Friday, June 27, 2008

Recipe Deal Breakers

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I'm back in the hospital this week, but I've got my camera, so I plan on posting some reviews of the lovely hospital food at St. Elizabeth's. In the meantime, my friend Sara sent me this article from the New York Times that got me thinking. There are certain recipes that I've always dreamed of making, but just can't. My worst experience was with Alton Brown's Buttercream. I imagined making cupcakes with big frothy tops of pastel colored buttercream. I swear I followed that recipe exactly three times and wasted what seemed like hundreds of dollars in butter. I finally had to admit to myself that I can't make anything that involves heating up sugar syrups to a certain color/temperature. It's a recipe deal breaker.

What are your recipe deal breakers?


Beerorkid said...

The perfect temp sugar gets me as well. I have tried caramels many times. I get lucky with toffee sometimes, but fail most times.

Our kitchenaid mixer is the smaller less powerful one and it cannot whip up divinity :(

I avoided onions for 32 years and now use them often. It was a deal breaker for sure.

Sarah said...

I can't cook without onions. NO onions would be a deal breaker for me!

Pirate Raven said...

Holy Crap Batman... beerorkid is on here too? This town gets smaller every day.

Recipe dealbreaker: Meat. Ha. No, usually unless it's the focus (Baked Ham) I can substitute it (veggie broth for chicken, etc).

I once made a croquembouche (tower of creampuffs, all homemade... OMFG) and it was supposed to be held together with this carmelized sugar angel hair... well, let's just say we had a lot of tasty glazed creampuffs to eat. I cannot make the sugar do magical things either... I have one friend who can. Professional cake decorator. Go fig.

I'm with Sarah... I think every recipe I make, save dessert, starts with garlic and/or onions.

julee said...

I've been able to cook sugars well...crack, hard crack, all sorts of stages for peanut brittle, violet crumble, taffy, etc, but I HATE cleaning up after it.

So, for me cleaning is the deal breaker. If it is too hard to clean, I won't make it. Silicone pads and pans have helped this deal breaker! The last brittle I made it took a while to clean the pot and stirrer, but the cooling pan was a snap!

We made chicken stock one time too. What it saved in chicken bones and stock created a large dirty mess of soggy tasteless veggies to clean up and throw out. I don't like cleaning up that or animal fat grease either.

Swoof said...

Lately my deal breaker has been any recipe requiring more than one dish. After reading Michael Ruhlman's The Soul of a Chef this week I'm going to try my hand at making a Galantine of Chicken next weekend. Galantines and terrines might become a deal breaker for me after that.

Gene said...

I'm with Julee on the chicken stock. I've thought about making it, but holy shit does it seem like a lot of work.