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Sep 01, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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A Look Back on a Month of Pie

August 31st, 2014

This month, we went all out for our favorite summer dessert: pie. Before we launch into our September issue (and our annual Guide to Drinking!) here’s a look back at all the pie love we shared in August.

 

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Pie showed up on all our favorite things, from onesies to tea towels; we gave you fillings for every season; the list of our top 10 pies to try made us crave them all over again; Baked went savory with a tomato galette and and sweet with a no-bake mango pie; we played with a healthy(ish) pie using whole grains and natural sweeteners; a classic peach pie couldn’t be beat in mid-August; pies were baked into bowls; our favorite campfire treat found its way into our ovens; I Scream Cakes showed us how to cool off with ice cream pies in the dog days of summer;  we cheered for our favorite pie movie moments on screen; the pros showed us how to lattice in three easy steps; we learned how to bake quick pies on the fly; and the even the gluten-free fans got a taste with raw carrot pie.

 

 

By the Book: Cheryl and Griffith Day’s Sweet Potato Pie

August 30th, 2014

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Augusta, Georgia is one of three cities between Atlanta and the Atlantic Ocean that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman left untouched during The Civil War. For this, Augustans have taken eternal umbrage against the general, since Sherman deemed the city not worth his time, strategically. Another city he spared is Savannah, today one of the few showcases of antebellum architecture in the Deep South. This makes it a time capsule of Southern memory, that famous power of remembrance characteristic of the region’s writers, politicians and confidence men.

Cheryl and Griffith Day, who own Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah and published The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, believe such backward-gazing belongs to the world of baking, too. For most Southerners, chess pie likely has as much cachet as Flannery O’Connor. The Days make this clear in their modest little cookbook, full of straightforward recipes that yield workmanlike results.

At the front of the book, there’s some agreeable reminiscing about the old days and, later, more practical advice for baking successfully, including a list of essential equipment and spices to keep in the kitchen. Scattered throughout the book are short profile pages on unusual ingredients like sorghum. At Sauce, August is the month of pie, so I went with that eternal flame of Southern confectioneries: sweet potato pie.

 

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The recipe is punctuated by several lengthy periods of baking, so it’s easy to multitask. While the sweet potatoes were baking I whipped up the crust mix and pressed it into the pan, then employed a tip mentioned in our August issue – dried beans as pie weights. Lay a sheet of foil over the top and add the beans to prebake the crust without it bubbling.

 

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After 50 minutes in the oven, the sweet potatoes easily came apart with a fork. Leave them in the oven for an entire hour – in hindsight, they would have been even easier to work with. The sweet potato filling can be mixed and prepared while the crust is prebaking. After removing the crust from the oven, use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the crust.

This was about the time my hand mixer went on the fritz, and whisking by hand quickly became time-consuming. After combining the dry and wet ingredients, it’s probably wise to pulse them in a blender or food processor to avoid chunks of sweet potato in the final product. And while blackstrap molasses imparts a savoriness to the pie, it gives it a most unsavory color. This is a major drawback to the recipe; by the end, I missed the rich orange color of the sweet potatoes. The deep, caramelized flavor dimension of the molasses isn’t worth the displeasing visuals.

 

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Again hobbled without a mixer, I came across an ingenious solution for making whipped cream: Reduce the ingredients by half and add them to a mason jar, along with a wine cork. (A splash of bourbon or Gran Marnier will give the cream a bit more depth.) Shake vigorously until the cream reaches the desired texture or until soft peaks form inside the jar. While not quite as fluffy, it works in a pinch.

Sweet Potato Pie
8 to 10 servings

1½ lbs. sweet potatoes (1 to 2 sweet potatoes), or 2 cups canned sweet potato puree
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. sorghum or blackstrap molasses
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground mace
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
1 recipe Shortcut Pie Crust made with brown sugar, prebaked (recipe follows)
1 recipe Fresh Whipped Cream (recipe follows, optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (optional)

• Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees if using whole sweet potatoes, or to 350 degrees if using canned sweet potatoes.
• If using whole sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until fork-tender. Set aside to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
• Unwrap the sweet potatoes and peel them. Measure out 2 cups of the potatoes, put them in a medium bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth. Or, if using canned sweet potatoes, put them in a medium bowl.
• Add the heavy cream, eggs and sorghum or molasses to the sweet potatoes and whisk until fully incorporated.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, cardamom, cloves, mace, ginger and salt. Add the sweet potato mixture and stir until smooth.
• Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is firm around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center when you shake it; the filling will continue to firm up as it cools. Let cool completely.
• Pile the whipped cream on top of the pie with a spatula and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg, if desired. The pie is best served the same day, but it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Shortcut Pie Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie crust

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar or packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. fine sea salt
11 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

• In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly drizzle in the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks moist and crumbly.
• Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. You can crimp the edges decoratively or leave them rustic.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
• Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before filling.

Fresh Whipped Cream
Makes about 3 cups

2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

• Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the cream holds nice soft peaks.

What twist have you added to your go-to dish from back in the day to keep it fresh? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

Drink This Weekend Edition: Stouts for Strays at Craft Beer Cellar

August 29th, 2014

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It’s audacious, serving up stouts in August, especially right now St. Louis is a special hell’s-kitchen kind of hot. If your now-desiccated beer palate is insistent on cider, Pilsner, saison, or anything else really, you’ll find almost all of it at Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton, where the Brothers Nickelson have amassed a dazzling variety of beer in clean, minimalist quarters for your guzzling delight.

There’s a lot to observe here, but this weekend you should start sniffing in the far back corner of the building, where the tasting bar is. The five taps, which usually rotate every week, are now pouring a collection of standout stouts, that thickest, darkest breed of beer usually reserved for the winter solstice and upper latitudes – think Oslo in February.

But co-owner Brandon Nickelson said calling stouts a winter-only libation is a misnomer. “Obviously you don’t want to drink one outside while mowing the lawn, but inside … It doesn’t matter when you’re drinking them, they’re still great beers,” he said.

Here’s another reason to sip a stout: it’s for a good cause, a week-long event Craft Beer Cellar is calling Stouts for Strays, during which proceeds from sales at the draft bar will be donated to Stray Rescue of St. Louis through Saturday, Aug. 30. We’re on the, ahem, tail end of this event, but there’s still time to drop in this weekend.

On tap right now are Evil Twin Brewing’s I Love You With My Stout, Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout, Sierra Nevada’s Narwhal, Great Divide Brewing’s Oatmeal Yeti and Southern Tier 2X Double Milk Stout. Served at a cool (not cold) temperature from the tap, each is a surprisingly bracing pick-me-up when sipped in the cool confines of the bar.

Nomadic Danish brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin has whipped up a fiendishly strong but complex stout weighing in at 12 percent ABV. Stone’s contribution, as with all its beers, is assertive (bordering on aggressive), especially with the dark malt flavors. It’s attitude in a glass. And the surprising best-in-show was the 2X Double Milk Stout, a sessionable, creamy brew that leans toward chocolate milk one hand and coffee on the other.

I admit: These beers aren’t bad for summer, somewhere between a beverage and a light meal. All except the 2X Double Milk Stout are available by the bottle, but it’s much more fun to sidle up to the bar, order a half-pint of each ($4), talk beer with the Nickelsons and imagine all the tails that are wagging thanks to your support.

 

 

Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL foodies

August 29th, 2014

Are you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag

 

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PhoKingQui
Hmmmmm… Is this “A Nu Start” or is it “Anus Tart”?: http://instagram.com/p/sOtSsIuNPS/ 

localharveststl
Big, yellow, locally-grown watermelons! Great for sharing /your neighbor. Impromptu block party? #local #hydrate https://twitter.com/localharveststl/status/503545783514583040/photo/1

stnkrbelle80
When I’m hungry but I have to go to the gym. pic.twitter.com/jiGdINLHGw

WhiskeyAndSoba
Unless something catastrophic happens, I will be having my first lunch at @salumebeddu tomorrow because @NThandler told me it’s the best.

EatTheFat
“You only live once. Give me a white wine spritzer!”

wildedibleguy
Going to be rolling this one around the noodle for a bit. pic.twitter.com/CifQ1Xl7z6

tadams2004
Hot brown was so nice I made it twice! @sqwiresstl  #thankyoubrownhotel! pic.twitter.com/oEXRNVzXg9

theroyale
Tibetan Monks give blessings @ The Royale http://instagram.com/p/sJDaDzPbFc/ 

 
Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemag

The Scoop: Kitchen House Coffee to open in Tower Grove East

August 29th, 2014

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The neighborhood coffee shop may be the penultimate community establishment, and on Sept. 15, Tower Grove East and Compton Heights residents will be able to stroll to Kitchen House Coffee, a new coffee shop owned by Tower Grove residents Paul Whitsitt and David Rodgers.

Inspired by their personal urban farm on Michigan Avenue and a desire for a coffee shop within walking distance, Whitsitt and Rodgers set out to open a coffee shop that is a community destination. Their new spot at 3149 Shenandoah Ave., aims to provide a quiet country oasis in an urban setting. “I was looking for an opporutnity to extend what I was doing at the farm,” Whitsitt said, adding that as the business grows, he hopes to sell some fresh produce and farm-fresh eggs at Kitchen House Coffee.

The shop will serve Blueprint and Stringbean coffees in both drip and pour-over styles, as well as cold brewed. An espresso bar will also provide customers with lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and more. Whitsitt and Rodgers will also offer a juice bar, featuring fresh-squeezed juices in healthy-sounding concoctions like the Emerald City with kale, apple, cucumber, celery and lemon juices.

The breakfast and lunch crowds can enjoy pastries from local bakery Whisk, as well as farm bowls filled with everything from crunchy granola with yogurt to a vegetarian pasta salad delivered twice weekly by chef Dennis Rodgers of World Class Catering.

Tables made from repurposed wood will accommodate up to 25 customers inside, or customers can enjoy their food and drink outside on a 15-seat patio. Given Whitsitt and Rodgers’ enthusiasm for their urban farm (also called Kitchen House Farm), the coffee shop décor will reflect a homey warmth with pieces of farm life scattered throughout, including a chicken coop out back.

Kitchen House Coffee will operate Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

Chef Grams: Behind the scenes with #STL chefs, bartenders, farmers and more

August 28th, 2014

We could scroll through Instagram all day, ogling food pics that make our mouths water and our stomachs growl. (We’ve even been known to share what we’re eating, drinking and cooking from time to time.) Some of your favorite St. Louis chefs, brewers, baristas, bartenders, farmers and more are sharing snaps of weird ingredients, funky creations and hilarious behind-the-scenes antics; here, some of our favorite moments shared this month.

 

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Row 1: perennialbeer: It’s nice to see that Jayhawks and Tigers can co-exist peacefully at the same brewery | rickjlewis1: @rickjlewis1 @quincystreetbistro I’m lost in the okra | chefybork: After working 86 hours last week this is pretty rad. Thanks for the night off K Nasty.

Row 2: joshgalliano: Late night Newman Farm pork butchering, showing @joshuapoletti some moves | 4handsbrewingco:  We love to play games! @itsjustjared @nakanter @tattooedbeardedfellow #4hands #4handsbrewery #emporiumlogan | nich2001: #tmnt nichealngelo #5 turtle, pierogi party

Row 3: foodcooksjimmy: When you pick up at least 5 reservations an hour before open. | fernandezlisa25: How you bond on family vacation. Manhattans in a bowl. | pivasan: Why, is that black truffles on my corn gelato? Yes! Yes it is.

And of course, we can’t forget this sweet video gems: a birthday message to chef Gerard Craft and a hilarious ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Sump Coffee.


Should your favorite chef be on this list? Share their behind-the-scenes Instagrams with #saucechefgrams and follow @SauceMag for delicious insider photos, too!

The Scoop: YoFresh Yogurt Café to open in Fenton

August 28th, 2014

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I scream, you scream, we all scream …  for yogurt? That will soon be the case in Fenton, when DIY YoFresh Yogurt Café is set to open later next week, around Sept. 3 or 4, and with another way to stay cool during these waning days of summer. The store will be located at 699 Gravois Bluffs Blvd., in Fenton just east of Highway 141.

Franchise owner Zafar Langrial is a longtime resident of Chesterfield and said the Gravois Bluffs location previously housed an ice cream shop. Soon, instead of a scoop of ice cream, customers can enjoy soft serve frozen yogurt and toppings.

YoFresh Yogurt Café is a Boston-based national franchise with more than 25 locations in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Langrial’s shop will be the first YoFresh Yogurt Café franchise location in Missouri. “We are very excited to join this great community and promise to offer a fun atmosphere that is sure to please everyone’s taste buds,” Langrial said. “Our store appeals to anyone of any age seeking a healthy, sweet organic food at any time of day.”

YoFresh customers pay by the ounce after filling their cups with a variety of organic, kosher flavored yogurts including nonfat temptations like New York cheesecake, pistachio, Georgia peach and more. Tart options will include classic plain, blueberry acai, pom raspberry and pink grapefruit. Flavors with no sugar added will range from vanilla to praline to cheesecake. Flavor availability will vary, and most offerings will be gluten-free. Customers can then top their selection with more than 40 rotating choices including cereal, nuts, candy and organic fruits.

YoFresh Yogurt Café will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.

 

 

Sneak Peek: Il Poggio

August 27th, 2014

Five Bistro chef-owner Anthony Devoti has bid farewell to the (mostly) vegetarian abundance of Root & Vine. Beginning tonight, Aug. 27, he’ll serve up hearty northern Italian fare at Il Poggio, his newest pop-up concept on the bar side of his restaurant at 5100 Daggett Ave., on The Hill.

Il Poggio, which means “the hill” in Italian, is the third of Devoti’s rotating concept restaurants since February. The first, Mon Petit Chou, celebrated French cuisine; Root & Vine focused on the bounty of spring and summer produce, much of it grown in Devoti’s garden at Five Bistro.

At Il Poggio, Devoti showcases house-made salumi, including house-made mortadella studded with crunchy pistachios, and handmade pastas like butternut squash ravioli and gnocchi. The seven-course prix-fixe meal begins with an amuse of house-smoked salmon with a swath of creamy dill sauce, red onion and garden cucumbers. From there, standout dishes include simple, yet intensely flavorful eggplant Parmesan; paper-thin, jewel-like slices of beef carpaccio with pickled vegetables; and a rich, flavorful, pork trotter ragú.

Wine pairings are available for an additional $30 and reflect the many varieties of Northern Italy, from a delightfully tangy, young orange pinot grigio to a robust, Burgundy-like pinot nero.

The Il Poggio menu is available Wednesdays through Saturdays, and reservations are encouraged. Devoti expects Il Poggio to run through October with slight menu changes to accommodate seasonal produce. Here’s a look at what to expect:

 

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Wheatless Wednesdays: Creamy Cantaloupe Cashew Soup

August 27th, 2014

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Combining something sweet with a fat is almost always an equation for palette-pleasing success. Traditional baked desserts combine butter and brown sugar, frozen treats mix cream with corn syrup or sugar, pies lure you with butter and sweet fruits, and even our typical caffeine addictions are best with half-and-half and cream.

Though I try to refrain from indulging in this combo daily, I’ve found that many of my healthy meals have the same equation of sweet + fat = delicious. For instance, my favorite afternoon snack is an avocado with raisins and sea salt, my morning smoothie includes scoops of almond butter or avocado and banana, and even the nutrient-dense raw trail mix that’s a mainstay in my purse satisfies with that wonderful combo.

A sugar-sweet cantaloupe fresh from the farmers market doesn’t need much more than a sharp knife and a spoon in the heat of the summer, so I figured the addition of something creamy would make the soup soar. A tangy kick of lemon and snip of fresh herbs from the garden make this seven-ingredient dish a quick, simple option perfect for anytime of the day and for anyone with a craving for something a little indulgent.

Creamy Cantaloupe Cashew Soup
4 to 8 servings

2/3 cup raw cashews
4 cups cubed cantaloupe
1/3 cup almond milk
Juice of half a lemon
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and halved
6 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish.
½ tsp. sea salt

• Soak the cashews 4 to 8 hours, then drain and rinse them.
• Place all ingredients in a high-powdered blender or food processor and blend until ultra smooth. Pour into bowls and garnish with fresh basil.

The Scoop: Morgan Street Brewery up for sale

August 27th, 2014

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The owners of Morgan Street Brewery, a fixture on the historic, rambunctious Laclede’s Landing downtown, have put their craft beer operation on the market, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Co-owner Steve Owings, who founded the brewery at 721 N. Second St., with Dennis Harper in 1995, was blunt when explaining his reason for selling. “(I’m) looking at retirement. I’m old,” he said. “Just trying to bow out gracefully.”

Even so, this won’t be the end of Owings’ and Harper’s business ventures. The two will continue to own and operate Sundecker’s Bar & Grill, also on Laclede’s Landing. Harper also is co-owner of two Harpo’s locations with another individual.

Owings said selling Morgan Street had been on their minds for the past two years, though they only just listed the property earlier this summer. No buyer has inked a deal just yet, but the anticipated sale price will be at least $5 million, according to the business adviser assisting with the sale.

Morgan was among the first craft breweries to set up shop in St. Louis in the early to mid-90s, along with the St. Louis Brewery, who owns the Schlafly brand, and Trailhead Brewing Co., in St. Charles. Owings said he hopes the new buyer, whoever it might be, will continue the tradition of making good beer. “(I’d) love to see them keep the name and everything going forward. But whoever picks it, it will be up to them,” he said.

 

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