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Most complicated and impossible recipe you know

I am just the most horrible person in the world. I just got one of those stupid chain email things where you have to send a recipe to the first person on the list and put your name on the bottom and send it out to a million people you know. The recipe is supposed to be so easy that you can just write it down without looking it up.

They don't know me.

What is your most impossible recipe? I want something so complicated, containing so many obscure and unattainable ingredients that no one could possibly understand it, never mind make it. If they're going to send me dumb email chain letters, they are going to get what they deserve.

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  1. Look for Bocuse's recipe for Poularde de Bresse truffee en vessie Joannes Nandron (Chicken with truffles in a bladder Joannes Nandron). A famous dish, fairly complex, plus fun with the pork bladder.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Wish you were still around to explain this, Sam. Does anyone else know what a bladder might be? And how one could procure such a thing? I suspect this is an item only available in the more remote spots that Sam traveled.

      1. re: pikawicca

        A bladder is a bladder, from a pig. Seriously.

        1. re: pikawicca

          a good butcher shop might be able to get you one, those guys usually have so many connections where they could get you pretty much anything...Of course that's if you can find a good butcher shop, there don't seem to be too many around anymore...

          1. re: pikawicca

            Does Sam no longer post here? I really enjoy reading his insights.

              1. re: sommrluv

                I'm sorry to inform you that Sam passed away last year. We all miss his insights.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Thank you both for answering me. I'm not always a full time chow user and sadly, missed the thread. He had many fans and it sounds as if he is very missed, and was a wonderful man besides.

          2. LOL! How about that Julia Child thing, Pate de canard en croute, that was featured in "Julie & Julia"? You know, the one that starts off with deboning a five-pound duck? Or there's always Beef Wellington.... Have fun!

            2 Replies
            1. re: visciole

              Actually, beef wellington is a cinch.

            2. I make this about once a year. The ingredients aren't difficult to come by but the process will have you hitting on the wine bottle in the cupboard -


              I saw a recipe for making yogurt in a goat stomach someplace but I can't find it at the moment.

              1. Whatever it is should involve a pastry crust, a live lobster, truffles, foie gras, and a classical sauce that looks simple until you realize that it requires three kinds of stock. Extra points for stuffing at least one whole animal into another whole animal, procedures requiring a larding needle, and aspic or chaud-froid.

                4 Replies
                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                  I'm a huge fan of this response.

                  Of course, there's also something to be said for recipes that just flat-out don't work-- you know, cookies with no leavening, dip with five times too much liquid, homemade pasta made of course-ground cornmeal. . .

                  1. re: jvanderh

                    I am a huge fan of your little bit of evil. Tis the season!

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      I just got another one of those freaking email chain letters the other day. DO THESE PEOPLE NOT KNOW WHO THEY ARE DEALING WITH?

                      I sent her the bear paw recipe (see below) - the two recipients don't likely know each other. But you know, in referring back to this thread - which I had forgotten - I would have loved to send the Ferran Adria one. Oh well, next time. And you KNOW there will be a next time.

                  2. re: David A. Goldfarb

                    I love the "Extra points for stuffing at least one whole animal into another whole animal, procedures requiring a larding needle" part. Reminds me of Turducken! Something I would never make, as no one in my house would eat it.

                  3. If I were diabolically devious, I'd actually recommend something that LOOKS simple, but is extremely tough to pull off in reality.

                    I nominate Tony Bourdain's oeufs Perigourdins -- a dish I've never seen anywhere else. Seems easy enough -- basically stuffed eggs, dipped in beaten egg white and fried crispy. When they're good, they're awesome, but they're VERY easy to screw up. Bonus points: They call for chopped truffles AND two cups of duck fat, so they ain't cheap.

                    1. I'd be tempted to go the opposite direction and post the Sandra Lee's kwanzaa cake.

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: chowser

                        I agree, might be fun to go yucky. Most anything from Sandra, Paula, or Rachael. Blech.

                        (I said 'most' not 'all' don't tase me ;)

                        1. re: chowser

                          Oh sweet Jeebus, chowser, I almost spit my drink all over my screen. HIDEOUS. That cake is one of the most shocking things I've ever seen, not even limiting the category to "bad food." LMAO!

                          1. re: LauraGrace

                            Now I'm going to have to go look it up. It sounded fairly innocuous.

                            1. re: Nyleve

                              All I'm going to say is that it involves instructions to "open a package of Corn Nuts."

                              1. re: LauraGrace

                                I didn't believe it was true but saw it on youtube with my own eyes. Thanks for the laugh!

                          2. re: chowser

                            OMG! My eyeballs are burning! The goggles, they do nothing!

                            That recipe is truly mind boggling or "the Kwanzaa Cake is clearly a pile of ridiculousness slathered in despair and sprinkled with nonsense nuggets" AV Club

                            1. re: chowser

                              Thanks. I was in tears watching the video of her making this cake -- in 3 minutes! She says to sprinkle acorns all over the cake, but she sprinkles corn nuts all over it.

                              1. re: sushigirlie

                                I'd never heard of this lady but I am really enjoying watching her videos. I'm in tears at work. Here's another good one:


                                1. re: sushigirlie

                                  Oh goody! Now I know what to do with the top of my butter dish! Problem solved!

                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                    It's funny that she made an entire stick of butter for one baked potato. Why not just make the chunk? What does she use the rest of the butter for? More baked potatoes, I would have to assume. Indeed, what better use for icing is there than to put big chunks of it on top of ice cream? With some whipped cream, of course.

                                  2. re: sushigirlie

                                    What is it with her and her elongated L's? Lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllemon frosting.

                                    1. re: sushigirlie

                                      She is (or was, I don't exactly follow her) dating Andrew Cuomo. Thinking of setting her loose in the governor's mansion conjures up some truly amusing images.

                                      1. re: Mestralle

                                        she is definately still "first girlfriend"

                                    2. re: chowser

                                      No. Oh no. I turned away at "pie filling." When I looked back at the screen she was jamming the full-size candles into it.

                                    3. David A. Goldfarb probably has the right idea for a recipe of pure complexity. Having to make three kinds of stock before you even start on the recipe is discouraging enough!

                                      However, from personal experience, I would nominate making Peking Duck, which requires that you separate the skin of a duck from the flesh, while leaving it on the duck, paint it repeatedly with a sugar, soy, salt, ginger (and probably more ingredients, which I cannot remember) combination, suspend it from your kitchen cabinet handle (or whatever) on a string, and aim a fan at the skin to dry it out. Then you have to roast it at several different temperature levels, while making ultra-thin Chinese crepes (much thinner than the French kind). Having completed that, you need to prepare plum sauce to go with it.

                                      I first made that recipe when I was about fourteen. My Dad came home from work to find fans blowing on four ducks suspended from kitchen cabinet handles. He burst into laughter!

                                        1. re: celeryroot

                                          Thanks for the link. I'm still laughing 15 minutes later.

                                          Here is my entry:

                                          1. re: pitterpatter

                                            That recipe is cruel in so many ways!

                                            1. re: Joebob

                                              Yes, Joebob, I agree that it in cruel in many ways. It was meant to be funny, and I apologize if it fell short. Perhaps I should have posted a recipe for "snake and cat soup."

                                              1. re: pitterpatter

                                                I'm sure Joebob meant that it was cruel in so many excellent ways! And for what it's worth, I very much doubt that the recipient of the recipe has access to bear paws. Well, not fresh ones, anyway.

                                            2. re: pitterpatter

                                              no good recipe is complete without a cherry on top!

                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                The cherry on top makes me wonder if it's real!

                                                1. re: pitterpatter

                                                  That is great. It would not be complete without the lone cherry tomatoe. I like how they listed delicious soup as an ingredient.

                                                2. re: celeryroot

                                                  Is that a recipe, or a science experiment?

                                                3. I think the recipe should start out with "buy this: http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant... "

                                                  They use them a lot at places that do molecular gastronomy. Sorry, I can't think of the rest of the recipe without looking it up :)

                                                  1. I just want to say I LOVE this thread!!!

                                                    1. I just thought of one that's really good, but incredibly time-consuming: Emeril's Manly Man Lasagna. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                                                      Incredible lasagna, but a two-day affair - no hard-to-find ingredients, though. Have fun with this!

                                                        1. re: susan1353

                                                          Turducken is actually not very difficult to make - just time consuming. Having said that I don't think I would make it again - it turned out well but I just do not think it is particularly worth it. :)

                                                        2. I know, I know! How about Pit-roasted whole pig? It starts with digging a 6-foot barbecue pit in your backyard....

                                                          2 Replies
                                                            1. re: visciole

                                                              LOL! It's a workout, a landscaping project, and a luau, all at once!

                                                            2. How about a nice complicated mole negro? Lots of ingredients with toasting, grinding, pureeing, sauteeing, simmering. Last time I made it, I took me two days...

                                                              The bonus is that if someone actually does make it, they'll love it (and appreciate all the hard work that goes into a true Mexican mole).

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                Second the Mole Negro. My head just spins reading the recipe...and it apparently took Rick Bayless ten years to perfect it.

                                                              2. If you have Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cooking, there is a recipe for an incredibly complicated Hunan banquet dish that involves emptying out eggs and a million other steps in it. A scary recipe.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  That TDQ made, I'm still boggled at that thought.

                                                                2. Pick up a copy of the Alinea cookbook. About 2/3 of the recipes in there would qualify for your request. Not impossible, but uses a lot of unfamiliar technique, uncommon tools and ingredients that can only be purchased online. Good fun.

                                                                  1. Buddha Jump Over the Fence Soup.

                                                                    Start with a fin from an endangered shark...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: jecolicious

                                                                      Yummmm! Those endangered sharks are the BEST!

                                                                    2. Oh you people are the best. I will be using 3 of the recipes - sent from me and two of my fictional email addresses. Thank you thank you. The winners, so far, are the Round Mango with Caramelized Ravioli, the Steamed and Braised Bear Paw with Pigeon Eggs and the Calf Fries in Wine Sauce.

                                                                      I sent my husband the link to that puree machine so that he can buy me one for my birthday.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                                                        OK - end the suspense. Which ones are you using? I have to live evil vicariously and I need to let out a witch cackle right about now.

                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                          I did send all three (see above) using 3 different pseudonyms and gmail addresses. That was the FIRST time. The more recent time (see my earlier post today) I just sent the bear paw one. I had forgotten how great that Ferran Adria recipe was. Actually, I was at my son's house when I received the second Recipe-Sharing-Chain-Letter-Email and we were all so hysterical when I sent the reply that I could barely see to type.

                                                                      2. I remember thinking that Saveur magazine's recipe for homemade steak sauce sounded way too involved when you could just buy a bottle of A1 (but maybe that's just me).


                                                                        And the "Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery" has instructions for making hominy, a laborious, all-day process that involves soaking corn in lye. It even gives instructions for making your own lye.

                                                                        1. I'm dying to try out - but am scared to death of - mole.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                                                            How did that turn out? Can you recommend a good recipe? I was thinking of making roasted pork mole enchiladas, any suggestions??

                                                                          2. If one of your personas wishes to appear super rich, some of the Larousse Gastronomique (however that's spelled) recipes under Truffles call for a pound of truffles.
                                                                            You could fake the dish with a picture that used peat moss for pureed dark truffles.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: shallots

                                                                              I second this! I was looking up foie gras recipes in there one time and saw the dish that required a pound of truffles, and was like, wtf?

                                                                              1. re: amitys

                                                                                Yeah - that dish would be elevated to a $1,000+ dish...delicious, no doubt.

                                                                            2. Homemade Croissants stuffed with homemade lobster sausages with a Garlic Aioli with mayo from scratch

                                                                              Lutefisk. 'nuff said.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                OH! Lutefisk! How could I have forgotten? Oh well, too late now - and I suspect they'll never invite me to participate in that little game again...

                                                                                1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                  Isn't that the point? I was going to suggest recipes from The French Laundry cookbook, but people here are much more devious than I.

                                                                                  1. re: cocktailhour

                                                                                    gosh me too, I'm sitting here in awe.
                                                                                    Now I want to make steak sauce...

                                                                              2. This really is a fun thread!

                                                                                I agree with the recs from "Alinea". I would like to add Heston Blumenthal's "The Fat Duck" recipes that are lovely and long and use some ingredients available only to scientists. BTW, the book is EXCELLENT - the most beautiful book I own. That is another topic...

                                                                                Or Escoffier's classical recipes that require fairly uncommon ingredients such as cock's combs.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                                  An example of Blumenthal's recipe for one course "Jelly of Quail, Langoustine Cream, Parfait of Foie Gras with Truffle and Oak Toast and Scented Moss" includes the following components:

                                                                                  - chicken bouillon
                                                                                  - quail jelly
                                                                                  - langoustine cream
                                                                                  - foie gras parfait
                                                                                  - fig tuiles
                                                                                  - truffle and oak butter
                                                                                  - oak film base

                                                                                  Oak Film Base

                                                                                  1.25 g oak extract
                                                                                  1.30 g oak moss extract
                                                                                  3.75 g glycerine
                                                                                  225 g deionised water
                                                                                  7.95 g maltodextrin DE8
                                                                                  8.58 g TIC gums alginate 488T
                                                                                  3.18 g FMC biopolymer viscarin TP389
                                                                                  0.12 g aspartame

                                                                                  The lengthy Eel "Nichi" course is comprised of the following recipes:

                                                                                  braised kombu
                                                                                  olive skin base
                                                                                  silver skin base
                                                                                  white "paint"
                                                                                  eel "skin"
                                                                                  eel rolls
                                                                                  black olive puree
                                                                                  Japanese leek fluid gel
                                                                                  dried olives
                                                                                  myogra, udo and leek julienne
                                                                                  fried shirasu
                                                                                  mushroom puree
                                                                                  mushroom sheets
                                                                                  5-minute melting gel
                                                                                  lapsang souchong infusion
                                                                                  oak moss infusion
                                                                                  Douglas fir infusion

                                                                                  A wee bit complicated!

                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                    You know, I was actually rummaging through my fridge today and was thinking "What the heck am I going to do with all this leftover FMC biopolymer viscarin TP389?" Thank you for the help! Chowhound is so great.

                                                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                                                      Aw rats! I had everything but the Douglas fir infusion! Dang!

                                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                                        First silver skin base? I wonder why the silver skin?

                                                                                        I am tempted by this recipe (as it sounds so luscious) but the deal breaker is that infernal lapsang souchong. Just opening the tin brings on the vomit.

                                                                                        1. re: chefathome

                                                                                          Is this a contest? Chefathome wins, hands down.

                                                                                          1. re: chefathome

                                                                                            The real problem with this recipe, chefathome, if you don't mind my criticism, is that you've omitted the method. So when one combines the oak moss extract with the TIC gums alginate 488T, does one stir gently or put it in the cuisinart and let 'er rip? Very confusing. Please clarify. My 5-minute melting gel is getting close to its best before minute.

                                                                                        2. I can't remember where I saw a lasagna recipe (Nick Stellino?) that looks simple -- only about six ingredients. Then you find that one of the ingredients is the meat sauce (see Page 227.) There you find that one of the meat sauce ingredients is tomato sauce (see Page 231.) When you arrive there, one of the tomato sauce recipes is home-made beef stock (see page 255.) Eventually you make your back to the initial page, only to discover that among of the six original ingredients is a white sauce (see Page 183.) You don't eventually drill down to instructions for threshing your own wheat for the noodles, but pretty close.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mandycat

                                                                                            I am embarrassed to admit that it's a bit how my recipes sometimes are. "Start with _____, which is made of homemade ____ and ____, with some homemade_____.... Oh, you don't have _____? Never mind..." :-/


                                                                                            1. re: mandycat

                                                                                              This is precisely how one gets to the classical sauce that involves three kinds of stock. You don't realize it at first, since the recipe is only four lines, but then it turns out that all the cross-referenced components might involve days of preparation. Since it's not unusual for me to have five kinds of stock in the freezer, I sometimes make these sorts of sauces, just for the sake of seeing what these lost and forgotten flavors were like, and you can see how restaurants must have had several stockpots going all the time with stocks and then mother sauces, and before Escoffier there were essences, and they combined them in different ways to create different sauces.

                                                                                            2. Here's one I've heard about but never seen, much less made. It has the advantage of being a classical fancy show-offy French creation. Might be part of the repertoire of upscale caterers, but I doubt that regular civilians would make this.

                                                                                              Coulibiac de saumon en croute


                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                I've actually made a Coulibiac of Salmon. There was a recipe in the Times many years ago and a friend of mine and I were cohosting a dinner party and said, "What the hell! Why not?" With two of us, each in charge of different parts of the dish, it turned out to be a lot of fun. And it sure made one helluvan impression. Tasted good, too.

                                                                                                It wasn't anywhere near as arduous as a recipe for Lamb Chops Villeroi published in the Times in the early 70s. You start with 5 pounds of veal bones and a whole chicken and three days later you end up with about two cups of sauce. You roast a couple of racks of lamb to very rare, cut the racks apart, dip each chop in the three-day sauce, coat with bread crumbs and gruyere, dip in an egg wash, then coat in another layer of the bread crumbs and gruyere and finally brown the chops in butter. After all that, you couldn't even taste the damned sauce. You might as well have just been eating fried lamb chops. It was so much effort for so little return, my friend and I are still laughing about it nearly 40 years later.

                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                  Me, too. The recipe looks longer and more complicated than it really is! It doesn't contain any uncommon ingredients - it is just time consuming. As Joan said, it is great fun. Maybe we should all make Coulibiac de saumon en croute for Valentine's Day and report back! ;-) Just kidding...

                                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                    I had a coulibiac of salmon at a restaurant on the place des Vosges in Paris called Ma Bourgogne a couple of years ago. It was truly awful. This old bistro is supposed to be pretty decent, so maybe it is not so easy to do well.

                                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                    I remember that Couliabiac! For the throngs of you guys who want to make it, it's in Craig Claiborne's International Cookbook.

                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                      Seems to me I've seen pictures of renditions where the croute is fashioned into a fish shape, including little scallops of dough forming scales. Heck, why not?

                                                                                                  3. OMG, you guys. This awful weather has me in knots today and I REALLY needed the laughs provided by this thread. Nyleve, you are my hero forever!

                                                                                                    Incidentally, I, too have been wondering what on EARTH I'm going to do with the 5 grams of FMC biopolymer viscarin TP389 I have in my amateur rocketry set, I mean *the back of my pantry*. Whew! Now if anybody has a recipe that calls for the OTHER 1.82 grams of the stuff, I'm set!

                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                                      Laura, me too! I'll have to look up more Blumenthal recipes for ideas on how to use my whopping10g of TP389. But I am really stuck on my 3g of 488T! Sigh...

                                                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                        I know. Isn't it just awful when you can't find recipes that use your favorite ingredients?

                                                                                                        1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                                          It really is, especially when you have more than one ingredient to use up. Oh, darn it. I forgot to buy my deionised water this week...

                                                                                                          1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                            Oh for heavens sake - just MAKE some. What - do people need EVERYTHING pre-prepared these days? Gosh, I remember when we had to make our own leek fluid gel from scratch, starting from seed. Now THAT was complicated. And it took a long time. But by golly, we did it.

                                                                                                            1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                              What was I thinking? I'll MAKE my own oak film base and eel "skin". The things I do for people...

                                                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                I'm duly ashamed of myself, chef. Nyleve is right. Where has my creative spark gone? My pioneer ancestors would, I'm sure, blush at the thought of buying sodium alginate and isomalt for THEIR mango spheres.

                                                                                                                I need a drink. Maybe this one? http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/FAdria...

                                                                                                                Now I just have to cut cellophane into ten three-inch squares, find a freezer calibrated to precisely -4 degrees Celsius, and locate exactly three ounces of tarragon leaves, and then? COCKTAIL TIME!!!

                                                                                                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                                                  I once saw a recipe in a Martha Stewart satire book - Making Water From Scratch. It seems to me it involved hydrogen and oxygen, both quite easy to find around the house. This should make all of us feel quite empowered and independent for when a drought hits.

                                                                                                                2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                  Making a Turducken from the Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook was most challenging and deboning the chicken, duck and turkey was insane, but the finished product was amazing and we now have it every holiday.

                                                                                                                3. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                  This is the best thread in a long time!

                                                                                                                  My recipe is from Paula Wolfert (adapted from a recipe by Michel Bras)...Frozen Lemon Parfait in a Bitters Mousse with Black Currant Sauce. It's 2 mousses, one inside the other and involves lots of beaten egg whites folded into mousses (cooked, of course. before being frozen). You need to have on hand, of course, 1 5-cup foil mold, a large bread mold, and fresh black currants. I wonder what Angostura bitters taste like in a mousse. Amazing- spellcheck knows Angostura

                                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                    I tried to make this at my first job fresh out of culinary school. Huge disaster.
                                                                                                                    I still wonder what it would taste like.

                                                                                                        2. Just to report so far, I have not received a single response to my carefully chosen recipes that I sent to the unknown person at the top of the chain letter list. You know, some people - such a lack of gratitude after all the trouble I've gone to.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                            Be patient, they're still cooking!

                                                                                                          2. HAGGIS !!!!! Not that Haggis is something people would want to cook... leastways not most people. A Traditional, "Authentic" Haggis has the Paunch of a sheep. The Offal. Heart, Liver, and Lights {lungs}. It is then stuffed in a Sheeps stomach. A haggis in a Sheeps stomach is called a "presentation Haggis" , it for visual effect only, and looks quite lovely. Presentation Haggis is preferred at Formal Burns Suppers....and must also be Piped in and Addressed. http://www.youtube.com/user/jeanieatl... I am the one with the mustache.

                                                                                                            Try finding a Butcher, or anyone for that matter in the USA who will sell you a Sheeps Stomach, Heart, Liver and Lungs. The Beef Suet isnt easy to find either.

                                                                                                            Spotted Dick... or Clootey Dumpling. Try finding rendered suet, its not as easy to find as Lard. IF you do find suet, you have to render it.

                                                                                                            Dinosaur Bones, Fred Flinstones.. and otherwise Un-Sawed-Off Beef Short Ribs. You wont find them in the front display. Many Grocery chains dont do in store cutting. You have to explain to the Meat Dept. Clerks what yo want {which is harder than it should be}, preferably know the secret handshake.... Then you buy the full cryopack of 4 racks. Then the Meat clerk takes another 5 minutes determining what to charge you. {hopefully $1 per lb less than sawed off shortribs}.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Rojellio

                                                                                                              A quote I ran across recently, defining a gentleman: "A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes. But doesn't."

                                                                                                              1. re: Rojellio

                                                                                                                I'm sorry Rojellio, but no one in your video looked very happy to see the haggis.

                                                                                                                1. re: ms.sarah

                                                                                                                  In the US, Haggis is treated as a necessary evil. Which is why I dont put the time into making it myself. Its kinda depressing to put all that effort into it, and see people taking wimpy wee samples. I get 5 cans from Caledonian Kitchen, stuff it in the sausage casing and warm it up.

                                                                                                              2. Probably any recipe from this site would do.

                                                                                                                or any recipe that uses a duck press.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, send 'em a link to the recipe for Spam shake!

                                                                                                                2. Anything with tempered chocolate or pulled sugar.

                                                                                                                  Forget it...you're done.

                                                                                                                  Not only to you need the equipment to keep chocolate at the right temp or the sugar hot; you need the technical knowhow and the fine motor skills to do it right.

                                                                                                                  And if you're pulling sugar you need a crazy high tolerance for pain.

                                                                                                                  Good luck.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: rifkind81

                                                                                                                    Nyleve, I love how you think. Also other like-minded souls in this thread. *cackle*

                                                                                                                    One reply here would be any recipe my mother or grandmother gave me, in which quantities are described as "just put it in enough so it should be right," and doneness is described as "it should feel like it's ready." Good luck with that.

                                                                                                                    Another would be the Jewish specialty Yerushalmi Kugel, a noodle casserole for the Sabbath distinguished by being caramelized before being put in the oven for its gentle overnight heating alongside the chulent. The difficulty, of course, is that involves melting sugar in oil, a skill best learned by watching one's mother and grandmother for several decades before attempting it oneself. So, any recipe with a short ingredient list but requiring perfect technique, like caramelization.

                                                                                                                    Third recommendation would be Moroccan B'stilla, squab (or other poultry) encased in warka, a kind of pastry, lightly dusted with cinnamon and confectioners' sugar. Done properly, it involves preparing warka from scratch, sitting on the stoop in bright sunlight so you can screen rice to filter out stones, grinding and toasting spices for the ras-el-hanout, cooking the poultry in a broth with vegetables that will also be used to moisten and bind the filling, and several more intricacies until it emerges, piping hot, from the oven.

                                                                                                                    Here's a recipe from Epicurious that uses prepared phyllo sheets, that can still keep an ambitious cook busy for a couple of days:

                                                                                                                  2. Oh - I forgot to add one more recipe which I received from a friend:

                                                                                                                    a post-modern feminist recipe:

                                                                                                                    A post-modern reading of the women in the kitchen indicates that there is no kitchen and no woman but still plenty of cookiing to be done. Language can be deferred but hunger cannot. A systemic post-colonial critique has demonstrated that the "girl" in the kitchen is no longer viable. Therefore, the only recipe that we can posit that promotes the relief of the oppressed (the women as cooker) vs. the hegemony of the oppressor (the man as cookie) involves the following ingredients:

                                                                                                                    american express card.

                                                                                                                    1. In all seriousness the most unneccissarily difficult recipe I ever encountered is Nancy Silverton's recipe for a sourdough starter. It went on for *pages*. Now, her LaBrea Bakery makes some very fine breads. But a sourdough is just not all that difficult to get started provided you're not so doctrinaire that you won't use a little commercial yeast or an old dough initially . It didn't have arcane ingredients -- so it's not right for what you want to accomplish -- but it must have had 2-3 dozen steps for dunking grapes in a flour and water slurry.

                                                                                                                      I HATE those chain letter things. And I especially HATE them when they come from someone you like and don't want to hang out to dry or embarrass. And it's always because "oh, you're such a *great* cook!"

                                                                                                                      Just make up something that would turn out to be horrid! Like Cheerios + CheezWiz + concord grape juice served over Gefilte fish. It meets the criteria; there's just no reason why anyone would *want* to do it. ;>

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                        I know that recipe! It starts with finding unwashed but clean grapes in a vineyard! I even know someone who made it!

                                                                                                                      2. Here, I'VE GOT IT FOR YOU! It's not that the ingredients are so hard to locate. It's just that, well... You'll see.

                                                                                                                        Don't even bother retyping the recipe. Just send them the link. Be *sure* to send them the link.


                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                          My son and his friends have a batch of this going all the time - they are 18, and find it difficult to purchase alcohol (DUH!!!). They use soda bottles, yeast, sugar, and unsweetened Koolaid for flavor. They are actually quite hygenic about it, and strain thru cheese cloth. They find it undrinkable every time because my husband adds a good amount of vinegar to each bottle while it's 'resting'. But they keep trying.....

                                                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                            LOVE how your husband sabotages the brew without getting in their way of their industry and anticipation! ;>

                                                                                                                            Let me know when they start their own "Don't Drink That!" blog. ;>

                                                                                                                            1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                              We figured that making it undrinkable was a lot easier than telling them what they were doing was illegal because they are under age.

                                                                                                                          2. re: rainey

                                                                                                                            That's awesome. I'm making some tonight for Passover!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                              This thread has given me the best laugh I have had all day!!!!! Thank you all so very much!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                Well, be sure to read back through all the Steve! Don't Eat That's!.

                                                                                                                                They're hilarious but I gotta tell you that that's where I learned about the existence of huitlacoche and, of course, first opportunity I had I had to try it. It was delicious. ...probably because it was cooked down to unrecognizable and done by an able cook who knew what he/she was doing with it. I never fail to order it now if I have the chance.

                                                                                                                          3. On a seasonal note, the gingerbread Notre Dame cathedral complete with flying buttresses in RL Beranbaum's Rose's Christmas Cookies. I think you'd have to be an engineer as well as a master patissier to pull that one off. Souschef?

                                                                                                                            1. I remember seeing a recipe somewhere that called for ammonites... 65 million years extinct.

                                                                                                                              1. Sfogliatelle. Hell to make and after all that effort, they still come out like little bricks. There's a reason why many commercial Italian bakeries don't even bother.

                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                    Here's one from Foodtv that I watched on tv -- with Alex G.:


                                                                                                                                    (I'd be afraid to attempt it -- sure do like to eat them whenever I have the chance -- not available where I live!!)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                      Oh, cool! I had not seen this before. We don't get them where we live, either. In fact, we have no bakeries at all here! That is part of the reason I make that type of thing. The other reason is purely challenge. If something is difficult I attempt it, sometimes rolling my eyes in the process wondering why I liked the challenge to begin with... Oh, and I love to learn new skills and techniques.

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for posting...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                        PLEASE let me know how it turns out; this is the sort of project that I think would be loads of fun to do with a good friend (in the same kitchen, together) with a nice cold bottle of white wine to smooth everything out. Alas, I don't have such friends who like cooking projects like this.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                          It IS a fun project to do with a friend, definitely. I am thankful to have friends (and a husband) who love this kind of thing.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                        that looks amazing.
                                                                                                                                        would I be able to do it without citron, maybe cherries instead of it but love the orange in there

                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                          Wow, that video was extremely helpful. Alex did much less rolling than my recipe called for. If my supply ever dies, I may try it that way.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                          Getting the pastry thin enough without toughening it up is my challenge. I used a pasta machine the times I tried to make sfogliatelle. Maybe that was my problem?

                                                                                                                                          Fortunately, our Whole Foods sometimes carries really good ones, so I get my fix every couple of weeks.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                          (This was for Isolda but did not end up there.) My whole message disappeared!! Anyway, I'm impressed that you can spell it. The rare times I've been in NYC and Boston and have been able to order it, I've only been able to half-way pronounce the word.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                            I *love* sfogliatelle! I gorged on them when we were in Naples, and have dreamed about them since. I haven't tried making the shell myself yet, but I did make little tartlet versions a couple times. You can get really close to the flavor experience with a lot less effort, but it's still not quite the same thing.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                              I haven't made the little tartlet version - sounds awesome! But I would also encourage you to try the real thing - it looks more difficult than it is and soooooooo worth it.

                                                                                                                                          2. Selle de veau Orloff or Salmon Coulibiac?

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. Kiviak.

                                                                                                                                              I'm not certain that this is a real, but from what I have gathered, the Inuit in Greenland eat it.

                                                                                                                                              They take a seal skin, oil it, then stitch it into a tube. Then they fill the tube with auks, bury the skin, and let the auks ferment for a few months.

                                                                                                                                              Then they dig up the skin, remove the auks, and then squeeze the fermented juices out of the auk's intestinal tracts, and eat it like a high vitamin paste...

                                                                                                                                              If this is real I'd love to make some; but unfortunately, I have access to none of these ingredients.

                                                                                                                                              The photo is supposed to be the post fermentation seal skin...

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                Damn auks! They're all over my bird feeder! Ha - this'll show em!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                                  According to an Inuit I spoke to, seagulls will work in a pinch. That said, I'm rather unwilling to eat a fermented paste squeezed from the intestinal tract of a seagull.

                                                                                                                                                  A man has to draw the line somewhere....

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                    Kind of a flimsy line, don't you think?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                                      Have you seen what a seagull will eat?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                        And auks? Steamed broccoli and filet mignon I suppose?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                                          As far as I know, auks enjoy a steady diet of herrings, cotton candy, lolipops, and caramels... :)

                                                                                                                                                          Seeing seagulls fighting for the contents of a dirty diaper at the local garbage dump always makes me think twice about eating them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                            Ok - so it's auk for dinner, then. Off to the supermarket!

                                                                                                                                              2. Just about anything from the French Laundry cookbook. I remember a thread here a few years back by a dear husband who made a multi-course meal for his wife and her friends from that book. I could only marvel. Just about every recipe had multiple complicated components, and at least one ingredient that it would be very hard for me to find (in exurban new york of all places).

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                  My MIL gave me a copy of that cookbook for Christmas one year. I have never attempted anything from it. I think of it as food lit, but not a working recipe book. Perhaps when I get a couple of extra burners and another oven or two, plus three assistants...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                    The FL is one of my most used books! I just love it - one of my favourites. But then I love to make finicky, picky and challenging stuff...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                      I find most of the stuff from TFL is mostly time consuming, but as long as you have your prep done right and plan out how you'll use your cooking space the recipes are definitely worth making. Admittedly, some things are too much (i.e. buying an entire pigs head), although not impossible.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: schoenfelderp

                                                                                                                                                        Exactly. It takes time but the recipes aren't really daunting, especially if you are a planner and have the desire to learn more about ingredients and techniques.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Check out Lasagna Imbottiti (stuffed lasagna.) It's very, very "possible," and even looks kinda do-able, but it's the biggest PITA you will ever venture to put together. It takes hours, and it's not worth any of the trouble.
                                                                                                                                                      Ha ha ha, chain letters. You little ****-starter, you. I like the way you think. This may be the last chain letter you ever get.
                                                                                                                                                      : )

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                        Sadly, no. Since my original post, I have received another. I sent them the same recipe as the first time: the bear paws with pigeon eggs. No response from either recipient.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                                          Really? They didn't set out to make it immediately, and didn't thank you profusely? How utterly rude. Lol.
                                                                                                                                                          Next time, send this: "open a can of cream of mushroom soup; dilute with milk, heat, throw away."
                                                                                                                                                          I bet they can wrap their minds around THAT one, Nyleve.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I can vouch for the Momofuku ramen recipe, in which basically every ingredient is a separate recipe of its own. Plus the e-mail recipients will wonder why you wouldn't just buy the 50-cent packet.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sweetpotater

                                                                                                                                                          Fantastic. Next time. If it includes the step of actually making the noodles too, even better.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Loving this thread ~giggles~ I'd suggest haggis but I see you guys have come up with even more bizarrely disgusting stuffed things than that. :-P

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Spocky

                                                                                                                                                            My Scottish friend would take umbrage at that comment . . . and invite you over for a cuppa while the pluck simmers.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                              My mum is from Scotland (been here in Canada since '59) and she would also scowl at my comment. One of the weirder Canned Foods I ever bought was a canned segment of haggis at Fortnum&Mason's in London to bring home for my mum. ~gack!~

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Spocky

                                                                                                                                                                Robbie Burns Day come and gone last week - managed to avoid a haggis dinner (not entirely on purpose, but not weeping about missing it either). So very timely. For the record, I've tasted it and, frankly, once you've eaten kishke, haggis is not such a big deal.

                                                                                                                                                          2. check out the alinea or fat duck cookbook...very complex

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tldmatrix

                                                                                                                                                              I have both of the books and absolutely am smitten with them.

                                                                                                                                                            2. ok, I just read this entire thread this afternoon and laughed my head off.

                                                                                                                                                              And what do you know? I had one of those recipe chain-emails in my inbox when I got back home.

                                                                                                                                                              I spared them and asked to sit this one out. But the bear paw recipe was sure tempting.


                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. Highly unfair, but you asked for it. Reproduce Trimalchio's Dinner, <http://www.angelfire.com/art/archicte...>

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. Found this one and just had to add it. Never knew you could eat beaver.


                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                                    Having grown up in Michigan, where students are excused from school for the first day of deer hunting season, I can assure you that beaver is not only edible but pretty tasty. Our next-door neighbor was a big hunter and always had an animal or two hanging in his garage. One day I was over at their house playing with their daughter and we were summoned to the kitchen to taste the "roast." Only later were we told it was beaver. Tasted like slightly gamey beef to me. I've never had the tails though!