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Jan 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘pickles’

Trendwatch: What’s on our plates and in our glasses right now – Part 2

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015



{South Side Poutine at Byrd & Barrel}

4. Don’t Call Them Cheese Fries When Americans slather french fries in cheese, meat and gravy, it’s called drunk food. When Canadians do it, it’s called poutine, which has taken St. Louis by storm. Byrd & Barrel covers house-made tater tots in smoked chicken, cheese curds and either smoked mushroom or fried chicken gravy in the South Side Poutine. Winslow’s Home likewise uses tots in its poutine with oxtail gravy. Retreat Gastropub keeps it veg-friendly with mushroom gravy and fried fingerling potatoes, while Small Batch swaps cheese curds for gooey fontina on its house-cut fries. The Libertine ups the ante with sweet peas and foie gras gravy, and the newly opened Copper Pig offers three versions: traditional with beef gravy, a duck confit or a saag paneer option. Urban Chestnut in The Grove has a poutine of the moment that previously featured white gravy with chicken and bacon. Or cash it all in for the foie gras poutine at Sidney Street Cafe featuring a crispy potato cake, french fry-encrusted foie and pickled apples.

5. The Spirit of Norway There are only two things to do during a long Norwegian winter – drink and, well, you can figure it out. Aquavit, a neutral distilled spirit flavored with herbs and botanicals, is the Norwegian sauce of choice. Lucky for us, the clear, full-bodied liquor isn’t just for Scandinavians. Chat up Matt Osmoe at Blood & Sand and sample the flavor variations ranging from dill to caraway to anise. Have it mixed by Randolfi’s Jeffrey Moll in the lemonade-like Madam I’m Adam. Emphasizing Aquavit’s food-friendly qualities, Planter’s House can whip up a bloody mary-esque Bloody Well Right.

6. Grape Crush Chefs around the country are taking grapes to the next level with vinegar, smoke, dehydration and high heat. New York’s Blue Hill restaurant pairs smoked grapes with Brussels sprouts and uses dehydrated grapes in a chicken dish. Blackbird in Chicago pairs pickled grapes with scallops. Get in on the trend closer to home with the newly opened Standard Brewing’s Coraline salad, where sweet-sour pickled grapes are tossed with radishes, goat cheese and spinach. Sound weird? Give them a try at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar in a starter, or see how they do when roasted with mushrooms in both the seared scallops and the strip steak at Eclipse. At Randolfi’s, try the lamb hearts and sausage starter with roasted grapes.

Check out Part 1 of Trendwatch here


-photo by Michelle Volansky 

The Weekend Project: Banh Mi

Thursday, June 26th, 2014



When summer hits St. Louis, we imagine it feels like the streets of Saigon: humidity so heavy it purges every pore as you walk through what feels like the inside of a fishbowl. It makes sense then, that during these steamy months, we get a hankering the cool, refreshing flavors of Vietnamese street food. The banh mi, a classic example of the forced marriage between French colonial and Southeast Asian cuisines, is light, packed with vibrant flavors, and filling without weighing you down.

According to a “Wall Street Journal” article by Robyn Eckhardt, during French occupation, the Vietnamese called the newly introduced baguettes banh tay or “foreign cake.” These loaves, eaten only by the wealthy, were dipped into sweetened condensed milk as a treat. The name later evolved to banh mi or “foreign wheat;” today, baguettes in Vietnam contain wheat and rice flours, lightening the bread and increasing the crispiness of the crust.

After the Vietnamese diaspora, banh mi fillings now hail from all parts of the world. Baguettes are filled with roast chicken, grilled pork, crisp pork skin, meatballs, even tinned sardines in tomato sauce. Here in St. Louis, restaurants stuff their banh mi with shredded pork, “specialty ham” and vegetarian and vegan options topped with crushed peanuts. It’s like the ubiquitous day-after-Thanksgiving leftover sandwich – anything goes.

In addition to making your own pâté and roast pork, try your hand at making your own baguette. The dough for this French country-style loaf is simple and only requires three ingredients. The goal is to use as little flour as possible so that the yeast can create a light, airy loaf and to let the bread rise three times. All three rises can be completed in one day, or take your time and let the first or second rise take place overnight in the refrigerator.




A traditional banh mi is quite simple: smear both sides of a split, warm baguette with aioli or chicken liver pâté, stuff it with headcheese or cold cuts, then finish with a bright, crisp assortment of cilantro, do chua (pickled carrots), hot pepper slices, cucumbers and more.

This month, build a banh mi buffet and then beckon neighbors and friends for a weekend celebration without straining your budget. Spread the work over a weekend and enjoy on Sunday night with plenty of leftovers to carry you through a few hot St. Louis summer days.

The Gameplan
Day 1: Make the Pâté de Campagne. Roast the Char Siu Pork. Start the French bread.
Day 2: Bake the French bread. Prepare the do chua and the spicy aioli. Unmold the pate. Assemble the banh mi.

The Shopping List*
4 lbs. pork shoulder
8 oz. chicken or pork livers
8 oz. bacon
½ cup yellow onion
¾ cup flat Italian parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
5 large eggs
3 Tbsp. brandy or high-alcohol fruit liquor
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. bay leaf powder
2 Tbsp. cloves
2 Tbsp. mace
2 Tbsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. allspice
5 Tbsp. white pepper
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. shallot or red onion, minced
2 Tbsp. Shaohsing Rice Cooking Wine** or other rice wine
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice
2 packages (5½ tsp.) active dry yeast
6 to 7 cups bread flour
3 to 4 carrots
1 large daikon
1 1/3 cups Datu Puti Premium cane vinegar** or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. whole coriander
1 bunch cilantro
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 lime
2 Tbsp. Sriracha

*This list assumes you have garlic, dried thyme, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, canola or vegetable oil, honey and sugar at hand in your kitchen. If not, you will need to purchase these items, too.
** Shaohsing Rice Cooking Wine and Datu Puti premium cane vinegar are available at Seafood City Supermarket in University City.



Pâté de Campagne
Adapted from a recipe from The Splendid Table and Julia Child’s The Way to Cook
Makes 1 4-lb. terrine

2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. bay leaf powder
2 Tbsp. cloves
2 Tbsp. mace
2 Tbsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. allspice
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
5 Tbsp. white pepper
8 oz. chicken or pork livers, cleaned and cut into chunks
¾ cup chopped flat Italian parsley
½ cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. brandy or high-alcohol fruit liquor (We used The Big O Ginger liqueur.)
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
8 oz. bacon

Special equipment: meat grinder attachments for stand mixer

Day 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
• Spread the pork shoulder pieces evenly on a baking sheet. Freeze 20 to 30 minutes.
• Meanwhile, pulse the bay leaf powder, cloves, mace, nutmeg, paprika, dried thyme, allspice, cinnamon and white pepper in a coffee grinder or spice mill until well ground. Reserve 1½ teaspoon of spice mixture; store remaining mixture in an airtight container for another use.
• Affix the meat grinder attachment to the stand mixer. Carefully feed the chilled pork through the machine using a large die into a very large mixing bowl.
• Add the reserved spice mixture, the chicken livers, parsley, yellow onion, heavy cream, eggs, salt, brandy, garlic, flour, fresh thyme and black pepper to the meat and mix well with your hands or a large wooden spoon.
• Process the mixture through the sausage grinder again, using a small die. Fry a small patty in a saute pan until cooked through and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.


• Place a bay leaf in the center of a loaf pan, then line the loaf plan completely with bacon. Fill the loaf pan with the meat mixture and press it down firmly. Fold the bacon ends over the ground meat and cover the pan tightly with foil.
• Place the pâté in a larger roasting pan and fill it with water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
• Bake the pâté 50 minutes, until the interior temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove the foil and continue baking another 5 to 10 minutes, until the temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and take the pâté out of the water bath. The pâté will continue cooking as it rests and will reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
• Place the pate in another roasting pan or baking dish with a lip (It will leak juices as it cools.). Place a second loaf pan on top and weigh it down with 2 or 3 canned goods and let rest. Once the pâté is cooled, refrigerate overnight to set completely.
Day 2: Gently run a knife around the pate to remove it from the pan and turn it out on a cutting board. Slice and use for banh mi. Pâté will keep, wrapped and refrigerated, at least 1 week.



Char Siu Roast Pork
Adapted from Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen
4 to 6 servings

3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. minced shallot or red onion
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Shaohsing rice cooking wine
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice
2 lbs. pork shoulder roast

Day 1: Whisk together the hoisin, soy sauce, shallot, honey, oil, rice wine, garlic, fish sauce and five-spice until well blended. Pour all ingredients into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Place the meat in the marinade, seal the bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
• Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before roasting and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
• Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Reserve the marinade for basting. Roast the pork shoulder 30 to 45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the marinade, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Let the pork rest on a cutting board at least 10 minutes. Slice and use for banh mi. Roast will keep, wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.



French Bread
Makes 4 baguettes

2 packages (5½ tsp.) active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for kneading
1½ Tbsp. kosher salt

Day 1: Proof the yeast by pouring 2½ cups warm water in a large mixing bowl and stirring in the yeast and up to ½ cup flour. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble and smells yeasty.
• Stir in 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing in each with a long wooden spoon or bread whisk. The longer the dough is mixed, the better developed the strands of gluten will be, resulting in a higher, lighter loaf. When almost all the flour has been added, mix in the salt until the well incorporated and tacky.


• Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 10 minutes, until it is evenly incorporated and feels soft and elastic. Place the dough into a large, clean mixing bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
• Place the dough in a warm place and let it rise 1½ hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and flip it over to keep it evenly moist. Cover again with oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to rise again.
Day 2: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Turn the dough out on a floured surface. Using a very sharp knife, slice the dough into 4 equally weighted pieces.
• Place a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.


• Using floured hands, gently shape a piece of dough into a 1-inch thick rounded rectangle about the size of a standard business envelope.
• Fold the side of the rectangle closest to you up as if folding a letter into thirds, pressing the dough together to push out any air bubbles. Gently roll the dough back and forth with your hands, securing the shape. The dough will start to lengthen.
• Fold the top third of the dough into the bottom third, pressing the dough together to push out any air bubbles. Gently roll the dough into a long tube until the desired baguette length is reached. Tuck the ends under to shape them, if necessary.


• Place the baguette on a baguette rising pan or a clean, floured kitchen towel. Repeat the folding method with the remaining pieces of dough, leaving 2 to 3 inches between each loaf on the towel. When all the baguettes are formed, pull the extra fabric between each loaf straight up, creating a small barrier between each loaf and creating a small trough where each loaf can rise. Use a very sharp knife to slice 3 to 4 slits in the top of each loaf to release any air. Cover the loaves with oiled plastic wrap and let rise 20 minutes.
• Fill an oven-safe dish with 10 to 12 ice cubes and place on the bottom of the hot oven. This will provide the steam that will create a crisp crust for the baguettes.
• Place the baguette rising pan in the oven. If using the towel method, flip a baking sheet over, and line the bottom with parchment paper and dust with flour. Using floured hands, gently move the baguettes onto the parchment paper. Then slide the paper onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the baguettes sound hollow when tapped and are a light brown. Use for banh mi. Baguettes wrapped in plastic wrap will keep 3 to 5 days.




Do Chua (Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon)
Makes 1 quart

3 to 4 carrots, julienned lengthwise
½ to 2/3 of a large daikon, julienned lengthwise
1 1/3 cups Datu Puti Premium cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
1 bunch cilantro

Day 2: Mix the carrots and daikon in a bowl, then pack into a quart container with a tight-fitting lid.
• Place the remaining ingredients in a heavy-bottomed 6- to 8-quart pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant.
• Strain the brine through a fine mesh sieve into a large pitcher or other pourable container. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, filling the container. Discard any remaining pickling liquid. Cover the container and refrigerate. The pickles are ready to use as soon as they are cool. Use for banh mi, or keep refrigerated several months.

Spicy Aioli
Makes 1 pint

3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup canola or vegetable oil

Day 2: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the egg yolks, Sriracha, mustard, salt and lime juice until combined. With the machine running, slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture until the aioli is emulsified, using as little or as much oil as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Use for banh mi. Aioli will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week.



-photos by Michelle Volansky

DIY condiments to wow at your Memorial Day barbecue

Monday, May 26th, 2014


It happened; you were designated to bring the boring bottle of ketchup to today’s Memorial Day barbecue. But why settle for boring bottles when you could whip up one of our homemade condiment recipes? Not only will they impress friends and family, they will also mask the taste of potentially charred burgers and hot dogs.

Check out a slideshow of haute condiment recipes, including a tarragon mayonnaise to take your home fries to the next level, spicy stout mustard for your bratwurst, a sweet-savory ketchup that shows Hunt’s what’s what, horseradish butter for a spicy and savory corn on the cob, and roasted green chile sauce for your pork steak.

In a pickle for other condiments to surprise and intensify your typical barbecue fare? We’ve also got recipes for Barbecue Flavored Cryo-pickled Onions that will improve even the blandest of burgers and simple bread-and-butter pickles kids will love. Happy Memorial Day, St. Louis!

-photo by Greg Rannells

Just Five: Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Thursday, September 5th, 2013



My Nana made bread-and-butter pickles every summer. Their crunchy, super sweet, clove taste always takes me back to summers in Ohio, running out to the garden where my Grandaddy always hid a ceramic cucumber for one of us to find. We hauled in the bounty and watched Nana fill Mason jars and seal them in the big black enamel canning pot. Days later, we would have shaved ham on thinly-sliced Pepperidge Farm white bread spread thick with butter and those candied, sweet pickle slices.

Few of us have canning pots and go through the effort of true canning anymore, so here is a quick version anyone can do, no special equipment needed. Just be sure to eat them within a few weeks.

Not in the mood to pickle? Check out three more ways to use up this summer’s cucumber bounty.

Simple Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Makes 3 to 4 pints

3 cucumbers, sliced into ¼- to ½-inch rounds
3 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1¼ cup white sugar
½ tsp. turmeric
3 Tbsp. pickling spice
1¾ cup cider vinegar

• Place the sliced cucumbers in a glass or plastic bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let them stand for 3 hours, then rinse off the salt in cold water and drain well.
• Combine the sugar, turmeric, pickling spice and vinegar in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
• Add the drained cucumbers to the pickling liquid and heat to just boiling.
• Meanwhile, fill 3 to 4 16-ounce Mason jars with boiling water to sterilize them, then pour out the water.
• Carefully transfer the pickles and liquid into the hot, sterile jars and seal. Let them cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Pickles will keep for 3 weeks refrigerated.



In This Issue: Eat This

Sunday, July 21st, 2013


Sure, you could start your game-watching session at Circle 7 Ranch with fries or pretzel sticks this summer, but opt for the Fat Daddy Pickle Coins instead. Dunk each deep-fried, Panko-crusted sliver into the house-made Ranch, then savor how the cool, creamy sauce counters the briny dill pickles with their salty-spicy kick. This is bar food at its best – easy to eat, hits all the taste buds and gone before you can refill that beer glass.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

Make This: Barbecue cryo-pickled onions

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013


Ideas in Food authors Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot have superb pickling and freezing ideas. Michael Natkin goes a step further in his cookbook, Herbivoracious, by combining the two methods into what he dubs “cryo-pickling”: freezing and thawing food in pickling liquid, a technique that results in a more concentrated flavor. Natkin gives his cryo-pickled onions a jolt of Japanese flavor. But being that it’s grilling season, we’re using his freeze-and-thaw trick to beef up a bulb destined for a burger. To make barbecue cryo-pickled onions: Combine 1/3 cup of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of your favorite barbecue rub in a bowl. (For a dash of local flavor, use Vernon’s BBQ rib or beef rub. $5: 6 oz., available at Vernon’s BBQ.) Thinly slice half of a medium-size yellow onion. Place the onions in a freezer bag and pour the seasoned vinegar over them. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Shake the bag a bit to make sure the onions are covered in vinegar. Freeze for at least 12 hours, thaw in the refrigerator, then pile them high on a burger fresh off the coals.

- Photo by Greg Rannells


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