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AMY BERTRAND lifestyle and features editor abertrand@post-dispatch.com • 314-340-8284

DANIEL NEMAN food writer dneman@post-dispatch.com • 314-340-8133

M 1 • WEDNESDAY • 05.01.2019

DONNA BISCHOFF vice president of advertising dbischoff@post-dispatch.com • 314-340-8529



Müller-Thurgau grapes from Oregon

Rice Krispies Treats Snap Crackle Poppers Cookies ‘n’ Creme


The Müller-Thurgau grape, a cross between riesling and Madeleine royale varieties, is found predominately in Germany where it’s widely planted. Because Müller-Thurgau often lacks flavor when produced in high-yield vineyards, it’s often snubbed by wine critics. However, when the grapes are grown in yield-restricted vineyards, the flavors can become very concentrated resulting in delicious white wines. Below is a fine example from the well-regarded Anne Amie Vineyards, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The winery’s Müller-Thurgau is compared below with a pinot blanc from the Alsace region of France. Anne Amie Vineyards 2016 Cuvée A Müller-Thurgau, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in April for $11.99

Pierre Sparr 2016 Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in April for $14.99

Description • This crisp and delightful dry white is made from estate-grown MüllerThurgau grapes grown on vines first planted in 1979. Light- to medium-bodied, this wine has an inviting fresh and floral aroma that just says springtime. It’s refreshing and tangy, tasting of lime and other citrus flavors along with juicy green apples. This is an interesting wine with lots of character that would go well with flavorful food like paella and mildly spicy Asian cuisine.

Description • Elegant and beautifully balanced, this lovely, pale dry white comes from an Alsatian winery that was founded in 1680. Aged in stainless steel tanks without skin contact, this fragrant white is more delicate and finer than the Müller-Thurgau. It has good acidity and minerality and tastes of fresh stone fruit and apples with refreshing lemony notes. An easy-to-drink wine, it can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif wine or with shellfish and other light fare.

Follow Gail on Twitter @GailAppleson.

It was inevitable that those Rice Krispies Treats that were a part of everyone’s childhood (except mine) should find their way to the grocery store snack aisle. These are little nuggets the size of large dice with all the chewy marshmallow goodness you’d expect and a cookies ‘n’ creme coating to provide extra sweetness and a not unpleasant flavor. They’re kind of pricey, though. Size • 7.1 ounces Price • $5.49 Available • Grocery stores — Daniel Neman


Satan’s Whiskers cocktail One of those classic, Prohibition-era cocktails that has all but been forgotten, the Satan’s Whiskers is as devilishly elegant as ever. In a new Prep School video, Daniel Neman reminds you how to make one. stltoday.com/food

Rethinking pasta primavera BY AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN

You’d never know that pasta primavera, a pseudo-Italian dish that appears on virtually every chain restaurant menu, actually has roots in French haute cuisine. The usual reproduction — a random jumble of produce tossed with noodles in a heavy, flavordeadening cream sauce — tastes nothing like spring. Surprisingly, when we dug up the original recipe from New York’s famed Le Cirque restaurant, our colleagues found it wasn’t all that inspiring either, despite taking about two hours to prepare and dirtying five pans. First, the vegetables (which had been painstakingly blanched one by one) were bland. Second, the cream-, butter- and cheese-enrichedsaucedulledflavoranddidn’t really unify the dish. If we wanted a truespring-vegetablepasta—witha few thoughtfully chosen vegetables and a light but full-bodied sauce that clung well to the noodles and brought the dish together — we’d have to start from the beginning.



Find radishes, rhubarb and more This week at area farmers markets you’ll find radishes, rhubarb, lettuce, spring mix greens, spinach, kale, carrots, chard, asparagus, strawberries, sweet potatoes, morel mushrooms, garden plants, hanging baskets, fresh herbs, fresh eggs and more. To use those radishes, try this recipe from last year’s Let’s Eat section for an OpenFaced Radish Tartine. Information provided by the Lake Saint Louis Farmers and Artists Market.

Find our guide to area farmers markets at stltoday.com/ farmersmarkets CARL TREMBLAY, AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN

Spring Vegetable Pasta

Open-Faced Radish Tartine Serving: 1 (but can be multiplied to make as many as you like)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1 ½ pounds leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, sliced ½ inch thick, and washed thoroughly, plus 3 cups coarsely chopped dark green parts, washed thoroughly 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, chopped coarse, and reserved; spears cut on bias into ½ inch lengths 2 cups frozen peas, thawed, divided 4 cups vegetable broth 1 cup water 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 pound campanelle (farfalle and penne are acceptable substitutes) 1 cup dry white wine 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (½ cup), plus extra for serving

1. Bring leek greens, asparagus trimmings, 1 cup peas, broth, water and half of garlic to boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. While broth simmers, combine mint, chives and lemon zest in a bowl; set aside. 2. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer into an 8-cup liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have 5 cups broth; add water as needed to equal 5 cups). Discard solids and return broth to saucepan. Cover and keep warm. 3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and pinch salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until leeks begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus spears and cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add pepper flakes and remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 cup peas and continue to cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetables to bowl and set aside. Wipe out pot with paper towels. 4. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. 5. When wine is fully absorbed, add warm broth and bring to boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in Parmesan, lemon juice, vegetables and half of herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately, passing extra Parmesan and remaining herb mixture separately. Per serving (based on 6): 605 calories; 17g fat; 4mg cholesterol; 436mg sodium; 88g carbohydrate; 10g fiber; 13g sugar; 18g protein.

Ditch the pan

Braised Cod With Leeks and Cherry Tomatoes

1 thick slice of rustic bread 1 tablespoon unsalted highquality European-style butter 3 to 4 radishes, cleaned and sliced thin, but not too thin. Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt 1. Toast a slice of rustic bread and let cool on the rack of the toaster so that it won’t steam on itself. You want it to cool so that it will be crunchy but not melt the butter. Once cool, spread the butter and layer the sliced radishes over the whole surface. If you want the radishes to be at maximum crunchiness, soak in ice water for about 30 minutes before making the tartine. You can add fresh herbs to the butter if you like, but I prefer the simplicity of the butter, salt and radishes. 2. Just before eating, sprinkle fleur de sel on top and enjoy. Per serving : 215 calories; 13g fat; 31mg cholesterol; 1,169mg sodium; 23g carbohydrate; no fiber; 3g sugar; 3g protein.

Yield: 4 servings


You may be used to pan-searing thick-cut white fish fillets any time you take them home from the market and want a quick dinner, but it’s worth it to try a different technique. Braising is a great way to add flavor to mild-tasting fish, it’s a mess-free alternative to cooking in oil in a skillet, and it doesn’t take much longer to execute with fish. Using cherry tomatoes and making a white wine sauce in the pan made the dish fresh and bright —perfect for pristine white fish. Cooking the fillets among sauteed leeks imparted a subtle sweet flavor to the fish. To ensure the fish cooked through gently and evenly, we turned down the heat and covered the skillet so the fish both

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin and washed thoroughly Salt and pepper


simmered and steamed. A pat of butter swirled into the resulting sauce contributed richness. Haddock, snapper, tilapia, bluefish, monkfish and sea bass fillets are good substitutes for the cod.

4 garlic cloves, minced 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth 4 (6- to 8 ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1 ½ inches thick

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add leeks and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, wine and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to simmer. 2. Pat cod dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Nestle cod into skillet and spoon some vegetables and sauce over top. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes. 3. Carefully transfer cod to a platter. Stir remaining 1 tablespoon butter into vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste, and spoon vegetables and sauce over cod. Serve. Per serving: 372 calories; 11g fat; 120mg cholesterol; 443mg sodium; 20g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 7g sugar; 43g protein.