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Jul 22, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Sauce Celebrity Chef Series gets deliciously decadent with Alice Medrich

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Queen of Chocolate is gracing us with her presence just in time for Mother’s Day. On May 9, celebrated sweets author Alice Medrich will discuss and sign her new book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, for the next installment of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series.

Medrich has won more cookbook-of-the-year awards than any other author, including two from the James Beard Foundation. For this event, Kakao Chocolate will be making sweet treats inspired by Medrich’s new book, which simplifies dozens of her classic dessert recipes.

Ticket packages cost just $30 and include admission for two, some of those tasty Kakao confections and 1 copy of Alice’s new cookbook, which she will be discussing and signing at the event. Whether you’ve been looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift or hoping to learn the secrets behind great baking, this is an event any dedicated sweet tooth truly shouldn’t miss.

What: Sauce Celebrity Chef Series with Alice Medrick
When: Wed., May 9 – 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Left Bank Books, 321 N. 10th St., St. Louis, 314.436.3049, brownpapertickets.com
Cost: Tickets: $30, admission for 2, Kakao Chocolate confections, 1 copy of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

Kaldi’s named one of “America’s Best Coffee Bars” by Food & Wine

Friday, March 16th, 2012

A big clink of the ceramic mug to Kaldi’s Coffee, which was recently named one of America’s Best Coffee Bars by Food & Wine Magazine. Of the six Kaldi’s locations around town, the flagship cafe on DeMun Avenue in Clayton garnered the most attention for its “Bohemian charm.” Aside from stellar ambiance, Kaldi’s was lauded for using fair-trade beans long before it was fashionable.

This isn’t the first national nod for the local roaster. Kaldi’s was honored by Fortune Magazine (Best Small Coffee Makers) last year and was lauded for serving one of the best cups of coffee in the country by GQ back in 2009. Cheers!

Food Truck Fridays are back!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Food Truck Fridays are back! For those of you who haven’t been to this food-filled extravaganza, get ready to eat your heart out. Food Truck Friday is Sauce Magazine’s response to the ever-growing food truck trend that’s been plowing through the country over the last couple of years. While food trucks are relatively new to the local dining scene, more trucks take to the streets each month, tweeting out their locations so hungry diners can line up for a meal on the go. Just about anything is available curbside these days – from pizza and hotdogs to bulgogi bowls and sushi rolls. Food truck fare is portable, affordable and made fresh on the spot.

This marks the second year of Food Truck Fridays, which will kick off in May and will be held monthly throughout the summer and early fall. Last year, hundreds of St. Louisans filled Tower Grove Park at each event to get a taste of all their favorite food trucks in one place. Won’t you join them?

Click here to watch a short video revealing what Food Truck Friday is all about.

And see below for a list of which trucks you can expect to see this year, along with details on times and location for the upcoming season. See you in May!

WHAT: Food Truck Friday

WHEN: The second Friday of every month from May till October.

• May 11: 5 to 8 p.m.

• June 8: 5 to 8 p.m.

• July 13: 5 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 10: 5 to 8 p.m.

• Sept. 14: 5 to 8 p.m.

• Oct. 12: 4 to 7 p.m.

WHERE: On the southwest side of Tower Grove Park

Parking: West End & Gurney Picnic Sites: Enter the Park via Kingshighway and follow Southwest Drive, heading east as it is a one-way street. The picnic sites will be on your left. From the Arsenal entrance at Center Cross Drive: Go around the roundabout and turn left on Northwest Drive (which is also one-way), heading west. This will eventually loop into Southwest Drive.

COST: Entrance is free; cash and credit card accepted for food and beverages

WHO’S COMING:
Cha Cha Chow
Follow this truck @WheresChaCha

Falafelwich Wagon
Follow this truck @Falafelwich

Guerrilla Street Food
Follow this truck @GuerrillaStreet

Holy Crêpe
Follow this truck @HolyCrepeSTL

Hot Aztec
Follow this truck @HotAztec

Papa Tom’s Gateway Dog House
Follow this truck @GatewayDogHouse

Sarah’s Cake Stop
Follow this truck @SarahsCakeStop

Schlafly
Beer booth @Schlafly

Seoul Taco
Follow this truck @SeoulTaco

Shell’s Coastal Cuisine
Follow this truck @ShellsCoastal

Speedway Eatery
Follow this truck @SpeedwayEatery

The Sausage Syndicate
Follow this truck @SyndicateSTL

The Sweet Divine
Follow this truck @TheSweetDivine

2 Girls 4 Wheels
Follow this truck @2girls4wheels

Le Food Truck
Follow this truck @LeFoodTruck

Lulu’s Local Eatery
Follow this truck @LulusFoodTruck

Zia’s Italian Food Truck
Follow this truck @ZiasOnTheHill

By the Book: Stéphane Reynaud’s Poulet Tout Simplement

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Pulling off a good roast makes me feel like Picasso in the kitchen. When I pull that pan of perfection from the oven, I feel like maybe I could be the next Martha – and wonder if, perhaps, I’m part French.

So I was delighted to crack open Stéphane Reynaud’s Rôtis: Roasts for Every Day of the Week. The charming cookbook is very European, from the illustrations and French recipe names right down to the feel of the paper. I couldn’t wait to start roasting something.

The recipe that first caught my eye was the Filet de Boeuf Rôti en Croûte de Champignons or, rather, the roast fillet of beef with mushrooms “en croûte.” I immediately had fantasies of setting this gorgeous hunk of beef tenderloin lovingly enveloped in a puff pastry before my dinner guests. Their mouths would salivate and they would give each other that knowing look: They had sorely underestimated my prowess in the kitchen.

But who was I kidding? I’ve made three roasts in my life. I was taught how to roast by a darling, French friend while we were expatriating in Jakarta. When I told her I’d never roasted anything, she set down her cigarette (her fifth one that morning), raised an eyebrow and asked incredulously, “How can you be as old as you are and not know how to make a roast? That’s ridiculous.”

So, at 28, I was shamed into making my first roasted chicken. And I saw what the fuss was about: There was no fuss. It was incredibly easy to execute. Since it has been four years since I first roasted a chicken, I decided to make Reynaud’s Poulet Tout Simplement – chicken, plain and simple, as a refresher course of sorts.



As I was gathering my ingredients, I couldn’t help but think that six onions were excessive and that my roasting pan would be way too small. Perhaps Reynaud was working with much smaller onions, or a much larger pan. So I bought three. I only ended up using two, which was plenty both for flavor and serving size.

Now, I must admit I made a crucial mistake: I had my friend assisting me. Mel, who had never made a roast, was met with the same disdain that I’d been met with from my French friend. “You’ve never made a roast? You need to learn.” While buying ingredients, she mistook six cloves of garlic for six heads, and she would later lead me to believe that the total cooking time was an hour when it was an hour and a half. Rookie.

But before we got to the actual cooking of the chicken, there was the matter of trussing the bird. Armed with my length of kitchen string, I referred to the How to Tie a Chicken page of the book. It began easily enough with instructions to remove the innards, a step which made my understudy wretch. Next, it instructed to “tie the string around the neck skin and the wings, then tuck these underneath the chicken.” I’d only ever tied the feet so I was perplexed by this step. Not seeing any neck skin, I did pause for a minute and pondered the flappy bit at the base of the chicken. Did I have this bird upside-down? “That’s the butt,” my assistant confirmed.

Spending the next few minutes trying to tie the string to non-existent neck skin and tuck two very uncooperative wings “under” the bird was almost enough to cause me to throw a temper tantrum right there in my own kitchen. Bested by the Frenchman’s trussing instructions, I had to consult Martha’s book, Cooking School. While the instructions were just as befuddling, the pictures were clearer and we managed to tie that bird up tight.



My next misstep, which I entirely blame Mel for, was adding everything to the pot at once. Apparently I added the potatoes an hour too early. But that’s the beauty of a roast: You can sometimes make big mistakes and not ruin dinner.

I checked my roast from time to time and, at the one-hour mark (which I thought was the finishing line), it was nowhere near done. To be fair, the photo in the book looks less browned than others I’ve seen, but this definitely needed more time. Forty-five annoyed minutes later and the bird was looking better. In my opinion, everything in the pot looked under-cooked. But out of fear of over-cooking, I pulled the pot to test doneness.

Surprisingly, though only very lightly browned, the skin was beautifully and delicately crisp. A deep cut through the thickest part of the breast revealed milky white, juicy meat with no pink anywhere in sight. The vegetables, which also looked underdone by my estimation, were pleasing to the palate: soft but still structured. The garlic was like buttery manna from heaven. By golly, we’d done it!

It wasn’t the prettiest bird I’d ever seen. I couldn’t stop suspecting that it needed a few more minutes to give it the oily San Tropez tan it so often has in the magazines. And even though my assistant consistently attempted to foil my efforts, the resulting roast was delightful. Chicken, plain and simple indeed.



Chicken, Plain and Simple

1 large free-range chicken
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 onions, unpeeled (Note: I only used 2 and, because they were so large, ended up peeling and cutting them into small chunks.)
6 potatoes, skin on and cut into wedges.

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Wipe the chicken and pat dry with kitchen paper.
• To tie the chicken, fold the wings back and tuck them underneath the chicken, then tie the legs together with string.
• Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Place the chicken in a flameproof roasting tin, then arrange the garlic cloves and onions around it. Roast the chicken in the oven for 1 hour.
• Remove the roast and arrange the potato wedges around the chicken. Baste the chicken with some of its cooking juices, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
• Serve the chicken covered with its cooking juices, with the garlic, onion and potatoes.

Boursin Stuffing

This is a complicated process consisting of carefully unwrapping a Boursin cheese and stuffing it into the chicken. At serving time, mix the Boursin that has melted during cooking with the cooking juices.

The above tongue-in-cheek instructions for the stuffing are the author’s, not mine. Ah, le sarcasme!

Is there a dish that you were scared to try at home, but once you did, you realized it wasn’t so hard after all? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Rôtis: Roasts For Every Day of the Week.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Jennifer S., whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won her a copy of Uchi The Cookbook. Jennifer, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!

By the Book: Virginia Willis’ Wedding Cookies

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Seeing as today is Valentine’s Day, I thought a sweet treat for your significant other would be fitting. I often use food to express affection for my fiancé but get frustrated because my cooking is never as good as his mother’s. There are about five recipes that she makes that he holds in the highest regard. At his request, I emailed her asking if she’d be willing to share these golden recipes, to which she politely declined, stating something about how she wanted these dishes to be special treats for her boys when they come to visit. Not to be entirely callous, however, she did pass along a single recipe for one of her son’s favorite treats: Mexican wedding cookies.

It was a simple recipe, one that she thought I could “handle.” Both grateful and annoyed, I baked the cookies. He said it was the best thing I’d ever baked. Again, bittersweet. I resolved that I would one day find a recipe for my own Mexican wedding cookies, one that would blow my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s out of the water.



So you can imagine my delight when I found this recipe in Virginia Willis’ refined Southern recipes cookbook Basic to Brilliant, Ya’ll (her follow-up to Bon Appétit, Y’all). In this book, each recipe comes with a simple(ish)-to-execute recipe as well as an addendum on how to give the dish that presentation wow-factor. I chose to stick with the simple recipe, as I baked them on a lazy Sunday.

Aside from the desire to outdo my mother-in-law for obvious reasons, I did have some objections to her recipe, which called for copious amounts of Crisco. To me, the use of shortening feels like cheating. Willis’ recipe uses butter instead – lots of it. It’s also chock-full of pecans, another improvement on the “original.”  I had a sneaking suspicion that this might be the clincher for the win.

This recipe is super simple, but there are a few things to note: First, let the butter come to room temperature naturally. I tried to coax the process along with a quick spin in the microwave. The butter didn’t melt exactly, but it ended up being a bit more “room temperature” than was ideal. This made it so I didn’t get the perfectly round cookie I wanted. Also, once you’re ready to roll out your cookies, if your batter is a bit gloppy or feeling difficult, just stick it in the fridge for a few minutes.



The recipe calls for a 300-degree oven, which seemed a bit low to me. At this temp, it took my cookies about 45 minutes to bake (15 minutes longer than the recipe recommended). To know that the cookies have finished baking, you must check the bottom. They’re done when the bottoms are browned; the tops will still look undercooked. Don’t skimp on the powdered sugar, either. The cookie itself contains very little sugar, so the confectioners’ sugar is essential to create that fabulous salty/sweet balance.

Now for the verdict: I didn’t tell him they weren’t his mother’s recipe – I just let him taste and waited for his reaction. He loved the extra pecans and said that they were the best Mexican wedding cookies he’d ever had. At that point I casually mentioned that I felt his mother’s recipe needed tweaking and that I had made a few (ahem, major) adjustments.



Wedding Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup chopped pecans
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ cup confectioners’ sugar for rolling

• Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. (Note: I didn’t line my baking sheet. The cookies didn’t stick at all.)
• In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy.
• Add the flour, pecans and salt, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended. Using a small Ice cream scoop, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
• Bake until the bottom of the cookies are lightly browned, about 30 minutes (Note: It took mine 45 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
• While still warm, roll the cookies in the confectioners’ sugar until evenly coated.
• Transfer on a wire rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to one week.

Basic to Brilliant, Y’all by Virginia Willis, Random House, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-60774-009-4

For a chance to win a copy of Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, tell us about a dish you’ve made to win your way into someone’s heart.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Courtney, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won her a copy of Yvette Van Boven’s Home Made.  Courtney, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew regarding your prize!

The Scoop: Cherokee Street welcomes new Mexican restaurant

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

020112_sieteSt. Louis’ Mexican-food mecca is now home to another south-of-the-border restaurant. Siete Luminarias took over the space vacated by La Vallesana 2, which closed when La Vallesana’s main restaurant completed its expansion and renovations a few months ago.

As reported by George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine, Siete’s owners – brothers Luis and Ramon Gonzales – opened the doors to their new restaurant at 2818 Cherokee St., last month.

Siete Luminarias offers traditional Mexican fare with kitsch and a touch of charm: For instance, as seen here, chips and salsa arrive inside a quirky plastic donkey cart. Prices are a bit higher than other spots on the street, though many items are still under $10 – and portions are hefty. At $11, the Cantina Molcajete – traditional stone bake ware filled with still-sizzling grilled steak, shrimp, chicken, chorizo and cactus – can easily feed two.

The menu expands on Fridays and Saturdays to offer weekends-only fare, including a variety of posoles (Mexican pork-based soups traditionally made with hominy and a slew of spices). While Siete Luminarias doesn’t have a website, you can check out the new eatery on Facebook.

Urban Chestnut wins big on Ratebeer.com

Friday, January 27th, 2012

012712_urbanchestnutA hefty pat on the back goes to Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., which was recently praised by Ratebeer.com as one of the top new brewers (Wait for it.) in the world. Of the 1,473 new breweries that registered with the site in 2011, the top-ranked breweries were Urban Chestnut at No. 5; California’s High Water Brewing at No. 4; Haymarket Pub & Brewing in Chicago taking third; Yorkshire, England’s Magic Rock Brewing as runner-up; and Anchorage Brewing Co. in Alaska taking the number one spot. Cheers!

Wash U. gets an A+ for ethnic/kosher fare

Friday, January 27th, 2012

012612_washuWashington University has long held court as one of the nation’s top schools, academically. And now it’s getting more than just scholarly accolades. The only college in the country to score 10 out of 10 on a survey by collegeprowler.com, Wash U narrowly beat out Brandeis – a Jewish-sponsored college – as the campus with the most palatable kosher and ethnic dining options.

Some cuisine-specific spots on campus include L’Chaim (hot items from a certified kosher kitchen), WUrld Fusion (tandoori ovens, Indian and global cuisine), Ciao Down (pizzas and pastas) and ¡OSOGood! (South-of-the-border fare).

Wash U also offers busy (or lazy) students a service called Webfood, an online ordering system that allows users to “build a meal” from their computers and schedule a pickup.

By the Book: Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

122311_BytheBook_coverWelcome to By the Book, a new weekly online column in which we try our hand at recipes from some of the many amazing cookbooks that come across our desks. We thumb through, pick a dish and then get cooking – revealing the recipe we chose and the results of our culinary journey. Scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a copy of the featured book and to see last week’s By the Book winner.

The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends is the second book for Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. The authors, who are the respective host and producer of public radio show The Splendid Weekend, have dedicated this book to the “two days a week when the pressure is off [and] time becomes your ally.”

For myself and my fiancé, the weekends mean indulging in trashy TV and, well, food. While weekdays are usually filled with fruits, veggies, whole grains and juicing, Saturday and Sunday signal pizza, brownies and beer. As such, I opted to make the Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings in hopes that I didn’t betray our weekend mantra. The intro to the recipe said kids “wolf down” these chicken wings, so I figured they’d be well received by my finicky meat-and-potatoes man.

When I held open the book to show him the recipe with a “Doesn’t this recipe look delicious?” he blinked a couple times and asked, “Wait, mahogany … that’s wood right? Does that taste good?”

122311_BytheBook1

After a quick trip to the supermarket for plum sauce and sherry, I got started on the prep. The first half of the recipe couldn’t have been easier: blend, rinse, pierce, bag. Now to wait 12 to 48 hours to let this wonderfully aromatic marinade work its magic.

The next day I had almost forgotten that I needed to work chicken wings into the day’s schedule, so I revisited the recipe to see how much this was going to cut into my day. The two hours of rather hand-on baking time made me cringe slightly, as suddenly I wasn’t in the mood to put in the effort. After foiling my half sheet and finding a suitable rack, I laid my little bathing beauties on the rack and luckily they fit perfectly with no overlap. The directions called for an hour and a half of roasting punctuated by regular turning and basting. I’ll be honest: This got really old really quickly. And when it came to the halfway point and it was time to pierce, I found myself taking my aggression out on the wings: I delicately pierced the first few, but by the last row, I was wielding the knife like a serial killer, hacking with reckless abandon. When it was time to jack up the heat, my cloud of annoyance started to dissipate, because in less than an hour, I’d be eating. Also, the house had begun to fill with the most amazing scents of garlic and Asian spices.

122311_BytheBook2

According to the cookbook, the wings would take 15 to 20 minutes at 450 to crisp. After 6 minutes, my wings had started to burn. After a quick (and frantic) flip, I cooked them another 4 minutes. They were definitely done. A note to anyone trying out this recipe: Keep an eye on your oven during this step. I suspect I basted a bit longer than I should have. The ladies say to stop basting a good 30 minutes before roasting time is over. Woops.

My browned beauties were finally done – a mere 20 hours after I had begun the process – and they looked delicious. They were tasty and juicy, though stickier than I would have liked (but this was probably my fault). The final verdict: This recipe was far more involved than I’d like for any chicken wing recipe, especially if I’m making them for kids. But if you have the time and energy, boy are they tasty.

122311_BytheBook3

Mahogany-Glazed Chicken Wings

4 to 6 Servings

½ cup hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Chinese plum sauce
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup cider vinegar
6 large garlic cloves
3¼ to 4 lbs. chicken wings, rinsed and pierced in several places with a paring knife

• In a blender or food processor, purée the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, plum sauce, sherry, cider vinegar and garlic. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for basting the wings. Combine the remaining mixture with the chicken wings in large plastic bags and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours.
• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large, shallow baking pan (a half-sheet pan is ideal) with foil. Set a large cake rack inside the pan. Arrange the wings on the rack, trying not to stack them so they can all caramelize evenly.
• Roast the chicken for 1¼ to 1½ hours, turning the wings often and basting them with the reserved marinade until the last 30 minutes of cooking. Halfway through the roasting, pierce each wing several times with a knife to release some of its fat and help it crisp. The wings are cooked when they are easily pierced with a knife. If in doubt, roast longer.
• Give the wings a final crisping by raising the heat to 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them so they are a rich red-brown on all sides. Pile the wings on a platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The wings reheat well in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Care to meet Ms. Kasper, herself? Join us on Friday, Feb. 24, as the host and producer of The Splendid Table returns to St. Louis to discuss her new cookbook as part of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series. For more information and how you can nab tickets to this awesome event, click here.

For a chance to win a copy of The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends, tell us what your favorite weekend cooking project and why in the comments section below.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Karen Snodgrass whose recommendation for pairing The Civil Life’s Scottish Ale with Brussels sprouts has won her a free copy of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. Karen, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew regarding your prize!

The Scoop: Katt Williams, Shrimp Shack and Radio One team up to feed families in need this Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21st, 2011

112111_shrimpshackKatt Williams, the pint-sized comedian with a super-sized personality, also has a really big heart. Williams has a biological child of his own, but that didn’t stop him from adopting an additional seven children. He jokes that he didn’t even have to go to Africa to get his kids; there are needy kids right here in America.

His compassion for the community doesn’t stop at adoption: This Thanksgiving, he’s teaming up with the Shrimp Shack Grill and Radio One (104.1 and 95.5) to offer meals to families in need. The free meals will be provided at Shrimp Shack, a seafood/soul food restaurant located at 8624 Natural Bridge Road in Bel-Ridge, Mo., on Thanksgiving Day from 3 to 6 p.m.

Katt Williams will be in St. Louis for his Nov. 25th performance at the Chaifetz Arena.

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