Pork Stew Experiments

I know a lot of you AAR readers, like me, enjoy cooking.  Today I decided to make a stew to keep for a few meals later this week.  I used this recipe from Epicurious as a base, but took some advice from previous commenters, and added extra tomato paste, floured the pork before cooking it, and chopped some carrot, turnip, and parsnip and tossed that in before simmering.  I also had a Parmesan rind, which I let cook in the stew, and served it over egg noodles.

All in all, I think it was a great success and I know I’ll be making it again.

Do you use internet recipes, or pay attention to the comments and suggestions people make?  Do you like to experiment and improvise, or are you a strictly by-the-recipe cook?

4 Responses to “Pork Stew Experiments”

  1. dick says:

    I’m retired, and, because my wife continues to work, I do a lot of the cooking. A large number of the recipes I use come from the net. For the most part, I follow the original recipe as exactly as possible…the first time. After that first time, I adjust to suit myself. I have a great recipe for pork chop soup–originally from Southern Living, IIRC–with black-eyed peas, green beans, white corn, cabbage and anything else lying around. Delicious.

  2. Missie says:

    I peruse the Internet for recipes at times, but I still love, love, LOVE my cookbooks (and cooking magazines) and usually go to them first for inspiration. If it’s an Internet recipe and there are comments, I usually scope out some of the comments and if there seems to be a running consensus or if the suggestions make sense to me, I have a tendency to incorporate them.

    If I’m baking, I usually follow the recipe pretty closely, as baking often depends more upon a chemical reaction, so the ratio of ingredients can be much more important. However, I’m an experienced enough cook now that I’m fairly confident of some kinds of substitutions I can make to help make a dish healthier or to better suit my and my family’s tastes.

    Now, as for cooking, though, I feel quite a bit freer to experiment and substitute to suit our own tastes, moods, and what we have on hand. The only time I’m hesitant to experiment to any significant extent is if it’s a kind of dish/type of cooking that I’ve never done or eaten before — I have a tendency to follow the directions, measurements, etc. much more closely the first time I make such a dish.

    I very often make subs to help reduce fat, calories, and the like and often sub out leaner meats and dairy for the fuller-fat versions in recipes and also regularly sub out healthier fats/oils (and/or reduce them) in recipes.

  3. I regularly search the internet for recipes. I will pay attention to comments people make, but also will at times adapt recipes on my own.

    I’ve been cooking for so long, that I do make lots of things without recipes (such as soups, stews, and most pasta dishes). But I have absolutely no confidence in myself as a pastry chef. I don’t make a lot of desserts, but when I do, I strictly follow recipes and don’t vary at all.

    I used to have gobs of cookbooks, but gave most of mine away with my last move. At this point I just have a few sentimental favorites, but find that I rarely use them.

    I also have a number of friends who are excellent cooks, and when I’m in doubt, I’ll shoot off an email to them requesting tips or ideas on how to make something.

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