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Jan 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘November 2016’

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

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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According to David Kamp and Marion Rosenfeld in their snarky Food Snob’s Dictionary, a food snob is someone “who has taken the amateur epicure’s admirable zeal for eating and cooking well to hollandaise-curdling extremes.” Here are a few holiday gift ideas to distinguish your food snob, experienced or aspiring, from the amateurs.

 

1. Acorns & Cattails
Most chefs know how to forage without poisoning themselves. For the rest of us, St. Louis native Rob Connoley’s smartly written, beautifully photographed cookbook provides inspiration and instruction for gathering and preparing food. We hope Connoley serves some of these recipes in the restaurant he plans to open in St. Louis next year. $35. Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, Clayton, 314.862.2665, kitchenconservatory.com

2. VAIN Vanilla Sampler
Regular vanilla extract is so, uh, vanilla. VAIN Foods of Kansas City, Missouri switches out the standard neutral grain alcohol in favor of more interesting spirits to make its vanilla. Try Mexican vanilla in Kentucky bourbon, Indonesian vanilla in ginger spirits, Ugandan in orange spirits and Madagascar vanilla in both cane rum and vodka in this five-pack sampler. $40. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com

3. Wine Wands
Sometimes even the most conscientious don’t have time to chill their wine to the proper temperature. In such dire straights, the hoi polloi use ice cubes, a practice eschewed by any self-respecting food snob. Keep this set of two stainless-steel wine chillers in the freezer to cool down a glass of wine in a hurry, preempting such an embarrassing situation. $40. Williams-Sonoma, Plaza Frontenac, 1701 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Frontenac, 314.567.9211, williams-sonoma.com

4. Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide WiFi
While rash enthusiasts bought aquarium-sized sous vide immersion circulators, food snobs knew something better had to be in the works. Like cell phones, sous vide technology has produced a manageably sized device. It’s lightweight, attaches to any pot and connects to a smartphone so you can cook remotely and receive temperature notifications. $199. Crate & Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights, 314.725.6380, crateandbarrel.com

5. Halcyon Knives
Halcyon Forge is a one-man show in which Joseph Schrum makes beautiful, high-carbon steel knives in his backyard work shed in Sedalia. Schrum uses reclaimed materials like old saw blades and wood scavenged from riverbanks. Buy his designs or order custom knives made with, say, a resin laminate handle incorporating a memento. But prepare to wait six months for the custom gift to arrive. He’s that good. $140 to $425. Bertarelli Cutlery, 1927 Marconi Ave., St. Louis, 314.664.4005; halcyonforge.com

 

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 Gifts 2015: Gifts for the Food Snob

 

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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It’s not easy to shop for people who have everything or about whom you know nothing, but that doesn’t take them off your gift list. From sweets to splurges to simply pretty things, these are elegant and thoughtful choices that will please just about anyone.

 

1. Flowers to the People
A kitchen bouquet is doubly appreciated during this season of entertaining. Request colors and types of flowers if you’d like, or simply tell the florist the occasion and watch as she swiftly spins together something magical as you watch. Each is a unique work of art, making an elegant and lovely-smelling gift. Bonus: The shop delivers. $25. Flowers to the People, 2317 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.762.0422, flowerstothepeople.biz

2. Masala Chai Tea Concentrate
Village Botanicals (formerly The ReTrailer Tea Co.) recently started bottling this wonderfully spiced Extra Special Masala Chai Tea Concentrate, made with cardamom, ginger and a five-spice masala blend of cinnamon, star anise, allspice, clove and peppercorn. $9. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995; villagebotanicals.com

3. Nordic Ware Egg Waffle Pan
This pan produces fluffy, crispy, eggy mounds that melt in your mouth, like an inverted waffle. Eat them by the bubble or roll them up like a waffle cone and fill with ice cream. Either way, the topping possibilities are endless. These waffles will liven up Sunday morning breakfast for anyone on your gift list. $45. amazon.com

4. Mila, Sweets Macarons
It’s difficult to resist delicate, colorful, full-flavored cookies that fit perfectly into a chic little box. With flavors like chocolate sea salt or raspberry elderflower, these macarons will give someone a taste of Paris at home. Half dozen: $9. Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop, 2201 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.932.5166, milasweets.com

5. Tasting menu at Elaia
A handful of places around town provide tasting menus, but few have the ambiance and style of Elaia. The quiet Botanical Heights restaurant has wonderful service, and with inventive dishes like tartare of lamb, each of the 10 courses is meant to be savored. It’s a splurge, but you’re giving an experience one will never forget. $120; $220 with wine pairings. Elaia, 1634 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.1088, elaiastl.com

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: The Obligatory Gift

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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Everyone has a list of kitchen must-haves, but gifts for new cooks require a little more finesse. They should be practical, yet inspirational; something to not only set them up for success, but also get them excited about cooking for the first time or in a new place. Give these long-lasting tools, amped-up basics and fun ways for new cooks to learn in the kitchen.

1. Kitchen Conversions Art
Nothing’s worse than dousing a phone in sugar trying to look up how much is in an ounce. This chart eliminates guesswork when it’s time to convert teaspoons to tablespoons or cups to pints. With many colors available, it also makes great kitchen decor. 8½-by-11-inch: $20; 13-by-19-inch: $25. Etsy: SweetFineDay

2. Victorinox 9-inch bread knife
A proper bread knife is essential. This serrated knife slices through the softest brioche or the crunchiest country loaf with ease, and the raised handle keeps knuckles from scraping on the cutting board. Bread knives are also great for slicing ripe tomatoes and leveling cakes. $28. amazon.com

3. Knife & Flag Apron
Want to cook like a rock star? Dress for the part. Knife & Flag Core Aprons are built with a cross-harness strap design to ensure they won’t get in the way in the busiest of kitchens. Stylish, comfortable and made to last with heavy denim or canvas, these aprons are for the serious cook – or those who want to look like one. $70 to $80. knifeflag.com

4. Twelve Recipes
A great cookbook is the total package: delicious recipes that work, beautiful photography and writing that inspires. Twelve Recipes is just that. It’s a versatile book of the basics, and variations are encouraged. It will get new cooks into the kitchen with the confidence to gather friends around the table. $27. Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.6731, left-bank.com

5. Eat, Drink and Learn
Even if they think the oven is a place to store shoes, developing cooking skills can still be fun. Arm your new cooks with a gift card to Dierbergs School of Cooking, and they can choose a class that fits their interests from mastering basic knife skills to baking cupcakes. $35 to $50. Dierbergs School of Cooking, various locations, dierbergs.com/school

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: The Starter Kitchen

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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These can’t-miss presents will wow even the most cosmopolitan drinker. From classes that inform and entertain to home bar must-haves sure to impress, here are gifts for the boozehounds on your list.

1. Skull Barspoon
More than just a pretty face, this tiki-inspired stainless spoon is well-balanced in the hand and comfortable to work with – making it one of Público bar manager Nick Digiovanni’s favorite tools. The conversation starter is also available in gold and copper-plated finishes. $25. cocktailkingdom.com

2. Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters & Amari
Bitter is in. Along with instructions for DIY bitters and cocktail recipes, these pages are packed with tasting notes and essential information to make the most of ubiquitous and obscure bitter bottles. $25. Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.6731, left-bank.com

3. Cocktails Are Go! Class
Check a dozen or so off your list with a group gift. Matt and Beth Sorrell teach classes with themes like Cocktails 101, Pre-Prohibition or Farm to Table. You buy the booze, and the Sorrells bring the glassware, mixers and know-how to up your friends’ bartending game. $25 per person. 314.406.2777, cocktails-are-go.com

4. Blood & Sand Membership
No secret handshake required, just a monthly membership fee to give the wine, beer and cocktail quaffer access to one of the best bars in town. With its extensive and carefully curated wine list and cocktails ranging from whimsical to brooding, there is no shortage of ways to unwind. $15 per month. Blood & Sand, 1500 St. Charles St., St. Louis, 314.241.7263, bloodandsandstl.com

 5. World of Wine Gift Basket
Take your favorite wine snob around the world in six bottles. Specialists hand-pick a motley crew of red and white wines from near and far. Order this no-brainer basket online or at any location, then have it delivered locally for a festive holiday surprise. $100. The Wine & Cheese Place, all locations, wineandcheeseplace.com 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gifts 2015: Gifts for the Boozehound

Make This: Leftover Turkey Cuban

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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Leftover Thanksgiving turkey can seem endless – until you press it into this modified Cuban sandwich. Slice a telera or other soft sandwich roll in half lengthwise. On one half, spread 1 tablespoon each yellow mustard and cranberry sauce. Top with 1 slice baby Swiss cheese, 5 to 7 bread-and-butter pickles and 2 ounces each leftover turkey and sliced ham. Cover with the other half of the roll. Place the sandwich in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Press down with another heavy pan 2 minutes, then flip the sandwich, press down with the pan and cook 2 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Eat This: Strawberry Mousseline Cake at La Bonne Bouchée

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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A slice of Strawberry Mousseline Cake from La Bonne Bouchée is the sweet taste of sunshine we’re savoring as winter looms. Layers of classic yellow cake, fluffy vanilla mousse and sliced strawberries are iced in a silky smooth white buttercream, ringed with slivered toasted almonds and topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry. It’s a rich treat that’s light and fresh as a summer breeze.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

Hit List: 3 new restaurants you must try this November

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

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1. Egg: 2200 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314.202.8224, breakfastcamefirst.com

Egg has expanded from its weekend brunch popup beginnings, taking over Spare No Rib’s original space on Gravois Avenue for good. (Have no fear; Spare No Rib moved to a new home at 3701 S. Jefferson Ave.) Try the cornbread Benedict with a choice of smoked pork belly or spinach and avocado stacked on sweet, crumbly cornbread, topped with two gently poached eggs and a deluge of hollandaise or the generous asada wrap, packed with succulent steak, fries and just the right amount of cheese sauce. The chakchouka, a stewed vegetable dish with baked eggs, is a hearty yet healthy choice, or go south of the border with robust breakfast tacos filled with veggies, carne asada, chorizo or carnitas with house-made salsas. Sip a brunch cocktail like the sweet and floral Sidi Bou Spritz made with hop vodka, jasmine and elderflower liqueurs and fresh orange juice.

 

2. Vietnam Style: 6100 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.405.8438, Facebook: Vietnam Style

Vietnam Style on the east end of The Loop may confuse at first glance, but you’ll only be disappointed if you intend to shop for clothes. Start with the Vietnamese spring rolls, packed with veggies, rice noodles, pork and shrimp or grilled beef – and don’t be shy with the bright, savory peanut dipping sauce. The Bò Né Original Vietnamese Sizzling Steak is a great introduction to Vietnamese flavors, with a sweet and garlicky seasoning that complements rather than overpowers the filet mignon, along with a sunny side up egg. If you only get one thing, make it a noodle soup – the Pho Filet Mignon Bo Vien features thin, curling slices of tender beef, meatballs and rice noodles in a rich, mile-deep beef broth. The classic pho ga comes with generous amounts of shredded chicken and rice noodles in a lighter-tasting broth good enough to pour into a thermos and drink all day long.

 

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3. Wicked Greenz: 16 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314.727.2772, wickedgreenz.com

Wicked Greenz is serving up healthy, quick meals for the lunch and dinner crowds in Clayton. The veggie-focused menu offers 13 greens-based dishes that can be served “bowled” as a salad or “rolled” as a wrap. Try the Mexicali, a mix of salad greens, black beans, red onion, corn, cilantro and pico de gallo with charred tomato vinaigrette. The classic Caesar features Asiago cheese, basil and a sharp Parmesan-peppercorn Caesar dressing. But the stars of the menu are the soups: The smoked chicken gumbo is spicy and complex with chunks of chicken, andouille and kielbasa in a dark, rich broth served atop a mound of white rice. Get the garlicky, slightly sweet tomato soup, which is topped with cheese and crunchy croutons reminiscent of a deconstructed grilled cheese.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

 

 

What I Do: Mark ‘Garlic’ Brown of Gateway Garlic Farms

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

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Gateway Garlic Farms does a lot more than operate its many farms scattered across the city and surrounding counties. It’s a locus for like-minded farmers and organic activists who swap equipment, excavate feral garlic from 19th-century homesteads and debate genetically modified organisms on Facebook. And though he said it created itself, this community could not run without Mark “Garlic” Brown’s frenetic energy and administrative gumption. In the Tao of Mark Garlic, you use what you need and give the rest away. Here, a glimpse into the mind of the man named Garlic.

Open Book
“There are some farmers who jealously hide their secrets. Me – I’m open and transparent. I’ll share with anyone. I don’t believe in competition. … We spread education like some people spread compost.”

Natural Resources
“Bioponics uses interesting things – organic things – as a growing medium: leaf compost, sawdust … We set the tunnel up every fall and use alternative growing mediums in each of the wicking beds inside there so that we can show: This is how you grow in these various mediums. Showing people you’re not limited. … You should look to what’s around you. Use what’s there. A lot of times it’s better – and it’s free.”

The Starbucks Loop
“From that Starbucks at Boundary, we’re getting what’s going to be about 10 tons a year of coffee grounds – and they would have just thrown that out, right into a landfill. We’re using that to create nitrogen so we can grow more food and then bring that food, sometimes, right back to Boundary. You get this loop effect. Because we’re going back and forth in our deliveries, there’s no extra fuel being expended. The coffee grounds come along for the ride.”

Weird (Natural) Science
“We’re going to do a grafting class, and we’re going to turn a crabapple tree into a multi-fruit-bearing tree. It’s going to have probably eight different kinds of apples and four different kinds of pears all on one tree. … It doesn’t seem natural, but these are natural things that we can do to basically broaden our food scope.”

Protecting Genetic Diversity
“When we lose something like the dodo, we fucking lose something forever. And that to me is – not on my fucking watch. I don’t want that on my watch. I want to increase diversity. I want to go out and find these lost varieties.”

Garlic Love
“We’ve got 55, 56 varieties that are what we call feral recoveries. … I can spot feral garlic from a car at 55 miles per hour. When you love something so dear like that, you create this intimate relationship with it.”

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

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