Standardized Recipes

1. Definition.

A standardized recipe is a set of instructions describing the way a particular establishment prepares a particular dish. In other words, it is a customized recipe developed by an operation for the use of its own cooks, using its own equipment, to be served to its own patrons.

2. The structure of a standardized recipe.

Recipe formats differ from operation to operation, but nearly all of them try to include as much precise information as possible.The following details may be listed:

• Yield, including total yield, number of portions, and portion size.

• Ingredients and exact amounts,listed in order of use.

• Equipment needed,including measuring equipment, pan sizes, portioning equipment,and so on.

• Directions for preparing the dish. Directions are kept as simple as possible.

• Preparation and cooking times.

• Directions for portioning, plating, and garnishing.

• Directions for breaking down the station, cleaning up, and storing leftovers.

3. The function of standardized recipes.

An operation's own recipes are used to control production.They do this in two ways:

• They control quality. Standardized recipes are detailed and specific.This is to ensure that the product is the same every time it is made and served, no matter who cooks it.

• They control quantity. First, they indicate precise quantities for every ingredient and how they are to be measured. Second, they indicate exact yields and portion sizes, and how the portions are to be measured and served.

4. The limitations of standardized recipes.

Standardized recipes have the same problems as all recipes—the problems we discussed earlier regarding variations in foods, equipment, and vagueness of instruc-tions.These problems can be reduced by writing the recipe carefully, but they cannot be eliminated. Even if an operation uses good standardized recipes, a new employee making a dish for the first time will usually require supervision to make sure he or she interprets the instructions the same way as the rest of the staff.These limitations don't invalidate standardized recipes. If anything, they make exact directions even more important. But they do mean that experience and knowledge are still very important.

Table 5.1 gives an example of a standardized recipe based on a recipe in this book.

Compare and note the differences between this recipe and the recipe on page 397, an instructional recipe (explained in the following section). In particular,note the following differences:

• There are no metric units. Because this recipe is designed for a single kitchen in the United States, only one set of measurements is needed.

• The procedure appears below the ingredients rather than in a column to the right. An operation can choose any recipe format, but the operation using this recipe wants to emphasize collecting and measuring all ingredients before beginning to cook.

• The recipe includes Critical Control Points.The operation using this recipe has established a HACCP system. Food safety instructions are included as part of the standardized recipe. (Read or review the section on HACCP, pp. 33-34, if necessary.)

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