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Archive for September, 2016

By the Book: “The Islands of Greece” by Rebecca Seal

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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The Islands of Greece: Recipes from Across the Greek Seas is a travelogue of recipes collected by Rebecca Seal. The book offers a wide range of dishes with varying degrees of difficulty and indulgence. Torn between frying cheese in philo dough and making a salad, I opted for Volcanic Lamb with Egg and Lemon Sauce – solely because of the name.

The recipe was incredibly simple and clear, but lacked a few necessary details and had some practical problems. It instructed me to soften onions gently in a wide pan (Over what heat? Until translucent?), then increase the heat (to what?) and brown the lamb. I ended up removing the onions mid-lamb searing so the onions wouldn’t burn. I also used a lot more than five tablespoons water to deglaze the pan. Otherwise, the recipe went off without a hitch. Don’t be afraid to place a Dutch oven full of lamb in the oven without even a little wine to bask in; the shanks produced their own braising liquid of pure savory, fatty goodness. This hands-off recipe produced the richest dish I’ve ever made with a show-stopping silky egg sauce, a pop of fresh thyme and extremely little effort.

Skill level: Intermediate. The recipes are simple, but require some cooking common sense.
This book is for: Cooks who want a culinary tour of Greece from their home kitchens.
Other recipes to try: Cheese pies from Alonissos, chickpea fritters, chicken baked in yoghurt
The Verdict: The Kokkari steak was a tender treat, but it couldn’t beat the miles-deep richness of these roasted lamb shanks.

 

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Volcanic Lamb with Egg & Lemon Sauce
4 servings

Lamb
1 sliced onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 lamb shanks, weighing 300 g. to 400 g. (10.5 to 14 oz. each)
6 sprigs thyme, plus more to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g. (14 oz.) baby new potatoes, in their skins
A little butter

Sauce
1 egg
Juices from the lamb
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste

• Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius (275 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas 1).
• For the lamb, soften the onion gently in a wide pan with the olive oil. Increase the heat and add the lamb, browning the shanks thoroughly on all sides. Deglaze the pan with 4 to 5 tablespoons water, scraping up any bits that have stuck. Tip the whole lot into an ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid and add the thyme, salt and pepper. Place the lid on the dish and put into the oven. Cook 3 hours, or until the meat is falling from the bone.
• Just before the lamb comes out of the oven, boil the new potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and dry on paper towels then saute gently in the butter over a medium-low heat, until lightly browned all over.
• When the lamb is cooked, spoon off most of the juices from the dish, leaving just enough so the meat doesn’t dry out. Keep it somewhere warm, with the lid on.
• Make the sauce. Beat the egg until creamy. Very slowly drizzle in the hot pan juices, whisking constantly to ensure the egg doesn’t cook and make the sauce lumpy, then add the lemon juice. Pour it all into a clean pan and warm over a very, very gentle heat, but do not bring anywhere close to boiling. If you feel there isn’t enough sauce, add a little stock or even water. You can also add more lemon juice, to taste. Remove from the heat and serve with the lamb, onions and potatoes, scattered with a few thyme leaves.

 

Reprinted with permission from Hardie Grand Books

The Scoop: Fitopia to bring fast health-focused fare to Fairview Heights

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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Michael and Elizabeth Lee aim to inject health-focused fare into fast food with their new concept inside the St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights. Fitopia opens Oct. 1.

Elizabeth Lee said she wanted to embrace the best parts of a fast-food eatery – the price and speed – and leave the burgers, fries and milkshakes behind. “This concept has been on my mind for 16 years,” Lee said.

Customers at Fitopia step up to the counter and build their own bowls, salads or wraps with a base of white or brown rice or quinoa, a protein of their choice and one of four vegetable and dressing blends: classic, Southwestern, Thai or Mediterranean. Fresh fruit smoothies, breakfast options and soups are also available, as are snack-sized cups filled with veggies, fruit or protein like grilled chicken and black beans.

Lee said they hope their concept catches on quickly; the couple already has their eyes on expansion. “We want to be able to turn Fitopia into a chain that will be featured on every street corner,” Lee said. “Hopefully mothers will eventually be able to take their kids through a Fitopia drive thru.”

Fitopia will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Think you should be on this list? Prove it. Tweet and tag @SauceMag.

Sneak Peek: The Sliced Pint in downtown St. Louis

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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The Sliced Pint opens doors for pizza and beer lovers today, Sept. 30. As The Scoop reported in June, the 4,300-square-foot restaurant is located next-door to City Museum at 1511 Washington Ave., downtown. Owners Amy and Amrit Gill are developers who also own Restoration St. Louis, as well as O’Shays Pub in The Grove, Holiday Inn Route 66 and several others in Iowa.

Create your own pie with four kinds of crust (including a signature T-Rav stuffed crust option), or choose from 13 specialty and signature pizzas like the Philly cheesesteak-inspired The Wonder Years or the St. Louis-centric pork steak pizza called The Urge.

The beer list has a local focus with 80 options from breweries like Old Bakery, Urban Chestnut and 4 Hands, 36 of which are available on tap. Indulgent fried appetizers, sandwiches and a handful of salads are also available at the pizza-and-beer themed restaurant.

The Sliced Pint will open this weekend (Fri., Sept. 30 to Sun., Oct. 2) from 5 p.m. to midnight before taking on regular hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight and Thursday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a sneak peek of your next slice and pint downtown:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

Just Five: Shrimp and Scallion Noodles

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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I will not be bested by an Asian noodle recipe with a list of 16 ingredients – not I! Ginger? Bah! Garlic? No need! A little soy sauce or tamari goes a long way toward delicious in this dish. A word of advice: grab the low-sodium soy sauce unless you want a salt bomb for dinner. Take it to the next level (and break the Just 5 rules) with a quick pickle: Mix thinly sliced cucumber and red onion with rice vinegar and pinch of salt. Let it rest while you prepare the noodles and sauce, then serve alongside the dish to complement the flavor and texture.

Shrimp and Scallion Noodles
2 servings as a entree, 4 to 6 servings as a side

8 oz. udon noodles
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 bunches green onions, chopped into 2-inch pieces (green parts only)
½ cup tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined

•In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the udon noodles until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
• In a medium nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until they start to brown and caramelize. Add the tamari and brown sugar and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until they are cooked through. Add the noodles and toss to combine.

 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

Sneak Peek: Wicked Greenz in Clayton

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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Lunching Claytonites will line up at the soon-to-open Wicked Greenz at 16 N. Central Ave., Monday, Oct. 3. As The Scoop reported in May, co-owners Chris Sedlak, Matt Ratz and chef Justin Haifley will offer counter-service lunch and dinner with a focus on healthy, veggie-focused dishes.

The menu consists of customizable greens-based dishes, which come “bowled or rolled” (as a salad or a wrap) in two sizes. Menu items can be topped with recommended proteins or dressings, or customers can choose their own. Options include proteins such as marinated steak or lemon-pepper shrimp and dressings such as charred tomato vinaigrette or sweet basil ranch.

A variety of soups like smoked chicken gumbo and the beer cheese and broccoli will be available individually or as part of a combo. Additionally, Excel sodas and a handful of house-made sides can be purchased.

For those pressed for time, a cooler offers packaged salads, wraps and drinks available to grab and go. Wicked Greenz will also provide in-house bicycle delivery service.

Wicked Greenz will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come when doors open Monday:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Eat Sandwiches to open in Tower Grove South this October

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

 

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Tower Grove South will soon have a home for deli-style sandwiches. Eat Sandwiches will open at 3148 Morgan Ford Road mid-October, as reported by the Riverfront Times.

Co-owners Byron Smith, Thomas Crone, Fred Hessel and Jeff McGraw noticed the gap in the offerings in the area. “There’s a lot of energy on the block already, but the neighborhood has been asking for something more,” Crone said.

They have been renovating the space into a 20-seat counter service deli in the last few months. “We’ve done a lot with the space,” Smith said. “It’s no longer an empty shell.”

Smith is still finalizing the menu, but he plans to serve a lunch and dinner crowd sandwich offerings like French dips. The kitchen is limited, but he hopes to roast or smoke meats in-house. Sides will include chips and possibly house-made pasta salad with fresh veggies. Pending liquor license approval, beer will also be available.

Smith said the community seemed excited for new life in the original Local Harvest Grocery space. “It gives me a charge when people come up to the window waving, wanting to talk (about the deli),” he said. “Folks seem excited about how the place is developing.”

 

Editor’s Note: This post originally stated that Eat Sandwiches was going in the former Local Harvest Cafe space. It was updated to correct the error. 

The Scoop: Griesedieck Brothers to open brewery in north St. Louis

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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The Griesedieck family is bringing its brewing operations back home. Griesedieck Brothers Brewery announced today, Sept. 28, that it will open a 1,000-barrel brewhouse at 1240 Switzer Ave., in the Baden neighborhood. Manager Bob Griesedieck said they anticipate a June 2017 opening.

The Griesedieck family has a long history in beer; the original brewery opened in 1911 and merged with Falstaff Brewing in 1957. Owner Raymond Griesedieck revived the brewery in 2002 with the launch of its golden Pilsner. Since then, the family has used a contract service in Wisconsin, brewing its three offerings out of state and distributing them here at home. Bob Griesedieck said they were excited to finally bring production back to Missouri. “It seems like everything comes together at the right time,” he said.

The 2,800-square-foot space will allow Griesedieck Brothers to expand its distribution threefold and to resurrect nearly a dozen pre-Prohibition family recipes. “It would really allow us to recreate beers St. Louisans were drinking 100 years ago,” Griesedieck said.

The Griesediecks were attracted to the space in Baden not only for its size, but also for its history. Griesedieck said North St. Louis had a history of pre-Prohibition breweries, and the time had come to bring them back.

“The north side is ripe for more breweries,” he said. “We have Ferguson (Brewing) and Narrow Gauge out in the county, but North St. Louis deserves to have its own brewery, too.”

 

The Scoop: Clementine’s launches special events ice cream truck

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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Meet Clem, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery’s new ice cream truck. It won’t be blaring music and making neighborhood stops, but owner Tamara Keefe will park the refabbed 1984 postal truck at events around town. Clem made its debut at Strange Folk Festival last weekend, and it will post up at Grove Fest this Saturday, Oct. 1.

Why take on a truck? “Because we needed one,” Keefe said. “People were calling and asking, and we wanted to participate in events like Food Truck Friday.”

While the truck won’t be out for daily lunch rushes around town, Keefe said it can be rented out for holiday parties, corporate events and weddings. Clem has already attended a birthday party and bat mitzvah. “We can do anything out of the truck,” Keefe said from a scoop of honey-whiskey ice cream to a whole sundae bar.

This isn’t Keefe’s only Clementine’s project in the works; she’s still pushing ahead with her plans to open a second location of the boutique ice cream shop at 4715 Macklind Ave. She opened her first location in Lafayette Square in May 2015.

 

-photo by Meera Nagarajan

 

The Scoop: Rockwell Beer Co. announces location in The Grove

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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Nearly seven months after announcing his new Rockwell Beer Co., co-owner Andy Hille has revealed the location. The brewhouse and tasting room will open at 1320 S. Vandeventer Ave., in spring 2017.

Hille, a former brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales, said he hopes Rockwell will be an anchor for development in this part of The Grove. “We get to be trailblazers on this stretch of Vandeventer,” Hille said. “There’s not really much. It’s pretty industrial.”

The 12,000-square-foot space, which currently houses Dinzler Equipment, will feature a 1,500-square-foot tasting room, a retail space, a large outdoor patio and large functioning garage doors. “We’re going to brew what we want to brew and do things that are balanced and approachable,” he said. Popular recipes will be packaged in 16-ounce four-packs and more experimental, barrel-aged brews will be released in 500-milliliter bottles.

Customers can get a taste of what’s to come at Club Rockwell, weekly “nano-tasting room” events October through December on Wednesdays at TechArtista Coworking Center in the Central West End. “There’s no way around it ­– it takes a very long time to open a brewery,” Hille said. “We need to do as much as we can in the meantime to stay engaged and talk with people.”

Fewer than 10 tickets will be available to each of two Wednesday sessions (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.), where Hille said samples of Rockwell beers and other surprises await attendees. Tickets for the next week’s sessions can be purchased online at 10 a.m. the Thursday before. The first Club Rockwell takes place Oct. 5; tickets go on sale Sept. 29.

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