How do you find a recipe?


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How do you find a recipe?

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Abr 11, 2009, 10:37 am

If you have some specific ingredients you want to use up or a specific event for which you want to make a dish, how do you start looking for a "new" recipe?

For example, today I am planning to prepare a brunch "main dish" for as many as 24 people. It should be vegetarian but would include eggs, possibly potatoes, and perhaps some cheese. My usual approach is the internet for ideas that I then adapt, but I am wondering if those of you with vast cookbook collections use a different approach.

Abr 11, 2009, 12:11 pm

I use the internet for odd ingredients, or those which I haven't tried before, but for something like you describe I would probably go to one of my 20 favorite cookbooks which are on my kitchen shelf and find a recipe there. I know them very well and am likely to know which one would turn up something spectacular for a brunch.

Abr 11, 2009, 1:14 pm

I have a number of egg cookbooks, a couple of potato cookbooks, several vegetarian cookbooks. I would sit on the sofa with several, look through them, read several recipes, then go in the kitchen and cook - without the cookbooks. I know what I want, and the cookbooks gave me ideas on how to do it.

Abr 11, 2009, 9:48 pm

I like that kind of cooking--get the ideas, perhaps see a suggestion for a totally new dish, and then go *create* at the stove!

Abr 11, 2009, 9:56 pm

273 cookbooks and a complete 30 year collection of Bon Appetits and Gourmets and I use the internet when I need to find a recipe. Go figure.

Abr 12, 2009, 8:15 am

I think "vegetarian dish for 24 people" is not quite specific enough. I would first try to come up with some more specific requirement, to narrow down the choice: is there another ingredient that I would like to put in, perhaps because it's the season, or just because I like it? Is there a specific style I would like to cook in, such as Mediterrenean (sp?) or Thai? Is there a specific sort of dish I would like, such as a soup or pasta dish? And: how much work do I want to put in? Then I have a better idea of what cookbook to try, and I will either use the index (when looking for a specific ingredient) or just look through it until I found something I like enough. And then I go make it.

Editado: Abr 12, 2009, 12:19 pm

I don't use cookbooks for single ingredients. I go to and punch in the ingredient(s). Some seasonal cookbooks are now starting to list chapters now by ingredient (rather than in the index). will allow you to change the servings amount as well, making the whole process very easy.

I still find the online search by ingredient better than looking in each cookbook for a specific ingredient (which sometimes I cave to do, but the results are not as bountiful).

Abr 24, 2009, 2:33 am

I do the same as 3: MarthaJeanne said. I use the cookbooks for inspiration. Then go to the kitchen to cook it my way.

Jun 7, 2009, 9:22 am

I do a little of everything. If it's an ingredient that's unusual, and not well represented in my cookbooks, I'll use the Internet. Otherwise, I'll look in a few likely cookbooks--in this case, I'd try books that feature breakfasts/brunches, vegetarian, perhaps a book on cooking with herbs or cast iron cookery.

Probably I'd be thinking about some kind of egg dish (omelet, scrambled, etc.) and a variation of home fried potatoes (hence the herb books, for inventive seasonings). If I find a recipe that fits the bill, I'll make that--although I am almost pathologically incapable of making any recipe (except cakes and breads) exactly as writ. Otherwise, after reading a few recipes, I'll start to formulate my own idea and make that. Lately I've taken to copying (with modifications) dishes I've eaten at restaurants, with fairly good success. So I might think about a brunch I enjoyed and base my cooking on that.

Sisaruus (5) wrote: "273 cookbooks and a complete 30 year collection of Bon Appetits and Gourmets and I use the internet when I need to find a recipe. Go figure."

Well, sure... How do you navigate your way through a collection like that? At the very least, you need a Google search to turn up a hint, like what issue of Bon Appetit you should be looking in.

Jan 29, 2012, 2:48 pm

I use Eat Your Books ( and list the ingredients and it tells me what recipes I have in MY cookbooks that call for those ingredients. Of course I am also a huge fan of Epicurious.

Abr 3, 2012, 6:42 am

I also recommend Eat Your Books. I use my cookbooks more than ever. It also allows me to compare recipes and write ups.

Maio 30, 2012, 11:40 pm

There is a very good recipe search engine called Recipe Puppy ( )

All you need to do is type in ingredients you wish separated by comma and then search. It will find all the recipes containing ingredients selected.


Editado: Out 23, 2012, 12:01 am

Eat your to see what books in my library it would suggest for specific ingredients and the internet to further inspire me. Love looking through my own books, they are like a big part of my family.

Out 23, 2012, 5:29 am

Jan 28, 2017, 7:16 am

And another vote for using Eat Your Books. I like that I can restrict the search to my own books and if nothing interesting comes up the search can be widened to the internet. As EYB have indexed a lot of good blogs, recipe sites etc you get a very broad search.

Fev 5, 2017, 8:06 pm

Like others above, I will know of several cookery books off-hand that will provide options for ingredient-specific recipes. Some of the books will be single-subject, regional/national/culturally specific, or of a general nature. They all provide inspiration. Sometimes I follow them to the letter, and other times I will adapt more than one recipe to suit the occasion. Given the breadth and number of cookery books that I have, I probably do not consult the internet as much as I could. (That said, I like the sound of the websites that others have mentioned.)