The CHOW Blog rss

Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Our 4/20 Q&A with Nguyen Tran, LA’s Weed-Cuisine Pioneer

Nguyen Tran, an ambassador of the underground dining scene in LA, held two cannabis pop-up dinners back in 2012 along with renegade chef Laurent Quenioux. The restaurant Starry Kitchen, which he runs with his wife, Thi Tran, started illegally in an apartment. READ MORE

It’s Slow-Cooker Sunday! Make This Spicy Pulled Pork.

This variation on pulled pork highlights flavors from Mexico, with a touch of the Yucatan. It's one of my favorites for Slow-Cooker Sunday. The tart flavor of the tomatillos balances the earthy, slightly smoky achiote spice; the sweet-sour orange juice balances the spicy jalapeños. They all merge with the richness of the pork shoulder to make something really delicious and laidback. READ MORE

Indian-Caribbean Bites in Queens’s Little Guyana

A Chowhound from Guyana, hankering for the tastes and textures of the old country, has found them in a standout flatbread from Queens's Little Guyana READ MORE

We’re Making Brussels Sprouts Kimchi with Green Garlic

Thinking about current obsessions on the Chowhound General Topics board reminded me about a recipe I saw last year that I really wanted to make: Brussels Sprouts Kimchi. This is my first attempt at making kimchi and already I’m jumping off course, making up my own variation of Chef Jon Churan’s recipe before even trying it. I couldn’t find gochugaru (coarse Korean red pepper powder) so I used togarashi (Japanese sansho and seed powder). My personal current obsession is green garlic, so I'm using that in place of the onion and scallions. READ MORE

Chefs and 420: A Taste of Weed Culture from America’s Cooks

You know we’ve already turned some corner as a society when “haute” shows up as a word to describe stoner cuisine in the nation's paper of record. Mixing different types of cereal in one bowl won’t cut it anymore. It’s gone beyond late-night tacos from the lonchera. (Though both are still plenty fine.) Braised beef, pork belly, and bacon have made their way into the conversation, and with the growth of dispensaries (at one point they outnumbered Starbucks in Los Angeles), we’ve seen an influx of cannabis edibles that put first-time pot brownies to shame. READ MORE

Kimchi Classes Coast to Coast

Scoot over kosher dills and Sriracha, the spicy, tangy Korean fermented pickle known as kimchi is now taking up door-shelf space in more and more American fridges. With hundreds of varieties (including napa cabbage, daikon, and cucumber), kimchi is extending its popularity well beyond Korean banchan spreads, into tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and hot dogs. Want to take your love of kimchi to the next level? Learn how to make your own at one of these classes offered around the country. READ MORE

Celebrate Easter with Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

Most Easter eggs are dyed, chocolate, or plastic and filled with jelly beans, but we took the Easter egg idea in a different direction: Scotch eggs. READ MORE

Early Report on the Gander, a Kick-Back Follow-Up to Recette

Having made his name with elegant, seasonal small plates at Recette, Chef Jesse Schenker was ready to kick back a bit. The Gander, his two-week-old follow-up, is bigger, cheaper, and more casual, a place to "put the pretension aside, cook for a bigger audience, and just make really good food," as he told Fork in the Road. READ MORE

Diane Tran’s Pho Banh Mi Is Amazing

Muffins Muffins is a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop down the street from the CHOW offices in San Francisco. It has taken care of me many times, filling the hole when desperate; a splash of color in a sea of suits and sunglasses. There are ex-CHOW staffers who still travel out of their way to get to Muffins Muffins for pork or tofu banh mi. The other day I noticed a sign taped to the window: PHO SANDWICH. Owner Diane Tran explained that she'd wanted to start offering pho, Vietnamese soup, but the kitchen in her tiny shop is too small to handle the huge stockpots she'd need. Instead, Tran combined pho ingredients in a sandwich. READ MORE

Seeking the Soul of American Food at Pebble Beach Food & Wine

This guy in a suit is leaning up against the wall and he’s absolutely hammered—like, reeling drunk—and he’s got his nose in a glass of Pinot (or something) and he’s trying to swirl it, only he’s too gone so he’s just jerking his glass. He’s going to end up staining that suit jacket, but he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who has only one decent suit. I’m figuring he won’t care. It’s the opening night reception at Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2014, and this is the inner sanctum: the wine room. READ MORE