Newsletter: Have you ever listened to an artichoke?

Los Angeles Times

Dear readers:

Though it seems like we've hardly had a winter, all you need is a quick walk through the farmers market to realize that spring is already in full swing. Artichokes, strawberries, asparagus — they’re all stacked deep. What’s the best way to use all of them? That’s why you turn to us.

— Russ Parsons

Hear the ‘choke

Have you ever listened to an artichoke? I mean, really listened? Don’t laugh. Watch this video and you’ll learn that your ear is one of the best tools for finding the freshest and best artichokes. Give them a squeeze and you should hear a squeak. And while you’re at it, we have a dozen recipes for getting to the prickly thorn’s heart of gold.

Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Berries and cream

We brought you up to date on strawberries last week, but what is a great berry without great whipped cream? Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter is here for you, with a video on making perfect whipped cream and a complementary primer on choosing the best whisk for the job.

John Verive

Best spring brews

We tend to think of spring only in terms of farmers markets and sparkling produce. Not beer columnist John Verive. He’s got a lineup of three standout beer styles for you to look for during these transitional months between winter’s hearty stouts and summer’s crisp IPAs. Think Euro lagers, farmhouse ales and American pale ales.

Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Is this the best bread pudding ever?

Reader Lisa Peterson fell in love with the bread pudding at the Marriott Dearborn Inn in Michigan and wanted the recipe. Chef Kieran Savage was happy to help out. And we’re glad he did. Let’s just say cubed brioche in a vanilla custard with chocolate chips. What could be better?

Keep it clean

Of all the equipment in the average kitchen, the cutting board is perhaps the most used and the most overlooked. But a neglected board harbors all kinds of nasty bacteria. Fortunately, all it takes is a few basic steps to keep your boards spanking clean. And that includes getting rid of any of those tough food stains as well.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Great bagels begin at home

Finding a great bagel in Southern California can be as difficult as finding a great corn tortilla in Manhattan. But not if you know how to make them yourself. And baking great Peter Reinhart says they’re one of the easiest breads to make at home. Perfect for a weekend project.


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