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Nov 26, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Thanksgiving Inspiration: Pies

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

111313_pie

{Simone Faure’s Our Crack Pie}

 

If you were assigned to bring the pie for Thanksgiving, you’re either the family baker (We should all be so lucky to have one.), or you can be relied on to hit up a local bakery to supplement your lackluster kitchen skills.

This year, shake up your traditional offering, be it your homemade pumpkin pie or Marie Callender’s, and experiment with some of these pie recipes. You may just find a new family favorite. Not a pie person? We’ve got tons of other great desserts to tempt every palate. And remember, while practice makes perfect, when it comes to baked goods, practice makes lots of friends, too.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

Wheatless Wednesdays: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

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I am lucky to have a mom who (for the most part) also follows a gluten-free lifestyle. Holiday gatherings are no longer void of all the goodies I savored as a child. Mom’s “famous” chocolate chip cookies now have a gluten-free counterpart at which hardly any gluten-loving family member would balk. The annual gluten-free holiday baking is welcomed – but now I succumb to the holiday bulge with the rest of you!

Mom’s flare with cookies goes far beyond rudimentary; my favorites are her chocolate crinkles and pumpkin chocolate chip. They both seamlessly convert to gluten-free, as most cookies do. And now that gluten-free flour blends are easily found in the grocery aisles, the process is just as quick as your traditional cookie recipe.

Andrea’s Gluten-Free, a St. Louis company with a dedicated gluten-free (and peanut- and tree nut-free) kitchen, sells a superb “super fine grind” gluten-free flour blend that I picked up at Schnucks. I highly recommend it for many reasons. The blend is a cup-for-cup substitute when baking standard recipes (ones that contain gluten) and worked beautifully for these cookies. The super fine grind texture is soft and light without the grit many gluten-free flours produce. The blend includes xanthan gum, which helps the mixture bind. And you’ll save a little dough (no pun intended!) since purchasing xanthan separately is quite expensive. As you mix the cookie ingredients together, your arm will feel the xanthan’s gumming action, but have no fear – it will result in a moist, cake-like cookie.

These beta-carotene-rich cookies make me proud. Take them to your favorite autumn harvest party or holiday get together. And don’t worry, I’m sending my recipe to Mom.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 25 large cookies

1½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. milk
1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée (or use leftover roasted pumpkin puree)
1 cup sugar
½ cup olive oil
1 egg
2 cups gluten-free flour blend (without leavening agents)
2½ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup black walnuts, optional
2 tsp. vanilla extract

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
• In a small glass, dissolve the baking soda in the milk. Set aside.
• Mix the pumpkin purée, sugar and olive oil together in a large bowl until smooth.
• Stir in the egg, flour blend, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt and mix to combine.
• Add the milk mixture, then stir in the chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla.
• Scoop ¼-cup dough balls onto the cookie sheet and press down gently to slightly flatten
• Bake about 12 minutes, until cookies are fluffy and cake-like.

 

 

In This Issue: One Ingredient, 3 Ways – Eggplant

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

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Eggplant comes in colors ranging from albino white to midnight purple, and in shapes from Gwyneth Paltrow skinny to Rubenesquely rotund. Its shiny skin belies a bitter flesh, but once you give it a little help, it’s just as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside. Here are three ways to celebrate the complex flavors and meaty texture of this summer beauty.

-Photo by Laura Miller

Just Five: Grilled Mussels with Curry Butter

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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It’s that time of year again. The mosquitoes are bitin’, the air is almost too thick to breathe, and your day is probably filled with driving camp carpools or working in a somewhat climate-controlled office. If you’re lucky, you’re baking at the pool, but even sitting poolside can sap your energy in this weather. It’s ridiculous to turn on an oven and heat up your house. It’s grill time.

This recipe is embarrassingly easy. I actually felt a bit guilty asking my husband to light the grill because it took longer to get the coals hot than it took me to assemble and cook this dish. This is a year-round option, too, as these mussels cook fine in a 400-degree oven or even in the coals of a campfire. So tell the neighbors to bring over cold beer and a salad, and you’ll provide the entree.

Grilled Mussels with Curry Butter

Inspired by Saveur Magazine
Serves 4

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. curry powder
Salt
2 lbs. mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (Frozen mussels also work fine.)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 limes, 1 sliced in 8 thin rounds, 1 cut into 4 wedges
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

• Prepare your grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
• In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, curry powder and salt. Set aside.
• Divide the mussels evenly into 4 portions on 4 large pieces of heavy-duty foil. Divide the butter mixture and shallots evenly among the mussels. Then top each serving with 2 lime slices.
• Tightly close the foil packets and place them on the grill over direct heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Remove the packets from the heat. Discard any mussels that stay closed.
• Transfer the mussels to small bowls and garnish with the cilantro and a lime wedge.

 

 

Baked: Summer Trifle

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

 

I made this using extra scraps of sponge cake from my Chili Chocolate Marquise. It was a happy surprise. The sour cream is tangy and sweetened, and it pairs well with soft, juicy raspberries. The chocolate sponge turns soft from the weight of the cream and adds another dimension of texture. You also can use any fruit you have on hand. It’s great to eat something cool, fruity and refreshing this time of year. Make them in mason jars, put the lids on and take them for a picnic or a party. Enjoy and happy baking!

Summer Trifle
Serves 2 to 4
Adapted from Gourmet Traveler

3 eggs
¾ cup (140 g.) granulated sugar
¾ cup (75 g.) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup sour cream (or crème fraiche)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Marsala wine (or liqueur of your choice)
1 pint fresh raspberries, washed and cut

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 13-by-18 jellyroll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
• With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high for 5 minutes, until pale and tripled in volume.
• Sift the flour, cinnamon and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold. Then gently fold in the butter.
• Pour the batter into the jellyroll pan and level it with a spatula (Don’t worry if it’s thin; just make sure the batter is evenly spread to every inch of the pan.).
• Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
• While the cake cools, whisk the sour cream, brown sugar and Marsala wine together until combined. Add more sugar or sour cream to taste.
• Cut the sponge cake into strips. Place some pieces of cake at the bottom of a ramekin or a glass.
• Top the cake with a few raspberries, then spoon the cream on top of the fruit. Repeat layering cake, fruit and cream until the ramekin or glass is full.
• Serve within an hour, as the sponge cake will get soggy.

 

 

By the Book: Tyler Florence’s Dungeness Crab with Greek Yogurt, Cucumber, Tomato and Mint

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

 

Everything about Tyler Florence’s new book, Fresh, completely lives up to its name. The photographs, the type, the layout and the recipes are so clean. Recipes like Seared Halibut with Crushed Watermelon Gazpacho and Lime, or Octopus with Aioli, Lemon Crushed Potatoes and Fried Capers show Florence’s ability to balance sweet with sour, savory with fresh. His recipes are layered, requiring you make several separate components and combine them when plating. I think that’s what makes this book so fun; it’s not a collection of restaurant recipes watered down for home cooks. This book is for home cooks who wish they were chefs.

 

 

I made Dungeness Crab with Greek Yogurt, Cucumber, Tomato and Mint. It’s a super-light crab salad that turned out to be a nice mix of summer flavors. The plating instructions are a bit confusing; the ingredients are dressed together in a bowl, then reassembled one at a time on the plate. The mint (I added a bit of cilantro, too.) and the extra-virgin olive oil added at the end gave a clean finish to each bite.

 

 

Dungeness Crab with Greek Yogurt, Cucumber, Tomato and Mint
Serves 4

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover
2 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Olive oil, for shallow frying
4 plum tomatoes
1 lb. jumbo lump Dungeness crab meat (I used jumbo lump blue crabmeat.)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Persian cucumbers
Fresh mint, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Paprika, for garnish

• Drain the chickpeas and place in a medium pot with the lemon, the bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add water to cover at least 2 to 3 inches.
• Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer about 45 minutes, until tender. Drain the chickpeas and pat dry on paper towels.
• Heat ¼ inch of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat to about 325 degrees; a chickpea dropped into the oil should sizzle and dance. Add the chickpeas in batches and fry 3 to 5 minutes, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and season with salt while hot. Set aside.
• Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.
• Make a small “x” incision in the bottom of each tomato. Submerge them in the boiling water for 20 seconds until the skin starts to curl back from the cut. Remove with a strainer and transfer immediately to the bowl of ice water. Leave for 10 seconds, then drain. Peel off and discard the skins. Quarter and seed the tomatoes. Set aside.
• Pick through the crabmeat and discard any shell or cartilage.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice with the yogurt and stir well. Gently fold in the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper.
• Thinly slice the Persian cucumbers, then fold in the cucumbers and the tomatoes to dress lightly.
• Arrange the dressed tomatoes on 4 plates and top with chunks of crab. Top with the cucumber slices and fried chickpeas.
• Garnish with mint, drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers.

What’s your go-to summer salad to order when you dine out? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Fresh by Tyler Florence. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Katie, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian. Katie, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

Wilted Greens with Mushrooms in Black Bean Sauce

Monday, July 15th, 2013

 

Chinese dried black beans, also known as fermented black beans, are salted or preserved black beans. They are used in Chinese cooking to season meat, poultry and seafood. You can find them at any Asian markets in the St. Louis area. Since the beans are preserved, they will keep indefinitely, and once you learn how to use them, they’re nice to have on hand for an earthy, savory kick.

Usually this sauce is made in advance and added to meat or poultry, but we made the sauce in the pan to save time and reserved the soy sauce to give the greens some moisture. Greens and mushrooms have always been a personal favorite, and this is a Chinese spin on the pairing. The fermented black beans accentuate the mushrooms earthy flavors.

Wilted Greens with Mushrooms in Black Bean Sauce
2 to 4 servings

2 Tbsp. fermented black beans
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, grated
½ cup white wine
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 lb. greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc.), cleaned and stems removed, if necessary
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Sriracha or other hot sauce

• Soak black beans in a bowl of cool water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 10 minutes. Drain and mash beans with a spoon.
• Place a saute pan over high heat until smoking. Coat the pan with the vegetable oil, add the mushrooms, salt liberally and stir. Add the black pepper and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
• Add the garlic, ginger and mashed black beans and cook 1 or 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the white wine and reduce the liquid for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat.
• In a stockpot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the greens, season generously with salt and pepper and stir.
• When the greens begin to cook down, add the soy sauce and stir. Remove the pot from the heat. Serve the greens with the mushroom-bean mixture and a few dots of Sriracha or hot sauce.

 

 

In This Issue: Southern Comforts – Books

Monday, July 15th, 2013

 

Inspired to bring a taste of the South into your kitchen? Crack open these titles, and you’ll have grits, greens and gumbo down in no time.

 

 

In This Issue: The Ultimate Bellini

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

 

The Bellini is the quintessential summertime sipper, classic in its flavoring – white peach purée and prosecco – and simple in its assembly – the purée goes in the glass first, chilled sparkling comes next. But to elevate this minimalist drink to greatness, all the components have to be great. Here, we share the best purée, the best prosecco, the best proportions and even the best stemware to make the ultimate Bellini. 

–Photo by Carmen Troesser

Just Five: Soda-Pop Pork with Roasted Strawberries

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

 

This recipe was inspired by an early summer meal at The Restaurant at The Cheshire: a thick-cut, bone-in, smoked pork chop with a delicious black pepper and strawberry sauce. It was pretty transcendent, but it also was simple enough to set off my “Five Ingredients” alarm.

Smoking the meat is the challenge. If you have a smoker or can turn a grill into one, I recommend it for many reasons (smoked nuts, smoked mozzarella, smoked trout). But for this dish, it’s just as easy to toss some wood chips onto a charcoal fire until they smoke. If you don’t have them, you can skip this step entirely, since the brine adds a lot of flavor. Brining the pork in salt and Dr. Pepper turns it into something like a nice ham steak. The additional black pepper gives it real snappiness, and the mellow, roasted strawberries add sweetness.

Pork steaks are so cheap and easy to find, and they cook up in a flash. This dish also would be great using other summer berries or stone fruit instead of roasted strawberries. Elevate your pork steaks, St. Louis!

Soda-Pop Pork with Roasted Strawberries
Adapted by Dee Ryan from a dish at The Restaurant at The Cheshire
Serves 2

¼ cup salt
3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 pork steaks or pork chops (bone-in), 1-inch thick
1 liter Dr. Pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar

Special equipment:
Apple or cherry wood chips (optional)

• In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and the Dr. Pepper until the salt is dissolved. Place the pork in a zip-close bag and add the liquid. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
• Prepare a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Place the strawberries on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes.
• In a saucepan over medium head, add the roasted strawberries, the white balsamic vinegar and the sugar and cook 5 minutes, until the strawberries are soft. Remove them from the heat and mash into a sauce using an immersion blender or a fork. Set aside.
• Remove the pork from the brine and pat it dry. Drizzle a little olive oil on each piece and season with the remaining black pepper.
• When the grill is hot, toss the wood chips over the coals. Put the pork on the grill, cover and grill 5 to 6 minutes. Flip, then cover and cook 5 more minutes.
• Brush a layer of the strawberry sauce on the meat and cover for 1 minute. Remove the pork from heat and serve with the remaining sauce.

 

 

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