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Oct 17, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for January, 2014

The Month in Review: January 2014

Friday, January 31st, 2014
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 January 2014.

 

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This goji sole dish rejuvenated us for the new year; we gave you salad for 31 days; Quincy Street Bistro brought pickleback; a wild new smokehouse opened up; we broke out of our beer funk; we made spicy sesame shrimp with just five ingredients; braising went vegetarian; we found found four new places to try this month; we did everything except hatch the chicken to make this chili; tea, gin, black pepper, limoncello got all shook up; Charleville Brewing crammed a box of chocolate in a bottle of beer; all the elements came together for a serious meal; classic French went vegan; pink drinks are all the rage; we will never tire of St. Louis-style pizza.

Drink This Weekend Edition: A chat with Kieran Folliard of 2 Gingers Irish whiskey

Friday, January 31st, 2014

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There’s no denying whiskey is the word these days. From new restaurant and bar openings like Gamlin Whiskey House, Small Batch and The Whiskey Ring to whiskey events happening almost every other day, this spirit is having a moment. For the casual whiskey drinker like myself, this has been my year of whiskey education, as I’ve been trying more brands and styles than I previously knew existed. On that note, when Kieran Folliard, North American ambassador for Kilbeggan Distilling Co., came to town this month to introduce his new Irish whiskey 2 Gingers, I picked his brain about the newest spirit to hit St. Louis’ always-growing whiskey market.

What makes an Irish whiskey distinct?
There are no bad Irish whiskeys. The standards are too high. Well, not too high. You can never have too high. It has to be aged three years to be called Irish whiskey. And obviously, it has to be distilled, aged and blended in Ireland.

What brought you to the whiskey scene?
I gave up the corporate world 20 years ago and started opening Irish pubs in Minneapolis, Minn. One of our values was curiosity. We would constantly ask the question, “How do we improve?” How do we do things differently? How do we go outside of the box? One of the things that came out of that was we created our own blend and brand of Irish whiskey.

Are you still the owner of the four pubs?
No, you can’t do both in this country. If you have your own liquor brand, you can have it if it’s just for yourself, but if you want to sell it to a person across the street, since Prohibition, you can’t do that. I like to call it the separation of church and state. So I sold it to people who worked with me, some of them since the very beginning in 1993. Then I took the whiskey – it was doing so well within the pubs – and launched it in Minnesota in 2011: 2 Gingers.

To whom does the name refer?
My mother and my aunt, Mary and Delia. It has to do with their attitude and fiery-ness, that take-no-prisoners attitude. I also like to joke that they can’t refute anything I have to say about them because they both passed away. They made it to 88 and 94, which is a pretty good run. But it was really that attitude.

How can a whiskey have an attitude?
My goal was to create a different blend with a different voice, a different attitude. I was always taken a aback by the notion that there was a certain snob element – oh, it has to be this, and you can only use it with this; you can only drink it with this – and I asked myself, really? That is not what I grew up with. I grew up in a small village in the west of Ireland, a rural farming community. I worked in Valradekins bar as a kid, 15 years old. Somebody asked me one time, “That must have been good experience for owning a bar,” and I said, “Well not in terms of bartending and running a pub, not really, because there were really only two ingredients in a drink and one of them was a glass.” You would literally get a glass and what you want in it. There was no ice, no straws, no napkins – God forbid, no fruit. It was a different way. It was really more about the camaraderie, the community, debate and so forth, and the drink was part of that, to lubricate the conversation, but it was that attitude. That was the attitude I wanted to bring to 2 Gingers. Not the snob element of a brand or product. We even put things on the bottle: “Drink with friends, or ice.” The product is serious, the process, the ingredients, the blending techniques – the quality of the product is absolutely there.

What is the difference between 2 Gingers and other Irish whiskeys?
We distill it twice instead of three times like other Irish whiskeys. That reason is because we want to keep more of the flavor of the whiskey in it if it’s in a mixed drink. And we age it four years instead of three like other blended Irish whiskeys. The reason for that is we are looking for a smooth finish. That was one of the things I talked to Noel [2 Ginger’s master distiller] when we were developing the blend. You don’t want people to take a drink of whiskey and go hrrruah. The combination of things takes away the burn on the finish, making it very smooth.

As of this month, 2 Gingers is available in most area liquor and grocery stores.

Try out 2 Gingers’ trademarked cocktail Big Ginger with a bottle of 2 Gingers or your favorite whiskey: Add 2 parts 2 Gingers Whiskey into a collins glass filled with ice; top with ginger ale. Garnish with a lemon and lime wedge.

 

 

Touchdown! 7 ways to fuel your Super Bowl party

Friday, January 31st, 2014

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{Honey Sriracha wings}

Huddle up, team. It’s two days until America’s biggest sporting event of the year, and you’ve got a pack of hungry fans about to takeover your living room. How will you sate their ravenous appetites? With a sad tray of dried-out veggies and a bag of frozen hot wings? Not in this house. You’re going to dig deep, pull out that slow cooker, fire up that grill and get to chopping, searing and melting until you have a buffet worthy of the Super Bowl.

Show us what you’re made of; share your game day dishes on Instagram. Follow @saucemag, then share a photo and description your recipe with hashtag #saucesuperbowl for a chance to win a copy of The Great American Slow Cooker Book. We’ll pick our favorite Instagram and announce the winner Monday, Feb. 3.

Need a little inspiration? We’ve got 18 recipes to feed every fan from carnivores to vegans. Check out our favorites for a football feast:

 

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{Szechwan eggplant dip}

1. A fan cannot live on guac alone. Dish out other scoop-ables like this spicy Szechwan eggplant or smoky roasted red pepper and curry number.

2. Bowls of chips and salsa should always be within reach. But since this is the Super Bowl, that salsa’s gotta be homemade. Raise the salsa bar with black beans, jalepenos or tuna and anchovies (yes, really).

 

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{Root beer pulled pork}

 

3. “Pass the pigskin” takes on new meaning with a dish like root beer pulled pork. Your vegan friends won’t left out; they can pass the jackfruit with vegan carnitas.

4. What’s football without chicken wings? Everyone has a recipe, and our two picks – spiked with harissa or with the ever-popular red rooster – both rely on honey to tone down the heat.

 

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{Bill’s Burger Miester Burger}

 

5. It’s time to build a better burger. No sad frozen patties here. We turn to Bill Cardwell’s recipe for Burger Miester Burger, the definition of what a cheeseburger should be.  Scale down your patties for mini-Miester sliders and serve them alongside falafel sliders for your veg-heads.

6. We all love a good squirt of Heinz, but go for the extra point with DIY ketchup, mustard and mayo.

 

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{Salt and pepper}

7. Just when your guests think they’ve sampled the entire spread, bust out bowls of popable bar bites to get through the last quarter. We go for spice-roasted chickpeas, pad thai popcorn and a twist on salt and pepper.

-eggplant dip, burger, and salt and pepper photos by Carmen Troesser; pulled pork photo by Greg Rannells

 

 

 

31 Days of Salad: Planter’s House spinach salad

Friday, January 31st, 2014

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The spinach salad currently on the menu at Planter’s House is deceptively simple, but it’s all about balance. Sweet heat from the fruity, spicy guajillo chile vinaigrette works well with earthy flavors of roasted squash and spinach. Pomegranate seeds help counter the heat, and their tart flavor works well with the rich, crumbled goat cheese. This is a salad where each ingredient has a chance to shine.

 

 

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

Friday, January 31st, 2014

 

080610_twittericonAre you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag

inacamba
So hungry & lunch @Element_STL isn’t for hours. I guess I’ll have to green smoothie it.

ironstef
I made a cocktail for the laudromat. Gin, Campari, ginger ale. Does that seem appropriate?

el_Lamprich
Lesson of the day: Hot coffee is not the best drink to use to wash down an Aspirin.

MattSebek
Someone crashed into the Eat-Rite diner last night? THIS IS NOT OKAY. pic.twitter.com/Z1xUEcLUt5

michellefassler
Just realized I left my oven on. Since lunch.

itsjuststarla
Oh, go eat some gluten.

stlshelley
Hell yeah, Thursday morning. #notforme #wishitwas pic.twitter.com/FQ5Sr4xOeA

shawnawb

Oooh… Big treats for a small dog? pic.twitter.com/nT6kUyO6qW

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

 

 

31 Days of Salad: Truffle’s Burrata ‘Panzanella’

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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The Housemade Burrata “Panzanella” at Truffles is a beauty. A rotating mix of vegetables (Right now it’s peppers and eggplant.) are chopped, cooked and piled with prosciutto into an olive crouton shaped into a round mold (the “pan” in panzanella). The dish is then crowned with fresh burrata and sprinkled with smoked sea salt. That ball of fresh mozzarella with a creamy center makes this salad ultra-luxurious.

 

 

This week, Catherine Klene is obsessed with…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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{You know what every good game night needs? A brewery. Civil Life Brewing Co., has a way to entertain everyone, from the stack of New Yorker magazines and books to the dartboard and ring tossing games. My friends and I dive straight for the shelf of board games. School your friends in Bananagrams, show off your arcane knowledge of 1980s trivia during Trivial Pursuit, or play the fanciest game of Connect Four you’ve ever seen. Loser buys the next round of Northern English Browns.}

 

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{I fell in love with bourbon this year, and I fell hard. Starting last October, you couldn’t get me to order anything but a Manhattan, Old-Fashioned or Sazerac. But the new year has ushered in a craving for a lighter, clean-tasting spirit that would still hold up in the dead of winter. Enter Thyming Is Everything by Cielo bartender Michael Cook. This sweet pink sipper of raspberry- and thyme-infused vodka, lemon juice and ginger syrup is light and refreshing but still strong enough to suit my happy hour needs.}  

 

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{No trip to visit my family in Traverse City, Mich., is complete without a stop at Cherry Republic. This shop celebrates the state’s signature crop in every way imaginable. Jams, jellies and chocolate-covered cherries are just the tip of the iceberg. It also sells cherry wine, cherry-spiked sausages, cherry coffee and much more. But my favorite is the cherry salsa, which holds the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I love serving it with corn chips and having people  guess exactly what it is.} 

 
 

On the Line: Staci Powell of Basso

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

 

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Line cook Staci Powell started her career in corporate kitchens at P.F. Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory. But when the she heard about an opportunity to work in at Basso under James Beard award-winning chef Patrick Connolly, she jumped at the chance. Today, you can find Powell at the pasta station, whipping out hand-made noodles, and often working at Connolly’s side during events like Taste of St. Louis and Sidney Street Cafe’s 10th anniversary dinner. Here, she shares her experience moving to an independent kitchen and impressing Connolly with her grandmother’s fried chicken and greens.

On moving from a corporate kitchen
“You can be a lot more creative. … We take a lot of [food] from local places. … [Chef Connolly] is really big on seeing that from us, and you don’t really get that at a corporate restaurant. We also have a lot of events outside the restaurant. You get to see a different side. To do stuff like [the Sidney Street 10th anniversary dinner] is one of the best parts of this job.”

On her go-to staff meal of fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, greens and cornbread
“At staff meal, he wants you to put a lot of love in. It’s your chance to be creative and try other things and kind of wow the other employees… Chef loves [when I make that meal] because he loves Southern food. He loves when I do greens. They’re his favorite.”

 

-photo by Michelle Volansky

 

31 Days of Salad: The Ritz-Carlton’s St. Louis Cobb Salad

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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The St. Louis Cobb Salad from The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis is massive but delicious because every component is treated with care. The eggs are cooked perfectly, the blue cheese is piquant and the bacon is crunchy. The problem with some salads is that they rarely keep you full. After consuming this one, we challenge you to even fathom hunger for at least several hours.

Baked: Peppermint Brownie Cookies

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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When I first spied these cookies in Bon Appétit, the thing that attracted me was their gorgeous crinkled appearance. They looked like they were going to be deliciously chocolaty with a chewy crust. I could think of nothing else until I tried putting these together myself. I first made these according to the recipe, but then improvised the second time to make them my own.

The cookie base is deeply chocolate, which means it can be adapted several ways. I tried adding a hint of peppermint extract, but I’m tempted to try again with lavender, chai spices, or even a spot of chili powder. However you make them, you can’t deny the rich chocolate flavor, so use your best cocoa and best chocolate for optimal results.

Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Adapted from a Bon Appétit recipe
Makes 2 dozen

3 cups powdered sugar*
¾ cup cocoa powder
Pinch kosher salt
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 oz. chocolate, coarsely chopped

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Use an electric beater to gently add the egg whites, egg and the peppermint extract until combined. Fold in the chocolate.
• Scoop the batter onto the baking sheet 1 tablespoon at a time, leaving space between. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until puffed and cracked. Let cool before serving.
• Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will keep four days.

*You can also use gluten-free powdered sugar to make this a gluten-free indulgence.

 

 

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