or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What's the hardest dish to cook?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What's the hardest dish to cook? - Page 2

post #31 of 64
Thread Starter 
so right about the kitchen, the tools and knives one must work with at others houses. My grandma's kitchen is big...but her stove is touchy...well only 2 burners work and the one is on high even if you put it on warm. One oven is busted ..luckily her bottom oven still works...she has no cutting board..no electric mixer (matter of fact that is one tool i never work with)...but she has alright knives and utensils around. Always a good pot or pan.

the house i live at now is a mess and cluttered..no room to open the fridge let alone cook things. the stove and oven work great but there is no dishwasher and the knives in there seem to be from sometime in the 70's. Not many good pots or pans..oh and once again no electric mixer or food processor or anything.
I'm so used to doing things by hand I don't know what it's going to be like when i have my own kitchen. Least I have my knives...

The one thing I am scared of in the kitchen...that I just don't do..is pork
any pork product...(aside from bacon, sausage or maybe a hot dog)
I eat it an all..i just don't cook it...
the other thing that I don't do ever is BBQ. I know how to do basic things like hot dogs, hamburgers, skewers, shrimp, chicken..
but anything other than that..i just never even try
i admit i should get over both fears but...
i guess it's all what i eat and what i don't..maybe i need to get a job at a rib joint or something.
post #32 of 64

In Culinary School, one of my Chef's once asked this very question. While Emulsions can be tricky ( Holandaise, Bernaise), once you learn the technique, they are simple. Beef wellington while it has its challenges, can be made with proper instruction by most people. The most complex dish I could think of mashed potatos. So many interpretations on a simple dish that trully has a rather pland a tough star. However, when treated correctly, there is nothing better. The starch aspect of a well composed dish with the protien as the star soon becomes overshadowed by the starchy/buttery/creamy goodness that is mashed potatos!

post #33 of 64

I don''t think it's one particular one . I believe it is the ability to be consistant. That your Hollandaise is same all the time. that your mashed are same all the time.that your goulash the same all the time. This to me is difficult because of food factors and availability, because many people in kitchen help prep.things. I think this is also the key to a good place. The ability good or bad to be consistant, everyday, 365 days a year. So that when the customer who loved your Hollandaise comes back in 6 weeks and orders same dish that he had before, it is the same. All places should strive for this goal.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

I don''t think it's one particular one . I believe it is the ability to be consistant. That your Hollandaise is same all the time. that your mashed are same all the time.that your goulash the same all the time. This to me is difficult because of food factors and availability, because many people in kitchen help prep.things. I think this is also the key to a good place. The ability good or bad to be consistant, everyday, 365 days a year. So that when the customer who loved your Hollandaise comes back in 6 weeks and orders same dish that he had before, it is the same. All places should strive for this goal.


Although I always strive for quality I never strive for consistency of taste.  I think that's the one luxury that sets us home cooks apart from restaurant chefs.  When I return to a restaurant for a dish that I have ordered and liked before you darn betcha I expect it to be the same.  But at home I'm always trying to make it better, more interesting, and taking chances with ingredients.  Something as simple as adding a different brand of tomato paste can really change a dish and we have that wiggle room at home.

 

In greece the toughest dish to prepare is considered to be moussaka.  I don't think it's particularly difficulty, it just has loads of steps but if you know what you're doing it goes by pretty smoothly, even if it takes a long time.

 

I agree with Suzanne that it's the simplest things that are the most difficult to do well.  I have often heard that chefs judge other chefs by how well they make these 3 things:

 

- cook an egg

- make a soup

- roast a chicken

 

Easy enough to do, but difficult to do well.
 

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #35 of 64

A test I always give prospective new hire cooks .. Make me a French omellete, and Dice an onion. and Name the 5 Mother sauces. If they can't do these things. Sorry no job.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #36 of 64

consomme and souffle

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #37 of 64

a true paella...ingredients need to be added at such perfect times ....love the challenge though and the patience it takes!..and of course the rewards that come with being so good and patient

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

a true paella...ingredients need to be added at such perfect times ....love the challenge though and the patience it takes!..and of course the rewards that come with being so good and patient

joey



I just ruined my paella last night.  Tasted great but accidentally burned the bottom of it.  So sad.

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #39 of 64

Fun thread.

 

The hardest kind of cooking IMO is cooking while everyone is watching you--cooking tableside.  And the worst tableside preparation I've EVER experienced BY FAR was "caneton a la rouennaise" or "pressed duck."  Here is a brief description:

 

A duck is roasted such that the breast meat will be rare.  The bird is carved tableside and the legs/thighs sent back into the kitchen to be grilled for the next course.  The duck liver and heart are chopped and flambeed tableside with brandy.  Demi, port, butter, and lemon juice are whisked in.  The duck carcass is then pressed with the medieval torture device pictured here:

Duck-Press.jpg

Yes that thing is so shiny because we're still tableside.  The blood is collected out of that little spout and used to thicken the heart/liver sauce described above.  This isn't easy as the sauce temperature is pretty touchy.  Too hot and the sauce blood coagulates and there really is no do over, not hot enough and the sauce tastes as gross as it sounds.

 

What really makes this dish extremely tough is that you need a carcass with blood in it.  For us this meant wringing the neck of live ducks.  While this was on our menu all I could think about was wringing the neck of whatever cheese-eating-surrender-monkey invented this.

post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

A test I always give prospective new hire cooks .. Make me a French omellete, and Dice an onion. and Name the 5 Mother sauces. If they can't do these things. Sorry no job.



I can't think of a single better pass/fail benchmark for a cook than "make me an omelette."

post #41 of 64

I will kiss anyone who can present a perfect chocolate moelleux at the table!

post #42 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

I will kiss anyone who can present a perfect chocolate moelleux at the table!



These are fool proof to cook sous vide.  Although cooking cake in a vacuum bag isn't a technique in everybody's tool box I suppose.

post #43 of 64

Based on the most frequent problem I've had in restaurants, pan-frying fish correctly seems to be the most difficult thing to do consistently well. Lost count of the number of times I've ended up with overcooked even in very good places.

post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

I don''t think it's one particular one . I believe it is the ability to be consistant.


That's exactly what people expect from McDonalds, Dennys and such. No matter where they go, a Big Mac is a Big Mac. The dark side of consistency.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #45 of 64

Good comment teamfat.  I concur.  Although,  when I last went to Asia (many moons ago), the burgers were smaller her than in Oz.  The KFC was actually bigger.  Weird, that.  All looked and tasted the same basically.

 

The hardest thing I can imagine cooking is the ravioli filled with other ingredients and an egg yolk which must still be oozy and runny, like a soft poached egg, once the pasta is cooked.  A pretty amazing feat.  I don't know the title of the dish or the details of "how to".  This amazed me to see it.

 

 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #46 of 64

Thats right, you know what you are getting before you eat it .  Where some restaurants you don't. They can't use the excuse its the Chefs night off .and if  is his night off give everyone a discount .                      I'm kidding of course, but I stick with Consistancy is a must in any undertaking.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #47 of 64

Really, brisket??? I think it is baked alaska, ice cream in the oven! But even more difficult would be fugu. Beings you have to be a certified fugu chef to prepare it, it would be quit difficult. Prepared wrong... YOU DIE!

post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblack View Post

I think it is baked alaska, ice cream in the oven! 

Not very hard once you understand that egg white acts as a thermal insulant. Just make sure ALL the ice cream is covered with meringue (no small holes in the meringue) and you can safely bake it without it melting on you. It's also one of my favorite desserts of all time. licklips.gif

 

But fugu? Yeah I wouldn't even try that. 

post #49 of 64

Yeah--baked Alaska is not that difficult. We made it in Jr. High home ec. class back in the 70s as a cool and tasty lesson in the principle of the insulating function of the egg whites.

post #50 of 64

For me the hardest dish to tell by feel alone how done it is, is beef filet. It is so tender and squishy, I can't tell if I'm cooking it to rare or medium and have to use a thermometer. It's my nemesis.

post #51 of 64

Lauren - use a cake tester...or even a paper clip.

 

Stick it in the meat, pull it out, put it on your lip.  If it's warm, it's medium.  If it's cold, it's rare.  If it's hot, you're screwed.

 

Also good when you cook fish.  It will slide through with no resistance when it is just cooked through.  If it catches, it's still not cooked.

 

...We should start a thread - tricks from 4-star dining to no star diners.

post #52 of 64

I just realized this the other day in a Facebook discussion.  You want pancakes?  No sweat, I'll whip some up.  You want biscuits?  No problem, grab the ingredients and go.  Pie crust?  Wait, I have to check the recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

 

I've made a lot of pie crusts over the years.  There is just some sort of mental block I have that after decades of making crusts I have to rely on *that* particular recipe.  There are NOT that many ingredients.  It is NOT complicated.  WHY do I need to look at the recipe each and every time?

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #53 of 64

I think my definition of hard at this point is defined as time consuming. Turning vegetable for a specific dish, wrapping bundles of Haricot vert or formred carrots with leek in a bow.  Any intricate extensive hand labor. Other then that none are really hard.

CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #54 of 64

Here's one.  Pommes Souffles.  You're good if you get 75%,

post #55 of 64

Chad! That's brilliant!

post #56 of 64

Pop into freezer instead of fridge for a while  it works better then into hot oil serve right away

CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #57 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

Pop into freezer instead of fridge for a while  it works better then into hot oil serve right away

Single oil bath or multiple oil baths at different temps?

post #58 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

Single oil bath or multiple oil baths at different temps?


Yes, tell us Ed.

post #59 of 64

I put in hot oil drain semi freeze a while then refry.  I cut thin.

CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

I put in hot oil drain semi freeze a while then refry.  I cut thin.

Same temp both times? I really ought to try those out. The instructions I have recommend two baths at two different temps, first 300F then 350F. Thickness is 3mm. 


Edited by French Fries - 2/9/13 at 9:08am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What's the hardest dish to cook?