Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
This week's wallpaper comes from our pasta chart, a visual guide of our favorite kind of carbs and the sauces that work with them. Readers commented that they hadn't seen many of these varieties since childhood in Italy. Most of my childhood pasta memories revolve around Kraft mac 'n' cheese.
Our photographer Chris, was interested in showing the relative depths between each of the noodles, so chose to back-light them, which helped to visually describe the differences in thickness.
Choose a download based on your monitor resolution:
1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200
Nexus One | iPhone
And check out other wallpapers from CHOW:
Peppers, Beer, Mushrooms
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released a "BPA action plan" to look at the environmental impact of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics that's been hotly debated in the last few years due to studies linking it with health ailments from cancer to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This comes on the heels of the FDA's January announcement that it was concerned about BPA's impact on on human health and would take steps to investigate the chemical, which has shown up in everything from baby bottles to the lining inside cans of food.
Tips on bringing your own containers. READ MORE
Roasted red peppers offer a convenient way to perk up lots of dishes, whether you roast them yourself or used jarred ones. Clever hound-approved ways:
• Make quick blender sauces for steaks, pasta, or bruschetta with roasted reds, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil
• Roast garlic, onions, and tomatoes, then purée with peppers. "This combination makes a dynamite marinara sauce for all pastas," says chef chicklet. "The roasted red peppers add so much flavor."
• Make romesco sauce for sandwiches, eggs, and vegetables; bear says this version is easy and tasty.
• Chill roasted red pepper relish overnight and it's even better, says amyzan says. It's great on burgers.
• Conjure up party dips like Whipped Feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers, and Middle Eastern muhamarra, with walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
Discuss: Your favorite recipes using Roasted Red Peppers????
Tomatillos, the tart green Mexican fruit, make delicious salsa, and are also great in braised dishes. They pair well with chicken, pork, and meaty fish.
DiningDiva makes a simple sauce with uncooked tomatillos to serve over grilled chicken or pork tenderloin: In a blender or food processor, blend tomatillos, white onion, a garlic clove or two, a serrano chile with its seeds, a big handful of cilantro, and salt to taste until somewhat smooth with some small chunks for texture. Taste and add more salt or a bit of sugar if needed.
Several hounds make a quick salsa by roasting or grilling tomatillos, white onion, and green chiles, and blending with cilantro. Or try CHOW's Smooth Salsa Verde.
Other ideas: just_M has successfully battered and deep fried tomatillo wedges. Dave O likes this traditional pork chile verde, and sholli recommends turkey chipotle chili.
Discuss: Tomatillo recipes?
You can cook all kinds of things in a waffle iron, including Parmesan-coated eggplant and muffins and brownies. Now, hounds have come up with even more ideas.
4Snisl successfully cooked homemade falafel in a waffle iron. "Are they the same as deep-fried falafels....nope," he says. "Are they closer to that texture than when I bake them? Absolutely!"
"In hot weather I do bacon in the wafflemaker, which is thereby greased," says greygarious. "Then I do scrambled egg, then put the egg and bacon, plus a slice of cheese, between two slices of bread and waffle THAT."
After a stay in a mountain cabin where it was the only reliable appliance, Emme says "I consider the waffle iron to be the under-appreciated, under-used appliance." She "basically cooked everything under the sun using that nifty little thing! Pounded stuffed chicken breast, eggplant Parmesan, falafel, cornbread, bacon, hamburger, meatloaf patties, salmon croquettes, grilled cheese...oh the feasts."
Discuss: Falafel waffles?
A raft of picketers engulfed San Francisco ice cream shop Humphry Slocombe early this week, protesting its sale of liquor-based ice cream to children. The shop has attained cult status for its funky, edgy flavors such as Secret Breakfast, containing bourbon and corn flakes, and Magnolia Thunderpussy beer ice cream.
"These flavors introduce small children to the taste of liquor," said Lionel Jahosifat, who carried a sign that read "Foodies Today, Alkies Tomorrow!" "So that by the time they hit grade school, they're ready for the hard stuff," Jahosifat continued. "And that's just not right."
Marlena Macintyre, another protester, pointed out that on this particular day, the shop's limited-edition sorbet was "Jesus Juice," containing wine and Coca-Cola. "Frankly, I think this ice cream flavor should be flat-out illegal," she said.
Humphry Slocombe did brisk business during and after the protest, upping its Twitter followers by roughly 500,000.
Image source: http://captions.illmeyer.com
The artisanal cocktail movement suffered heavy casualties last night, when New York City Department of Health officials cited several restaurants in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn for old-timey facial hair code violations. For people preparing food and drink, state law requires that beards, sideburns, and mustaches be protected by a "mustache net." However, in recent years, a trend toward aggressive nostalgia in the hospitality industry has encouraged whimsical mustaches at the expense of hygiene. There is often an equally compromising accumulation of Victorian clutter: phonographs, velvet flocked wallpaper, tarnished medical equipment, and pinned butterfly wings that officials warn can attract dust and crumbs.
The crackdown was a surprise to restaurant employees—one bartender apparently panicked and attempted to hide behind a taxidermied warthog. However, many of those cited have remained defiant.
"I'd be happy to have my staff wear mustache nets—if I could find a sustainable source," said a representative of one of the establishments targeted in the raid. "And so far, I have not found a mustache net farm whose mustache netting practices I believe in."
Image source: Flickr member westerndave under Creative Commons
Ordinary diners will one day be able to cast their votes as to whether the bagel place on the corner is worthy of receiving a coveted Michelin star, or perhaps two or three. The historically rigorous Michelin Guide issued a press release this week stating that it was "quickly phasing out" its anonymous inspector evaluations in favor of user-generated reviews by the year 2020 in order to be "à la mode."
Diners wishing to submit a review must fill out and fax back the 15-page evaluation document, available for download here. They must also mail back a notarized sample review of the restaurant WD-50, written in French from the perspective of Joan of Arc. Former Michelin inspectors' identities will be revealed on April 15 in a dramatic public stoning in Lyon, which will be filmed for an episode of No Reservations.
Image source: Flickr member Tracy Hunter under Creative Commons