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Nov 23, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for July, 2013

The Month in Review: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

As we get ready to reveal our latest issue, we take a look back at some of our favorite stories, recipes, dishes and drinks from July.

 

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Strange Donuts filled us in on how crazy their doughnuts will get; this salty-sweet snack had us driving to Edwardsville … a lot; you voted for this town’s most underrated restaurant; we found four southern cookbooks that inspired us; you told us about your favorite places to grab a drink; you told us your favorite place to go for a nightcap; moonshine made its comeback; jackfruit carnitas happened; cold-smoke liquors, pigs’ ears and barrel-aged fish sauce were the hottest trends; Fat Daddy Pickle Coins became our new favorite bar snack; we drank every proper house margarita we could find and picked our top three; deviled eggs got dressed-up every kind of way; Scott Carey of Sump Coffee taught us how to make the ultimate pour over; Gerard Craft’s Pastaria was voted favorite new restaurant; you picked the four chefs that really killed it this year: Ed Heath, Gerard Craft, Justin Haifley and Kevin Willmann; we snagged a recipe for some serious bisque; Josh Galliano gave us the nitty-gritty on grits; three new restaurants you should try opened up.

 

 

Baked: Nutty Bars

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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This is probably one of the healthiest recipes you’ll ever see me write. I’m not a fan of granola, but I suppose this comes quite close to it! Whisk Bakeshop serves a popular gluten-free thumbprint cookie similar to this recipe. The cookie seemed so similar to granola that I never bothered to taste it, owner Kaylen Wissinger offered me a bite.

I was hooked. It was nutty around the edges, and the center held the best-tasting raspberry jam that nicely complemented the rest of the cookie. Even more impressive, it was only sweetened with maple syrup and was both vegan and gluten-free.

I decided to make my own adaptation in bar form – mostly out of laziness and convenience. I added pecan flour to vary the nut flavors a bit, but I didn’t bother making it gluten-free. Instead, I used white, whole-wheat flour and included oats. I chose raspberry, but you can make this with any jam you’d like.

I’ve made these twice in the last month, and they’re delicious. I store them in my cookie jar and snack on them almost daily. They’re a great alternative to feed a sweet, sugar craving if you need a break from that sort of thing. Not that you would.

Enjoy and happy baking!

Nutty Bars
Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe

1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup pecan flour (Replace with almond flour or another finely ground nut, if desired.)
1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup white or whole-wheat flour
1 cup oats
½ cup coconut oil (Canola or grapeseed oil also can be used.)
½ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. raspberry jam

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-by-8-inch pan well.
• In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the jam until well combined. Reserve 1/3 cup of batter.
• Pour the remaining batter into the pan, spreading to the edges. Spoon the jam over the top of the batter, evenly covering it. Top with the remaining batter, smoothing it evenly over the jam.
• Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm around the edges and golden brown (The top should be dry to the touch.).
• Let cool completely, and then cut into squares. Store between layers of waxed paper up to two weeks.

Note: Pecan flour can be purchased at nuts.com 
 

 

2013 Readers’ Choice: The Ultimate Cup of Coffee

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

The 2013 Readers’ Choice results are in. You voted for your top places to eat, drink, shop and enjoy all things food in St. Louis. Winners ran the gamut from classics like Sidney Street Cafe and Pappy’s Smokehouse to new-and-notables like Pastaria and Sauce on the Side. And when you need the best cup of coffee in town, you head down to Sump Coffee in South City for a meticulously balanced brew.
 

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When it comes to making the perfect cup of coffee, Sump Coffee’s Scott Carey has it down to a science. Here, the coffee connoisseur teaches us how to make the ultimate cup of coffee at home. Yet he’s quick to caution that his advice is more guidelines than strict rules. “Ultimately, your palate should always determine your cup.” So once you’ve mastered his brewing method, tweak the technique according to your preference.

The Tools*
Hario V60 Drip Pour Over Coffee Scale and Timer
If you’re going to brew, you have to have a scale. Look for a gram scale with an accuracy of 1/10 of a gram and with a timer that counts up – not down. This model from Japanese company Hario has a built-in timer, another essential brewing tool. $58 to $70.

Hario V60 (VDC-02W)
The hole in the bottom of this ceramic device funnels coffee in a slow, steady stream for a smooth, balanced cup. The 02 model brews 11 ounces, perfect for 2 small cups or 1 large one. $21.

Hario V60 Coffee 700-mL Server Carafe
The V60 will need something to stream into. If you want to pinch pennies somewhere, any heat-resistant vessel that fits the V60’s flat bottom will work – even a large, transparent mug will do. “It helps if you can see what’s in there, for those oops moments, so you don’t burn yourself or spill.” $18 to $20.

02 Paper filters
Your filter should match your V60, so grab the 02 size. If you can find bamboo filters, all the better. If not, paper is just fine. $9 to $15/100.

Hario V60 Coffee Drip Kettle Buono (VKB-120HSV)
“You have to have a way of controlling the rate of the pour and where you’re pouring, so you need a goose-neck kettle.” $50 to 60.

Burr grinder
Look for a Burr grinder – not a blade grinder – that produces a uniform particle size. It can be a hand version or an automatic one.

Hot, filtered water
Run your water through a filter before using it. Then bring it to a boil and let it sit until the temperature falls to 200 to 206 degrees, about 2 minutes. Never brew with boiling water.

*Tools available on amazon.com

The Technique
• For Sump’s light-roast coffees, use a ratio of 1 gram of coffee to 15 grams of water. That’s 25 grams of coffee to 350 grams of water for the V60. The grind should be somewhere between a paper filter and a metal filter setting.
• Unfold the filter in the V60 and set the V60 atop your serving vessel. Using the kettle, pour 11 ounces of hot water over the filter. This preheats the V60 and vessel and removes the paper taste from the filter. Dump the hot water from the vessel and place it on the scale. Place the V60 with the wet filter on top and zero out the scale.
• Pour the ground coffee into the wet filter. The scale should read 25 grams. Zero out the scale again.
• Start the timer. Very slowly, pour water into the coffee in a clockwise circle about the size of a quarter until the scale reads 50 grams. Within 10 to 15 seconds, the coffee will begin to bloom – swell up and dome over like a chocolate soufflé. Let it bloom for 30 to 45 seconds.
• Slowly pour the next 300 grams in the same small, clockwise circle, avoiding the edges of the filter. The scale should read 350 grams within 1 minute and 20 seconds. Pour a little faster toward the end if necessary to use all 350 grams of water within that timeframe.
• Let the coffee stream into the vessel. As soon as it starts to drip instead of stream, it’s done. This should take 2 to 2½ minutes. Remove the V60 from the vessel and let the coffee cool for 30 to 45 seconds before serving.

The Tweaks
When it comes to hand-brewing coffee, practice makes perfect. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you fine-tune your technique.
• Don’t take your eyes off the timer. It will tell you how to tweak things next time. For instance, the entire brewing process should take about 2 to 2½ minutes. If it takes more like 1½ minutes, your grind is too coarse. Closer to 3 minutes, and it’s too fine. You also want to make sure the coffee is dripping at the right speed. If your coffee tastes too bitter, it’s been over-extracted; try to reduce your brew time. If the coffee tastes too thin, try to extend your brew time. But don’t go over 2½ minutes.
• Adjust according to bean. Super-fresh coffees will take 45 seconds to fully bloom; older beans will take closer to 30 seconds. For dense, high-elevation coffees such as Ethiopians, use a coarser grind setting.

The Beans
“You have to start with good coffee to make good coffee.” Sump’s house-roasted, single-origin beans are roasted to city level at the first crack. That’s coffee speak for super light in order to preserve the bean’s origin and terroir. “You have to sacrifice body, but you get a lot more fruit and brightness out of it, so I think that compromise is worth it.” Apparently, so do you.

-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

By the Book: Michael Symon’s Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint and Almonds

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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I am a devout carnivore. Some of my fondest memories involve the sweet sizzle as a thick hunk of meat hits a hot grill. I will put up a fight for the crispy skin or burnt ends — or worse, steal them before anyone notices. My stomach growls at the smell of charcoal, even if I just ate.

Chef and TV personality Michael Symon gets me. He released his homage to all things meat in Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers. But there’s more to this cookbook than steaks and chicken breasts. Each protein receives its own chapter, and while the traditional American beef, chicken and pork recipes get their due, he also encourages trying more daunting fare. If you ever had the desire to braise lamb necks, make duck pastrami or tackle head cheese, Symon has you covered. Beyond recipes, he explains how to purchase meat and what all the verbage cluttering meat labels (Prime versus Choice, grass-fed versus grain-fed) actually means.

 

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Symon’s Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint and Almonds is inexpensive, fresh and guaranteed to fill up a crowd. Skin-on thighs marinade in smoked paprika and toasted coriander. Symon recommends searing them off with a little olive oil over direct heat for two minutes; I had to tame the coals with a water bottle, and the thighs still crisped up in just one minute. My advice: skip the oil and let the chicken fat do the work.

 

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While the chicken cooked, I sliced up juicy summer peaches (while trying not to devour them, a true test of willpower) and tossed them with peppery arugula, bright mint and lime. Be sure to top the chicken with the salad as soon as it flies off the grill; the arugula wilts a bit and the peaches warm just slightly. I served this heaping platter of summer at the table with warm biscuits and let everyone help themselves.

 

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Michael Symon’s Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint and Almonds
10 Servings

1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground (I used ground coriander.)
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
Kosher salt for seasoning
10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
6 peaches, pitted and each cut into 8 pieces
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups arugula
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, chopped

• Combine the coriander, paprika and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken thighs, turn to coat on all sides and refrigerate overnight.
• Allow the chicken to come to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. Pat the chicken dry.
• Heat a charcoal or gas grill so that one side is medium-high and the other very low.
• Brush the chicken thighs with a little olive oil and put them skin-side-down on the hot side of the grill. Cover the grill. After 2 minutes, remove the lid, flip the chicken, and put it on the cooler side of the grill. Put the lid back on and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken hits an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
• Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the onion, peaches and jalapeño. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, ¼ cup olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Pour the dressing over the peaches and gently toss to combine. Add the arugula, mint and almonds and toss once or twice.
• To serve, put the chicken thighs on a large platter. Top with the peach mixture and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

What is your go-to meat to grill in the summer? Let us know in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Carnivore by Michael Symon. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Yasmin, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of Home Made Summer by Yvette Van Boven. Yasmin, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

The Scoop: Planter’s House names Bradley Hoffmann exec chef

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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Bar and restaurant Planter’s House has been the talk of the town since it was announced in December last year. While there is still much the ownership group of veteran bartenders – husband and wife Ted and Jamie Kilgore, and their business partner, Ted Charak – have to do to ready the space at 1000 Mississippi Ave., in Lafayette Square, one more item can be crossed off the checklist: a chef.

Bradley Hoffmann has been named executive chef at Planter’s House. Hoffmann comes to the bar and restaurant off the heels of the sudden closing of Salt, where he worked as executive chef since December 2012. (Hoffmann was also among the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2013.) Hoffmann stated that the Planter’s House menu, still in development, will be “bar-centric,” but there will be options for sit-down dining “where you can still have a really nice meal.”

“We’re pretty excited,” said Ted Kilgore about bringing Hoffmann on board, but admitted, “we have a lot more work to do” before Planter’s House unlocks its doors this fall. An opening date has not been announced.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

In This Issue: Global Pantry

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Quick! What’s the one ingredient you could never live without? Tough question, we know, and doubly tough for chefs, since they really don’t want to live without anything from their culinary arsenal. Read on to find out the one ingredient that chefs at some of your favorite restaurants said they’d be hard-pressed to do without.

 

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Crawfish
“Being a Cajun and Creole restaurant, true to our roots in southern comfort food, crawfish stand for that. We stuff bread with crawfish, we make crawfish enchiladas, we do fresh, seasonal crawfish boils every year. The taste of crawfish – it’s a great meat for adding to sauce, stuffing fish. There’re not a lot of restaurants that cook with crawfish. For me, crawfish is my go-to seafood.”
– Brad Hagen, executive chef-general manager, Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.621.8811
 

Aji amarillo
“Aji amarillo is essential to Peruvian cooking. It brings not only a little heat but a full burst of aromatics to whatever it touches. I use it in so many of our dishes: ceviche, aji de gallina, lomo saltado. There’s nothing like it here in the States that can compare in complexity and aroma. It truly is what gives everything that Peruvian flavor.”
– Jorge Calvo chef-owner, Mango Peruvian Cuisine, 1101 Lucas Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9993

 

Pork fat
“I would probably say pork. Do I have to say what part of the pig? Probably pork fat just because it’s so diverse. It can be used so many different ways. You can render it down to sauce, cure it into lardo, the fat is what makes bacon, bacon.”
– Carl Hazel, executive chef, The Scottish Arms, 8 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.535.0551

 

Butter
“Butter. Because everything tastes better with butter.”
-Frank Kane, owner/operator Citizen Kane’s Steak House, 133 W. Clinton Place, Kirkwood, 314.965.9005

 

Chopped garlic
“It’s in most items that I cook. I always have the smell of the garlic on my food. I want this aroma to be around when I cook so I start with garlic.”
– Moon Louneviseth, executive chef, The King & I, 3157 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.1777
 
 

Meatless Monday: Maque Choux with Corn-Miso Soup

Monday, July 29th, 2013

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With all the delicious tomatoes and corn available now, we wanted a twist on the traditional southern dish, maque choux, so we deconstructed it to use it with a corn-miso soup that is always delicious this time of year. We decided to pickle the tomatoes to lend a little more acidity to the dish, and extras are pretty awesome to have around to add to salads or a martini. Using smoked paprika on the tofu mimics the andouille that accompanies traditional maque choux. This recipe may seem a little daunting, but it can be done in about 35 to 40 minutes. You just need be organized.

Maque Choux with Corn-Miso Soup
4 servings

1 lb. extra-firm tofu (such as local tofu maker, Mofu, available at Local Harvest and Maude’s Market)
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. white pepper
5 ears of corn
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shiro miso (white miso)
1 lb. okra
Pickled Tomatoes (recipe follows)
1 sprig thyme, for garnish

ŸŸ• Cut the Mofu into ½-inch slices and set on a rack to dry. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sesame oil, smoked paprika, soy sauce, cornstarch and white pepper until smooth. Coat the Mofu with the mixture and refrigerate.
• Slice the kernels off the ears of corn and set aside. Place the cobs in a saucepot and add enough water to cover. Simmer over high heat about 15 minutes to make a corn stock. Meanwhile, prepare the grill.
• In a saucepan, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic and saute 1 minute, until fragrant. Add corn kernels and about 2 teaspoons of salt and stir.
• Add 2 cups of the stock to the sauteed corn and continue cooking about 12 minutes, until the corn is soft.
• Puree the corn mixture in a food processor or blender and pass through a fine mesh strainer. Add the shiro miso to the strained puree and stir to combine. Set aside.
• In a bowl, coat the okra with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Grill the okra over the hot grill, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Add the marinated Mofu and grill 3 minutes per side.
• To serve, put a large spoonful of the corn puree on a plate and top with the grilled okra. Place 1 or 2 slices of Mofu next to the puree and garnish with pickled tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves.

Pickled Tomatoes
Makes 1 pint

In a pot, combine 1 cup of water, 2/3 cup of rice wine vinegar, 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and put in the refrigerator to cool. Pierce ½ pound of cherry or grape tomatoes with a knife and place them in a clean, pint-sized mason jar. Cover with the cooled pickling liquid, add the lid and refrigerate until ready to use. The tomatoes will keep for several weeks.

 

 

In This Issue: By Popular Demand – Eleven Eleven Mississippi’s Shrimp & Corn Bisque

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

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We asked for the secret behind this great summer soup, and Eleven Eleven Mississippi’s Wade Waller answered. Click here for the recipe.
-Photo by Carmen Troesser

 
 

Readers’ Choice: Best Bar for a Nightcap

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

The 2013 Readers’ Choice results are in. You voted for your top places to eat, drink, shop and enjoy all things food in St. Louis. Winners ran the gamut from classics like Sidney Street Cafe and Pappy’s Smokehouse to up-and-comers like Sump Coffee and Sauce on the Side. And after all that eating and imbibing, when you need just one more, you head to Pin-Up Bowl for a nightcap:

 

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At the Pin-Up Bowl, the alcoves by the entrance are cozy enough to be romantic, yet large enough to accommodate you and your late-night entourage. From the cushioned banquet, you can pluck a drink off the bar, hear the crash of pins in the distance and stare out the window at the 2 a.m. crowd stumbling down Delmar. You voted Pin-Up the perfect place for a nightcap, and this is the perfect seat to sip it in. Bartender, we’ll have another.

- Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: St. Louis Craft Beer Week

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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This Saturday marks the start of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, an annual sud-stravaganza hosted by area breweries, distributors, restaurants, bars and retail outlets to celebrate the best of the local beer scene.

From beer dinners, beer and cheese tastings, a Firkin Fest and Tap Takeovers, there are events for everyone, every night of the week, culminating Aug. 4 with the Schurcipefones Closing Ceremonies at Bridge Tap House.

Tomorrow, have your pick of six beer-centric parties scattered around town – or if you’re really devout (and have a driver), visit them all.

In the mood for a brat with your beer? Start your day at 33 Wine Bar’s B33r and Brats in Lafayette Square. After getting a late-morning brew and a little food in your stomach, pay a visit to Six Row Brewing for Cellar Day. Once you’ve had a flight of stouts, head south to Perennial Artisan Ales for its second annual Midwest Belgian Beer Festival. (Purchase tickets here.)

Still thirsty? Still standing? Catch a ride to Exit 6 Pub in St. Charles to wish this little nano-brewery a happy second anniversary and to try a collaboration brew made special for this week by the teams from Cathedral Square, Charleville and Exit 6. Later that evening, there are still two more events: O’Fallon Brewing will kick off its Brewer’s Tables events at Flying Saucer, and Schlafly and Crown Valley will take over the taps at Hair of the Dog.

Tonight? Plot out the rest of your week with St. Louis Craft Beer Week’s online calendar. And hydrate – you have a big week ahead of you.

 

 

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