Friday, July 18, 2008

The Thing Came Out of the Frying Pan

Deb, my favorite foodie blogger, recently asked people to label their cooking fears. I was surprised by the extraordinary variety (she had over 200 comments the last time I checked) and thought, at least on my small scale, it might be interesting to address people's frights in regards to cooking.
I answered the post myself because the question immediately brought to mind pork. Now, pork in the slow cooker or dutch oven is one thing, with its marbles and chunks of fat that melt into the meat to create a perfectly gorgeous texture; lean pork that requires a quick, hot pan before it sends its juices to the ceiling and toughens up to make chewing leather is quite another.
I am terrified of pork chops and pork loin.
There is also the matter of a certain episode of House M.D. that I've watched, involving a girl with a parasite from pork living in her brain and causing bleeding and certain death. This only feeds my paranoia.
Israel is a pork on the barbecue expert, and I think I might be able to do that, yet usually I cook indoors. Coals are not my thing, but that is for another post.
Italian icing is the other thing I have never been able to get right. If you're not familiar with the process, it involves hot sugar syrup set to exactly the right temperature, and moves on to a slow stream incorporated by whisking into egg whites. The pictures of it are lovely. Not lovely enough for me to attempt it, again.
So tell me, readers, what is your cooking fear? Maybe some of us know how to help.

10 comments:

Damaris said...

ha! I read your mind. I just posted a pork rib recipe that I made yesterday with the marinade you sent me.

my cooking fear is breakfast food. I can make crepes but I can not make pancakes. I have tried over and over again and failed over and over gain. It always burns on the outside and is raw in the inside.

p.s I think you should have a food blog. I know I've told you this a gazillion times but yeah... you should

Mariko said...

Oh Yeah. Ribs are wonderful. I can do with ribs. I guess I'm afraid of lean any kind of meat, really.
With the pancakes-- do you cook them on low temperature? I used to always have that problem, and Jake told me to keep the temp low, and as long as I'm not super impatient, it works out. As soon as the top side is bubbly, then flip it over. Your batter may also be too thin.
You might want to start doing waffles. Nothing easier than waffles, I think. Same batter, temp is decided for you by the machine.
A food blog? I don't have enough readers for one blog, much less two. Not sure I like the idea of having to keep with two anyway. :)

Damaris said...

just make pork chops the same way you make pork ribs.

Bekah said...

I tried making croissants once in Hawaii. Bad idea. That's what I steer clear of, croissants, puff pastry, etc. My okonomiyaki is a flop too. Frying is also hard/impossible with a crappy electric stove, so I don't do much of that in the states.

Have to second you on the pancake med low heat. Also, don't flatten the pancake with your spatula. J thinks mine are too blonde, he likes a little more brown on them. I just leave them on longer for him.

Mariko said...

Croissants! I remember your croissants. They were good, so I don't know what you're talking about. I think I'd like to try making that actually. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I more recently figured out a good way to make okonomiyaki. And then didn't write it down. I'll have to figure it out again. Ha ha.

Sienna said...

i always say cooking mostly confidence. that said-- i hate my chocolate chip cookies. everytime. that should be like the easiest thing. they are always wrong when i make them. so sad. i guess i need to practice more.

Mariko said...

Really, the cookie thing is tragic. Utterly. Tragic. We will have to help you with that for sure. I always think Jake's are going to come out funny (because the dough looks completely wrong) and they come out perfect. Mine are kind of hit and miss, especially because I always burn the last batch.

Kaity DeMartini said...

My cooking fear...Um, I am always afraid to make hamburger buns because Danny likes them to be perfect. They usually turn out okay when I don't let my fear stop me from making them. I also fear salmonella. Haha.

Mariko said...

Mmmmm. You make good hamburger buns. No need to fear that. I used to fear salmonella. Now I say, bring on the raw eggs. Hard to get away from those recipes. If Jake's uncle can get away with eating raw chicken for many many many years, it must be a conspiracy.

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