The CHOW Blog rss

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

Preserve Summer Tomatoes by Oven-Drying

Most of us eat as many tomatoes as we can while they are at their best. It's easy to save some of that goodness for later by making delicious oven-dried tomatoes. Oven-drying concentrates the tomato flavor, adding punch wherever you use them.

Gio explains how: Halve tomatoes, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and season with dried herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme and salt and pepper. Roast at 200° Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 hours, depending on size (check after 2 1/2 hours). When done, they will be dry and shriveled. Pack into containers and top with olive oil. They will keep a few days refrigerated or a few months frozen.

chowser takes some tomatoes out at the halfway point and purées them to make a base for an intensely flavored tomato soup or sauce.

Discuss: Too Many Tomatoes...Need Help

Does My Waiter Hate Me?

Does My Waiter Hate Me?

What you can do to make his job easier. READ MORE

Bistro LQ: We Don’t Get It

We were psyched to eat at Bistro LQ, a Hollywood restaurant often mentioned on Chowhound as "nouveau French" and a not-to-be missed spot in LA. When researching CHOW Tour, we took special note of anything Jonathan Gold recommended, and in the LA Weekly, Gold named the one-year-old Bistro LQ one of the 99 most “essential" restaurants in LA. The chef, Laurent Quenioux, he writes, is a "mysterious ... madman" who creates elegant and unusual dishes including "ant eggs, headcheese and baby-goat burritos, frog legs in barbecue sauce served with a begonia chutney." Well hot damn, that sounded right up our CHOW Tour: Innovation alley. READ MORE

Overheard on the Home Cooking Board

"I love a toasted panino with speck, Brie, and red chicory/radicchio; or speck, Brie, and asparagus; or speck, Gruyère, and dill pickle slices. My husband says that speck, fontina, and salsa rosa is a classic Italian panino (salsa rosa is like a mix of mayo, ketchup, and whiskey-pink in colour, thus the name)." – msmarabini

"Use in poaching liquid when you poach eggs. It adds a fabulous dimension to your eggs and imparts to the yolk a sweetness not unlike vanilla custard." – ipsedixit, on fresh ginger

"Mango makes wonderful ice cream all year long—purée it and add a little Fruit-Fresh to hold the color, then freeze it and use all year." – Querencia

Watermelon Nights: The Video

The most genuinely cheerful stop-motion animated fruit video of 2010 is surely upon us: a track called "Watermelon Nights," acted out by a team of enthusiastically animated watermelons. Also features an aggrieved eggplant. READ MORE

Leaving LA … So Much More to Eat

It's our last day in Los Angeles and we're having pangs of regret for all the places we didn't make it to. (There are still some posts to come from our last few stops.) It is physically impossible to get to as many places in Los Angeles as we could in San Francisco: The city is massive and the traffic is horrendous. You really can't get anywhere in under 30 minutes no matter how close Google maps says it is, can you? READ MORE

Bonomo Turkish Taffy Is Back!

For a decade, Chowhounds have been mourning the discontinuation of Bonomo Turkish Taffy. The vanilla flavor tastes, say hounds, like the center of a vanilla Charleston Chew, but the taffy comes in chocolate, strawberry, and banana, too. The great news? It recently came back on the market.

"I am so psyched! After a LOONG absence, I finally have my Banana Bonomo back!" says sweetloon. "I got some online from bulkcandystore.com and it tastes just like it used to."

Discuss: Bonomo Turkish Taffy

Squeezable Hummus That’s Not from the Old Country

Squeezable Hummus That’s Not from the Old Country

This week's mission: Chickpeas gain mass-market cred. READ MORE

Low Expectations Work in Hot Pockets’ Favor

Low Expectations Work in Hot Pockets’ Favor

This week's mission: hot little bombs of conventional flavor. READ MORE

Please Pass the Mass-Produced, Salty, Delicious Ketchup

Most packaged foods pale in comparison to their homemade brethren. Hellmann's mayonnaise (Best Foods left of the Rockies) will do in a pinch, but homemade mayo usually tastes better. Ketchup, though—Heinz ketchup—is irreplaceable.
READ MORE