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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Drink This Weekend Edition: Katie’s 12 Beers of Christmas

Friday, December 16th, 2016

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As a toast to 2016, I have decided to share my 12 beers of Christmas with Sauce readers. Some are seasonal, some are year-round favorites, but all are easily accessible beers I will drink and/or have stocked in my fridge this time of year.

Disclaimer: This list isn’t ranked in any way. Also, I really like canned beer – half this list is available in cans. Happy 2016, y’all, and cheers to a bright 2017!

 

1. 4 Hands Incarnation
This is my go-to local IPA – single-hopped with Mosaic (a personal favorite), canned, always fresh AF on draft at the brewery, and an overall beautifully built beer.

2. Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter
If I had to choose a holiday beer, this would be it – mellow tartness followed by bright citrus notes and a light, funky yeast presence.

3. Bud Light Lime
You heard me. Put her in a bucket with five of her sisters because it’s Packer season. Limey, grainy and just refreshing enough to keep going back for that next bucket or two. #GoPackGo

4. Civil Life Porter
On draft, on cask, out of a growler, this beer is perfect. Its medium body and velvety texture (especially on cask!) highlight the beautiful notes of coffee and chocolate that round out the palate.

5. Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
This is the beer the Side Project crew had in hand when we won Best in Show at the Firestone Walker Beer Invitational (obviously a highlight for 2016). With floral hops, light pepper and clean bitterness, it makes for an overall enjoyable experience.

6. Green Bench Grisette
A table beer from my favorite Florida brewery: light-bodied, dry and funky. Pair this beauty with anything on the dinner table.

7. Logboat Haller-Tang Pale
Absolutely my favorite new release of the year – clean, crisp and full of tropical fruit notes and satiable bitterness. Move over Pinner? Only 2017 will tell.

8. Left Hand Fade to Black, Vol. 1
If you made me choose, I’d put this beauty in my top five favorite beers. Only now its available in cans – so top three? Heavily roasted malt gives way to intense notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice and an aggressively bitter finish.

9. Oskar Blues Pinner
If you don’t know, now you know. This insanely crushable and fruit-forward session IPA was my most consumed beer of 2016. When in doubt, grab a Pinner – or four.

10. Schlafly Coffee Stout
Hands down, this is my most-anticipated seasonal St. Louis release: roasty and medium-bodied with intense notes of fantastically dirty diner coffee. Yes, I will take grit in my beer, please.

11. Sierra Nevada Narwhal
This is the first Imperial stout I fell in love with thanks to aggressive roast and intense chocolate. Let this bad boy warm up for full enjoyment with added notes of mellow smoke and espresso.

12. A good ‘ol bottle of rosé
The drier and bubblier the better. Not even I can drink beer all of the time.

 

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

 

Related Content
Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers
Guide to the Holidays 2016: Bottles of Good Cheer
• Buzzed Brews: Blend your own coffee stout
• Guide to the Holidays 2016

 

Extra Sauce: 4 gifts on Heather’s holiday wish list

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

From kitchen workhorses to elegant barware, here’s what print managing editor Heather Hughes wants this holiday season.

 

HeatherWishList_FoodProcessor

 

1. Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor
The last time I had to dice mirepoix by hand convinced me that there’s no excuse not to own a big food processor. Every kitchen should have one.
$180. Kitchen Conservatory, kitchenconservatory.com

 

HeatherWishList_Decanter

 

2. RBT Decanter
Rabbit went Gatsby with its new RBT line of glamorous black and gold bar accessories. This swanky decanter, complete with filter, aerating funnel and coaster, is my favorite.
$100. Neiman Marcus at Plaza Frontenac, neimanmarcus.com

 

HeatherWishList_Bowls

 

3. Eshelman Pottery Handled soup bowls
Paul Eshelman’s ceramics combine thick, solid glazes with exposed red stoneware for a bold color blocking effect on clean, modern shapes. I would love a whole set of the smooth handled soup bowls.
$55 each. Available to order from Craft Alliance, craftalliance.org

 

HeatherWishList_Glass

 

4. Yarai large mixing glass
Though I want all the beautiful vintage glassware at this new shop, this elegant mixing glass is what I actually need to complete my bar. Stirring in a shaker is just wrong.
$45. Intoxicology, Facebook: Intoxicology

 

 

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More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Extra Sauce: 4 gifts on Meera’s holiday wish list

 

Extra Sauce: 4 gifts on Meera’s holiday wish list

Friday, December 9th, 2016

From memorable cookbooks to a ridiculously gorgeous range, here’s what Sauce art director Meera Nagarajan really wants this holiday season.

 

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1. Nopi: The Cookbook
On a recent visit to London, I had a beautiful lunch at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi. The highlight of the meal was the pan-fried mackerel served with tamarind sauce and raw coconut salad – which I can now make any time thanks to Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook.
$40. Left Bank Books, left-bank.com

 

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2. Kentuckyaki Sauce
Wandering The Smokehouse Market on the hunt for a clever weeknight dinner idea, butcher Andrew Jennrich suggested this sauce. I soused leftover chicken and broccoli for instant teriyaki magic with a bourbon twist.
$12. The Smokehouse Market, anniegunns.com

 

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3. Plantation Pineapple Rum
Fruity rums are all the rage – and I don’t mean Malibu. I’m talking aged rum infused with ripe fruit. Try sipping this neat or over ice before you attempt a grown piña colada.
$35. Lukas Wine & Spirits, lukasliquorstl.com

 

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4. Grand Palais 180
Remember the ranges inside Gusteau’s kitchen in Pixar’s Ratatouille? I do. The closest thing I’ve found to them in real life is the La Cornue Grand Palais 180 in brilliant black with brushed brass. I would never try to justify buying a $22,800 range, but it is spectacular – and I’m worth it.
Starts at $22,800, lacornue.com

 

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More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the Food Snob

 

Ratatouille image courtesy of Disney 

Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers

Friday, November 25th, 2016

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All the Turkey Day leftovers are stored in the fridge, a big pot of turkey stock is simmering on the stove, and you’re contemplating joining in the Black Friday insanity. Or you’re like me: anti-turkey and thus, anti-turkey stock, and more likely to avoid any mall or retail establishment without a strong drink present.

I fully endorse celebrating Black Friday with massive, full-bodied, aggressive Imperial stouts and then perusing the interwebs for fun holiday gifts. Here, three such options to toast a successful Turkey Day and a very happy Black Friday.

Disclaimer: These three options are highly sought after and may be difficult to locate – but for many, this is part of the fun. All three will be available in bottles and draft around the city. Might I suggest a Schlafly Coffee Stout to get the search going?

 

1. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2016 (13.8 percent ABV)
For most beer fans, this gnarly bourbon barrel-aged Imperial stout is the reason for the season. BCBS is chewy, sweet and showcases just enough boozy warmth to keep those toes warm in the coldest weather. Her debut on Black Friday gets those beer nerds out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to start prowling store shelves. Look for deep notes of chocolate and barrel undertones of charred oak, vanilla and smoke.

2. Perennial Abraxas (10 percent ABV)
Now that Perennial’s Abraxas Week and accompanying bottle release is over, it’s time to scour the city for bottles and draft. This Imperial stout is bitter, full-bodied and stacked with roasted malt notes and Mexican spice. The dance of the ancho chile peppers, cacao nibs and cinnamon sticks on the palate is the star of this belly warmer.

3. North Coast Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIX (11.2 percent ABV)
In true Russian Imperial stout fashion, this lady comes forth with a boatload of roasted malt that presents itself as espresso and chocolate on the palate. Throw in some dried fruit and lingering char and vanilla from the barrel as it warms, and you have yourself a good time.

Guide to the Holidays 2016: Bottles of Good Cheer

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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Put aside your light, workaday brews and reach for something more festive to serve at this extravagant holiday meal. Saint Louis Hop Shop co-owner Justin Harris shared his five picks from double IPAs to rich chocolate stouts to put you in a merry mood.

 

1. Schlafly Tasmanian IPA
Redolent with Galaxy and Australian Topaz hops, this 7.2-percent IPA is heady enough to feel celebratory but won’t weigh you down for a night of decadent food and drink. 6-pack: $10.

2. Destihl Wild Sour Plum Sour Stout
Chocolate and dark fruit combine for a brew that balances sweet and tart. At 5.6 percent, it goes well with lighter hors d’oeuvres or salads. 4-pack: $10.

3. Against the Grain Citra Ass Down
A healthy dose of Citra hops gives this 8-percent American IPA a taste of the tropics that’s balanced by maltiness. 4-pack: $12.

4. Ballast Point Victory at Sea
This rich Imperial porter is infused with sweet notes of coffee and vanilla perfect for post-dinner sipping. Be on the lookout for its elusive peppermint variant to add to the holiday hoopla. 6-pack: $15.50.

5. Evil Twin Liquid Double Fudge
The name doesn’t lie: This Imperial stout packs a creamy, fudgy punch that becomes even more chocolaty as it warms. At 12 percent, this is a beer to share and sip slowly. 22-ounce bottle: $9.

All beers are available at Saint Louis Hop Shop

 

More on Saint Louis Hop Shop

• The Scoop: Beer bottle shop to open on Cherokee Street

Guide to the Holidays 2016: Cheese for Dessert

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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Nothing says class like an after-dinner cheese course. “Cheese can be a decadent treat that satisfies your need for something creamy and sweet to finish out a meal,” said Larder & Cupboard general manager Cindy Higgerson. “It’s a nice way to end an elegant dinner.” A good cheese board should have a couple sweet accompaniments like honey and dried fruit, some savory choices like pickles and nuts, and crackers or crusty bread along with three to five cheeses. Ask your cheesemonger for help choosing a variety of milks, ages and styles. We asked Higgerson to build us the ultimate cheese course.

1. Green Dirt Farms Woolly Rind aged sheep’s milk cheese
This creamy, decadent Camembert-style is made locally in Weston, Missouri. $18.

2. Kenny’s Farmhouse Awe Brie
A bloomy-rind, soft cheese, this brie goes great with preserves and fruit. $14.

3. Baetje Pumpkin Walnut goat cheese
This fresh goat cheese is nutty and sweet. “It’s good crumbled on ice cream,” Higgerson said. “I’ve even had customers put it in cannoli.” $11.

4. Milton Creamery Flory’s Truckle aged cheddar
With more of a bite, this clothbound aged cheddar offers nice contrast to the creamier cheeses. $27 per pound.

5. Kenny’s FarmhouseBlue Gouda
This is milder than most blue cheeses, offering some funkiness without overpowering. $23.50 per pound.

6. Quince & Apple figs and black tea preserves
Figs and cheese are a classic combination. This fruity preserve pairs especially well with the Truckle. $9.

7. La Quercia Speck Americana
Similar to prosciutto, speck offers a bit of saltiness to contrast and balance the sweeter cheeses and preserves. $11.50.

8. Potter’s crackers
These Wisconsin-made crackers are hand-rolled and hand-cut. “The Classic White pairs with almost any cheese, without question,” Higgerson said. $7.

9. Quince & Apple pear with honey and ginger preserves
The sweet punch of this honey-ginger pear preserve is well suited for dessert. $9.

All products available at Larder & Cupboard

More about Larder & Cupboard

Just Five: Gougères

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

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Gougères (otherwise known as fancy French cheese puffs) are about the most retro, classic hors d’oeuvres you can name. Think Mad Men season three. Because this recipe involve making a pâte à choux, the intimidation factor is high. Trust me, it’s no biggie. The trick is to have all of your ingredients and tools assembled and ready to go; no scrambling around for a wooden spoon or getting out the mixer after the water starts boiling.

These are not “pretty,” but they are airy, eggy, cheesy bites of wonder. This recipe can easily be doubled, and if you are serving more than six people you should definitely double it. Mix me a martini and pass the olives: It’s Christmas Eve!

 

Gougères
30 puffs

½ cup water
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. chile powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup flour
2 large eggs
2 tsp. minced fresh chives
¾ cup grated dry, aged cheese like a sharp cheddar or Parmesan

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, butter, chile powder and salt and heat until the butter is melted. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest 1 minute.
• Scrape the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time on medium speed until the batter is smooth. Add the chives and all but 2 tablespoons cheese and mix until combined.
• Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag with a wide plain tip (or a freezer bag with a corner cut off) and pipe the dough onto the baking sheet into mounds just bit smaller than a golf ball, leaving a bit of space between each. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese on top of the dough balls
• Bake 8 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden-brown. Serve warm.

Just Five: One-Week Allspice Dram

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

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A bottle of this delicious allspice dram is the perfect host gift for the cocktail connoisseur. I was introduced to this at the home of a friend with a killer liquor cabinet. One should cultivate and sustain these friendships – there is much to learn! Adding just ¼ to ½ ounce of this DIY liqueur elevates the flavor of Manhattans, warm apple or cranberry cider and eggnog. It’s truly an ideal accessory to the bar this winter. While not difficult to make, it does take a week to infuse, so start now and you’ll have plenty just in time for a Christmas Eve get together.
One-Week All Spice Dram
2½ cups

1½ oz. whole allspice (about ¼ cup)
1 cup light rum such as Bacardi
1 cinnamon stick
1 2-inch piece lime peel
1½ water
⅔ cup brown sugar

● Coarsely crush the allspice, but do not grind to a powder. Place it in a pint-sized mason jar and add the rum. Screw on the lid and shake well. Let sit 2 days, swirling the jar once a day.
● Remove the lid. Break the cinnamon stick into a few pieces and add the lime peel to the jar. Seal again and shake daily 4 more days.
● Use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the mixture into a small bowl. Discard the solids, then strain again through a coffee filter and set aside.
● In a small pot over medium-high heat, combine the water and brown sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool completely.
● Combine the sugar syrup and the allspice-infused rum, then pour in a clean bottles or jars. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

 

Cooking the Classics: Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

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Nothing says love like a big bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy. Every family has its favorite rendition of this classic dish, and even the pros disagree about some things. Kevin Nashan, chef-owner of Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. and Sidney Street Cafe, prefers a rough mash of partially peeled, small red potatoes or fingerlings. Gerard Craft, chef-owner of Niche Food Group, goes for a smooth puree of russet potatoes. Nashan seasons his water; Craft doesn’t. But lumpy or whipped, fingerlings or russets, milk or cream, there are some things all good mashers can agree upon. Here, 6 steps to the perfect mash.

1. Cut about 3 pounds potatoes (such as russet, fingerling or small red potatoes) into equal 1½ – to 2-inch cubes.

2. Place those spuds in a very large pot of cold water and give them room to dance with 1 inch of water above them. Set the pot over medium-high heat.

3. Put a fork in it. Three pounds of potatoes cooked over medium-high take about 30 to 35 minutes. When a fork goes in easily or breaks the potato, drain immediately. If the potatoes fight back, continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes. Pay attention: Overcooked potatoes make a soupy mash.

4. Burn calories while you mash. The paddle attachment on a stand mixer works, but it is easy to go from perfection to glue when using appliances. Keep it old-school with a wire masher and leave some lumps, if you’re into that. If you like a silky-smooth texture, use a potato ricer.

5. Use about 1 stick melted butter and ½ cup milk, half-and-half or cream for every 3 pounds potatoes. Always warm the butter and liquid before adding them.

6. Don’t be bland. Add salt and white pepper to taste – start with 1 teaspoon salt and a couple grinds of pepper and go from there. Other additions may include roasted garlic, creme fraiche or sour cream and, of course, cheese. Try mascarpone, goat cheese, cheddar or Parmesan. You can also add a little chicken or beef stock diluted in warm milk.

Pro tip: Making your potatoes ahead of time? Hold them up to 4 hours in a slow cooker on low. Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter and ¼ cup warm milk into the slow cooker insert before adding the mashed potatoes, then cover. Stir well before serving.

-photo by Greg Rannells

Just Five: Apples with Honey-Caramel Dip

Monday, September 14th, 2015

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I’m not Jewish, but I thought I was growing up. We belonged to the Jewish Community Center, and it had a great pool, which in my 3-year-old mind was a perfectly good reason to adopt the culture. I went to dozens of bar and bat mitzvahs in my early years, and my Jewish friends often invited me to their homes for holiday meals. Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around the culinary traditions surrounding the High Holy Days, like dipping apples into honey at Rosh Hashana to symbolize the sweet year to come. To all my Jewish readers: I wish you a sweet 5776. L’shana tova!

 
Apples with Honey-Caramel Dip
2 to 4 servings

1 cup honey
¼ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
Sliced apples

• In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey and cream and stir to combine. Stir in the butter, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature and serve with sliced apples.

 

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