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Not too long ago a Dr. Gourmet fan said to me, "I really wish you would include photos with the recipes." She was talking about trying to visualize the instructions for how to chiffonade basil on one of the dishes on the Web site and said that she finally figured it out, but having pictures as a guide would be a big help.
This week we are trying something new at Dr. Gourmet: step by step recipes. This is not really revolutionary, but for us it is a lot more work and we're not Good Housekeeping or Cooking Light with a huge team of food stylists and photographers.
It is important to us, however, and what we want most is your feedback. We have always had people say nice things about how easy Dr. Gourmet recipes are to follow. We want to make that even easier and your comments are something we always take to heart and use to make the site better.
Take a look at this week's recipe, Chopped Greek Salad. What do you think can be better? Should we show the chopping of each vegetable? How about just some of them? For instance, we included the instructions for chiffonade but not the sliced shallot or slivered black olives. What is most important to you?
We're giving away prizes of Dr. Gourmet books for your feedback. Two people will be chosen at random from all the comments received to win copies of Hand on Heart. (Entries are limited to those in the United States, as we can't ship printed books overseas. Sorry!)
Here's a sample for the Chopped Greek Salad. We would love feedback from you!
Assemble your ingredients. It's a good idea to get everything together before you start to make sure that you have all of the elements of your recipe. If you are missing something, this is the time to think about improvising.
Oops! Forgot to get out the basil and honey.
Prep the ingredients. With almost every dish I make, I like to cut everything in advance. This doesn't just apply to this Chopped Greek Salad, and you will find that the assembly of the final meal goes much quicker if the items are ready for you.
To chiffonade the basil, lay them flat in a stack.
Roll the leaves into a tube...
... and then cut across the tube to create thin slices of herb.
This works for any leaf like lettuce, spinach or sage and is not just pretty but practical since the strips are more uniform in size.
With some recipes this is a great place to stop if you are going to serve the meal later. Simply put the ingredients on a tray, cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
The chopping might seem like it takes a long time, but this whole meal only took about ten minutes. That's faster than the drive through at Subway, and a lot less time than you will wait for a table at a chain restaurant like Applebee's (and your food will be soooo much better).
Assemble the dish. With salads is a great point to stop if you are going to serve the meal later. Simply cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator.
Toss the salad when you are ready to dine: