Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An iteresting point of view

The premise: A blog where the writer is a great home cook with no formal training. Seems funny and I haven't read him until today, but he seems to get it....... SOOOOOOO he did a post about how the magazine Cooking Light basically sucks at giving directions in their recipes. I read Cooking Light but I also know how to read a recipe. Here is the blub that he wrote regarding a badly written one:

** Here's a poor instruction:
"Add onion. Saute 15 minutes or until almost tender. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until deep golden (about 20 minutes)."
Does that mean 15 minutes, plus another 20? Or does it mean 15 minutes, plus five more to total 20 minutes. Maybe because the 20 minute instruction is in parenthesis, it's throwing me. If it weren't, I'd clearly treat it as an additional 20 minutes, because it would be presented in a similar manner to the first timing instruction. I'm not trying to be too picky - but for a cook without a lot of confidence and experience in the kitchen, would he/she really know what to do? Do you?
BTW - the correct approach is 15+20. Carmelizing onions for a little over 30 minutes is the best way to get delicious, sweet flavor from them. They're awesome. 

I got what the directions are saying the first time I read it, just as he did (see his BTW) but I can totally understand how it would throw someone normal who is not a classic cook per se. I never noticed that the recipe directions as written in the magazine as I just know what they are talking about. When I write out a recipe I have to be careful myself to make sure it can be understood by the most basic person. It is funny to me that others think that way too, that you just KNOW how to caramelize an onion :)

Eat well :D