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Apr 24, 2017
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Archive for March, 2015

Just Five: Citrus Salad

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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Behold: another dish that blew my marginal expectations out of the water. I love it when a simple preparation is a home run, especially when it’s this beautiful to boot. This salad is ideal for brunch or a dinner party. Use whatever citrus is available, but don’t skip the blood oranges with their enticing ruby color. Cara Cara navel oranges work nicely, as do clementines, mandarins or even a little grapefruit. If you don’t use all the syrup, mix it with some gin, lemon and soda water for a perfect cocktail pairing.

 

Citrus Salad
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
4 servings

¼ cup sugar
½ cup fresh tarragon leaves, divided
¼ cup hot water
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 blood oranges, peel and pith removed
2 tangerines, peel and pith removed
2 navel oranges, peel and pith removed

• Muddle together the sugar and ¼ cup tarragon in a jar, add the hot (not boiling) water and pepper, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
• Using a serrated knife, slice the blood oranges crosswise into about 4 ½-inch slices each. Repeat with the tangerines and the navel oranges. Arrange the fruit a serving dish and scatter the remaining ¼ cup tarragon over the citrus. Set aside.
• Strain the tarragon syrup through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Drizzle the orange segments with the syrup as desired. Serve at room temperature.

The Scoop: Adam Altnether parts ways with Niche Food Group

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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{Adam Altnether}

 

Adam Altnether has left the Niche family of restaurants. According to majority owner chef Gerard Craft, Altnether is no longer a shareholder in the restaurant group, which includes Niche, Taste, Brasserie, Pastaria and soon-to-open Porano. He sold his minority shares in the restaurants back to Craft at the end of March, positing Craft as the majority owner of the company.

“Adam has been a part of the team for over seven years, and we are proud of the work that we were able to accomplish together within that time,” Craft said. “We’re excited to see what’s next for him.”

Altnether’s departure brings to an end nearly decade-long tenure with Craft. Altnether began working at Niche in 2007. This member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2009 quickly rose through the ranks at Niche and became Craft’s business partner in late 2010.

Altnether said after nearly eight years working with Craft, the two saw the elements of the restaurant group going in different directions. “I’m super lucky to have done what I did with Gerard, and I’m very grateful for everything we were able to accomplish … but sometimes it’s time to break out and start something new,” he said.

Though he’s not yet certain what that something is, Altnether said he plans to stay active in the St. Louis food scene and that his time in Craft’s kitchens and as his business partner has prepared him for almost anything. “We’ve almost seen it all,” he said. “You get to see a lot of interesting things, and it makes a lot of fun and unforgettable memories.”

Craft said Pastaria executive chef Michael Petres will take on the role of corporate executive chef, focusing on kitchen operations at Pastaria and Porano, his fast-casual pasta concept slated to open downtown this summer. Pastaria chef de cuisine Ashley Shelton will transition into the exec chef role at that restaurant.

 

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{Gerard Craft}

The top toques at Craft’s other restaurants remain the same: Nate Hereford helming Niche, Nick Blue heading the brigade at Brasserie and Heather Stone commanding at Taste. Stone assumed that position in January upon the departure of Matt Daughaday, whose first venture into chef-ownership will begin in a matter of months when his Reeds American Kitchen opens.

The news of Altnether’s leaving comes with the announcement that Niche is seeing changes at the front of the house. Christopher Kelling was hired as general manager. Kelling, former GM at Niche, will begin walking the floor at the Clayton fine dining restaurant, while current GM Matt McGuire has been named director of service for Niche Food Group. Kelling left Niche for his most recent position as dining room manager at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, California.

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated March 31 at 11:30 a.m. to include comments from Adam Altnether. Also, the original post stated that Gerard Craft is the sole owner of Niche Food Group.

Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

Meatless Monday: Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad

Monday, March 30th, 2015

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Meet the recipe that will convert even the most virulent sprouts hater. Cup after cupful of quartered Brussels sprouts are skillet-fried to golden perfection, then tossed with toasted garlic, sweet pears, Bibb lettuce and creamy garlic aioli. Then gild the lily with an unearthly burnt honey dressing, made by boiling the golden liquid multiple times until it takes on a dark amber luster. Just try to tell us you hate Brussels sprouts after this Meatless Monday meal. Get the recipe for the Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad here and the Burnt Honey dressing here.

 

photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Mobile grocery MetroMarket to bring fresh produce to North City neighborhoods

Monday, March 30th, 2015

 

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Part farmers market, part food truck, The St. Louis MetroMarket is set to roll into North St. Louis communities in July. As reported by St. Louis Public Radio, the nonprofit aims to bring affordable, fresh produce, meat, dairy and more to St. Louis-area food deserts where nutritious food is not readily available.

Colin Dowling, Tej Azad and Jeremy Goss are spearheading the project with a $75,000 grant from Incarnate Word Foundation, and they’re beginning with the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. Goss said the community’s most recent grocery store closed in May 2014, and currently it subsists on three corner convenience stores.

Goss, Dowling and Azad partnered with Metro Transit – St. Louis, which donated a city bus to be retrofitted into a mobile food market. Seats and rails will be replaced with shelves and refrigerators, and beginning this summer, MetroMarket will open the door for business outside a community center and churches. The fresh produce, priced affordably, will also be eligible for SNAP and EBT benefits.

MetroMarket will source microgreens and fish from HOSCO Food, and it will source produce and more from St. Louis University’s department of nutrition and dietetics, which has granted MetroMarket access to same network of 65 local farms and 200 community gardens that source SLU’s some of its own dining options.

Goss also hopes to maintain access to fresh food during the week by working with those same corner convenience stores. “We’re approaching the corner stores that exist in these communities and building supplier relationships,” he said. (We want to) stock fruits and vegetables, match prices, make sure there are fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the week, and have impact beyond the time that The St. Louis MetroMarket can (physically) be in the community.”

Education and advocacy is also a key component of MetroMarket. SLU will host nutritional education sessions and cooking demos on market days. “Interns will provide demonstrations at the site when the bus is, so when we have the different produce, (the customers) will recognize it, taste it, know how to cook it, just get more familiar with it,” said Millie Mattfeldt-Beman, chair of the SLU department of nutrition and dietetics.

To offset operation costs, MetroMarket won’t sit idle during the week. Goss and his team will take the bus to corporate campuses, which can purchase memberships for their employees to buy the same market produce to help subsidize weekend sales.

 

 

Guide to Beer: Drinking Games

Monday, March 30th, 2015

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If college taught us anything, it’s that beer is always more fun with a few drinking games. Here, 6 of our favorite places to play while we imbibe:

1. There’s a whole room devoted to darts on The Loop. Bring your cricket and around-the-world A-game. Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.727.4444, blueberryhill.com

2. Maplewood’s hippest corner offers pinball and skee-ball in a grown-up setting. Orbit Pinball Lounge, 7401 Hazel Ave., Maplewood, 314.769.9954, Facebook: Orbit Pinball Lounge

3. Bocce ball is old school, but they take it seriously here. There are courts, tourneys and open play for the non-diehards. Milo’s Bocce Garden, 5201 Wilson Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.0468, milosboccegarden.com

4. Two words: giant Jenga. Just don’t let the stack topple onto you. The Pour House, 1933 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.5999, pourhousestl.com

5. Head to the second floor, where the house stashes its board games, such as Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories and Pictionary. The Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

6. Play washers on the back patio to your inner Hoosier’s heart’s content. Southtown Pub, 3707 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, 314.832.9009, southtownpub.net

 

 

Guide to Beer: The Minds Behind the New Pub Grub

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Drinking a beer is as old as humankind itself, but why relegate it to just your glass? Here, three area chefs changing the way we consume beer.

 

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Adam Guess, chef de cuisine at Death in the Afternoon, is making good use of the restaurant’s collaboration with Upper 90 Brewing Co., tucked away in the basement. “The brewery lends itself to customizing the restaurant’s craft,” said Guess. “What better way to amaze a special party than with a glass of beer made specifically with them in mind?” Watch for Guess’ hearty, whole-grain, German-style Treberbrot bread made with spent grains from the Upper 90 Kölsch.

 

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Hungry beer drinkers are in luck at Perennial Artisan Ales. Pairings come naturally to head chef Brian Moxey, whose eclectic dishes swimmingly complement Perennial’s releases and often include beer as an ingredient. “I’m in love with our Saison de Lis,” Moxey said. “We’re doing a smoked trout tartine right now that I think is delicious with that beer.”

 

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Executive chef Andrew Fair of Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. has scoured vintage cookbooks, magazines and videos to augment the brewery and Biergarten’s European-inflected menus. Never one to waste a good brew, Fair uses it in the food – UCBC Apotheosis and Bushelhead cider recently figured into the kitchen’s house-made sausages, and Zwickel is used to batter brandade beignets. And that marvelous rotating poutine? Whatever’s new on tap at the brewery frequently goes into the pan to make the gravy.

-photos by Elizabeth Maxson

By the Book: Warm Pear Crumble

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

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I love cooking seasonally. I refuse to buy zucchinis and tomatoes in winter, and I question the logic behind serving butternut squash risotto in June. But about this time each year, I find my resolve weakening. I’m desperate for something green and raw, and the thought of roasting one more carrot or sweet potato is enough to send me into fits. Are supermarket summer squashes imported from South America really so bad?

So when Veronica Bosgraaf’s Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes crossed my desk, I immediately flipped to her March recipes. Bosgraaf, who rose to fame with her line of organic snack bars, penned this cookbook to make simple, season-driven vegetarian meals using whole, unprocessed ingredients. Each chapter is dedicated to a month of produce, and as a fellow Midwesterner (she lives in Michigan), I imagine Bosgraaf can relate to my longing for springtime seasonality.

 

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Recipes for March still include those winter ingredients (oranges, carrots, cabbage, potatoes) and while she isn’t breaking any new ground with her dishes (curried carrot soup, pickled vegetables) they are definitely welcome respite from roasted everything. I chose to test Warm Pear Crumble, arguing that if we must eat winter produce, I wanted it paired with ice cream.

 

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Sauce intern Tori Sgarro had no trouble following Bosgraaf’s clear, simple instructions, though the recipe took nearly two hours after all the prep work and baking time. As with all crumble recipes, Team Sauce agreed that we wanted double the buttery, almond-oat topping. Admittedly that cuts down the health factor, but isn’t the buttery crust the real reason people make crumbles in the first place? The pear filling, while plentiful, fell flat; a pinch of salt did wonders to enhance the fruit flavor, and next time I’ll add depth with a bit of cinnamon or grated nutmeg. We served our crumble with a scoop of Serendipity’s Big O Ginger ice cream, which played nicely with the fresh ginger and added necessary richness.

 

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Warm Pear Crumble
4 to 6 servings

¼ cup (½ stick) plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger
6 firm, ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup almond meal
2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter and set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the honey, tapioca starch, lemon juic, and ginger. Add the pears and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
• Meanwhile, put the oats in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the almond meal, sugar and salt. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter and, using a fork, blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
• Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the crumble topping over the pears. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the top is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
• Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

How do you get creative with winter produce in the last days before spring vegetables finally arrive? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Pure Food.

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

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Are you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag
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SPACEarchitects
Matt just saw a turkey getting a police escort on Wash Ave in front of ‪@TazeStreetFood!

schlaflybrewer
.‪@FemmeFerment & ‪@Schlafly crews bring you ‪#ElderflowerMaibock at start of ‪#StoutOysterFestival
https://twitter.com/schlaflybrewer/status/580758257146425345/photo/1

LigayaFigueras
Saw this on ‪@TheRareBarrel in ‪@nytimes.Asked ‪@Cory_King_ abt em.His answ:”I’m brewing a collab w them.”Mighta guessed
https://twitter.com/LigayaFigueras/status/579745397578424320/photo/1

AmuseDouche11
Smoked Brisket Benedict from ‪@quincystbistro. ‪https://instagram.com/p/0fkJR1igsv/

Dalebo
I always make sure my family eats the best on my day off.

Pivasan
My shit is custom!
Crafted by ddough @ Sump Coffee ‪https://instagram.com/p/0dcDHsDMfw/ 

Jaredbrewsbass
What’s funny is I think beer brackets are kinda silly. What we really need are ‪#taco brackets. That’ll get me to vote.

Mwanzi
do people really drink coffee at their COFFEE TABLE?

CroyAnne
Working on my Catcher in the Rye gelato with Defiance Whiskey. I predict an instant classic!
https://twitter.com/CroyAnne/status/581180866057113600

RhymesWithLost
Ugggggh. It’s trivia night at the bar. I just want to drink. ‪#shutup

 

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

Drink This Weekend Edition: Malt-tease-Fashioned

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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Combine your love for beer and the harder stuff by using homemade beer syrup in a cocktail recipe. Use a big-flavored, hoppy beer, such as an ESB or IPA, to maximize flavor. The syrup complements a galaxy of cocktails, like the Tom Collins, Sazerac, pisco sour and Old-Fashioned, including the reimagined one here.

 
Beer Syrup
6 ounces

12 oz. hoppy beer, such as an ESB or IPA
6 oz. sugar

• In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the beer until reduced by half.
• Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 month.

 

Malt-Tease-Fashioned
1 serving

2 oz. Spirits of St. Louis Regatta Bay hopped gin
½ oz. beer syrup
4 dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
2 grapefruit twists

• Combine the gin, beer syrup and bitters in a stirring glass with ice. Squeeze 1 grapefruit twist over the glass to release the oils, then drop it into the glass. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with the remaining grapefruit twist.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: The Wood Cask to debut in former Eleven Mile House spot in Kirkwood

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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The Wood Cask is set to open doors at 10332 Manchester Road in Kirkwood this May, setting up shop in the former home of Eleven Mile House.

First-time restaurant owner Dan Marten said the 2,800-square-foot space is undergoing extensive renovation and will look nothing like its former occupant. The Wood Cask will seat 120 patrons, who can nosh on Southern-influenced cuisine. The menu, created by Marten and consulting chef Ben Welch, is divided between starters, entrees, sandwiches and flatbreads like The Cowboy, featuring shaved steak, whiskey-glazed onions, horseradish cream and smoked Gouda. Chef Zach Dale, formerly of Robust in Webster Groves, will take the reins as executive chef starting April 10.

True to its name, The Wood Cask will offer a wide selection of whiskey, bourbon and scotch, as well as an extensive list of wines by the glass and bottle. Eight draft beers will also be available from local breweries like 4 Hands and Civil Life, and more brews will be available in bottles. The Wood Cask will be open daily for lunch and dinner.

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