I had a great experience at the Smithsonian Resident Associate’s program Food Writing Class with Monica Bhide. I first came across Monica and her talents as a writer and chef at Svelt Gourmand (and made a little post about it) back during the May Blogathon.
Monica’s class was part honing our food writing skills and part creatively marketing our work to viable sources. The day ended with a fantastic panel discussion with DC area food writers and publicists that has sparked a few writing ambitions in my little heart.
Monica also spent a little time on the subject of recipe development, which inspired me to take my own recipe creations a little more seriously. A few tips I learned from Monica on recipe development:
- Eat and drink a lot of different things and be curious! Develop your palate by cooking and eating many different things.
- There’s really no such thing as an original recipe. For a recipe to be yours, you must have at least 4 ingredients different from other similar recipes, and use a different method of preparing or combining them.
- If your recipe is adapted from someone else’s, say so – there is nothing wrong with working from a proven recipe and adding your own touches.
- If you tasted a recipe and then figured out how make something very close to it, use the term “inspired by” and credit the place where you tasted it.
- Get bored with the “same old”, and be willing to try almost anything!
And so, with some professional guidelines in mind, I pondered a few ingredients from my last veggie delivery. Namely, I wanted to make a soup with my sweet potatoes and cauliflower. I’d just read a recipe from Alice Waters for a Spicy Cauliflower Soup that convinced me cauliflower could even BE a soup. I wanted something similar to some butternut squash soups I’ve tried but not completely pureed, and not as “curried”. I found a handful of recipes on the internet and gleaned a few ideas, and what I came up with is my own version of Sweet Potato-Cauliflower Soup with Lentils. (You have to scroll to the bottom to see it. I will add a photo when I serve it again tonight.)
If you make it, please let me know how the directions provided work for you, and what, if anything you changed. Did you like it? Have you ever developed a recipe on your own?