Three Keys to a Recipe Repertoire: Familiar Meals

Recipe repertoire is something that we care about here at Learn more with great recipe repertoire tips in our blog article index.

So you've got a few good meals under your belt and feel comfortable enough in your kitchen to start developing a recipe repertoire but are daunted by the over 100,000 books available about cooking. You would bust a gut trying just a fraction of the recipes available in them. Even getting through one bonafide classic is such a momentous feat it can turn your life around.

The truth is building a recipe repertoire is simple and can be reduced to learning recipes from three categories:
  • Familiar Meals
  • New Ingredients
  • Masterworks
While these principles might sound like common sense, the real trick is to keep them in mind when you browse cookbooks and online recipes.

Familiar Meals
Put another way, learning “familiar meals” means learning recipes you know what you are aiming for from experience. In fact, the best recipe to try first is a childhood favorite because a) you know how it should turn out b) there is probably someone close to you who already knows how to make it c) you'll enjoy eating the results of your labor. Moreover, if one of your childhood favorites is a restaurant dish, you'll save money by learning how to recreate the dish at home.

The intense sensory memory we have for food and cooking is amazing. And this facility comes in very handy when you are learning a recipe. For instance, a recipe may call for "bite-sized" pieces and you'll know exactly how big that is because you've taken a bite of the dish before!

If you remember a dish from your childhood, someone close to you either made it for you (thanks mom, dad, aunties & uncles!) or they've tried to recreate it since (yo, bro!). Besides helping get through the tricky parts of the preparation, talking with them allows you to enjoy the recipe as a jumping off point for a conversation. You can start by asking them to share the recipe with you using

Probably the best part of learning a recipe for something you know and love, is getting to eat it, on your own terms. You can have seconds, thirds, & fourths. You can eat it for breakfast & dinner. You can eat it every day of the week. Seriously though, you are more likely to practice a dish you want to eat and that allows you more chances to understand why the recipe works.

Next Up > New Ingredients

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