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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, December 7

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Ingredient Fri Apr 06 2007

Grocery list

szechuan peppercorns
Yes, Sichuan peppercorns are legal again

Sichuan cuisine may seem intimidating, but while some of the dishes are very labor intensive (the crispy smoked tea duck mentioned below comes to mind), some of the flavor combinations are actually pretty easy to achieve -- if you have the right ingredients. Try picking up some Sichuan peppercorns and some chili bean paste. These two ingredients can be used to make the simplest stir fry with some minced ginger, soy sauce, and green beans; and of course you can easily extend a stir fry to include other vegetables, meats, tofu, etc.

Sichuan peppercorns were illegal in the US for a while (something about a citrus canker), but they're legal again now, which means you can pick them up at various places in Chinatown, or from Penzey's. Generally they come whole and have to be toasted and ground before using. You may be able to find chili bean paste (sometimes called chili bean sauce at your local grocery store if it's well stocked; otherwise it's easy enough to get at Chinese specialty groceries in Chinatown or elsewhere.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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