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Posts Tagged ‘February 2015’

Behind the Scenes at Sauce: February 2015

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

A lot happens behind the scenes at Sauce HQ, from nearly burning down the house to cupcake photo shoots. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite moments on the job:

 

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Eat This: Dumplings at Lona’s Lil’ Eats

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

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There’s nothing little about the flavor of the hand-made dumplings at Lona’s Lil Eats. Steamed for chew, then pan-fried for crunch, each plump half-moon pocket holds umami-packed bites of minced mushrooms or a mixture of ’shrooms and tender steak. Order both varieties and dip them all in a vibrant house-made chile oil seasoned with garlic, cilantro, roasted spices and black vinegar. Why play favorites?

Lona’s Lil Eats, 2199 California Ave., St. Louis, 314.925.8938, lonaslileats.com

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Make This: Chocolate Meringue Cups

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

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Float on cloud nine this Valentine’s Day with light, airy meringues. In a blender, beat 4 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar and a pinch of salt on high speed 1 minute, until soft peaks form. Mix in 1 cup superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stop the mixer and sift ¼ cup natural cocoa* over the meringue, then beat on low-medium speed until combined. Add 1 teaspoon each white vinegar and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed 1 minute, until the meringue is glossy. Drop the meringue by the heaping tablespoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a spoon, make an indent in the center of each meringue. Bake 2 hours at 225 degrees. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Blend 1 cup heavy whipping cream on high, 2 to 3 minutes, until soft peaks form. Add ½ cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons superfine sugar and ½ cup whole raspberries and mix 30 seconds on high speed. Spoon 2 tablespoons whipped cream in each meringue cup and top with diced kiwi.

*Only use natural, non-alkalized cocoa (such as Hershey’s, Nestle or Scharffen Berger) for the meringue. The alkali in Dutch-processed cocoa will turn the meringue to liquid.

What I Do: Sam McCulloch and Rick Kazmer

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

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“We’re very nontraditional,” said Taste general manager Sam McCulloch, referring to her upcoming wedding plans. But then, her relationship with fiance Rick Kazmer has been unconventional since the day they met. “The fact that we both work in the industry is what makes it work,” said Kazmer, chef de cuisine at Cleveland-Heath. This charming restaurant couple explains what keeps them connected.

How did you meet?
McCulloch: I have this bad habit of getting people’s numbers and texting them and making friends with them over the phone. I go to Arizona every year with my best friend. Jenny (Cleveland) and Ed (Heath) knew I was going, and they were like, “Our friend Rick is out there. You should go hang out with him. Tell him how great the restaurant is and why he should work here.” I got his phone number, and we were texting back and forth.
Kazmer: This person was texting me: “Hey, we need to hang out.” I was like, “Who is this?” At the end of it, I still didn’t even know – it was a person named Sam – if it was a boy or girl.

When did you finally meet in person?
K: I came to St. Louis to visit Ed and Jenny. Ed said, “You are coming to dinner tonight and Sam is coming. I moved here five to six weeks later (to help open Cleveland-Heath), and we started dating.

Why do they call you Rickipedia at Cleveland-Heath?
M: He knows everything. If you have a question on a technique or an ingredient or some fruit that no one’s ever heard of that grows every six years, he’ll know what it’s called.
K: I do a lot of reading.
M: I’ll come home, and he’ll have three books spread out. One will be about bread, one is about cured meats … You could make a sandwich out of the books.
K: We got that sherry book that just came out. I’m ready to dive into that.

You both have experience bartending, too.
K: It’s a hobby for us at home. We moved into a house that has a bar in the basement. We liked the house for other reasons, but that didn’t hurt.

What’s the house specialty drink?
M: We make a lot of tiki drinks. It’s more fun than making a Manhattan.

What do you do for fun on days off?
M: We eat (out) a lot. We have a couple favorites, but we’ve also got a list of 20 places we haven’t made it to, so we’re not allowed to repeat anywhere right now.

What’s your ideal date night?
M: I’m obsessed with little tiny dive bars in little tiny towns. We’ll get a shitty pizza and a Stag beer. That’s my ideal romantic night.

How are your wedding reception plans going?
K: I try not to think about it too much. The (catering) guy we found said, “If you want to work with me on anything, if you’ve got recipes you want to bring in, we can do that.” That was a big deal because we found a couple places that were beautiful locations, but they hand you the menu and – ugh.
M: My family would be totally down with only Bud Light and hot dogs.

What gift are you dying to get?
M: For our honeymoon, we’ll probably go camping, so the more expensive camping stuff is what I really want. What do you want?
K: Pots and pans.

Hit List: 4 new places you must try this month

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

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1. Seoul Q: 6665 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.925.8445, seoulqstl.com

The space at 6665 Delmar Blvd., is now home to two sister restaurants: the newly relocated Seoul Taco and Korean barbecue-hotpot spot Seoul Q. After an order of Seoul wings, move on to the seductively aromatic Chicks in the Tub hotpot, a homey dish of Asian-style chicken stew with carrots and potatoes that stays warm on the induction stovetop fitted into your table. Seoul Q is full-service, but get ready to work for your meal when you order from the barbecue menu. Use your table’s custom-built grill to cook up cuts of beef (our pick: LA-style short ribs) or pork and enjoy it with rice and sides like egg soufflé, soy bean sprouts, kimchee and Korean-style beef croquettes, plus four house-made dipping sauces. Wash it down with bottled craft beer, makgeolli (a carbonated sweet rice wine) or cocktails featuring soju, a Korean spirit.

 

 

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2. The Old Bakery Beer Co.: 400 Landmarks Blvd., Alton, Illinois, oldbakerybeer.com

Alton is luring St. Louisans over the river with the opening of its new 18,000-square-foot brewery housed in a former industrial bakery. Stroll past the 15-barrel brewhouse to the back of this massive facility and grab one of nearly 200 seats in the tasting room. All Old Bakery beers are made with organic American-grown ingredients. We’re partial to the rich dark mild, served smooth on nitro, or the golden, single-hopped magnum pale ale. Non-beer drinkers can choose from a small list of classic cocktails, a fine whiskey selection or a glass of Illinois or Missouri wine. Like the space, the meals at Old Bakery are sizeable, too. Try the mixing bowl filled with house-pickled beet-and-kale salad, or a hefty Cuban sandwich packed with pulled pork, ham, house-made pickles, mustard and gooey Swiss cheese pressed between a split Companion baguette.

 

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3. The Southerner: 314.814.2287, Facebook: The Southerner – STL, Twitter: @SouthernerSTL

The Southern cuisine and food truck trends have hit the highway together in The Southerner. The mobile eatery serves reimagined barbecue and comfort food engineered by Natasha Creel and Emily Matthes. In addition to dishes inherited from the duo’s former Clayton restaurant, Roxane, don’t miss the Mason-Dixon Melt. Hickory-smoked turkey is griddled between slices of sourdough, along with cheddar, bacon, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise and house barbecue sauce. Order it with a side of addictive fried potato salad served warm and chile-studded mac-n-cheese. As the side of the truck proclaims: “It’s damn good, y’all.”

 

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4. Spoon Baking Co.: 4 E. Broadway St., Alton, Illinois, 618.374.6098, spoonbakingcompany.com

Tucked in a tiny corner storefront under a Tiffany Blue awning, Diana Schuler is whipping up delightful, decadent treats in Alton. The pastry counter inside the 350-square-foot shop offers a rotating selection of freshly baked goods like cookies, scones, bars, quiches and layer cake by the slice. Order a latte made with Door County Coffee and enjoy it with a Spoon Cookie made with oatmeal, coconut and walnuts. Save room for Schuler’s gooey butter cake, which strikes a perfect balance of sugar and butter. Be sure to purchase a bag of Spoon’s house-made marshmallows, ethereal pillows of soft gelatinous sugar that beg to be dropped into a cup of cocoa.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

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