Although Kitchen Riffs’ focus will be on how I prepare food and drink in my own kitchen, I’ll also visit other kitchens – restaurants’ or friends’ kitchens, both at home and abroad – in hopes of discovering new ideas, ingredients, or techniques.
There will also be general discussion, thoughts, musings, and philosophical observations about food trends and related subjects. But I’ll try to keep these to a minimum so we can focus on recipes and techniques!
About the Recipes
I’ll be discussing what I want to eat. Although some of the recipes I present will be original, most will be adapted – riffed – from other sources. These sources will always be identified. There are few truly original ideas in cooking.
Most of us riff in the kitchen – changing recipe ingredients or even techniques in order to prepare something better suited to our individual tastes. It used to drive my wife nuts to see me read a new recipe — and then prepare it for the first time with substantive changes. But my wife likes to bake, while I like to cook. Riffing works with cooking. Not so much with baking. Playing with baking recipes is tricky because the baking process involves more precise chemical changes.
I tinker with recipes because I’m trying to figure out what works best for me, for my taste. In order to tinker effectively, I have found, one needs to develop a process for grasping the essentials of a recipe and then recognizing where different inputs – alternative spices, for example – might have a positive effect.
In that spirit, I want this blog to be more than just me talking about what I know. I want it to be about recognizing what I don’t know, but need to learn in order to cook (and eat) better. The idea is to find out what is important in cooking, and why. My goal is to figure out how I really want to eat and cook.