6. Lemon Meringue Pie
Anything with a meringue is difficult to make, but add a lemon curd and pie crust to the mix and you're in for a strenuous and tedious task. But, luckily, you can make things much easier by purchasing prepackaged dough so all you're left with is the filling and the meringue. Try this recipe from Gourmet; the instructions and comments from those who made it are quite helpful - add more lemon juice and less water if you want the lemon curd to be more tart.
5. Anything Flambéed
Flambéing is awesome in restaurants when a professional chef lights a liqueur on fire, especially when it is table-side. But flambéing at home is not only difficult, but also quite dangerous. I flambéed a dish once. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. Sure it's easy to light a match on fire, but when that fear rattles through your body as you inch the flame closer to the pan, you're most likely not going to follow through with the flambé. Or maybe that's just me.
You've probably eaten a paella of some kind in many Houston restaurants, or you might have been lucky enough to enjoy authentic paella in Spain. But, nailing the crispy, caramelized crust on the bottom and cooking the rice so it has that excellent bite (al dente) takes some practice. Making paella is all about the technique and the tools -- you need a large round pan (a paella pan) to create that crunchy bottom rice layer and as noted in a Fine Cooking article, you must create a sofrito by sautéing a combination of ingredients, such as tomatoes, onions and garlic with spices and herbs, such as paprika and parsley. Aside from mastering the sofrito and cooking the rice perfectly, you must add in a variety of crustaceans and meat, like clams, shrimp, lobster, chorizo and chicken. It's a lot of ingredients and requires an artful technique.