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Feb 25, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Just Five’

Just Five: Simplest Lamb Ragu

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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Winter Sunday morning. Slide feet into slippers. Put on coziest sweatshirt. Pour coffee. Sear lamb. Add sauce. Let simmer. Decide what to drink with dinner later. Serve next to a cozy fire.

 

Simplest Lamb Ragu
4 servings

1 lb. lamb stew meat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 chopped shallots
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 24-oz. jar marinara sauce
1 cup water, plus more as needed
½ cup ricotta*

• Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering
• Add the lamb and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and Italian seasoning and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
• Add the marinara sauce and water, cover and simmer on low heat 2 to 3 hours, adding more water if the ragu appears dry.
• Stir in the ricotta right before serving. Serve over cooked polenta, pasta or with rustic bread.

*Ricotta is salty; be judicious when salting the lamb.

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

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Just Five: Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

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The few people I talked to about this recipe visibly recoiled. I get it: Tofu is not the most thrilling ingredient, especially when it comes to dessert. I was in this camp. Heck, I sewed and carried the flag for this camp. My favorite tofu preparation is when it’s taken a nice long oil bath and is covered in a delicious sauce. So I was surprised when I tasted this decadent, thick and creamy dessert. Silken tofu’s texture is a lot like custard: quite different from the firm and extra firm tofu I cook with.

High quality chocolate is key (remember, tofu is not known for its overwhelming flavor). Look for Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, and do not overcook it. I added cinnamon for my fifth ingredient, but a little almond or orange extract would also be nice, or a touch of cayenne pepper along with the cinnamon could make this a great version of Mexican chocolate pot de creme.

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman
6 to 8 servings

¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup water
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. high quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb. silken tofu
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, water and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
• Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, microwave another 30 seconds, stir again until melted.
• Combine the brown sugar syrup, melted chocolate, tofu, vanilla and cinnamon into a blender and mix on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until completely smooth. Pour the pudding into 6 to 8 ramekins and chill 15 to 30 minutes until set. Serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Just Five: Onion Jam

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Just Five: Onion Jam

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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Onion jam: a phrase that will either horrify or intrigue you. When I brought a jar to a party recently, one woman wrinkled her nose and asked if I was joking, while the host (a true gourmand) merely raised an eyebrow and smiled. After the woman bid farewell, we agreed good riddance to that riffraff.

While this is a lovely accompaniment to a cheese tray, it shines brightest in a panini. This sweet jam with a hint of bitterness from coffee is quite magical when paired with gooey cheese. It would also be delicious served alongside pork tenderloin or roast chicken.

 

Onion Jam
2 cups

¼ cup olive oil
3 large white onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary*
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brewed coffee
½ cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and saute 10 to 15 minutes, until they soften and start to brown. Add the rosemary and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
• Sprinkle the sugar atop of the onion mixture, but do not stir. Let the sugar melt, 6 to 7 minutes.
• Stir in the coffee and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Remove and discard the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool. The jam will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

*If you want to keep rosemary leaves out of your jam, wrap the sprig in kitchen twine to hold it together.

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

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Make This: Savory Granola

Just Five: Rubis Bulles Cocktail

Just Five: Broccoli Soup  

Just Five: Rubis Bulles Cocktail

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

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Champagne is probably my favorite cocktail ingredient. I love a French 75, Black Velvet or a Kir Royale. They make me feel like I’m in a pretty cocktail dress wearing ridiculous shoes and laughing at the most charming stories that my adorable friends are telling – even if I’m just binge-watching Chopped in my pajamas.

Combine Champagne with gin, vodka and Lillet, a French aperitif with strong citrus notes, and you have a bubbly take on a classic Vesper cocktail. I add blood orange juice to give the drink wonderful color. Hosting New Year’s Eve? You can easily batch this into a punch for the party.

 

Rubis Bulles Cocktail
2 servings

1 Tbsp. hot water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. blood orange juice
1 oz. Hendricks or Nolet’s gin
2 oz. Champagne
2 blood orange peels, for garnish

• In a small bowl, make a simple syrup by combining the hot water and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
• In large mixing glass, add 4 to 5 ice cubes, the Lillet, blood orange juice, gin and ½ ounce simple syrup. Strain into 2 Champagne flutes, top each with 1 ounce Champagne and garnish with a blood orange peel.

 

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Recipe: Panama Rum Punch
• Recipe: Ice Mold
• Recipe: Vesper Martini

Just Five: Chicken with Porcini and Cherries

Friday, December 9th, 2016

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During a recent cleaning frenzy (there were mice – I don’t want to talk about it), I unearthed a jar of dried porcini mushrooms that got shoved to the back of my pantry. I also came across a jar of dried cherries during my epicurean archeological dig, and just like that, a recipe was born. Earthy porcini infuses the cooking liquid, and dried cherries add texture, as well as a sweet and tart bite. H/t mice.

 

Chicken and Porcini and Cherries
4 servings

2 cups chicken stock
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dried cherries

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a medium sauce pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add the porcini mushrooms, cover and remove from heat.
• In a large oven-safe skillet, warm the oil over medium heat and saute the leeks 5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, the place skin side-down in the skillet. Sear 3 minutes, then flip and sear another 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mushrooms, then add the cherries and simmer 3 minutes.
• Place the skillet in the oven and cook 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve, spooning the pan sauce over the chicken.

 

 

Just Five: Broccoli Soup

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

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In my house, broccoli is king of the vegetables. We eat it steamed, roasted, stir-fried, raw or covered in cheese (duh). This simple broccoli soup includes tarragon, which created a house divided. Those 40 and older liked the slight hint of anise the scant amount of fresh tarragon added to the soup. However, the 20-and-younger contingent thought it might die from eating what it ascertained to be the equivalent of an entire bag of black licorice. The same group agreed that an alternate version, made with a couple fresh basil leaves in lieu of tarragon, was delicious. And still, the king remains on his throne.
Broccoli Soup
3 to 4 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup minced shallot
1 lb. (about 5 cups) chopped broccoli, stems and florets
3 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
¼ cup cream cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped tarragon or basil, plus more for garnish
¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

• In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cover, reducing the heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 minutes then remove from heat.
• Use an immersion blender or carefully pour the contents of the pot into a blender pitcher. Add the cream cheese, tarragon, salt and pepper and puree 30 seconds. Add more stock as needed to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Serve garnished with fresh tarragon and crusty bread.

 

Related Content
Just Five: Roasted Broccoli
Just Five: Pasta with Braised Onion Sauce
• Just Five: Leeks Vinaigrette with Eggs
Just Five: Tender Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

 

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

Just Five: Acorn Squash with Apples and Blue Cheese

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

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With beautiful greens, oranges and yellows (and even some blue!), this dish belongs on a holiday table. The crystallized ginger shines through with chewy, peppery-sweet pops that make this dish spectacular. Adding blue cheese to this recipe was genius, but if you dislike it, try a good tangy goat cheese or a sharp cheddar.

 

Acorn Squash with Apples and Blue Cheese
4 servings

2 acorn squashes*, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp. butter
1 to 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
¼ cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Place the squash cut side-down in a baking dish filled with ½ inch of water. Bake 40 minutes.
• Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add the raisins, ginger and ¼ cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
• Remove the squash, empty the water and return the squash the baking dish cut side up.
• Stir the blue cheese into the apple mixture, then fill each squash half with about ¼ cup of the apple mixture. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt.
• Bake 15 minutes then serve.

 

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

Just Five: Spicy Orange Chicken Bites

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

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I sometimes whine about how difficult it can be to execute authentic Asian cuisine with just five ingredients (just ask my editors!). But sometimes recipes have a way of working out. This dish is embarrassingly simple and so versatile. Serve it with rice and veggies or in lettuce cups with fresh herbs. Swap the meat for ground chicken, turkey or even pork. Increase or reduce the red pepper flake to your taste – as it is, this might be a bit too spicy for less adventurous taste buds!

 

Spicy Orange Chicken Bites
3 to 4 servings

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 to 3 Tbsp. chopped garlic
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 lb. chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks

• In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
• Add the orange zest and chicken and saute 2 minutes, then add the orange juice and soy sauce. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

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.

Just Five: Chocolate-Tahini Milkshake

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

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Remember that jar of tahini that you bought six months ago to make hummus? The one from which you used a whopping 2 tablespoons, then shoved in the back of your fridge? Roll up your sleeves and find it.

This treat was inspired after a sweet treat at Layla in The Grove. As lovers of all things chocolate and peanut butter, we gave Layla’s Chocolate Tahini Shake a try. Not only was I delighted, I immediately made a beeline to the bar and demanded to know how many ingredients it included. As I suspected, this was in my wheelhouse. Tahini is not as sweet or salty as peanut butter, so I added a touch of salt, as well as dark chocolate shavings for extra depth. Be a pal, double the recipe and share with a friend.

Chocolate-Tahini Milkshake
Inspired by a recipe from Layla
1 serving

4 tennis ball-sized scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup whole or 2-percent milk
3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
2 Tbsp. tahini
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. dark or semisweet chocolate shavings

• Add the ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, tahini and salt to the pitcher of a blender and mix on high speed 10 seconds. Add the chocolate shavings and pulse, then pour into a large glass. Serve with a straw and long-handled spoon.

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

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