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Crazy/Most Difficult

I did some searches on here, but wanted some more input. I enjoy cooking unusual foods and am starting to run out of crazy or difficult dishes to make. Any suggestions? Anything is welcome. To give you an idea, I've made homemade dosas, injera, paddlefish caviar, peaking duck, mountain oysters 6 ways, cooked paella for 40 over a fire, roasted a yearling bison, guanciale, ect. It's relaxing to me. For my birthday last year, my girlfriend "let" me cook a 12 course seafood dinner. I grew up butchering of our own meats, making sausage, bacon, ect, so go crazy! Family dishes, things that sound awful, but aren't, post!

I don't really buy processed foods, so most everything is homemade. I've been on a big kick lately of taking casseroles and making them wholesome, so any dirty casserole recipes are welcome too.


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  1. Make Thomas Keller's smoked salmon cornets (French Laundry Cookbook) and see how long it takes the burns on your fingers to heal from rolling the tuiles around the cornet mold. Or just get a copy of the 11 Madison Park cookbook and do any of their incredibly fussy dishes. Should keep you busy for awhile.

    1. There was a thread on this subject that started about a year ago (?), but I can't remember the title to help you search, unfortunately. Bear paw was one item, I remember.

      1 Reply
      1. Any other ideas? I've read through that post in the past. I'll be visiting a friend in a few weeks, and were planning on butchering one of her sheep and making haggis.

        1. Try growing your own sourdough culture from scratch and then start putting it to use. Minutiae (that a lot of people are never consciously aware of) differentiates good bread from great bread, but it's the Grand Canyon for learning and mastery, even if we're only talking about one kind of bread.

          Do you like pastry work? There are some pretty insanely complicated cake and torte things you could come up with. The perfect macaron? Trying to duplicate some kind of favorite junk food at home? Making aged cheeses?

          1. How about cassoulet? Do your own confit (duck legs and gizzards), sausage, bacon, veal stock. I did a traditional one a while back... I did source the meat from D'Artagnan (and it still took days to make), but sounds like you are up to the challenge!

            1. How about a 7th way for mountain oysters? Curious to know what the 6 are you made. I have a few recipes, but don't want to duplicate.

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              1. re: chipoltay

                A friend brought me a few gallons for my birthday party a few years back. My birthday is during branding season, so I usually can get some pretty easily if I'm visiting home. Usually I fry them, but wanted to try something different. I did fried, braised in wine, grilled with chimmichurri sauce, a meatball, a north Indian style curry, and thai fried rice. No one really liked the grilled, but the curry and fried rice was a hit.

              2. I'm on my phone or I'd search for you but there is a poster, I think the name was biscuit, who would make a yearly multicourse meal for his wife and friendsI from Bouchonthe by Thomasthe Keller. Just reading his menu was inspiring if you're looking at past threads.

                1. A number of hounds on this board set out to make perfect caneles. With the copper molds and beeswax lining. This was a holy quest and an art form for them. Others could only look on in total amazement.

                  Anyway, here's their last thread on the subject (I think): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738446

                  1. You sick bastard - I thought I was the only one who cooked oddities for stress relief - we have this in common. My goals center around techniques that many people try, and simply don't do well...then take it to a level of repeatable perfection. I've recently built a dry-aging fridge, and assembled a method to cook the perfect steak.

                    That was a fun conquest, but I've accomplished that, so I'm back to an age old quest...the TRUE DOC margherita pizza. It sounds simple - but it has to start with a trip to Italy to figure out that what we have here in the US, simply isn't pizza as the Italians know it. Our equipment makes it a challenge and turns this into almost impossible (i.e. I have cut the lock on my oven so I can use the clean cycle and get it to 800+ degrees). It's amazing how simple it is in concept, yet how difficult it is to succeed in the real world. Read through the forums at pizzamaking.com if you're interested.