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Easier than they'd have you believe

Piggybacking off of the thread about home cooking triumphs, what dishes have you made that you expected to be really difficult that ended up being a breeze? Souffles were one that were mentioned as not deserving their hard-to-make reputation. Myself, I've never made a soggy quiche, and I don't do much to safeguard against it.

Any others? It's good inspiration to try something that's always intimidated me!

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  1. Making mayonnaise by hand. Some recipes would make you think it's nearly impossible to do without it splitting, but it's not. It's so easy. And if you want to use a processor, go ahead, but using a whisk is only fractionally more difficult, and plus it's less to clean and the mayo will have a smoother texture.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kagey

      I couldn't believe how easy it is to make mayonnaise using a stick blender and a mason jar. I would call it fool proof.

      1. re: Antilope

        It took me 6 months to work up the courage to make pasta at home and, while it was a bit time consuming, the actual process was much more simple than I expected. This was a little messy, however.

        1. re: notgreg

          Now this is inspiring, mess I can deal with. I want to make divine pasta and am scared to death. I do have my pasta machine out, and its staring at me.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            Chef Chicklet...

            My 15 y/o son, The Lima Bean makes his own pasta.It is BEYOND easy.

            Don't be scared, we're all here holding your hand. ;)

            LAst weeks batch was linguini flavoured with roasted capsicum.

    2. I have to go with the souffle. I got a recipe for carrot souffle from my MIL. Lucky for me I didn't know that souffles were hard to make, so I wasn't intimidated. When my friend asked what I was making and I told her (it was in the oven) she was so impressed. Then she told me how hard it is to get it to come out the right way, and I got nervous, but when I got it out of the oven it was perfect!

      1 Reply
      1. re: danhole

        I was scared to distraction by souffles. But, they really are not hard to make. I consider it one of the great milestones of my life.

      2. For years I excluded Risotto from my recipe vernacular. When I did finally rummage the courage, I was really surprised to find that is relatively easy to make. Now it's just about as easy as any other rice dish...except for the stirring. If I were to belive some chefs I've heard on various food programs there are those who do not stir, but I still do.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Here is a microwave recipe for risotto that I use all the time. It requires very little stirring:

          Microwave Risotto

          5 cups chicken broth
          3/4 cup sherry
          1/4 tsp ground white pepper
          salt to taste
          5 threads of saffron

          3 Tbsp butter
          3 Tbsp olive oil
          3/4 cup onion, finely diced
          1-1/2 cups medium grain rice, uncooked (I use calrose)

          -Bring chicken broth, sherry, pepper, salt and saffron to a simmer in a saucepan, on the stovetop and keep warm until needed.

          -Add butter and olive oil to a round, covered 2-1/2-qt microwave-able dish.

          -Microwave butter and olive oil in covered dish for 2 minutes.

          -Add diced onion to butter and olive oil, stir well. Microwave covered for 4 minutes.

          -Add rice to onion-butter-oil mixture. Stir well to coat rice with oil. Microwave covered for 4 minutes.

          -Add simmering chicken broth to rice mixture, stir well. Microwave covered for 7 minutes.

          -Stir well (5 or 10-seconds). Microwave covered for an additional 7 minutes.

          Stir well again (5 or 10-seconds). Microwave covered for a final 7 minutes.

          Stir until any remaining liquid is absorbed and serve.

          Recipe for 1500-watt microwave.

          1. re: Antilope

            Interesting, Antilope! Thank you. I'll surely have to try your method.

          2. re: Gio

            There is a wonderful way to stir without using your hands or arms. It's a marvelous little device called a "StirChef." Around twenty bucks as I recall. It is a cylendrical shaped device with three "arms" that hold onto the side of the pan to keep it stable, then a rod that inserts through the center gear that turns the paddles that stir whatever it is you're making.

            I love risottos and puddings and other things that require constant stirring but I've developed some very unwelcome arthritis in my hands. This incredible device means I don't have to hire a sous chef to keep on cooking! Comes with two paddles that adapt to a wide range of pan sizes. Try it, you'll like it!

          3. Souffle, chocolate mousse and scrambled eggs - all incredibly easy.

            2 Replies
            1. re: LulusMom

              Who told you making scrambled eggs is difficult?

              1. re: saraeanderson

                scrambled eggs are very easy to screw up. too much heat, too long on heat, etc.

            2. I have a few components of food that I find to be no big deal that others fear.

              Roux.
              Pie Crust.
              and slightly harder, hollandaise.

              DT

              2 Replies
                1. re: Davwud

                  I found a t-shirt on the web..

                  "Hollandaise can smell fear"

                  That about sums it up for me.