The Chronicle Over Coffee

Welcome to one of the last classic over-coffee roundups. As you know by now, the San Francisco Chronicle is planning to combine its food and wine sections and move them to Sunday, with a little mid-week bump in the Thursday Datebook, and nothing on Wednesday. This is scheduled for Feb. 1, so this will be the next-to-last Wednesday morning coffee-time roundup. Let’s make it a good one!

• Slowly roasting or braising a big chunk of meat is one of the best, and most fragrant, ways to warm up the house and really make it feel homey on a winter afternoon. And shanks are good cuts to do this to. The cover article looks at a few types of shanks and slow cooking methods. [Slow down for shanks]

• The Chron visited the Fancy Foods Show this past weekend and gives us a little report-back. We’ll have more links to coverage later today. [Fancy Food 2009: Specialty products, from soup to nuts]

Delessio Market & Bakery chef/owner James Faber channels his grandfather and rural New-England upbringing in cooking simple dishes at home. [Chef’s Night In]

• An orchard owner weighs in on which apples make for the best baked baked goods as the season dwindles. [Seasonal Cook]

• With the Superbowl in mind, Taster’s Choice compares pretzel crackers and likes Pepperidge Farm best. [Pretzel cracker contest finishes with a twist]

• Michael Bauer stops by the venerable Zarzuela, and leaves behind three glowing stars. [Zarzuela’s one of S.F.’s best deals]

• And the spring-slated Flour and Water names Thomas McNaughton (formerly of La Folie, Restaurant Gary Danko, Quince) executive chef, Cecilia Chiang is doing a guest-chef spot at Aqua, and a small fire shut down Espetus Churrascaria for a few days. [Inside Scoop]

The Chronicle Over Coffee