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"dump" recipes??

Not much into baking, but that's about the only cooking where I follow a recipe... it's a "science", after all.

Just about everything else is, as I call it, a "dump" recipe. I know what goes in it but measuring really isn't used. ANY soup, stew, or chili falls under this umbrella.

Today have a pot simmering on stove to make my Grandmother's chili sauce. At this time of years, when life gives you TOMATOES, make some kinda sauce. I know she NEVER measured when she made it. She'd chunk up tomatoes (I don't remember her peeling them?), green bell pepper and onions and simmer till soft. Shed add cider vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and ??, then cook down to about ketchup consistency.

I like mine smooth so will hit it with immersion blender at some point. Not into HOT but added some red pepper flakes. Needless to say, it probably never comes out the same twice, but have never had a FAIL batch. I love it almost anywhere ketchup is added.

Wanna share "dump" recipes?

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  1. Black bean soup: Drain and rinse canned black beans and add to a saucepan. Add salsa (more or less depending on how spicy you want it) and stock (depending on how thick you want it). Blast with the immersion blender, season with cumin, cayenne and a shot of hot sauce (sriracha is surprisingly good). Heat over medium until hot.

    My usual ratio is 1 can of beans, about 1/3 cup salsa and maybe 1/2 cup of stock which makes about 3 bowls of soup. Like you said about your sauce, it never comes out exactly the same but I love that I can whip it up in about 10 minutes and hardly have to think about it!

    1. oh god I hate that term, it's being marketed to people who can't manage anything more than opening a box and handling a spoon, what you're doing is not "dump".

      I reserve my dumping for the (ahem) water closet.

      6 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        Hill Food... you're absolutely right about the term. I AM cooking, just don't need to measure or have a recipe in front of me to do it successfully. Will be D-ing the D-word and finding a better term!

        1. re: kseiverd

          I also cook on the fly (off the cuff? ad hoc? without a net?) and only measure when baking (that stuff is hard).

          1. re: hill food

            I like "without a net"... kinda suits my personality for being a BIG chicken about anything remotely dangerous!

            1. re: hill food

              There's a lot of baking that doesn't require measuring, either. If rising is not an important feature, measuring isn't, either. I make tart shells
              and lots of cookies without measuring, just by feel, and tasting the raw dough (I do not fear raw egg).

              I call it "free-styling", and by its very nature, impromptu cooking is inimical to *recipe-sharing*.

              1. re: greygarious

                <<<<I call it "free-styling", and by its very nature, impromptu cooking is inimical to *recipe-sharing*>>>>.

                Don't ask me why, but when I read this the first thing that popped into my mind was....Skinny Dippin! LOL

          2. re: hill food

            Hill, thanks for the much needed laugh!

          3. I have never heard that term
            before... I just call it cooking intuitively :) In which case having a recipe is antithetical...

            I do like having what I've started to call "frameworks", like pasta with whatever or burritos or arroz con stuff. Great way to clear out the fridge...

            Here is my favorite burrito framework: https://yumbox.it/recipe/53711fa2d50f...

            1. A coworker was just today talking about an infomercial she'd seen about dump recipes. She's a notorious non-cook (her husband cooks)and we were joking that maybe this would be within her skills.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Jeri L

                I just posted that on Facebook. Amazing.

              2. I have been known to do this even after learning the merit of browning the meat then sweating the aromatics separately.

                But since I require the aid of my crockpot on work days, sometimes I do the "dump" thing. Usually frozen aromatics and frozen stock-cubes, with cut up sausage, dried beans and grains.
                Maybe boneless skinless thighs, soy sauce, brown sugar, siracha.
                Pork shoulder, spices, bottle of beer.

                Other than that it's true I rarely measure, but I also don't "dump" much anymore. Took me years to realize cooking takes more than combining ingredients, it's the way each one is cooked and incorporated that matters. I can't go back now.

                1. There's what I call "kitchen sink soup" because you can throw everything but the kitchen sink in it.

                  Start by sauteeing some combination onions/celery/carrots/mushrooms. Add broth of some sort, some extra water, maybe a can of diced tomatoes. Toss in leftover meat if you've got it handy - roast chicken works well. Add in some vegetables, fresh or frozen - spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, green beans or peas, carrots, whatever seems like a good idea. Canned beans work well in it, or a bit (not too much) of cooked rice or noodles. Simmer until the ingredients are tender, and season to match the ingredients.

                  The main caveat is to be careful about adding strongly flavoured vegetables, like cabbage, turnips, bitter melon and so on, as they can dominate the flavour.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I don't know if this is a dump recipe or condiment cooking (is there a difference?) but I just stirred some lime-soaked onion, avocado and tomato, all diced up, with some Mae Ploy sweet chili and it was darned good with tortillas. Wouldn't dare call it guacamole but it's a nice quick alternative.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ennuisans

                      wow you screwed up big, see, you should have bought a pasteurized 'guacamole' dip (they're usually in the dairy case) and gone from there.

                    2. I hate the term "dump" recipe or cake. I either think of poop or the city dump - either way not something I like to relate to food. But I get what your saying that you don't need to follow a recipe to make great things. But give yourself credit - a "dump recipe" IMO is more like add a can of this, a box of that, a bag of this and bake. Dumped full of garbage.
                      What you describe is a process - chopping, sweating, simmering, etc fresh ingrediants. You didn't dump anything in there