Petaluma's Central Market has reopened. Early Chowhound reports have a bit of advice for anyone within driving distance: Go. Sounds like the chef's tasting menu is a good first stop, for "incredibly fresh and tasty" dishes accompanied by wines from an interesting list heavily stacked with Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
You've gone through all the hassle and troubleshooting involved in seasoning your cast iron—now what should you cook in it that will really shine? Find out the tastiest things you can make in cast-iron cookware, from clam cakes to soda bread. READ MORE
When it comes time to don your apron and get to work in the kitchen, a well-sharpened knife can make all the difference. Uneasy about using the honing steel? Spare yourself the stress and bring those dull knives to one of a few sharp shops around LA.
What distinguishes pastrami from corned beef? It's all about smoke. Both deli favorites begin with brining brisket with spices and curing salt, but while corned beef is then simmered or roasted, pastrami is soaked, given a spice rub, and smoked. Corned beef is good, Chowhound FoodFire says, but "the smoke adds a ton of flavor" to pastrami. Hounds have tips to share on efficient brining, using the right curing salts, and which woods in the smoker help deliver perfect pastrami.
Lisa Murphy (above) came to CHOW's offices in San Francisco last year to show off some delicious ketchup she’d been making under the name Sosu. She was leaving soon for Southeast Asia—to do sriracha research, she said, eventually to produce some with a Sosu label. Lisa drifted back to my inbox last month, to tell me about her Kickstarter campaign and with something new to taste: barrel-aged Sriracha, the result of her vision quest in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. READ MORE
Sous-vide cooking at home is now more accessible than ever, thanks to less expensive, temperature-controlled immersion circulators designed for use in your own kitchen vessels—but there's still a bit of a learning curve. Get tips on which cooking times and temperatures yield the best texture for various cuts of meat and vegetables, plus compare the most popular entry-level immersion circulators.
It’s hard to imagine a meat purveyor more locally rooted than Aaron and Monica Rocchino's The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley, California. A longtime cook a block away at Chez Panisse (which now buys its meats here), Aaron sources whole, pasture-raised animals from ranches within 150 miles of Berkeley. He and his staff are fierce advocates for whole-animal cooking. Not only are they turning bones and trim and fat into stocks, sausages, and terrines (even cookies made with leaf lard), they also counsel customers about how to cook the cuts they won’t find shrink-wrapped at the supermarket. When we went looking for a Kitchen Coach to guide us through corned beef, we didn’t have to look hard. READ MORE
Dashi, the Japanese stock made from kombu (seaweed) and bonito flakes (fish), is a backbone of Japanese cuisine, like chicken stock in French cuisine. Find out how to make dashi easily—and where to get decent instant dashi if you're not inclined to make it from scratch.
Cheeseburgers and spicy fried chicken sandwiches reign at Twins Sliders, a small shack on Sunset Boulevard that’s been serving up sandwich duos, fries, and milk shakes since last fall. The Hollywood location is going strong, but the second shop, on Fairfax Avenue, is currently moving to a yet-to-be-disclosed location.