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Nov 24, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Just Five

Recipe: Muhammara Dip

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

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Dear Ben Poremba,

You are a wealth of inspiration to me. I cannot dine at one of your restaurants (Nixta, Olio, Elaia, Parigi, La Patisserie Chouquette…) without learning something about flavors, service, presentation and ambience. Each time, I go home inspired to try and recreate a dish or two at home.

The flavors at Olio speak to me the most. If you put a plate of bread and yummy dips in front of me, especially if there’s a cocktail involved, you will win my heart forever – or at least for a couple of hours. Olio’s muhammara dip is perfect in its simplicity: the gorgeous color, the silky texture and clear, but nuanced flavors. The best part is there are only three – three! – ingredients listed on the menu: piquillo peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. It’s like you’re begging me to turn it into a Just Five. Well, my dear, I’ve done it.

Until we meet again,
Dee

 

Muhammara Dip
Inspired by a recipe at Olio
2 cups

¾ cup whole walnuts
1 12-oz. jar roasted piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers, drained
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses or lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

• In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 5 minutes.
• Place the walnuts, peppers, molasses, garlic, cumin and salt into a food processor and pulse until smooth. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Serve with warm pita or pita chips.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Chickpea-Sweet Potato Patties

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

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The vegetarian versus omnivore battle went down in my home all summer. I’m pretty comfortable cooking vegetarian meals thanks to my own no-meat stint in college, and really, it’s easier than ever these days. However, I’ve recently uttered the sentence, “I think there’s some veggie burgers in the freezer” more than I should. While I’m sure that those patties are healthier than a case of belly bombers, the fact is, they are microwaveable processed food – something I’m not a fan of in general.

I’ve made falafel patties before with considerably more ingredients and used an egg to bind, but I wondered if I could vegan-ize them. I spoke our local queen of green, STL Veg Girl Karyn Dugan, and we kicked around a couple of ideas. I settled on trying sweet potatoes as both a flavor booster and a binder. She couldn’t sell me on “dry frying” though. Baby steps…

This dish packs a protein punch with quinoa and chickpeas. I served these patties with a little hot sauce or garlic aioli (definitely not vegan!), but I have also eaten them for breakfast alongside a little salad and vinaigrette. They are a little crumbly, so take care when flipping.

 

Vegan Chickpea-Sweet Potato Patties
6 servings

2 cups chopped kale
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups cooked quinoa
2 Tbsp. olive oil

• In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the kale, chickpeas and sweet potato and pulse until a smooth paste is formed. If the mixture is dry, add the reserved chickpea liquid 1 tablespoon at a time, but no more than ¼ cup.
• Add the cumin, salt and pepper and pulse a few more times. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and fold in the quinoa.
• Scoop ⅓ cup mixture and form into ½-inch thick patties. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
• In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the patties about 4 minutes per side, flipping carefully to keep them from falling apart.

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Dee Ryan is a longtime Sauce contributor who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Parsnip-Carrot Puree

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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This recipe was inspired by a parsnip side my husband ordered recently at The Crow’s Nest in Maplewood. When I told the owner how fantastic it was, she told me it would soon be off the menu, which meant it was even more important that I figure out how replicate it at home.

This dish will be prominently featured at our Thanksgiving table this year. I added carrots to the parsnips for a little color (and the whole “you never see rabbits wearing glasses” thing). I love this dish served silky smooth, but I respect that some people prefer a little texture in their mashes. You do you, Boo.

 

Peppery Parsnip-Carrot Puree
Inspired by a recipe from The Crow’s Nest
4 servings

2 cups (about 1 lb.) peeled, chopped parsnips
1 cup (about ½ lb.) peeled, chopped carrots
1 cup whole milk
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. white pepper

• Place the parsnips, carrots, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and slowly bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 8 minutes, until the vegetables are easily pierced with a fork.
• Carefully pour the vegetables and milk into a blender or bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Add the butter, black pepper, salt and white pepper and puree until the mixture reaches the desired smoothness. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Cider Pulled Pork

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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October is a month of seasonal limbo is St. Louis. Summer is technically over, and fall is flirting with us. I know I still have good garden-fresh tomatoes, but I also kind of want stew. This is a good time for pulled pork. Its starring role in backyard barbecues across St. Louis helps me hold on to summer, while the combination of apple cider, maple syrup and the warm spices in harissa fulfills my need for flannel-wearin’ food. Serve it alongside mashed potatoes or with polenta on a cooler day, or if the sun’s out, between a bun with coleslaw.

 

Cider Pulled Pork
6 to 8 servings

6 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups apple cider, divided
¾ cup maple syrup, divided
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, divided
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. harissa paste, divided

• Preheat a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
• Liberally season the pork shoulder all over with salt and pepper. Sear the pork about 3 minutes per side until browned, then place in the insert of a slow cooker.
• In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups apple cider, ½ cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons mustard and 2 tablespoons harissa. Pour it over the pork. Cover and cook on high 6 to 8 hours.
• Remove the bone from the meat and discard. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid and discard or reserve for another use. Use forks to shred the meat, then cover and cook on low 20 to 30 minutes.
• Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a saucepot over medium-high heat, bring the remaining 1 cup cider and the remaining ¼ cup maple syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer at least 20 minutes, swirling the contents of the pot occasionally, until it begins to thicken. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 teaspoon harissa paste.
• Place the pulled pork on a serving platter, leaving most of the liquid behind. Serve the pork drizzled with the glaze.

 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Peach-Bourbon Milkshake

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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Boozy milkshakes are a fun, trendy dessert option. Peaches and bourbon are a great combination, and that left me with a fun “free” fifth ingredient to choose. Mint? Vanilla or almond extract? My decision was made for me when I realized the rock-hard peaches I picked up the previous day hadn’t quite achieved perfectly ripe lusciousness. I needed to coax out some flavor and juice, so I brought out the butter and sugar.

 I decided that if I was going to add butter to a milkshake (insert OMG emoji here), that I may as well go all in. That means this butter is browned, my dears, and it makes all the difference. If you’re catering to teetotaling friends or family members, the bourbon can be poured in after you make the shake.

Peach-Bourbon Milkshake
4 small or 2 large servings

2 large peaches or 3 medium peaches, ripe or just underripe
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
5-6 scoops high-quality vanilla ice cream, plus more as needed
½ cup whole milk, plus more as needed
4 oz. bourbon

• Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a rolling boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath.
• Slice a small X into the bottom of the peaches with a sharp knife, then place them in the boiling water 45 seconds to 1 minute until the skin just starts to pull away from the X. Remove and immediately plunge them into the ice water bath. Starting at the X, peel the peaches, then pit, slice and set aside.
• Place the butter in a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Gently swirl the pan until the solids just start to turn brown and the butter smells nutty.
• Add the peaches and brown sugar and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute the peaches 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is saucy. Remove from heat and let cool at least 30 minutes.
• In the pitcher of a blender, combine the peach mixture and all its sauce, ice cream, milk and bourbon. Cover and puree until completely blended, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add ice cream or milk to reach the desired consistency.

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Harissa Chicken

Friday, September 8th, 2017

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Using yogurt as a marinade is a great way to keep chicken tender and juicy. Like buttermilk, the acid in a dairy marinade actually tenderizes the meat and imparts its slightly tart taste to the chicken. Spicy harissa is tempered by the dairy and brightened by the lemon zest. Harissa can be found at most international food stores like Global Foods Market, Jay’s International Foods or United Provisions, but a decent substitute can be yours with just five ingredients. It’s not as complex as what you’ll find at the store, but it saved me an extra trip on a busy day.

 

Harissa Chicken
4 servings

½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 to 4 Tbsp. harissa paste (Optional recipe follows.)
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
¼ cup torn mint leaves

• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, harissa, lemon juice and zest and salt, then whisk in the olive oil.
• Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and add the yogurt marinade. Seal the bag and massage the chicken to completely coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
• Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high, direct heat.
• Grill the chicken skin side-down 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reaches 160 degrees.
• Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and immediately top with the mint so the heat releases the oils.

 

Quick Harissa Paste
1/3 cup

5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. kosher salt

• Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk to combine and let cool. Store refrigerated in a sealed jar.

 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Eggplant and Tomato Bruschetta

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

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What else is there to say about a late-summer tomato? There is nothing that can touch its flavor, and there is little reason to do more than throw slices on bread with salt and pepper and inhale them.

Ah, bread. My other love. Specifically, Mr. Meowski’s sourdough bread. My daughters refer to Mr. Meowski as “mom’s boyfriend,” and I don’t correct them. This bread has limited availability, but you can be darn sure I know how to find it: most days at Larder & Cupboard, Roger’s Produce, Local Harvest Grocery, City Greens Market, Freddie’s Market and Saturdays at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market.

Eggplant hasn’t ever done much for me, but I’ve started to experiment with different varieties. I’m a fan of the long, skinny Asian eggplants, as opposed to the stout globe ones found in most groceries. I find Japanese and Chinese eggplants to be less bitter with a more enjoyable texture, and roasting them brings out an almost floral quality.

If one were to gild the lily on this perfect late-summer dish, it would be with a few splashes of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Eggplant and Tomato Bruschetta
8 servings

2 Japanese or Chinese eggplants, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 ¾-inch slices sourdough or pain de beaucaire, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 oz. goat cheese crumbles or feta cheese
3 to 4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch slices
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram

• Preheat the broiler.
• In a mixing bowl, toss the eggplant with the olive oil and place in an even layer on a foil lined-baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes, until the eggplant starts to brown.
• Evenly divide the roasted eggplant atop the toast. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle each slice with 1 ounce cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes.
• Place the tomato atop the toast, then garnish with the marjoram. Serve immediately.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Frozen Pimm’s Punch

Friday, August 11th, 2017

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There’s a month or two of sno-cone weather left – take advantage with a frozen riff on a favorite cocktail. Pimm’s is a highbrow British gin-based liqueur flavored with bitter herbs and citrus that you might find in fancy Wimbledon box. This recipe turns the original Pimm’s Cup into a summertime adult treat that goes down oh-so easy. Tallyho and pip-pip!

Frozen Pimm’s Punch
4 servings

3 cups lemonade, plus more to taste
1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 cup strawberries, hulled
5 mint leaves
1 cup Pimm’s No. 1, plus more to taste

Special equipment: Ice cream maker*

• In a blender on high speed, combine the lemonade, cucumber, strawberries and mint for 30 seconds, until completely liquefied. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture into a large bowl. Press the solids with the back of a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible; discard the solids.
• Stir in the Pimm’s. Taste and adjust with more Pimm’s or lemonade as desired.
• Freeze in an ice cream maker 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture reaches a slushie-like consistency.

* If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow container and freeze 2 hours. Scrape the frozen edges towards the middle of the container, then refreeze, scraping and stirring every 30 minutes until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.

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

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Just Five: Zucchini Carpaccio

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

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‘Tis the season for many friends to offer zucchini “free to a good home” on social media. I have such a home and jumped on a similar post, so I drove to Kirkwood to pick up quite possibly the largest zucc I’ve ever seen – more baseball bat than vegetable. Thanks to a recent lunch at Olio, it was destined for a home run (see what I did there?).

Olio’s zucchini carpaccio is made with preserved lemon and herb oil. With five ingredients at your disposal, there’s room to play here: add minced fresh herbs or try different nuts (toasted walnuts, hazelnuts or pepitas would be great). The trick is to thinly shave the zucchini with a decent vegetable peeler. This is a quintessential summer dish, perfect with some crusty bread and glass of white wine.

 

Zucchini Carpaccio
Inspired by a dish at Olio
4 to 6 servings

2 medium zucchini
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of olive oil, for serving

• Trim the ends of the zucchini and use a vegetable peeler to shave them into thin ribbons, discarding the first and last peelings that are mostly skin.
• Toss the zucchini ribbons in a colander with the salt and let drain 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Blot the zucchini dry with paper towels and layer them in a shallow baking dish.
• Tuck the garlic slices between the layers and sprinkle with the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cover with plastic and marinate at least 15 minutes.
• Remove and discard the garlic. Place the zucchini in a shallow serving bowl and top with Parmesan, pine nuts, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil immediately.

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

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Just Five: Vess Soda Pork Chops

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

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Based on the overwhelming response to a recent Red Hot Riplet-based Just Five, I decided to incorporate another location favorite as one of my key five ingredients. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Vess pineapple soda. Like New England’s Moxie and the South’s Cheerwine, Vess is uniquely St. Louis, and pineapple soda is … well, it almost sounds like a dare. It also happens to make a heck of a good marinade when mixed with soy sauce.

A thin-cut pork chop made for a super quick weeknight dinner, but this marinade would also be great on chicken. While I made this in a skillet on the stovetop, using a thicker chop and grilling it would be fantastic.

 

Vess Soda Pork Chops
2 servings

2 thin-cut pork chops
1 cup Vess pineapple soda
½ cup soy sauce
½ tsp. serrano pepper, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro

• Place pork chops in a zip-top bag with the soda, soy sauce and serrano pepper. Seal and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
• Remove the chops from marinade and shake off excess. Set aside.
• Pour the remaining marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Place a heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the pork chops 3 minutes, then flip and sear 2 minutes more. Spoon 3 tablespoons reduced marinade atop the pork chops and cook 1 minute more
• Remove from heat and let rest. Sprinkle chopped cilantro atop the pork and serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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

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