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Sep 20, 2006 05:17 AM

Foods most commonly prepared badly... that are great when made well. (Who knew? What's the key?)

I'll start. Chicken.

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  1. Macaroni & Cheese.

    It never ceases to amaze me how such a simple and delicious dish can be destroyed because people don't fully drain the macaroni or use processed cheese food for their sauce.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Seth Chadwick

      I had gouda mac & cheese at this lakeside restaurant in NC, it was delightful!

      1. re: Seth Chadwick

        agreed, some places try to put their unique spin on it (e.g. lobster m&c) and doink it, but the worst is when the simple classic is doinked...though even i cant seem to get mine right all the time. country crock side dishes has a version i tried that is very good, and comes refrigerated in the meat section, not frozen/dried (and only 5min to make). you can always add your own lobster

        1. re: Seth Chadwick

          Along those same lines.... Nachos. Now, not exactly imperial cuisine the original recipe of decent cheese fondue + crisp & well herbed pickled jalapenos, carrots & onions over recently fried chips can be a pretty good eat (for a snack).

          Yet so many mindlessly use processed cheese plus add a bizarre smattering of incongrous ingredients... destroying the otherwise respectable teenage snack.

          1. re: byrd

            Completely agree. A good meatloaf is a thing of beauty. A bad one reminds me of either shoeleather or modeling clay.

              1. re: TexasToast

                TT - Could you remind us what Texas Toast is please?

                1. re: Jonathan Saw

                  It should look like the bread used here


                  but frequently looks like this


                  Hence, it's place on this thread.


                  1. re: TexasToast

                    "Grilled Cheese Contest" - Hm, this feels like something mandatory I should go to. Hehee..

                    1. re: TexasToast

                      That product has always amazed me. It offers no convenience whatsoever - just partially-hydrogenated fats where a normal person would put butter.

                2. Ooh, I have another one:

                  Black Forest Gateaux


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: TexasToast

                    That very name is so wrong... a french cake name for a German specialty. It's schwarzwalder kirschkuchen. I'm not questioning your usage, I've seen that term in a lot of psuedo-recipe books - certainly does not inspire a desire to actually try that recipe.

                    I lived in the schwarzwald for 3 years - my landlords were bakers - I lived on the 3rd floor of the bakery. I could have a slice anytime I wanted. It's very different there than it is here - not as sweet, and soaked in kirschwasser (very alcoholic). It's really like anything else - there are lots of versions and histories - I'm not sure that it would be something I would say is particularly mis-made.

                    1. re: applehome

                      Well, that's what I was talking about. I LIKE it very alcoholic with rich, dark chocolate.

                      I mean, the stuff you get at Safeway, or Albertson's doesn't even come close!


                      1. re: TexasToast

                        I can tell that you are a true hound, why would even try these at Albertson's or Safeway?

                      2. re: applehome

                        I have not heard it referred to as kirschkuchen. I thought it was kirschtorte. Maybe it's a regional thing--but I've never been to Germany, so what do I know.

                        1. re: Fozzie_Bear

                          I actually ordered it as that in Bavaria so someone uses the phrase there, but it was definitely Schwartzwalder and not a gateaux.