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Oct 28, 2016
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By the Book: How to Boil an Egg by Rose Carrarini

October 28th, 2016



How to Boil an Egg by Rose Carrarini is full of simple, timeless egg-centric recipes from a basic poached egg to quiche and pastries. What attracted me to the book, though, was its restrained British elegance with lush stills of popovers and Eton messes by botanical artist Fiona Strickland.

I want to be the person who can make an excellent scone. The classier-sounding British biscuits have always eluded me in their simplicity, and though this recipe made a clear and even pleasant read, that remains the case. Everything from the weather to the way you fill a cup with flour can affect the amount of liquid needed to bake scone, and it’s hard to adjust ingredients without overworking the dough. However, despite being a bit dry and tough, these cute teatime snacks were delightfully savory and deeply spiced – perfect with a generous pat of butter.

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate – the directions are clear and helpful, but some dishes require a little experience, or at least cooking common sense.
Others to try: Green tarts, popovers
The verdict: Despite the bold and interesting flavor of these scones, their dryness couldn’t beat Butter & Scotch‘s biscuits and gravy.




Cheddar, Leek & Curry Scones
18 small scones

4½ cups (500 g.) self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 Tbsp. caster (superfine) sugar
2 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. salt
100 g. (scant ½ cup) butter
60 g. (generous ½ cup) grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs
120 ml. (½ cup) sour cream
Lightly beaten egg, to glaze

For the leeks:
40 g. (3 Tbsp.) butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
250 g. (9 oz.) leeks, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment paper.
• First, prepare the leeks. Melt the butter with the oil in a pan, add the leeks and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft.
• Stir in the sugar, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool, and then chill in the refrigerator.
• Meanwhile, put the flour, sugar, curry powder, and salt into a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
• Stir in the cheese and make a well in the middle.
• Lightly beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of the sour cream in a bowl, stir in the leek mixture, and pour into the well.
• Using a fork, stir to mix, finishing by hand to bring the dough together, adding the remaining cream if necessary. Do not overwork the dough – it should just come together softly but firmly.
• Roll or pat out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 3 centimeters (1¼ inches) thick.
• Carefully stamp out 4 to 5 centimenter (1½- to 2-inch) rounds and put them on the prepared baking sheet.
• Brush with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Reprinted with permission from Phaidon

Just Five: Moroccan-spiced Spaghetti Squash

October 27th, 2016



While I love decorative gourds as much as the next person, I’m an edible gourd kind of gal. Pumpkin, delicata, acorn, butternut, pattypan… As soon as autumn hits, I’m throwing these at everything except my tablescape. Spaghetti squash is one variety I haven’t played with much. I love the idea of a squash that transforms into “noodles” when pulled apart with a fork, but then what? I’m not putting marinara on that “spaghetti.” Instead, I turned to the flavors I associate with autumn.

Cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, nutmeg and cardamom are all found in garam masala, one of my favorite spice blends. I added a little sweetness and texture from golden raisins and some protein with cooked lentils. A hit of chopped parsley or cilantro adds brightness that goes with the dried fruit and earthy squash. Save this recipe for a great Thanksgiving side or vegetarian entree.

Moroccan-spiced Spaghetti Squash
2 servings

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 pinches of kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup cooked lentils, divided
½ cup golden raisins or currants, divided
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 Tbsp. garam masala, divided
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, divided

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Sprinkle each half with a pinch of salt and place cut-side down on the baking sheet.
• Bake 30 minutes, remove and let rest 10 minutes until cool enough to handle.
• Use a fork to scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into long strands, leaving the skins intact to use as a serving vessel. To each half, add ¼ cup lentils, ¼ cup raisins, 1 tablespoon butter and ½ tablespoon garam masala. Toss until the butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. Season to taste with salt, garnish with cilantro and serve.


Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.


Grilled: Smoked Trout Chowder

October 27th, 2016



Smoked trout is a rich, delectable and incredibly versatile ingredient. Infused with rustic wood smoke, these fillets are perfect in dips or salads, or served as a cold appetizer or hot entree. They also make for flavor-packed centerpiece in this simple chowder recipe. Rich and creamy, soul-warming chowder is perfect for a fall afternoon.

Save yourself the headache of deboning whole trout and opt for boneless rainbow fillets. I use apple wood chips here, which produce light and sweet smoke. They are a great option for preparing trout on a smoker or a conventional charcoal grill.


Smoked Trout Chowder
4 to 6 servings

3 boneless rainbow trout fillets (about 1¼ lbs. total)
4 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ cups chicken broth
1½ cups water
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups whole milk
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup minced chives, for garnish

Special equipment: 3 cups apple wood chips

• Prepare a smoker or charcoal grill for low, indirect heat.
• When the fire is ready, add 2 cups apple wood chips atop the coals. Place the trout on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil over indirect heat. Cover and smoke 20 minutes.
• Add another 1 cup apple wood chips atop the coals, cover and smoke another 20 minutes. Remove the trout and let rest 10 minutes.
• Separate the skin from the trout and place the meat in a small bowl. Discard the skin. Cut the smoked trout into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
• In Dutch oven or large stockpot, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until browned and slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, water, potatoes, celery and garlic and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
• Add the milk, flour, Worcestershire and salt and bring the chowder to a boil over high heat. Stir in the smoked trout and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
• Before serving, warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the chowder simmers. Serve in large bowls and garnish with chives.


Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and the Nightlife critic. 

Drink This Weekend Edition: St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party

October 27th, 2016



The annual St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party in Lafayette Park returns this Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 5 p.m. Like last year, I urge all you city dwellers who don’t venture into the county or over a river that often to acquaint yourselves with some amazing beer brewed outside STL city limits. Tickets are available online and at the door. Dress up and get your Halloween on!


1. Mark Twain Tennessee Fresh-Hopped Scrapbook Pale Ale Firkin (5.5 percent ABV)
This single-hopped pale ale boasts notes of citrus and spiced earthiness from the Columbus hops with a clean, crisp palate and biscuit-y mouth feel. Brewers Cat Golden and Dave Alley have once again fresh-hopped their Scrapbook pale ale and put it in a firkin for an exclusive Halloween Party real ale experience. Cascade, Centennial and Columbus hops from Willowbrook Farm in Tennessee provide more depth in hop expression, allowing for more intense notes of grapefruit, grass and spice.

2. Narrow Gauge Oast No. 3 (7 percent ABV)
One of the newer breweries in the St. Louis region, Narrow Gauge brings this American IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and El Dorado. It is loaded with stone fruit, pineapple and dank aromas, exquisite mouth feel and juicy tropical fruit to round out the palate. Oast No. 3’s slight alcohol sweetness is balanced beautifully with a lingering bitterness you return to again and again.

3. O’Fallon Jack O’Latté (6.6 percent ABV)
Wait – another O’Fallon pumpkin beer? Oh yes, and it’s awesome. Jack O’Latte is a pumpkin milk stout that sat on Ronocco coffee beans, creating a brew filled with sweet, spice and everything nice. The sweet stout’s body states like a full-fat latte on a chill autumn day. And don’t worry, that signature O’Fallon pumpkin spice mix makes this coffee brew anything but basic. Move over, #PSL.

4. Old Bakery Beer Single-Source Coffee Lager (4.7 percent ABV)
This guy isn’t just any old lager beer. It’s stacked with heavily roasted malt for a darker appearance and richer palate, while flaked oats provide a bigger, smoother mouth feel. Complexity and intense roastiness is furthered with the addition of single-origin Honduran coffee from Kaldis.

5. Six Mile Bridge Harvest Peach Saison (5.4 percent ABV)
This lovely dry-hopped, French-inspired farmhouse ale is crisp as a fall day. Aromatics of stone fruit, citrus, flowers and hay pair nicely with juicy fresh peach, a refreshing yet subtle tartness, and clean bitterness on the palate. If the late summer transition into autumn were depicted in beer form, this would be it.


Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

-photo courtesy of R. J. Hartbeck


The Scoop: Ben Poremba to open Mexican restaurant, Nixta, in former Old Standard space

October 26th, 2016



Three months after closing Old Standard Fried Chicken, Ben Poremba has a new concept ready to debut: Nixta, a Mexican restaurant at 1621 Tower Grove Ave. A soft opening is slated for Nov. 11. “I’ve opened many restaurants in the past five years,” Poremba said. “This one is as exciting as Olio.”

Don’t expect endless bowls of chips and salsa or a long list of tacos. Nixta’s menu will focus on the complex styles and techniques found in traditional Mexican cooking. “It’s a Mexican restaurant, but not in the traditional American sense of the word,” Poremba said. “It’s mostly inspired by street food, but it’s also inspired by my partner chef Tello Carreon’s grandmother’s cooking.”

Carreon spent the past two years as chef de cuisine at Elaia, and the previous year and a half between Elaia and Olio’s kitchens. “Tello appeals to me. I’ve been working side by side with him. We’ve been toying with ideas to showcase his cuisine,” Poremba said.

Dishes will also see some South American and Spanish influences, which Poremba said run parallel to the Mediterranean and North African influences he’s known for at Olio. Dishes include pepita guacamole, grilled octopus with mole, roasted pork shoulder, braised beef cheek mole and more. The bar program will focus on pisco drinks.




{Bengelina Hospitality Group owner Ben Poremba}


The Mexican restaurant is only one project in the works for Bengelina Hospitality Group, which has had an eventful year. In June, Poremba passed the top toque of Elaia and Olio to chef Ben Grupe, shifting his focus to that of restaurateur for the group’s Botanical Heights establishments and newest restaurant, Parigi in Clayton.

Now more details have emerged about Poremba’s Jewish deli project, which The Scoop reported in June 2015. AO&CO is slated to open next year, in a location yet to be determined (Clayton, the Central West End and University City are all contenders, Poremba said.), but customers can get a sneak peek of what’s to come at brunch popups beginning next month at Parigi.

Poremba said he wants to bring a contemporary Jewish deli to the St. Louis area in the vein of Russ & Daughters Cafe. To that end, menu items for the first popup include house-made bagels, cured fish, chicken soup, beef tongue tartine and other traditional deli items with a Poremba twist. “I want to make it feel sort of traditional and true to the spirit of a Jewish deli,” he said.

Though the first popup on Nov. 20 has already sold out, Poremba said there will be some walk-in seating available, and he hopes to host the next at the beginning of December.


Make This: Apple-Burrata Salad

October 25th, 2016



Cabbage, apples and creamy burrata cheese come together for a sophisticated spin on a humble salad. In a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and a few drops of hot sauce. Add a 10-ounce bag of shredded green cabbage, 1 thinly sliced Pink Lady or Granny Smith apple and ¼ cup chopped fresh dill. Toss well to combine. Top the salad with a 4-ounce ball of room-temperature burrata and slice it into quarters, allowing the cheese to seep out and mix with the dressed salad. Sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts and serve.


-photo by Greg Rannells

First Look: Mona’s on The Hill

October 24th, 2016



Two months after closing doors at his Spanish tapas restaurant, owner Brendan Marsden opened doors at Mona’s, an American-Italian joint, on Oct. 19. As The Scoop reported in August, Marsden closed Modesto after 15 years, announcing that it was time for a concept change at the space on 5257 Shaw Ave.

The Hill is known for Italian-American eateries, but Marsden has his own spin. Pizzas feature toppings inspired by different American culinary regions, like a smoked chicken pizza with corn, red onion and grilled red pepper. While the ultra-thin pizza crusts lean toward the lighter side, four pasta dishes offer heartier fare.

Marsden spent the last two months updating the interior, which now features white and blue walls. The space seats roughly 100 in bright yellow chairs. While the menu is new, loyal Modesto fans will find a pleasant surprise: the bacon-wrapped dates and bread pudding still make an appearance.

Mona’s is currently open Monday to Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.; Marsden plans to add lunch service in the coming weeks. Here’s a first look at The Hill’s newest eatery:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: New Waterloo brewery catches fire Sunday

October 24th, 2016



Just one month after opening, a fire broke out at Hopskeller Brewing Co. yesterday morning, Oct. 23. Owner Matt Schweizer said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and no one was injured. “That is the most relieving part to me,” Schweizer said.

Hopskeller opened Sept. 21 at 116 E. Third St., in Waterloo. Schweizer spent more than a year renovating the building originally constructed in 1853 to house his seven-barrel brewpub. Hopskeller is closed until further notice; the full scope of the damage is still being assessed.

“We’re going to rebuild,” Schweizer said, adding that the timeline will “probably be measured in months and not weeks.”


-photo by Michelle Volansky

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

October 23rd, 2016

From chef changes to new sandwich shops opening in Tower Grove, here’s what went down last week in the St. Louis dining scene, ICYMI…




1. After two years, Chris Ladley is departing Quincy Street Bistro. His final dinner service was Friday, Oct. 21. Ladley had been executive chef since Chris Tirone departed in November 2015.

2. In December 2015, Blood & Sand co-owners TJ Vytlacil and Adam Frager announced they were putting the downtown restaurant up for sale in order to focus their attention on their software company, Brigade Society. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the duo announced that Tim Murphy, an early member, had purchased the business.




3. After nearly seven months of construction, co-owners Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen are finishing up work on Polite Society at 1923 Park Ave. The duo hope to open in late November or early December.

4. Cupcake bakery The Sweet Divine caught fire in Soulard at 11 a.m. on Oct. 17. Despite fire damage to the decorating room and smoke damage throughout the building, co-owners Jason and Jenna Siebert are determined to get back to work as soon as possible. An official cause for the fire has not been named yet.




5. The Little Dipper, which closed in August, has found a new home inside The Fortune Teller Bar on Cherokee Street. Fortune Teller’s kitchen is closed and will reopen as The Little Dipper under chef-owner Tanya Brown on Nov. 5.

6. Eat Sandwiches will soon open doors at 3148 Morgan Ford Road. Co-owner Byron Smith started slinging sandwiches at his Tower Grove South spot Friday, Oct. 21. As The Scoop reported in September, the 24-seat counter-service deli will open in the original Local Harvest Grocery location.







By the Book: Butter & Scotch by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth

October 21st, 2016




Though not explicitly a breakfast cookbook, Butter & Scotch knows its way around a brunch menu. The owners of the Brooklyn bar and bakery built their shop around two favorite things: cocktails and baked goods. Their Saturday brunch menu focuses on that most delicious of savory breakfast treats: biscuits.

Biscuits and gravy is a Midwest favorite, and the Brooklynites do the dish credit with this simple, comforting recipe. Two sticks of butter and a generous pour of heavy cream create a rich biscuit with a tender crumb, and apple cider vinegar adds a pleasant tang reminiscent of buttermilk without the extra trip to the grocery store.

You’ll be tempted to pour off the pool of fat that renders as you brown the sausage – don’t. Instead, gleefully add a tablespoon of butter or bacon fat and stir in the flour to make a roux for white gravy as thick as warm peanut butter. Dollop this atop the crumbly biscuits and dive in – then head back to bed and sleep it off.

Skill level: Medium. A home baker can tackle most of these recipes, but the home bartender should prepare to work for those cocktails.
Other recipes to try: Smoked trout Benedict, Magic Buns, Watchamacallthat Pie
The Verdict: Though the apple Dutch baby is a showstopper, this no-nonsense biscuits and gravy recipe stole our Midwestern hearts.


Biscuits & Gravy
4 servings

1 lb. (455 g.) loose sweet Italian Sausage
1 Tbsp. bacon fat or butter
¼ cup (30 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups (480 ml.) whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Brooklyn biscuits

• In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until it’s fully cooked. Add the bacon fat or butter and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. After 30 seconds, add the milk. Stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the saucepan, then bring the gravy to a boil and let it simmer until the moisture thickens to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Split the biscuits in half and lay them open-faced onto plates. Spoon the gravy on top and serve.

Brooklyn Biscuits
8 to 10 biscuits

2½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into ½-inch pieces

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a small bowl, mix together the cream and vinegar and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda and mix on low. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed until the butter is broken down to small, pea-size pieces. Turn the mixer back to low and slowly add the cream and vinegar mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix, or the biscuits will be tough.
• Pour the dough onto a floured surface and pat it down until it’s about 2 inches thick. Use a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out 8 rounds. Arrange the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat together the scraps and cut out more rounds if possible; you should be able to get another biscuit or two. Be gentle so the biscuits don’t get tough. Discard any remaining scraps.
• Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove them to a wire rack, then serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Publishing

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