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

Gael Greene’s Sex on the Beach with the Entenmann’s Guy

In the Daily Beast, food writer and Top Chef food judge Gael Greene writes about the hot and steamy summer affair she had with a married Entenmann's delivery man. She pushes the propriety envelope when she starts talking about sexual specifics, but that's not what got to us. Fine, she had sex. With an Entenmann's guy. Who was married. Yawn.

What did excite us?

You did it in the Hamptons? At a house you describe as "a true beach house … with an extra bedroom, everything I needed in a kitchen, and a small guest suite over the garage?" And you rented it on a salary you got as a food writer?


Fresh Peas, An Ephemeral Pleasure

Fresh shelling peas are a fleeting luxury, in season for a short while. They are best used in simple preparations that allow their flavor to shine. You can add them raw to salads or simply cook in boiling water for a few minutes, drain, and add butter.

Peas with lettuce is a classic French dish. Gio sautés the thinly sliced white part of a few green onions in butter until they're softened, adds 2 cups shredded lettuce and cooks for a minute, adds a pound of shelled peas and 1/4 cup chicken stock, and cooks uncovered until most of the stock is gone. Finish by stirring in the sliced green tops of the green onions.

Cherylptw puts quartered red or white potatoes and chopped onions in a pot of water or vegetable broth and simmers until the potatoes are almost fork tender. Stir in peas, salt and pepper, fresh thyme, and a pat of butter. Cook another couple of minutes, then spoon into bowls with some of their juices. Serve with a biscuit or a wedge of cornbread.

Fresh peas make a great base for dips, like this fresh pea hummus and this pea dip with Parmesan. enbell suggests this fresh pea soup, and Dan G makes pea and mint risotto often while fresh peas are in season.

Discuss: Wow, peas! Now what?

Whole-Grain Baking, Not Just for Hippies

In Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, Kim Boyce destroys the notion that baking with whole-grain flour results in gritty, leaden cookies and cakes. Often using a combination of flours, she explains the unique flavors that grains such as teff, quinoa, and buckwheat bring to the baking table, then creates recipes that complement them instead of trying to sneak them into stuff under the guise of making things healthier. Barley flour has a sweet and creamy quality, she says, so it goes great with fruit like strawberries, which she folds into barley scones. Rye flour? Not as intensely flavored as your pumpernickel makes it seem—Boyce likes to pair its maltiness with basil and mint in zucchini bread.


Tarragon, the Mystery Spice on the Rack

Tarragon is a green herb with a subtle licorice flavor that's the seasoning in classic Béarnaise Sauce. It also matches well with chicken, fish, and eggs (as in CHOW's Deviled Eggs with Tarragon).

darklyglimmer loves chicken with Dijon-tarragon cream. "My husband would eat this once a week if I let him," she says, "and I'm often tempted." tcamp recommends chicken with tarragon and quick-roasted garlic.

When she makes salmon with mustard and herb butter, danapi grills the salmon on a cedar plank. "This recipe is the reason I grow tarragon," she says. "Simple, easy and SO delicious!"

Tarragon can work with sweets, too. "I am lately obsessed," says soupkitten, "with whipping the good local farm cream with tarragon and serving over berries and peaches, making fruit shortcakes, etc. I may soon try an ice cream. I like a little fresh tarragon in lemonade sometimes." lizwinn likes it with grapefruit and cantaloupe.

Discuss: Bumper crop of tarragon – your ideas please!

Toxins Are the Evil Spirits of Our Times

Demi Moore and Ashton are the newest celebs on the master cleanse train, reported CBS. They're doing it together for support, and tweeting about it to boot! Cute. But idiotic.

Brief recap for those of you who need a brush-up on master cleanse facts:

1)      It consists of drinking a mixture of purified water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for a period of at least ten days.

2)      Proponents claim it "flushes out" toxins from your body.

3)      Many people use it for quick weight loss.


Preserve Summer Tomatoes by Oven-Drying

Most of us eat as many tomatoes as we can while they are at their best. It's easy to save some of that goodness for later by making delicious oven-dried tomatoes. Oven-drying concentrates the tomato flavor, adding punch wherever you use them.

Gio explains how: Halve tomatoes, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and season with dried herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme and salt and pepper. Roast at 200° Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 hours, depending on size (check after 2 1/2 hours). When done, they will be dry and shriveled. Pack into containers and top with olive oil. They will keep a few days refrigerated or a few months frozen.

chowser takes some tomatoes out at the halfway point and purées them to make a base for an intensely flavored tomato soup or sauce.

Discuss: Too Many Tomatoes...Need Help

Does My Waiter Hate Me?

Does My Waiter Hate Me?

What you can do to make his job easier. READ MORE

Bistro LQ: We Don’t Get It

We were psyched to eat at Bistro LQ, a Hollywood restaurant often mentioned on Chowhound as "nouveau French" and a not-to-be missed spot in LA. When researching CHOW Tour, we took special note of anything Jonathan Gold recommended, and in the LA Weekly, Gold named the one-year-old Bistro LQ one of the 99 most “essential" restaurants in LA. The chef, Laurent Quenioux, he writes, is a "mysterious ... madman" who creates elegant and unusual dishes including "ant eggs, headcheese and baby-goat burritos, frog legs in barbecue sauce served with a begonia chutney." Well hot damn, that sounded right up our CHOW Tour: Innovation alley. READ MORE

Overheard on the Home Cooking Board

"I love a toasted panino with speck, Brie, and red chicory/radicchio; or speck, Brie, and asparagus; or speck, Gruyère, and dill pickle slices. My husband says that speck, fontina, and salsa rosa is a classic Italian panino (salsa rosa is like a mix of mayo, ketchup, and whiskey-pink in colour, thus the name)." – msmarabini

"Use in poaching liquid when you poach eggs. It adds a fabulous dimension to your eggs and imparts to the yolk a sweetness not unlike vanilla custard." – ipsedixit, on fresh ginger

"Mango makes wonderful ice cream all year long—purée it and add a little Fruit-Fresh to hold the color, then freeze it and use all year." – Querencia

Watermelon Nights: The Video

The most genuinely cheerful stop-motion animated fruit video of 2010 is surely upon us: a track called "Watermelon Nights," acted out by a team of enthusiastically animated watermelons. Also features an aggrieved eggplant. READ MORE