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Mar 03, 2015
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Meatless Monday: Pierogi

March 2nd, 2015

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Making homemade pierogi sounds complicated, but these traditional Polish dumplings come together in a snap with a bit of practice. First, prepare a filling of bright green spinach, starchy potatoes and creamy goat cheese. Then, turn your attention to the dough, mixing together flour, milk and eggs and kneading well. Fill the half-moon pockets with your vegetarian filling and then pan-fry in butter and serve these delicious bites with a side of sour cream. Bonus: extra uncooked pierogi are perfect to freeze for an upcoming Meatless Monday – or any night comfort food calls. Get the recipe for the dough here and the filling here.

 

-photo by Greg Rannells

What I Do: Marc Gottfried of William K. Busch Brewing Co.

March 2nd, 2015

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Marc Gottfried was 14 when he started brewing beer at home. Five years later, he joined Morgan Street Brewery, where he worked for 16 years and rose to become brewmaster before he departed in 2011 for William K. Busch Brewing Co., maker of Kräftig lager and Kräftig light. Here, its vice president of brewing and chief brewmaster – and the most decorated brewer in St. Louis history – gives a behind-the-scenes look at his craft.

Why did you leave Morgan Street?
I knew if I didn’t take the risk I would think about it for the rest of my life. While (Kräftig) had a high probability of failure, there was a chance of extreme success. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. In retrospect, it was the right decision. I’m more of a complete brewer.

In what way?
When I left Morgan Street, I thought I was resigning myself to a boring lifetime of brewing the same damn beer over and over. The chasing (of) consistency and quality that I have to do with this company is equally as challenging and fun as the ability to brew whatever the heck I wanted at Morgan Street.

How did you develop the Kräftig recipes?
We were trying to develop one beer, (and) we were just going at it two different ways. One of the guys we work with says, “Guys, stop trying to decide. We’ve got two beers: a light and a regular.” We kind of shot ourselves in the foot. The most efficient way to do it would have been to develop a regular and add water and that’s your light. We didn’t develop it like that. Those recipes are completely different, so I have to brew Kräftig light and lager as totally separate beers.

Kräftig beers are brewed in La Crosse, Wisconsin at City Brewing Co. How often do you travel there?
I drive to Wisconsin every other week. The day when I can go to work in St. Louis and brew beer, I’ll be a happy guy.

What does the term “craft beer” mean to you?
Craft, by definition, is a volume-related thing. It’s annual capacity. But craft is more than that. It’s a movement, a rebirth of beer styles gone by the wayside and a birth of thousands of beer styles that never existed before. The craft brewing movement was small breweries brewing beer styles that were less common because they were from other countries. And then those people started experimenting. What if we put it in a barrel? What if we put whiskey in it? What if we put raspberries in it? That was the beginning.

Apart from your own beer, what do you drink at home?
What I had the other day that was awesome was a Samuel Adams Escape Route. It was a Kölsch. Also, I love Bitburger. It’s a Bohemian Pilsner. I drink a lot of Schlafly, too.

Which brewers inspire you?
I probably would never have become a professional brewer if it were not for Phil Colombatto. He was brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch. (I was) 15 or 16. We go to Anheuser-Busch, meet with him. He spends hours with me. At the end, he gives me a book, The Practical Brewer. It’s looked upon as the bible of the professional brewer. He signs it: “To Marc, I hope your experiences in brewing will be as fulfilling for you as they have been for me.” It inspired me.

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

The Scoop: The Fresh Market grocery opens in Creve Coeur

March 2nd, 2015

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The Fresh Market, a North Carolina-based grocery store chain, opened its first Missouri location at 11557 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur on Feb. 25. “We’re always on the lookout for where shoppers have a passion for great food and great service,” said Fresh Market district manager Amy Donati. “This area is very convenient for a lot of different people.”

The 25,000-square-foot building is designed in the style of an open-air European market and is stocked with fresh produce, seafood, deli meats, baked goods, freshly ground coffee, wine and beer. Local offerings include Billy Goat Chips, Fitz’s sodas, Two Men and A Garden salsa and pickles, Stone Hill wines and Kuva Coffee. In addition to grocery needs, The Fresh Market also offers a small six-seat dining area inside and another 24 seats on a patio where customers can enjoy the store’s prepared food offerings. Grab-and-go options include salads, paninis, wraps, sushi and an assortment of health-conscious meals.

The Fresh Market is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-photo by Georgia Kaye

 

By the Book: Jeffrey Weiss’ Chorizo infierno

February 28th, 2015

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Jeffrey Weiss’s Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, his hagiographic cookbook devoted to the art of curing meats, makes for heady reading. A full 30 pages are devoted to the science of charcuterie, including the freshman-chemistry precepts of pH, nitrates, salts fermentation and, yes, germ theory – or rather, sidestepping its dangers.

On a lazy Friday at the Sauce office, all of this (well, except basic food safety) is simply over my head. Plus, the thought of publisher Allyson Mace’s reaction after bumping her head against curing charcuterie hanging in the Sauce kitchen is too frightening to hazard.

So as a compromise, instead of true aged charcuterie, I made Weiss’ recipe for chorizo fresco. Then, I lit it on fire.

It’s tough to make homemade sausage in St. Louis without thinking of the city’s meatpacking heritage, largely by German and Eastern European immigrants. The vestiges of the meat-processing halcyon days can still be found here and there in Soulard, where tiny meat markets do business under the hanging fumes of beer brewed down the street at Anheuser-Busch. The tedium (and gross, gaseous noises) of sausage-making pulled me out somewhat of the idyllic charcuterie fantasy created by the cookbook’s photography. It is a lovely thing to behold, assuming your hands aren’t covered in ground pork. Weiss’ encapsulation of science and cultural trivia (along with a powerful forward written by Jose Andres) make this a captivating read.

Note well: Supplies for homemade sausage can be tricky to come by. After much searching, I borrowed a KitchenAid meat grinding attachment from Salume Beddu and purchased casings from Vincent’s 12th Street Market and the pork from Don’s Meat Market in Soulard.

 

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If using a pre-smoked cut of meat (I could only come up with smoked pork jowls), cut the salt in the recipe by at least a quarter, especially if you’re sensitive to it.

 

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When grinding the pork, place all of the sausage-making supplies – cubed meat, grinding components – in the freezer for at least and hour and half beforehand. This makes the grinding much easier.

 

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What makes this true chorizo instead of just sausage is the pimenton slurry, made with dry white wine, sweet and spicy paprika and oregano. Use good Hungarian or Spanish paprika for maximum flavor.

 

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Don’t forget to soak the sausage casings in water at least 30 minutes before stuffing them. Assuming you are using one long case, slide the meat downward as you go. You can separate it into links later on.

 

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The recipe’s greatest flaw is the logistics of cooking the sausage en flambé. Lacking a terracotta dish as instructed, I instead used a nonstick skillet and Georgia corn moonshine. Expect the flames to jump about 2 to 3 feet high, and for the ethanol to burn off far more quickly than the 6 to 8 minutes called for in the recipe. (Admittedly, the corn liquor may have been too high-proof, allowing the alcohol to burn away faster.) After singeing off a good bit of my arm hair, I just pan-fried the sausages in the skillet instead.

 

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Despite the deep vermilion of the chorizo slurry, it didn’t serve to color the meat as much as expected. While the taste was there, the flavor profile reminded me more of a well-made bratwurst – not that I’m complaining. A little heavy on the salt, a little light on the spice, the proportions on this recipe may need some slight recalibration, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

 

Chorizo al Infierno
1 serving

1 chorizo fresco (recipe follows)
¼ cup (50 milliliters) orujo, aguardiente or other high-proof neutral liquor

• Warm a terra cotta or other flameproof dish over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is very hot. Using a metal skewer long enough to suspend the sausage over the terra cotta dish, impale the sausage. Remove the dish from the heat and place on a heatproof trivet.
• Place the skewered sausage over the dish and carefully pour the liquor into the dish. With a long match, set the liquor alight. Cook the sausage over the strong flame (watch your fingers, eyebrows, and other body parts) for 6 to 8 minutes, turning as needed, until the sausage is charred and cooked through. Serve hot.

Chorizo Fresco
3 to 4 loops or 6 to 8 links of sausage per 2.2 pounds

Per 2.2 lbs. (1 kg.) of the following blend of meats, cut into large cubes: 40 percent aguja (pork collar), 40 percent panceta (pork belly), and 20 percent papada (pork jowl)
¾ oz. (20 g.) whole cloves garlic, peeled and destemmed
1 oz. (25 g.) kosher salt
¼ cup (50 milliliters) dry white wine, such as a Verdejo, chilled
¼ cup (50 milliliters) water, chilled
⅓ oz. (10 g.) pimentón dulce
⅓ oz. (10 g.) pimentón picante
⅛ oz. (2 g.) dried oregano
3 Tbsp. (45 milliliter) extra virgin olive oil, for frying, divided

Optional:
2 feet (60 cm.) 1¼- to 1½-inch (32- to 36-mm.) hog casings, soaked, or more as needed
Caul fat, as needed

• Place the aguja, panceta, and papada meats and grinder parts in the freezer for 30 minutes to par-freeze before attempting to grind.
• Using a mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic and salt to form an ajosal. If desired, you can finish the ajosal in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
• In a mixing bowl, combine the meats and ajosal. Toss together and set aside as you set up the grinder.
• Fill a large bowl with ice, and place a smaller bowl inside the ice-filled bowl. Grind the meat mixture once through a medium-coarse (⅜-inch) die into the smaller bowl. Be careful: The meat mixture is wet, so it may squirt and pop out of the grinder.
• In a small mixing bowl, combine the wine, water, pimentones, and oregano, making a slurry. Keep the bowl containing the slurry chilled until ready to use.
• Place the ground meats in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you can just mix in a mixing bowl with a sturdy spoon). Begin mixing on low speed. As the mixer runs, pour the wine slurry into the bowl in a steady stream.
• Continue mixing on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the wine slurry has been fully incorporated into the mixture, a white residue forms on the sides of the bowl, and the mixture firms up. Place the bowl containing the ground meat mixture in the refrigerator to keep it cold until you are ready to stuff the sausage into casings.
• To make a prueba, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place a small piece of the meat mixture in the skillet and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

To ferment the sausages:
• If stuffing: Stuff the mixture into the casings and tie into 12-inch (30-cm.) loops or 6-inch (15-cm.) links. Using a sterile pin or sausage pricker, prick each sausage several times. Place in the refrigerator to ferment overnight.
• If not stuffing: Form the mixture into 8-ounce (226-g.) patties. Wrap in plastic wrap or caul fat, if using. Place in the refrigerator to ferment overnight.

To cook the sausages:
• If stuffing: If you have stuffed the sausages into links or loops, warm the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until they register an internal temperature of 150 degrees. You can also oven roast or grill the sausages at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until they reach the same internal temperature.
• If not stuffing: Warm the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the sausage patties for 8 to 10 minutes, until they register an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
• Remove the sausages from the heat and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Surry Books.

What needlessly ambitious dish(es) have you attempted in the kitchen? Tell us how it turned out in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Charcutería.

Drink This Weekend Edition: The Will

February 27th, 2015

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Every year, I struggle with the same concept: the winter cocktail. There are plenty of drinks that feature egg whites and cream, but they can end up with a thin texture or a chalky mouth feel. And what about that pesky leftover yolk? This decadent tipple delivers creaminess and punch, while also using up all those egg yolks I inevitably collect over time.

The Will
1 serving

1½ oz. Blanton’s bourbon
¾ oz. rich Demerara syrup (a 2:1 ratio)
½ oz. lemon juice
1 egg yolk
Cinnamon for garnish

• Combine the bourbon, Demerara syrup, lemon juice and egg yolk in a cocktail shaker and dry shake 15 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake another 30 seconds. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with cinnamon.

 

Ben Bauer is a member of USBG St. Louis and a bartender at The Libertine.

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

February 27th, 2015

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

 

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vanbchocolate
Box of chocolates beer ice cream made in a kitchen aid with liquid nitrogen and a blowtorch…… ‪http://instagram.com/p/zYZcIsuJE3/ 

KellieHynes
When bad banana bread happens to good people. AKA “whataya mean you need to bring a treat to school… ‪https://instagram.com/p/zkr8pUF25Z/ 

lambert_mel
I have a serious milk dud problem. ‪#oscars2015

EricedheathEric
There are so many places in STL that make this a great food city, and we are so grateful to be a part of whats happening! Congrats to all!

flickjac01
Cheers to new beginnings!!! ‪@Schlafly ‪@schlaflybrewer ‪#tothefuture ‪#cheers ‪#ineednewshirts

Pivasan
Today I’m competing in the United States Latte Art Championship. I’m grateful to be able to represent… ‪http://instagram.com/p/zVSPfcDMZl/ 

BeerKaren
If you’re going to slice off your fingernail, best to do it while peeling orange peel for your old fashioned so you can drink it afterward.

RtodaizH
My 8-year-old daughter was able to answer this correctly. ‪#ProudPapa
https://twitter.com/RtodaizH/status/568936623070580736

jayeedoubleeff
Not my best art, but oh, gurl. Dat surface tension.
https://twitter.com/jayeedoubleeff/status/569187537622671360/photo/1

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

The Scoop: Retreat Gastropub to open this summer in the CWE

February 26th, 2015

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{Retreat Gastropub owner Travis Howard}

 

Retreat Gastropub is coming to 2 N. Sarah St., in the spot previously occupied by 6 North Café. Owner Travis Howard, who signed the lease to the Central West End spot last week, hopes to open the American gastropub in June.

The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner. Its midday menu will focus on flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and soups – quick-service items to facilitate area professionals. Howard envisions a dinner menu of burgers, plus small plates like poutine, chicken wings, crabcakes and other seafood dishes. Although a chef has yet to be tapped for the kitchen, Howard foresees the food prepared from scratch with as much local produce as possible.

The bar at Retreat will pour local and national craft beers. Expect a minimal selection on tap but an expansive number of bottled and canned brews. Retreat’s cocktails will feature house-made infusions, tinctures and syrups, said Howard, who spent the last three years at Baileys’ Range, initially as a bartender and most recently as general manager. This is his last week at the downtown restaurant.

Retreat takes its inspiration from the outdoors. That feel will be reflected in an interior design that Howard called “retro-modern,” outfitted with outdoors-y tables and benches that he is building with his father, a hobby woodworker. Besides 60 seats in the dining area, Retreat also will offer outdoor dining on its covered patio and sidewalk.

“This restaurant has been a project of mine for several years, and my personal experience of nearly 15 years in the industry has me prepared for this opportunity,” Howard said. “I have been able to hone my craft, build my knowledge, and gain invaluable experience while managing Baileys’ Range … I will take that experience with me and build upon it.”

 

 

The Scoop: First area Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken to open in Maplewood

February 26th, 2015

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More fried chicken is flying to Missouri this summer. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is set to open a franchise at 7434 Manchester Road in Maplewood. St. Louis will be one of nine places where the Tennessee-based restaurant plans to open this year.

Franchise owners Jim and Jane Zimmermann said Gus’s will offer dine-in, carryout and catering options at the 68-seat restaurant. Menu items incude fried chicken meals, fried green tomatoes, baked beans, greens, mac-n-cheese, fried pickles and various pies. Both draft and local beers will be offered as well.

“(Gus’s owner) Wendy McRory is very involved in choosing locations. We’ve been working on bringing Gus’s to St. Louis for quite some time, and Maplewood fit a lot of the criteria we’ve been looking for. It’s a thriving area,” Jane Zimmermann said. “We’re very, very excited to bring the brand to St. Louis.”

 

 

Baked: Vanilla Bean Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits

February 26th, 2015

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We’re eating snickerdoodles for days here on Baked. Last time I showed you berry potpie with a snickerdoodle crust, and today, I have another way to use up that leftover cookie dough (with instructions on how to make more, in case yours disappeared somehow).

This is the simplest from-scratch vanilla pudding in the world, and its flavor is to die for – especially when spiked with a bit of rum. Snickerdoodle crumbs hidden at the bottom add surprise spice and crunch. Make them well in advance of your next dinner party and garnish each with a cookie on top just before serving. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Very Vanilla Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
4 servings

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
2 2/3 cup almond milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
A splash of rum
4 Snickerdoodle Cookies, plus crumbs (Recipe follows)

• In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, salt and egg until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the 2 cups almond milk and the vanilla bean to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
• Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the rum. Set aside.
• Add a layer of snickerdoodle cookie crumbs to the bottom of 4 dessert cups. Divide the pudding evenly between the cups. If you don’t like pudding skin, lightly press plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours, until set. Garnish each with a snickerdoodle cookie and serve.

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● Roll pieces of dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool completely.

 

 

The Scoop: Phat Boys BBQ opens in Florissant

February 26th, 2015

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With the cut of a ribbon, Mayor Thomas P. Schneider helped Florissant welcome Phat Boys BBQ to Florissant earlier this month. Though the barbecue concept, located at 300 St. Ferdinand, has served customers since September 2014, the official opening ceremony took place Feb. 12.

“This started as a hobby. We had a food trailer for about a year, mostly during the summer, for family, friends and people passing by,” said co-owner Tracie Smith, who opened the brick-and-mortar location with husband Derek Smith and friend Torin Henderson. “Torin Henderson lives in Florissant, and he’s been looking around the area. This building was vacant, but it has good traffic, and we’re next to (Helfer’s Pastries).”

Phat Boys BBQ is mainly a carryout concept, although about four seats are available inside the 850-square-foot building. Delivery within a five-mile radius is also an option for customers who place orders of $30 or more.

The menu offers smoked barbecue classics like pulled pork, pulled chicken and beef brisket, along with side items such as mac-n-cheese, cole slaw and baked beans. Dessert options include peach cobbler, banana pudding and caramel cupcakes. Smith also mentioned pork steak, rib slabs and rib tips were frequent sell-out items.

“Florissant is awesome,” Smith said. “We have lots of repeat customers and lots of word-of-mouth business.”

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