Who can you trust when it comes to cooking from a blog or investing in a cookbook? You should know, because a bad recipe -- one that is poorly written, or worse yet, untested -- can make you feel like a failure. Nevermind the wasted money and time or the embarrassment, it might even convince you that you can't cook at all.
You can know ahead of time that a recipe will most likely work if you have a checklist of the key things to look for.
One bright red flag is the extremely short recipe. It looks so easy and it can betray you in a nanosecond. That brevity often comes from cutting out the specific information you need to know to end up with something worth eating.
Here's the rest of the list:
·Does the recipe tell you what you can prepare ahead?
·Does it tell you how to store the food and for how long?
·Are the ingredients specific -- not "1 pound beef," but "1 pound well-marbled beef chuck"?
·Do the instructions tell you ...
·What kind of pot and utensils to use?
·The level of heat and/or the timing needed for each step?
·What the food should look like, sound like, and/or smell like?
·How to know if it's done?
·How to serve?
No one is infallible, but these are some (and by no means all) of the authors that come to mind who are especially exacting and expert with their recipes.
·John Willoughby and Chris Schlessinger
·Eileen Yin-Fei Lo