Slate’s ‘You’re Doing It Wrong’
I have recently become enamored of www.slate.com‘s Brow Beat blog’s recipe series, ‘You’re Doing It Wrong.’ Primarily written by L.V. Anderson, the series takes basic dishes and foods, explains common errors in preparing them, then gives a recipe doing it the ‘right’ way.
Yes, it sometimes comes off as arrogant, and there are plenty of comments from foodies who disagree with the author’s conclusions. But for me, as a beginner, I feel like I can learn the right way to do things, before I get in the habit of doing them poorly. There is also a level of explanation for why things should be done the way they are, rather than just tossing out a recipe and calling it ‘The Best (Whatever).’ (For a scientific approach to cooking, see Serious Eats’ ‘The Food Lab,’ another great food blog that I’ve come to love.)
Generally, the columns come out on Wednesdays. The main problem is that there is no one place to look for all of the recipes; for some reason the ‘search Slate’ box doesn’t bring it up. You can either google ‘slate you’re doing it wrong,’ where you’ll find a lot of them, or, once you access one, scroll down to the bottom under ‘Previously in You’re Doing It Wrong,’ and you can keep clicking and track them all back to the beginning. That’s what I did, then I bookmarked them all; I think I have 62 so far.
The one I use the most is the oatmeal recipe. I had always had trouble making oatmeal from old-fashioned oats, but this recipe produces great results. I learned to use a 1:1:1 ratio of oats, milk and water – enough milk so that the oatmeal turns out creamy, but enough water so that you don’t have to stir it constantly to prevent it from burning. It also has a nice sautéd apple accompaniment, which makes a fabulous REAL apple-cinnamon oatmeal, not like the weird fake stuff in the instant oatmeal packages.
My other favorite is the Brussels sprouts. This is an AMAZING recipe for sprouts tossed in soy sauce, sesame oil, Dijon mustard and black pepper, then roasted until crispy. It sounds weird, and they look terrible when they’re done roasting (blackened outer leaves spread all over the place), but they taste WONDERFUL.
If you want a way to change up your tired old recipes, or just enjoy reading about delicious food, I recommend getting over to Slate and reading this series.