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Nov 23, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

A butcher’s daughter reflects on her father’s culinary legacy

Friday, September 8th, 2017

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{ Marianne Moore with her father’s knives }

White paper, twine and knives. Some of the earliest memories I have of my dad are of white paper and twine and knives. Not the standard perhaps, but as a butcher’s daughter, it was a normal part of life for me.

When I was very young, my dad, Joe Kroupa, worked in a small grocery/meat market. He would come home from work with all kinds of meat – pork chops, steaks, braunschweiger, sausages – beautifully wrapped and perfectly tied. Even after he retired, he continued to trim the meat he bought at home, rewrap it with that white paper, tie it, label it and stack it in the freezer.

He was a butcher – that’s what he knew.

I’d see him in the kitchen, prepping some kind of roast, tenderloin or ham. Trimming, cutting, using his palms and fingers, the knife gliding through, then grabbing his twine to truss or tie, making those perfect little knots. On Thanksgiving, he carved the turkey like a surgeon, making just the right cut. Precise. Deliberate. Every move so effortless. The knife was an extension of his hand, and his skills were incredible.

For many years, he processed deer in our garage for friends during hunting season. It was fascinating to watch, but I didn’t think much about it until many years later. In my first week of culinary school, the chef gave us tasks to assess our skill level. Once, he handed me a beef tenderloin and asked me to get it ready for the oven. Without a second thought, I grabbed a cutting board, my knives and some twine, and I got to work.

I trimmed the chain, the silver skin, tucked the tail and tied it with butchers twine, just as I had seen my dad do for so many years. When the chef came to check my work, he fully expected to see a mangled tenderloin, rather than the one in front of him: perfectly prepped, seasoned and ready for the oven. He asked where I learned to do that. “Easy,” I said. “My dad was a butcher – I guess I paid attention.”

As I went through culinary school, my dad and I talked a bit about what I was doing, but we never cut meat together or really hung out in the kitchen. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I connected with Chris McKenzie of Mac’s Local Eats. He was sourcing meat for a small group that wanted to buy local grass-fed beef or local farm-raised pork. I remember my dad and me driving with McKenzie, coolers in the back, to pick up beef from a processor in Jackson, Missouri. We took a tour of the plant, and I watched my dad talk to the guys. Of course, since he was there, he had them cut meat to his specs. It gave me a view into his world, told me a bit more about who he was.

About a year later, a few chefs and I got together and bought a couple of pigs from a local farmer. “What are you going to do with that now?,” my husband asked in a bit of a panic on our way home. I smiled as I grabbed my phone. I told my dad to grab his knives and meet me at my house – I had a little project and needed his help. When he walked in and saw that pig on the kitchen island, his eyes lit up. We spent the whole afternoon breaking it down in my little kitchen. That day, something in our relationship shifted. I think we both realized how alike we were.

After that, we spent more time in the kitchen. We’d get together on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and make sausage. He would come over with the pork perfectly cut, and we’d play around with spices until the mix was just perfect. I was always on the grinder, and he was right there next to me, working his magic with the casing – getting in just the right amount of filling and making flawless links. Those days helped me realize I had been out of the kitchen too long. I was working in catering and events at the time, and during those moments with my dad, I knew I needed to do something, anything, to get cooking again. It’s what motivated me to take that leap and join Dierbergs Markets as culinary creative director. I think it made him happy to see I was back in the kitchen – teaching, writing recipes and sharing my love of food.

My dad passed away earlier this year, and I am so grateful to have spent that time cooking, talking and learning with him. It got me back in the kitchen, but it also made me realize that as much as I wanted my dad to be proud of me, he wanted me to be proud of who he was, too. I will always be proud to be the butcher’s daughter.

 

Related Content
• Recipe: Cider-glazed Pork Roast

• Recipe: Grandma’s Potato Dumplings

• Recipe: Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

• Recipe: Italian Sausage

• Recipe: Bratwurst

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Marianne Moore is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and culinary creative director at Dierbergs Markets. 

Baked: Roasted Green Beans

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

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Roasted green beans are a great way to add veggies to your diet. Roasting them with some simple seasonings results in nicely charred, full flavored beans that make a great side or even just a mid-afternoon snack. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic, a strong cheese like feta or Parmesan or your favorite herbs for a final flourish. You can do this with broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, but green beans are my personal favorite.

 

Roasted Green Beans
2 to 3 servings

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp. honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
Sprinkle sea salt
Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper
Handful chopped basil, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a small saucepan over low heat, gently reduce the balsamic vinegar, honey and cinnamon stick until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Toss the green beans in a bowl with the oil until evenly coated.
• On a wide baking sheet, spread the green beans in a single layer, then evenly sprinkle them with the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
• Roast 20 minutes, until nicely charred and crisp.
• Remove to a serving plate, drizzle with 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction, garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings. 

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Make This: Summer Clafoutis

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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Somewhere between a fruit-filled pancake and a custard, clafoutis can be drizzled with syrup for brunch or topped with ice cream for dessert.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup whole milk, 3 eggs, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and ½ teaspoon almond extract. Stir in ½ cup flour, then pour the batter into a buttered cast-iron skillet or pie pan.

Sprinkle 2 cups blueberries over the top and bake until puffy and light brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, dust with powdered sugar and serve. 

Customize your clafoutis: Use halved cherries, seasonal berries, chopped peaches or quartered figs. Try pears, apples or grapes in the fall, or throw in chocolate chips and cinnamon year-round.

Photo by Julia Calleo

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The Weekend Project: Pita

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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We don’t even want to move during St. Louis summers, much less spend hours over a hot stove or oven. Inspired by the cuisine of the sunny Mediterranean, these recipes for pitas and two refreshing dips revive you for exciting warm weather adventures. Simple tzatziki brings together the cool flavors of cucumber, mint and lemon with the tang of a good yogurt. If you are feeling ambitious, you can make your own yogurt, or get creative and change up the herbs with whatever looks good in the garden. Dill, chives and oregano all make interesting and savory variations.

The roasted eggplant-mushroom dip is also childlike in its simplicity but surprisingly filling. It is one of my favorite dishes to take to a party or have around for lunch on the go; make a lot because it never lasts long. This dish is also ripe for creativity. Try roasting other vegetables and adding them to the blend.

The Gameplan
Day 1: Prep the pita dough.
Day 2: Bake the pitas. Make the dips.

The Shopping List*
1 package yeast
4½ cups bread flour
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh dill
5 to 7 cloves garlic
2 lemons
2 to 3 cups cubed eggplant
2 cups chopped mixed mushrooms
1 bunch fresh parsley
½ tsp. cumin

*This list assumes you have canola oil, olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper at hand in your kitchen. If not, you will need to purchase those items, too.

 

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Pita Bread
8 pitas

2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 package (about 2½ tsp.) active dry yeast
4½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. kosher salt

Day 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment, combine the water, oil and yeast. Let the yeast proof 5 to 10 minutes, until bubbles begin to form on the surface.
• With the mixer on medium speed, add 1 cup flour and mix thoroughly 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, mixing each thoroughly before adding the next. Add the salt.
• Continue to knead the dough on medium-high speed 2 to 4 minutes, until it forms a ball on the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
• Place a pizza stone or cookie sheet in a cold oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
• Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 3-ounce pieces.
• Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into 1/8-thick circles. Let rise on the work surface 20 minutes.
• Working in batches if needed, use a large, heatproof spatula to slide the pitas onto the pizza stone. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until puffed and slightly brown but still soft. Repeat with the remaining pitas, if needed. Cover them with clean towel to keep warm until time to serve with dips.

 

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Tzatzki
3 cups

2 cups Greek yogurt or homemade yogurt
1 cup peeled, finely diced cucumber
¼ cup minced mint
¼ cup minced dill
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
¾ tsp. kosher salt

• Day 2: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt. Serve with pitas.

 

Roasted Eggplant-Mushroom Dip
3 cups

2 to 3 cups cubed eggplant
2¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
8 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cups chopped mixed mushrooms
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 to 6 cloves raw or roasted garlic
¼ cup parsley, chopped
½ tsp. cumin
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

• Day 2: Cube the eggplant and toss in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt. Place the colander over a bowl and let the water drain from the eggplant, about 30 minutes.
• Place a large skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Working in batches, add a layer of eggplant and saute until browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Add another 2 tablespoons canola oil and repeat with the remaining eggplant. Set aside and let cool.
• Working in batches, add 2 tablespoons canola oil and add a layer of mushrooms. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and saute until the release their water and are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Add another 2 tablespoons canola oil and repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Set aside and let cool.
• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic, olive oil, parsley and cumin until combined. Add the eggplant, mushrooms, lemon juice and zest and pulse again until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse again to desired consistency. Serve with pitas.

Extra Sauce: 5 swoon-worthy desserts for Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

For some, Valentine’s Day is a day to spend with your sweetheart. For others, it’s a day to spend sprawled on the ground in the fetal position, nursing a half-empty bottle of cheap wine and force-cuddling Tibbles, your neighbor’s cat. Either way, desserts for Feb. 14 are a must. Here, 5 delicious treats and your significant other, human or otherwise, will love:

 

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1. According to Beyoncé, there’s nothing quite like being drunk in love – or drunk off 30 of these Pomegranate Mojito Cupcakes.

 

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2. Inspired by those petite fancy French desserts from the bakery down the street, this giant pistachio and berry Macaron Cake proves size really does matter.

 

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3. This 12-serving Chocolate Crepe stuffed with fruit and boozy whipped cream is the perfect indulgence for a crowd – or just you and Tibbles. No judgment.

 

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4. What’s better than a warm chocolate chip cookie? One that you pull out of the oven Half Baked and eat straight from the pan.

 

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5. Skip the fire hazard and bake a S’mores Pie in the comfort and warmth of your own kitchen instead.

-cupcake and crepe photos by Jonathan S. Pollack; cookie photo by Carmen Troesser

 

Extra Sauce: 5 recipes to win your Super Bowl party

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest unofficial American holiday of the year, and as with all our holidays, it comes with it’s own traditional menu of delicious eats. Step up your game day grub with five recipes for our favorite football food:

 

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1. Get smoky with a big pot of Smoked White Bean Chili. (And before you cry foul, we’ve got the traditional red chili fans covered, too.)

 

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2. Pulled Pork and pigskin are a classic combination, and ours simmers all day in a root beer-chile sauce.

 

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3. Fire up the grill and savor the sweet heat of Harissa Honey Hot Wings.

 

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4. No harissa? No problem. These Honey Sriracha Wings require just five key ingredients, including that bottle of rooster sauce in your fridge.

 

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5. Fear not, vegan and vegetarians – even meat-heads will drool over these Macho Cauliflower Poppers. Sharing is optional.

 

-chili photo by Michelle Volansky; pulled pork photo by Greg Rannells; cauliflower poppers photo by Carmen Troesser; harissa wings photo from Balaboosta by Einat Admony

Wheatless Wednesday: Twisted Vegetable Lasagna

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

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Tomorrow begins a new year and the post-holiday food slump. We’re all tired of rich food, but we need filling meals to keep the belly warm as winter drags on. (Want more light, bright winter fare? Click here.) That’s why I turned a classic heavy dish into a lighter gluten-free meal with a twist. Instead of layering noodles into the lasagna pan, try wrapping them around the filling, creating portioned packets of lasagna resting on a veggie bed and swathed in gooey cheese. It’s perfect for last-minute New Year’s Eve gatherings or long winter nights that lie ahead.

Twisted Gluten-Free Vegetable Lasagna
15 to 16 servings

1 16-oz. box gluten-free lasagna noodles
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more to coat, divided
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried herbs like basil, thyme or oregano, divided
1 small white onion, chopped
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 16-oz. jar pasta sauce
8 oz. cottage cheese, drained
8 oz. ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
5 oz. baby spinach leaves
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, divided
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Bring a large pot of salted water to boil with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the lasagna noodles under just tender enough to roll easily, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and lightly coat each with more olive oil to keep from sticking, then lay them flat on an olive oil-coated baking sheet until ready to use.
• Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect heat or place a grill pan over medium-high heat.
• Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with olive oil to coat and season with 1 teaspoon herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Grill the zucchini and squash until tender and a bit charred, about 5 minutes, then flip and grill another 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
• Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms with the remaining 1 teaspoon herbs until lightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Roughly chop the grilled zucchini and yellow squash and toss with the mushrooms and onion. Set aside.
• Spoon a thin layer of pasta sauce on bottom of 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, then cover with the chopped vegetables.
• In a medium bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, egg and garlic powder until combined. Spread a thin layer of this mixture on top of each lasagna noodle, then sprinkle with a few tablespoons cheddar and mozzarella cheese and cover with a few spinach leaves.
• Roll each noodle into a tight pinwheel and place spiral-side-down on top of the vegetables, packing together tightly so they stay closed. Cover the noodles with the remaining sauce and remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Place the pan on a baking sheet to catch any drippings and bake 35 minutes, until the sauce and cheese are bubbly and slightly brown. Cover with foil and bake another 10 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Extra Sauce: 4 Holiday Cookies for Chocoholics

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Sugar cookies make spirits bright, and gingerbread sings of the holidays, but deep down, our hearts will always belong to chocolate.

 

 

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1. Double-stuffed childhood favorites have nothing on these monster Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

2. Nothing is as comforting as a chocolate chip cookie – except maybe the dual punch of these Chocolate Cookies.

 

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3. Chocolate chip cookies grow up with the addition of chocolate bitters to Triple Chocolate Cookies. Add cocoa powder and chocolate chips the holy trinity of cocoa goodness.

4. Macarons come in a rainbow of colors, but the luscious dark brown sheen of these Chocolate Macarons puts those pastel-hued babies to shame.

 

-photos by Carmen Troesser

Extra Sauce: 7 holiday cookie recipes like Grandma made

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Whether she’s your Grandma, Nana, Nonna, Oma or Gram, she probably has a holiday cookie recipe you look forward to every December. This year, grab your apron and treat her to a one of these traditional – or not so traditional – treats. Here, 7 of our favorite holiday cookie recipes:

 

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1. These traditional Italian cookies flavored with almond and citrus are coated in snowy powdered sugar. Ricciarelli will melt away winter blues as they melts in your mouth.

2. For a cookie worth the wait, gather ingredients for Florentine Lace Cookies. Let the dough rest overnight, then drizzle this delicate almond treat with chocolate.

3. Opa! Hailing from the Greece, Kourambiedes are a decadent butter cookie that should find a place in your oven this holiday.

4. Holiday Shortbread is a beautiful canvas for seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, white chocolate and cranberries.

 

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5. Old World Springerles are an anise-flavored, pillow-shaped cookie that, after baking in a special mold, is almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

6. Bigger is better this holiday with these Cranberry Crunch Cookies that can be make regular sized (yawn) or super-sized for extra fun.

7. Black-White Christmas Cookies cover a simply spiced soft cookie with both chocolate and vanilla frosting – perfect for the indecisive sweet tooth.

 

-photos by Carmen Troesser

Extra Sauce: 6 Thanksgiving recipes for gluten-free guests

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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The turkey usually isn’t a problem for your gluten-free guys and gals, but stuffing and rolls are definite no-gos. Welcome them with a starter of Apple Cheese Pleasers and make sure to have at least two sides they can enjoy with their bird.

 

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Dishes like Beet and Carrot Salad, Roasted Sweet Brussels Sprouts and Grapes or Butternut Squash Stew will satisfy all your guests with any dietary needs.

 

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And why pumpkin pie is a must on Thanksgiving, make sure your GF guests end on a sweet note, too, with Hold-the-Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

-photo by Greg Rannells

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