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Recipes That Intimidate - What recipes are you reluctant to try?

I love bread. I love the smell of freshly made bread. I love watching people make bread, they always seem to do it with such passion.

I will look at pictures of bread in my cookbooks and dream of making such lovely loaves but...and here's the thing, I will not make bread. I'm intimidated by the thought of making it. I'd hate to invest all that time and not have the bread turn out.

So there you have it.

My question to you is: Are there recipes that intimidate you or, that you are reluctant to try for some reason? Tell me I"m not alone!!! ; - )

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  1. i'm with you - bread and baking in general. but i'm almost game to try bread these days, with the Mark Bittman foolproof bread recipe... have to re-find it. Also, tho, our oven in our new apartment is a really old one and it seems to heat at 250 and then 400 - for anything in between you have to constantly watch it, turn the dial down, open the door to let it cool...... i have a stand-alone thermometer in there, but i still don't think it's the ideal venue for baking!

    I'm also intimidated by a lot of asian recipes, which is very silly because i get a lot of great ideas and tips from CHers, and also I live near a bunch of asian grocery stores that carry a lot of what I would need (things I don't normally have - like dark soy, or mushroom soy, szechuan pepper, etc.). so, i just need to kick myself and get going.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mariacarmen

      mariacarmen, try that no-knead (and you don't have to go through the dutch oven, blistering heat hoo-hah, see my post on the latest "what are you baking"). It is as good as 90% of the breads I've made in the past over 35 yrs...

      1. re: Auriana

        yes. imagine going to all that effort before breakfast and still ending up hungry!

        the bf wants me to cook lamb's hearts but I'm just not convinced. I do like most offal, but my mental image of a stuffed heart is something like a stuffed skinless tomato, kind of wet and floury-textured and possibly leaking a bit. ugh. though logically it must be more like a stuffed meat pocket, heart being muscle and all, but my stomach refuses to accept the idea.

          1. re: gembellina

            I had a chance to try beef heart about a year ago. The sauce was delicious, but I found it to be tough, chewy, and not something I'd ever spend my precious time trying to deal with unless I was pretty desperate. (I'd go for beans or eggs first)

            1. re: sunshine842

              I think it depends on how the heart is treated. Anticucho, one of the national dishes of Peru, is usually pretty tender and unless someone tells you (or you know what the dish is) you really jus think you're eating a piece of beef. They are usually marinated and grilled. I've only had them brouchette style or as an appetizer skewer.

              It's a common street food in Peru. Think how many tourists think they're getting a tasty beef skewer to munch on as they stroll along the streets of Lima yet they don't realize their munching away on beef heart :-)

              1. re: DiningDiva

                anticuchos are DIVINE. grew up eating them, tho only in restaurants., or as you say in Peru and Bolivia i tried to replicate one years later, but for a recipe that called for sirloin in place of beef heart. not the same at all.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  I don't have an objection to heart meat in principle, and anticucho sounds really good. I think the English-style prep of unmarinated hearts stuffed with sage and onion and then baked just sounds quite unappetising.

                  1. re: gembellina

                    the stuff I tried was cooked more or less like Boeuf Bourgignonne. Wasn't bad, just wasn't anything I'd go out of the way for.

                    1. re: gembellina

                      Try boiled like my mom used to make - if it's cooked enough to be tender it's palatable. Just. But it makes excellent broth.

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Yeah...my last attempt at gnocchi was disastrous. I'm tempted to try again, though, just because I hate having to wait till I'm in a good Italian restaurant to have some.

                  1. re: Aravisea

                    At least you've made the attempt. I'll never even give gnocchi a shot because I KNOW it will be a disaster.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      Dude, go for it. Roast a squash, add some egg, some salt, smidge nutmeg, smidge flour. If I can do it you can do it. I have faith in you!

                      1. re: Vetter

                        You have inspired me to try again - PK, shall we jump into the breach? ;)

                        Especially after that thread about sweet potato gnocchi, too.

                        1. re: Aravisea

                          Before I jump into The Gnocchi Breech (wasn't that a Ludlum title?), I'm clearing everybody out of the house and getting likker'd up.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Now I have this mental image of Matt Damon beating up a few guys in a walk-in with nothing but a rolling pin and a piece of parchment paper.

                            1. re: Aravisea

                              I believe that was The Corn Ultimatum.

                      2. re: Perilagu Khan

                        The only secret to good gnocchi is using the correct potatoes. Crucial to get floury potatoes or you will end up with sticky, starchy mess. Otherwise, pretty straightforward dumpling.

                    1. Anything that involves killing a live animal. I LOVE lobster, but I don't think I could cut into a live one with a knife. Steaming might be okay, but I'd also worry about overcooking and ruining such an expensive meal! Someday I'll work up my nerve.

                      Breadcrumbs, if you want to try break I would suggest trying the Lahey No Knead recipe - it is truly the easiest thing ever, and the results are DELICIOUS. ATK has a slightly modified version that is also fabulous and EASY. They take no time at all (unless you count rising time) and the ingredients are what, 25 cents worth of flour and yeast? Go for it!!!!