The other day I was in conversation with our pit boss Mike McColl about some interesting new things we’ve eaten. He mentioned something called Dukkah. Dukkah is a middle eastern spice/nut mixture that I believe loosely translates to ‘poor man’s dinner’. Basically, it is a dry amalgamation of sesame seeds, nuts, and various spices. One would dip a flatbread into some oil and then into the dukkah, which will stick to the bread – kind of like a middle eastern all-grown-up Fun Dip™. Fat, starch, and protein, all very portable. Sounds delicious.
As I often do with foods new to me, I went online to try to learn a little bit of history. Then I googled a few recipes to see what some of the variations are before then deciding what I would like to put in it in order to make my own bastardized version. So I looked up Dukkah and I found the single most ridiculous descriptor in recipe method history, which of course made me think of all of the other completely ridiculous recipes I have read over the years, which of course made me think “here’s a great rant topic”.
The first ingredient in this Dukkah recipe is ‘3/4 cup sesame seeds’. No problem. The first step in the method was ‘preheat oven to 375’. No problem. Then the method suggest that I ‘toast sesame seeds for two minutes each side’. EACH SIDE. Really?
I’ll just guestimate that there are, oh, I don’t know, maybe 2500 sesame seeds in a half cup, give or take a few hundred. I don’t know about you, but I will not be flipping 2500 sesame seeds. I am trying to get inside the head of the person who wrote that. Would you write that? Thank the baby Jesus that there are no poppy seeds in the recipe. I’ve been asked to do some silly things in my life, but never turning sesame seeds.
This did however lead me to recall some of the silliest recipes I’ve read over the years. We have a brownie cookbook (which shall remain nameless) here at The Good Earth that is the brunt of a few jokes. ‘Melt the butter over medium heat until it is melted and smells wonderful’. Pardon?
Since when is ‘smells wonderful’ a degree of doneness for melted butter, or anything for that matter. The same book offers a recipe for a caramel brownie that is un-achievable. It calls for ½ cup of sugar to be heated until dark brown (8 – 10 minutes over med-high heat). O.K, that kind of makes a caramel BUT… the recipe follows to suggest to allow it to cool for 10 minutes, then pour into a brownie batter. Just an FYI – if you cook pure sugar to the point of being dark brown, then allow it to cool, not only will you not be able to pour it, but you may never get it out of your pot.. The worst part is that in the aknowledgements of the book the author thanks her friends, family, and co-workers for testing all of the recipes. Thank you for either lying or portraying your friends as morons.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but as someone who co-authored a cookbook, tested each recipe, and proof read every minute detail to ensure the recipes were absolutely attainable as written and measured, I expect the same from others. Or I expect to mock them on the internet when they have clearly phoned it in!