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

Tail, Tripe, and Trotters

BIM, hot on the trail of offal, landed his quarry at Commerce. A ragu of "odd things"—oxtail, trotter, and tripe, served with orecchiette—was rich and intense; the succulent, meltingly tender tripe was the standout. Foie gras, in generous chunks, "burst into liquid on the tongue"; it came with sweetbreads cooked to similar irresistible texture. A degustation of lamb offal rounded out the variety-meat feast: heart seared tataki style on shiso leaf; liver with flavored mustard; and an exquisite taste of kidney, two tiny slices over potato-ramp purée. Overall, BIM writes, he "hit the organ meat jackpot," and he'll be going back for more.

Commerce [West Village]
50 Commerce Street (between Barrow and Bedford streets), Manhattan

Discuss: Offally good meal at Commerce

From France to the Caribbean to Brooklyn

The escargots explain Kaz An Nou as well as anything on the menu, douglas525 suggests. They come out plump and juicy in butter-and-curry sauce, and "what could blend French and Caribbean more?" The chef and owner, born in France and reared in Guadeloupe, also pairs rich duck confit with mango jerk sauce, and perks up his hamburger with West Indian spices.

Other reports recommend cod fritters, beet salad, and pheasant pâté in puff pastry. Expect warm island hospitality and a cool, cozy room. And save room for dessert. douglas was floored by the spicy chocolate cupcake topped with coconut cream, somehow moist and rich yet also light and airy (he confesses he was "really bamboozled by the physics").

Kaz An Nou [Prospect Heights]
53 Sixth Avenue (between Dean and Bergen streets), Brooklyn

Discuss: Kaz An Nou in Prospect Heights
Run, don't walk, to Kaz An Nou in Prospect Heights!

Cooling Off with Green Tea

In this hellish summer, hounds are thinking shaved ice. uwsister's favorite of the moment is at the Japanese lunch spot Cafe Zaiya. It includes green tea syrup, red beans, and condensed milk, among other things. "Glorious," she sighs. "If it had more mochi on it, it would be pretty close to perfection."

In Queens, Paris Baguette does Zaiya one better, brewing its ice with green tea, LucidInterval reports. This Korean bakery-café lays on plentiful toppings, too, though at $8 or $9 it's a pricey pleasure.

Cafe Zaiya [Midtown East]
18 E. 41st Street (between Fifth and Madison avenues), Manhattan

Paris Baguette [Flushing]
In Queens Crossing, 136-20 38th Avenue (between Main and 138th streets), Flushing, Queens

Discuss: Best Shaved Ice

Get Me Some Cocoa Pods, Stat

I did some shoe-leather reporting for a story recently, meaning that I walked down to TCHO Chocolate's headquarters, here in San Francisco, to talk to chocolate maker Brad Kintzer. Mostly we discussed how to taste chocolate, but I was intrigued by how he got into the chocolate-making business: He was studying botany and became fascinated by the cocoa plant. He called it a "wuss of a tree" because it's especially disease-prone, but he was drawn to the plant's long history with humans. READ MORE

Overheard on the New York Boards

"[T]he best slice ever in any neighborhood ... is the long-stemmed artichoke slice I had recently at Full Moon Pizza ... fantastic cornmeal crust ... try to get the slice just as it comes out of the oven, pure perfection." – Janie

"It exceeded expectations. $15 is mighty pricey but it easily feeds two so I'll be back." – steve h. on the steak sandwich from Lobel's Prime Meats at Yankee Stadium

"You know how the best part of a Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Carvel ice cream cake is the uber-crunchy layer of chocolate bits? Now imagine a whole glassful of those, drizzled in banana-flavored butterscotch. WHAT? YES. Delicious." – plumpdumpling on the banana parfait with chocolate crumbs at Park Avenue Summer

How to Make Your Own Green Hot Sauce

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Adjust according to taste bud resilience. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Make Your Own Ketchup

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Or the next closest thing. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Sweet Wines and Summer Barbecue

Sweet Wines and Summer Barbecue

Not an intuitive pairing, but a strangely good one. READ MORE

Hound Opens an Italian Joint

Prolific Chowhound poster Robert Lauriston's new restaurant, Locanda da Eva, recently opened in Berkeley, and some board fans who were there on the first night gave it a thumbs-up. It's casual Italian served in a convivial space, they say, beautifully lit and not too noisy. The early word is that the pastas are impressive, especially spaghetti with rock shrimp, grilled squash, chile-garlic soffritto, and bottarga. "The texture of the pasta was fantastic, and everything in that dish was cooked perfectly," says JasmineG.

Strozzapreti with tripe, tomato, and mint was excellent, says heidipie, while rigatoni with chicken and pork ragu, mustard greens, wild mushrooms, and Grana Padano was another favorite of pane's.

As for the pizza, several hounds note that the crust could use more oomph, but toppings like wilted kale and crescenza and Early Girl tomato are good. "The braised pork pizza," like a carnitas pie, "was a revelation," says heidipie. "The hot oven crisps the pork and that's just what one always wants with the liquid cheese."

Of the vegetable sides, sweet fried Brentwood corn with salsa verde mayo and fried potatoes stand out.

The wine list has good values, and heidipie comments that the cocktails are really well made. "They have those wonderful big ice cubes that make you feel like you're in the cast of Mad Men when they clink in an Old Fashioned glass."

"All in all, we thought that it was a really good start!" concludes lexmob.

Locanda da Eva [East Bay]
2826 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley

Discuss: Locanda da Eva Opening Night

Only the Best for Muggs: Foie Gras Dog Biscuits at Bouchon Bakery

My dog has never been happier than when he was snarfing down foie gras–laced doggie biscuits made lovingly at Yountville's Bouchon Bakery. He's a simple animal; I am not. Let's break it down: READ MORE