Simpler to make than pie, warm apple crisp with buttery streusel topping has lots of homey allure. When it comes to what kind of apple to use, many Chowhounds take a mix-and-match approach, combining two or more types for balanced texture and flavor. See which apples 'hounds recommend for crisps, along with their favorite unusual and delicious additions to the filling and topping.
Improved mushroom cultivation means more varieties of fresh mushrooms are available at the grocery store, from chanterelles to shiitakes. So why would you buy dried mushrooms? Aren't they just an inferior substitute for fresh ones? Find out why dried mushrooms will never go out of style, how drying changes the flavor and texture of some mushrooms for the better—and which kind of mushroom is a waste to buy dried.
Some cookie recipes include instructions to rotate the baking pans from front to back and between racks partway through baking to promote even browning. Is that necessary? Chowhounds say it depends on how evenly your oven heats, and whether you have a convection feature. Luckily, you can determine if an oven has hot spots without sacrificing cookies: Just bake some sliced bread first.
Do you buy fresh vegetables and meats, fully intending to cook them, only to have them go bad before you get the chance? Is your fridge brimming with leftovers that are sadly destined for the trash or compost? Learn strategies to help you stop wasting food, from smart shopping trips to appetizing ways to repurpose leftovers.
Maybe it’s the color, the heartlike shape, or our frost-season longing for spring, but strawberries are a Valentine’s tradition, and there’s no going back, no matter how many locavores exhort us to eat the calendar. But instead of acting as if the strawberries we’re dipping in bittersweet chocolate are ripe and sweet, we should at least acknowledge the hard truth: February strawberries are inevitably tart, firm, and white-shouldered. That’s what inspired CHOW photographer Chris Rochelle when he came up with this cold-season trio, in which he simmers the berries or otherwise takes advantage of their lemony tang. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, say hello to our new February crush, the rugged, off-ripe strawberry. –John Birdsall READ MORE
You've got a Dutch oven and a desire for tender braised meat in a deeply flavored sauce. With Chowhounds' advice on braising basics—from the best way to brown the meat to how much liquid to use and a cool trick for preventing it from cooking away—you'll be cooking up delicious, hearty dishes to get you through the winter.
Is it really worth it to spend a lot of money on fancy coffee beans? What are you actually paying for? Find out how important top-quality beans are to a great cup of coffee, compared to grind, brewing, and other factors, and get tips on how to find beans you'll really love.
If Cornish game hens look like miniature chickens, it's because that's exactly what they are—young birds of no more than a couple of pounds. You can cook them using any method you would for chicken, adjusting the cooking time, but Chowhounds' favorite approaches include deep-frying them whole and pairing them with fruit or Moroccan spices.
Hot chile paste (lajiao jiang) and hot bean paste (ladouban jiang) add fire and depth to Sichuan cooking. But what kind should you buy when you're in the Chinese market facing shelves full of different packages? Get brand recommendations, descriptions, and even pictures of hounds' favorite jars and cans—handy for adventurous chefs who can't read Chinese!