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Feb 21, 2018
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Archive for December, 2013

By the Book: I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013



Contrary to our By The Book theme this month, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes is not a coffee-table book. And by that, I mean, a big, beautiful cookbook with recipes that are so difficult and involved that the book is better suited to adorn a table than become sauce splattered in the kitchen. In fact, authors Daniel Humm, chef of New York City’s famed Eleven Madison Park, and the restaurant’s general manager Will Guidara, state this claim explicitly, “When we were writing our first book, Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook, we asked ourselves whether or not people would cook from it. And as it turned out, there was no simple answer: Plenty of people did cook from it with persistence and well-stocked kitchens. But plenty of others lovingly placed it on their coffee tables. With this book, though, we wanted the answer to be an emphatic yes.”





With nearly 150 recipes, Humm and Guidara are right; this book can actually be used to cook. There’s even a “basic recipes” section in the back with staples like chicken stock and beef broth.





From apples to oysters to walnuts, I Love New York is arranged by 55 ingredients grown in the region. Each ingredient comes several recipes along with a biography of one of the region’s farms where the ingredients are produced.





Along with beautiful photos of ingredients and prepared dishes, recipes and stories, there are historical tidbits throughout the book like the background of the bloody mary and the Delmonico steak. (Did you know the legendary Delmonico’s restaurant in NYC opened in 1837 and was the first to have printed menus and a wine list?) Although this book is both informative and useful, it’s so pretty that if you’re into the look-but-don’t-touch category of cookbook buyers, no one would judge if your copy never made it to the kitchen.


Admit it; we all have “favorite” books that we have never actually read. I love the way my unfinished copy of Infinite Jest looks on my bookcase. What’s your favorite book that you’ve never actually read (cookbooks or any book)? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

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

Matt Berkley’s Top 5 Cocktails of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic. In 2013, he spent many a late night] sipping crafted cocktails around St Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of the year: 


No. 5: Smoke and Fire from Mission Taco Joint
Hellfire bitters set off hints of peach and serrano syrup in this refreshing, mezcal-laden masterpiece.



No. 4: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar
Smooth-drinking W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon is reinforced with a hit of apple brandy and fresh orange.

No. 3: House Manhattan at Gamlin Whiskey House
Robust oak and sweet vanilla flavors mingle in the Knob Creek Single Barrel whiskey that was handpicked for this standout take on a classic Manhattan.



No. 2: Pimm’s Cup at Bar Les Frères
This easy sipping, warm-weather drink is fashioned with fresh cucumber and sprigs of mint.


And my No. 1 cocktail of 2013 is…



Beetnik Margarita at Atomic Cowboy
Fresh beet juice substitutes for lime juice in this potent little drink. My exact words in September: “Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila.”

And an honorable mention goes to moonshine cocktails from Hendricks BBQ. Subtle and smooth at first, these white whiskeys cocktails serve delightful a knockout punch of rich flavor.

-Bar Les Frères and Atomic Cowboy photos by Jonathan Gayman



Meatless Monday: Vegetable Stir-Fry and Bok Choy Salad

Monday, December 30th, 2013

If your holidays were anything like ours, you’re ready to clean out the fridge and detox with some fresh veggies and bright greens. Feel free to substitute any vegetables you’d like; just be sure to cook spongy vegetables like mushrooms or eggplant first and set them aside for later. Then reheat the wok with new oil and stir-fry the other water-releasing vegetables until tender. Marry everything together at the end and enjoy a light meal as you bid farewell to 2013.

Vegetable Stir-Fry
4 Servings

2 Tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil, divided
2 tsp. dark sesame oil, divided
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 Thai chili pepper
Kosher salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups Napa cabbage, sliced in strips
5 green onions, sliced
¼ cup mirin
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked rice

• Place a stainless-steel wok on a large burner over high heat until the wok begins to smoke. Add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
• Add the mushrooms and the Thai chili pepper and season with salt. Stir quickly, cooking several minutes until tender. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
• Return the wok to the high heat and when it smokes again, add the remaining oils. Saute the garlic and ginger, stirring quickly so they do not burn. Add the carrots and celery, season with salt, and stir several minutes until tender.
• Continue stirring and add the red peppers and cabbage. When the cabbage begins to wilt, drizzle with the mirin.
• Stir in the green onions, then toss the cooked mushrooms back into the wok. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper.
• Serve immediately over rice.



Bok Choy Salad
4 Servings

8 heads baby bok choy, rinsed
5 green onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 to 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• Trim the ends of the bok choy and break the larger leaves into bite-sized pieces. Rinse thoroughly and dry in a salad spinner.
• Place the bok choy and and sliced green onions in a large salad bowl and toss with the with sesame oil until the leaves are well-coated. Add the soy sauce, Sriracha and rice wine vinegar and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Michael Renner’s Top 5 Dishes of 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Sauce restaurant critic Michael Renner has tasted his fair share of St. Louis cuisine. All year, he shared his thoughts on New and Notable restaurants, from vegetarian fare to barbecue to fine dining. Here, he shares his top five dishes of 2013:



No. 5: Spanish octopus at Central Table Food Hall
Even more striking than the two thick tentacles was how tender they were: braised for six hours and finished on the grill. Served with aerated fennel foam, caramelized fennel and its fresh fronds, and jiggling slabs of tomato water gelée, it’s as though though the ocean washed up on your plate, complete with froth, seaweed and jellyfish.

No. 4: Roasted pork loin at Elaia
No ordinary roasting could produce the tender-smooth texture of this Berkshire pork loin when it was on the menu earlier this year. Only six hours in a CVap, or what chef-owner Ben Poremba calls his “magical oven,” could yield such transcendence.




No. 3: Fried chicken at The Libertine 
Chef Josh Galliano’s New Orleans roots shine with this version: brined in sweet tea, soaked in spicy buttermilk, coated in cornmeal and flour, and deep-fried in lard and canola oil for a shaggy, crunchy crust laden with paprika and black pepper.

No. 2:  Spring garlic soup at Niche
Tiny, airy raw garlic “marshmallows” floated to the top when hot liquid was poured over them. A steamy cloud scented with citrusy-spicy bergamot leaves, preserved lemon purée and bits of dried beets and carrots wafted from the bowl; this was not soup, it was an elixir.


And my No. 1 dish of 2013 is…



Canh Ga Chien (fried butter garlic chicken wings) at Mi Linh
Fried then sauteed, these wings are juicy and garlicky, crackling with each bite. Your fingers glisten with butter and oil; your lips warm from the gentle heat. You wish you could eat these wings every night for the rest of your life.

- Central Table Food Hall photo by Greg Rannells; The Libertine and Mi Linh photos by Jonathan Gayman

Eat This: The Shack Pubgrub’s Green Eggs N Ham

Monday, December 30th, 2013


Fries are a side, but the Green Eggs N Ham loaded fries at The Shack Pubgrub are a perfect main. Salty, thick-cut french fries are the foundation for crisped pork belly, garlicky creamed spinach and a sunny, self-saucing fried egg. It’s one of those plates that begets jealousy when it arrives at the table. Don’t wait for drunken late nights (though that’s a great idea); we do so like green eggs and ham that we advise eating this mess of goodness anytime.

The Shack PubGrub, 3818 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.533.7000, shackstl.com

-photo by Carmen Troesser


Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Readers flocked to the Sauce blog this year to get the latest Scoops, Sneak Peeks, creative recipe ideas and more in 2013. Here, the top 10 most-viewed blog posts of 2013:


011813_goc02{From left, Derek Coleman and Kevin Seltzer, the Gentlemen of Chicken}

1. The Gentlemen of Chicken take on St. Louis

2. Sneak Peek: Planter’s House

3. Washington University students simplify through Farmplicity


Nathalie_Jimmy{From left, Jimmy Voss and Nathalie Pettus of Nathalie’s}

4. Sneak Peek: Nathalie’s

5. By the Book: Nigella Lawson’s One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

6. UPDATED: Cochon Tour and Celebrity Chef Tour coming to St. Louis, Four Seasons to host both events


7. This week, Julie Cohen is obsessed with

8. One Helluva Challah

9. Get your first taste of Strange Donuts



10. Wheatless Wednesdays: Quinoa Vegetable “Lasagna”



Top 10 Scoops of 2013

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

The Scoop was in full swing this year, bringing St. Louis the very latest news in our dining scene, from openings and closings to chef shake-ups and rising stars. Here, our most-viewed Scoops of 2013:



1. Adam’s Smokehouse joined Pappy’s, Bogart’s ‘cue family

2. Vegetarian restaurant Tree House coming to South Grand

3. Fields Foods to offer new grocery store experience in Lafayette Square:

4. Ben Poremba reveals plans to open a chicken shack

5. Sub Zero owners to open tiki bar, sign vodka deals with Blues, Rams


6. Dave Bailey is opening a new restaurant

7. Peel Wood Fired Pizza announces second location

8. New restaurant The Choice is something special by Lillian

9. Global Foods Market in The Loop to be more than a grocery store


10. Wil Fernandez-Cruz has left The Restaurant




Drink This Weekend Edition: Where to drink by the fire

Friday, December 27th, 2013


{EdgeWild’s fire room}

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, a low-key weekend is in order. And what better way to relax than by sipping spirits near the fire? There are plenty of restaurants around town with beautiful fireplaces, but there’s something magical about imbibing in the cold while sitting around a roaring fire. This weekend, grab your winter hat, order your favorite drink and head outside. It’s time to get cozy.

The Scottish Arms – If The Scottish Arms’ fire pit on the back patio doesn’t sufficiently warm you, the 100+ selection of whiskeys surely will.

The Royale – What’s better than drinking by a fire? Eating s’mores. At The Royale, make-your-own s’mores kits are available for purchase. Bonus: Come on Sunday night after 9 p.m. for Cocktail Museum where bartender Robert Griffin features his own curated menu of classic cocktails.

Molly’s in Soulard – Order one of Molly’s spiked coffee drinks like Fat City Finish or Caffe Rue Royal, and grab a seat by the fire on the huge outdoor patio.

Diablitos Cantina – If the fire isn’t blazing when you arrive, just ask, and a bartender will get the flames going in no time. Not smoky enough for you? Add some mezcal to the equation with one of Diablitos’ new mezcal cocktails, such as Poison, featuring mezcal, muddled jalapeño, lime and cinnamon sugar.

EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery – Are you a bit of a cold-weather weenie? In EdgeWild’s glassed-in fire room, you can recreate the feeling of being in the great outdoors, minus the work. Order another glass of wine, shed your layers and stay awhile.

Taha’a Twisted Tiki – While this newcomer won’t be open this weekend, Taha’a Twisted Tiki in The Grove plans to open its doors on Monday, Dec. 30. Imagining yourself somewhere warm is much easier when you’re sipping a flaming Volcano Bowl next to a fire pit adorned with tiki torches.

– photo by Jonathan Gayman

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

Friday, December 27th, 2013

080610_twittericonAre you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag
Things are getting pretty serious around the office again. #officespace pic.twitter.com/Fq1mMb0xMn

I didn’t eat pie on Christmas. Or Christmas Eve. Holiday fail. I’m not even on a diet, there just was no pie for Chelsy.

Oh, me? I’m not 80% water. I’m 80% coffee, and a little bit of sass. —Zooey Deschanel

This is what my dreams are made of. #burger #stl @ Carl’s Drive In http://instagram.com/p/iZ6wCALzzO/

Sorry I’m missing out on @Schlafly‘s birthday party. But this slightly makes up for it. pic.twitter.com/WQnr7c5bxA

I’m never quite ready emotionally for the popcorn Jelly Belly or a burnt sunflower seed.

This sums up my holiday. #recycle pic.twitter.com/B7vRboVTza

Who wants to come over and help eat the chambord trifle I accidentally left at home on Christmas?

@MaiLeeSTL is the today version of “Cheers”. I absolutely love it.

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



Sneak Peek: Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar, located in the former space of a Jilly’s Cupcake Bar at 1131 Colonnade Center in Des Peres, is opening its doors in early January. The fine-dining restaurant is owned by Dave Pollmann, who also ran the Jilly’s outpost until it closed earlier this year. Pollmann, a mechanical engineer, designed and built the 46-seat restaurant and bar, including a wood-burning pizza oven and a beautiful bar made out of used wine barrel staves. Along with 50 wines (more than 30 of them are available by the glass) dessert martinis and cocktails, Pairings will serve lunch, happy hour specials, dinner and desserts.

-photos by Michelle Volansky

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