4 Qualities of a Cheater Recipe

We’re talking about short cuts this month, so I’ve been pondering what makes a good short cut recipe.  I’ve come up with a few qualities that excellent cheater recipes share.

1. Fresh garlic

If the recipe calls for garlic, using fresh instead of garlic powder (or even the stuff in the jar) will make a huge difference on taste.

I’m not totally against ever using powder or jarred garlic, but if you have a good garlic press it’s a quick process to crush your own.  I think it’s especially useful in recipes that use other canned or boxed products.

2.  It may start with a mix, but it doesn’t end with the mix.

I love a good cake mix or dressing mix or brownie mix or…  But the way they taste best is by being dressed up a bit with other ingredients.

3.  Skips steps strategically.

A good cheater recipe skips steps, but it skips the right steps.  Some things can be skipped and not have a huge effect on the outcome of the dish (like marinating frozen chicken, instead of thawing first).  Other steps are crucial to the outcome of the recipe and shouldn’t be skipped.  A great cheater recipe knows the difference.

4.  Makes use of key kitchen tools.

What are key kitchen tools?

  • A great knife and a sharpener to keep it sharp.  Nothing can be quick, if you’re struggling to make the knife chop.
  • A good garlic press.
  • A slow cooker.  Some of the best cheater recipes are also slow cooker recipes.

What qualities do you consider essential in a good cheater recipe?

 

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