve taken abroad; from a TV show; from a book; or simply it is the result of whatever ingredients I have in my fridge and pantry.
Many of the recipes you find here on Mondomulia are original and created with love! But if you’re someone who wants to create a recipe of their own, or wants to try and come up with a family cookbook you can pass down to your kids and grandkids, it doesn’t have to be hard to throw some ingredients together.
It’s time to put your own chef’s hat on and learn how to create your own recipes like the professionals do!
Start with a Bit of Research
You need to do your research first of all, to understand what makes recipes work. Start by learning the basics: different cooking methods, flavour pairings, seasonality.
Make a list of your all-time favourite recipes and take them as inspiration. How did that particular chef create the dish you love? Think about the flavour pairing and then make something of your own based on it.
At the same time, with a bit of research, you’ll be able to substitute ingredients a lot better. For example, are you missing an ingredient and want to sub it with another one you have available? Or you’re trying to create a dish that features a food you don’t like? It’s generally easy to swap ingredients and find alternatives that’ll add a similar hit of flavour to your dish.
A colourful plate
Don’t forget about the colours, shapes and textures of your ingredients! The pleasure of food doesn’t just come from its taste. A dish should be delicious to eat and beautiful to look at. So think about what the dish is going to look like: does it contain brightly coloured ingredients? Choose vibrant ingredients that will complement and contrast with one another to help your food stand out – like in this Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils & Pomegranate Salad, or Grilled Aubergine with Chickpeas Broccoli & Labneh, or Tuscan Panzanella.
Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes
Discovery really does require experimentation! And in a similar vein, you should never be afraid of making a mistake when you’re trying to come up with a recipe of your own. Mistakes mean you know what to do next time – you know not to mix those ingredients, or to not put so much salt in the mix, or to turn down the oven temperature or take it out sooner.
These are very much the fundamentals of working out what’s really going to make your recipe good, so make sure you keep going back to the drawing board, because you’ll have a bit more knowhow each and every time.
The best way to correct your mistakes of course is practice. Practice at home or enrol to cooking workshops to learn how to create new dishes with the help of a professional chef.
Make it Your Own!
Write it down, type it out, then print and frame it to go on the wall if you’re really proud of what you’ve come up with! A part of making a recipe your own is writing it down. When you describe a recipe’s preparation in your own words, with your own nuances and vocabulary guiding people through each step, you will truly feel you have created something. All in all, once you’ve written it down, and it’s got your name and personality in it, it’s your recipe.
Share you food creations
As a food blogger, I am biased here, but I truly believe that if you have favourite recipes you love, it’s great to share them with others! I recommend publishing photos of your own food creations online, not just as a way to share a great recipe with others but also to record your own progress. I have seen this first hand with my blog and how much I learnt about cooking and baking through the process of taking photos of my dishes to share online. The simple act of sharing photos motivated me to cook more often, get better, get creative and ultimate learn a lot.
Creating a foodie Instagram page or Pinterest boards is a great way to collect inspirations for your next recipes. I also love to follow food photographers and prop stylists – it’s a great way to get inspired and to improve your own food styling and photography!
If you want to add a bit of originality to what you do in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to make some recipes of your own. Use other recipes as inspiration, work out what makes a recipe tick, and then feel free to experiment until you come up with something you really like!
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.