Recipes Theory Ľ
Within this section of the site you will find various recipes and not just spooky ones.
Colour scheme and contrast
I will separate the sections for the normal and spooky recipes but to be honest the things that make a recipe spooky is the presentation and not the recipe itself. I will try and explain some ideas and techniques when putting the recipes together to make them a spooky experience for all to try.
The first thing that you want to look at is the colour scheme. When making lunch or dinner most people just put whatever they like on the plates and give no thought to how the end result will look. The most important thing when planning a dish is getting the colours right, as when you sit down to a meal, before you have even tasted it you decide whether you are going to enjoy it just by looking at it.
It can be the best tasting dish in the world but if it doesnít look good people will be reluctant to try it and possibly decide that it doesnít taste very good, just from a first glance at the dish.
A good example of this is if you have peas on the plate and you also put broccoli and courgette on there. The plate just becomes one big mass of green and not interesting at all. This is the type of situation to avoid as it will never create a very memorable experience. So instead of this you could have broccoli, carrots and sweet corn which will create a dish worth looking at and at very least a dish worth tasting.
The biggest thing that a chef does in a restaurant is create the oooh factor. This could be as simple as putting the right amount of potatoes on the plate, or to check the colour of the items or even get a bit creative with the garnishing.
The more confident that you become with your knife the better you will get better at garnishing. The presentation isnít even just down to the garnish as you can create a great looking dish with as simple as portion control and slicing techniques. For example if you go into any hotel that has a carvery restaurant. You will find that the chef serving the food will slice the meats very thin and present the meats on the plate with a fold or layered. This is for two reasons.
They want to serve smaller portions as people want to get more that one plateful.
It looks better than just having a flat plain looking piece of meat sitting on the plate.
Deciding the Dish
Something else to look at when deciding what dish to make is whatís in it. A lot of people over think the food that they make and put ingredients in that either spoils the flavours (as they donít contrast well) or donít make the slightest bit of difference. Now lets face it neither of these two scenarios would make a good recipe idea as it will mean more work preparing it and unnecessary costs.
So why not make the dish simple and easy to prepare by using only the ingredients required. People will appreciate the efforts that you have put into the food and you will enjoy making it more. With time you can start experimenting with the ingredients and adding youíre very own little twist to things but donít rush into this as its best to build up a vocabulary of flavours first. Then you will be able to judge what flavours go with what and which ones are best to avoid in the dish your making. Knowing these things can and will make all the difference in creating an enjoyable and memorable meal.
Ok so I touched a little on the subject of flavours in the previous section.
This is a very important thing to consider when making a dish. So many people, when making food, donít consider what the flavour will be when they put it together with other ingredients. To give you an example of this, think of something simple like Scotch broth. When you go to the local store one of the easiest ways to buy the vegetables required is to buy whatís called a soup pack. Now in most cases I wouldnít recommend this but if you are able to use all the ingredients at some point then there is no harm in purchasing the vegetable this way. Generally in the soup packs there will be parsnips, now if you put parsnips into the scotch broth, what you will end up with is a sickeningly sweet soup which generally wont please the guests that you get and will not make you enjoy and be proud of the work that you have done.
When you make a nice tasting dish you will enjoy it more and you will find yourself making more rather than just buying it in. One of the biggest things that stop people cooking in the home is the fear of doing it wrong. Lets face it no one was born with the knowledge of how to cook and everybody makes mistakes when learning. The best way to look at this is that now you know that didnít work and you wont make that mistake again, use it as a learning experience and just accept the fact you had fun making it as if nothing else you are building up your flavour vocabulary.
As time goes on you will come across recipes that include using fruit in your dishes. Now donít be scared of this as a lot of savoury dishes are amazing when you include fruit, in fact some dishes just would not be as good without it.
Just because we were talking about parsnips already and soup, you can make a rather tasty Apple and parsnip soup. Now you might be thinking to yourself that apples are sweet and parsnips are sweet so surely that will not work. But once you cook the apples they donít stay sweet so the parsnips actually complement this and create a very tasty soup.
There are loads of examples where you will come across flavours that you might not think of straight away but really do work, and when you get more experienced you will be able to start experimenting with them.