Recipes are okay. I don’t love them. Which is why I often convey a method or technique instead of littering the web with a gaggle of measurements and steps that mean ten different things to ten different cooks. But ratios yes, ratios, really light my fire. And are the only surefire way to success in any kitchen adventure.
These are the simple formulas that professional cooks rely on for consistency. While any executive chef with half a brain will require his people to use standardized recipes, a majority of trained cooks and chefs know the basic formulas behind them.
Take a quiche, for example. Google will tell you that there are hundreds of thousands of bazillions recipes for quiche. But all you really need to know is that for every cup of liquid dairy in the batter, you need two eggs. That’s it. Now you can spice up the classic any way you want, and it will set perfectly moist every time. So how do you discover the magic of ratios…?
Yes, there’s an app for that. And a book, but the application is cheaper. The author, Michael Ruhlman, is a journalist who’s really into food (sound familiar?), and authors culinary writings on his own and with many notable chefs.
The book encompasses all areas – from home-simmered stocks to bread to batters. The app is even better than the book because it takes it one step further and does the math for you. Because don’t get me wrong I love ratios, but I definitely do not love math.