Random Ephemera

When Food Gets Difficult

When Food Gets Difficult
Photo by Molly Dunn
Foie gras en terrine: say it loud, say it proud. - PHOTO BY ULTERIOR EPICURE
Foie gras en terrine: say it loud, say it proud.
Photo by ulterior epicure
It's that special time again. We round up some of the most popular previous coverage, this time concerning food that is being a pain in the, ummm, neck.  Here are a few of our top articles concerning difficult recipes, hard-to-pronounce food words and more.

Photo by Molly Dunn
The 5 Most Common Risotto Mistakes

Risotto is one of the most difficult dishes to master. The first attempt is not perfect, unless you're Gordon Ramsay, of course, but these five common mistakes people make while cooking a risotto dish may help you become a master, or at least not screw up one completely.

Photo by Donar Reiskoffer
Five Ways to Use Those Tomatoes on the Verge

We purchase an inordinate number of tomatoes, at an alarming rate, on a weekly basis. We never learn our lesson, because we adore tomatoes so very much and we are (apparently) incapable of showing restraint. We buy tomatoes on the vine, we buy heirlooms at the market, we buy cherry or grape tomatoes specifically for salad, and we grab up Roma tomatoes because they are always cheap and we can generally find a use for them somewhere when we've run through the rest of our supply.

Yes, we seriously eat that many tomatoes.

Do you know how to say beignet? - PHOTO BY MARLEIGH
Do you know how to say beignet?
Photo by Marleigh
The 20 Most Commonly Mispronounced Food Words

I will never forget attempting to teach my ex-husband, a Brit who found himself confronted with cross-cultural confusion at every turn ("That is not a biscuit; it's a cookie." "You can't call a woman a 'silly c*nt' or she will slap you."), how to pronounce the word taco. As a Texan it's not a word we tend to over-think. But my ex could never quite grasp it and continues to call this omnipresent food a "tack-oh" to this day.
Salt Fish never turns out right at home. - PHOTO BY MOLLY DUNN
Salt Fish never turns out right at home.
Photo by Molly Dunn

10 of the Most Difficult Recipes to Make at Home

I'm always up for a challenge when it comes to cooking a dish with many, many steps. But sometimes my confidence gets the best of me and I end up miserably failing at cooking whatever it is I decided to make.

For years I had my eye on this layered Bon App├ętit magazine cover recipe, Devil's Food cake with a beautiful white fluffy peppermint frosting, silky dark chocolate ganache and smooth white chocolate cream. My mother collects magazines, so during Thanksgiving and Christmas, I frequently read through them searching for the perfect recipe to make. A couple of Christmases ago, I decided to try this one. As I attempted to assemble the dessert, everything went wrong. My ganache was too runny, the frosting was not thick enough and my cakes were too delicate; I ended up supporting the leaning tower of three cake layers with chopsticks, hoping and praying it would not collapse on my kitchen counter. I should have read the recipe more before I began making it because I was way in over my head.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.