How To...

Don't know how to do it? Dr. Gourmet explains common cooking techniques and the hows and whys of what they are and why they work. More Cooking Techniques

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you.

Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:

  • What to eat
  • How to cook it
  • When to eat it
  • What to eat at a restaurant
  • What to eat if you're in a hurry
  • and best of all....
  • Why eating great food is the best health decision you'll ever make.

Just $15.00 +s/h!


Cooking Techniques

Scaling Recipes

The professional term for increasing or decreasing the number of servings in a recipe is scaling. There are no clear cut rules for this, but there are a few guidelines that can help.

  • Generally it is pretty safe to double or halve a recipe. The maximum that you should try to scale without adjustments should be by a factor of four.
  • Recipes that are delicate like soufflés or sauces with subtle flavors don't usually scale well.
  • The cooking temperature is very important. If you are going to double a pork recipe, for example, it is not as important to increase the oven temperature but it may take a little longer for the pork to cook.
  • With a recipe like Baked Penne simply dumping it in a dish that it will fit in won't work. If the pan is too deep the center won't cook properly. In cooking casseroles the depth of the pan is the key. This is why most oblong Pyrex dishes are about the same depth. In a casserole recipe like the Baked Penne, decrease the oven temperature by about 25 degrees and increase baking time for larger quantities. This will let the center to cook without burning the edges.
  • With a sauté recipe or when roasting (beets or potatoes for example) it is important to use a larger pan because ingredients that are too crowded will steam and the food that you had wanted to be crispy will turn out soggy.
  • Spicier dishes will usually double well but using a little less spice may be more to your taste. Cumin, for example, can become overwhelming as you increase the amount. When experimenting always add less spice and correct for your taste as you go.
  • Recipes with gelatin require care. This is more important when you are making a half recipe as there may not be enough gelatin to set up properly.