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

Sucking the Marrow Out of the Goat Bone

The buffet at Turmeric Restaurant is totally respectable, says Soup, especially the fish curry and the goat. The goat is beautifully gelatinous, with big pieces of bone from which to dig out the marrow. The dishes reveal complex flavors and are not at all stewed to death. The heat level is very controlled, and gives the food a sense of sophistication. Also: the dessert fruit salad contains pomegranates.

Turmeric Restaurant [Peninsula]
141 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale

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SF for 4 days

Nami Nami

Nami Nami an izakaya-style restaurant, the kind of place to drink sake or beer and eat Japanese drinking snacks, which are some of the best bar food in the world. snewdl likes the beef tongue, topped with finely shaved raw onions and tiny threads of red pepper. The cod is also excellent, broiled until the skin is crisp and served snowy-white on a bamboo leaf. Tasty garnishes include dried persimmon and mysterious red pickles. Also good: duck breast with mango and a salad of chrysanthemum greens with tofu skin. Happy drinking!

Nami Nami Kyoto Style Japanese Cuisine [Peninsula]
formerly Kamei Japanese House

240 Castro St., between Dana and Villa Sts., Mountain View

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nami nami in mountain view

Mac and Cheese with the Works – Chiles, Kielbasa, and More

A whiff of smoke makes all the difference at Waldy’s. Their wood oven is the secret to their excellent penne with Roquefort and croutons. It’s awesome stuff, declares jakew8, and relatively cheap at $7. Other baked-penne options: two cheddars, sausage-broccoli rabe, and mozzarella, tomato, and vodka.

Good gives macaroni and cheese a border spin, spiking it with green chile. Underneath its tortilla crust, it’s beautifully creamy and cheesy, says janethepain, avoiding the “baked top only with nothing but greasy cooked noodles on the bottom” pitfall.

At Home, tomatoes, fresh herbs. and a tangy mix of cheeses are the ticket, says FoodDemon. The version at nearby Deborah comes with or without turkey kielbasa, but either way it’s super, says cjthekid.

A Southern touch works wonders at Melba’s, whose Tres Macaroni and Cheese combines cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack, and Mama’s, which adds a welcome note of garlic.

More hound-endorsed mac and cheese can be found at City Bakery, Artisanal, Ditch Plains, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, Blue Smoke, and Virgil’s.

And in Brooklyn, the bewitching version at DuMont and DuMont Burger has hounds thinking unlikely thoughts. “I could give myself a facial in the DuMac and Cheese,” muses awesomechoi.

Waldy’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Penne [Chelsea]
800 6th Ave., between W. 27th and 28th Sts., Manhattan

Good [Greenwich Village]
89 Greenwich Ave., at Bank St., Manhattan

Home Restaurant [Greenwich Village]
20 Cornelia St., between Bleecker and W. 4th, Manhattan

Deborah [Greenwich Village]
43 Carmine St., between Bleecker and Bedford, Manhattan

Melba’s Restaurant [Harlem]
300 W. 114th St., at Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave.), Manhattan

Mama’s Food Shop [East Village]
200 E. 3rd St., just west of Ave. B, Manhattan

City Bakery [Flatiron]
3 W. 18th St., between 5th and 6th Aves., Manhattan

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro [Murray Hill]
2 Park Ave. (entrance on 32nd St.), Manhattan

Ditch Plains [Greenwich Village]
formerly Yumcha
29 Bedford St., at Downing, Manhattan

Schiller’s Liquor Bar [Lower East Side]
131 Rivington St., at Norfolk, Manhattan

Blue Smoke [Gramercy]
116 E. 27th St., between Lexington and Park Aves., Manhattan

Virgil’s Real Barbecue [Times Square]
152 W. 44th St., between Broadway and 6th Ave., Manhattan

DuMont [Williamsburg]
432 Union Ave., between Devoe St. and Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn

DuMont Burger [Williamsburg]
314 Bedford Ave., between S. 1st and 2nd Sts., Brooklyn

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Best mac and cheese?

Near Hartford’s Airport, Jumbo Grinders Good to Go

Mammoth meat-and-cheese sandwiches, made fresh, are the draw at Second Poquonock Giant Grinder. The Italian combo is stuffed with an inch-and-a-half-thick layer of provolone, ham, and salami–sliced just before they build the sandwich, reports satisfied customer gordon wing.

“A massive sandwich–I could feel the heft when I picked it up,” he adds–and that’s the half grinder, an eight-incher that costs just $5.65. The full-size model measures 16 inches and costs $11.30. “You’d have to be starving to tackle that one,” Gordon advises. Also on the menu: pizza, salads, fried chicken, meatballs, and more.

If you’re flying out of nearby Bradley International, a grinder would make a great pre-travel option. Just don’t try to bring one onto the plane if you’re close to the weight limit.

Second Poquonock Giant Grinder [Hartford County]
75 Old County Rd., between Denslow St. and Halfway House Rd., Windsor Locks, CT

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Giant Grinder Shop near Bradley International Airport

Neighborhood Mexican Place Perks Up

Someone new is in the kitchen at La Parrilla on Sunset, and they really know how to cook, says AndrewS.

Rib eye, thinly sliced and slathered in some kind of adobo, is delicious. Guacamole, always excellent, is up to the mark. Chicken quesadilla holds juicy (clearly marinated) chicken that’s cooked perfectly, with a little crust. Queso fundido con chorizo now comes with rustic, full-flavored corn tortillas that are a big step up from the ones served previously.

Breakfast has been outstanding lately as well, adds Paliman.

And as always, it’s nice to have a (pretty good) sit-down Mexican joint that has a full bar.

La Parrilla Restaurant [Silverlake]
3129 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

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Parrilla sizzles again

The Best Chicken Pho

The best pho ga, period, is at Pho Nguyen Hoang, says hjb. Not only do they have great chicken soup, they also have an extensive vegetarian menu, and (sometimes, at least) vegetarian pho.

Vietnam Kitchen’s pho pleases Eastern and Western palates, says czaplin. Pho ga comes with chicken breast meat and steamed chicken balls.

Pho Nguyen Hoang [San Gabriel Valley]
401 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel

Vietnam Kitchen [Artesia-ish]
1429 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

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Where to find pho ga

When Life Gives You Sour Grapes…

If you’re faced with a bunch of grapes that turn out to be too sour for eating out of hand, here are some ideas for using them:

Freeze them and eat frozen for a tart snack.

Add them to a green salad, or to a fruit salad tossed with orange juice to sweeten it up.

Toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast them to bring out their sugar; drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.

Saute them with onions or shallots, add a little rosemary, and serve with sausages on soft polenta.

Add them to an Indian curry.

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Sour Grapes

Keys to Great French Onion Soup

The most important step in making an excellent French onion soup is to thoroughly, patiently caramelize your onions. Keep the heat medium-low and keep stirring them until they become a deep golden color; this can easily take 30 minutes or more. Don’t be tempted to crank up the heat; slow caramelization brings out the onions’ sweetness and their ultimate oniony essence, the very basis of French onion soup. If your recipe has you slicing what looks to be a mountain of onions, you’re on the right track: they’ll cook down as their water is released and they caramelize.

Use the best quality stock you can get your hands on (preferably homemade). Many hounds like some fresh thyme leaves in their French onion soup, and some add wine–red or white–to deglaze the onions before adding stock. It’s classic to finish the soup with a dash or two of cognac, but sherry and port also add wonderful nuance to the flavor. Gruyere is the preferred cheese for topping a crouton of toasted bread and browning in the oven until it’s molten and bubbly, though MMRuth likes to add a little fontina for its meltability.

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What makes a good french onion soup?


Fugu, a.k.a. blowfish, a.k.a. puffer fish, a.k.a. the-fish-that-can-kill, is known for containing a deadly neurotoxin. It’s found in the Pacific and the Atlantic. The meat is a delicacy in Japan, where only qualified masters deal with it.

Yamada3 says there’s a non-poisonus variety called kawa-fugu that comes from the Boston area. It doesn’t taste as good, though.

In some parts of the U.S. it’s not legal to prepare fugu, so much of what we have arrives pre-cut. Masa, in New York City, is licensed and is probably the best bet for getting the real deal, according to K K.

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Where can I find fugu in san francisco?

Varietal Grape Juice

Navarro Vineyards in Philo, Ca., produces grape juice from wine grape varieties. They’re incredible juices, says Pei. Their web site lists Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir grape juices and a non-alcoholic Chardonnay Verjus.

A delicious alternative for the designated driver!

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Varietal grape juices?