There was one time my mom and I were chatting on the phone about something she was planning to cook. I don’t honestly remember what it was, maybe a marinade, or a dry rub, or a dressing. It could even have been some kind of side dish, really I don’t remember. But that’s not the point. The point is I made some suggestion about how to make it and she asked if I could send her a recipe.
I threw together a list of what I thought it should include and blithely sent off the email to her. Her reply was succinct, painfully obvious in retrospect, and kind of hilarious: “This isn’t a recipe, it’s just a list of ingredients. What do I do with them?”
In all honesty, I tend to cook from a standpoint of lists of ingredients not in terms of quantity or technique. First of all, unless I’m baking and specific quantities are required for their alchemistic properties I tend to think you should use however much of an ingredient you want. You like blueberries more than strawberries? Then use more blueberries than strawberries in the mixed berry pie you’re making. Really like garlic? Then use 3 cloves instead of 1 in the aglio oilo. Simple. Done.
But, more to the point, I tend to take the technique for granted. This isn’t because I’m all fancy and well trained. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. I like to make what is essentially peasant food; dishes that aren’t about beautiful presentation or elaborate technique. All I’m looking for is great taste. But because I’ve made a personal study in learning how to cook I forget sometimes that other cooks don’t always know how to put the ingredient lists together into a recipe.
Of course, that’s exactly what I’m going to do to you now. Sorry. It’s just that there isn’t a way to make this recipe with precise amounts because it’s based entirely on how much in leftovers you wind up with after making and easting a roasted chicken. But, it’s a great way to make one meal into two and a great way to practice using an ingredient list instead of a recipe.
In deference to my mother I’m including a picture of the final product. While she supports the notion of “no more food porn” she expressed that a single photo of the final product might still be nice. She’s probably right. Mom’s almost always are.