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

Toast One Squash Seed, Toast All Squash Seeds

Pumpkins don’t have the lock on tasty seeds for toasting and eating. All winter squashes have edible seeds, and they all have a similar flavor. Where they vary is in the ratio of husk thickness to size of seed inside. Modern jack o’ lantern pumpkins have seeds that aren’t much worth roasting, because they’re almost all husk and very little seed, notes noahbirnel. miss louella says Cinderella pumpkins not only have delicious flesh, but some have huge seeds with an excellent seed-to-husk ratio. So experiment next time you scoop out your delicatas, butternuts, sweet dumplings, or acorn squashes.

torty says that when the remains of her garden zucchini patch are the size of baseball bats, she even toasts their seeds, which have a much more tender husk. She soaks them in very salty water for 2 hours before toasting.

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toasting squash seeds…ALL squash seeds?

Ye Olde Prime Ribbe

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned English prime rib dinner, check out Beckham Grill & Crown Bar, where the old-English ambience is matched by the food: prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and roast duckling with black cherry Grand Marnier sauce, says ilikefood. A good time to try it would be Nov. 8, their anniversary, when a complete prime rib dinner is $15.95 and bagpipes will be playing all around.

At the Whale & Ale, they age their own prime rib and serve it with traditional sides, says JBC. They’re also supposed to have nice fish and chips.

The Grill on the Alley serves a classic prime rib dinner, minus the Old World atmosphere.

Beckham Grill & Crown Bar [Pasadena-ish]
77 W. Walnut St., Pasadena
626-796-3399
Locater

Whale & Ale [South Bay]
327 W 7th St., San Pedro
Locater

Grill on the Alley [Beverly Hills]
9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills
310-276-0615
Locater

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Old english style Prime Rib

Know Your Cheese

A glossary of cheese terms. READ MORE

Popeyes Fried Turkey

The popular Popeyes Fried Chicken franchise has a deep-friend Cajun turkey that can be ordered online. It costs about $50 for a 10-12 pound bird, fully cooked, ready to heat and eat.

Details here.

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Deep Fried Turkey

Fall-Perfect Butternut Squash Gratin

Here’s a great dish for Thanksgiving or any autumn meal, courtesy of opiniatedchef:

2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground mace
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. Butter
1 medium yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Slice squash in 1/4” slices. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the squash, cream, half and half, bay leaves, thyme, mace, 1 tsp. of salt, and 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring lightly to distribute the liquid, until squash is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the onions 3/8” thick. Melt half the butter in large skillet and saute onions until they turn deep golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. In an oiled medium gratin dish or other shallow oven-proof dish, layer the squash mixture and onions. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining butter. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling. Serves 6-8.

You can be make this dish in advance and reheat, or keep it uncooked in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before baking. It also freezes very well after baking.

Leftovers make a great soup, pureed and thinned with chicken or veggie stock.

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Butternut Squash Gratin: Great Fall/ Thanksgiving Dish

Two Special Crabs from Two Different Coasts

Picking meat from cooked crabs can be a messy, slow process. It’s a fun meal with a group of friends, but you’ll need a lot of napkins.

The Pacific Coast boasts the big, meat-filled, Dungeness crab. To cook them, just boil up a pot of salted water, and serve them hot or chilled, with melted butter to dip the sweet meat into. The meat makes a fine crabcake, too.

The blue crab, from the Chesapeake Bay area and the Gulf coast, can be boiled or steamed, usually with the addition of Old Bay seasoning or a spice combination of your own. For a dipping sauce, some folks like cider vinegar. The meat from the blue crab makes great crabcakes.

When a blue crab molts, the new shell is paper thin. These are known as soft shell crabs. At this stage, the crab can be cooked and eaten shell and all.

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dungeness vs. blue crab

Leave the Gun, Take the Prosciutto

The Los Angeles Times reported (requires registration) this week on a deadly serious game of “hide the salami” at Mozza, Mario Batali’s much-anticipated Los Angeles pizzeria.

A thief—described as “some yuppie” clad in khakis and sporting a receding hairline—biked away from the restaurant with $700 worth of handcrafted cured meats made by Batali’s father, Armandino. The 40-pound haul included guanciale (cured hog jowl), lamb prosciutto, and culatello.

Also missing were a bar blender and a construction worker’s tool kit. Left behind, though, was a giant wheel of aged provolone cheese. ‘I’ve been telling people we’re looking for a yuppie guy on a bike who’s lactose-intolerant,’ [co-owner Nancy] Silverton says.

Stinky to Mild

Stinky to Mild

How to build a cheese plate. READ MORE

How to Eat a Cheese Plate

How to Eat a Cheese Plate

Getting the most flavor from those little wedges READ MORE

Eating Rachael Ray

Having conquered the book world, the magazine world, and the television world, Rachael Ray is setting out to conquer the fast-food world with a chain of burger joints.

Set to open in New York, the currently nameless joint will make burgers based on the many burger recipes Ray has cranked out over the years.

‘We’ll rotate them,’ she said. ‘Tuna burgers, swordfish burgers, turkey burgers,’ Ray said, ‘I like anything you can pick up with your hands— portable food.’ Ray said she also plans to open fast-food versions of the flagship.

However, if you don’t want to wait for Ray’s contribution to the In-N-Out oeuvre, you can find her burger recipes spattered all over the Web on her own site, at Reader’s Digest, or at the new YahFood.

Can you just see her big smiling mug replacing Wendy’s red pigtails? Or, better yet, a larger-than-life statue of Ray Ray instead of Bob’s Big Boy? Maybe the doors of Ray’s burger palace will scream “YUM-O!” as you walk through them. The possibilities seem freakishly endless.

Interestingly, Rachael Ray’s not the only magazine mogul to get into the restaurant business. Men’s magazine Maxim has recently announced its intention to open a chain of steakhouses. I know the first thing I crave when I see one of those scantily dressed chicks is a big fatty steak.