The CHOW Blog rss

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

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

5 Chowhound Go-To Spots for Corned Beef in NY

No two ways to slice it: New York is a pastrami town. When local Chowhounds talk cured meats, corned beef is a little-mentioned afterthought. But among omnicarnivorous 'hounds, the conversation occasionally drifts to that other deli meat. Here, in alphabetical order, are five of their favorite places to get it: READ MORE

SF Bar Is Pairing Girl Scout Cookies with Booze

A bar in San Francisco has found some wholesome inspiration for its new cocktail pairings: Girl Scout Cookies. At The Alembic Bar in the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, General Manager Greg Quinn developed a cocktail pairing menu for classic Girl Scout Cookies like Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-si-dos. READ MORE

Hapa Ramen’s Taco Pop-Up: Why San Francisco Is Still Fun

Everybody’s writing about San Francisco: our tech boom (different from our tech bubble, unless it isn't), our Google Buses, our restaurants people mistake for Google Bus, the lessons of Tosca and $4 toast. They’re saying San Francisco is the new New York, or maybe it’s the old Easthampton (I get confused), that it’s gentrifying beyond anything anyone knew and loved in 1979, or 1993, or 2011, or whatever year you dropped your cat carrier and your backpack on the stained carpeting of your first-ever San Francisco apartment and felt the warp-shift of destiny over the phone when you said to your old roommate in Philly or Fresno or wherever it is you started that morning, Holy crap, I’m actually here. READ MORE

Colcannon: Awesome Irish Potato and Cabbage Hash

Like boiled dinner, milky tea, and Guinness, colcannon is pure Ireland. Traditionally on Halloween, a pot of potatoes mashed up with kale or cabbage and onions landed on the table for everyone to dip in with spoons, hoping to find the lucky ring or thimble buried in the mash: fun, definitely filling, but from a textural standpoint, boring. It occurred to me that colcannon had been around since at least the 18th century, long before there were food mills or even proper sieves in most homes—there must have been a much more rustic way of doing it back then. I was going for something much more like hash: melted, buttery onions, cabbage that retained some of its crunch, and crispy caramelized potatoes. You’ll never see a colcannon recipe that does this—that smashes the potatoes so that they’re chunky, exposing the interior so that as much of the surface as possible gets crispy, and that caramelizes them in two stages. READ MORE

Restaurant Pet Peeve: Who Had What

Running a restaurant is about as hard as playing a game of 3-D chess. So many elements have to work together: food, drinks, service—and knowing who ordered the squid with stinging nettles. Today’s pet peeve is from an anonymous reader, annoyed by the widespread and completely baffling practice of what she calls the “dinner auction.” That’s when a food runner or even the server himself, entrée plates in hand, needs diners’ help to figure out what goes where. READ MORE

Bell’s Beer, from Kalamazoo to Your Corner

While Bell's beers have built a cultish national following over three decades starting in their native Michigan, they've been just a tantalizing rumor in New York City. That changed last month, when the craft-brew pioneer rolled into town in a big way—not just at beer-geek hangouts but also at chain groceries, drugstores, and corner delis. "It is ridiculously good stuff," rose water writes on Chowhound, "and has quickly taken me from working-mama-who-is-too-tired-to-drink-alcohol-ever to let's-have-beer-with-dinner-again-tonight-shall-we?"

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That Blood Orange Digestif You Made? Add It to Margaritas

It’s done: The blood orange digestif we started last week steeped for six days. (In case you missed it, CHOW photographer Chris Rochelle took the peel from half a dozen blood oranges and soaked them in two cups of grain alcohol.) READ MORE

In SF, Incanto’s Countdown to Closing

Incanto, the Noe Valley Italian restaurant where Chef Chris Cosentino proved masterful at preparing (and popularizing) offal, has announced that their last dinner service will be March 24. The space will reopen as Porcellino, a casual restaurant and market with lunch service and takeout. Make reservations now, if you still can, for the famed Quinto Quarto offal tasting menu.