i share the apparently widespread fear of deep-frying! and eggplant never seems to work out for me either, but im still trying as for extremely long recipes, unless it looks entirely worthwhile; i skip those. i also rarely cook things that are too spicy...
I will fry in up to one inch of oil. Two South American recipes that I make for parties, and that are DEFINITELY worth the trouble and mess are friend plantains (cut about 3/4 inch thick, friend until yellow and then squashed and fried until crispy) and fried yuca (boiled for 1 meal and then the leftovers are cut into slices and fried in an inch of oil.) These are both MUCH better than any fried food I have eaten in a restaurant. I will not, however, fry anything in more than one inch of oil. It is much too scary! Also I don't like most deep fried foods, with a few exceptions. I even hate doughnuts, which must make me a traitor to my country, or at least the nemesis of all police, everywhere. (Sorry if there are any police on the forum. I am just joking-- perhaps not tastefully enough!)
I have two deal breakers. One is fake foods like Kool Whip, cake or bread mixes or instant anything. The other has to do with the cute and the recognizable factor. I am an extreme animal lover I am not quite vegetarian, but I like to pretend that what I am eating is not the remains of a dead animal! Actually, I make beef tongue for relatives who like it, and I have been told that I prepare it well, but once I have cut off the taste buds I cannot eat it. I used to love ox tail but am having more and more trouble with it. I also have trouble with duck (too rich anyway) and rabbit. Suckling pig is out-- either to cook or to eat. Strangely, though, I can both cook and eat bison, while my husband who is much more carnivorous than me cannot. He has seen too many buffalos on nature programs on TV and says they are so beautiful he cannot eat them. Go figure!
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