The saying that you should only eat in a Chinese restaurant where Chinese people are eating is a cliché. But it's hard to dispute that a restaurant filled with great chefs is going to be top-notch. When Eric and Bruce Bromberg opened Blue Ribbon Brasserie in SoHo almost 18 years ago, the brothers kept the restaurant open late. Soon Mario Batali and Jean-Georges Vongerichten were dropping by after work. They came for the bistro-style food, like the now-famous and much-copied marrow bones served with toast. Next the Brombergs opened Blue Ribbon Sushi, then Blue Ribbon Bakery and a handful of other New York restaurants. Now they have written the Blue Ribbon Cookbook: Better Home Cooking, filled with unpretentious dishes like fried chicken and steak and eggs. (Try out some of the recipes they gave us: Garlic Dill Pickles, Sautéed Calamari with Parsley and Garlic, Doughnut Muffins, and New York Strip Steak with Caramelized Shallots.) We talked with them about how they got here.
Unlike New England–style baked beans, many recipes for the type served as a side to barbecued and grilled meats begin with canned beans, which are then doctored with other flavorings: bacon, garlic, onions, and beyond. Witness CHOW's Root Beer BBQ Beans. "I'd suggest making the beans at least a day or three ahead of time to let the flavors develop in the fridge," says porker.
nomadchowwoman begins with a can each of kidney, white, black, and baked beans, and seasons them with onions and garlic cooked in bacon fat, crumbled cooked bacon, mustard, cider vinegar, and brown sugar, baking it all together.
skippy66 calls these hot-and-smoky baked beans, made with chipotle chiles, "very good and very easy." Babs says Sue and Gloria's baked beans, which include crushed pineapple and barbecue sauce, are nice alongside pulled pork sandwiches.
Discuss: ISO – Barbeque or baked bean recipe
Once you start peering at fruits for organic labels and checking food labels for high-fructose corn syrup, it gets a lot harder to just throw a bag of Whiskas in your grocery cart without thinking about it. Just what's in that bag of food you pour into a bowl each morning?
Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat, by Marion Nestle (What to Eat) and Malden Nesheim, peers into the pet food industry and advises the ethical animal owner. Nestle and Nesheim are in the middle of a book-reading tour (which includes a stop at the incomparable Omnivore Books in San Francisco on Saturday), but Nestle was able to take the time to answer some questions for CHOW by email.
This week's mission: instant oatmeal, served haute. READ MORE
Dandelion greens can be eaten raw in salad if young and tender enough, or cooked like other bitter greens.
Gio grew up eating dandelion salad. "My mother used to say, 'Bitter in the mouth, sweet in the stomach,'" she says. "I suppose that made her feel better about serving the very homely greens to us. But, truth to tell, I loved the salad then and I still do. Just the greens—especially the tiny leaves from the center and the little unopened sweet buds, well washed, seasoned with salt and pepper, very good olive oil, and red wine vinegar."
corneygirl blanches dandelion greens, dresses them with red wine vinegar, and adds them to pizza with caramelized onions and blue cheese. Other hounds sauté them as they would other tender greens: with bacon and cider vinegar, or with anchovies, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Have dandelion greens for breakfast with CHOW's Wilted Greens with Balsamic Fried Eggs.
This week's mission: Coca liqueur grabs your attention, but does it make a good drink? READ MORE
Robert Lloyd, the Los Angeles Times TV critic, adores the wacky, colorful sock-puppet-strewn world of Thu Tran's television show Food Party, which is now airing its second season on IFC. The show, which Lloyd describes as a cross between Julia Child's The French Chef and Pee-wee's Playhouse, grew from Tran's installation art, and a desire to hang out with friends and "have something to show for it." While it might not give you any practical 30-minute-meal ideas, the psychedelic stoner anime vibe of the show is a lot more fun to watch than the manicured slickness of the Food Network. Have a look for yourself.