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Nov 22, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for September, 2011

Drink This Weekend Edition: Have your cake and drink it too

Friday, September 30th, 2011

PrintNothing says celebration like a cake. As we kick off Sauce Magazine’s 10-year anniversary this weekend, you can bet that we’ll be having our cake – and drinking it too, thanks to Pearl vodka’s newest product.

The makers of Pearl Wedding Cake Vodka tout a “taste of yummy vanilla-almond cake with hints of smooth, rich buttercream frosting.” Indeed, it does feel like cake in a glass, which is why, if you decide not to sip it chilled and served neat, we’d suggest pairing it with chocolate-flavored or cream-based mixers, such as those in the recipes below.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Courtesy of Pearl Vodka
Serves 1

2 oz. Pearl Wedding Cake Vodka
2 oz. milk
Splash raspberry liqueur
Splash chocolate syrup

• Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
• Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Pineapple Cake Daiquiri
Courtesy of Pearl Vodka
Serves 1

2 oz. Pearl Wedding Cake Vodka
1 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. Half & Half
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 cup ice

• Blend all ingredients until smooth.
• Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Tweet Beat: The best tweets of the week from STL foodies

Friday, September 30th, 2011

080610_twittericonAre you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemagazine

rosemarymints
Boss was in da UP last week and brought back fudge. Yes, he was a Fudgie. #giggle #snort

abogle3
Woke up and realized I left a half full container of chocolate milk out overnight : ( #firstworldproblems #chocolatemilkhomocide

SuburbanSprouts
You know you’re a crazy chicken lady when you eat an apple at work & contemplating wrapping the core in a napkin to take home to the flock.

joshua_w_hunt
Today is Taco-Tuesday in the office. I’ve rebelled & brought in pork chops for lunch.

fischooler
I HAVE MADE…scoopable ICY COLD SWEET FIG BUTTER!! no harm, no foul, you know what I mean

amveats
Ray, if someone offers you a deep fried avocado taco, just say “no”.

loganalexander
As far as I’m concerned, everything after this is just icing on the cake. #stlcards (Though I do like a lot of icing.)

MrHallas
It’s National Coffee Day today which coincides with National “Go to the Bathroom 5 Times in a Half Hour” Day.

Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemagazine

Cheap Date: A blanket, a bottle of red and a little au jus (on the side)

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

083111_redwineWelcome to Cheap Date, a new online column that takes the stress out of planning your next date. Every other Thursday, Nightlife reviewer Matt Berkley will reveal how you can enjoy the best our city has to offer for under $30.

Some good news for guys: The ladies are much easier to romance than we give them credit for. Any female worth your time can, without hesitation, admit their preference for a slight hint of post-workout man-scent over a strong whiff of ineffectual, designer cologne. Likewise, some imagination, a bit of real taste and a few behind-the-stove skills are of infinitely more value than cookie-cutter dates that overcompensate with shallow, high-priced, “romantic” meals. It’s the difference between being stylish and having actual style.

Wine
Simplicity is good. Simplicity and red wine is even better (In reality, anything with red wine is better.). Any respectable restaurant in town will charge you a bare minimum of $20 for a bottle of red – usually more than double what they shelled out to the distributor. Cut out the middle man and opt instead for a store-bought $6 bottle of Yellow Tail Malbec – the dark, robust, monster of Argentinean reds.

Takeout
Sounds weird, but sandwiches are the ideal comfort food for spur-of-the-moment dates. Not only are they highly mobile, but they also leave lots of room for imagination. If you haven’t been, definitely hit up Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium on South Big Bend Boulevard. Grab three sandwiches: One you think she’d like, one for you, and one communal – plus you might throw in for a house-made cookie. For about $23, you’ll both have plenty to share. And may I suggest Da Dip, a local take on the classic Franco roast beef sandwich, smothered in onions, Swiss cheese and a creamy “tiger” sauce? Do yourself and your date a favor and ask for the au jus on the side.

Outdoor Venue
Rather than feed the ducks from a random picnic patch, opt for a night out with some culture at an idyllic venue like Forest Park or the Botanical Gardens for a free outdoor concert or show. Here, I’ll make it easy: This Friday, smooth out an old blanket on your own piece of real estate on the field just south of the History Museum for the torchlight “calling” of the clans, which sets off the annual St.  Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival.

Stocking Up on butternut squash

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

092811_ButternutOne of the first foods my daughter enjoyed as a baby was butternut squash. Now she’s 10 and has moved on to more sophisticated fare (her current obsession is with cheese from the Basque region), so whenever those elongated vegetables start showing up around local markets, I can’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia.

Judging from the plethora of butternut squash available at local farmers’ markets, I’d say that the time is now. Be sure and look for squash that’s firm and unblemished, and remember to peel them before using. This can be a bit unwieldy given their shape and texture, so use a sharp vegetable peeler and watch those fingers! Another option is to roast the squash before peeling. Slice them lengthwise, then drizzle with a little olive oil and roast, cut-side-down, at 400 degrees until tender. This can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the size.

After they’re roasted, it’s a snap to peel them. As far as serving, roasted butternut squash is fine as a side dish on its own, but the possibilities multiply when you purée it. Think about a filling for ravioli, a spicy fall soup, or a creamy, vegetarian pasta sauce. You can also substitute squash for pumpkin in any bread, tart or pound cake recipe, or make it a meal for any little ones who have just made the transition to semi-solid food.

The Scoop: News from the food truck beat

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

092711_SausageSynJust in time for the cold weather, a sausage-centric food-mobile is set to join the area’s fleet of food trucks.

When The Sausage Syndicate gets rolling this weekend, it will be dishing out sausages made by a local butcher to the company’s specifications, according to owner Christy Perry. The menu will include a lineup of six, 1/3-pound sausages – including pork, beef, Italian salsiccia and even a cordon bleu chicken sausage stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese – served on 6-inch buns from Fazio’s Bakery and piled with various toppings and sauces.

During breakfast and late-night hours, the truck will offer two items: The Punchy McLaughlin is a banger patty packed with hash browns, topped with a fried egg and havarti cheese and served on Texas toast. The other option is an apple-maple patty topped with a fried egg, Swiss cheese and strawberry preserves, also served on Texas toast. For dessert, The Sausage Syndicate will offer Rounders – two small chocolate-dipped cake balls.

The truck will make its public debut this Sunday for a kickball tournament at Tower Grove Park and then hit the streets on weekdays during lunch hours. It will also participate in the last Sauce Magazine Food Truck Friday of the season, on October 14. Perry noted that she and her two business partners were “trying to get licensed in the county as well,” adding that she doesn’t “want to saturate places in the city.”

Perry, a senior business analyst at Wells Fargo, was inspired to create The Sausage Syndicate after seeing food trucks do brisk lunch business at the financial services company in Midtown. She has partnered with two other women who hold 15 and 20 years experience, respectively, in the restaurant industry.

To follow The Sausage Syndicate, check out its website, or follow the truck on Facebook and Twitter.

In other food truck news, Mangia Mobile has changed its name to Sicily Streat. A ruling by a federal court judge that the name Mangia Mobile was too close to that of local restaurant Mangia Italiano forced owners Thomas, Catherine and Alex Daake to find a new name for their Italian meals-on-wheels biz, as reported last week by Judith Evans of the Post-Dispatch. The Daake siblings asked their Facebook fans and Twitter followers to suggest a new name, specifying that it be a six-letter word. The truck tweeted out its new name today.

Kaldi’s named among nation’s best small coffee makers by Fortune magazine

Monday, September 26th, 2011

030211_coffeeRaise a cup of joe in honor of Kaldi’s. The St. Louis-based coffee company made Fortune magazine’s list of the nation’s best small coffee makers, shining a light on the post-Starbuck’s era of artisan coffee we talked about in-depth back in March. Despite providing little information as to why it chose Kaldi’s, Fortune ranked the local roaster No. 10 out of the 17 companies it sees as coffee’s most promising players. Kaldi’s was one of only four companies named in the Midwest. Chicago’s popular Intellegentsia Coffee & Tea came in seventh, Oakland, Calif.-based Blue Bottle Coffee landed at No. 3, and taking the top spot was Bard Coffee in Portland, Maine. To read Fortune’s coverage of Kaldi’s, click here.

Baked: Shortbread Cookies with Blueberry Jam

Monday, September 26th, 2011

092611_plumkuchenAmid baking macarons, fancy French pastries and European cake classes at Kitchen Conservatory, sometimes I long for a classic cookie. And, to me, shortbread is just that. These remind me of the butter cookies I used to eat from a cold tin back in India, but with slightly less butter.

I started with a recipe for a tart crust, then cut the amount of butter and added some extracts. I also melted the butter to liquid and used my hands to work it into the flour. (When I first started baking, I often melted butter to save time. It was only later that I learned how important it is to cream it at room temperature. However, that rule doesn’t apply to cookies; melted butter makes them so much easier and quicker to deal with.)

In the end, the tart was amazing, but the crust was the star of the show. I had some left over so I made cookie cutouts and smeared some jam on them. What resulted were heavenly sandwich cookies that I’ve made countless times since.

This shortbread recipe is extremely versatile and simple. I’ve made Linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies and various tarts with it as the base. And despite cutting the butter content, the cookie is still delightfully buttery and breaks away easily with a soft crunch.

When it comes to eating them, I can assure you that one won’t be enough.

Shortbread Cookies with Blueberry Jam
Courtesy of Amrita Rawat

12 cookies or 1 9-inch tart

¾ cup butter (1 cup for extra buttery flavor)
2 egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract (or extract of your choice)
½ cup powdered sugar
2 flat cups all-purpose flour

• Melt the butter in a microwave until it reaches a liquid consistency and let cool until it’s warm to the touch.
• Put the egg yolks, extract and sugar in a bowl, then add the melted butter. Combine with your hands or an electric mixer.
• Add the flour and blend until it forms a homogenous paste. Roll the dough out into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before shaping.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Roll out the dough and make cut outs with a cookie cutter.
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden on the edges. Smear blueberry jam on top and, if you like, top with another shortbread cookie.

The Scoop: Harry’s Bar & Grill closed

Monday, September 26th, 2011

092611_closedYesterday marked the last day of service at Harry’s Bar & Grill, located at 4940 Southwest Ave., on The Hill, as first reported by Ian Froeb of The Riverfront Times. The restaurant, which had been open for more than two decades and is not be confused with the nightlife hot spot Harry’s Restaurant and Bar located downtown at 2144 Market St., was also the Sauce pick for Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurant in this year’s Readers’ Choice poll.

The Scoop: The Tavern Kitchen & Bar expanding

Monday, September 26th, 2011

092611_TavernOnly one year after opening The Tavern Kitchen & Bar at 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road in Valley Park, owners Brant Baldanza, Mike Rayner, Jon Fogarty and chef-owner Justin Haifley have leased the space next door with plans to expand the popular restaurant to accommodate large parties and private events and to provide overflow dining space on busy Friday and Saturday nights. “The restaurant was small and we were unable to take parties of 8 and 16,” said Baldanza. “Now we can do that.” The construction has been completed and the new space will open on October 15. Check out Michael Renner’s February review of The Tavern here.

— Photo by David Kovaluk

Sauce Celebrity Chef Series and Left Bank Books presents Alton Brown

Monday, September 26th, 2011

092611_AltonBrownYou’ve watched his quirky, kitschy and abundantly informative show, Good Eats; you’ve listened to his quick-witted, sharp-tongued comments as the main commentator on Iron Chef; and you’ve seen him put future Iron Chefs to the test as host and judge on The Next Iron Chef. Now, in the latest installment of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series, you have the chance to ask the incomparable Alton Brown that cooking question that’s been burning a hole in your cerebrum.

In partnership with Left Bank Books, Sauce is hosting a talk and book signing with the Food Network Star on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m., at The Ethical Society of St. Louis in Clayton in honor of his latest book, Good Eats 3: The Later Years. To receive a ticket for a little one-on-one time with the author as he scrawls his John Hancock on the freshly printed pages, purchase a copy of Good Eats 3 at Left Bank Books.

Trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., Brown spent 10 years working in cinematography and directing videos before he felt compelled to bring his passion for food information to cooking TV – which, at the time, “he found to be dull and uninformative.” Upon graduating from culinary school, Brown brought together his past and present talents to write, produce and star in Good Eats, which first aired in 1999.

To date, Brown has authored six books, including Good Eats: The Early Years, and Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, which precede his newest release. If you’ve yet to pick up a copy of either and are hoping to make an impression on this living wealth of culinary knowledge, better head to Left Banks faster than the time it takes to make a gin fizz; you’ve got a lot of brushing up to do!

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