Tastebud: Chowchow Down


A pickled, relish-like spread that’s served cold, chowchow is popular in Pennsylvania, Appalachia, the American Southwest, and the South—and with gardeners who have leftover vegetables from summer’s harvest on their hands. The indiscriminate condiment employs almost anything from the ground, from tomatoes and onions to peas and cabbage, and is slathered on biscuits, beans, and burgers or eaten alone. Whatever its contents and purposes, chowchow is almost always flavored with mustard seed and vinegar. The origins of chowchow are disputed: some argue that chou, the French word for cabbage, is the root of the American name. (Other historians trace chowchow to reported sightings of the chow chow breed of dog listed on 19th-century restaurant menus in China; word got back to America, and when China began shipping pickles to the West Coast, the name stuck.) Th

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Food Matters: Beard Bytes

With hundreds of food-related apps available, the iPhone is one of the hottest gadgets for the professional and home cook. But which ones are worth a download? We asked chefs to tell us which tools they are using right now. Read on for their answers, and make your phone the most valuable multitasker in your kitchen.

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Eat this Word: Stone Crabs

WHAT? Seafood for the softhearted. As only the sweet, white claw meat of this warm water crustacean is eaten, fishermen twist the claws off and throw the crab back in the sea. The claws regenerate after about 18 months, although the new claw--known as a retread--is smaller than the original. Fisherman typically leave each crab with one claw so it can defend itself. James Peterson wrote in Fish & Shellfish that he was "shocked" the first time he saw the claws for sale because he assumed, mistakenly, that the crustacean had been killed for a relatively small amount of meat. The crabs, considered a delicacy today, were popularized 80 years ago at Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach, now a historical landmark. You eat them, usually cold, by cracking the shell with a mallet and dipping the succulent meat in sauce. WHERE?

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Eye Candy: A Schmaltz to Remember

A bowl of matzoh ball soup from last month's deli-style James Beard dinner, which featured a team of talented chefs who transformed delicatessen staples into creative, contemporary cuisine. Click here to see more photos from the night.

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Recipe: Gnocchi with Morels and Spring English Peas

Spring seems to have sprung for good, which means that seasonal staples like ramps, asparagus, and peas are all the rage. We're getting the freshness started with this homey recipe from Thomas Keller: gnocchi studded with sweet English peas and earthy morels.

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On the Menu: April 4 through April 10


Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week:

Monday, April 5, 7:00 P.M.
Best of Burke
Cook, entrepreneur, inventor: David Burke embraces each of these roles with an unmatched energy and passion. We’re thrilled to welcome the award-winning chef and the protégés who oversee his myriad restaurants for what’s sure to be an evening of showstopping, forward-thinking cuisine.

Tuesday, April 6, 7:00 P.M.
Farm to Table
Sure, plenty of restaurants use sustainable ingredients, but only a select few, including Harvest in Madison, Wisconsin, made it onto Gourmet’s list of th... Read more >

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Recipe: Apple, Goat Cheese, and Country Ham Crostini

These unfussy crostini are a delicious addition to a cocktail party or picnic. While you can switch out the country ham for prosciutto, we think that the dry-cured and smoked product makes for the best contrast against the sweet goat cheese and apples.

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