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Old 01-07-2008, 09:31 AM   #31
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One of the most challenging meals I've ever cooked has to be my first Thanksgiving. I just wasn't prepared for the volume of food I had to put out of my teeny little kitchen, and I think I cooked for b/w 10-13 people. The most challenging aspect of this was actually that there were several vegetarians joining us, and I had never prepared vegetarian anything before. Everything went great; the only problems I had were due to the fact that I had to keep holding/re-warming things in the oven because everyone wanted to stand around and drink instead of eat!

As far as particular foods that are difficult to cook, I think a properly cooked pan-seared duck breast with crispy skin and done to MR-M is a tough one. Duck breast seems like it can go from rare to well done in an instant sometimes. I think its due to the fact that the breasts shrink so much from the cooking and it can be hard to account for the change of size over the constant heat. Also, you have to have your stove at just the right temp of else you'll get burnt skin and rare meat, or a lot of fat under the skin.

I think another tough on to do is pate a choux. At the point where you need to add the yolks its so tricky, because if a baker wrote the recipe, they would tell you to add exactly this many egg yolks and mention that the dough should look shiny. A cook would tell you to add egg yolk until the dough is shiny. The dilemma is that sometimes that perfectly shiny dough needs one more egg yolk than the baker says, and sometimes that dough might only require say 5 1/3 yolks, because 6 yolks would be just enough to break it. You're always torn between wanting to make it just that little bit better but not wanting to ruin it by just barely taking it too far.

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Old 01-07-2008, 09:33 AM   #32
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Probably the most difficult and time-consumming thing I've made was a Chicken Gallantine, which was then turned into a Chaud-Froid (sp?). Classic, nit-picking French Cuisine-type stuff. Oh, and I had a French instructor teaching us how to do this in College. I have never done one since.

These days, it gets challenging at work, when the boss hands me the list of Weekly Specials. Sometimes I get to help write them, sometimes I don't. When I know what they are a few days ahead, I'll at least get some things prepped. Sometimes, though, I don't know what we're having until the day we go live with the Specials Menu, which on top of getting my line set up and running, I have to prep a lot of other things.

Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:02 PM   #33
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For me it wasn't a single food, but rather my son's rehearsal dinner for the wedding party,and parents and grandparents...We held it in our back yard around the pool, it was beautiful, but wow...the menu was fried chicken that i finish off in the oven with garlic and wine and a little butter, pasta with meat sauce (homemade meat sauce) also a pasta with pesto, huge bowls of green salad,potatoe and mac salad, rolls, before hand for snacking were 4 LARGE trays of antipasto that took me 2 hours to roll all the meats salami, mortadella, proscuitto, copa, cut the cheeses,it had olives, marinated mushrooms,peppers,marinated artichokes, and things I've forgotten now..Everything turned out wonderful including the mass of cream puffes I made..Groom was happy bride, well she said thanks to DH when it was over I felt as if I could sleep for a week, but, nope, had to be up bright and early to host the bridesmaids getting dressed and their breakfast which I won't even try to tell you about...

HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:12 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by chave982 View Post
Just wondering what the most challenging foods/meals people on here have cooked. For me, it was my first loaf of white bread...back when I thought exact measurments didn't matter .
While bread is technically not "cookery" - that was my biggest bugger - it wasn't until after I had made it according to the recipe written on a 3x5 card, and I wound up with two doorstops, that I turned the card over and found the rest of the instructions ... the next time when I combined the front and back of the recipe card - it worked out just fine.

I think the hardest cookery dish was my first attempt at Moussaka ... actually making the Béchamel sauce for the topping.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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