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

You Can’t Take Him Anywhere

You Can’t Take Him Anywhere

How to teach your mate good table manners. READ MORE

Learn to Love Oxtails

RHT in JAX's oxtail experiences have not been promising. RHT in JAX has sampled oxtail at two restaurants, and "at each place, it seems like a chore to get the meat off the bone, as there is still a lot of fatty connective tissue." Is it worth trying again?

Don't give up, says giveittomikey. When prepared properly, they are delicious! "They should be fall off the bone tender," he says. "This way the natural gelatin in the bone has also thickened the gravy." There should be no problem getting the meat off the bone: "the problem seems to be that in some cases people do not allow enough time for them to simmer slowly," says giveittomikey. "When I fix oxtails, I cook them till the cartilage disks separate from the bones," says paulj.

In addition to cooking time, there's also a quality issue. "You need good tail and to cook it properly," says joonjoon. "There are cheap tail out there that never soften up no matter how long you cook it. For me the perfect oxtail is bursting with fat and gelatin and falls right off the bone." racer x agrees. "I prefer them meatier and fattier myself," he says. "The fatty ones are horrible for your health, I'm sure, which is why I rarely eat them nowadays, but they tend to be more tender and flavorful."

If you're going to try your hand at cooking oxtail, you might like this recipe for Oxtail and Barley Soup.

Discuss: Are ox tails just not for me?

Give Carob Another Chance

Carob is not a substitute for chocolate. "The poor carob pod and its syrup became horribly maligned during the 1970s as some kind of chocolate substitute," says Plain Jane. "Memories of carob brownies still make me shudder with revulsion." But it turns out that there are pleasures to be had from carob in its own right. "It wasn't until the last year that at the urging of a friend, I finally picked up and tried a carob pod on a wildflower hike in the countryside. It was love at first bite!" says Plain Jane, who lived in carob-growing Cypress. "Carob syrup is rich, dense, and complex like molasses, but not as thick or heavy," she says. "Use it when you want a flavor between molasses and honey." In particular, try carob syrup with fresh figs during fig season, says Plain Jane, preferably accompanied by some Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Discuss: In defense of Carob syrup!

Zombies Come Back from the Grave!

Zombies Come Back from the Grave!

Bartenders shake up some serious tiki drinks. READ MORE

To Pick a Pepper

To Pick a Pepper

This week's mission: Can crispy peppers fill a new garnish niche? READ MORE

Mediocre Cookies Evoke Camping Adventure

Mediocre Cookies Evoke Camping Adventure

This week's mission: three s'mores-themed goldfish cookies, one bag. READ MORE

Marmalade: The Good Stuff

Is it possible to find good marmalade in the United States? As far as orange marmalade is concerned, says Karl S, make sure your marmalade is made from sour (Seville) oranges, not regular sweet oranges: "a lot of American marmalade is of the sweet type, which is not the gold standard, as it were," he says. Imports are often a better bet. plum likes Wilkinson's Tiptree Tawny thick-cut marmalade, with its "dark, almost caramelised flavour and thick pieces of orange rind." It can be found in some large supermarkets or British import stores, says plum. And along the lines of dark, caramelized marmalade, cheesemaestro recommends Busha Browne's "Burned Orange Marmalade," made in Jamaica. "Availability in the US is spotty, but Gourmet Library in N.J. has it now," he says.

As for non-orange marmalades, Linda Whit thinks the tangerine marmalade from Aloha from Oregon is fantastic. cavandre likes Stonewall Kitchen Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, which isn't as sweet as most others. And smtucker loves all the Trappist Monk marmalades, but especially the lemon. KristieB agrees: "I would love to find another jar of that lemon marmalade. It was fabulous! I also like Rose's Key Lime marmalade on English muffins."

Discuss: what's the best brand of marmelade (orange or other)?

Pickles as Hot and Sour as Love Itself

Oh, Moon Brine pickles were so wonderful! Crispy, flavorful, perfect ... too bad you can't get ’em anymore, because the guy who made them is moving to Oregon. A worthy substitute is Grillo's. "The guy who makes them was on hand at the Fresh Pond Whole Foods and he said he's following his grandfather's recipe, and making them in Newmarket Square. I'm not a dill pickle lover, but I thought they were the best dills I've ever tasted," says katzzz. Grillo's runs a stand outside of the T station if you want a taste; two spears for a buck.

In other pickle news, BostonZest responded to a request for Amish-style hot pickles with this scintillating news: "I was out at Wilson Farms in Lexington today and saw lots of pickled items. There were hot bread and butter pickles, Okra, beans, etc."

Grillo's Pickles Stand [Downtown]
Park & Tremont streets, Boston
No phone available

Wilson Farms [North of Boston]
10 Pleasant Street, Lexington
781-862-3900

Discuss: Moon Brine pickle dude is moving to Oregon
Amish-style hot pickles

Overheard on the General Topics Boards

"Every so often I'll overlook a container of mini mozzarella balls from TJ's in the fridge, and when I taste test them WAY past their sell by date they're usually just a little bitter tasting, but what's interesting is that they seem almost carbonated." - EWSflash

"It reminds me of those push-up pops, always felt like I was eating ice cream out of a toilet paper roll." - Boccone Dolce, on pop-up sushi in a plastic tube

"How can I not resist paying $1.29 with my club card of some warm French Loaf bread love? They could mark it up a thousand percent and they would still kill it. I just want to thank the Grocery stores on the marketing concept. It really is brilliant." - Beach Chick, on warm loaves of French bread at the grocery store checkout line

An Irish Breakfast to Cure What Ails You

When last night's indulgences are making this morning a headache, giant Irish breakfasts are a good way to come back to life. Rashers of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, black and white pudding—these are stick-to-your-ribs foods to settle you on a Sunday morning.

Hounds recommend the fry-up at Sonny's Adams Village: "it's tremendously popular with the Irish folks in the neighborhood. The ones who are actually from Ireland and want a taste of home," says C. Hamster. "Plus the Village is the most Irish neighborhood around."

The other board favorite is the Druid in Inman Square, where Small Plates says there's an "[e]xcellent Irish breakfast that rivals any I've had in each of the 26 counties." It is served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes traditional Irish Galtee sausage links, with "lovely crispy fried spuds and really wonderful crispy sunny side up eggs and baked beans," says mick_t.

Sonny's Adams Village Restaurant & Lounge [Dorchester]
750 Adams Street, Boston
617-436-9432

Druid [Cambridge]
1357 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
617-497-0965

Discuss: What's the best Irish Breakfast around?