A recipe is a formula of ingredients and instructions used to create prepared foods. It is an important tool for foodservice operations to control quality, quantity, and food costs. A well-written and standardized recipe provides the foundation for consistent results.
A good recipe should include the following:
1. A complete list of ingredients with their common names and their proper spelling. This should be done in a manner that is easy to read and understand. Avoid using abbreviations, such as “c.” or “ml.” Use full words consistently throughout the recipe for the most clarity. 2. A detailed list of steps with their order and duration. This should be written in a manner that is easy to follow and not too long. Breaking up large blocks of text with headings, bullet points, and numbered steps makes it easier for the reader to understand the recipe. 3. Cooking times and temperatures for each step. A standardization of this information will help all staff members produce the same result every time.
4. Step-by-step preparation and cooking instructions, including equipment requirements and oven temperature settings. A standardized recipe should also provide a clear description of the food and its characteristics, such as texture, appearance, aroma, and flavor.
5. A reference to any additional information, such as cooking hints, tips, or tricks that will help the user produce consistent results. This is particularly important if the recipe is being used by inexperienced cooks. 6. A suggested serving size. This will enable the reader to gauge the amount of food they should prepare, especially when the recipe is a batch for more than one person.
In addition to the technical elements of a recipe, it is important that a chef understand how to write well and be familiar with accepted style conventions. Many cookbooks, magazines, and online recipe sources offer guidance on how to write a recipe. It is also recommended that a recipe writer study the recipes of others to see how they are constructed.
It is essential that a chef test a recipe and get the most accurate measurements, ingredient amounts, and cooking times possible. Inaccurate measurement will affect the final product and can be costly to a foodservice operation. Inaccurate procedures and cooking techniques will also impact the final outcome of a dish.
Creating a recipe from scratch can take a great deal of time and effort. However, when a recipe is well-written and followed it will make the cooking process much more efficient. It will save a kitchen time, increase the quality of the finished food, and allow for more consistency in production and service. Properly standardized recipes will also eliminate the need for a chef to be on hand at all times, which will free up time for other tasks. Recipes will need to be checked and reviewed periodically for accuracy, but once a procedure is proven to be correct, it should be repeated exactly. This will save both the chef and the operator money.