Someone can tell you the ingredients, but you need to learn how to follow a recipe to make that dish a reality. On this episode of the podcast we explore the pitfalls of following recipes and how to ensure you won’t mess up. Continue reading for a recap of the episode.
Full Belly Laughs Podcast Episode 126 Show Notes
Host Brian Durkin opens the show laying out the challenge set before him: to make someone else’s dish without explicit help or instructions. Just the basic ingredients and recipe. All Dorian Vasquez provided was a list of ingredients and that they should be combined together. That was the extent of the recipe. Brian did his best to interrupt how to make the dish. Ceviche was the perfect dish for this challenge because Brian never made it before.
The boys talk about the challenge and sample the ceviche. After having a conversation about following recipes, they play some board games to close out the afternoon. The games include Chuck Klosterman’s Hypertheticals: 50 Questions for Insane Conversations and Super Fight.
How to Follow a Recipe
This episode really highlighted a bunch of stuff:
- Ceviche is awesome. You should totally make it.
- Following recipes isn’t easy.
Dorian points out on the podcast that Brian’s rendition of the ceviche is not traditional, and doesn’t look the way Dorian would make it. However the flavors are present, although Brian probably went a bit hard with the citrus. Either way though the challenge was a success. Brian managed to make something for the first time with limited knowledge and have it turn out good.
So how did he do it?
Guidelines to Following a Recipe
Follow these steps to ensure cooking by the book will work.
Google is your friend
It’s lame, but the truth. Full disclosure Brian had no clue about ceviche, so he Googled it. After learning about the history of the dish he understood the debate between using raw or precooked seafood, and he could also visualize the dish better (since the internet has pictures).
It might be a cop out on this particular challenge, but the host also wanted to avoid getting his guests sick. If he screwed up the ceviche, it could have been a very bad day or week for everyone. So set aside your pride and be sure to Google what you don’t know. That includes any technical food jargon. If you’re not sure about the difference between braise and saute, then look it up. Your stomach and budget will thank you later.
Curb your ambition
Dorian is a kind man. He could have given Brian a very complicated recipe to follow, ensuring his demise in the challenge. At the end of the day ceviche is pretty straight forward, especially if you buy the seafood precooked from a fishmonger. All you need to do is chop and assemble. Part of the reason Brian succeed is that he makes his own salsa. A lot of the ingredients and feel of this dish are similar to making a homemade pico de gallo. With that background making the leap to ceviche was not that difficult.
When taking on a new dish to try at home, do your best to pick a recipe that builds on your existing knowledge. If you are awesome at making steak, then consider pork chops or even tuna. The prep and cook times will be different, but the philosophy of how to let the protein hit the pan and rest will remain.
High quality ingredients
Don’t buy your food from a discount, shady supermarket. Remember you are putting this stuff in your body. There is a reason it’s dirt cheap: it’s possibly dirty, or worse not healthy. When trying out a new dish for the first time, spring for the high quality version of the ingredients. This will also hedge your bets on how the dish will turn out. If you use great ingredients, those flavors will carry through to the final dish. So even if you mess up something along the way, starting with high quality will let you end strong.
Here are the ingredients you need to make what we ate on the podcast:
- 1 lb of precooked shrimp
- 1 tomato
- 1 red onion
- 1 bunch of cliantro
- 2-3 lemons
- salt and pepper
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
That is the list Dorian gave Brian. Interrupt it as you may, just like Brian did. Be sure to let us know how to follow a recipe with your attempt. Send us some pics on social media and we’ll be happy to comment and share.
Do you have any hilarious stories of trying to follow a recipe? Be sure to let us know through the contact form. Great tales will be shared on future episodes of the podcast.