The CHOW Blog rss

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

Overheard on the Home Cooking Board

"Every year when sour cherries are in the market I put up a couple of quarts in maraschino liqueur. I've tried other combinations of sour and sweet cherries and different kinds of alcohol, but this is the one combination I make over and over again—perhaps because I use them mainly as a garnish for Manhattans." – JoanN

"I have good success with them in a little summer salad. I usually cook and then combine with chopped tomatoes and raw corn off the cob, and toss with a simple sherry vinegar vinaigrette and whatever herbs are handy (basil, parsley, and mint all work)." – umphilly on fava beans

"There's a basic sauce that is nothing more than (I think) a 2:1 ratio of fish sauce to minced bird chiles. Keeps forever in the fridge and adds a rocking hit of salt, funk, and heat to tons of dishes." - eight_inch_pestle

Does Fish and Chip Ice Cream Go Too Far?

What have we come to, when bacon-flavored sweets no longer prompt even a raised eyebrow? Thankfully, there are still savory-sweet frontiers to push and provocateurs willing to push them: UK-based ice cream producer Frederick's Dairies has unveiled a fish and chip ice cream. It might go well in a sundae with raw horse-flesh ice cream.

A step too far? Here's what the masters of the realm of frontier-pushing have come up with:

  • Heston Blumenthal's bacon and egg ice cream
  • Homaro Cantu's Kentucky fried chicken ice cream
  • Ferran Adria's foie gras ice cream, and his delectable Parmesan ice cream
  • Wylie Dufresne's ice cream bagel (an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox, in ice cream form)
  • Thomas Keller's classy tomato sorbet
  • Grant Achatz's applewood ice cream (made by steeping smoked sawdust in milk)
  • What's the weirdest savory ice cream flavor you've come across lately?

    Tipping Homeless “Helpers”

    Tipping Homeless “Helpers”

    They open the door; you feel guilty. READ MORE

    Building a Better Sandwich Sealant

    Building a Better Sandwich Sealant

    This week's mission: Would a healthier version of mayonnaise taste as sweet? READ MORE

    Minimalist French Applesauce

    Minimalist French Applesauce

    This week's mission: mashed apples and apple juice concentrate packed into a little sippy pouch. READ MORE

    Turkish Cookbooks We Like

    Turkish Cookbooks We Like

    Get familiar with the flavors of Turkey. READ MORE

    Basic Turkish Ingredients

    Basic Turkish Ingredients

    What you should have on hand to cook köfte. READ MORE

    Gateway Dishes: Köfte

    Gateway Dishes: Köfte

    A taste of Turkey. READ MORE

    The Gallows Makes a South End Splash

    When Sage's departure left a gaping hole in the South End, the Gallows moved in and raised the stakes considerably. Owned by the folks behind Vee Vee and the Biltmore, it's a gastropub with good, precisely measured cocktails, a well-chosen list of beers, and one rotating cask ale selection. But the food blows everything else away.

    The most buzzed-about items are the four poutine selections (yes! four poutine selections!). Order the traditional version with house-made curds ("soft and delicious," moans DivGuy), dark chicken gravy ("a rich chicken-based elixir that was like the best of the pan juices thickened just a bit," says yumyum) and crispy fries ("super crispy, light, airy, and stay tasty even after they've cooled down a bit," says Mike5966). There's a vegetarian version with mushroom gravy, a foie version, and the "out of control," a nightly special. On yumyum's visit it boasted "sweetbreads, lardons, English peas, and spring onions in addition to the fries, curds, and gravy."

    You can get those same crispy fries on the side of the delightful West Coast–style burger, ground in-house and served on a buttery roll with American cheese, iceberg, house-made pickles, and lightly grilled, crunchy onions. On the side are more of those fabulous fries, accompanied by the house-made ketchup: "There are microscopic bits of fresh tomato in there, too, and if they could just thicken it up a bit, it would be perfect," says Mike. "However, the taste was so good, at the end of the meal I wanted to and did, in fact, sip this ketchup from the little silver cup it came in."

    Other good things: duck prosciutto and country ham on the ploughman's platter, the New England cheese list, and the Scotch eggs.

    The Gallows [South End]
    1395 Washington Street, Boston
    617-425-0200

    Discuss: I love the Gallows

    All About Pounding

    What is the point of pounding meat? Mostly, it's tenderizing. "Beating meat quite simply begins the process of digestion," explains FoodFuser. "Muscle fibers are bundles of strongly wrapped cables, a feature that engineers of suspension bridges have long adopted. The more I can break those cables down, the more comfortable my chewing." This is especially helpful with tougher cuts of meat, which are often at once cheaper and more flavorful than more naturally tender cuts. "Just butterflying the chicken breast (or using a scaloppine of veal or pork) will never get you one as tender as one that has been lovingly pounded," says ttoommyy.

    "You can actually feel the tenderizing process of the meat as you pound," says jfood. But beware—it's messy! Use plastic wrap, or Alkapal offers this tip: "Pound the meat inside the heavy plastic sleeve left over from a box of breakfast cereal. I save mine for this very purpose."

    Discuss: Question About Pounding