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Old 07-14-2020, 06:46 PM   #1
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What is the most complex meal you've ever prepared?

And along with that, what is the best meal you've prepared?

My most complicated meal was Peking Duck. But I did it and it came out great.

Best meal Iv'e made, that;s a hard one. It could be foil pouch trout with spuds and carrots on a campfire. Or it could be my smoked Turkey on the Weber Kettle, or it could be the BBQ'd Pork Crown Roast, again done on the Weber.

My best desert - 7 layer butterscotch cake with caramel buttercream icing, or is it my New York Cheesecake, or caramel apple pie?

Best pasta- stuffed manicotti with bolognese and cottage cheese stuffing.

Favorite ofMy eldest son's in laws - my egg rolls and crab rangoons.

Best homemade candy - bunny mold with bascket made with really good coverture chocolate, tempered. Coverture white chocolate was divided into three bowls, with paste food coloring added, and them used to paint
(with a toothpick) the inner ears, bow tie, and vest of bunnies. The milk and white chocolates were then poured in to complete the shells. These were then filled with raspberry/dark chocolate ganache, made to the consistency of butter when cooled, and the bunnies were completed with another layer of chocolate on the back. The grass and flowers on the bunny pedestals were tedious, but came out amazing when the candies were removed from the mold. Wish I had pictures. I did at one time, but lost them when I broke my last laptop.

Seeeeeyas; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 07-14-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
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Many years ago, I wanted to make a "traditional Mexican meal"...from scratch for Christmas. I spoke to friends, got recipes, ideas, etc. The only thing was I had never made any of these recipes prior to this. I felt that, since Christmas would just be two of us, it would be fun and an "adventure." So the menu was set:

Fruit such as clementines, and citrus fruit salad, tortillas with cheese sauce, assorted dips and salsas, turkey mole, pork and green chili tamales, refried beans, a rice dish, a green dish with veggies and cilantro, sangria, flan, and other yummy things that I cannot remember.

Just before Christmas, we were told that parents had decided to visit. We are asked what will be for Christmas dinner, so we read off the menu. They laugh and ask, "Seriously. What are we having?" We read it off again. They chuckle and say, "We better have turkey on that table." We repeated "Turkey will be there...in a mole sauce." More laughter.

End result: The Papa is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The mama is more adventurous. Both were a bit dubious and took just enough to be polite...and then went back for huge seconds! Both loved the meal and even mention it today. It was delicious....but I had NO idea how much work I would be doing. It probably was the same amount of work as my usual holiday meal but...I have those recipes memorized and know the sequence of the cooking. Regardless, I loved doing making my Mexican dinner....and the meal remains a wonderful memory. Plus, my Hispanic friends were truly impressed.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:52 PM   #3
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Most complex meal or most complex dish?
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:15 AM   #4
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Why not describe both?
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
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For about 10 years, DH and two colleagues taught a graduate-level professional development class to teachers in the district where they work - mostly middle and high school science teachers, but some elementary teachers as well. At the end of the year-long class, they took the teachers to a state park for a three-day capstone trip. The purpose was team-building, presenting their projects to each other and doing a kayak/canoe trip on the James River with some type of science tie-in involving the theme of the year.

I went along to help cook for about 25 teachers. A couple times, we did a Mexican feast. Three types of homemade dip and tortilla chips; homemade pork and vegetarian tamales; grilled chicken with homemade mole sauce; salad with tomatoes, corn, black beans and red onion and a lime vinaigrette; zesty refried beans with salsa, lime juice and cilantro; and two tres leches cakes for dessert.

A few of the teachers provided pitchers of margaritas
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:46 PM   #6
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Most complicated dish we've made-- tiramisu. I think the first double boiler kettle of zabaglione turned into scrambled eggs, 2nd was perfect. Next time we made this, it didn't seem complex at all.

Most successful meal-- larger family thanks giving dinner. We've been doing this for a number of years now. No big whup. Still, there is a bit of satisfaction when it all comes together.

Most recent accomplishment. Omelets. Yes, I finally can make an omelet that just slides out of the pan and folds itself over as it hits the plate. Thank you Julia et al.

Most fun things to make. Krumkake cookies and lefse at Christmas time.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:24 AM   #7
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Yup; you have all impressed me, as I knew you would. T-Da meal was always prepared with me either smoking, or roasting a turkey, with stuffing, with a host of sides. I'd start cooking at 4 in the morning, and the entire meal would be eaten at my sister's house at around 5 p.m. After long hours of cooking, and then eating smashed spuds, rutabaga, big helping of bread dressing/stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce (home made) lots of olives (green and black) Stuffed celery, deviled eggs, and of course, apple, and pumpkin pie (I made the pies). After that meal, I would invariably slip into a food coma and my kids and nephews would draw crazy faces on me while I was out. Though Thanksgiving day dinner was very involved, all of the offerings were easy for me to make. The Peking duck was still my most challenging meal.

Give me more of your best.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:45 PM   #8
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I don't know if this qualifies but, the situation was made complex by my boss not showing up for a catered cookout..

We were grilling for an awards program for 150 high school soft ball players..

The menu was tri tip, chicken and salmon with sides and bread, etc.

The food was prepped, the sides done in-house..

I towed an 8' grill-on-wheels to the site (a local park) and set up to start grilling.. The sides & bread were in containers which I placed on the low heat end of the grill..

No one came to help so I was elbows to you know what, covering the grill with chicken, tri tip and salmon..

Two servers showed up to set up tables, etc., to distribute the food..

I scrambled and somehow got everything finished at the same time.. It wore me out.. ( I was only 59 at the time)

At the end of serving time, when the servers were cleaning up, the boss drove up and told me he just wanted to know if I could handle it all..

I was a bit um.. well, not too happy but, we laughed about it later and he never pulled that on me again..

The complexity was not so much in the meal itself but, in the circumstances..

Ross
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Cooking View Post
I don't know if this qualifies but, the situation was made complex by my boss not showing up for a catered cookout..

We were grilling for an awards program for 150 high school soft ball players..

The menu was tri tip, chicken and salmon with sides and bread, etc.

The food was prepped, the sides done in-house..

I towed an 8' grill-on-wheels to the site (a local park) and set up to start grilling.. The sides & bread were in containers which I placed on the low heat end of the grill..

No one came to help so I was elbows to you know what, covering the grill with chicken, tri tip and salmon..

Two servers showed up to set up tables, etc., to distribute the food..

I scrambled and somehow got everything finished at the same time.. It wore me out.. ( I was only 59 at the time)

At the end of serving time, when the servers were cleaning up, the boss drove up and told me he just wanted to know if I could handle it all..

I was a bit um.. well, not too happy but, we laughed about it later and he never pulled that on me again..

The complexity was not so much in the meal itself but, in the circumstances..

Ross
Great story. And i can relaye./ I had a couple of chici cookoffs where I was supposed to get help, and ended up doing all of the prep, cooking, and serving, without the help of the organization (Boy Scouts) that I was representing. You're definitely tired after such things. and I am glad that the event went well for you.

I was wrong about my m most complicated culinary adventure. It wan't the Peking Duck, it was catering my youngest daughter's desert-themed Wedding Reception. I made all kinds of pastries, pies, cakes. and cookies for three days straight for that one, by myself. That one was a lot of work, and planning.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the NOrth
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:08 PM   #10
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For me, Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family is the most complex because of all the moving parts that have to come together. Planning and timing are complicated by the fact that you have limited resources. The average home, like mine, has only one stove and one oven. You're making a variety of different dishes, some of which you only make once a year. They each seem to require different oven temperatures so you cannot cook two or three things at once.

The first time I did it on my own was nerve-racking. I knew what had to be done but had never done it alone before.

I enjoy dismembering a whole turkey so I can make turkey stock so I can make pilaf and gravy for the "real" turkey. I dislike having to cut a large quantity of bread into cubes so I can toast it for stuffing.

Now, I have the process down pat but I tire more easily so have to plan to accommodate that factor.
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