The CHOW Blog rss

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

Ghrelin Doomed Your Diet

You've skipped breakfast, and at noon, with your tummy rumbling, you opt for a fat slice of pizza instead of a salad. Well, duh. But a new study, presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting this past Tuesday, says you could numb those cravings. Enter weight-loss remedy number gazillion.


Must-Have Spices

Let's be honest. There's no possible definitive list of must-have spices. The truth is, the selection of spices that you keep in your kitchen will depend on your taste preferences. However in the interest of offering perhaps one tiny nugget of enlightenment, we've compiled a list of the items that most home cooks should have on hand. READ MORE

Don’t Forget About “Forgotten Skills”

Dubbed the "Julia Child of Ireland," Chef Darina Allen has run the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School just outside of Cork since 1983. Set amidst a working organic farm, the school teaches students as much about the ingredients themselves as how to cook them.

What’s the Difference Between Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking?

What’s the Difference Between Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking?

It's not about how close to the equator you light up that cigarette. READ MORE

Summer-Ready Black Bean Salads

Black beans add protein and earthiness to main-dish salads starring summer staples such as corn, tomatoes, and avocado and dressed with citrus juices.

mariacarmen makes a salad of black beans, uncooked corn kernels, diced red peppers, chopped green onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. lexpatti is a fan of this version, which also includes shrimp. enbell likes this recipe for quinoa and black beans, which includes corn.

Avocado and black beans are joined with tomatoes in Ina Garten's guacamole salad (mcf adds a bit of cumin to the dressing) and with mango in this salad.

cathyeats makes a salad of black beans and roasted sweet potatoes with red bell pepper and green onions, with a Dijon mustard-lime juice vinaigrette. It "has made converts out of some people I know who weren't big fans of black beans and/or sweet potatoes!"

Discuss: Thing to do with black beans?

The Lady Will Have the Prawns

The Lady Will Have the Prawns

On guys ordering for gals. READ MORE

On What Shall We Dollop Salmon Roe?

Bright orange salmon roe add a pop of color and an even bigger pop of flavor to all kinds of foods.

Tripeler halves avocados and scores the flesh down to the skin, then adds ponzu sauce and allows the halves to marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Fill each with salmon roe, and eat with a small spoon. "The color contrast is stunning," he says.

shanagain loves salmon roe on baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. "I tend to have a few bites of just the still cold sour cream and roe," she says. "I stir everything together once the potato has cooled somewhat. You end up with a pink, fishy baked potato. That is delicious." Veggo tops a Swiss cheese omelet with sour cream and salmon roe.

More ideas: Eat roe on hot white rice, use it to top deviled eggs.

Discuss: Salmon Roe — Any Ideas?

New Ideas for Asparagus: Pesto and Pizza

If you love asparagus, but are looking for something new to do with it, give this asparagus pesto recipe a try, recommend hounds. Asparagus is cooked until completely tender, and used in place of basil in a classic pesto recipe. "It was absolutely lovely!" raves LNG212. "I tweaked a little bit—less cheese and more lemon," she says, adding, "the recipe is just asking for personalization!" karykat loves the pesto, too, and thinks it would be a great room-temperature dip or spread.

LNG212 found another new use for asparagus in this shaved-asparagus pizza. Thinly shaved asparagus tops a sauceless pie with mozzarella and Parmesan. Red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice are nice additions, says LNG212.

Discuss: Asparagus 'Pesto'

Overheard on the Home Cooking Board

"Things that used to be poached very gently before being presented in a cream sauce are now being seared, sautéed, or flame-broiled instead. What's the point? We want our dishes to be interesting, rather than 'refined,' and coaxing that flavor out of a scallop or piece of fish or veal, and adding a bit of tooth to it as well, adds some excitement our forebears would have regarded as gauche." – Will Owen

"I prefer homemade ice cream and find it particularly delicious when it's freshly churned and has the consistency of soft ice cream ... Also, you aren't limited to the flavors at the supermarket. If you want orange ice cream, you can make it. Try to find that in a store." – nofunlatte

"I add a dribble to bland salad oil to give it a nutty direction." – buttertart, on toasted sesame oil

Consider the Gulf Oyster

Sneer all you want at Red Lobster (Lord knows I've done it), but the fact that the massive seafood chain is booting oysters from its menu is nothing short of a disastrous sign vis-à-vis the health of the national seafood industry after the BP spill. The menu change comes from the shutdown of Red Lobster's supplier, AmeriPure. DailyFinance reports: