What food is too much of a faff to make yourself?
You might be surprised at my no go areas ...
Those of you of a certain age will remember that Shirley Conran once coined the phrase ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’. Indeed it is but who even contemplates stuffing a mushroom these days?
There are plenty of other things though that simply take up too much time in the kitchen or that someone else can frankly make better and more cheaply than you. Some things are just better in restaurants. Often because they’ve got the right kind of kit
From my perspective they mainly involve baking or deep-frying but there are so many things nowadays which are not part of my regular go-to’s that it made me realise how limited my repertoire basically is.
Here are the ones that come to mind. I’d love to know yours!
Who in their right mind would make a croissant or any ‘Viennoiserie’ like pain au chocolat or pain aux raisins from scratch. Yes, proper French bakeries are few and far between and supermarket croissants are dire. But I’d rather do without
Connected to that is puff pastry. Even rough puff pastry though I know it tastes better. Ready-made puff is one of those products that more than justifies its existence. Particular Dorset Pastry which is made with butter. Ditto filo or strudel pastry but who would be mad enough to make that?
I love ‘em, particularly St John’s ones (which you can buy from their bakery in Borough High Street but I don’t want to make them at all. Unlike most Masterchef contestants I don’t like a project.
It’s hard enough to find a restaurant that makes them well*. Why torture yourself trying to emulate them?
*As you’d expect the Bao group which has branches all over London does
I know there are homemade sushi kits and I know it’s a fun thing to do with kids but it never squares up to a good sushi restaurant. Same with sashimi given that I haven’t spent years perfecting my knife skills.
This may come as more of a surprise and I suspect if I lived in the depths of the country I would persist. But I live in Bristol which has half a dozen great bakeries so why would I bother. (Here’s how I fell out of love with the whole process)
Any kind of stuffed pasta (especially tortellini which are supposed to be shaped like Venus’ belly button). I mean what’s an Italian granny for? (Check out pasta grannies on YouTube and see why you haven’t a chance.
Another controversial one. I have friends who swear their own pizza is better than any they can buy in a restaurant. They usually have flashy Ooni pizza ovens. I’ve never been able to nail the crust in a conventional oven or even in my AGA. (Feel free to disagree. I am open to being persuaded.)
Do I not make chips? I do occasionally but they’re not nearly as good as most of the ones that I eat in restaurants (Well not, ALL restaurants, obviously, but the majority.) Maybe because I don’t have a deep-fat fryer or an air-fryer but I feel it would be disastrous for my waistline if I did.
Are these no-no’s for you or are you happy to make them? If so what are the foods you can’t be bothered to make?
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