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

Meat That’s a Real Treat

"This is the butcher shop the Berkeley/Oakland area has deserved for all of these years," declares Morton the Mousse of the new Marin Sun Farms retail operation in Rockridge Market Hall. Those are real butchers behind that counter, and they know their stuff. It's great stuff, too: "Excellent selection of pasture raised beef, lamb, goat, and chicken (including their famous eggs)."

Rockridge Market Hall [East Bay]
5655 College Avenue, Oakland
510-250-6000

Discuss: Marin Sun Farms opens in Rockridge Market Hall!

Overheard on the San Francisco Bay Area Board

"The crackly crisp bacon was great, and the rich, oozing mass of Jersey milk Bellwether Carmody cheese was a force to be reckoned with." – Melanie Wong on grilled cheese at the Windsor Certified Farmers Market

"We had the braised pork sandwich and the lamb burger—both of which were some of the best renditions of those dishes we've ever had." – The Dive on a great lunch at Café Bière

"But the truly outstanding mezze—so good in the first order, we had to have a second—was an unusual take on lamb stuffed grape leaves." – Joan Kureczka on Troya

Ghrelin Doomed Your Diet

You've skipped breakfast, and at noon, with your tummy rumbling, you opt for a fat slice of pizza instead of a salad. Well, duh. But a new study, presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting this past Tuesday, says you could numb those cravings. Enter weight-loss remedy number gazillion.

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Must-Have Spices

Let's be honest. There's no possible definitive list of must-have spices. The truth is, the selection of spices that you keep in your kitchen will depend on your taste preferences. However in the interest of offering perhaps one tiny nugget of enlightenment, we've compiled a list of the items that most home cooks should have on hand. READ MORE

Don’t Forget About “Forgotten Skills”

Dubbed the "Julia Child of Ireland," Chef Darina Allen has run the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School just outside of Cork since 1983. Set amidst a working organic farm, the school teaches students as much about the ingredients themselves as how to cook them.
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What’s the Difference Between Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking?

What’s the Difference Between Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking?

It's not about how close to the equator you light up that cigarette. READ MORE

Summer-Ready Black Bean Salads

Black beans add protein and earthiness to main-dish salads starring summer staples such as corn, tomatoes, and avocado and dressed with citrus juices.

mariacarmen makes a salad of black beans, uncooked corn kernels, diced red peppers, chopped green onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. lexpatti is a fan of this version, which also includes shrimp. enbell likes this recipe for quinoa and black beans, which includes corn.

Avocado and black beans are joined with tomatoes in Ina Garten's guacamole salad (mcf adds a bit of cumin to the dressing) and with mango in this salad.

cathyeats makes a salad of black beans and roasted sweet potatoes with red bell pepper and green onions, with a Dijon mustard-lime juice vinaigrette. It "has made converts out of some people I know who weren't big fans of black beans and/or sweet potatoes!"

Discuss: Thing to do with black beans?

The Lady Will Have the Prawns

The Lady Will Have the Prawns

On guys ordering for gals. READ MORE

On What Shall We Dollop Salmon Roe?

Bright orange salmon roe add a pop of color and an even bigger pop of flavor to all kinds of foods.

Tripeler halves avocados and scores the flesh down to the skin, then adds ponzu sauce and allows the halves to marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Fill each with salmon roe, and eat with a small spoon. "The color contrast is stunning," he says.

shanagain loves salmon roe on baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. "I tend to have a few bites of just the still cold sour cream and roe," she says. "I stir everything together once the potato has cooled somewhat. You end up with a pink, fishy baked potato. That is delicious." Veggo tops a Swiss cheese omelet with sour cream and salmon roe.

More ideas: Eat roe on hot white rice, use it to top deviled eggs.

Discuss: Salmon Roe — Any Ideas?

New Ideas for Asparagus: Pesto and Pizza

If you love asparagus, but are looking for something new to do with it, give this asparagus pesto recipe a try, recommend hounds. Asparagus is cooked until completely tender, and used in place of basil in a classic pesto recipe. "It was absolutely lovely!" raves LNG212. "I tweaked a little bit—less cheese and more lemon," she says, adding, "the recipe is just asking for personalization!" karykat loves the pesto, too, and thinks it would be a great room-temperature dip or spread.

LNG212 found another new use for asparagus in this shaved-asparagus pizza. Thinly shaved asparagus tops a sauceless pie with mozzarella and Parmesan. Red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice are nice additions, says LNG212.

Discuss: Asparagus 'Pesto'