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AUGUST '08 DISCUSSION: Recipe Deal Breakers
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mandysu



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:05 am    Post subject: Danger!!! Reply with quote

I'm afraid of anything that sizzles too vigorously. This includes deep frying, and the kind of oven roasting that pops and splats loudly in the oven or smokes a little. I'm just fine doing high heat and flames on a grill, but those are designed to hold a fire inside (and don't sit right inside my kitchen!).

Yeah, I've never even set off a smoke alarm with my cooking, but having had a small steak ignite in my broiler once makes me worry (though I just blew it out, and it was deliciously medium-rare, as I recall).
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>Put away fourteen egg yolks for another use." <

Although not a deal breaker, that sort of thing has long been a pet peeve of mine.

It's especially prevalent in French classic cookery, and sources with pretentions. Gourmet magazine used to be notorious for it. Typical: Remove the stems from a pound of button mushrooms and reserve them for another use."

Ok! Anybody who has ever read a recipe that said, "take the stems from a pound of mushrooms and......" stand up now.

Isn't that strange. I don't hear one chair scraping.
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Andrew le Gourmand



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The deal breaker for me is any ingredient that I can't buy without travelling more than 300 km (unless I already have it). Unfortunately, the list of things that seem to be illegal in Canada is astounding ranging from the mundane, creme fraîche & fromage frais, to the understandable, Fleur de Sel de Camargue (I could get it in Montréal but that is an altogether more civilised place than the West or even Toronto). I would kill for any of the above right now, I'd go as far as a flesh wound for Real Bacon but that's another story.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to expand why I don't deep fry - too many calories and such a waste. I'd have to throw out the oil after I used it. Although I do love Tempura and sometimes a bowl of really good fries.

Msue try brushing your fish fillets with warmed apricot jam. It may take the smell away. I know someone who does that to take away the fish taste. He wants to eat fish but isn't keen on the taste.

Clotilde - I grill my eggplants and toss them in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. I only ever use the thin finger type ones.

I love doing the setting fire to the alcohol thing.
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mshmith



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: Aversions Reply with quote

Anything to do with artichokes.
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: DISCUSSION OF THE MONTH Reply with quote

I have to agree with the long list of ingredients - I usually find that I only have about half of the ingredients called for - sometimes, of course, it is easy to find a substitute but other times it is not. Another deal breaker are recipes calling for more pots than I have burners, for example I made a wonderful pork chop recipe last night from 1, 080 Recipes (a great book by the way) that called for two frying pans, considering that I was also using the burner for potatoes and a vegetables and a soup it was a tight fit, thank goodness I have a warming element.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Claudia and KYH on the "separate 12 eggs, use the whites" thing!as I end up wasting the "kept" half!

I adore fries (chips) and will gladly smoke the house out for a good batch of twice fried.....but recently got a near smokeless deep fryer which, when cooled, allows you to drain and strain it in to a lower pan which can be kept in the fridge, thus not wasting anything!

And anything with really finicky timing scares me!
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AmandainOz



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Location: South Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:02 am    Post subject: Recipe deal breakers Reply with quote

I am joining the queue with the anti-deep fryers!
I have never done it much and got rid of the pan when my kids were very small. Now I don't deep fry because I worry about disposing of that much oil - it all seems too difficult.
Anything calling for a candy thermometer will make me turn the page, as will requests for obscure ingredients that will moulder away in a corner of the pantry for years after a single use.
I also don't do huge amounts of pushing through sieves - if it can't go into a machine then I lose interest pretty quickly!
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drmaxny



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 2
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:08 am    Post subject: One thing I'll never need Reply with quote

I'll try almost anything. I will even occasionally do a Thomas Keller recipe.
One of our best friends edits cookbooks for a living. He was editing a cookbook for an international high-end hotel chain. It was one of those books that was loaded with gorgeous color pictures. He drew the line on one of the recipes when it called for 2 cups of octopus stock. "No one, and I mean no one, is going to make octopus stock," he said. Some of these recipes need a good editor or someone with a little common sense.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara, thanks for the apricot jam suggestion. However, I don't object to the smell of fish while eating. I order it in all forms when dining at restaurants, including sushi. (In fact, I'm in a little bit of a sushi crave at the moment!)

My objection is that the fish odors linger for days in my house. The vent above our stove appears to be original with the kitchen, and the house was built in 1924. It makes plenty of noise but does a terrible job of moving much air.

On occasion we'll bake fish wrapped in foil, but stove-top preparations are saved for the cooler months when the attic fan will whoosh any lingering odor into the stratosphere without sucking in "105 F in the shade" fresh air.
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eileen



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 67
Location: antwerp, belgium

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with a lot of what has been written...but for me, the REAL deal breaker is when a recipe specifies pre-fabricated mixes, i.e. 'take 1 package of cake mix, and add . . . . '
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

drmaxny, The great thing about Thomas Keller is that his recipes are well written and streamlined, not bogged down in minutiae.
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FoodChick



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree completely that overwritten, complicated recipes with obscure ingredients never get past the recipe review process with me. I have no problem working with a technique (like making choux paste for cream puffs or cheese puffs) but when I see a recipe that has several sub-recipes embedded into the instructions, I pass it by.

And, I have a suggestion for Clothilde's problem with sugar thermometers. I hate those that are inside a glass tube and have a tendency to be horribly innacurate. I have an electronic timer with a temperature probe for roasting meat. I sink the temperature probe into the hot candy mixture and use a butterfly clip to attach the probe to the pan. Then, I set the target temperature according to the recipe and then let the candy cook. When it reaches the temperature set on the timer, the beeper goes off.

I tried this when I was making a batch of hazlenut crunch and it was perfect! I can now say that I'm no longer syrup-challenged!
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also not a fan of deep frying for the simple reason that I have done it a few times and invariably end up burning either my fingers or my mouth. I also don't really like chips (fries) or other deep fried foods very much so I'm not tempted.

I had a glass sugar thermometer up until a few weeks ago when I was making caramel. It exploded into a thousand pieces all through my caramel. I know why, it was because I didn't put it in at the beginning, however it has kind of put me off using one again (although I'd have to buy another one first).

My real deal breaker is the bain-marie method. I can never do this because a) I don't have a big enough oven and b) I don't have enough dishes that fit inside each other nicely.
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maria_568



Joined: 04 Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To cook, or not to ....

For me, my deal breaker is yeast. I know, I know, imposing such a severe handicap wipes out one of man's greatest culinary gifts, bread. Nonetheless, I hold strong to my self-imposed handicap as my attempts to bake a loaf of bread has been met with less than spectacular results. My results have brought forth bricks, hockey pucks, door stops, and a host of other building materials. None edible. (sigh)
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