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Apr 23, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for March, 2012

Drink This Weekend Edition: Pop the top on Six Row’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Darn those craft beer connoisseurs who mark their calendars with the release date of limited edition brews! By the time the rest of us realize what’s going on, everything’s all tapped out. So this weekend, we’re putting out a public alert for one of the latest gotta-try local beers: Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter from Six Row Brewing Co.

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter is the brewery’s first special-release, barrel-aged beer. Resting for three months in spent Jack Daniels oak barrels, this English-style porter has taken on great vanilla notes as well as dark fruit flavors. The casks were quickly emptied last weekend after a draft special release at the Midtown brewery and Iron Barley. But all hope is not lost: The beer is still available in 22-ounce bottles.

Find the bombers at the following locations: The Wine and Cheese Place (all locations), Lukas Liquor and Randall’s Wine & Spirits (Jefferson Avenue and Fairview Heights, Ill. locations). Other Illinois locations include Crushed Grapes in Edwardsville, Plaza Wine & Liquors in O’Fallon and the U-Gas in Waterloo.

Feel like doing some mixing and matching? Besides the Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter, Six Row offers three more 22-ounce bottled beers: Whale, the brewery’s flagship; Strong Porter, which looks thicker and heavier than it drinks; and Double IPA. Brewmaster Evan Hiatt described the Double IPA as a “hoppy beer with a lot of citrus but a malty backbone,” noting that the beer would appeal to “folks who like dry wine, especially big, bold Napa cabs.” Hiatt will be on hand today at the Randall’s Wine & Spirits store located at 1910 S. Jefferson Ave., from 4 to 6 p.m., signing bottles of the Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter and providing tastings of his Strong Porter and Double IPA.

Oh, and if you swing by Six Row today, you can try to be the first to take home the company’s first-ever bottled Honey Weizen – just in time for patio season.

 

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

Friday, March 30th, 2012

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

BeZbaby
Dont stand so don’t stand so don’t stand so close to me. No seriously my breath still smells like scotch

Schlafly
Bourbon barrels used to age our Imperial Stout for sale now @Schlafly  Tap Room. $45+tax. Make great planters. http://post.ly/6HgAY

chzmongerswife
still waiting for morels to pop at the farm. fingers crossed for this week.

StevenCaravelli
The Carondelet: roasted brussels, chilies, goat cheese, shaved parm @pistl #meatlessmonday #goodbywinter

jhofford20
Oprah was at Sweetie pies, giving away Toyotas and healing the sick no doubt. #Oprah #stl

mondster
Love #MadMen era apartments & parties… And cocktails.

kimberly9938
Perfect evening to grill. Burgers, brats, and Farmers Larder hot dogs. So glad I can finally eat hot dogs again! #local #nomysterymeat

madsquirrel20
A little Jimmy Buffet while baking can get you rocking!

guerrillastreet
Just bought a deep fryer for the truck. #yourwelcomearteries

BeerKaren
Holy pork cheek special at @thegoodpiestl ! Amazing! Especially with this @OdellBrewing Red.

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

The Scoop: Trattoria Marcella sister restaurant to be called Marcella’s Mia Sorella

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

In January, Trattoria Marcella owners Jamie and Steve Komorek announced that they would be opening a restaurant in the Ballwin Grove development on Clayton Road, west of Highway 141 in Ballwin, in late spring. At that time, the restaurant’s name had yet to be determined, although the brothers did say that it would honor their mother, Marcella. Today, the announcement came via Twitter (@TratMarcella) that the new restaurant will be called Marcella’s Mia Sorella, Italian for “my sister.” More as we learn it.

The Scoop: A roundup of recent restaurant action

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

There has been quite a bit of locking and unlocking of restaurant doors lately. Among the eateries recently opened is BlackFinn American Grille, now open at the Saint Louis Galleria. The space formerly occupied by department store Mark Shale received a complete renovation by Pernikoff Construction, which turned the 10,000 square-foot-space into a multi-room bar and restaurant with seating for more than 400. BlackFinn serves classic American fare for lunch, dinner, happy hour and late night. The independently owned restaurant also has locations in Houston and Jacksonville, Fla., with a location slated to open this summer in northern Virginia.

Also recently opened is O’Kelley’s at the Ballpark, a casual, Irish-themed sports bar located at 756-758 S. Fourth St., just south of Busch Stadium.

Tavolo V, Michael Del Pietro’s newest project, is set to open this Saturday at 5 p.m. The Italian restaurant, located in The Loop at 6118 Delmar Blvd., was originally slated to open last summer (under the name Trattoria Spezie) but experienced delays in construction.

And now on the other side of the swinging door, two restaurants have recently closed. Park West Grille, located at 2917 S. Jefferson Ave., shuttered its doors, as did American Craft Brewing & Distilling, the latter of which was noted earlier this month by STL Hops and reported by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch. The restaurant, formerly known as The Stable, saw a name change after a change in ownership last fall.

 

Cook Wise: Four secrets to great meringue

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Celebrate Passover! Spring! Wednesday! by whipping up a batch of meringue cookies. They take just 2 ingredients and are easy breezy, as long as you know a few tricks. Click here to learn our foolproof secrets.

By the Book: Wendy Polisi’s Lentil, Chickpea & Quinoa Burger with Cilantro Garlic Cream

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

When you’ve become weary of standard starches like rice, pasta and potatoes, it’s time to go against the grain with, well, a different sort of grain. In her new cookbook, The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook, author Wendy Polisi demonstrates that one such atypical grain, quinoa, can be put to work in myriad tasty and healthful dishes. Always on the lookout for a flavorful veggie burger, I opted to prepare Polisi’s recipe for a Lentil, Chickpea & Quinoa Burger with Cilantro Garlic Cream.



Apart from quinoa, the recipe calls for ingredients that most home cooks already have on hand. And for those who regularly cook and then freeze large batches of legumes, this recipe will come together quickly, since the quinoa, garbanzos and lentils must all be cooked before the patties can be assembled.



One of my gripes with some veggie burgers is that the mixture is bland and bready. Polisi’s mix is flavorful thanks to a sauteed onion (I used a very large onion) as well as fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley. Having a penchant for all things fresh, I wasn’t keen on using garlic powder as the recipe directed. (In fact, I had to go out and buy some since I don’t stock it among my spices.) And now that I’ve tasted the burger mix following Polisi’s instructions, I don’t think that substituting freshly minced garlic for the powdery stuff would do the recipe any harm.

The recipe doesn’t indicate the number of servings that the mixture yields. I made 9 patties of a size that would fill a standard hamburger bun. The patties formed easily when shaped, feeling neither wet nor dry – and bound together very well despite using only one egg.



When frying, you’ll need more than the prescribed tablespoon of olive oil. Otherwise, the burger will to stick to the pan. Instead, I used 2 tablespoons per batch of 4 patties. While the recipe didn’t mention anything about flattening the patties a bit with a spatula while they fry, I did so anyway. In my experience with veggie burgers, skipping this step results in a patty that’s crisp on the outside but utter mush inside.



Toppings are what turn a veggie burger into something more than a bunch of ground up, fried up grains and legumes. The cilantro-garlic cream is a cinch to make, but it does want a few pinches of salt. One of my taste testers also suggested a splash of lemon to brighten things up. I piled pea shoots and avocado on my bun and wished I’d had pickled red onions for more color and zing. The final verdict: This veg burger recipe is solid. A tweak to the cream sauce, some thoughtful toppings and you’ve got a tasty, meatless alternative to the all-American beef classic.



Lentil, Chickpea & Quinoa Burger with Cilantro Garlic Cream

Note: The original recipe did not include serving size, but I made 9 hamburger-sized patties.

¾ cup green lentils
Olive oil spray
1 onion, chopped fine (Note: I used a very large onion)
¾ cup cooked quinoa *(See preparation below.)
1½ cup cooked chickpeas
1 egg
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 cups breadcrumbs
½ tsp. mineral salt
1 tsp. thyme
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. olive oil (Note: I used 5 Tbsp. olive oil)

Cilantro-Garlic Cream
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
(Note: I added a few pinches of salt, to taste)

• Heat 1½ cups of water to a boil. Add lentils and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat olive oil spray and a pan over medium heat, add onion and cook for 8 minutes.
• Put chickpeas, quinoa, half of the lentils, the egg and the onion into a food processor and process until smooth.
• In a medium bowl, combine parsley, cilantro, breadcrumbs, remaining half of the lentils and the seasonings. Add the chickpea mixture and stir until well combined.
• Form patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
• Meanwhile, make the Cilantro Garlic Cream by combining yogurt, garlic, cilantro and parsley. Refrigerate until ready to use.
• Preheat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook for 8 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
• Top with Cilantro Garlic Cream and serve!

* To cook quinoa, put 2 parts water and 1 part quinoa in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Make it vegan: In place of egg, mix together 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water. For cream sauce, soak 1 cup cashews in water overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in blender and add water to cover. Add in garlic, cilantro and parsley. Process until smooth.

Tell us about your favorite veggie burger in town in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Cherie, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won her a copy of Rustic Italian Food. Cherie, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!

Meatless Monday: At PW Pizza, dining with a carnivore has never been so easy

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Picture this: You’re doing the whole Meatless Monday thing, but the person you’re dining with isn’t. You don’t need a whole pizza to yourself, but the thought of piling peppers instead of pepperoni on a fresh-from-the-oven pie peeves your pal. Sharing is clearly out of the question, right? Wrong – if you’re at PW Pizza, a newish Lafeyette Square pizzeria where you can split the vegetarian and carnivorous toppings right down the middle at no extra charge (You do have to succumb to the same type of crust, however.).

While this scenario may drag some of you Meatless Monday-ers to PW, something else lures me through the door time and time again: The honey-whole wheat crust. This healthy alternative to the traditional stuff is crisp around the edges and fluffy on the inside, boasting flavors both nutty and sweet. To load atop my crave-worthy canvas, I opt for the Mushroom pie – a spot-on combo from the Classics section of the menu that rightly pairs meaty wild mushrooms with piquant red onions, nutty Parmesan and mozzarella. The whole thing gets drizzled with a garlic-laden olive oil. For an extra punch of flavor, I swap out the mozzarella for crumbles of pungent blue cheese; the toothsome crust is an ideal foil to the strong flavors of the bold blue. Throw in those peppery red onions and silky garlic olive oil, and you’ll wonder what pepperoni has done for you lately.

Let your pal get whatever type of pizza he wants on his side; just be sure to have him take a bite of your creation. Then, sit back and watch as you convert another diner onto your Meatless Monday path. There is one downside to sharing a pie: When he falls in love with your meatless masterpiece, there won’t be any leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.

Baked: Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Monday, March 26th, 2012

I’ve heard some people say mint and chocolate together remind them of toothpaste, but I wholeheartedly disagree: The combination of dark chocolate and peppermint is simply irresistible.

Although I’ve had mint and chocolate in many forms, I hardly ever put the two together in a cupcake. The flavors are so prevalent in candy bars and ice cream that I neglected to consider them when it came to baking.

But this past week – with the onset of spring and St. Patrick’s Day – I had an idea to make a green cupcake. And when I think of green, I immediately think of mint.

I whipped these up in a hurry to finish the rest of my buttermilk, and they couldn’t have come out any softer. The frosting is minty and fresh; the cake practically melts in your mouth when eaten slightly warm. I added some semisweet chocolate chips to the cake and also ground up some of the chocolate chips and added them to the frosting so it would resemble the famous ice cream flavor.

All in all, these were a hit and a great treat to make with kids or to keep around for a Sunday afternoon.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Courtesy of Amrita Rawat

Makes approximately 14 cupcakes

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1¼ cups cake flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/6 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup canola oil
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Beat the butter and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy.
• Keep beating while you add the egg.
• Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and frosting, and beat until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
• Distribute evenly in a cupcake pan with liners, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).
• Let cool completely, then coat with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting (recipe follows).

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on Raspberri Cupcakes

1 stick butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, plus additional as needed
2 Tbsp. milk, plus additional as needed
Green food coloring
1 tsp. peppermint extract
¼ cup ground semisweet chocolate

• Combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add more milk.
• Stir in the ground up chocolate bits.

Note: These cupcakes are best eaten at room temperature. If refrigerated, heat them in the microwave for 10 seconds; the cake gets warm and the frosting stays relatively cool. They last up to 1 week in the fridge in an airtight container.

The Scoop: Elizabeth Schuester to helm kitchen at The Scottish Arms

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Elizabeth Schuester has been hired as the executive chef at The Scottish Arms. Schuester is leaving her position as executive sous chef at The Chase Park Plaza to fill the role soon to be vacated by chef Carl Hazel. As The Scoop reported earlier this month, Hazel is leaving the Central West End restaurant to helm the kitchen at Eleven Eleven Mississippi. According to The Scottish Arms GM Mike Cline, Schuester will begin her new tenure on April 4.

 

The Scoop: Chef John Griffiths to leave Truffles, open own restaurant

Monday, March 26th, 2012

John Griffiths, currently the executive chef at Truffles, will be leaving the Ladue eatery to open his own restaurant. While details about the new restaurant are scant at this time, Griffiths stated that it will be located in the St. Louis area and that the cuisine will have a modern Italian bent. “It’s exactly what we are doing here: modern Italian. But it will be a little more rustic, more relaxed to suit the design of the décor.” Griffiths said the restaurant won’t open before early fall, adding that a timeline was being developed.

Griffiths, who joined Truffles in late 2010 and led the culinary charge in giving the restaurant’s fare a modern Italian focus, noted that he will be departing from Truffles in mid-April, after helping to transition the culinary crew, which will be under the direction of new executive chef Brandon Benack. According to a press release issued today, Benack joins Truffles after working with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse at Emeril’s Miami Beach and most recently as the “right-hand man” to chef Norman Van Aken, “the founding father of New World Cuisine” in Florida. Prior to chef Benack’s arrival, the folks at Truffles will be “transitioning [their menu] to a modern American cuisine featuring several seasonal choices of protein and seafood, while remaining committed to local purveyors.”

Griffiths has had quite an impressive career in the culinary world thus far. He helmed Larry Forgione’s now-shuttered fine dining restaurant An American Place when it opened inside the Renaissance Grand Hotel in 2004 and has worked as a chef consultant locally at Lumen, El Borracho and The Scottish Arms as well as more than 20 eateries around the country. In February, he was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York. On June 26, he will prepare a six-course menu for members of the Beard Foundation and the media.

— Photo by Carmen Troesser

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