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Aug 22, 2011 03:21 PM

I'll never make THAT again!

Last night I made fried chicken, It was really good but MAN!, between the brining,the buttermilk, the double coating of flour, the oil, the cleanup, I mean, it was good but at the end of the day,its fried chicken. It just wasn't worth it to me. I can get really great fried chicken here. And then there's always Popeyes. So is there anything you wont make? where the effort is not worth the end result.

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  1. Nope; absolutely nothing. If it's edible I'll cook it, no matter the "trouble".

    1. I've mentioned this on at least one other thread, but pierogi, and tamales. They come out fine, but no better (and certainly no cheaper, and most definitely no faster) than pre-made. It's like building a car from scratch. Just buy a damn car.

      That said, I might make pierogi and tamales again, if I have a day to kill and feel like cooking.

      9 Replies
      1. re: small h

        I have only made pierogi as part of a group effort. Friends and wine. I would not ever do it on my own.

        1. re: small h

          Last year I attended a one-day class on growing herbs, sitting at a table with four other people. During a class break we were looking over a schedule of future classes, including "How to Make Tamales." It turned out that of the five of us three had made tamales once and swore we'd never do it again.

          My own one-time tamale experience, like calliope-nh's pierogi experience, was a group project with alcohol involved. I might do it again under those circumstances.

          1. re: mandycat

            Really? I loved making tamales! I also love eating tamales! Unfortunately, my husband hates them, so there's no point in me making them.

            1. re: Jen76

              I think my issue was that, after what felt like three months of work, what we produced wasn't all that much better than what you could get, $15 a dozen, at just about any local Mexican restaurant. Of course, I was living in San Antonio at the time, which probably made a difference.

              1. re: mandycat

                gotcha on the tamales, rewarding but one huge PITA, easier to just buy 'em especially if you live in a place like SF where there's somebody's grandma selling fresh and excellent ones on the corner by the BART station on your way home. you're happy they're good and she makes a buck. it just doesn't get anymore win, win and win! than that IMHO.

                although I wouldn't mind doing a tamale making party again, just someone elses.

            2. re: mandycat

              Obviously, what I need are more drinky cooky friends. And a kitchen large enough to accommodate them. I'll work on the former, but the latter probably ain't happening in this lifetime.

              1. re: small h

                small: you can do a hell of a lot with a camp stove and a picnic table... so it's just once or twice a year. but yes the former is the more important factor.

                1. re: small h

                  <I'll work on the former, but the latter probably ain't happening in this lifetime.>

                  I'm drinky cooky. Where do you live? ;-)

                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                    Manhattan. Which means I'm short on camp stoves and picnic tables! But c'mon over, we'll spread out into the living room.

            3. I enjoy the process of cooking and like making really complicated recipes

              18 Replies
              1. re: twyst

                veal prince orloff (oy!) and dobos torte (could not, no matter what, get the caramel crackle top right)

                1. re: twyst

                  As do I, I"ve made causolet from scratch a few times and I'd do it again ( making my own confit to boot) I too love the process of cooking but come on! theres nothing in all your cooking experience that you wouldn't make again?

                  1. re: TVC15

                    There is one thing I will not bother making again - phyllo pastry. It was fun to make but easier to buy.

                    1. re: TVC15

                      I'm with you. I like cooking but some things just aren't worth the effort to me. I'm a lazy cook unless it's for someone I love very very much! Fried chicken -- I agree. Let someone else make it, unless I've got a sous chef and a dishwasher that day.

                      1. re: visciole

                        In a similar vein: puff pastry. I have friends who swear only homemade tastes right, but for the work involved, I've come to peace with frozen dough.

                        1. re: pine time

                          Puff pastry is very easy to make and I find it relaxing, unless it is above 75° and then its a hazing ritual for kitchen noobs or malcontents.

                          I don't like deep frying because of the resulting mess on almost every horizontal surface.

                          1. re: Kelli2006

                            [Quote]Puff pastry is very easy to make and I find it relaxing, unless it is above 75° and then its a hazing ritual for kitchen noobs or malcontents. [/Quote]

                            I'll have to remember that when I open my restaurant and some plongeur pi$$es me off. LOL

                            1. re: Kelli2006

                              I'm with you, I HATE deep frying, mind you, I like deep fried food, who doesn't, but the mess puts me over the edge. Also, I live in Illinois, and in the summer my condo gets so hot, last time I deep fried, the temperature inside rose to 89 degrees, and I had the air on....

                      2. re: twyst

                        Same here - the more complex the recipe/technique and elusive the ingredients the more I enjoy it! If I see an interesting item in the store I invent a recipe to make it better. For example, many purchase Nutella , marshmallows or ketchup. Would never buy it but make it instead.

                        1. re: chefathome

                          Could you share a ketchup recipe that you enjoy?

                        2. re: twyst

                          I enjoy the process of cooking also, but some recipes are not complicated. They are tedious and repetitive. I'm willing to believe that you don't mind tedium and repetition, but are you saying that of all the things you've made over the entire course of your life, every single one was something you'd make again? They were all fabulous? Not a clunker in the bunch?

                          1. re: small h

                            I mentioned phyllo above and some things I have made I certainly have not liked but it has generally been personal taste as opposed to not making again for inconvenience. As a recipe tester there are definitely some things I would not bother with again - thought of those last night. But I can almost always tell by a recipe whether it would work or not so only choose those that interest me. :-)

                            Having been diagnosed with celiac disease this year there are thousands of things I can no longer make but that is due to necessity.

                            Oh, I almost forgot - Sriracha! Fun to make but the commercial stuff is also very good.

                            1. re: small h

                              "but are you saying that of all the things you've made over the entire course of your life, every single one was something you'd make again? They were all fabulous? Not a clunker in the bunch?"

                              Oh, there have definitely been some clunkers. However thats not how I took the question from the OP. SAhe said her recipe came out very good, but was just too much trouble. There is definitely some stuff I doubt I will make again becuase it simply wasnt very good. Most of the time when that happens though I am tempted to cook the dish again to try to improve it.

                              1. re: twyst

                                That is precisely how I read the question, too - was it worth the effort? In the vast majority of cases I would say a resounding yes.

                                1. re: twyst

                                  Understood. I guess I just read your original response as a sort of dismissal of the very idea that you could find a recipe not worth making again because the end didn't justify the means.

                                  1. re: small h

                                    Oh, no - that indeed was not my intention! I should have explained myself more clearly to begin with.

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      I've actually been replying to twyst, but Chowhound's been kinda wonky today, so apologies if there have been some crossed signals.

                                      1. re: small h

                                        OK - I guess I apologized for nothing! Kidding. Twyst and I are on the same page, anyway...

                                        I've noticed that about CH today.

                            2. Bagels, doughnuts, french fries, home made pasta noodles, home made ravioli.

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: Antilope

                                Bagels are relatively easy, just the waiting around is a bit much. It took me three hours one Saturday morning and I got a little more than a dozen. Now, I have a great Bagel World near me that makes fresh bagels for a little over 7.00 dollars for a baker's dozen. So, some of the time, it's not the difficulty but my time is much more well spent, I think. :)

                                Another long process that I won't be repeating is chicken marsala. It was from Arti's Party show and dear lord, I can buy good Indian food here in Boston. Why bother?

                                1. re: mcel215

                                  I love baking. I make homemade bread, rolls, sweet rolls, sourdough bread, muffins, cakes, etc. But after making bagels a couple of times, they didn't turn out any better than what I can buy and they are not worth the effort.

                                  1. re: mcel215

                                    Chicken marsala is easy - I assume you mean chicken tikka masala.

                                    There are certainly things I won't make because of the fuss or mess, like deep-fried anything, or phyllo dough, But when it comes to recipes I can almost always tell whether or not I'll like the dish and if in doubt, and it's complicated or expensive to make, I don't. There are a couple of recipes I made because of all the CH raves that I should have passed on: I did think I'd like the flourless citrus cake for which Nigella Lawson and others have recipes. I used Meyer lemons and added sugar to compensate, but really loathed the result. The dogs ate it. That Marcella Hazan tomato sauce using a load of butter, canned San Marzano tomatoes, and an onion was also a major disappointment which I doctored into vegetable soup but would never again want to make.

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      Thanks grey,

                                      Yes, it's tikka masala ;-)

                                      1. re: mcel215

                                        OMG, I can't imagine what that recipe is that would make it not worth the effort. The way I make it is to marinate in a spiced yogurt, grill, then just make the sauce. So, so, so super easy with an amazing result. We eat it a few times a month, actually.

                                        To answer the OP - croissants.

                                        1. re: velochic

                                          I'm with you on the croissants. I tried, really, really tried... and what a huge waste of time and ingredients. Also, I'm no good at making wonderful homemade French bread either. And no, I'm not going to keep trying because I am a cheap Yankee and tired of wasting ingredients.

                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                            Another vote for croissants. I love to bake, and the one time I made my own croissants they were pretty good.
                                            But I can get some at Balthazar's any time. And they make 'em just a little better than I do :)

                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                              With the advent of artisanal bakeries even outside of big cities, this is just not something that I have the patience to make when bought is as good or often better. Especially when you want them first thing in the morning. Easier to send the hubby out. ;)

                                      2. re: greygarious

                                        Complicated recipes with lots of ingredients are best ordered in restaurants. That's what restaurants are for.

                                        1. re: DPGood

                                          ...and that is precisely what I love to cook! The challenge makes me happy. I get such joy from replicating fabulous meals from French Laundry and so on. Of course my kitchen appliances limit me somewhat!

                                          1. re: chefathome

                                            You must have a lot of free time trying to "recreate" FL dishes.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              I do, actually. My job is teaching culinary classes once a week but other than that spend hours cooking each day - I also test recipes. So, I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to follow my passion! :-) And I do have Keller's books and use them so it is not as though I am making all this stuff from my head!

                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                Im trying to cook my way through TFL cookbook as well. Ive been doing at least a dish a week for about 6 months now. Don't know if Ill do the pig head, but Ill do everything else.

                                                Ive been building up my kitchen and its pretty decked out now with most of the new toys, so the alinea book is probably next!

                                                1. re: twyst

                                                  You and I think alike! I have the Alinea book and am cooking what I can from it. Do you have Heston Blumenthal's "The Fat Duck" cookbook? Brilliant. I even prefer it to Achatz' book. It truly is an amazing read.

                                                  The science behind food really fascinates me and I love to learn new techniques.

                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                    I do have it, but I haven't attempted anything from it at all. I greatly enjoyed the 100 pages or so of the story of the restaurant though.

                                                    My Modernist Cuisine set arrived about a month ago as well, but ive only made like 3 recipes from it, that set is seriously heavy duty reading.

                                                    1. re: twyst

                                                      You have MC?????? I have not ordered it yet but it is number 1 on my wishlist, that is for sure.

                                        2. re: greygarious

                                          "really loathed the result. The dogs ate it. "

                                          love the phrase

                                        3. re: mcel215

                                          <Another long process that I won't be repeating is chicken marsala. It was from Arti's Party show and dear lord, I can buy good Indian food here in Boston. Why bother?>

                                          I've never heard of Chicken Marsala as an Indian recipe. It's Italian! and Chicken Marsala is incredibly easy to make, and not at all messy. I wonder what she did to the recipe to make it convoluted.

                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            I think they decided it was "tikka masala" and not "chicken marsala" upthread a ways.

                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                              Here's the recipe, and yes it is tikka-masala. Perhaps I was just having a hard time with it, because I had never made it before. :)


                                              1. re: LePetitChefCanadien

                                                Yes, it is. I corrected my type-0 in the post just above yours to tikka-masala. ;)

                                          2. That award goes to Tom Colicchio's braised short ribs. Mega-prep time for what turned out to be a disgusting, greasy mess. Thanks, but no thanks.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              Oh hell yeah.

                                              I used a different recipe. I have never invested so much time and effort in a dish that turned out so, so bad.

                                              I don't "need" to deep fry in my house again.

                                              I know a group of older Italian ladies who were HORRIFIED to learn I wanted to learn to make homemade pasta.

                                              They told stories about being forced to spend entire Saturdays drapping pasta over anything in the house that would stand still. Every single one thought making pasta at home was a giant waste of time when it is so avaible and so cheap at the grocery store.

                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                I have a pasta machine and haven't made any fresh pasta in ages. It's fun if you have a whole day, but otherwise....

                                                Back in the day I had this idiotic idea of selling homemade ravioli / pasta at the farmer's market. Then I made 3 lbs. one day for a dinner party, which took me about 4-5 hours, all told, to prepare.

                                                No way in hell I'd be able to make more AND sell it at a price people would pay.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  for me it's not the pasta prep, it's the clean-up after that's the time chewer

                                                2. re: cleobeach

                                                  ROTFL! My main objection to making home made pasta is that somehow flour ends up in every room of the house. Cannot think of a messier process!

                                                  When I lived in Boston (North End) I used to buy fresh pasta sheets at Biagi and make ravioli or tortellini that way. Now, that takes a lot less time! :)