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Apr 23, 2014
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Archive for February, 2012

Cook Wise: What to blanch, the different ways to boil and what exactly braise means

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Quick – what does “simmer” mean? Hint: It’s not just a setting on your stove. This week’s Cook Wise gives you the skinny on boiling, blanching and braising – three cooking terms you know, but may not know. Click here to get started.

The Scoop: A tankful of news from the food truck scene

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Local culinary school L’Ecole Culinaire is slated to go mobile tomorrow with its Le Food Truck, which will offer food prepared and served by L’Ecole Culinaire students. The school considers the truck “a great way to expand our students’ experience in the culinary world and provide them a unique opportunity to reinforce the realities of timing, execution and customer service,” said John Womick, Dean of Culinary Studies at L’Ecole Culinaire.

Le Food Truck’s debut menu will include such offerings as raspberry-barbecue pulled pork with a sweet-potato brioche roll, duck confit quesadillas and seared salmon with parsley jus. Down the road, look for a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, small plates and desserts to make the menu. Le Food Truck will make stops around the area by request (You can make a request by emailing FoodTruck@lecole.edu.) and based on community votes posted to its Facebook page.

In related food truck news, Jonathan Jones, owner of gourmet hot-dog cart Fats Pierre, along with Anna Sidel, co-owner of the Holy Crêpe food truck, are moving ahead with renovation on the building at 6803 Southwest Ave. Last summer, The Scoop announced that Jones and Sidel were planning to open Southwest Diner at the space located between McCausland Avenue and the Southwest Avenue exit of Interstate 44. Look for the brick-and-mortar casual eatery to serve up Southwestern-style breakfast and lunch beginning in April.

Lastly, Jill Umbarger, owner of Sarah’s Cake Shop, is exiting the catering aspect of her business to focus on custom cakes, cupcakes and the food truck segment. In a letter to supporters, Umbarger explained that an increase in parts of her business led to her decision to enter into a partnership with Callier’s Deli and Catering. Beginning next month, locally owned Callier’s, located at 14787 Manchester Road in Ballwin, will be handling the catering side of the business, although Sarah’s will prepare desserts for Callier’s events.

By the Book: Dawn Casale and David Crofton’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Dawn Casale did what many of us only dream of: She left her day job to dedicate her days (and, no doubt, many nights) to follow her dream of starting her own business. As she explains in her new cookbook, One Girl Cookies, after seven years as the accessories manager at Barney’s New York (a dream job all its own), Casale had her “light bulb moment.” She decided “to venture down a path paved with butter and flour and sugar, and I had never been happier.”

The result is One Girl Cookies, a quaint little bakery on the streets of Brooklyn that’s known for classic small desserts. (After years of working with small accessories, Casale said she couldn’t think of making anything that wasn’t tiny.) Her new cookbook, which she wrote with her husband and business partner, David Crofton, offers the recipes to many of these baked little wonders as well as a handful of “family recipes” like Nana Cookies and Aunt Tina’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Check out page 31 of the new March issue of Sauce to see our review of this book.)



After flipping through dozens of recipes for cookies, cakes, whoopie pies and muffins, I landed upon a recipe that put a smile on my face: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Spiced Oat Crumble. OK, OK, I know it’s not spring yet. But can’t a girl dream? One day I’m shedding my scarf for sunglasses, the next I’m grabbing for a fleece and Uggs to take the dog out. It’s enough to give anyone a headache – and a hankering for the sweet signs of spring.



I’ve never worked with rhubarb before, but I’d always been drawn to the long, gorgeous stalks boasting that vivid magenta color. I also liked that they were kind of a work-horse in the produce section: falling into the vegetables category but treated more like a fruit in chutneys and pies. I knew they carried an extreme tartness, so I figured I had my work cut out for me. I thought now would be a great time to start; maybe I’d have these babies mastered by the time spring actually arrives.

Unfortunately, the only instruction this recipe provided for how to prepare rhubarb is to slice them. Nothing about washing or trimming. Nothing on how big those slices should be. And no pictures to lend any guidance. A little research revealed that the stalks need to be washed and trimmed at the ends, including any green leafy parts. You then need to peel any string-like ribbons that are hanging from the stalks – if you can’t find them, once you start slicing, they will become visible. Then, for a pie, you should slice the rhubarb into ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces. Such detailed instructions would’ve been nice to see in the book.



The only other issue I had with this recipe was the amount of time it said it would take for the crust to turn a nice, golden color wasn’t quite right (at least in my oven). It said this would take just 10 minutes at 425 degrees, though my oven took more like 20. It still wasn’t quite golden when I turned it down to 350 degrees, as the recipe required, but I figured it would start to burn soon. In the end, the crust was just fine.

Pies are supposed to be all day affairs and this one lived up to its reputation. It was no quick dessert, but it was worth the wait. The result was filled with a mélange of flavors that would have been overpowering on their own but, together, were beautifully balanced. The topping – filled with crystallized ginger, sugars and rolled oats – tamed the tartness of the rhubarb quite well while still letting the other ingredients – like citrusy orange zest – shine. Though this is surely a spring pie, there was a hint of fall in every bite, thanks to two kinds of ginger and a hint of nutmeg. This pie would be great with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream on top, served piping hot or even chilled. And it will surely be lovely once those warm spring Sundays finally roll around.



Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Spiced Oat Crumble

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. table salt
10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp. ice water

Filling
3 cups sliced hulled strawberries
3 cups sliced rhubarb (Note: Wash and trim off ends, including any leafy green parts. Peel any outlying strings and then slice into ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces.)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. instant tapioca (Tapioca can be found in the supermarket, near the gelatin and Jell-O.)

Topping
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
½ tsp. table salt
10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. whole milk
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

• To make the crust, combine the flours, sugar and salt in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, until it is broken up into pea-sized pieces. Gradually add the ice water, pulsing until the mixture has a crumblike texture and is beginning to climb the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands – and a little muscle – form the dough into a 5-inch-diameter disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour and as long as 24 hours before rolling.
• On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle. Working quickly and carefully, line a 9-inch pie dish with the dough. With your fingertips, make sure that the edge of the pie is smooth and even. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the other elements.
• To make the filling, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, lemon juice, vanilla and tapioca in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
• To make the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, ground ginger, nutmeg, oats, crystallized ginger and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is well blended and resembles coarse crumbles.
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Scoop the filling into the cold pie crust. Then mound the crumb topping over the filling. With a pastry brush, brush the milk over the edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle the sugar over the crust. Put the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any filling that drips over the side.
• Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden color. (Note: This took more like 20 minutes in my oven.) Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes, until the filling begins to bubble up. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let the pie cool completely.

Reprinted from One Girl Cookies by Dawn Casale and David Crofton. Copyright (c) 2012. Photos copyright (c) 2012 by Iain Bagwell. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.


For a chance to win a copy of One Girl Cookies, tell us about your favorite way to cook or bake with rhubarb in the comments section below. And don’t forget to check out our review of One Girl Cookies on page 31 of the March issue of Sauce.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Nupur, whose comments on last week’s By the Book column has won her a copy of The Fresh Egg Cookbook. Nupur, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!

Meatless Monday: Kaldi’s Curried hummus pita

Monday, February 27th, 2012

With the sun setting much later now, nothing beats a walk in Forest Park with the dogs after work. After circling the park I always work up an appetite, so it’s nice that Kaldi’s on DeMun is just a short jog away. It’s the perfect reward for the jogger, biker or whatever spandex-clad title you fancy.

At Kaldi’s on DeMun, everyday is Meatless Monday. That’s right, the entire menu is vegetarian. (This is only the case at this location but, hey, it’s a step.) Normally, I’m hard-pressed to find one, maybe two options when I go out to eat. But at Kaldi’s, it’s almost hard to select my meal. The curried hummus pita won me over, filled with roasted sweet and regular potatoes and roasted red peppers. The pita was grilled and toasty, served with a tahini dressing. It’s a great option for a protein-packed vegetarian meal.

Both Kaldi’s signature and curried hummus beat any variety I’ve tried to whip up at home. The signature hummus was creamy with hints of garlic and citrus, balanced by tangy tahini. The curried hummus was both sweet and savory, touting a bright turmeric color that complemented the bold flavors of the curry spices.

For those timid about tahini, it’s a great food for the Meatless Monday diet. Think of it as the peanut butter of sesame seeds. While high in fat, tahini is loaded with good-for-you monounsaturated fatty acids. It’s also packed with protein, iron, folate, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin E, you get the idea. Use it instead of butter, mayonnaise or even salad dressing, and you’ll take the health benefits of your next meal up quite a few notches.

This hot spot is open until 11 p.m., so you can satisfy your caffeine and Meatless Monday cravings until the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. And if you have to buy a scone to bring home with you for the next morning, well, I’m not going to stop you.

Baked: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Soufflé

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I had my first Reese’s peanut butter cup when I moved to the U.S. at the tender age of nine, and I’ve always thought of them as such a classic American treat. Growing up in India, the options for peanut butter and chocolate together were a bit limited – and judging by the super-sized bags of Reese’s my cousins request each year, that hasn’t changed.

Although I couldn’t (and still can’t) get into the whole peanut butter and jelly combo, I do love peanut butter smeared on toast with apples and bananas. I love it in moose tracks ice cream, mixed with Nutella, and of course, classically combined with milk chocolate.

I wanted to make a more unique chocolate-peanut butter dessert than what’s been done already, and I wondered what would happen if I simply replaced the butter in a recipe with peanut butter. Turns out, it’s magical.

I chose to make a soufflé since I’d only ever made a savory breakfast soufflé before. The results were light and airy (almost melt-in-your-mouth) with a strong hint of peanut butter. The chocolate was more of an undertone, even though there were six whole ounces in there! We loved this drizzled with some simple chocolate ganache for a richer flavor. For photography purposes, I went easy on the sauce, but I assure you: Off-camera, I slathered it up!

I also didn’t let my soufflés rise too much, because I wanted the inside to remain slightly soft and gooey. Feel free to bake 3 minutes longer for more cooked insides.

*Fun Fact: Dr. Ambrose Straub patented the first peanut-butter-making machine in St Louis in 1903!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Soufflé
Makes 4 to 6 soufflés

3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
10 oz. milk chocolate chips (or dark, if you prefer), divided
4 eggs, separated
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 oz. heavy whipping cream

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• Grease the ramekins with butter or nonstick spray.
• Melt the peanut butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Once melted, add the flour, stirring till it comes together to a low boil.
• Stir in the milk until the mixture is combined and thickened slightly.
• Remove from heat and add in 6 ounces of chocolate chips.
• Let the mixture sit for 1 minute and then stir with a spatula until well combined.
• Beat the egg whites and the sugar in a clean bowl until stiff, glossy peaks form.
• Stir the 4 egg yolks into the chocolate mixture.
• Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two portions until just combined.
• Pour evenly into the ramekins and place the ramekins on the baking sheet.
• Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are crisp and risen (15 to 20 minutes for a larger ramekin or 1 large dish). Bake for a few minutes longer if you like the insides more fully cooked.
• Serve warm or at room temperature, with chocolate ganache and/or whipped cream.
• To make the ganache: Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan and pour over 4 ounces of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.
• Let sit for about 1 minute and then stir with a spatula until combined.
• Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Booze-filled shakes are sweet addition to Burger Bar menu

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The concept at Burger Bar, chef Hubert Keller’s burger haven at Lumière Place downtown, is “comfort food taken to a gourmet level,” said the restaurant’s general manager Stephen Smith. Recently, that has meant giving the childhood delight of a hand-dipped milkshake a fancy splash of grown-up flavor.

Burger Bar offers six adult milkshake flavors. Each frothy concoction contains four scoops of ice cream – enough to overflow a pint glass – blended with booze. The people’s choice thus far is Rocky Road, a combination of chocolate ice cream, almonds, chocolate chips, marshmallow-flavored vodka, vanilla-flavored vodka and a spoonful of sugary marshmallow fluff. My favorite, however, is Nutty Irish; this hazelnut-lover’s delight is a creamy blend of vanilla ice cream, Nutella, the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico and Irish cream. Other flavors on the menu are strawberry, white chocolate truffle, chocolate truffle and orange chocolate. None of these frozen desserts is especially boozy; each shake contains two liqueurs or spirits, chosen to enhance flavor rather than to get the buzz on, for a total of 1½ shots of alcohol.

Sipping on an alcoholic shake from a straw at Burger Bar doesn’t mean you have to leave behind your kids or non-drinking pals. The restaurant offers half a dozen nonalcoholic milkshakes, ranging from traditional flavors like chocolate, vanilla and cookie dough to deviant-yet-delicious Twinkie.

 

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

Friday, February 24th, 2012

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

Lukasstl 
Some kid just tried to buy booze with a “Rhode Island” ID. NICE TRY, BUDDY, that’s not even a real STATE! #yoink

pmcgrew 
Witnessed quite the makeout session at @ItapSoulard tonight. Seriously considered buying a round of beers for the couple…

RunShepRun 
Well I don’t think anyone was going to miss that bottle of wine anyway.

jgriffs 
Let the party begin! pic.twitter.com/WSy10My1

cookingkid 
Petra’s learning to love fried chicken. She’s a drumstick kind of girl mypict.me/mF7og

LnKoch 
Making homemade strawberry ice cream! instagr.am/p/HNR2f5RHof/

threefourteen 
Kids get shakes for dinner. I either rock as a parent or completely fail depending on your perspective 4sq.com/Am93oR

maeve_c 
My homework: Design a cookie plate & explain your choices. You know you’re in #baking school when… #seriously #love

chzmongerswife 
Sad that Gus is too young to experience the healing power of Pho Ga from Mai Lee. He needs it in a bad way

jasonramshaw 
Ball so hard.#justmadewholewheatpizzafromscratch

RizzoTees
I am climbing Chorizo Mountain instagr.am/p/HXBRHdgJqK/

publiceyestl 
Closing a great restaurant after 9 years isn’t a failure. Staying open 9 years is a business miracle. Congrats, Monarch. And, thanks.

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

The Scoop: Matt Herren has sold Goshen Coffee Co.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Matt Herren has sold his Edwardsville-based coffee business, Goshen Coffee Co., to Jay Beard, a real estate investor. Herren will remain extremely active in the company he started 10 years ago.

“The company isn’t going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere,” Herren told The Scoop. “I sold my company to a really good friend and yoga instructor, because I just don’t like sitting at a fucking desk and I wanted to go back to roasting coffee.”

In addition to giving him the chance to get back to roasting – a task he hasn’t been able to do for two years now – the sale will also enable Herren to establish closer relationships with suppliers. “We’ve been limited in doing stuff we wanna do,” Herren explained. “We couldn’t do relationship coffee because I couldn’t leave for weeks at a time and go to Mexico and meet farmers.”

Beard, meanwhile, will focus on growing the business from a sales perspective, all while keeping in line with the company’s roots. Herren has made a name for himself in the local coffee scene, committing his company to only using fair-trade, organic beans and roasting them on a fluid bed roaster he built himself. He sold his Edwardsville bakery, 222 Artisan Bakery, last year, citing increased demand from Goshen.

Herren is inviting all Goshen fans to attend a party at Pi Pizzeria in the Central West End to meet the new owner next Monday evening, Feb. 27. Members of the local culinary community will be there, and 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s Kevin Lemp will be pouring Bona Fide Stout, which is brewed with Goshen coffee. We will reveal more schedule details as we learn them.

The Scoop: Monarch to shutter in March

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Monarch is closing. After a search to move the Maplewood restaurant to a smaller location over the past year, owners Jeff Orbin and Aaron Teitelbaum have decided to close the restaurant that has stood at 7401 Manchester Road for the last nine years, according to a press release sent out this afternoon. Orbin and Teitelbaum, who also own Herbies in the Central West End, explained that a trio of problems – poor economic conditions, the sheer size of the restaurant and the “multitude of discount dining deal programs” – led to their decision.

“Unfortunately, the St. Louis dining population has been unable to adequately support a restaurant of our caliber and size, in our current location on a consistent basis,” the release said.

Executive chef Josh Galliano, who was named a semifinalist for a 2012 James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef: Midwest Category just this week, confirmed to The Scoop that, while he doesn’t know what his next moves will be, he plans to stick around.  “I’m privileged to stay in St. Louis to do what I do. I’ve made my culinary reputation in other cities and I’m making it here as a chef.”

There is a ray of sunshine for Orbin and Teitelbaum as well. Amid announcing the closure, Orbin and Teitelbaum also noted that they are looking to launch a new concept in fall 2012, with hopes of making the announcement this summer. Monarch will shutter its doors on Sunday, March 11.

See all our coverage of Monarch here.

Monthly mixology workshops at Taste to begin this weekend

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

If the art of the mixed drink moves you, now’s your chance to learn some secrets behind shaking, stirring and muddling the perfect cocktail. This weekend, Ted Kilgore, beverage director at cocktail bar Taste by Niche, begins hosting monthly mixology workshops at this drinker’s den, located in the Central West End at 4582 Laclede Ave.

During the workshop, students will receive training in cocktail methodology as well as a deeper understanding of how to create their own cocktail recipes. The eight-person classes are highly interactive, which means getting behind the bar to work with one of St. Louis’ top mixologists and consuming a few tasty libations – all in the name of higher learning, of course. The $85 cost also includes a basic bar kit so that you can continue your “studies” at home.

A few seats remain for the first class, scheduled for this Sunday, Feb. 26, from noon to 3:30 p.m. The next class is slated for Sunday, March 25. Dates for April and May workshops have yet to be slated but will likely fall on the last Sunday of each month. Seats are expected to fill faster than you can down one of Kilgore’s barrel-aged Negronis, so snag yours by emailing Kilgore at ted@lastwordcocktails.com. To learn more about Kilgore’s niche in the cocktail world, go here.

 

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