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Mar 22, 2011 10:09 PM

Labor Intensive Weekend Cooking Ideas?

So I don't really get a chance to do the kind of cooking I really love to do these days because I'm working. Feeling lucky to have a job, but I really miss having unlimited hours dedicated to cooking ridiculously complicated or labor intensive foods. So on the weekends, or a day off in the middle of the week, I like to tackle those recipes I never get a chance to anymore.

I have a few dishes that I save for my days off, but I'm starting to get bored and would love to try something new. Lately, it's been:

-pulled pork
-braised short ribs
-roast beef
-homemade pasta
-homemade bread
-1000 layer lasagna

I'd love some new ideas since I have a couple days off this week and really want to get my hands into something exciting.

So what do you like to cook when you have all the time in the world?

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  1. roast turkey

    1. confit duck legs, which then positions you to make cassoulet

      make mole poblano, which you can then use to dress up some turkey for tamales

      and of course, if you're running low, a long weekend in the kitchen is a good time to make batches of beef stock and poultry stock

      4 Replies
        1. re: hohokam

          Mole poblano was my first thought, but any of them such as rojo, colordadito, nego, chichilo

          What about making your own sausage starting with grinding the meat and fat and going all the way to stuffing into casings and hanging to dry?

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Care to share a recipe for that mole poblano?

            1. re: soypower

              This is the recipe I've used (it's originally from Illiana de la Vega former owner of El Naranjo in Oaxaca) -

              I like it and the instructions are pretty step-by-step. Read them well first before you begin and make sure you understand them. They're not hard, there's just a lot of them :-).

              The other thing with this recipe is that it will use more salt than you think it needs. The first time I made it with Illiana I thought I had to the point where it was perfect. She tasted it and said while it was extremely good it needed more salt and proceeded to add a bunch more. She was right. When I tasted it again it was fabulous, the overall flavor of the sauce was bright and vibrant. So once you've got the sauce done you may need to adjust it with more salt and possibly more sugar until it suits your tastes.

        2. Once upon a time I got the wild hair to try making my own phyllo do, with the intention of making baklava from scratch. The phyllo didn't work out, so I bought some, which turned my labor intensive project into about an hour's worth of work. I don't recommend this. You might enjoy making your own pasta, however; and filling, and sauce, etcetera.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mamachef

            I've never gone there either, or strudel dough, but the latter could be interesting. Any recipe that begins "take your rings off" usually is.

            1. re: buttertart

              Haha! I've been told that when my rings are laying on the dining room table, it's a sign that something good is coming.
              One weekends when I like a good project, I generally choose a small selection of tricky or just unique appetizers, and have a small bites dinner with a few different beers. Fun to make, fun to eat!
              I like getting ideas from here :

              1. re: alliegator

                Wow, that's a great idea. And I bookmarked that page for later when I have time to peruse it.

                1. re: ChrisKC

                  Thanks Chris! Sometimes its also fun to make it a theme night like all Chinese, Thai, or Italian starters and try to track down the beers (or wines) that will go with them.
                  Another favorite:

          2. Fancy, time-consuming baking. I love to look at the prices they are charging in good bakeries then laugh and go home and bake for myself.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Querencia

              An Opéra cake is always good for that. Or a St Honoré. Or a smorkage (Danish coffee cake) - recently saw a recipe that's VERY complicated (in "Swedish Breads and Pastries", a great book) that I'm dying to try (Danish pastry plus short pastry plus 2 or more fillings, a glaze and an icing...).

            2. Home made pasta is really not very time consuming at all. If you really want something that takes a long time, try making veal demiglace!