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Jul 20, 2017
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Extra Sauce Recipe: Maqluba (Upside Down Lamb and Rice)

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017



Last month, the Jewish Community Relations Council invited their Muslim neighbors to an interfaith iftar dinner at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. While the diners may have different beliefs, everyone had their fill of fried dough, samosas and tabbouleh  – all kosher and made by Akram Ali-Hassan, a Palestinian Muslim who has worked for Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli Restaurant for 20 years. Here, he shares his family recipe for maqluba, a lamb and rice dish that’s inverted before serving.


Maqluba (Upside Down)
Courtesy of Akram Ali-Hassan
8 to 10 servings

2 lbs. eggplant
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1½ pounds lamb stew meat, bone-in or boneless
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cups water
2 cups olive oil, for frying
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
3 cups uncooked white rice
1 Tbsp. allspice

• Peel the eggplant and cut into 1-inch slices. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.
• In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute the onion and lamb and saute until the meat is browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 25 minutes.
• Drain the liquid into another large pot and set aside. Leave the meat in the bottom of the pot and set aside.
• Meanwhile, drizzle a fry pan with a layer of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the eggplant until golden-brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the eggplant on top of the meat in stockpot, then add the tomatoes and rice. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as needed.
• Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the allspice to broth, then slowly pour it over the rice. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat.
• Remove the lid. Place a large serving dish over the pot and carefully invert and set the serving dish on the counter. Let rest 5 minutes, then remove the pot and serve.

Photo by Glenn Reigelman for the Jewish Community Relations Council 

Shannon Cothran is a contributing writer for Sauce Magazine. 

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Extra Sauce: Area Muslim and Jewish communities gather at iftar

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017



The sweating water cups on each table taunted every Muslim in the room. It was Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims during which they fast through daylight hours and focus on doing good works. They hadn’t had a sip of water since sunrise, and it was 8:27 p.m., three minutes away from sunset.

Newlyweds Mariam Hashimi and Fardin Mohammadi kept their eyes on each other instead of their water glasses. “It’s a reflex to drink a glass of water that’s in front of you,” Hashimi said. “But you get used to catching yourself just before you grab the cup.”

The St. Louis Jewish Community Center isn’t the first place that springs to mind when picturing an iftar, the meal Muslims eat to break the fast. But that night, the Jewish Community Relations Council had invited their Muslim neighbors to the JCC for an interfaith iftar dinner.

“There are a lot of Jews and Muslims in the world, and what you hear about is strife. We have to remember that’s not everybody,” said Rabbi Hyim Shafner. “This meal is an opportunity to appreciate our commonality. We have so much in common! And no matter how holy we are, we all eat.”

Imam Dr. Helal Ekramuddin began the prayer, during which Hashimi and Mohammadi grabbed two dates and drained their waters. Paul Kravitz, a Jewish man seated next to them, followed their lead. After the prayer, Hashimi and Kravitz fell into conversation about how fasting is a part of most religions.




While the diners may have different beliefs, everyone had their fill of fried dough, samosas, tabbouleh and maqluba (get the recipe here) – all kosher and made by Akram Ali-Hassan, a Palestinian Muslim who has worked for Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli Restaurant for 20 years.

“Maqluba is upside-down lamb and rice, the most traditional dish in kitchens in Palestine,” he said. “My father brought this recipe with him when he and his family became refugees of Palestine in 1948.”

These two cultures united in spite of – or maybe because of – their sometimes tangled, volatile history. “Seeing the human face of each other makes it difficult for bigots to bring divisions and demonize ‘the other,’” said Dr. Bahar Bastani, a professor at Saint Louis University.




Hashimi and Kravitz passed plates of nut-and-honey filled fried dough called ataif as Mohammadi joked about having to work the grill in his family’s restaurant while fasting during Ramadan. Around the room, Muslims and Jews shared dessert, stories and old family recipes.

“People of different Abrahamic faiths have much more in common than differences,” said Ghazala Hayat, public relations committee chair of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis. “The basics of celebrations are the same: gratitude, family and friends. Sharing bread makes us part of the same community.”

Photos by Glenn Reigelman for the Jewish Community Relations Council 

Shannon Cothran is a contributing writer for Sauce Magazine. 

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Extra Sauce Recipe: Maqluba (Upside Down Lamb and Rice)

Extra Sauce: Casting a line with Friday Night Fish

Editor’s Note: This piece originally said Imam Asif Umar led the prayer. Also, a paraphrase was incorrectly attributed to Bahar Bastani. It was updated at 3:15 p.m. to correct these errors. 


Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

From our new issue featuring the best of brunch to big changes for Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, here’s what went down last week in the STL dining scene, ICYMI.

1. Our July issue hit stands and we’re ready to brunch hard. Don’t wait – click here to read online now!

2. Things are heating up at the Mad Crab, a new seafood boil concept set to open July 17 at 8080 Olive Blvd., in University City.




3. A Lafayette Square favorite is being reimagined and a new concept introduced – all in the same space. Owner Dave Bailey announced he will pare down Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and reopen part of the space at 1915 Park Ave., as a new restaurant.

4. Ellisville’s first brewery is officially open. Brewer-owner Chris Greer opened Greer Brewing Co. at 16050 Manchester Road on June 24.




5. Two local favorites, 2nd Shift Brewing and Guerrilla Street Food, are teaming up for a one-two punch of food and drink. The popular Filipino food purveyors will run the kitchen at 2nd Shift’s brewery and tasting room at 601 Sublette Ave., starting Wednesday, July 5.

6. Got $10 and a friend? Then Budget Crunch has 10 tasty deals you must try now.


Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter to get The Scoop on all the area dining news first. 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

It’s been a week of ups and downs in the St. Louis restaurant industry. Here’s what went down, ICYMI.




1. Chef-owner Michael Del Pietro will open Del Pietro’s at 1059 S. Big Bend Blvd., the former home of Riverbend Restaurant & Bar and Harvest, this fall.

2. St. Louis will have to wait a bit longer for Senn Bierwerks to debut. On Thursday, June 15, the company announced via Facebook that its brewery project wouldn’t be going forward at the proposed location at 7593 Olive Blvd. in University City.




3. An old favorite in The Delmar Loop will close its doors for good. Cicero’s will shutter at 6691 Delmar Blvd., on Sunday, June 25 after four decades in business.

4. Long known for its sweet treats, Bissinger’s is branching out into the restaurant scene with Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, a new cafe concept located at the company’s longtime space at 32 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End.




5. Chef Rick Lewis’ forthcoming restaurant has a name: Grace Meat & Three. As Sauce reported earlier this month, Lewis and his wife, Elisa Lewis, left Southern to strike out on their own at 4270 Manchester Ave., in The Grove, the former home of Sweetie Pie’s.




6. David Dresner intends to open the “mecca of pot stickers” this fall at 4168 Juniata St., in Tower Grove South. Dresner is finalizing his two-year long endeavor to launch a production facility for his retail line of pot stickers, Crispy Edge, and a yet-to-be-named restaurant.

7. Local craft brewer Evan Hiatt has been tapped as cider master of the upcoming Brick River Cider Co. Hiatt was co-founder and brewmaster of Six Row Brewing Co., which closed in 2015, then served as brewmaster for Pappo’s Pizzeria & Brew Co., which took over the Six Row space and closed this spring.





Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

From new locations of Craft Beer Cellar and Jilly’s to the closure of Scapegoat in the Central West End, here’s what went down last week the STL food scene, ICYMI.




1. A second Craft Beer Cellar is set to open in at 5760 Chippewa St., near the Hampton Village shopping center. Owner Brandon Nickelson is hoping to open doors at the beer-focused bottle shop by end of the year.




2. Scapegoat Tavern & Courtyard, the more casual arm of fine dining restaurant Scape in the Central West End, has closed its doors. The restaurant ceased operations after Memorial Day, according to Bob Koplar, general counsel for Koplar Properties, which owns the space.




3. Popular sweets purveyor Jill Segal, owner of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café, is heading east to open her latest project, Jilly’s. Segal expects to debut in late June at 222 E. Park St., in Edwardsville, just in time for the flagship restaurant’s 10th anniversary in July.




4. Condensed milk and hazelnut praline take basic pound cake to the next level. Get the recipe in this week’s Baked. 


Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017


1. Our June issue featuring our annual Readers’ Choice results is online and on stands now! Click here to read now, and meet the winners tomorrow evening at Saucy Soirée at Union Station.




2. Rick Lewis is stepping down from his role as executive chef at Southern to open up his own place with his wife, Elisa Lewis. The new venture will be located at 4270 Manchester Ave., the former home of Sweetie Pie’s in The Grove.


The Sloppy Joe Joe, named for co-owner Wendy Hamilton’s brother, is served open-faced and doused in beer cheese sauce on spent-grain sourdough.


3. Don’t miss 4 new places to try this month on our June Hit List including Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern, Humble Pie, Pizza Head and Das Bevo.




4. The Red Shack in Dogtown has shut its doors at 6401 West Park Ave. The Tex-Mex restaurant’s last day of service was Friday, May 26. It opened last year on Memorial Day weekend.


Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Local chefs have found new homes and Bevo is abuzz. Here’s what went down this weekend, ICYMI…




1. Another Sauce One to Watch is striking out on her own. Jessie Gilroy, currently sous chef at Sidney Street Cafe, will soon head west to start her own restaurant, Pangea. Gilroy plans to open doors in The New Town  neighborhood in St. Charles this September.

2. Tin Roof, the Nashville-based chain of music venues/fast-casual eateries, is set to open up a St. Louis location this summer, and they’ve tapped a local culinary up-and-comer to helm the kitchen.




3. Edibles & Essentials is hitting the streets this summer with a new food truck, Essentially Fries.

4. University City will soon be home to another taco spot. Taco Buddha is slated to open at 7405 Pershing Ave., this summer in the former home of short-lived Perjax American Kitchen.





5. Former Sardella executive chef Nick Blue has left fine dining behind and is headed in a more casual direction. Last week, he began a new chapter at Sugarfire Smoke House.

6. The Bevo neighborhood welcomes a new Mediterranean eatery this weekend. Husband-and-wife duo Zamir and Josi Jahic are scheduled to open J’s Pitaria on Saturday, May 27, at 5003 Gravois Road.




7. Lemmons in South City has been known for many things over the years, from fried chicken to pizza to live music. The space reopened Wednesday as Lemmons by Grbic, soon to be known for Balkan-American cuisine and cold beer.

8. Got $10 and a friend? Then Kevin Korinek has 8 tasty deals you must try now.


Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

It was a week of new looks for old favorites in the St. Louis dining scene. Here’s what went down, ICYMI…




1. After 14 years brewing in Ste. Genevieve, Charleville Brewing Co. has a second home in Lafayette Square. Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern opened its 7-barrel brewery and restaurant at 2101 Chouteau Ave., on May 16.




2. The chef-owner of the recently shuttered Three Flags Tavern has landed a new job as executive chef at Herbie’s in Clayton. John O’Brien’s first day at the helm was May 17.




3. Turn, the breakfast and lunch spot from chef-owner David Kirkland, officially opened on May 7 on the first floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St. in Grand Center.




4. An old favorite is getting a new lease on life, thanks to the folks behind Grbic Restaurant. Lemmons by Grbic is slated to open on Wednesday, May 24, at 5800 Gravois Ave.




5. Six Mile Bridge Beer has joined the hop wave and released Mosaic IPA, the first in a series of single-hopped IPAs on draft this weekend at the Maryland Heights brewery.



St. Louis food community reacts to James Beard wins

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

The St. Louis restaurant community erupted Monday night when it received two prestigious honors from the James Beard Foundation at its annual awards gala – essentially the Academy Awards of the American restaurant industry. Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan was named Best Chef: Midwest, and the foundation declared Gioia’s Deli an America’s Classic. Here’s how some hometown chefs and restaurant personalities reacted to the news.




Cheers to chef Kevin Nashan and the amazing team for winning Best Chef Midwest! @knashan @beardfoundation   A post shared by 4 Hands Brewing Co. (@4handsbrewingco) on

BOOM! @beardfoundation @knashan @sidneystcafe couldn’t be prouder of you! Congrats!!

A post shared by Chris & Abbie Bolyard (@bolyardsmeat) on

All of us at Reeds American Table would like to congratulate Kevin Nashan on his James Beard win!  Way to go, Chef!  #reedsstl   A post shared by Reeds American Table (@reeds_stl) on


Related Content
The Scoop: Sidney Street Cafe’s Kevin Nashan wins James Beard Award

The Scoop: James Beard Foundation declares Gioia’s Deli an American Classic

The Scoop: James Beard Foundation names Kevin Nashan, Kevin Willmann Best Chef: Midwest finalists

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

From a rising star somm moving on to a more tacos and ice cream on Cherokee Street, here’s what went down last week in the STL restaurant scene, ICYMI…




1. In just a few months, Zac Adcox has made a name for himself in the St. Louis wine world, helming the wine program as general manager of Blood & Sand. Now, the 22-year-old member of Sauce Ones To Watch class of 2017 is embarking on a new adventure as a sommelier at Reeds American Table.




2. Grab a bag of jelly beans and pair each flavor with locally available brews. Consider it the adult version of an Easter egg hunt – a Beer-ster Egg Hunt, if you will.




3. More tacos and ice cream are coming to Cherokee Street. The team behind El Morelia Supermercado in Bridgeton will open The Taco & Ice Cream Joint at 2738 Cherokee St., at the end of April.

Don’t miss a word of the latest St. Louis restaurant news! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter!  


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