Cooking filter: term for a sub-recipe?
August 24, 2018 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Hi. I'm looking for a cooking term that describes a set of ingredients that are combined to make *part* of a whole recipe, like when a cookbook refers to another recipe as one of the ingredients. Is there a standard, abstract cooking term that encapsulates this concept?

For example, a recipe for Eggs Benedict might include a step like "Pour the hollandaise sauce over the eggs"; the hollandaise sauce is a whole separate recipe that is used as a single ingredient in the macro-recipe.

I'm looking for an abstract term that covers this concept for any recipe, not something specific like "sauce".
posted by crookedgrin to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Subrecipe" is the term -- at least that's how we refer to it as a cookbook element.
posted by libraryhead at 8:16 AM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Wait wait there was a Metafilter thread on recursive recipes back in the spring!
posted by daisystomper at 8:41 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use "component" when I'm talking about stuff like that. My form of meal prep involves making a few of these components over the weekend, and mixing and matching in creative (but quick) ways on weeknights.
posted by peacheater at 9:58 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In a cocktail recipe this sort of thing might be referred to as a "preparation." For food I might call it a component recipe.
posted by fedward at 10:46 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Most of the time the answer is simply "recipe" because a completed dish is almost always comprised of several standalone components. For example, "roast chicken with romesco sauce" consists of two discrete items that stand on their own and do not need to be used together. There is a recipe for roast chicken and there is a separate recipe for romesco sauce. Instructions for putting together the chicken and the romesco sauce are essentially no different from instructions for putting together a hotdog, bun and mustard. They can be viewed as assembly and presentation instructions rather than "recipes," per se. In the rare occasion when a dish requires separate complex preparations of components that do not stand on their own, I would consider the various procedures to be constituents of a single recipe. For example, "chicken with pan sauce" is a single recipe despite the fact that the pan sauce is made after the chicken has been cooked.
posted by slkinsey at 11:17 AM on August 24, 2018

Agree that is just recipe for one part of the dish. Use 'sub-recipe' if you need to communicate the concept. There's a related term, mise en place ('putting in place'), which refers to preparing the ingredients ready to make the dish. So making a hollandaise is part of the mise en place, while having a recipe in its own right.
posted by pipeski at 11:33 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm a cookbook editor, and we use the term "subrecipe" to refer to a shorter recipe that is included with a larger recipe—for instance, one of the ingredients in a recipe for dumplings might be "Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)," and then the dipping sauce recipe is at the bottom, usually with a smaller heading style. (We don't use the term "subrecipe" in the cookbook itself; it's just how we refer to it.) But what you're talking about is not what we'd call a "subrecipe"; it's just a recipe that gets used in other ways. For instance, if the ingredients list for a pasta recipe includes "2 cups Mom's Best Marinara (page 381)," that wouldn't be styled as a "subrecipe."
posted by wisekaren at 12:49 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by STFUDonnie at 3:26 PM on August 24, 2018

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