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Jul 14, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for May, 2012

Sauce Celebrity Chef Series presents an afternoon of brainy barbecue with Adam Perry Lang

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Adam Perry Lang is Mario Batali’s “go-to-brother for meat and fire.” David Chang attests that “no one knows more about cooking food over fire” than Perry Lang. And now we get the pleasure of hearing from the grill master himself smack dab in the middle of barbecue season.

At his three restaurants in London, New York City and Las Vegas, and in his new book Charred & Scruffed: Bold new techniques for explosive flavor on and off the grill, the classically trained chef explores the meats and “co stars” we love to cook over the coals. From spackles to brines to buttery bastes, his theories and practices make barbecue a complex science. But Perry Lang breaks his process down, giving home cooks the ability to wow their friends with such dishes as smoked pork shoulder with lime coriander salt in their very own backyards.

For Sauce’s next Celebrity Chef Series presented in partnership with Left Bank Books, join us  on Friday, June 15 at Mike Shannon’s “Outfield” patio downtown from noon to 2 p.m. Get tickets here. Perry Lang will discuss his grilling techniques and sign his new book, Charred & Scruffed. Tickets, priced at $45, will include a to-be-signed copy of Charred & Scruffed and a three-course barbecue lunch prepared by Pappy’s Smokehouse’s Mike Emerson and inspired by Perry Lang’s recipes using ingredients from Rain Crow Ranch, Todd Geisert Farms and Straub’s. Varieties of Shock Top beer will be paired with each course. Gelateria del Leone is providing dessert.

Visit eventbrite.com for Adam Perry Lang tickets and more information. Seats are limited.

The Scoop: The Good Pie gets that much better

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Change is cooking at The Good Pie. In the next two to three weeks, regulars at the pizzeria in Midtown Alley will notice a condensed menu, but, hopes, owner Mike Randolph, a better one. The restaurant is honing its offerings to focus on serving fare made from seasonal and local ingredients that are prepared as much as possible in-house.

“We have been very successful in our three years,” Randolph said. “We have an established client base. We’re not trying to reinvent ourselves but push ourselves to do better.” He noted that since opening, the eatery has gradually become deeper entrenched in the artisanal food world. For example, it now sources its cheeses from Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Ill., and makes sausages in-house. “We started by taking little steps. It’s been three years, and we want to keep it fresh,” he said.

The pizza selection will be pared down to just four classic Neapolitan pizzas. The Good Pie’s pizzaiolo, Ryan Skyles, will be making a buffalo mozzarella pizza, a Margherita, a sausage and a marinara with tomato, garlic sauce and oregano. “We’re not switching the dough or crust or cooking method,” reassured Randolph. The salad selection will likewise be dialed down to just a chop salad and what Randolph deemed “some sort of market fresh” salad option. Appetizers, such as garlic shoots and pancetta with a farm-fresh egg, will showcase the best of the harvest. But since market-fresh produce can go in and out of season quickly, The Good Pie will reprint its menu every two weeks, a rarity for a pizza joint.

“We are trying to minimize some of the prep to concentrate more on pickled and roasted vegetables, making [our] own mustard and vinegars. If we are not making it ourselves now, we are going to buy it from a like-minded producer,” Randolph said.

The wine program will focus solely on Italian wines. “When we first opened, we tried to please people. We had a chardonnay from Australia, a Chianti, but there is so much more to Italian wine.” This summer the restaurant will lean toward interesting Italian white varietals, with seven to eight whites available by the glass, carafe and bottle.

The already well-received beer list will also see a greater focus on seasonality. For instance, “In the summer, you won’t find Trippel Belgians,” said Randolph. Among the nine beers, look for “a couple of really nice beers [from] out of market and [the rest] from the St. Louis market.”

— Photo by Greg Rannells

Three local food trucks in running for national title of “best food truck graphic design”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

If you are a food truck fan, you can probably name your must-have-dish from your favorite truck in a moment’s notice. But taste buds aside, have you considered which truck looks the snazziest? National food truck resource Mobile Cuisine is holding a Best Food Truck Graphic Design Contest to determine which of the thousands of trucks rolling on our nation’s streets has the most stylish design. More than 2,500 trucks were nominated for the competition, but the list has been narrowed to 15 finalists. Among those to make the cut are three trucks from St. Louis: Completely Sauced, Chop Shop and Lulu’s Local Eatery.


“To have three trucks from St. Louis is pretty cool,” said Julie Komanetsky, co-owner of Completely Sauced, who notified The Scoop of the exciting news.

The winner of the contest will be chosen by a public vote. To place your vote for the best food truck graphics, go here. The poll ends on Friday, June 8.

The Scoop: Former cafe space in The Loop may be home to wings, burger and custard shop

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

It appears that the space at 6227 Delmar Blvd., next door to Delmar Restaurant & Lounge in The Loop, is getting a new tenant. The space, which most recently housed the shuttered Layal Café and Hookah Bar, now has lettering on the awning above the entrance that reads: “Burgers, wings, frozen custard.” The interior is undergoing construction, and it appears that a wall will divide the former cafe space into two separate storefronts, with the new restaurant tenant taking the spot to the west. More as we learn it.

 

By the Book: John Besh’s Quick Pickled Radishes

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

As we continue with our James Beard-themed By the Book series this month, we move on to a celebrity chef who’s known as much for his southern good looks as he is for his southern-style cuisine. I first experienced John Besh’s cooking a few months ago on a trip to New Orleans. For brunch, a large group of us headed to Lüke, Besh’s brasserie-style restaurant in the Central Business District of The Big Easy. Everything was divine, from the French press coffee to the famous, thick and smoky Allan Benton bacon to the decadent Eggs In a Jar: creamy cheese grits topped with deep-fried soft-shell crab, a balloon-like poached egg and a hefty dousing of creamy hollandaise, all layered into an adorable Mason jar. (Put anything in a jar and I’ll order it.)

So when I saw that Besh’s new book, My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking (nominated for a 2012 Beard Award) was up for grabs this month, it was an obvious choice.

In my next life, I’m going to have a lot of free time. I’ll bake beautiful loaves of Old World bread, pickle the fresh produce I nabbed at the farmers market that week and make jar after jar of fresh jellies and preserves. In this life of never-ending deadlines and dog walking and house cleaning, however, I’ll have to settle for the occasional quick pickling.

As with so many recipes in his book, Besh provides a basic recipe and then offers several ingredient options. For this quick-pickling method, he recommended using baby carrots, beets or radishes. Since I had just picked up four bundles of fresh radishes at the Clayton Farmers Market, I figured I’d pickle two and reserve the other two for this amazing recipe (Try not to get addicted to it; I dare you.).



The recipe was simple and straightforward. Peel the veggies, blanch them, pour the pickling spices into the cooking liquid and then combine everything in a sanitized jar. Besh suggested either using a tablespoon of the Zatarain’s crab boil seasoning or a teaspoon each of mustard seed, coriander seed and black peppercorns. Ever a fan of the harder-is-better route, I decided to go for the individual spices. But after visits to three different grocers and no whole coriander seed to be found, I gave in and bought the pre-mixed spice pack. Suddenly, a simple recipe became even easier.




If you’re anything like me and don’t have the time (or patience) to juice fruit, let bread rise or give pickled veggies the time they need to work their magic in the fridge, Besh’s recipe is a quick and easy way to dip your toe into the DIY pool.



Quick Pickled Vegetables
Makes 1 quart

I like to use this process to pickle carrots, radishes and beets and have come to prefer the texture of these homemade pickles to anything store-bought. The vegetables are blanched for a moment, leaving them still crisp. Although these pickles taste wonderful alone, they are so beautiful I frequently use them as a way to elevate many dishes, especially the Vietnamese-inspired recipes in this book.

½ tsp. salt
1 lb. baby carrots, radishes or beets, peeled
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Zatarain’s Crab Boil seasoning or 1 tsp. each of mustard seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns

• In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil along with the salt.
• Add the peeled vegetables and blanch for no longer than 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
• Add the sugar, vinegar and spices to the pot and bring just to a boil.
• Fill canning jars with the blanched vegetables and pour in enough cooking liquid to fill the jars.
• Cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator where they’ll last for a couple of weeks.

From My Family Table by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing

What’s your favorite vegetables to pickle and how do you do it? Tell us about your favorite pickling recipe in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of My Family Table by John Besh. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Claire, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of Cooking with Chocolate: Essential Recipes and Techniques. Claire, keep an eye out from the Sauce crew.

 

 

The Scoop: Market Grill in Soulard to close

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

After a two-and-a-half-year run, Market Grill in Soulard is closing its doors. As reported by Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times, the restaurant, located at 728 Lafayette Ave., will shutter for good after dinner service on June 9.

When the restaurant first opened in early 2010, then co-owner and general manager Chris Byington expressed hopes that Market Grill’s fare would fill a void in what was served at nearby eateries. “There’s a lot of places that are just fried food and burgers, and then you have Soulard’s Restaurant and Niche and Franco and those kind of places,” Byington had told Sauce. “We want to be in the middle.”

In August of last year, a new general manager and executive chef came aboard to breathe life into the waning restaurant. Katie Shanahan took over as GM, while Jonathan Olson, who had served as exec chef at Erato on Main in Edwardsville, Ill., and had briefly helmed the kitchen at now-defunct The Terrace View, took control of the back of the house. Olson set about redesigning lunch, dinner and brunch menus to be driven by local, seasonal ingredients. While the changes at Market Grill were well received, including in a Sauce review this past March, the restaurant continued to experience a lack of business. “It’s a big place. We can’t fill it up,” said Olson, noting that turning a profit was difficult from the outset. “They never were making enough money.”

The Scoop: Euro patisserie and coffeehouse coming to Midtown Alley

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The historic 1920s building at 3041 Olive St., in Midtown Alley that was once part of a bustling automotive district is about to see new life. Coming this fall, the former service garage will open as a patisserie and coffeehouse.

In early May, a Twitter post from NextSTL.com tipped off Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times that a bakery/coffee shop was coming to Midtown Alley. Few details were available at that time, but The Scoop has learned that, according to owner Rodney Strothcamp, the soon-to-be-named venue will specialize in European pastries and coffee from artisanal roasters, including European micro-espresso roasters. The shop’s bread program will include making spelt bread using spent grains from local craft breweries and even milling grains in-house for other specialty breads.

Strothcamp told The Scoop that he plans to showcase the European foods that he fell in love with while living in Munich, Germany, and travelling through Europe. Early morning diners will be able to indulge in full European breakfasts of freshly made pastries and breads, alongside jellies, cheeses and cured meats. Sandwiches, salads and other lighter fare will be among lunch offerings, while the dinner and late-night crowds will choose from a selection of shared plates. Besides boutique wines, Strothcamp plans to serve classic cocktails from a “minimalistic bar of liquors.” Among the spirits: Scotches and Irish whiskeys from micro-distilleries in Ireland and Scotland.

Renovation is slated to commence the second week of June, and Strothcamp hopes to open on September 1. When construction is complete, the patisserie and coffeehouse will hold seating for 50, including ample soft seating and patio seating for an additional 60. Antique light fixtures, including some reclaimed from the former entertainment district Gaslight Square, will be among furnishings that pay homage to the building’s historic significance.

Meatless Monday: Making the most of cool summer nights

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Every now and then, we’re lucky enough to have an evening that’s not carry-a-towel-with-you kind of hot. These cool summer nights are best spent on a patio, watching the lightening bugs flicker with a glass of wine and a simple meal. One of my favorite places to do just that is Sasha’s Wine Bar, an easy-going eatery nestled inside the DeMun neighborhood. With its eclectic tables, chairs and lighting, Sasha’s sets the perfect scene for an evening of people-watching and wine glass clinking.

The pesto pizza at Sasha’s always sparks my senses. The thin, cracker-like crust is piled high with a generous smattering of tangy feta, meaty artichoke hearts, salty kalamata olives and crunchy pine nuts. The potent pesto slathered atop has a strong garlic bite that’s slightly softened by sweet basil. Take a bite. When the crust snaps, let that sticky feta and thick pesto coat your mouth, piling loads of flavor on your palate.

The temperatures are getting up there, so hurry out to Sasha’s patio before the humidity takes its toll. And even when those summer nights do heat up, it’s still worth the trip to DeMun. Just make sure you have a crisp glass of white nearby.

Just Five: Kale Pesto

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Everyone was asked to bring something to share at a recent meeting of my coven ladies supper club. There was the usual assortment of cheese, olives, hummus, fried chicken. You know, “lady food.” And then there was this bowl of dark green heaven. We all assumed it was pesto with dipping crackers. But then there were little outbursts: “Who made this?” “Did you try that green stuff?” “What is that?” Suddenly, sparkly-eyed Janet (Her eyes literally sparkle all the time. It’s awesome.) piped up and said, “Ladies, that is kale pesto, and it will change your life.”

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that a hush fell over the room, but at least a few of us leaned forward, intent upon getting the recipe. Turns out it couldn’t be simpler, nor more versatile. I’ve had it with scrambled eggs, chicken and fish. I’ve spread it on crackers and melted it into pasta. It’d also be great on a turkey sandwich, with tomatoes or asparagus. Add extra oil and a splash of vinegar, and you’ve got a good dressing for greens. This is versatility at its best. And now, the kicker: It’s just FOUR ingredients! View the fifth ingredient as a “choose your own adventure.” And for the record, kale pesto would make a great band name.

Kale Pesto
Courtesy of Janet Rhoads
Approximately 1 cup

4 cups kale
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¾ cup roasted cashews (unsalted)
1 tsp. honey
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• Tear or cut the tough spine off of the kale leaves. Tear the leaves into manageable pieces, wash and spin or pat dry. Place in the food processor, along with the lemon zest and juice, the cashews and the honey. Pulse a few times until the kale and cashews are chopped.
• With the processor running, drizzle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil through the chute until the pesto reaches the consistency you desire. (I like a thicker pesto if using it on chicken or as a dip but a bit thinner for a pasta sauce.).
• Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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

Friday, May 25th, 2012

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

styleMEfoods
stuffed from Torchys tacos but not enough to deny doughnuts http://instagr.am/p/K_h6fcIdRn/ 

ErinEph
The ice cream truck that rolls down your street at 9:24pm isn’t selling ice cream.

fischooler
I bet most Americans don’t realize they eat turmeric every time they put yellow mustard on their hot dog

YellowTreeFarm
In the middle of washing 50 pounds of turnips. Makes me want to play Super Mario Bros. http://pic.twitter.com/DdwG56YS 

LHepburnEngert
Mama & Chick #1. Chick #2 is still shy, and Chicks 3 & 4 will likely arrive overnight. [pic] — http://path.com/p/3ropIN 

kannataylor
Just bought a pineapple for the first time ever. Time to Google “how to cut a pineapple.” :)

inacamba
My Filipino father just asked the waiter for rice and adobo. At a Mexican restaurant.

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