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Sep 18, 2014
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By the Book: Todd Porter and Diane Cu’s Herb-crusted Salmon

Saturday, September 13th, 2014



Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden is the first book from Todd Porter and Diane Cu. They started out, as so many cookbook authors do these days, with a blog: White on Rice Couple, where they share their gardening successes (and failures), recipes and their travels. Overall, Bountiful’s recipes are simple, with not too many ingredients, easy techniques and fairly healthy.




I chose to make their herb-crusted salmon, a simple pan-seared fillet covered in breadcrumbs flecked with tarragon and basil. While I like cooking fish, seafood recipes can be rather irritating, in my opinion. Fillets are never the same thickness, so an ambiguous “three minutes per side,” isn’t really useful. Thankfully, Porter and Cu provide guidelines rather than a hard-and-fast rule, suggesting four to five minutes per ½-inch thickness. Good to know, as my fillets were pretty thick and required a longer cooking time.




Unfortunately, that meant the breadcrumb coating started to burn before my fish was done. I ended up transferring the fillets to the oven to finish cooking and prevent any more burning. I also thought the dish could benefit from some sort of sauce, as the breadcrumb coating left my mouth dry. I made do with quick mixture of mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and Sriracha that provided the moisture I wanted.

It seems counterintuitive, but I don’t recommend using the very best cut of salmon for this recipe. The fish I used, a wild-caught king salmon from Bob’s Seafood, was not cheap. When I spend the money on a pretty piece of fish like that, covering up its clean flavor with a heavy breadcrumb coating makes me cringe. This recipe is best suited for a piece of salmon that can benefit from a flavorful crust.




Todd Porter and Diane Cu’s Herb-crusted Salmon
4 servings

½ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 8-ounce salmon fillets, rinsed and patted dry

• In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, tarragon, basil, salt, and pepper. Pour in the butter and mix well.
• Spread the mixture evenly over both sides of the fillets.
• Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the salmon to the pan; if the fillets still have the skin on, place them skin-side down first. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the fillets over.
• Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, until the fillets are cooked to your preferred doneness.
• Serve warm with braised Brussels sprouts alongside.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang

What’s your favorite way to jazz up a salmon fillet? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Bountiful!

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

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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From now on, I will only eat swan shaped cream puffs. pic.twitter.com/8MkbpdVROA

I hate when there’s a bug in my wine. I hate it even more when it’s swimming.

World’s Fair donut ice cream dessert thingie @thelibertinestl #LifeChanging I was stomping the ground, it is soooooo good!

#AsianInvasion #foodtrucks #stl  @bradbrownstl  @bombayfoodtruck @SeoulTaco @guerrillastreet #stl pic.twitter.com/GVrzPHwwLC

Starting to really appreciate the ability to keep #brett OUT of beer.

Light reading over lunch. She pauses to yell at the dog, just like her dad. https://twitter.com/stlshelley/status/507954399927214080/photo/1

Delicious meal and desert at francostl http://instagram.com/p/s1FmNGnZ0Z/ 

This is an emotional post for me. This is my last @SeoulTaco quesadilla for a few months. I miss Bae already

The weather today just has me in the mood to go home, drink a robust porter, and spin the new @deltaspirit record. #stlwx


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Meatless Monday: Caprese Salad and Mushroom Ravioli at I Fratellini

Monday, September 8th, 2014



On a gorgeous Meatless Monday like this, we head to I Fratellini in Clayton, where large windows let in the cool late-summer breeze. This time of year, you can’t go wrong with a ginormous caprese salad. A huge slice of grilled, garlicky ciabatta bread is the base for thick discs of bright local tomatoes. These ruby-red gems are crowned with a slab of burrata and finished with a drizzle of pesto.




For your next course, order the mushroom ravioli. Five big ravioli stuffed with house-made ricotta and a medley of shiitake, portobello and button mushrooms arrive in a rich, brown butter sauce. Even more mushrooms are tucked underneath and scattered on top of the pasta, packing an abundance of rich flavor into each bite. Sprinkle your meal with reckless abandon from a cup of grated Parmesan served alongside the dish.



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

Friday, September 5th, 2014

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Puppy chow, Nutella and chocolate AKA the Chocolate Lab  All weekend long

Managed two screaming babies alone, barfing dog, work emails and made a dinner that didn’t come out of a box. Chugging beer in kitchen now.

The beer & hot dogs at @TickTockSTL and @steveshotdogs in Tower Grove East made me love my ‘hood even more. Great addition!

It’s pumpkin spice-everything season already?  Shit.

Who delivers breakfast, #STL? Where is that a thing?

Rap music themed BBQ team names: Charcoal Method Man, Notorious R.I.B., Rib Rack City, Sir Ribs-A-Lot

Two things I know to be true: 1. I burn bacon. 2. Spray paint always goes badly for me. #diyfail #twocansforasmalltable

Sitting on the counter and helping me mix up pancakes. #auntlife http://instagram.com/p/sXWEHfGT6v/ 


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

Friday, August 29th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 22nd, 2014



She said this is the smallest rib tip they had at Red’s Barbeque in #Ferguson. #yum

. @mwanzi stopped by our future tasting room today… https://twitter.com/SideProjectBrew/status/501496000209747970/photo/1

The phases of eating at @steveshotdogs  @TGEast pic.twitter.com/Pz41sEOvQQ

A little happy news out of NoCo: congrats! Love @HendelsCafe too RT @blueNGB: The NEXT GREAT BAKER! #NGB pic.twitter.com/h93Q5FlVhi

@loudiesel23 duuuude @SugarFireSmoke is opening a new place next door called Sugarfire Pies! #saaaaywhat #brisketpie?

Just an FYI…this wing was stuffed with jambalaya and wrapped in bacon.  Yup.  @UCPHeartland #WingDing https://twitter.com/Patrico1057/status/502614185042145280/photo/1

Last call at 7:45 in Montana by law. Lol

Scrambled eggs with provel (STL FO-EVEH), ripe cherry tomato, & roasted tomatillo/pepper/garlic sauce. #breakfast

We put this on our menu a couple days ago and have had some people question it. There should be no questions. #peace https://twitter.com/AdamTilford/status/500740458725658625/photo/1

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

Friday, August 15th, 2014


A ray of sunshine in this crappy week? The best damn gin & tonic ever. Thanks, @CKFriedhoff and @PinckneyBend! pic.twitter.com/EgdmU9fUlQ

I went to Crown Candy for the first time today, and I definitely ate my weight in bacon. pic.twitter.com/b8jh38M0nB

If you’re looking for a way to do good during this time of unrest, @StraubsMarkets has made it easy. #MichaelBrown pic.twitter.com/BOf8e5GW2y

Congratulations to @UnitedProvision! Beautiful space and incredible sushi!

A day of firsts…… kindergarten & a new restaurant. pic.twitter.com/tZGajuUt19

Back soon by popular demand soon @thegoodpiestl ! #mollscup3 https://twitter.com/jayeedoubleeff/status/499708549027471362/photo/1

Packed House for lunch @FergusonBrewing with the USBG. Happy to be supporting great local business here in St. Louis! #thisismyferguson

Like if I’m going to eat a kale salad you can at least give me alcohol

Calling all journalists covering #MikeBrown #Ferguson FREE coffee/Wifi if you need a place to work! @AntonioFrench pic.twitter.com/im1T8ELeup
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Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL foodies

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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Gose-a-Rita on the rocks, nose-to-tail pork tacos, and BA Sump Kyoto White Russians await you #TapRoomRemix #STLCBW

Ate so much I got a cramp.
Take that, portion control.

1st night post #STLCBW , and I’m bored

Maybe future archeologists will find this mural under countless layers of paint. @TolieStark. Farewell, Beer Dwarf. pic.twitter.com/R1BXJAmq0w

Eating a salad before my flight earns me a beer before my flight, right?

Hama-sans sushi feast at @UnitedProvision. they had toro. I ate all of it.

It’s August. So, obviously it’s time for pumpkin beer to come out.

Peach blueberry cobbler mmm to back up my Sunday supper plan


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By the Book: Allison Kave’s S’more Pie

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014




I think there is something daunting about making a pie, especially one with a fruit filling, which is why I don’t make them. I have made exactly one pie in my life. It was an apple pie, and while it was great, it took a lot of time. Honestly, I’d rather someone else do the work, and I enjoy the results.




So for my second attempt at pie-making, I decided to avoid the fruit altogether (even though this is the perfect season for a fruit pie) and go the chocolate route with a S’mores Pie out of Allison Kave’s book First Prize Pies: Shoo-fly, Candy Apple & Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More). Kave offers a ton of interesting recipes in her book: grasshopper pie, a Nutella pie, even an avocado cream pie. But there’s nothing like the allure of a s’more: sweet, messy and a hallmark of childhood.




A simple graham cracker crust, a chocolate ganache and a burnished marshmallow topping was easy enough. Kave includes an actual marshmallow fluff recipe, but thankfully she gave me an out when she noted that you could skip the whole mess and just top your pie with store-bought marshmallows. Not every recipe in the book has step-by-step photos, but this recipe did, which came in handy when I thought my ganache looked too thin.




S’mores are sweet, as is this pie, but it’s a grown-up, fancy version of the original treat you loved as a kid. That’s reason enough to make it.



S’more Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Graham cracker crust (Recipe follows.)

1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, chopped or chips
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Make the filling: In a saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat until it is scalded. Pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and let it stand 1 minute. Whisk it thoroughly until combined into a glossy ganache. Whisk in the egg and salt until fully incorporated.
• Put the crust on a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate filling into the crust and bake it 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling has just set and is still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove the pie to cool completely.
• Make the topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 2/3 cup water.
• In a clean, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and another 2/3 cup water. Cook the sugar mixture over medium-high heat, stirring only at the beginning to dissolve the sugar, and boil it until a candy thermometer reaches the hard-ball stage (260 degrees). When the sugar is close to reaching this stage, turn on the stand mixer with the softened gelatin (or quickly beat the gelatin in your bowl to blend).
• Once you’ve reached the right temperature, turn on the stand or hand mixer to low speed, and slowly pour the hot syrup in a steady stream into the gelatin while mixing. Try to avoid the sides of the bowl and aim for the space between the beater and the side. When all of the syrup is in, increase the speed gradually to high to avoid splashing, and continue to beat until the mixture is very thick and has tripled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat 1 minute more, and then pour the topping over the pie. It will slowly spread to cover the surface or you can use a spatula to spread it.
• Allow the topping to cool at room temperature or in the fridge until it has set, about 30 minutes. If you are using a torch (the preferred method), make sure the area you are working in is clear of any plastic, paper or other flammable items, and that the surface you are working on is fireproof (steel, marble, etc.). You can put a baking sheet under the pie to protect your countertops. Light the torch and start to lightly toast the surface of the pie, going darker or lighter according to your preference (I like my marshmallow pretty scorched, but that’s me!). When the pie is perfectly bruleed, turn off the torch and allow the pie to cool 10 minutes.
• If you are torch-less, you can do this in the broiler, but keep a close eye, as it requires patience, watchfulness and speed. Preheat your broiler, put the pie on a baking sheet, and use foil or a pie shield to cover the crust edges. Broil the pie about 3 inches from the heat source, rotating the pie for even toasting, until the topping is at your desired color. It burns very easily with this method, so watch closely! It’s best to keep the oven door cracked open and watch and rotate the whole time. Remove the pie and allow it cool at least 10 minutes.
• Your pie is now ready to serve, or you can keep it in the fridge up to 1 week. To cover, spray foil or plastic wrap very lightly with oil spray to prevent it from sticking to the topping. For easier slicing, run your knife until hot water first to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to the blade.

Graham Cracker Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie crust

1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
5 to 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Crumble the graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Alternatively, you can put them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Pour the butter into the crumbs and mix (hands are best for this) until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Firmly press the crumbs against the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, then against the bottom of the pan (the underside of a measuring cup works well for smoothing the bottom crust). Chill the crust for at least 15 minutes to help prevent it from crumbling when serving.
• Bake the crust 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove it and allow it to cool before filling.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

What’s your favorite s’more making memory? Tell us about it below for a chance to win a copy of First Prize Pies. We’ll email the winner!


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

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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



Hell yeah!

Double chocolate – duck fat cookies #scotthisharms #6 splash #farmfreshmilk http://instagram.com/p/rDnARMijIW/ 

What do teachers do on there last few days of summer?  Eat at @CurbsideCookery  The grilled sandwiches were good.

Michelangelo uncovered during Clayton remodel. #breadasart http://instagram.com/p/rFR8nWIxAs/ 

Dollar menus are winning the marketing battle. They may be cheaper than cooking a meal today. But their costs are far greater long term.

Is there a beer out there yet called “Turn down for Wheat?” If not, you’re welcome.

I’m taking my coffee into the shower

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