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Apr 28, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Just Five: Pork Chop with Peppers Confit

Monday, April 10th, 2017

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Confit is a method of preservation that generally involves cooking food in fat low and slow for a long time. While you often hear of meat prepared confit (duck confit is a delicacy that comes from cooking duck legs in rendered duck fat), vegetables are confit-able. Cooking peppers in oil over low heat transforms their texture from a crisp juicy bite to smooth and almost creamy. Adding capers lends a briny, herbal bite, and sharp-sweet sherry vinegar-soaked golden raisins make this dish dance.

 
Pork Chop with Peppers Confit
Inspired by a Rozanne Gold recipe
2 servings

¼ cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
4 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 8 slices each
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 thick-cut pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. capers

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the vinegar. Set aside.
• In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the pepper slices and and ¼ cup olive oil to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer 45 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally, but do not remove the lid.
• Generously season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
• Preheat a heavy, oven-safe skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear the pork chops 4 minutes on each side.
• Place the skillet in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Place the chops on a serving plate and let rest.
• Remove the peppers from the oil and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the capers, raisins and vinegar and gently toss. Season to taste with salt, pepper and vinegar, then place the peppers confit atop the pork chops and serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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

 

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Just Five: Quick Coconut Brownies

Make This: Speedy Mac and Cheese

Make This: Speedy Mac and Cheese

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

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There’s a happy medium between the blue box and a fussy bechamel. Thanks to some inspiration from Serious Eats, gourmet mac and cheese just made the weeknight menu. To a medium saucepan, add 1½ cups elbow macaroni and enough water or stock to just cover the pasta, about 2½ cups. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until almost all the liquid is absorbed, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk and bring back to a boil. Stir in 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar and ¼ cup grated Parmesan until completely melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Photo by Julia Calleo

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• Just Five: Guinness Beer Bread

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Just Five: Guinness Beer Bread

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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Luck of the Irish indeed! Sauce Magazine tips the hat to all things beer this month, and March also celebrates all things Irish. This month rocks!

I wondered how to make a Just Five recipe with beer as one of key ingredients. After a little research on beer bread and soda bread, I threw both recipes together, picked out the parts I liked, and hoped for the blessing of St. Honoratus of Amiens (Google him).

A note on this recipe: If you do not sift the flour, you’ll have a dry biscuit, not bread. Sift, sift, sift! This simple quick bread has a crunchy crust from baking in butter and a lovely sweetness from the beer and brown sugar, proving once again that beer makes it better.

 
Guinness Beer Bread
6 servings

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz. Guinness or other dark beer
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Break up the packed brown sugar with a fork, then add it and the rosemary and stir well to combine the dry ingredients. Add the beer and mix until a sticky dough forms.
• Spread the dough evenly into a cast-iron skillet or greased 9-by-9-inch baking dish and pour the melted butter over the dough. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
• Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Bread will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Just Five: Quick Coconut Brownies

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

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I recently ordered one of everything at my favorite bakery, and yet somehow, the beautiful brownie that I know was on my list did not make it into the bag. Yes, I had cupcakes and caramel cake and biscuits and scones and a cookie (I said one of everything – don’t judge), but since there was no decadent chocolate punch in the face, I did what anyone would do: I made brownies. And for fun-sies, I used coconut oil.

Usually I use coconut oil when making popcorn. It doesn’t impart a taste but rather an aroma of coconut, and I find it somehow tastes cleaner than vegetable oil. You can definitely taste the coconut in these brownies, though –imagine a Mounds truffle. Break the Just Five rules and gild the lily by adding vanilla extract or chopped almonds to the batter or topping with toasted coconut flakes or sea salt after baking.

 

Quick Coconut Brownies
1 8-by-8-inch pan

¾ cup solid coconut oil
½ cup (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
3 room-temperature eggs
¾ cup flour
1 tsp. kosher salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips, stirring gently, until the chocolate is completely melted.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted chocolate mix and the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs 1 at a time, then stir in the flour and salt until just combined.
• Pour the batter into an 8-by-8-inch glass dish and bake 25 minutes. Some oil will rise to the top of the brownies while baking, but it will absorb as they rest.
• Let rest at least 1 hour before cutting.

 

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

 

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Make This: Spicy Shrimp Cocktail

Make This: Spicy Shrimp Cocktail

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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Skip the boring ketchup stuff and whip up this creamy, spicy-sweet sauce next time you’re shrimp cocktailing. In a large stockpot over high heat, bring 6 cups water, ½ lemon, 2 bay leaves and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Add 1 pound medium thawed or fresh shrimp to the boiling water and cook 1½ to 2 minutes, until pink and opaque. Transfer the shrimp to the ice bath and let cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together ½ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon lime juice and ½ teaspoon cumin in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced green onions. Remove the shrimp from the water bath and serve with the dipping sauce.

Photo by Julia Calleo

Just Five: Simplest Lamb Ragu

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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Winter Sunday morning. Slide feet into slippers. Put on coziest sweatshirt. Pour coffee. Sear lamb. Add sauce. Let simmer. Decide what to drink with dinner later. Serve next to a cozy fire.

 

Simplest Lamb Ragu
4 servings

1 lb. lamb stew meat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 chopped shallots
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 24-oz. jar marinara sauce
1 cup water, plus more as needed
½ cup ricotta*

• Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering
• Add the lamb and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and Italian seasoning and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
• Add the marinara sauce and water, cover and simmer on low heat 2 to 3 hours, adding more water if the ragu appears dry.
• Stir in the ricotta right before serving. Serve over cooked polenta, pasta or with rustic bread.

*Ricotta is salty; be judicious when salting the lamb.

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

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Just Five: Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Just5_Pudding

 

The few people I talked to about this recipe visibly recoiled. I get it: Tofu is not the most thrilling ingredient, especially when it comes to dessert. I was in this camp. Heck, I sewed and carried the flag for this camp. My favorite tofu preparation is when it’s taken a nice long oil bath and is covered in a delicious sauce. So I was surprised when I tasted this decadent, thick and creamy dessert. Silken tofu’s texture is a lot like custard: quite different from the firm and extra firm tofu I cook with.

High quality chocolate is key (remember, tofu is not known for its overwhelming flavor). Look for Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, and do not overcook it. I added cinnamon for my fifth ingredient, but a little almond or orange extract would also be nice, or a touch of cayenne pepper along with the cinnamon could make this a great version of Mexican chocolate pot de creme.

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman
6 to 8 servings

¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup water
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. high quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb. silken tofu
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, water and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
• Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, microwave another 30 seconds, stir again until melted.
• Combine the brown sugar syrup, melted chocolate, tofu, vanilla and cinnamon into a blender and mix on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until completely smooth. Pour the pudding into 6 to 8 ramekins and chill 15 to 30 minutes until set. Serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: Tiny tea shop Teatopia opens on Cherokee Street

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

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Looking for an alternative to your daily cup of joe? Check out Teatopia, which opened its doors at 2619½ Cherokee St., on Monday, Jan. 30, as reported by the Riverfront Times.

Owner Reginald “Reo” Quarles said he looked at more than 20 spots on his quest to open Teatopia, but none seemed quite right. Then he ran across the small Cherokee space, the former home of The Little Dipper sandwich shop. With just room enough for three tables, “it was a perfect fit.” Its diminutive size makes it easy for one person to operate, a definite benefit since Teatopia is basically a one-man show, with Quarles handling most of the daily duties.

Teatopia offers a wide variety of teas – 40 at last count – including varieties from Sri Lanka, India and other Asian countries, available to sip on site. Quarles also has created custom tea blends, like chocolate chai made with black tea, vanilla white chai and chocolate. He can also make custom blends to suit individual tastes. One-ounce containers of tea leaves are available to purchase and brew at home.

Teatopia also has a food menu, featuring salads, wraps and a selection of baked goods. Even some of the food is tea-focused, including a tea vinaigrette and tea-infused cream cheeses. “I was attracted to the tranquility of tea, the calming effect of tea,” said Quarles, who is also a vegan and martial artist. “It’s like all of what I believe in coming together.”

Quarles said his first few days of business have been good, and the Cherokee Street community has been receptive. “Everyone has welcomed me with open arms,” he said.

 

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Make This: Tiramisu Pizza

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

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Live la dolce vita with this tiramisu-inspired dessert pizza. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a powdered sugar-dusted work surface, roll 1 pound prepared pizza dough into a ½-inch-thick round. Bake on a lightly oiled pizza pan 12 to 15 minutes, until cooked through. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup espresso and 1 tablespoon dark rum. Poke the crust all over with a fork and brush with the espresso mixture. Let cool completely. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together ⅓ cup sugar and 3 room-temperature egg yolks 6 minutes on high speed. Add 8 ounces mascarpone and mix 2 minutes. Spread the mascarpone mixture over the crust and dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Photo by Julia Calleo

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Just Five: Onion Jam

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Just5_OnionJame
Onion jam: a phrase that will either horrify or intrigue you. When I brought a jar to a party recently, one woman wrinkled her nose and asked if I was joking, while the host (a true gourmand) merely raised an eyebrow and smiled. After the woman bid farewell, we agreed good riddance to that riffraff.

While this is a lovely accompaniment to a cheese tray, it shines brightest in a panini. This sweet jam with a hint of bitterness from coffee is quite magical when paired with gooey cheese. It would also be delicious served alongside pork tenderloin or roast chicken.

 

Onion Jam
2 cups

¼ cup olive oil
3 large white onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary*
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brewed coffee
½ cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and saute 10 to 15 minutes, until they soften and start to brown. Add the rosemary and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
• Sprinkle the sugar atop of the onion mixture, but do not stir. Let the sugar melt, 6 to 7 minutes.
• Stir in the coffee and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Remove and discard the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool. The jam will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

*If you want to keep rosemary leaves out of your jam, wrap the sprig in kitchen twine to hold it together.

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

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