please help... struggling with conversions in culinary school.....

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by dlocisntcute, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. dlocisntcute


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    Culinary Student
    ahh.. i'm doing really great at the culinary school i'm going to.. but the only thing i'm REALLY struggling with in converting the recipes.. from the book.. to the required mesurements... it's usually always scaling the recipes down...

    like tonight i have to make Braised Short Ribs of Beef.. and in the book it says "Yield: 8 servings, 8 oz each" and then in the handout for tonight it says we're supposed to prepare TWO portions... so would that mean two servings?..
    and scaling the measurements down to two servings confuses me.........
    i would be grateful if someone helped........
  2. suzanne


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    Food Editor
    Okay, first things first: take a deep breath. :D Really. This stuff is easy.

    Next: portion and serving mean the same thing. Nothing to worry about there.

    And next: conversion is really easy if they don't tell you a different portion (serving) size. (I'll explain about that later.) For your example now: your original recipe is for 8 portions. You need to make 2 portions. What part of 8 is 2?

    That's right, it's 1/4 or 25% or .25 times -- all the same thing.

    So take 1/4 or 25% of, or .25 times, your ingredients. There you go! :) You may come up with some funny fractions of tablespoons but it's okay to round. As long as you remember how many teaspoons there are in a tablespoon ?????, how many tablespoons in a fluid ounce and in a cup ????? -- you can do those roundings easily.

    Okay, now: if they tell you a recipe makes 8 portions, 8 ounces each, and tell you that you have to make, say, 6 portions of 6 ounces each, what do you do? :eek: No, you don't freak out. ;) First you multiply 8 portions times 8 ounces and get 64 ounces for the total recipe output. Then you multiply 6 by 6 to get the total output you need. That's . . . ?????

    right, 36. :) Next, you divide 36 by 64 and get . . . ?????

    .57, which is your conversion factor. That is, what part of the original recipe are you making? This is the number you use to multiply every ingredient amount in the original recipe (that made 8 portions of 8 ounces each) to figure out how much you need to make the new recipe of 6 portions of 6 oz each. (Note that if you need to INCREASE the total amount, your conversion factor will be more than 1.) Again, you may come up with some strange-looking measures, but it's okay to round.

    There are some ingredients that you may not want to convert exactly, like garlic or chili powder, but ask your instructor about that. If s/he can't give you a clear answer, come back here and we -- not just me, but a lot of others here -- will explain it. :talk:

    Have fun!