Here at Cooking with Paula Deen, taste testing is an important part of our job. We wouldn’t publish any recipe that didn’t taste delicious, so each one goes through a rigorous testing process. Every recipe you see in each issue has been tasted by myself and others from our editorial team.
Finding the Perfect Pizza
Our editorial line-ups and themes are established much earlier than the actual recipe development process in each story. We hand over the themes and topics of each column, and then the culinary staff in the test kitchens takes over. They focus on one column at a time and create the recipes based on our input. Let’s take the grilled pizza feature (Pizza Fresh From the Grill) from the May/June issue for example. We wanted them to create several recipes for pizzas using fresh ingredients that were both trend-forward and traditional flavor combinations. Once they do their research and start cooking, we receive a call and head down to the kitchens to see and taste. They have the dishes lined up, and on this day there were seven grilled pizzas. We take a couple bites (OK, maybe more depending on how hungry we are) of each type of pizza and then discuss the recipe with the test kitchen staff member who developed them.
It’s All About You!
We talk about the ingredients used, the method, the overall taste (does it need more cheese, less sauce, more flavor, etc.), and if the recipe tastes the way you assume it would, meaning does Bacon-Cheeseburger Pizza actually taste like a bacon cheeseburger and does the Baked Potato Pizza have all of the elements of a baked potato? But most importantly, we think about you, our readers. Is this pizza something the readers would like? Would they actually make it, and is it simple enough for a home cook to make on any given night? We also want to make sure the recipe fits in with the other recipes in the issue and that it is consistent with the type of recipes Paula has shared in the past.
The Final Touches
If a dish passes all of these tests, it is good to go and will be moved along and marked as ready for photography. But if the recipe needs adjusting, it will be remade for a second tasting until it is up to par with the others in that story. Sometimes recipes just don’t work out at all, which is why we often test more than the number of recipes allocated per page in the issue. Sometimes the extra ideas end up tasting better than the ones we originally slated. You never know until you test them, which is why it’s so important. We want you to have only the best, and it’s not such a bad job—actually we are happy to chow down on all of Paula’s yummy recipes!
To do a taste testing of your own, check out a few of the grilled pizza recipes here, and pick up a copy of the May/June issue, on newsstands now, to get the rest.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm