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Recipe Driven, Ingredient Driven or Technique Driven

cstout Feb 26, 2012 02:24 PM

Which approach do you usually use when fixing something to eat?

Which approach would be best if trying to save money on the grocery bill?

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  1. mamachef RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 02:28 PM

    1. Technique-driven
    2. Imo? Technique driven. You can apply a technique to a food that you have less expensively than you can match a food to a technique. It can certainly be done though.
    3. I use recipes from time to time as guidelines. And always for the baking.

    1. d
      d8200 RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 02:31 PM

      Personally, I use ingredient driven for both...every time. Recipes tend to trap you into thinking you need to have EXACTLY the item called for. If you do a little research and have a decent grasp of kitchen basics, then you can always find a better alternative for your budget, personal taste, location, cooking ability, etc.

      1. f
        fourunder RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 02:41 PM

        Ingredient driven....you gotta use up what you have first....be it the pantry, refrigerator of freezer. You could extend that and even say what's growing in the garden as well.

        1. drongo RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 03:05 PM

          I'm definitely ingredient driven... and that applies both when I am choosing something to eat primarily for taste rather than cost, as well as when I am focusing primarily on cost.

          Some web sites that may be of interest to those of you who are "ingredient driven":

          1. jadec RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 03:16 PM

            Very interesting question.Looking forward to reading others' responses.

            Ingredient-driven for both for related reasons.
            1. I tend to stock and buy clusters of ingredients for certain cuisines so easiest to work from what I have and adapt techniques to what's in stock. Also to eat healthily I try to start with a base of protein, vegetables and wholegrain carbs. For taste mix and match textures and flavours so maybe that's the technique part.
            2.Using what I have and buying what's on sale works best for my budget.

            1. Hank Hanover RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 03:30 PM

              When trying to save money, hands down, it is ingredients. I look at what's on sale, what's in season and what's in the freezer to do my menu planning.

              When I have been fascinated by a new recipe, I may try to incorporate it into the plan. Even then, if there is a particularly expensive ingredient, I will try to think of a substitute.

              Technique only enters into it when I am pressed for time. If I don't have time for a 3 hour braise, then I have to put it off, switch to something else or figure out a way to change the technique.

              1. Perilagu Khan RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 03:38 PM

                I'm strictly recipe, or dish-driven. I chose the dishes I'm going to fix, and then I purchase the necessary ingredients. Probably not the most economical way of doing things, but I guess my priorities are savor before savings.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                  cstout RE: Perilagu Khan Feb 26, 2012 04:04 PM

                  Savor before savings...definately should have been listed as another approach.

                2. e
                  escondido123 RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 05:17 PM

                  Both ingredient driven. If I go to the store with the idea of making frisee salad but the frisee is crummy or too expensive, then I'll alter the dish to what looks good.

                  If I want to save money, I'll see what I can make with what I have, so it still starts with ingredients but after that technique will create the dish.

                  1. tcamp RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 06:19 PM

                    Definitely ingredient driven. I wish I was more recipe driven and did a better job of planning what to make on a weekly basis. Technique really never factors in to the meal planning equation although I like to think that I've picked up some knowledge here and from mags/web over the years.

                    As for saving money, probably the hybrid approach is best? Have some basic plans (recipes) in place but remain somewhat flexible as to actual ingredients (chicken vs. pork; squash versus eggplant, etc.).

                    1. r
                      RelishPDX RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 06:56 PM

                      I'm on a path of discovery at the moment, so I'm firmly in the technique-driven camp. I'll pick something I want to make, then work backwards through recipes, first making it via the easiest method possible, such as using canned stock, then learning all about stocks. That leads me to how would I make a demi-glace (first make an espagnole, so I need to learn how to do that), to what to do with rendered duck fat from duck stock, which leads to the tangent of confit. I can see the next tangent will be how I may improve what are favorite recipes now once I conquer the demi-glace.

                      1. cowboyardee RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 07:11 PM

                        1) Technique driven maybe 75% of the time. I feel it's the best way to develop as a cook.

                        2) Ingredient driven. It allows you to use scraps, byproducts, etc most effectively without needing to buy more ingredients. Technique driven cooking and recipe driven cooking both tend to entail more waste.

                        Incidentally though, it's a lot easier to make great dishes with what you have around from a recipe driven standpoint if you've already learned many ways to use various ingredients by practicing technique driven cooking.

                        1. scubadoo97 RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 07:43 PM

                          Ingredient first. Followed by technique then recipe. Not sure about the last two because the thought process goes like this. Check the fridge/freezer and pantry for what's available, ingredient. Think about what can be cooked with ingredients, recipe. Now does it count as a recipe if its not printed, read and followed but adlibed on the spot?

                          Technique is contemplated while looking at ingredients like, ummm tomatoes. I can dice them up and make a tomato jam.

                          So I think my order is correct for me. Ingredients, technique and recipe

                          1. iL Divo RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 07:45 PM

                            ...........result driven

                            1. ipsedixit RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 07:48 PM

                              Hunger driven.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                cstout RE: ipsedixit Feb 26, 2012 08:05 PM

                                il divo & ipsedixit....love it....let's skip the bs & eat.

                              2. iluvcookies RE: cstout Feb 26, 2012 07:52 PM

                                When I was learning to cook, I was recipe and technique driven.
                                Now I am driven mostly by ingredients, which is probably the best way to save money. Once you have techniques down and an arsenal of recipes under your belt, you can use ingredients that are readily available/on sale.

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