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

Pizza con Carnitas?

If you tried to think of all the places you'd go to get a pizza, Mi Rancho Mexican Market probably wouldn't make the list. But no joke, the thin-crust pizza is really good, says yimster.

Most pizzas are $10 and made to order, with the dough hand-tossed, the sauce house-made, and the basil fresh. But of course there are also toppings you'd never get at Pizza My Heart or New York Pizza (where the chef used to work); request chorizo, carnitas, or anything else that takes your fancy from the Mexican place next door.

Mi Rancho Market [Peninsula]
137 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City

Discuss: Great Pizza in a Mexican Market, Mi Rancho in Redwood City

Pork in the Mail

An envelope arrived in the mail the other day. It contained meat. Cured meat, unrefrigerated, sliced paper-thin and sealed in plastic packages, with a nice handwritten note from Scott Buer of Bolzano Artisan Meats saying that it was shelf-stable until opened.

I don't know when it was sent; I don't know when it arrived (my mailbox goes neglected for days at a time). It had sat at unknown temperatures for an unknown period of time in its peregrinations from Wisconsin. It was meat.


Maine Lobster, Cantonese Flair

It seems that hounds have been craving Chinese-style crustacean lately. Melanie Wong raves about the lobster lo mein at R & B Seafood, while stanbee does the same for King Sing's version.

At R & B, the silky, wide noodles come "crowned with a good-sized fresh New England lobster stir-fried with ginger and scallions," Melanie says. Live seafood is a specialty here, and very well-priced: The lo mein is $12.95. Another must-order: giant clam/queen's clam/surf clam ($5.95), "tender and bursting with the sweet flavor of freshness." That, and garlic, soy sauce, and scallions. At King Sing, the lobster is served with thin noodles and a lighter ginger-scallion sauce.

If you'd rather have lobster your way, gordon wing spotted Maine lobsters for $6.99/pound at the 99 Ranch supermarket in Richmond.

R & B Seafood [Peninsula]
2209 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

King Sing Chinese Restaurant and Wine Bar [Inner Richmond]
501 Balboa Street, San Francisco

99 Ranch Market [East Bay]
3288 Pierce Street, Richmond

Discuss: Lobster Lo Mein and Surf Clams @ R and B Seafood in Palo Alto
Beautiful fresh Lobster Lo Mein at King Sing, 6thAv Balboa $10.99
99 Ranch deals ....... Lobster $6.99

Overheard on the San Francisco Bay Area Boards

"This is high-quality ramen, all organic, all from scratch. Having never tasted a sous-vide egg before, I was blown away by that in particular." – vulber, on a sneak preview of Hapa Ramen, the new venture by a couple of Nopa veterans that's set to open a stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market in June

"They are freaking delicious. And I am NOT a doughnut person AT ALL." – Jeni Bean, on Grandma Dierk's cinnamon-dusted, fried dough pull-aparts at Dierk's Parkside Café

"The food is good enough that it's mobbed all the time. Traditional Cantonese dishes—some of which I haven't seen since my mom stopped making them decades ago." – Claudette, on Cooking Papa

Popsicles Are In

The days of freezer-burned Bomb Pops are over. Creative food people have turned their full attention to popsicles, and the results are herbal, weird, and fresh. New York has several exciting options, including People’s Pops (pictured here), which offers seasonal fruit flavors like cantaloupe with tarragon.


The Longest Asparagus Ever?

What's going on in this nearly silent video? No, that twisty green thing is not a jungle vine. That is apparently five stalks of asparagus discovered by a farmer in Zadar, Croatia, that are about 12 feet long, reports CBS News RAW. Guinness is on the job, and we'll soon know if that there is world-record-worthy asparagus.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Dudes Dissin’ Dude Food, Wolfgang Smurf, Badass Pastry Chef Advice

Cook to Bang was the Last Straw: In a humorous article, Josh Ozersky (ironically, given his duditude) says that "dude food," has gotten out of hand, citing examples ranging from "Dudai Lama" Guy Fieri to the "aggressively vile" blog-turned-book Cook to Bang. via Time READ MORE

All Your Grilling Needs, Met

All Your Grilling Needs, Met

Recipes galore, plus inspiration and edification. READ MORE

Kicked Out of “Sacred Space”

E. coli lettuce? Whatever. The most shocking food story of the week came to light in the New York Times blog Diner's Journal in a post by Rob Lieber titled "Why I Got Kicked Out of a Restaurant on Saturday Night." READ MORE

Ice Cream Cakes for Your Happy Birthday

Ice cream cakes are a blank slate for the imagination, with layers of cake, ice creams, sauces, and add-ins in any flavor combination that appeals. (Some, such as CHOW's Pistachio-Strawberry Ice Cream Cake, use a crumb crust or simply crushed cookies instead of cake layers.)

Hounds recommend assembling ice cream cakes in a springform pan, so you can remove the sides and serve from the base without having to unmold. If you bake a cake to use, bake it in the springform pan, split it into layers if you wish, and use the same pan to assemble the cake.

It's ideal to start at least a day before you want to serve the cake, because each layer must be frozen before adding the next. Freeze the bottom cake layer, then spread with softened ice cream and top that with sauce and add-ins, freeze, and add more layers of cake and ice cream as you wish, freezing each before adding the next. Most hounds frost the top and sides with whipped cream right before serving.

Oil-based cakes work better than butter-based ones, which tend to be dry when frozen, says jsaimd. Crushed Oreos are popular for sprinkling between layers, because they don't get too soft. Crushed Heath bars are another favorite addition. Or go another direction and add fruit between layers.

"If anybody wishes to make an ice cream cake but is a little lazy," says John E., use grocery-store ice cream sandwiches: Line the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with ice cream sandwiches, add a layer of crumbled cake or crushed cookies, then fudge or caramel sauce. Repeat with a second layer of ice cream sandwiches, pressing down on them before adding more cake and sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

shaebones recommends a "delicious" mocha ice cream cake, and lexpatti likes this chocolate-peanut butter one, which is made like a jelly roll.

If you really want to gild the lily, "I serve hot fudge sauce on the side with my ice cream cake," says TrishUntrapped. "Best of all worlds."

Discuss: Has anyone made an ice cream cake?