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

Cook with Peaches in Any Season

Excellent fresh peaches are a fleeting summer phenomenon, but you needn't look down on canned for year-round use. They're canned when fresh and ripe and can work well if you use them in dishes where they will be cooked.

BamiaWruz thinks they work nicely in this peach upside-down cake. Hounds also use them in cobbler and add them to bread pudding. "They're lovely in a pie," says rcallner, "with some brown sugar, honey, fresh or frozen raspberries, a touch of vanilla, and a splash of cinnamon."

bon oeuf recommends Jacques Pepin's caramelized peaches, made with an intriguing technique: Peaches in heavy syrup are drained; the syrup is cooked until caramelized, and the peaches are added, along with heavy cream.

boyzoma uses canned peaches in frozen daquiris: In a blender combine half a large can of peaches, a small can of limeade concentrate, the empty can's measure of light rum, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Fill the blender jar with ice, and blend.

Discuss: Recipes for commercially canned peaches

Will This Booze Make You Evil?

Will This Booze Make You Evil?

This week's mission: good and evil in potable form. READ MORE

Overheard on the Home Cooking Boards

"Before there was prepared black bean sauce, I learned to season with fermented black beans. Not complicated. Just rinse several times in cold water, crush with a spoon, and use. I suggest you wait until beans are added to add salt to the dish. The beans will keep in the fridge for months." – OldTimer

"One variation I do like is using a scattering of diced tomato instead of slices, pretty as those are, and spreading on a chiffonade of basil instead of getting visually cute with the leaves is an improvement, too." – Will Owen, on margherita pizza

"I like to roast them in a foil packet on the grill. Usually I toss with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, add a few pats of butter, and grill the packet for about half an hour." – 2m8ohed, on roasted radishes

Your Allergy IS Bogus!

For years, my husband has insisted that the general incidence of food allergies is vastly overstated. "It’s another form of public hysteria," he insists. Well, chalk one up for the grounded midwesterner (Michael's from Kansas). Today in the NY Times, Gina Kolata reports that a new study has been released, commissioned by the federal government, that estimates only around 8 percent of children and less than 5 percent of adults actually suffer from food allergies. The remaining 25 percent who think they do might be suffering from simple intolerance or from information gleaned from an unreliable test (the pin-prick test should not be considered conclusive, says Dr. Joshua Boyce of Harvard).


Chocolate Sticky Rice with Dried Herring

In all the cuisines of the world, are there any desserts that feature fish or fish products as ingredients? Strictly speaking, it's not a dessert, says JungMann, but the Filipino dish of champorado at tuyo pairs chocolate sticky rice with dried herring. It's typically eaten for breakfast, but it can serve as a snack anytime. "It's like Asian Cocoa Pebbles ... with fish," says JungMann.

Champorado at tuyo is a very simple dish, and quality ingredients really make it shine. "A high quality chocolate with dark earthiness will make perfect champorado, while your tuyo should be thoroughly dried, escaping the chewiness that sometimes comes with inferior preparations," says JungMann.

Discuss: Are there any desserts that have fish or fish products (roe, nam pla) in them anywhere in the world?

The Delicate Art of Overcooking

Why are the crispy, blackened, burnt bits of any dish so delicious? The crunchy, slightly burnt tail of a whole fried catfish is Veggo's favorite; cuccubear likes the crispy, charred leaves that fall off roasting Brussels sprouts: "better than potato chips," says cuccubear.

The crispy bits from rice dishes like paella and bibimbap get fond reviews from Chowhounds. toodie jane likes "corn on the cob, slow roasted on the barbecue till the kernels are dry and brown—they pop right off the cob whole and into your mouth," no butter or any other dressing needed, she says. "I always cut any kind of grilled sandwich with cheese in half so the cheese can run out and burn," says wekick. "Reubens with the cheese and kraut burning on the pan—delicious."

And there's a whole culinary culture built around overcooking frozen pasta dinners. scarsdalesurprise likes the overcooked, burnt edges of a Stouffer's tuna casserole. "After you nuke a tray of Stouffers mac 'n' cheese, stir it a little and nuke it again," advises Veggo. "Now you'll get a few interesting little chunks and delicious edges."

Discuss: Those Little Burnt Things That Taste So Good

A World of Flavor in a Tiny Jellybean

"Sifting through the detritus of Easter, I recently stumbled upon an almost empty box of gourmet Jelly Belly jellybeans," says guttergourmet. "Like Horton discovering Whoville, I found a world of flavor in a single tiny ignored jellybean—the chili mango."

Chili Mango Jelly Belly jellybeans are made with mango juice, cayenne pepper, and paprika; "the tiny pale orange orb is laced with barely visible red threads of pepper," says guttergourmet. "A single bean takes you on a veritable LSD trip as you place it on your tongue. Indian, Thai, and Latin-American flavors swirl in your head as the sweet juice battles the peppery heat while your brain attempts to make sense out of it all. Whew. I can hardly wait to receive my 1-pound mail order from Jelly Belly."

Discuss: Chili Mango Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Overheard on the General Topics Boards

"I think it's a fluke—a chile-lime almond that doesn't taste like paint thinner and hate? I grabbed a bag and did not heed the suggested serving size." – Boccone Dolce, on Planters Flavor Grove Chili Lime Almonds

"Does anyone make a better bacon-flavored chip than Old Dutch? Nay!" – mcglutton

"Nuts Online has two varieties of Turkish pistachios: Antep and Siirt. I have tried both and prefer the Antep. Anteps are the Kumamoto of the pistachio family—super concentrated pistachio goodness in a tiny package." – CDouglas

Mastering the Art of Simpsons Cooking

Squid Ink, the food-and-drink blog from alternative newspaper LA Weekly, has a funny little post, "Top 10 Simpsons Food References," that may bring some misty water-colored memories to mind. Who could ever forget the all-syrup Squishee incident that caused Milhouse and Bart to go crazy, Broadway style?

But LA Weekly forgot a couple of the most memorable moments, such as the Treehouse of Horror, where the cash-strapped elementary school turned to cannibalism:

I like my burgers made out of circus animals, with a little filler.

To Cheat an Immigrant

Anyone who dines out knows on some level that his or her meal was most likely prepared in part or in whole by recent immigrants. Tom Colicchio, while accepting his Beard award last week, thanked the immigrants who work in America's kitchens. He noted that without them, "we wouldn't have a [food] industry." Anthony Bourdain has explored the topic on a number of occasions, perhaps never more skillfully than in his No Reservations episode focused on the U.S.-Mexico border.

On that front, a terrific essay from Minnesota-based chef Marianne Miller tells a small story with a big point. In it, she recounts confronting a restaurant owner about systematically cheating an employee out of wages by doctoring timecards and an employee who was fired after he complained about the situation.