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Feb 20, 2018
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Archive for March, 2013

The Month in Review: March 2013

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

After nearly a foot of snow kept us cooking soups and braises far after the official turn of the season, today’s gorgeous weather makes us want to climb up to the sunny rooftop and scream: Spring is here! Spring is here! As we get ready to reveal our new issue, we take a look back at some of our favorite stories, recipes, dishes and drinks from March. You know what they say: Fall back, spring forward.

Coffee connoisseur Mike Marquard led The Scoop with news of his new coffee shop; we paid our respect to the grande dame of the kitchen: cast iron; Meatless Monday columnist Beth Styles gave spring a warm welcome with a veggie-lovers pizza; art director Meera Nagarajan shared her love for everything Home Made; we went green for St. Patty’s; New and Notable reviewer Michael Renner visited Ben Poremba’s new restaurants, Elaia and Olio; Vegetize It columnist Kellie Hynes took the schmaltz out of matzo ball soup; we reveled in Cary McDowell’s recipe for cast-iron sea scallops; we got to meet one of our favorite Top Chefs; we proved that great salads need no lettuce; we had breakfast for dinner; Gerard Craft got another nod from James Beard; we made pot pie in less than an hour; we chatted with the guy behind the guys (and girls) in STL’s restaurant kitchens; we peeked into a new deli downtown; we offered a darker take on canapes; we gave rotisserie chicken the respect it deserves; we made shakshuka at 2 a.m.; and managing editor Stacy Schultz embraced her inner sweet tooth with a 1-dollar wonder.


Drink This Weekend Edition: Bin No. 51 spreads its wings with spirits flights

Friday, March 29th, 2013

You can find some great wines at Bin No. 51, but the shop, located at 200 S. Buchanan St., in Edwardsville, Ill., also has one of the best retail selections of whiskey in the area. Owner Brian Kuchta has decidedly thrown himself into the spirit of things with his newly launched liquor flights.

The first flights out of the Bin No. 51 crates are for bourbon and scotch. Flights, which change monthly, include four, 1.5-ounce pours plus a glass of ice-cold water, served on two-handled wooden tasting boards hand-crafted by Kuchta himself. A tasting booklet, that’s yours to keep, offers descriptions and ratings for each spirit. The current bourbon flight ($14) includes: 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, Johnny Drum Private Stock, Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel and Baker’s Small Batch Bourbon. The single malt Scotch whisky flight ($23) includes: Glen Grant 10-year, Dalmore 12-year, Caol Ila 12-year and Springbank 14-year.

If you like what you taste, any bottle in the flight can be yours at a discount of 10 percent. When you’re knocking 10 bucks off a $100 bottle of scotch, that’s not a bad deal at all.  Moreover, the flights are available any time that the shop is open; no need to sign up for a class. Catering to the drinker’s whim? This could be dangerous.

Visit Bin No. 51 today from 4 to 8 p.m., and you can also partake in a free tasting of some newly stocked spirits that include: Knickerbocker gin by New Holland Artisan Spirits in Michigan; IDÔL vodka, a French vodka made from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes from Burgundy, France; Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon whiskey, Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten 10-year single malt Scotch whisky; and Venezuelan rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva.

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

Friday, March 29th, 2013

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

Must eat Hot Claw! pic.twitter.com/KLJB3stQn4

The fond, but distant, memory of pop tarts is not fully supported by the present taste of actual pop tarts.

Someone in our office just brewed a pot of strawberry-flavored coffee. I have no words, really.

You know what’s awesome? Having a full house at the restaurant. giving my wife a night off, and reading bedtime stories to my kids.

I’m so tired I just fantasized about getting my morning coffee though an IV.

Chefs copying chefs? NO! Via NY Post. ow.ly/jxGr5

I get tired of reading reports stating that the craft segment is growing because drinkers are looking for higher alcohol, heavier beers…

Pizza face! #imos #stl #style #pizza #toddler #toddlersofinstagram #munchkinmeals #instacute #17months instagram.com/p/XaKqUngy74/

Well hello spring! pic.twitter.com/o9so9hHS2C

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


This week, Stacy Schultz is obsessed with …

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Despite what you might think, food editors actually eat pretty healthfully. It doesn’t take many 12-course tastings to teach you to pace yourself. Plus, we have access to fresh produce, great recipes and some of the best local vendors around. Yet sometimes, a girl’s gotta splurge …

{I drink water like a camel, but every once in a while, I need something with a little more flavor. I’m not one to crave a Diet Coke, but I will treat myself to this Italian blood orange soda from Villa Italia after a trip down the aisles at Trader Joe’s. Sweet, bubbly and flavored just enough to kick a sweet tooth, it’s even better with a splash of gin.}

{After I finish off one of Five Star Burgers‘ grass-fed patties, I deserve the $1 Ice Cream Shooter. This single scoop of Serendipity ice cream – chocolate, vanilla or salted caramel – is perched atop an old-fashioned cake cone that fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. Dessert isn’t bad for me if it only costs a dollar, right?}

{I can resist an entire cake without flinching, but get me within 100 feet of Darrell Lea Strawberry Licorice, and it’s all over. The fact that the licorice is natural, with no artificial flavors or colors, convinces me that I shouldn’t feel bad about ripping open the bag before I even get to the checkout counter. Available at World Market.}

Decoding the Paleo Diet

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Right now your favorite Hollywood starlet and your favorite dry cleaner are singing the praises of the Paleo diet, a plan based on what cavemen hunted and gathered. And apparently those fur-gathering folk didn’t grocery shop at Target like the rest of us.

Those who follow a Paleo regimen eat lots of meat, fruits and veggies. The list of what they don’t eat is daunting: gluten, dairy, casein (a milk protein), grains and soy. And that’s where it gets confusing. Didn’t our ancient ancestors eat whole grains? Or drink mammoth milk? We chatted with the co-owners of The Organic Cave Paleo Bakery to better understand the philosophy behind this of-the-moment diet.

Nichole DiGiuseppi and her wife, Angel, discovered the Paleo diet when a friend who was a nurse suggested it could help Nichole’s migraines. After 30 days, Nichole was headache-free. Angel’s asthma had improved. Both women felt fewer stomachaches and less bloated. “Our bodies can’t process gluten, grains, soy and dairy,” Nichole said. “When we eat them, our bodies react. Our intestines become inflamed. People don’t know how bad they feel until they cut those things out.”

As for the grains and dairy question, Nichole explained that, due to modern-day agriculture, those foods are not what they once were. Grains and soybeans are genetically modified. Milk is pasteurized and homogenized. So really, Paleo is about avoiding foods that have been processed beyond our body’s recognition. Which is why the gluten-free bread found at the grocery store isn’t Paleo – it’s made with xanthan gum and rice flour. Which is also why the DiGiuseppis started The Organic Cave in the first place. “I can give up bread,” Nichole said, “but Angel missed sandwiches.” Since Nichole enjoys baking, she decided to make Paleo-friendly rolls and sweets. “Through trial and error, I just started substituting foods I knew we could use that wouldn’t affect our bodies in a negative way,” she said.

The results were so tasty, friends and family encouraged the women to sell their goods at a local farmers market. Less than a year later, demand is so high that they’ve moved into a commercial baking space. “We started baking for ourselves, and then we found out that other people needed it, too,” Angel explained. “We couldn’t say no.”


{Chocolate Cake in a Jar}

Super-cute and yummy too. Technically it’s big enough to share, but one bite of this rich, pure cocoa and coconut flour cake, and you’ll keep it all to yourself. $8.


{Drew Drops}

Quite possibly the best chewy drop cookie you’ll ever have. Liberated from soy and made with dairy-free chocolate chips, these taste better than the real thing. $9 for 6.


{Iced Scones} 

There is nothing dry about these salty-sweet goodies. Coconut oil and almond flours make these scones moist and delicious. $4 for 3.


Want to try the Paleo diet for yourself?

Stop by The Organic Cave Bakery at 3323-1 Domain St., St. Charles, 636.541.7321, theorganiccave.com. Or pick up the bakery’s items at Local Harvest Grocery’s Kirkwood and Tower Grove locations, and through the Feed Your Vitality meal delivery service, feedyourvitality.com.

— photos by Laura Miller

Jump on the Juice Bar Bandwagon

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The Urban Eats Cafe and Bar plus juice bar has been making quick work of fresh produce since 2011. At Nadoz Cafe at The Boulevard, a juice extractor was put to work late last year, while the juice bar at Nadoz’s location near SLU is mere weeks old. Among the offerings, Nadoz owner Steven Becker swears by the Cardio; we swear by the Mean Green. New to juicing? Start with the tame Green Apple.

Baked: Honey-Oat Bread

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

I love good sandwich bread; it’s something I spend the most time selecting in a grocery store. I try to find bread that is tasty but not too healthy – a carb that can taste great with something sweet but also work for a savory sandwich. Unfortunately, a surprisingly high number of breads have high fructose corn syrup in them, which I try to avoid. Even after all these years, I don’t have a favorite brand of sandwich bread, so this week, I finally set out to make my own.

This bread tastes just as good, if not better, than store-bought bread. The honey flavor is quite prominent, so I recommend making this with a mild honey if you are not a fan of sweetness in bread.

If you choose to make this with all-purpose flour, it will be soft and wonderful. I chose to swap some of the all-purpose flour out with some white whole-wheat flour, which makes the bread a bit denser and more filling. Feel free to play with the ratios of flour.

My only problem with this bread is that I’m not so great at cutting ultra-thin slices the way mass-produced bread is sliced, so I always end up with fat slices if I’m not careful. But either way, this is lovely to share with a neighbor, eat with breakfast or make into a snack with peanut butter and Nutella.

Honey-Oat Bread
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on Summer Harms
Yields 1 loaf

1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 cups white whole-wheat flour
¼ cup old-fashioned oats, plus 1 handful for sprinkling
1½ tsp. salt
1½ cups warm water
1 pkg. (or 2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
¼ cup honey, plus 1 Tbsp. more for spreading
2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

• Combine the flours, oats and salt in a bowl and set aside.
• Mix the water, yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently whisk to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes to ensure the yeast has dissolved.
• Add the dry ingredients and butter to the mixer bowl and use a dough hook to mix, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. If you don’t have a mixer and/or dough hook, use a wooden spoon to combine ingredients.
• After 1 minute or so, the dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together as a ball around the hook.
• Pull the dough off and with your hands mold it into a ball. If the dough is slightly sticky, that’s fine. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.
• After the first rise, punch the dough down. With your hands, form the dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise for 1 more hour.
• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• Spread 1 tablespoon of honey and sprinkle 1 handful of oats on top of the risen dough.
• Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and you can insert a knife into the center and the knife comes out clean.
• Brush the top crust with butter after pulling it out of the oven (optional).
• Let cool in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire rack or cutting board and slice.

Store in an airtight container or wrap carefully in plastic wrap at room temperature. The loaf can last up to 2 weeks.

The Scoop: St. Louis added to cities on Dishcrawl circuit of culinary tours

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Food enthusiasts who enjoy dining in the company of like-minded eaters will be interested in learning that Dishcrawl has added St. Louis to the cities where it hosts culinary tours. At a Dishcrawl event, participants dine together at four places in one night, walking between restaurant. Dishcrawl organizes these gastronomic adventures in more than 140 cities around the U.S., and in 16 cities in Canada.

Dishcrawl’s upcoming event in St. Louis is dubbed “Wash Ave Gastronomique [sic] Crawl” and is scheduled for the evening of Wed., April 24. To keep crawlers’ taste buds salivating, the names of the participating Washington Avenue restaurants are being kept a secret, but keep your eye on Dishcrawl’s Twitter handle, @DishcrawlSTL, for hints in the days ahead. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit the Dishcrawl – St. Louis web page.

The Scoop: Going full circle with a cup of coffee, a pub and a good pie

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Blueprint Coffee is coming to The Loop, as reported by the Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb recently. And it’s the names behind the caffeinated project that are jolting local coffee nerds.

Blueprint, to be located at 6225 Delmar Blvd. (between recently opened Chubbies and Thai Country Cafe), is a six-partner venture by Mike Marquard (pictured), Kevin Reddy, Andrew Timko, Norah Brady, Mazi Razani and Brian Levine. Marquard is the coffee director and GM at Half & Half. He was among Sauce’s Ones to Watch class of 2011, having made coffee waves in 2009 and 2010 at the U.S. Barista Championship. As Froeb noted, Blueprint’s ownership group has numerous ties to Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. Marquard rose within the company to become education and customer service leader; Reddy is a retail manager for Kaldi’s; Timko is a former Kaldi’s roaster; and Brady and Razani are both baristas at Kaldi’s and Kaldi’s-owned Kayak’s.

Blueprint Coffee will be both a roasting company and a place to grab a cuppa. “We will serve Blueprint Coffee, but we plan to have a guest coffee available at all times,” said Marquard. He added that the focus at Blueprint will be on “the ingredients we use and good preparation,” showing coffee drinkers that “execution, attention to detail” are “what make coffee great.”

Construction is slated to begin by Monday, according to Marquard, and is expected to take 60 to 90 days. The revamped space will seat 25, divided between a coffee bar and high-top tables and chairs. “It will be more focused toward the coffee commuter,” said Marquard. “We won’t have soft seating.” Blueprint will have a kitchen, but the food offerings are to be determined, as are the cafe’s hours. When Blueprint opens (The target date is June 1.), Marquard will remain Half & Half’s coffee director but not its general manager.

Meanwhile, next door to Blueprint Coffee, the restaurant owners at Mission Taco Joint are at it again. Brothers Adam and Jason Tilford are relocating their Clayton pub Barrister’s from its spot at 15 N. Meramec Ave., to 7923 Forsyth Blvd., next door to incoming The Libertine, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe. Look for Barrister’s to open in its new digs in early April; doors will remain open on Meramec Avenue through the end of this month.

Finally, The Scoop caught up with Mike Randolph, owner of The Good Pie. Randolph’s Neopolitan pizzeria was originally expected to open in the space next to Ginger Bistro in early summer. Randolph’s update on the timeline is that doors will be unlocked as early as July and no later than the end of August.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

By the Book: Emily Schuman’s Homemade Pizza Dough

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Love her or hate her, you have to give Emily Schuman credit. The woman behind the popular lifestyle blog Cupcakes and Cashmere has made a full-time gig out of writing 150-word posts about nail polish colors and peplum shirts. She also writes the occasional food-related post, though most of her recipes are linked to other blogs, websites and magazines.

But as we wrap up our month of cookbooks penned by bloggers-turned-authors, we couldn’t ignore our curiosity when Schuman’s first book, Cupcakes and Cashmere, arrived at the office. Was it really a cookbook? Was it actually helpful? Could it be a useful tool for beginning cooks?

After flipping through the glossy pages, it’s clear that this is hardly a cookbook. On second look, there are, indeed, Food and Entertainment sections in all of the chapters, which are divided into seasons. And there, in between a smoky eye how-to and advice on designing a bookshelf, are recipes for chocolate chip cookies, a vodka martini and a berry pie to enjoy in the height of summer. Still needing a lot more convincing, I decided upon Schuman’s recipe for homemade pizza dough. Pizza dough is one of the trickiest tasks to master in the kitchen, and if I was to decide whether a handful of recipes could push this lifestyle log into cookbook territory, this recipe would surely be an adequate test.

The final pizza fell firmly into the “fine” category – a texture that teetered between thick and thin, slightly salty and a little less chewy than I preferred. The recipe, however, proved that Schuman isn’t quite ready to be named a cookbook author, as it lacked very basic details, which, without, would have surely tripped up a beginner baker.

For instance, she recommends using a pizza stone but doesn’t instruct you to place it in the oven when you’re preheating – a fatal mistake, since this is the only way to get the stone brutally hot enough to adequately crisp the crust. Schuman also lacks consistency in her instructions. She notes that the dough recipe makes enough for 2 10-inch pizzas but forgets to tell you to separate the dough into 2 balls and even opts for vague advice to roll the dough out “to your desired size” instead of providing the correct size guidelines. Most frustrating of all: The dough took more than twice as long to double in size as the recipe stated.

While all of these missteps weren’t enough to ruin my dinner – I knew when to place the stone in the oven and had plenty of rising time to spare on a snowy Sunday – they were enough to answer my questions about Schuman’s first foray into print. Her recipes won’t turn a good cook into a great one or even give a novice cook an extra boost of confidence. But if you want to know how to apply bright lipstick, you know where to go.

Homemade Pizza Dough
Makes enough for two 10-inch thin-crust pizzas

¾ cup warm water (It should be between 105 and 110 degrees.)
1 packet active dry yeast (not fast-acting)
½ tsp. sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour (You can also substitute part or all whole wheat.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt

• Preheat the oven to its highest temperature (Mine is 500 degrees.).
• Pour the warm water into a large bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it’s slightly bubbly. Stir in the flour, olive oil and salt until it forms a ball (If it seems dry, you can add a teaspoon of water at a time until it comes together, but make sure it doesn’t get overly sticky.).
• Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and elastic. Use the same bowl and drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bowl (so the dough doesn’t stick). Place the ball of dough inside and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise for about 45 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.
• If you’re using a pizza peel (the long wooden paddle used to transfer pizza to and from the oven), sprinkle on a little cornmeal (This will help the pizza slide off onto the heated pizza stone in the oven.), and roll the dough to the desired size. Don’t worry if you don’t have these tools; simply sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet and place the pizza directly in the oven.
• Now you’re ready to add your favorite toppings (I love the combination of sauteed onions, sage and fennel sausage.). When you’ve done that, bake the pizza until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the cheese – if you’ve used any – is melted, roughly 7 to 10 minutes.

Tools (helpful but not necessary):
Pizza Peel: Great way to transfer the pizza to the oven
Pizza Stone: This gets really, really hot, so it helps make a crispy crust.
Pizza Cutter: Easiest way to cut up a pizza.

Which food blogger do you love and wish would publish a cookbook? Name the blogger, provide a link to his or her blog, and explain why the blog is awesome in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column. 

And now we’d like to congratulate Jenny, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a signed copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Jenny, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

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