The CHOW Blog rss

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

Spice and Rice: In Sri Lanka with “The Amazing Race” and Chowhound

Nobody knows global travel like CBS’s The Amazing Race, just like nobody knows food adventures like Chowhound. To celebrate great food and great travel, CHOW has teamed up with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan for the new season of The Amazing Race: All-Stars. Here on CHOW, Phil will document his food adventures throughout the journey, as we share Chowhound favorites from the same locales. Think of it as your Express Pass to amazing food-adventure Pit Stops! READ MORE

3 Party Salsas in 30 Minutes

I’m not a multitasker. Ordinarily, I never attempt more than two recipes at a time, because structure and planning just aren’t my strong suits. I spent last year cooking my way through most of Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals—almost all of them took me 1 1/2 hours. The only exception to my two-recipe rule is salsas. I have three go-to recipes, all different: avocado pico de gallo, mango salsa, and tomatillo guacamole. I make all three at the same time, production-line style—it’s as organized as I ever get in the kitchen. READ MORE

Jacobsen Black Licorice: My Sweet, Salty Crush

Scandinavian salty licorice can hit you like a stinging lump of tar, so punishingly astringent you scramble for anything even vaguely napkinlike to spit it into. But in Portland, Oregon, a company harvesting sea salt makes a salty licorice you want to linger over till dissolved. Jacobsen Salt Co. launched Salty Black Licorice last fall, without much buzz. Owner Ben Jacobsen poked around Scandinavia, learning to harvest salt and also—go figure—developing a thing for salty licorice. READ MORE

The Best Burgers in LA (OK, Technically Only Westside)

Greater LA offers up so many burgers you could eat a different one every day for three-plus years and still not manage to plow through every one.

With such an endless roster, it can be overwhelming to choose a burger binge spot. Luckily, this Chowhound discussion has made the hunt more manageable by narrowing the search to just the Westside. The list ranges from “classic hamburger stands” to “nouveau” and “restaurant” burgers. READ MORE

Curtis Stone Gets Killer Early Reviews for Maude

Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone, best known as the host on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, opened his very first restaurant in Beverly Hills last month.

Maude’s $75, nine-course prix-fixe menu is inspired by a single ingredient each month. The early word on Chowhound calls it a steal, considering the cost of other fine-dining tasting menus around town. READ MORE

We Tried Purple Donuts. How’s Your Day Going?

We read via the OC Register a couple weeks back that Friendly Donuts in Orange was frying up Fil-Am sinkers. The thing about these cake donuts is that they get their purple color not from food science, but from ube, or purple yam. It’s huge in the Philippines, and getting more common in California. Like my friend, the food blogger Jun Belen says, Filipinos love purple sweets. So do a lot of non-Filipinos, once they see how awesome ube sweets can be. I mean: purple cake. READ MORE

In a World of Pork Ramen, Takashi Makes a Case for Beef

Takashi earned its Chowhound cred by going big with beef, so it makes sense that when this Japanese barbecue house started making ramen in December, it chose to feature steer instead of the customary pig. Served by reservation only after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, it stars a deep, rich beef broth that takes 24 hours to brew, as well as unique toppings of crunchy, mineral-y beef intestine and tender, long-braised beef belly that beats any pork chashu that valcfield's tried. The soup comes in the original flavor or "Grandma's Spicy" version with chile paste. READ MORE

The Hunt for Great Corn Rye Bread

It's a story of memory and betrayal, of old ways replaced by new, of tradition lost, found, and smartly refreshed. As farago tells it on Chowhound, it's also a story of unforgettably delicious corn rye bread. The setting is Orwasher's, an uptown bakery established in 1916 to feed the Hungarian community that once surrounded it. After a nine-decade run, its founding family sold it to an artisanally inclined baker who kept most of the Old World favorites but also made changes that didn't sit well with some longtime devotees: dropping the familiar waxed-paper bags, experimenting with wine-grape yeasts, and—most unforgivable to farago—discontinuing the beloved corn rye that he'd grown up with. READ MORE

3 Quick Mustards for Corned Beef Sandwiches

You don’t have to be an Anglophile like me to love the British way of serving corned beef (a.k.a. salt beef) sandwiches, with English mustard and Branston Pickle. Branston Pickle is hard to find in the U.S., but fortunately, Colman’s English mustard powder isn’t. READ MORE

How to Cook Corned Beef, with Aaron Rocchino

This is the second part of our two-part corned beef recipe by Aaron Rocchino of The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley, California. Aaron’s a chef and a butcher, an advocate of whole-beast cookery, and the guy who provides meat to nearby Chez Panisse. See part one for information on choosing the cut, making a corned beef brine, and the virtues of a slow (12- to 16-day) cure. Here in part two, Aaron makes a poaching brine and tells you how to cook and serve your very own corned beef. READ MORE