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

Make Killer Kebabs for the Rest of the Summer

There aren’t many food rituals for summer: watermelon, strawberry shortcake, slushy drinks. And, of course, cooking everything you can on the grill. READ MORE

The Last Crawfish Boil

I grew up in Houston in the 1990s. Then as now, Houston was the nation’s energy capital. Every year in early May, more than 50,000 conventioneers descended on the Astrodome for the Offshore Technology Conference, the largest oil and gas trade show in the world. One of those convention-goers was my father, a Taiwanese-turned-Texan mechanical engineer with a deep knowledge of the offshore drilling industry and a penchant for colorful stories. Dad had a weakness for steak, barbecue, and free food. READ MORE

The Gorbals’ Peter Haller: 5 Cheap Bites in Los Angeles

Meet Peter Haller, chef who heads the kitchen at The Gorbals in DTLA. “The cultural diversity is what makes things so great here.” Haller shares his five cheap faves in LA. READ MORE

7 Things to Do with BBQ Brisket Leftovers

BBQ brisket is not only a beautiful and ridiculously delicious thing to have, but the leftovers are amazing. Here are seven ideas from the CHOW Home Cooking discussion board on what to do with leftover smoked brisket. READ MORE

How to Make Perfect Fish Tacos

The fish taco—battered and fried, cabbage-stuffed—might have originated in San Felipe, the Baja California gulf town south of Mexicali, or in Ensenada, a three-hour drive northwest to the Pacific. Nobody knows, not really. But while the fish taco's origins are obscure, its ubiquity is in no doubt. READ MORE

Pace Picante Salsa Knockoff

My brother and I had a ritual every day after school. We'd come home and blast into the huge Costco bag of tortilla chips and the jug of Pace Picante sauce with the built-in handle. Every day. We’d pour salsa into a bowl, eat it as fast as possible, one chip following the next, not stopping until we reached complete chip override, a 10-minute feeding frenzy as intense as Cheerios dumped in a lake of carp. READ MORE

Scotch Whisky Cocktail Ruffles Your Hair

The whiskey cocktail is the point of origin for modern drinks. Its formula—spirit, sugar, water, and bitters—is a cocktail’s skeleton, the bones on which to hang some pretty shapely variations. READ MORE

Istanbul on the Upper East Side

Chef Orhan Yeğen knows Turkish cooking, having done it very well at more than a dozen restaurants around town, though typically for only a short time before bouncing. Those who've caught his act at any of his stops—including his current home base, Sip Sak in Midtown—have brought back reports of superior food, at least until he's moved on. The cooking's as good as ever at his latest place, Francela on the Upper East Side, though the format's a new one for Yeğen. You order deli-style at counters—cold salads and mezze, hot prepared foods, or grilled dishes and other entrées—and eat at one of a handful of seats or, as most customers do, take your food to go. It's a fast-casual model, popular in Istanbul, that Chowhounds wish would catch on all over New York. READ MORE

Are There Health Benefits to Flavored Yogurt?

No, according to nutrition expert Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat. There could be some health benefits to yogurt’s friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus), which may replace some of the bad bacteria in your body. But research shows that there is a lack of scientific evidence to completely support this claim, so it’s more of an idea than a fact. Sort of like my “idea” that I can eat a donut for breakfast every day, when the fact is that at some point my jeans won’t fit. READ MORE

Mysterious Creature from the Deep, Grilled

I love eating octopus: the chewy texture when it’s perfectly cooked, the way it resists and then submits to my teeth in every bite. But I have this fear of cooking octopus, a fear I’ll end up with a mass of unchewable rubber, and that my poor little sea friend will go to waste. READ MORE