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Jul 25, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Maggie Pearson’

Guide to the Holidays 2016: Holiday Carryout

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

 

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Even when hosting a big rich holiday dinner, time is a luxury few can afford. Since there’s no shame in buying what the pros can do better, here are a few ideas to keep the hectic out of your holiday.

1. Fresh, bright and coppery oysters are a huge treat that wow guests with little effort.
Market price. Bob’s Seafood, 8660 Olive Blvd., 314.993.4844, University City, bobsseafoodstl.com

2. Local Harvest’s food case will be stocked with holiday classics from a new catering endeavor, Seed Sprout Spoon, this year. Opt for the caramelized cauliflower with walnuts and garlic – high roasting coaxes out a nice crunch.
3 pounds: $10. Local Harvest Grocery, 3137 Morgan Ford Road, St. Louis, 314.865.5260, localharvestgrocery.com

3. Cannoli, those fried pastry shells stuffed with sweetened ricotta and rolled in chocolate chips, candied fruit or pistachios, are a hallmark of The Hill.
Prices vary. Missouri Baking Co., 2027 Edwards St., St. Louis, 314.773.6566

4. Sugaree’s rich and salty-sweet Momo Tarts are a local version of the famous Crack Pie from New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar, with a gooey butter cake-like consistency. The individual tarts mean no one has to share dessert.
$2.75 each. Sugaree Baking Co., 1242 Tamm Ave., St. Louis, 314.645.5496, sugareebaking.com

5. Smooth, buttery sweet potato casserole with a nutty, crunchy crust can take hours of prep, but the folks at Winslow’s Home have you covered. Order ahead to make sure you get enough.
2 pounds: $14. Winslow’s Home, 7213 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.725.7559, winslowshome.com

Readers’ Choice 2015: Best Patio – John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub and Garden

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

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John D. McGurk’s in Soulard has an outdoor patio with room enough for multiple Irish family reunions (yep, it’s a big ’un). Featuring a mix of canopied bar seating and more intimate tables surrounded by a lush romantic garden, the Old World-inspired courtyard can get raucous in the summer, yet there are plenty of nooks and crannies to steal a quiet moment. We suggest parking yourself out back around the tinkling fountain under the dappled shade of trees as you start Leopold Bloom-ing your way through the selection of Irish and craft beer and pub-style nibbles that will take you straight to the Emerald Isle.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Happy Hour Like a Boss – Part 3

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

When the whistle blows at 5 p.m., there’s nothing like a strong drink to wash away the pains of the workday. You can find happy hours at any neighborhood bar and at watering holes near office buildings and factories. All of them will settle your fix for a cheap drink just fine, but a few get high marks – whether for the top-shelf drink selection, awesome food options or the duration of the deal. Our July issue features 22 places to unwind after work, whatever your reason for grabbing a seat at the bar.

 

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{The Potted Pig at the Block} 

 

For the entire office: The Block
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 5 to 7 p.m.

Schmooze your way to the top at The Block’s happy hour at its Central West End location. Though the workingman’s nirvana is available in the bar, invite your coworkers for drinks on the picturesque back patio, a fenced urban oasis decorated with string lights and fresh herbs from The Block’s garden. House cocktails ($5) are boozy enough to take the edge off a long day without turning you into the topic of office gossip tomorrow. Try the Mint-Basil Lemontini, an herbaceous combination of basil vodka, fresh mint, fresh lemon juice and prosecco that sings of summer. A happy hour menu of starters ($5) provides generous sustenance for sharing, like the Potted Pig, a jar of house-made pork confit served with ample slices of grilled country bread, plenty of sour house-made pickles and sweet apple-raisin chutney. Don’t want to share with Double-Dipping Steve from accounting? Order the ham and cheese panini ($5), perfectly griddled with bacon jam and spicy mustard, and enjoy an early dinner. – C.K.

 

For the wine enthusiast: The Dark Room
Happy hour: Tue. – 4 to 11 p.m., Wed. to Fri. – 4 to 6 p.m.

At this wine bar and photo gallery in Grand Center, you could shell out $195 for a bottle of a benchmark Napa cab, like 2010 Chateau Montelena. Better yet, go to The Dark Room during happy hour, when you can sip contentedly on a glass of select sommelier wines ($5). You might be in store for a 6-ounce pour of a white Bordeaux like the 2013 Chateau Buisson Redon or a Spanish rosé, such as Garnacha de Fuego Rosado. The wine menu, like the engaging exhibits on the wall, changes every two months, but we guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with the options on this list. Pair that vino with one of the discounted flatbreads ($6) or toasted pita with a dip ($3) of house-made hummus, olive tapenade or Romesco. If conversation lags, walk the room and let the photos speak to you. Currently on display is Chronicle Ferguson by photographer Santiago Bianco. – L.F.

 

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{Fried calamari with chile-lime mayo and a mojito at BC’s Kitchen} 

 

For Sunday funday: BC’s Kitchen
Happy hour: Sun. – 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon. and Tue. – 3 to 9 p.m., Wed. and Thu. – 3 to 6 p.m.

Happy hour occurs almost daily at BC’s Kitchen, but the best day to hit up restaurateur Bill Cardwell’s casual outpost in Lake Saint Louis is Sunday, when the deal lasts from open to close. Take a seat in the bar area or on the patio and have a glass of Vista Point chardonnay or merlot ($3.50). If wine isn’t your wish, order your go-to highball from BC’s talented bar team. Well drinks ($4.50) are not a bad deal, considering that Broker’s gin, Old Forester bourbon, El Dorado 3-year rum and Lismore Speyside single malt – solid products at value prices – are among the rail spirits available. BC’s has a lengthy list of happy hour-only noshes from snacks like house-made Saratoga chips ($5.50) to filling bites such as a trio of mini cheeseburgers served with fries ($6.75) or the standout: fried calamari with chile-lime mayo and cocktail sauce ($6.75). If you haven’t discovered BC’s yet, it’s time to make the trek; there are no excuses – you’ve got all day to get acquainted. – L.F.

 

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 {The open kitchen at Basso}

 

For a first date: Basso
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 4 to 7 p.m.

First dates are rife with pressure. Give yourself and your wallet a break and meet face to face, like in ye olde days, at Basso for happy hour. Craft beers ($4), selected wines ($5), cocktails ($6) and small bites ($7 or less) are reason enough, but the forgiving lighting and hip atmosphere boosts everyone’s kissing potential. We can’t get enough of the truffle fries ($4) and crispy meatballs ($7), both also easy to eat in front of a perfect stranger. We found it difficult to resist the Peter Rabbit, a take on a Mexican mule that mixes Espolón reposado tequila, blood orange liqueur, carrot and lime juices, ginger beer and muddled basil. If all’s going well, you and your date could easily commit to a full, chef Rex Hale-designed meal that doesn’t break the bank. – M.P.

-Basso photo by Jonathan Gayman, The Block and BC’s Kitchen photos by Carmen Troesser

Happy Hour Like a Boss – Part 1

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

When the whistle blows at 5 p.m., there’s nothing like a strong drink to wash away the pains of the workday. You can find happy hours at any neighborhood bar and at watering holes near office buildings and factories. All of them will settle your fix for a cheap drink just fine, but a few get high marks – whether for the top-shelf drink selection, awesome food options or the duration of the deal. Our July issue features 22 places to unwind after work, whatever your reason for grabbing a seat at the bar.

 

070115_happyhour

{From left, De La Louisiane, mint julep and gin fizz at Taste}

 

For the cocktailian: Taste
Happy hour: Sun. and Mon. – 5 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., Tue. to Fri.  – 5 to 7 p.m.

If you’re a bit like Professor Snape regarding the nuances of your cocktails (he taught potions, people) but don’t have gaelleons to spend on well-crafted drinks, steer yourself to Taste for happy hour. Taste discounts its entire selection of classic cocktails ($6) while taking them to new, labor-intensive heights. With cocktails listed chronologically, one can travel through time, starting with the mint julep in 1790 and eventually ending in the 1980s with the cosmo. Try the De La Louisiane, a bourbon Manhattan with Benedictine that relies on bitters and absinthe for some kick or a perfectly executed sloe gin fizz, frothy and light. Best of all, anyone behind the bar is happy to talk tasting notes and mixing techniques with an eager early-evening drinker.  – M.P.

 

For the beer lover: Three Kings Public House
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 4 to 6 p.m

In a happy-hour world of discounted domestics and longneck buckets, Three Kings Public House offers respite for the weary craft beer nerd. All draft beer is half price during happy hour. Sidle up to the bar and order from one of the 23 rotating drafts perfect for any beer lover’s palate. You could go light and sessionable with something like an easy-drinking Schlafly Hefeweizen or double-down on a bad day with a heavy hitter like a 9.5 percent Double Jack IPA from Firestone Walker. Dig into eight pub grub apps ($5) while you imbibe; we paired our brew with spicy chicken toasted ravioli, which adds a Sriracha kick to an STL classic.  – C.K.

 

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{Hand-rolled gnocchi at YaYa’s Euro Bistro}

 

For the hungry foodie: YaYa’s Euro Bistro
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 4 to 6:30 p.m

Really good, varied food is rare at happy hour. At YaYa’s Euro Bistro, the experience is a prelude to dinner – the service is pleasantly attentive, and the menu is solid from smoked trout to beef carpaccio to mussels. Grab a well cocktail ($3) or glass of wine ($5) and turn your attention to the real deal is easy: Buy one app, get a second app of equal or lesser value for free. Try the hand-rolled gnocchi ($10), pillowy and comforting, served in a gorgonzola cream sauce with roasted chicken, sauteed spinach and spiced walnuts. Next, go for the shrimp a la plancha ($15). Seared shrimp arrive still sizzling on a cast-iron skillet with garlic, a glug of sherry and red chile butter. To top it off, your server will hit this steaming plate with a squeeze of fresh lemon tableside. Now that’s what we call a strong finish.  – M.N.

 

For the broke and unemployed: 5 Star Burgers
Happy hour: Daily – 4 to 6 p.m.

Get a lot for a little at 5 Star Burgers. You will leave feeling full and so will your wallet. Take a seat anywhere and start with a glass of pinot noir; all four house wines ($3.50) are discounted during this window, and a pint of local craft on draft is half price ($2.50). Sliders ($1.50 – insert bugged-out emoji eyes here) are the food to order. We recommend mixing it up with a trio of sliders: the veggie burger with roasted red pepper mayonnaise, the Little 5 Star and the fried chicken slider. And remember to order a basket of fried cheese curds ($2). These little cheese grenades add a burst of salty richness to go with your vino, and if you’re looking to upgrade your slider, pop one on for the perfect bite. Wine, three sliders and a side add up to ten bucks. Time to ask your bartender for another round – you can afford it.  – M.N.

-Taste photo by Emily Suzanne, YaYa’s photo by Elizabeth Maxson

Extra Sauce: Sauce staff potluck recipes

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

This month, we asked three Sauce staffers to share their go-to potluck dishes. Here, their secret recipes that blow away the competition.

“My cranberry-orange couscous with orange blossom water.” – Greg Rannells, contributing photographer

Israeli Couscous with Cranberries and Orange Blossom Water
Courtesy of Greg Rannells
6 to 8 servings

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous
1½ cups water
Half a bunch green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
½ cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. turmeric
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1½ cup dried cranberries
½ tsp. orange blossom water

• Warm the olive oil in medium saucepan over medium high. Add couscous and lightly toast 2 to 3 minutes, making sure all the grains are fully coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes ensuring all grains are fully coated with oil. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover. Let sit about 10 minutes, until the couscous absorbs all the water. Fluff with a fork to break up the grains.
• Pour the cooked couscous into a large serving bowl and toss with pine nuts, honey, turmeric and green onions. Set aside.
• In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, cider vinegar and cranberries. Let cranberries plump in the vinaigrette 10 minutes, then pour over the couscous salad and toss. Refrigerate until cold. Before serving, sprinkle with orange blossom water.

 

“I make a mean cornbread pudding. No one can resist its power.” – Maggie Pearson, contributing writer

Cornbread Pudding
Courtesy of Maggie Pearson
8 to 10 servings

1 16-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 16-oz. can cream-style corn
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
¾ cup butter, melted
1 package Jiffy or Martha White cornbread mix

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish.
• Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake 30 minutes until set and lightly browned on top.

 

“My award-winning sweet-and-salty cake.” – Meera Nagarajan, art director

Baked’s Sweet and Salty Cake
Originally appeared on Martha Stewart
1 8-inch 3-layer cake

1¼ cups hot water
¾ cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp.salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
½ cup vegetable shortening
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla
½ cup Caramel with Salt (recipe follows)
Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing (recipe follows)
Fleur de sel, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter 3 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the hot water, cocoa and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
• In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add the granulated and brown sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture alternating with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
• Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans. Bake until the cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.
• Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Place 4 strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about ¼ cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread the entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Baked’s Caramel with Salt
Originally appeared on Martha Stewart
Enough for 2 to 3 8-inch 3-layer cake

¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. fleur de sel
¼ cup sour cream

• Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
• Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together the cream and salt. Bring the cream to a boil and cook until the salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
• When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in the sour cream. Cool and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 3 days.

Baked’s Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing
Originally appeared on Martha Stewart
Enough for 1 8-inch 3-layer cake

¼ cup water
1 lb. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1½ cups heavy cream
1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool

• Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
• In another small saucepan add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
• When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place the chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour the caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until the chocolate is melted.
• Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add the butter and increase speed to medium-high until the mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.

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