So, being me, I set about trying to figure an easier, cheaper way to come up with the same flavor results. It took several tries, and I suspect that I will continue to tweak this recipe, but I am quite pleased with the results I’ve achieved here. And it has been a BIG hit with everyone I’ve served it to, so I think I have a winner.
Before I continue, I should emphasize again that this is something most seasoned cook will do with just about any recipe. We adapt and substitute all the time when cooking, depending on personal taste, the ingredients we have on hand (such as when I forget something on my list and have to make do without an ingredient), and the number of serving we want to get out of a recipe, for example.
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, recipes are really mere guideline. You can personalize just about any one you find. That’s also the reason most cooks can’t tell you the exact ingredients they use in any given recipe; they simply do it by habit and feel without really thinking about it much.
So keep that in mind whenever you find a recipe you like. Don’t be afraid to tweak it – sometimes quite substantially - to accommodate your particular tastes and needs.
For this recipe, I used ricotta cheese on sale for $1.99 per pound vs. the goat cheese in the original recipe that runs about $10 per pound. I could have used milk, too, or cottage cheese, or a combination of any two of those ingredients. Those are just some examples of substitutions you can make to accommodate your budget.
And I’d also like to say a word or two about caramelized onions. I did not mention it in my blog about them here, but the fact is that most websites that mention them seriously understate how long it takes to cook caramelized onions. They are a delicious addition to a recipe, but they also lengthen the cooking time enormously. I’ve never been able to do it in less than about 40 minutes, so when I see a recipe that says 15-30 minutes, I just shake my head.