Do Not Try This At Home

by Dave Schuler on January 30, 2012

In my last post I mentioned Chinese noodles. Have you ever seen hand-pulled noodles being made? Amazing. I am convinced that Chinese ancestry is required to do this.

Here’s something else that’s almost in the same category. I do not believe that it is possible to make good corn tortillas by hand without 10,000 years of Indian ancestry:

If I think up any other examples like this I’ll add them to this post.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Janis Gore January 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I like this one. A cook makes spaetzle with a board:

http://youtu.be/-Y6Ga9hMm4Y

Dave Schuler January 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Fun! I’ve never made spätzle quite that way. I usually make mine the way Hungarians do: with my spätzle grater.

Andy January 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I’ve learned so much about food from Alton Brown it’s not even funny.

Janis Gore January 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I improvised with a perforated grill pan and a board scraper. It turned out a little short, but fine. Nothing like hers, I’m sure.

Yep, Mr. Brown is a great teacher.

Drew January 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

My wife just went to grab some Thai food. There are two in the immediate vicinity. I once asked the owner of one about the other, to which he scoffed “they don’t have a REAL Thai chef”

I wonder if there are certain techniques you folks are citing that pertain to Thai food.

Maxwell James January 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I remember watching a Chinese friend of mine do that long ago. So freakin’ amazing.

michael reynolds January 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm

It’s the simple stuff that will break your will: noodles, tortillas, pie crust. There’s nothing to it. Nothing! And yet it’s impossible.

Janis Gore January 31, 2012 at 7:58 am

Crusty dinner rolls kicked my butt a couple of years ago, Michael. The recipe was from King Arthur’s Flour, and I couldn’t make it work for love nor money.

Dave Schuler January 31, 2012 at 8:23 am

Pie crusts are a work in progress. I’m confident that my recipe is a winning formula. The handling is very sensitive. I think that letting the dough rest long enough is the key factor now.

Janis, I use The Joy of Cooking for all of my dinner roll recipes. I prefer the 1946 edition. Although it doesn’t have the contemporary ingredients and ethnic dishes, it has many, many more cookie and pastry recipes than its successors do.

For pies I rely on Aunt Chick.

Janis Gore January 31, 2012 at 8:33 am

My JOC is more recent, but it does have a hard roll recipe, I see.

Do you mix your pie crust in the food processor? Some cooks say that’s better because it avoids the warmth from hands.

Dave Schuler January 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

Do you mix your pie crust in the food processor?

Never. It’s too rough. I have cold hands, anyway ;-)

There was a time when I went around buying up old copies of the Joy 1946 edition. Some I gave away. I lost one during our home remodel. I still have one. I also have my mom’s tattered, old, falling apart copy of that edition.

Janis Gore January 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

Of course, a warm-hearted fella like you.

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