Can you "eyeball" an entire recipe?
Let's hear your successes or fails
When I was a child, I'd always get caught up watching Rachel Ray's cooking show on the Food Network. Her lively personality, colorful kitchen, and spunky cooking style drew me in. She's also known for her many catchphrases, one of which is to "eyeball" ingredients. This term is commonly used by chefs to mean that they're simply guessing the amounts, rather than using precise measurements.
I recently whipped up my first macaroni salad with random ingredients I had left over in the fridge: red, yellow, and orange peppers, celery, and matchstick carrots. I chopped up what I thought might work, and boiled a little more than half a box of macaroni, and two eggs. The bindings – Miracle Whip, relish, and spicy dark mustard – were added gradually by guess-work to make the consistently I wanted (more on the dry side than the creamy).
One of the first cooking tips my mom taught me was, "you can always add, but you can't subtract", which should be the first rule when guessing.
I'd love to hear your experiments using the eyeball method for recipes. When did you first try it and how did it go? Have you gotten better at it? Does it make cooking easier?