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Recipe inspiration, tips, and kitchen hacks from the Chowhound editors.

I Want…A Big Bowl of Pancake

Looking for German pancakes, hefty and bowl-shaped, with lemon and powdered sugar? Try a German restaurant… or a few other great pancake places.

The Original Pancake House qualifies, with great German pancakes and their smaller cousins, Dutch babies. The apple-cinnamon glazed ones are pretty great too, says AquaW.

Jagerhaus sweeps the European front with German pancakes with lemon and sugar or apple, Austrian raisin pancake, Bavarian cherry pancake and Stuttgarter peach pancake.

Dinah’s has delicious German pancakes, says Jwsel.

And although mrpullings says Quality Food’s German pancakes are delish, “emilymm”: hasn’t had much luck in actually ordering them–seems their “German pancake oven” is perpetually broken. Or maybe it’s just her?

Original Pancake House [South OC]
26951 Moulton Parkway, Aliso Viejo

Original Pancake House [South OC]
1418 E. Lincoln, Anaheim

Original Pancake House [South Bay]
1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach

Original Pancake House [Inland of LA]
18453 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda

Jagerhaus OC]
2525 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim

Dinah’s Family Restaurant [South LA]
6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles

Quality Food & Beverage [Fairfax Village]
8030 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

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Where to find German pancakes

Carcass Cassoulet

niki rothman shares a method for a sort-of cheater’s cassoulet made with the trimmings from a leftover roast duck: Put the duck, including all skin, fat, and bones, in a pot with water and bay leaves, and let simmer a while to make a stock. Then take the duck out and add dry white beans, such as flageolet or canellini, to the stock to cook. Meanwhile, discard all but the meat from the duck, and set meat aside. When the beans are halfway cooked, add some red wine, the duck meat, and a mirepoix of chopped onions, carrots, celery with leaves, and garlic. Half an hour before the beans are fully cooked, throw in some chopped garlicky sausage. When the cassoulet is done cooking, add chopped flat leaf parsley, spread breadcrumbs over the top, and pop it in the oven until they brown. If you use leftover Chinese roast duck, be sure it’s not too heavy on five-spice flavor. You can use the same method with leftover roast goose.

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‘Instant’ Cassoulet–Perfect Use for Roast Duck Trimmings

A Passion for Passion Fruit

Passion fruit works well in panna cotta and creme brulee. It’s also delicious in drinks: puree the pulp and stir into iced tea, or stir a couple ounces with some white rum over ice and top with seltzer.

Try frozen treats with passion fruit. orangewasabi freezes the pulp in ice cube trays and eats the resulting treats like little ice pops. For an arresting presentation, Sam Fujisaka suggests cutting the fruit in half, making sorbet from the pulp and seeds, scooping it into the empty shells, and freezing.

ciaolette says adding about 1/3 cup fresh passion fruit puree and the scrapings from 2 inches of vanilla bean to your favorite cheesecake recipe gives a mysterious and amazing flavor that does not scream passion fruit–and every time she does it, people say it’s the best cheesecake they’ve ever had.

Will Owen shares a recipe for passion fruit curd, perfect as a filling for a tart or pie:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened passion fruit concentrate
juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 ounces butter
6 egg yolks

Mix the sugar, passion fruit concentrate, butter, and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil, then turn then take the pot off the heat. Whip the egg yolks in a bowl, then gradually whisk in part of the hot liquid. Pour this into the pot with the rest of the passion fruit mixture. Return to a simmer, whisking constantly, only until edges start to bubble (do not allow to boil). Strain and chill.

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passion fruit recipes


Store-bought demi-glace–super-reduced stock typically made from veal–should be thick and gelatinous, and should jiggle and “unmold” into the pan. It should then liquefy when heated, says
bolivianita. The gelatinous
texture comes from the bones used in the stock and indicates a high-quality demi-glace. A demi-glace that is liquid at cool temperatures is almost certainly inferior.

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Demi Glace–liquid or semi solid?

Jewish Dairy Restaurants

Traditional Jewish laws of kosher require the separation of meat and dairy, so there is a tradition of kosher households having all-dairy meals, with no meat or meat products–just delicious things like cheese blintzes, cold borsht, and cottage cheese pancakes. Naturally developing out of this tradition are Jewish dairy restaurants, serving traditional foods like blintzes, matzoh brei, hearty vegetable soups, sour cream, and pickled herring (fish doesn’t count as meat). Not all Jewish dairy restaurants are kosher, says Arthur–many serve dishes with cheese made with rennet, for example, so eater beware.

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Jewish ‘Dairy Restaurant?’

Spanish Wine Primer

Spanish Wine Primer

From Albariño to Ribera, better and better wines are arriving from Spain. READ MORE

Secret Society

Do you know where to get a White Gummy Bear? Can you acquire animal-style french fries? How about a Bull’s Eye Barbecue Burger?

These exotic items all come from the “secret” menus of chain resturants, like Jamba Juice, In-N-Out, and Burger King. If you’re a secret-menu savant, Consumerist needs you. The site is compiling the ultimate secret-menu collection and needs fast-food fanciers, former employees, and other sleuths to share their esoteric knowledge.

Maybe it’s because people get a kick out of seeming savvier than the average Joe, but the popularity of trading tips about secret menus and modifications at chains seems to be growing exponentially. I wouldn’t be surprised if lots more “secret menus” started popping up. Unlike some clumsy efforts at viral marketing, secret menus are an elegant way to get folks talking about your food. Customers think they’re “getting one over” on the establishment and eagerly pass along their knowledge, creating an ever-bigger buzz.

Do you go off the menu when you hit the chains?

Film Feast

Film Feast

The nominees for best food scene in a movie are ... READ MORE

Wine Online

Wine Online

Where to buy vino while surfing the Web. READ MORE

Those Bland Midwestern Tastebuds

Is it true that all discerning and sophisticated palates reside on the coasts? Is the Midwest really filled with folks who wouldn’t appreciate unusual or exotic dining? Midwestern-born Michael Bauer seems to think so.

The San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic was taken to task recently in a letter from a reader who took issue with a recent review in which Bauer described a dish as being “bland enough to appeal to the Midwestern tourist.”

I think it is extremely arrogant to think people in the Midwest would not enjoy a meal that is ‘different or exotic.’ You do not have to live in San Francisco or New York to have a sophisticated appreciation of food from different countries.

Bauer brings up the issue on his blog, Between Meals, in a post titled “Defending the Midwestern Palate.”

Stereotypes are terrible things, but at times they have a basis in truth. I am from the Midwest, and I go back to Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri at least once a year. Having dined extensively on both coasts and in the Midwest, I can tell you firsthand there is a difference…. There are some individuals with very sophisticated palates, but there isn’t a critical mass to sustain chefs and restaurateurs who have a focused, unique style… I think it still holds true that most trends start on either coast and move to the ‘flyover states.’

Not unexpectedly, his post provoked a lot of comments. Some of the points are well worth considering:

• It’s more of a big city/small town issue than coastal or landlocked; people in big cities are exposed to more and become more adventurous eaters (witness Chicago).

• San Francisco has a high population of singles and childless couples who eat out more often and thus can sustain a wide variety of dining options.

• How adventurous and sophisticated is San Francisco’s palate anyway, when the perennial favorite dish is Zuni’s roast chicken?

What do you think? Are midwestern palates lacking in adventurousness, even in this day and age? Is daring dining only for the coasts? And how sophisticated can San Francisco be when—in the words of one New York commenter—”Everyone wears jeans and sneakers!”