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Aug 01, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for July, 2009

The Scoop: Olive oil in Des Peres

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Di Olivas Oil & Vinegar has opened in West County Center. On the shop’s shelves at the moment: 22 extra-virgin olive oils, 20 balsamic vinegars, 22 flavors of Rossi Pasta, and 28 sea salts (one of owner Robert Palleja’s favorites is chile verde salt, sprinkled over fruit or shrimp before grilling). Look for sauces, dips and stuffed olives, too.

The Scoop: Mo’ Tro Mo

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Monkey Snot is now available in Webster Groves. Snow cone tycoon Tropical Moose has opened a third location, at 37 Old Orchard Ave. The two-window oasis has 56 flavors – the menu is identical to the one offered in Creve Coeur and Kirkwood – and is open daily from noon to 10 p.m. Expect the current number of outdoor seats, 20, to double, said co-owner Jack Williams. He added that while the landmark stand in Kirkwood will close come Labor Day, the Webster Groves Tro Mo will continue serving through September and possibly into October. Monkey Snot, by the way, tastes like … well, maybe we’ll just let you find out for yourself.

Iron Chef College

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

College students are so cute. Ya know, the way they furiously scribble notes in class, cheer their football teams with rabid glee, and do beer bongs and stuff. College kids run on highlighters, cheap beer and even cheaper food.

Kathy Mistretta of the Straub’s Culinary Center has some bizarre and fascinating cooking tips for these young achievers. Turns out, Mistretta has a Ph.D. in the arcane art of dorm-room survival cooking. She’ll be teaching a College Dorm Cooking 101 class on Aug. 4 at the Ellisville Straub’s (6:30 p.m., $10), with advice on making a decent grilled cheese sandwich with an iron, and using Ramen instant noodles in unexpected ways, among other tricks.

Mistretta, who seems to take her cues from Bob The Surreal Gourmet Blumer or MacGyver, explained that you can make a cheese sandwich, butter the outsides, wrap it first in wax paper, and then tin foil, and grill it with an iron and ironing board. “But cover the iron in tin foil, too, to make sure you don’t get butter in it,” she cautioned.

Another trick: crush dry Ramen noodles to make a coating for chicken breasts. Sprinkle with that little high-sodium Ramen flavor packet. Steam Chicken à la Ramen in the microwave, then crisp it with the iron using the above method.

Mistretta promised recipes for dorm-room French onion soup, microwave risotto and something called Hair Dryer Heat-Ups. When the college cafeteria is closed, apparently, not all hope is lost.

The instructor says her daughter, a college student, informed her that “the only thing I use my iron for is to make grilled cheese sandwiches.” And on that note, students at the Straub’s class need to BYOI: Bring your own iron.

– Byron Kerman

No-cook is cool

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Too hot to cook? Mississippi Mud coffee roaster Christopher Ruess gave us this simple recipe for no-cook raspberry jam. Though Ruess doesn’t have plans to switch professions, we think he’d find a place for himself as purveyor of sweet pantry perks easily enough.

Sugared Raspberries
Courtesy of Mississippi Mud’s Christopher Ruess
Adapted from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

Makes 2 cups

2 cups (about 1 pound) fresh, unblemished raspberries
2 cups granulated sugar

• Carefully pick over and clean the berries. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
• Using forks or a potato masher, mash the berries until they are completely liquefied.
• Transfer the berries to clean jars and refrigerate at least 2 days before using. Sugared raspberries will keep up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

Ligaya Figueras

Back in action

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Good news, sweet tooths: Jessie Pearl Hairston and her rich baked goods return to the Maplewood Farmers’ Market today. Look for her pound cakes, lemon bars, zebra cake (cream cheese center with cake batter on top and bottom), sweet potato pies (“mini Pearls,” she calls them), and much more on the last Wednesday of each month. Hairston had to take a few years off from baking because of illness, but now, she said, “I feel better than a hot pig in cold poop.”

Photo by Allyson Mace

Party like it’s 1969

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Forty years ago today, Apollo 11 landed on the moon – and it was famously one small step for man, and one giant leap for Tang. Tank up on Tang-tinis and Blue Moon beer from 5 to 9 p.m. at Moon Fest, hosted by the Moonrise Hotel and Eclipse in the East Loop. The astronomical evening will also feature historical footage of the first manned moon landing along with space-gazing on the rooftop via two professional telescopes.

High on the hog

Monday, July 20th, 2009

This Thursday at 7 p.m., Anthony Devoti of Five Bistro on The Hill will be hosting Divine Swine, a $55 wine dinner featuring five courses of pork. All told, the porcine offerings tally up to a dozen: fried ear, braised belly, roasted ham, pan-seared pork cake and pork meatballs plus six selections of house-made charcuterie. For dessert: peach tart paired with bacon ice cream. Five sources all its pork from Benne’s Best Meat in Weldon Spring, so diners may very well see farmers Ron and Jolene Benne in the crowd. Reservations required. To get your spot, call 314.773.5553.

Photo of Ron Benne (left) and Anthony Devoti by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: It’s all good at Moxy and Molly’s

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Seems a sign posted at Molly’s has quite a few folks all atwitter. The notice essentially declares that the Soulard spot will soon offer a new menu under the direction of chef Eric Brenner (pictured) – which, while earning cheers from some Soulard residents, has fans of Brenner’s CWE restaurant, Moxy Bistro, more than a little upset. But it turns out both groups will get to have their cake and eat it too: As part of his restaurant consulting business, Brenner is working with Molly’s owner Luke Reynolds to design a new menu for the soon-to-debut expanded Molly’s, which will grow into the former Norton’s space next door. The new menu will feature a mix of bistro and Creole classics; Brenner also plans to use seasonal ingredients to create “French classics with a distinctly American angle.” The new Molly’s has only a bit of red tape i-dotting and t-crossing to finish before welcoming guests; watch for an opening in mid-August or early September. And though Brenner will spend time in the Soulard kitchen, Moxy sous chef Matt Curtis and manager Haris Zukanovic will ensure that it’ll be business as usual in the CWE.

Photo by Josh Monken

The Scoop: A surprising sports bar

Friday, July 17th, 2009

With its 37 TVs, Over/Under Bar & Grill, downtown’s newest sports bar, proved a great place to watch the All-Star game earlier this week. Though, with its sleek décor and menu featuring tempura shrimp and vegetables, mushroom risotto, and pan-fried trout, it’s the swankiest sports bar we’ve ever seen. Stop in to 911 Washington Ave. to check it out yourself.

He’s your ice cream man, baby

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Normally, this thing we call an interview is a series of questions. Between each question, an answer. Not so with John Harrison, official taster for Nestlé Drumstick and Edy’s Grand Ice Cream products.

This is a man born to taste ice cream 60 times a day, and apparently, born to turn the answer to the first question in an interview into a single, elongated, charming, funny short story of a response that constitutes a discrete blog entry with no follow-up required.

Harrison, in town to promote the Nestlé Drumstick’s Lil’ Heroes contest for junior do-gooders, will offer a tasting demo from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, July 17, at Dierbergs Market Place, 1730 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield, 636.537.9400. If you go, ask him about the Cookies ’n Cream flavor – he invented it.

“Describe the typical day for an ice cream taster,” I asked Harrison. Keep reading

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