Recipe inspiration, tips, and kitchen hacks from the Chowhound editors.
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 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?
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 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!
What you can do to make his job easier. READ MORE
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
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