One of the things that needs to be dispelled about the cooking world is that if it is good enough to print it is good enough to eat. Not. True. Many cookbooks compile recipes from a number of sources and some of them are not always the best. This is why you should never trust a recipe just because somebody took the time to print it.
This is not to say that you should discount an entire book just for one recipe though. Take for example The American Heart Cookbook. Generally, this is a good cookbook if you are willing to substitute some of their margarine for butter and some of their tofu for bacon.
I made a recipe out of this cookbook recently and realized after I was done that I had changed it SO much that it wasn’t even the same recipe. Here is the original with my changes in parenthesis:
Curried Chicken Salad (Macheesmo changes)
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise (light mayo)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Teas. plain rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 Teas. curry powder (2 Teas.)
1/4 Teas. salt (1/2 Teas.)
1/8 Teas. black pepper (1/4 Teas.)
1/8 Teas. cayenne
(I also added: 1/2 Teas. Crush dried pepper, 1/2 Teas. Chili power.)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 ribs of celery chopped
8 thin strips of green bell pepper (1 full bell pepper, chopped)
(I also added half a medium onion chopped and some basil)
I made all of these changes because as is, the recipe was just bland. Not healthy, but bland. So this, in my mind, made the recipe a bit of a disaster, but it gets worse.
Rather than doing what I knew I should have done which is serving this on rice because that is how you eat curry, I thought I would get fancy and do something the recipe recommended which is serve on a bed of nice crispy lettuce. STUPID. I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea.
The lettuce just contributed nothing to the dish and didn’t give enough backbone for the spicy curry. Maybe if you made the original wussy curry that the recipe called for then it would be alright, but then you would have wussy curry. I like real curry which I think requires rice or some sort of carb.
The next day I made a sandwich with the leftover curry and it was awesome.
So remember, if you make a recipe and it sucks, it is very possible that you are not the bad cook, but maybe the cook that decided the recipe was printable is the one who should be banished from the kitchen.