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Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis
feastSTL.com | APRIL 2014 | FREE
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Inspired Food Culture
indulge all of your senses
$35 Four-Course Dinner Special
Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis
APRIL 2014 |7|
from the staff from the PUBLIsher
What’s online this month.
| 10 |
A peek at the April episode.
| 12 |
Our staff and contributors share inspired ideas for tasteful living in st. louis.
| 20 |
coLUmns one on one
Patrick Horine talks Tower Grove farmers’ market and the future of local Harvest.
| 22 |
seed to taBLe
farmer Crystal stevens digs into spicy spring greens.
| 24 |
Buy it and try it: Jerusalem artichokes.
| 26 |
Petite treats: vanilla bean and lemon curd macarons.
| 28 |
Pastry chef Christy Augustin’s pâte à choux primer.
| 30 |
five salad dressing shakers are put to the test.
| 32 |
on the sheLf
new and notable in beer, spirits and wine.
| 34 |
The momisette ups brunch.
| 66 |
the Last BIte
Writer matt sorrell celebrates PayDay at Element.
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Of mOREl musHROOms (P. 58) BY Jennifer Silverberg TABlE Of COnTEnTs PHOTOGRAPHY Of mOREl musHROOms BY Jennifer Silverberg
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Inspired Food Culture
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2014 equus siGnature ture 23
Magazine Volume 5
| Issue 4 | April 2014
Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville Managing Editor, Print Content Liz Miller Managing Editor, Digital Content Kristin Brashares Art Director Lisa Allen
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Director of Sales Kelly Klein Contributing Editor Shannon Cothran Proofreader Christine Wilmes Editorial Assistants Tory Bahn Stacy McCann Contributing Writers Christy Augustin, Tory Bahn, Brandon Chuang Shannon Cothran, Pat Eby, Kyle Harsha, Valeria Turturro Klamm Jeremy Nulik, Lucy Schwetye, Matt Seiter, Matt Sorrell Crystal Stevens, Michael Sweeney, Shannon Weber
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Contributing Photographers Jonathan Gayman, Demond Meek Jennifer Silverberg, Steve Truesdell
Feast TV producers:
Catherine Neville Kristin Brashares production partner:
Pounds Media contributing Videographers:
Kurt Ehlmann, James Jackson, John Jacobsen Chris Roider, Alessio Summerfield
Contact Us Feast Media, 900 N. Tucker Blvd., 4th Floor St. Louis, MO 63101 feastSTL.com
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Distribution To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Jeff Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright © 2010-2014 by Feast Magazine™. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents, without the prior written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. Produced by the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, LLC
spring is when everyone shakes off the dust of winter and with this, our april issue, you’ll see that we’ve taken a cue from mother nature and have freshened things up a bit, too.
Digital managing editor Kristin Brashares (right) and I share a laugh during the filming of Feast TV. In this month’s episode, I make a version of Blood & Sand’s morel mushroom agnolotti, one of many morel-centric recipes found in Freshly Foraged (p. 62).
Art director Lisa Allen has redesigned many of our layouts, including my publisher’s letter, making our pages lighter, brighter and more engaging. Flip through this month’s columns and you’ll see how she’s beautifully integrated photography and copy, uniting the elements on the page.
Maplewood Coffee Crawl Sat., April 5, 8am to 1pm $5, cityofmaplewood.com/coffee
Stroll through Historic Downtown Maplewood, meet regional coffee roasters and sample coffees from around the world with local flavor. Live music and sidewalk sales up the fun at this annual event.
sunday supper at the salted pig Sun., April 13, 4 to 8pm $50, giving.stlouischildrens.org/ways-give/givingopportunities/sunday-supper-tickets
Join us for a Sunday Supper at The Salted Pig, a brand-new barbecue and “new comfort food” eatery in Frontenac. Proceeds benefit St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
schnucks Cooks Vanilla bean and lemon Curd Macarons Wed., April 23, 6pm; Schnucks Cooks Cooking School $40, schnuckscooks.com or 314.909.1704
Join publisher Cat Neville in the kitchen and make vanilla bean and lemon curd macarons.
21st Annual Dining Out For life Thu., April 24; diningoutforlife.com/stlouis
Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the participating restaurants. At least 25 percent of your check will be donated to support the work of Saint Louis Effort for AIDS.
Feast In the park May to October, 5 to 8pm; rotating St. Louis County Parks
Digital managing editor Kristin Brashares has rethought our digital content page (p. 8) to comprehensively deliver information on our digital and social media efforts so you know what to expect and how to connect with us throughout the month. We have also created a Feast TV preview page (p. 10) so you’ll know what you can look forward to in each episode.
Love food trucks? This weekly festival gathers great mobile eats and popular local bands in parks across St. Louis County. Get the full schedule, including a special kick-off celebration, in the Events section at feastSTL.com.
On the content side, print managing editor Liz Miller introduces two new cooking columns: Seed to Table (p. 22) and Sweet Ideas (p. 28). When I met Crystal Stevens, of La Vista CSA Farm in Godfrey, Ill., I was struck by her passion for produce, but even more intrigued by her creative approach to cooking with seasonal fruit and veggies. That inspired approach shines through in her first Seed to Table column, in which she waxes poetic about spicy spring greens.
Sat., May 3, doors open at 3pm; Sanctuaria
When Liz and I discussed adding a pastry column, we knew Christy Augustin of Pint Size Bakery & Coffee would be just the right person to tap. She has a background in teaching the art of pastry and the goodies at her Lindenwood Park shop are as delicious as they are approachable. Sweet Ideas kicks off with a primer on pâte à choux and Christy eloquently simplifies the French classic so any home cook can give it a try. And last, I’m happy to welcome Matt Sorrell as our new spirits columnist for On The Shelf (p. 32). He can frequently be found behind the bar at Planter’s House in Lafayette Square, mixing up incredibly good cocktails and I look forward to reading – and sipping – his recommendations each month. It feels good to shake things up, especially this time of year, when rising temperatures hint at all the wonderful things we’ll taste once the growing season commences. I love snowy days and hearty winter fare, but I’m ready to throw open the windows and celebrate the delicious season to come.
sanctuaria Derby Day sanctuariastl.com
Love watching the Kentucky Derby? Join us for a live broadcast at Sanctuaria that will feature inspired eats and drinks, like hot brown beignets with grits and Mint Juleps. A Derby celebration isn’t complete without jaunty attire, so come dressed in your best. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby hat and suit.
taste of Maplewood Sat., May 17, noon to 9pm; Sutton Blvd., just south of Manchester Road; maplewood-chamber.com/taste-ofmaplewood-event-page
Sutton blvd. will be transformed into a miniparadise for foodies, shoppers and everyone in between at this popular annual street festival.
Green homes Festival Sat., June 7, 9am to 4pm; Missouri Botanical Garden mobot.org/greenhomesfest
Help your family live green. Join us for a hands-on, day-long festival of learning, playing and engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds with an interest in sustainable, healthy lifestyles.
Cat’s picks Wednesdays, 8:35am, The BIG 550 KTRS, ktrs.com
Until next time,
Tune in as Feast publisher Cat Neville chats with host McGraw Milhaven and gives her weekly picks for the best places to eat and drink in the St. Louis area.
Catherine Neville publisher@feastSTL.com
@cat_neville Inspired Food Culture
hungry for more?
PHOTOGRAPHy by J. Pollack Photography
PHOTOGRAPHy by Demond Meek
connect with us daily:
Facebook. Keep up on the hottest new spots in
town (like Urban Chestnut’s new Grove brewery and bierhall) at facebook.com/feaststl.
PHOTOGRAPHy by Jennifer Silverberg
twitter. Share your food pics with @feastmag! One of our favorites last month: @weareMOFU’s super-fun rendition of our March cover.
pinterest. Want to impress your Easter guests? Check out our Delightful brunch Dishes board at pinterest.com/feastmag for great recipes.
instaGraM. Follow @feastmag for behind-theMust-Make Dish. Love white asparagus? We’ve got some great recipes for the seasonal sensation in Under Cover (p. 36), plus a special online-
scenes access to Feast Magazine and Feast TV.
extra asparagus salad by chef Josh Poletti of The Libertine in Clayton that features a caramelized yogurt vinaigrette and pork belly croutons. special Giveaway! Chefs tell us why boos blocks are their go-to for cutting boards in On The
Cutting Edge (p. 45). We’ve got a special John boos & Co. gift pack to give away, courtesy of Ford Hotel Supply Co., so you can get your hands on one, too! Details at feastSTL.com/promotions.
Watch our videos.
“You may have seen a movie, but have you ever eaten one?”
Gift Cards Available!
Movies for Foodies Food + Film + Diners + Chefs
MULTIPLE COURSES & COCKTAILS “PUT ME IN, COACH!” APRIL 3 ✪ Bull Durham APRIL 24—DINING OUT FOR LIFE
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Benefitting St. Louis Effort for AIDS “OH, MOMMY!” MAY 1 ✪ Mamma Mia MAY 11—MOTHER’S DAY
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Inspired Food Culture
watch this month’s episode to:
PHOTOGRAPHy by Jennifer Silverberg
Look for the Feast TV splat throughout the magazine. It tells you which articles are part of this month’s episode! Segment 1. Follow a “morel maniac” into the
woods, and pick up insider tips for hunting the elusive mushrooms.
Segment 2. Get in the kitchen with The Libertine’s Josh Galliano and Josh Poletti to see how they make the most of white asparagus season.
Segment 3. See how a redesigned space at Five bistro has given chef Anthony Devoti a whole new playground for rotating dinner concepts.
Segment 4. Journey to Effingham, Ill., for a rare
look at the making of John boos & Co.’s highly coveted butcher blocks and cutting boards.
Watch Feast TV on the Nine Network (Channel 9) at 2pm on Sat., April 5, and 1pm on Mon., April 7. Feast TV will also air on the nineCREATE channel throughout the month.
Feast TV is brought to you by the generous support of our sponsors: MISSOuRI WINES
WHOLE FOOdS MARkET
dINING OuT FOR LIFE
In April, reach for a bottle of Adam Puchta Winery’s Chardonel. Feast TV producer Cat Neville pairs the wine with blood & Sand’s morel mushroom agnolotti with English pea purée.
Get the ingredients, including dried morels, and recipe from Cat’s demo at both St. Louis-area locations of Whole Foods Market (brentwood and Town & Country).
Roth Living curates innovation and luxury in high-end appliances. Explore Roth’s showroom to experience an appliance’s true performance and create the inspired kitchen of your dreams.
Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the participating restaurants on Thu., April 24. At least 25 percent of your check will be donated to Saint Louis Effort for AIDS.
JOIN US! Wine Wednesday: Let Chef Mehmet take you on a culinary adventure with special wine pairings & select bottles half price all day. Thursday: Dine, Drink & Belly Dance with weekly cocktail specials & exciting belly dance performances. Sunday Brunch & Dinner: Enjoy an amazing breakfast menu with our delicious boozy breakfast cocktails & Chef Mehmet's Famous Turkish Fried Chicken. Lunch: Tues-Fri - Dinner: Tues-Sun - Sunday Brunch Happy Hour: Tues-Fri
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BATTER UP! Sarah’s is a locally owned business offering Custom Cakes, Cupcakes, Petit Fours, Desserts and Seasonal delights to the greater St. Louis area. Celebrating 10 Years of Sweet Memories.
Monday & Tuesday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
10 Clarkson Wilson Centre • Chesterfield • 636.728.1140 • sarahscakeshopstl.com Inspired Food Culture
| where we’re dining
5100 Daggett Ave., The Hill, 314.773.5553 fivebistro.com
What’s a chef to do when he wants to play around with dishes that don’t fit his restaurant’s culinary perspective? If you’re Anthony Devoti, you create a restaurant within your restaurant. In February, Devoti debuted Mon Petit Chou, the first in a series of temporary concepts that will pop up in a newly segmented space at Five Bistro. Now, Devoti’s fans can enjoy Five’s well-loved farm-focused fare or, through April, dig into rustic French dishes at Mon Petit Chou. The menu is a set five courses ranging from a country-style pâté with housemade grain mustard and pickles to fluke with pumpkin purée, charred onions and olives. When presented with the option, definitely order the wine pairing. French wines can be paired with each course and they beautifully enhance the menu. The 2011 Château La Rame, a lovely red wine from the bordeaux region, was a spot-on match for the lamb chop with foie gras butter. Once Mon Petit Chou runs its course, look for other pop ups to follow, each one featuring a type of cuisine that Devoti wants to explore. And, lucky for us, we get to go along on the journey. –C.N.
mon petit chou at five bistro
| where we’re drInkIng
upstairs at southtown pub wRiTTen by kyle harsha
if you are more comfortable ordering drinks from a bartender than from a mixologist, there are plenty of neighborhood joints in South City where a shot of Jim and a Stag chaser are the norm. Less common is a watering hole that serves high-caliber whiskey and beer in that same casual environment. Fortunately, the folks at Southtown Pub have filled this void. A few months ago, as the restaurant was becoming the in-the-know place for locals to get good grub, owners Paul and Sam Perrigue refurbished the second story. The new upstairs area offers a vast whiskey selection – bartenders claim more than 30 American whiskeys, and i counted no fewer than 55 different bottles behind the bar – as well as more than 30 beers and ciders on tap. The lengthy whiskey menu includes high-quality pours such as Templeton Rye, great deals on bottles like the elijah Craig 12 year Old Kentucky bourbon whiskey and rare finds (especially in neighborhood pubs) like black Maple Hill bourbon. The draft beer selection is equally impressive, with a majority of the options being from local craft producers, including 4 Hands brewing Co., Urban Chestnut brewing Co. and Perennial Artisan Ales. The kitchen offers a full food menu upstairs, comprised of new twists on classic bar fare – the house-smoked meats served in many dishes across the menu are outstanding. On an average Friday night (which also happens to be the bar’s karaoke night), the crowd is a lively mix of blue-collar workers and young professionals, and it is evident that everyone is there to cut loose. bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, quick to offer details about the bar’s extensive menu. if you are in the mood for a great drink and also want the feel of a neighborhood joint, then Southtown Pub might have exactly what you’re looking for.
3707 S. Kingshighway blvd., north Hampton, 314.832.9009, southtownpub.net
Kyle Harsha is a certified specialist of wine and certified sommelier with over 20 years’ experience in the food and wine industry. He drinks more wine than he probably ought to.
Inspired Food Culture
| where we’re DininG
the tattooed dog In February, The Tattooed Dog opened in Wentzville, the brick-and-mortar incarnation of owners Josh and Tara Lemmon’s former food truck, burger Ink. Like the truck, The Tattooed Dog offers a menu of seven-ounce flat-top grilled burgers, hearty sandwiches, fries, nachos and more. In name and décor the restaurant also carries on the truck’s tattoo and body art imagery, with one entire wall covered in colorful chalk promoting its menu. burgers like the Farmer stack sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted garlic aïoli and spring greens on top of a dense patty, sandwiched between a corn-dusted Kaiser roll. Another burger on offer, the Perzola, combines the same substantial patty with butter-poached pears, white American cheese, Gorgonzola crème and spring greens on a hefty pretzel bun. Paired with a side of classic chili-cheese fries, grabbing lunch or dinner at The Tattooed Dog is a satisfying experience. Pending approval from the city, the Lemmons expect to add wine and local craft beers to the menu this month. –L.M.
403 Luetkenhaus blvd., Wentzville, 636.887.2178 facebook.com/TheTattooedDog
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M-Th 5-9pm • Fri/Sat 5-10pm Inspired Food Culture
| Shop-o-maTi C
bowood farms and café osage Written by Shannon Cothran
in the 1930s, Lizzy rickard’s great-grandparents bought a farm in Clarksville, Mo. the land was bordered by Osage orange trees, which, historically, the Osage tribe used to make their bows. the trees inspired the couple to name their place Bowood Farms. in 2006, rickard’s family still owned the farm, and they decided to make the switch from wholesale plant production to retail through opening a shop and garden center in the Central West end. today the farm in Clarksville operates as a growing facility, while the shop and garden center in the city sells plants and retail products. in 2008, the family opened Café Osage inside the same beautifully rehabbed brick warehouse where the store is housed. “in some ways, we’re running four or five different businesses,” rickard says. “We’re our own supplier with the farm and the garden, supplying much of our own plants and food. We have the plants integrated with the store merchandise. And the café is in the store, so all the layers make it unique.” bowood has a rooftop herb garden and a large vegetable garden across the street. both gardens supply produce for Café Osage’s kitchen, helmed by chef David Kirkland. in recent months the café has been refreshed with new paint and fixtures. through the gardening arm of the business, customers can purchase everything they need for their own garden, “whether you want to do a full-on garden re-do or whether you don’t have a garden [and just want to grow some] herbs in a window or citrus in a pot,” says rickard. in April, bowood has broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mache microgreens, beets, Swiss chard, arugula, bok choy and lettuce seedlings for sale. 4605 Olive St., Central West end, 314.454.6868 bowoodfarms.com
| 1 | Having a digital version of your favorite recipes is convenient, but nothing says traditional family foods like recipes inked on old-fashioned cards and stored in a tin box. these vintage-inspired recipe boxes come in Art Deco or floral patterns. | 2 | this is not your mother’s chicken pot pie: the crust is light, flaky puff pastry which tops garden-grown peas, carrots and button mushrooms in a creamy sauce loaded with fresh thyme. “Our chicken is organic,” says chef David Kirkland, who added the pie to the menu in winter expecting to remove it for the summer season. His customers enjoyed it so much that it’s now on the menu year-round. | 3 | Meyer lemons grow remarkably well in containers, so the tree can survive in your home throughout winter months and flourish outside in the summer.
Three FreSh FindS aT Bowood FarmS and CaFé oSage
Derby Day Sat., May 3rd, 2014
Live Kentucky Derby broadcast! Prizes for Best Derby Hat and Suit! At the Derby, accessories make the outfit. Dress to impress!
- Mint Juleps - Derby Pie - Hot Brown Beignet with Grits - Hoppinâ€™ John - Mint Julep Upside-Down Cake Doors open 3pm. Free admission.
www.SanctuariaSTL.com 4198 Manchester Avenue | STL, MO 63110 | 314.535.9700 facebook.com/sanctuariastl | @SanctuariaTapas
Inspired Food Culture
| whAT we â€™re buying
Spring might officially begin in March, but in St. Louis April is truly the first full month of warm, sunny weather and the beginning of the growing season. Dig into planting a spring herb garden of your own with these bright gardening tools and accessories sure to jumpstart even the most dormant of green thumbs. â€“L.M.
| 11 |
| 12 | | 10 | |9|
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 |
| 13 |
| 1 | Ergonomic garden hand weeder in yellow, $16.95; The Gifted Gardener, 8935 Manchester Road, Brentwood, 314.961.1985, thegiftedgardener.com | 2 | Ergonomic garden hand trowel in green, $16.95; The Gifted Gardener | 3 | Brass watering can, $29.95; The Bug Store, multiple locations, bugstore.com 18
| 4 | Ceramic colored vase, $34; Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive St., Central West End, 314.454.6868, bowoodfarms.com | 5 | Cast-iron plant markers (for mint, lavender and lettuce), $4.75/each; The Bug Store | 6 | Aged pinecone-shaped planter, $32/small; Bowood Farms | 7 | Cast-stone garden gnome, $30; The Gifted Gardener | 8 |
Assorted locally grown herbs and plants, prices vary; Bowood Farms | 9 | Metal tray with three planters, $18.95; The Bug Store | 10 | Orleans oval planters, $59.99/set of three; Terra, 11769 Manchester Road, Des Peres, 314.966.0800, terrastl.com | 11 | Aluminum scoop, $18; The Gifted Gardener | 12 | Artisan made brown
ruffled cachepot, $12/small; Bowood Farms
| 13 | Gardening gloves, $5.99; Target, multiple locations, target.com | 14 | Cast-iron rabbit garden statute, $10; The Bug Store | 15 | Assorted seed packets, prices vary; Bowood Farms | 16 | Ergonomic garden hand cultivator in blue, $16.95; The Gifted Gardener PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Gayman
Here’s to ﬁrsts: First dates. First loves. First homes. No matter the occasion, Missouri Wines is sure to have a wine to perfectly complement each milestone. So, pour a glass and celebrate the little things and the big moments with Missouri Wines. We’ve created a milestone in Missouri as well. Find out what makes our wines so memorable by exploring over 125 Missouri wineries. Your journey begins at missouriwine.org.
Inspired Food Culture
one on one
co-foundeR, toweR GRove fARmeRs’ mARket co-owneR, LocAL HARvest GRoceRy, LocAL HARvest cAfe & cAteRInG WrITTeN By Valeria Turturro Klamm | PHoToGrAPHy By Jonathan Gayman
When the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market opened for its first season in 2006, cofounder Patrick Horine could not have imagined the success it would see in just under a decade. This year, for the first time in its nine seasons, the market will open three weeks early, on Sat., April 12, bringing a flock of food and drink vendors to Tower Grove Park every Saturday through the fall. “Since we started the market in 2006, the demand for local food has [caused farmers] to extend their season,” Horine says. “So we’re just answering that demand.” What role has the farmers’ market played in the local food scene and in the community? It’s helped introduce the idea of locally grown foods. There are a lot of other people who have helped with that as well. It has also helped launch local food-centric businesses. That’s what we’re probably most happy about. Several businesses that now have brick-and-mortar locations started at the farmers’ market – Southwest Diner, Traveling Tea, Salume Beddu, Kakao Chocolate and Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop. We also see a lot of area chefs at the market every Saturday. It’s had a really positive impact on the Tower Grove area. A real-estate agent selling a house in the area always lists it as an asset for the neighborhood. What new things can people expect this season? In the middle of the season we’re doing a new midsummer festival with 4 Hands Brewing Co. The idea is to have an extended market that will go into the late afternoon or early evening. We’ll bring in a lot of food entrepreneurs to show off their stuff and 4 Hands will do beer tastings. What surprises you the most about how the market has evolved? How big it has become. When we started there were 13 vendors, and we’d get about 500 people coming through on a Saturday. Now we have about 50 vendors and 4,000 people. When it started, it was really just something my wife and I wanted to do for our neighborhood. We had other jobs, and we wanted to do this thing on the side [because] we thought it would be good for the neighborhood. It’s grown into much more than we thought it would be, in a good way. There has been a lot of transition for your business Local Harvest in the past few months. How do you feel about it all? All the change in the past several months has ultimately been good for our core business. We are excited to be focusing on our mission and we are grateful to still be part of our wonderful community in Tower Grove. We’re looking forward to many more years here. What do you hope for the future of the farmers’
Tower Grove Farmers’ Market 4256 Magnolia Ave. (West of the Whitaker Theater at the Pool Pavilion), Tower Grove Park tgmarket.org
market? My only real goal is that 20 years from now this market is still an important part of the neighborhood.
Visit feastSTL.com to read the full interview with Patrick Horine.
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Inspired Food Culture
seed to table
Rice nests with Roasted spicy GReens
growing food can be compared to creating art. Sowing tiny, intricate seeds into rich, dark brown soil is just the first layer on the canvas. to witness these tiny miracles emerge as bright colorful sprouts reaching for the sun is astounding. in the spring, farmers’ fields across the Midwest begin to resemble patchwork quilts. gorgeous greens are among the first crops to emerge. there is something unmatched about harvesting greens on a cool spring morning just after the sun kisses the horizon. while damp knees are pressed into the earth and the smell of dew is still in the air, greens are harvested leaf by leaf with a sharp blade. typically, the young, tender leaves are added to delicate salad blends. they can also be grown to full size and harvested to be used as braising greens. Lost in many salad mixes are vibrant and sophisticated spicy greens. Mizuna mustard, Japanese in origin, is the most common spicy mustard green found peppered into gourmet salad blends. Mustards are in the plant family brassicaceae alongside cabbage, pak choi and kale and the origin of the mustard plant can be traced to the himalayas. Mustard greens have been cultivated in microclimates all over the world and have been used as food and medicine since ancient times. biting into freshly picked mustard greens is like tasting wasabi for the very first
written by Crystal Stevens PhotograPhy by Jennifer Silverberg
time, in a sort of nutty-spinach meets tangy-horseradish kind of way. Spicy greens are highly nutritious and chock-full of antioxidants when eaten raw and those available locally include mizuna mustard, ruby streaks purple mustard, scarlet frills, osaka purple mustard, Southern frills, red choi and tatsoi. ruby streaks purple mustard has a delicate texture with narrow, frilly oak-shaped leaves, and is a beautiful deep purple hue, making an elegant garnish. osaka purple mustard produces a large oval-shaped leaf, that when held up to the sun, shines deep maroon. osaka packs a powerful punch and makes a mean spring roll wrapper. Southern frills mustard has bright green ruffled leaves and adds an indescribable texture to any fresh or cooked dish. tatsoi, also referred to as spinach mustard, has circular leaves and long stems. baby red choi has oval, dark purple leaves and lime green stems. the colors of tatsoi and red choi perk up plates while imparting a neutral flavor and arugula pales in comparison to a bite of zesty mustard greens.
Spring Rice Nests with Roasted Spicy Greens and Baked Tofu These colorful spring rice nests showcase the elegant, ruffled edges of spicy greens. serves | 6 | Roasted spicy GReens
1/8 3 2 1 1
cup extra virgin olive oil tbsp toasted sesame oil tbsp sesame seeds tsp soy sauce lb mixed spicy mustard greens (baby asian greens such as pak choi also work)
three rivers Community Farm will have salad greens, mesclun mix, baby kale, spinach, radishes and baby beets at the Schlafly Farmers’ Market this spring.
Crystal Stevens is a farmer at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River in Godfrey, Ill., where she farms with her husband, Eric. They have two children. Crystal is an advocate of integrating creativity into sustainability through writing, art, photojournalism and seed-to-table cooking. Find more of her work at growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com, which she created to launch her forthcoming book, Grow Create Inspire.
1 14-oz package tofu, cubed or sliced into rectangles 1 tbsp smoked paprika 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp soy sauce Rice nests
2 cups brown rice 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp fresh grated ginger splash rice wine vinegar Roasted Spicy Greens (recipe below) 2 carrots, shaved Smoked Tofu (recipe below) 1 handful pea shoots, washed 3 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
| Preparation – Roasted Spicy Greens | Preheat oven to 375ºF. in a large bowl, combine first four ingredients. add greens and toss until evenly coated. Lightly oil a large sheet pan. roast greens on sheet pan for about 10 minutes, until greens on the perimeter have crispy edges. if cooked too long, their flavor will become charred and unpleasant.
| Preparation – Baked Tofu | Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly oil a large sheet pan. in a medium bowl, toss all ingredients together until tofu is evenly coated and transfer to sheet pan. bake tofu for roughly 10 minutes on each side or until golden.
| Preparation – Rice Nests | Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside. Cook rice according to package directions, adding garlic, ginger and rice vinegar to the water. when rice has cooled to the touch, prepare 12 small to medium rice balls using an ice cream scoop. Push your thumb or a spoon into the center of each ball to create a nest. warm nests in the oven for 5 minutes. top nests with roasted spicy greens, shaved carrots, baked tofu and pea shoots. garnish with sesame seeds, Sriracha or sweet chile sauce and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
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Meet: jerusaleM artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are neither an artichoke nor do they hail from Jerusalem; let’s discuss. What is it?
Jerusalem artichokes are the tuber of a species of sunflower and are also known (perhaps more accurately) as sunchokes or sun roots. they bear only a distant relation to artichokes – both are members of the daisy family – and they are small, knobby and bulbous, much like ginger root. Jerusalem artichokes contain almost no starch but are rich in inulin, which converts to fructose when stored and is responsible for their faintly sweet taste. grown from the northern to southernmost regions of the U.s., and from the east coast to the Midwest, the pinkish-brown root grows rapidly, sometimes yielding up to 200 tubers by season’s end. What do i do With it?
the sky’s the limit with this versatile, potato-like ingredient; Jerusalem artichokes are up for almost anything. they have a
relatively mild flavor and crisp texture, which makes them a good substitute for water chestnuts. For raw salads, slice them thinly (much as you would raw beets), or fry them into chips. boiling, steaming or roasting softens them and brings their nuttiness to the foreground; roasting in particular really amplifies their sweetness. best of all, there’s no peeling required; scrub them well with a vegetable brush, and they’re ready to use. it’s important to accentuate the positive while addressing the negative, and this versatile tuber has one negative: inulin is indigestible, and they have quite a bit of it. While delicious, Jerusalem artichokes are best eaten in moderation, and this recipe allows you to do just that. the cannellini beans provide a neutral backdrop for their nutty sweetness, and the sundried tomatoes, lemon and spanish olives brighten up the hearty spread. serve it with fresh vegetables (cauliflower and peppers make excellent pairings) and triangles of toasted pita bread.
Shannon Weber is a writer, graphic designer and stay-at-home mom who writes the award-winning blog aperiodictableblog.com.
story and recipe by Shannon Weber photography by Jennifer Silverberg
Jerusalem ArtichokeSundried Tomato Spread You may use sundried tomatoes packed in oil or completely dehydrated. The oil-packed variety may be drained on a paper towel to remove excess oil; the dehydrated version can be soaked in a small bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes to soften prior to use. Yield | 1½ cups | 1 1 ½ 1 2/3 4
lb Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed, cut into 1-inch chunks tbsp plus ½ cup olive oil, divided cup sundried tomatoes, lightly packed 15.5-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained cup Spanish olives, pitted cloves garlic, peeled juice of 1 to 2 lemons sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
| Preparation | preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a lipped sheet pan with aluminum foil. in a large bowl, toss Jerusalem artichokes in 1 tbsp olive oil until evenly coated. spread out in a single layer on prepared pan. roast in oven for 35 to 40 minutes until tender. remove and allow to cool slightly. in the bowl of a food processor, add roasted Jerusalem artichokes, tomatoes, cannellini beans, olives and garlic; pulse until combined. With the motor running, slowly stream in remaining ½ cup olive oil until mixture is creamy and smooth. add lemon juice to taste and season generously with salt and pepper. serve at room temperature alongside mixed raw or blanched vegetables and toasted pita bread.
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VaniLLa Bean and Lemon Curd maCarons
Macarons, the crisp, chewy French confections, are not to be confused with macaroons, the largely coconut-based cookie. Macarons are comprised of two almond meringue discs, traditionally sandwiching a flavored buttercream, jam or ganache. the petite treat comes in
Story and recipe by Tory Bahn and Lucy Schwetye photography by Jennifer Silverberg
limitless flavor combinations and while delicate and refined, remains a versatile finger food fit for any occasion. this recipe highlights the unique flavor of vanilla bean in the meringue cookie, brought together by fresh lemon curd for a twist on the filling.
Vanilla Bean and Lemon Curd Macarons Yield | 24 macarons | Lemon Curd
BuBBLe trouBLe. as you pipe macaron batter into discs onto sheet
over the heat unattended. be sure to whisk continuously so that you do not overcook or scramble your curd.
trays, take care to quickly flatten any peaks or bumps with damp fingers to create flat surfaces. tap sheet trays on a hard surface to release any large air bubbles that might form during piping.
traCe spaCe. to ensure that your macarons are all the same size and
Whisk it Good. When making the lemon curd, don’t allow it to sit
that they all cook evenly, trace circles on your parchment paper and then pipe macaron batter inside of the tracings.
roasted Wild Mushroom and Local bacon Salad ○ grilled Veal rib chops with Sweet Soy reduction ○ creamy polenta ○ Fried brussels Sprouts ○ Vanilla Bean and Lemon Curd macarons
water large egg yolks cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Tbsp lemon zest cup super-fine sugar stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Make The MeaL ○
5 1/3 1 ½ 1
1½ Learn more. in this month’s class, you’ll learn how to make a simple
sweet soy reduction that easily enhances many dishes. you’ll also learn how to roast earthy wild mushrooms to maximize their complex flavor and crispier texture. and, just in time for early spring grilling season, we'll explore how to properly grill veal rib chops.
get hands-on: Join Feast and schnucks Cooks Cooking school on Wed., april 23, at 6pm to make the dishes in this month’s menu. tickets are just $40 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RsVP at schnuckscooks.com or call 314.909.1704.
12/3 1 ¾ ¼ 3
cups almond meal, sifted then measured cups powdered sugar, measured then sifted vanilla bean, scraped for seeds cup sugar cup water large egg whites, room temperature
| Preparation – Lemon Curd | bring a small pot with 2 inches of water to a simmer. in a large metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar until combined. Set bowl over pot of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and ribbons form, about 10 minutes. remove from heat and whisk in butter until it melts into curd. cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. refrigerate until cold and set.
| Preparation – Macarons | preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. in a large bowl, whisk together almond meal and powdered sugar. Set aside. in a small pot over medium heat, combine vanilla bean seeds and pod, sugar and water to make vanilla syrup. bring mixture to a boil just until sugar is completely dissolved. turn off heat and discard vanilla pod. in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites to soft peaks at medium speed. once you reach soft peaks, with the mixer running on low, slowly stream in warm vanilla syrup. after syrup has been added, increase mixer speed to high and whip for 5 to 7 minutes until stiff peaks have formed. pour whipped meringue on top of the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture and fold to thoroughly combine. Scoop ¼ batter into a pastry bag at a time. cut a ½-inch diameter opening straight across. pipe 1½-inch discs onto the prepared pan, about 1 inch apart. repeat with remaining batter. place in the center of the oven, immediately turn temperature down to 325 ºF and bake for 10 minutes or until the macaron bottoms just start to turn golden. remove from oven and let cool completely. While macarons are cooling, place cold lemon curd in another piping bag and cut a 1/8-inch tip opening. pipe a quarter size mound of curd onto the flat side of one macaron and sandwich with another. repeat until all macarons are sandwiched.
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pâte à choux
The very best pastry recipes are those you can build on, perfect over the years and, most importantly, use time and time again in many applications. Pâte à choux is one of the most versatile basic pastry doughs, yet it is rarely seen outside of French pastry shops. At its simplest, pâte à choux is a baked shell that can be filled with cream in desserts such as éclairs and cream puffs, cut in half and filled with chicken salad to serve as tea sandwiches and even piped into a fryer to make churros. Elevated, you will find that choux can be dipped into hard caramel to make a towering French wedding cake called croquembouche or flavored with Dijon and Gruyère to transform them into gougère. In French, pâte à choux translates to cabbage paste – not because of the ingredients, but because of its appearance. There isn’t cabbage in the recipe, but a beautifully piped choux puff does resemble a tiny head of cabbage after baking. The key to perfect puffs is to thoroughly
story and recipe by Christy Augustin Photography by Jonathan Gayman
cook the paste until the bottom of the pan is coated in starch, and the starch starts to turn golden brown. This important step allows you to incorporate more eggs, which are the all-important leavener that helps you create light, airy puffs that are nearly hollow inside.
Profiteroles with Hot Fudge Sauce
The dough itself can made on the stovetop and does not require special tools, although a stand mixer does make quick work of stirring in the eggs. You begin by cooking butter and flour with a liquid to form a thick paste before adding whole eggs. The variations can start right in the pot: You can use water and lard to make it dairy-free, substitute beer or stock for a savory choux, add fruit juice for a brightly flavored choux or add spices and herbs to increase its zesty appeal.
Basic Pâte à Choux - Yield | 20 puffs | 1 cup whole milk ½ tsp kosher salt 1½ tsp sugar ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature 1 cup bread flour, plus 1 Tbsp 4 to 5 eggs
I recommend using bread flour in this recipe because it has higher gluten content, which creates a nice rise in the oven, but all-purpose flour works very nicely, too.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Christy Augustin has had a lifelong love affair with all things sweet. After working as a pastry chef in New Orleans and St. Louis, she opened Pint Size Bakery & Coffee in Lindenwood Park in 2012. She calls herself the baker of all things good and evil. Learn more at pintsizebakery.com.
Serves | 4 to 6 |
1 cup half-and-half ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tsp kosher or sea salt 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 12 oz dark milk chocolate* 1/3 cup unsalted butter
| Preparation – Choux | Combine milk, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour all at once and continue stirring while cooking paste on medium-high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until paste begins to pull away from sides of pan and coats bottom with golden brown starch. Remove pan from heat; add eggs while stirring vigorously, one at a time. After fourth egg, test consistency of paste by running your finger through it to create a channel. If channel does not close, add another egg – if it closes slowly, it is ready. If it closes quickly, next time, cook paste further before adding any eggs – this step of drying out the paste is crucial. You can still bake your puffs; they will just be a bit softer and not as hollow. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and preheat oven to 390°F. Using a pastry bag, pipe 20 2-inch diameter mounds, taking care to leave room between mounds. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate pan, turn oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When puffs turn dark golden brown they are finished baking – don’t be tempted to underbake or they will deflate when cooled.
| Preparation – Hot Fudge Sauce | Combine half-and-half, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a large bowl, place vanilla, chocolate and butter. Pour hot dairy mixture over chocolate and whisk to combine. | To Serve | Cut each choux in half horizontally, fill with a scoop of your favorite ice cream, replace the pastry top and drizzle with hot fudge. *I recommend Missouri-based Askinosie Chocolate’s 62 percent Davao bar or Patric Chocolate’s 58 percent bar.
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sALAd dRessIng mIxeRs
hamiLTon Beach SingLe-Serve BLender 51101B PROS
This mini-blender with its BPA-free plastic blending jar, stainless-steel blades and mighty motor whips dressings into shape in no time. It makes a darn good fruit smoothie, too. The tall and skinny machine doesn’t take up much counter space. It uses a single-speed pulse button that depresses easily. Hamilton Beach offers replacement parts for the jar and the lid.
oxo SaLad dreSSing Shaker PROS
This hefty BPA-free plastic shaker with its swivel pouring cap highlights OXO’s attention to quality materials and construction. Vigorous shakes up and down and side to side didn’t budge the cap and emulsified dressings in just one minute. The jar holds one-and-ahalf cups. It’s nicely marked in cups, milliliters and ounces and unscrews at the center for easy additions, especially useful with yogurt and sour cream. Dishwasher safe. CONS
Don’t plan on pouring hot liquids into the blending cup, so no warm bacon dressings. Also, no speed blending – this baby works on gentle pulses. The instruction booklet doesn’t recommend longtime storage in the blending jar, so you’ll need a separate storage container. Hand wash only on the cup and the lid.
When this shaker is used as a salad dressing dispenser, the pour spout works well even on creamier dressings, but gunk stays on the stopper, which is a bit unsightly. Plan to spend time de-gunking after each use. $14.95; Williams-Sonoma, multiple locations, williams-sonoma.com
$17.99; Kmart, multiple locations, kmart.com
WrITTEN BY Pat eby PHOTOGrAPHY BY Jonathan gayman
chef’n emULSTir SaLad dreSSing mixer
LifeTime BrandS SaLad dreSSing Shaker
maSTrad Qwik wiSk UniverSaL mixer
This popular emulsifier overflows with positive online reviews and looks like fun with its svelte shape and loopy sculptural twirler. A lever drives the twirler. The silicone lid lifts to allow pouring over salads and snaps shut to store in the refrigerator. It’s available with red or green accents.
A straightforward glass shaker bottle by Lifetime Brands with lower-calorie dressing recipes and fill lines printed on the bottle made easy work and good dressings. At just nine ounces it’s a tidy size for a single person or small family. The shake out worked straight up, sideways and upside down and this shaker was a big favorite until…
This French gadget whirls to create a fine emulsion for simple vinaigrettes in under a minute. A twisty, dark stainless-steel rod drives a circular plastic wheel with the same action as a child’s top. It’s a fun gadget, easy to push, made from ABS plastic and BPA free. Plus it’s top-shelf dishwasher safe. Don’t look for cup measurements; this Gallic gadget marks only ounces and milliliters.
The lever squeezes open and shut easily, but it doesn’t drive the twirler fast enough to whisk the dressing, which makes for weak emulsion. The V-shape of the bottle narrows too tightly to wash effectively by hand. A newer version of this big seller corrected some major problems in the original design, but it still needs additional improvements to be a truly high-performance gadget.
…the top of its plastic cap snapped off in a New York minute, leaving one useless gadget taking up space on the counter. $3.99; Target, multiple locations, target.com
$14.95; Sur La Table, 295 Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac, 314.993.0566, surlatable.com
Oil remains in the housing that covers the rod even after repeated cleanings. This gadget is advertised to whip egg whites and whipped cream, but the little bit of residual oil left over from a batch of dressing inhibited the egg whites from rising to the top. $20; Bed Bath and Beyond, multiple locations, bedbathandbeyond.com
Ck o ut pag e
whaT To Look for : EffECtivE EmulSifiCatiON. Oil and vinegar don’t play well together, but
miNdful matERial. Look for plastics that are BPA-free. Acidic
if you force enough air into the mix to disperse the oil into fine droplets, they’ll hang together long enough to dress the salad. Look for shakers with tight-fitting lids or whisking-type emulsifiers with plenty of oomph to make it happen.
ingredients such as vinegar and lemon juice used in salad dressings allow the chemical Bisphenol-A to leach from the plastic into your food. Glass is, by nature, non-reactive, so it’s a good choice for this type of gadget. StuRdiNESS. Some plastics are sturdier than others. Glass breaks when
CONSidER CaPaCity. The capacity of mixing jars for emulsifiers ranges
dropped on tile kitchen floors. Select a material that jives with your needs.
from eight to 16 ounces, or one to two cups. Unlike commercial dressings, homemade concoctions lack preservatives, so shelf life is much shorter. Consider how much salad dressing you’ll use within a few days of preparation when shopping for shakers.
COmiNg ClEaN. Oil sticks like glue to most plastics. Even a trip through the dishwasher can leave a slick, so be prepared to spend time on clean up, even on items marked dishwasher safe.
Shake up salad dressing to pair with the morel mushroom salad recipe in Freshly Foraged.
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Everyday Totes in two sizes $85
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Steve is making Handmade Sandals this year. Now is a good time to place your order!
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on the shelf
toP APRIL PICKS
WRITTeN bY Michael Sweeney
When he’s not writing, Matt Sorrell can be found slinging drinks at Planter’s House in Lafayette Square or bartending at events around town with his wife Beth for their company Cocktails Are Go.
GooSe ISland beer co.’S endleSS IPa
AvAilAble At: Schnucks Markets, multiple
locations, schnucks.com; $6.99 (sixpack, 12-oz bottles) PAiringS: Shrimp and andouille po’boy• Manchego cheese While session beers – lower alcohol for enjoyment of a few without losing your wits – aren’t anything new, the focus on them by craft breweries is certainly nice for those of us looking for big flavor and low alcohol content. This beer clocks in at 5.2 percent alcohol by volume without sacrificing the IPA characteristics we’re looking for. It features a fruity aroma and a clean malt body that lets the hops shine through.
o���fallon breWery’S Zeke’S Pale ale
AvAilAble At: Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, parkerstable.com; $27.99 try it: In a Martini or as the base in a citrusy cocktail like a Tom Collins
According to co-founder and namesake Simon Ford of The 86 Co., this gin is “intended to be a workhorse for the cocktailian bartender.” It’s chock-full of nine botanicals, starting with the traditional juniper and coriander seed, then further enhanced with bitter orange, lemon and grapefruit peels, jasmine flower, orris, angelica and cassia. The botanicals are then steeped for 15 hours before distillation. The result is a spirit with a bright nose, full body and a complex palate with a long finish.
Imbue Petal & thorn aPérItIf WIne ProvenAnce: Oregon (18% abv)
AvAilAble At: Randall’s Wines and Spirits, multiple
AvAilAble At: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $26.99 try it: Stirred with a botanical-forward gin with a dash or two of orange bitters in a Martinez
The art of making a good beer is balance. Not only do you need to balance the sweetness of the malt with the bitterness of the hops, but you also need to find nice flavor and something that’s refreshing. O’Fallon hits the mark with Zeke’s, providing a hoppy, tropical aroma of passion fruit and papaya in a crisp, clean-tasting beer that will have you coming back for more.
SaInt louIS breWery’S Schlafly can SeSSIonS yakIma Wheat ale Style: American Wheat Ale (4.5% abv) AvAilAble At: Friar Tuck, multiple locations,
friartuckonline.com; $7.49 (six-pack, 12-oz cans) PAiringS: Chicago-style hot dog• Strawberry salad After a bitterly cold winter, many of us are looking forward to a warm spring. Maybe we can kick start some warm weather by enjoying a Schlafly Yakima Wheat Ale. This hoppy wheat beer showcases the floral hops from the Yakima Valley but never overwhelms the palate. With just the right amount of bitterness, it provides something more interesting than your standard wheat ale but remains as bright as a spring day. APRIL 2014
ProvenAnce: London, U.K. (45% abv)
Style: American Pale Ale (5.1% abv)
locations, shoprandalls.com; $8.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles) PAiringS: Chicken satay• Spicy edamame
WRITTeN bY Matt Sorrell
The creator of stlhops.com and founder of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, Michael Sweeney is also the craft beer manager at Lohr Distributing.
Style: American IPA (5.2% abv)
Thanks to the modern cocktail boom, vermouth has finally been getting the respect that it has always deserved – so much so that Imbue out of Oregon has actually built a business around making its own custom versions, such as Petal & Thorn. This big, bold vermouth is based on Oregon-grown Pinot Gris and has an intriguing combination of floral and citrusy aromatics and a bitter, herbal taste, the result of 10 botanicals. Its deep color comes from a combination of cinnamon sticks and beets.
tequIla ocho ProvenAnce: Mexico (40% abv) AvAilAble At: Randall’s Wines and Spirits, multiple locations, shoprandalls.com; plata $46.99; reposado $51.99; anejo $57.99 try it: Neat
Forget about that bad experience you had in college with that plastic bottle of cheap ‘gold’ mixto tequila. Much like fine wine, this line of tequilas is all about terroir and its impact on the final product. Made with 100 percent agave, these three spirits are crafted with plants harvested from a variety of individual estates in specific bottlings – the first tequila to do so – ensuring that each bottle provides a truly unique taste and experience.
WRITTEn By Kyle Harsha
Kyle Harsha is a certified specialist of wine and certified sommelier with over 20 years’ experience in the food and wine industry. He drinks more wine than he probably ought to.
GunDlaCh BunDsChu CharDonnay 2012 Provenance: Sonoma Coast, Calif. available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $19.99 Pairings: Oysters• Popcorn• Sushi
Every once in a while I get truly surprised by a wine, and this bottle was one such case. Because the wines from Gundlach Bundschu (insiders call it “Gun Bun”) have a decent presence in the St. Louis market, I assumed they were mass-produced plunk. Au contraire. The Chardonnay has a production of fewer than 5,000 cases, and Gun Bun is California’s oldest family owned winery. It is a balanced effort with apple, pear and honey notes accented slightly by oak and baking spice.
DomaIne Gramenon Valreas Côtes Du rhône VIllaGes l’elementaIre 2012 Provenance: Côtes du Rhône, France available at: Starrs, 1135 S. Big Bend Blvd., Richmond
Heights, starrs1.com; $25.99 Pairings: Roasted pheasant• Smoked salmon • Red snapper This 100 percent Grenache is produced by a family owned estate near the village of Valreas in the Southern Rhône. It was founded in 1979 and is now run by a nurse-turnedwinemaker and her son. The wines are produced using organic and biodynamic practices and are starting to achieve critical acclaim. The fluorescent purple color of the wine alone makes it noticeable, and it is quite delicious. The black cherry, blueberry and forest-floor flavors explode from a new favorite that will turn your teeth purple and your heart warm.
ostatu BlanCo 2011 Provenance: Rioja, Spain available at: Wines of Wildwood, 2418 Taylor Road,
Wildwood, winesofwildwood.com; $14.99 Pairings: Fried chicken• Sea bass en papillote• Lemongrass Are you a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, yet tired of the way-too-acidic options on the market? The Ostatu Blanco might be a fun alternative. Produced predominately from the Viura grape with a splash of Malvasia, this wine hails from Rioja and is grown in the same chalk and clay soils that give the reds from the area their world-class appeal. The result is a crisp, clean white wine with notes of lemon peel, tropical fruits and a spicy hint of ginger. Drink it cold with your favorite Thai takeout.
Inspired Food Culture
brunch has been a part of american culture since at least the 1930s, when passengers on the transcontinental railroad would exit the train during late-morning stops to grab a bite to eat. the true origins of brunch, however, began across the pond. in 1895, a man named guy beringer penned an article stating, “instead of england’s early Sunday dinner, a post-church ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? by eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.” beringer implied that after a Saturday night of debauchery, getting up early Sunday morning seemed unproductive. So why not get up a little later, eat a light meal around noon and then go about your day? pure genius, Mr. beringer. Libations served at brunch should be lighter in alcohol content and
Story and recipe by Matt Seiter photography by Jonathan Gayman
packed with vitamins from juice. they need to raise the soul from the previous night’s devilish endeavors. today, bloody Marys or Mimosas are seen as quintessential brunch cocktails. the former are lighter in alcohol content, as there is normally only one shot of vodka (or gin, if you’re old school, in which case the drink is called a red Snapper), to four to six shots of spiced tomato-juice mixture. Mimosas are similarly light: three to five ounces orange juice mixed with three to five ounces champagne or sparkling wine. in the past few years, other cocktails like the ramos gin Fizz and corpse reviver #2 have been appearing on brunch menus around town, but i’d like to see another introduced: the Momisette. Momisette is French for “tiny mummy.” i’m not sure how the drink got its name, but it is an exhilarating cocktail. i’ve seen this drink served over ice or like a Mimosa (poured into a champagne flute or wine glass and stirred briefly). there is no wrong way to serve it, so it comes down to personal preference.
Matt Seiter is a co-founder of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s St. Louis chapter, a member of the national board for the USBG’s MA program and a continuing educator for all desiring knowledge of the craft of mixology. He is a member of Drink Lab and a consultant at Sanctuaria.
Momisette serves | 1 | 1
½ 4 to 5
oz North Shore Distillery Sirène Absinthe or Pernod Ricard Pastis ice (optional) oz orgeat syrup oz sparkling water or sparkling wine lemon twist (optional)
| Preparation | pour absinthe or pastis into a glass (either over ice or not). pour in orgeat syrup and stir. top off with sparkling water or sparkling wine. garnish with lemon twist.
Bubbly Basics this sparkling water cheat sheet outlines the differences, however subtle, that distinguish the most popular non-alcoholic bubbly drinks used as mixers in cocktails. Club Soda. Water made with dissolved carbon dioxide combined with mineral ingredients for flavoring (potassium bicarbonate and sulfate are the most common). Seltzer water. Water made with dissolved
carbon dioxide. toniC water. Water made with added flavor
of quinine (with a distinct bitter flavor) and sugars along with dissolved carbon dioxide.
Paradise in the Pacific
For a special culinary experience, visit Huatulco on Mexico’s southern Pacific Coast. Cafe Juanita in the town of La Crucecita serves favorite dishes of the region and offers cooking classes. The cafe’s owners will take you on a culinary journey using some of the area’s freshest local ingredients.
ORIGINAL BROADWAY COMPANY PHOTO BY FRANK OCKENFELS
The destinations that line the Pacific ocean are Mexico’s most beautiful and scenic resort areas. Beach resorts mix with charming fishing villages, while the beauty of the mountains frames the magnificent coastline. Zipline above a tropical forest, enjoy amazing watersports or play championship golf. culture and history are rich and alive in the towns and markets on this stretch of coast which offers incredible regional cuisine.
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UNDER COVER For six weeks in mid-spring, Don Ross’ Written by Liz Miller
He wakes up with the sun and ventures out into the cool morning air to the shed where he keeps the 1948 Allis-Chalmers Model G cultivating tractor he retrofitted some 30-odd years ago. Today the machine is more golf cart than farm equipment, as its only function these days is to move Don down the rows of white asparagus on his farm. With his legs
straddling either side of the tractor, seated low to the ground, just above the rows of asparagus, Don cuts each stalk by hand using a homemade steel knife, its blunt end almost resembling an offset spatula. From under the tractor’s canopy roof Don is protected from harsh sunlight, wind or rain that might try to slow him down, because whatever the forecast,
photography by Demond Meek
the white asparagus has to be harvested.
And whatever the forecast, Don doesn’t have time to slow down. Once the first crop of the day is cut, Don’s wife Joyce and their daughter-in-law Jodie help wash and prepare the asparagus for
sale. In the evening, Don returns to the rows to cut a second round of white asparagus. He has to cut the stalks twice a day to harvest them while they’re still white; they grow as much as three inches in a single day, and it only takes an hour or two of sunlight to send streaks of purple jetting into their ivory skins. The next stage is green.
liFe is devoted to white asparagus. “It’s really not hard to grow, it’s just so labor intensive,” Don says. “I cut it twice a day and if I miss one, the next day it’s green, and I have no sale for it. I spend as much as 10 hours a day – if it’s warm weather and a lot of growth – just with the asparagus.” The farmer has been harvesting the crop for
the better part of 50 years on his plot of land in Freeburg, Ill., where he and his family are the last growers carrying on a local white asparagus legacy. “It’s kind of nice to have something that no one else has,” he says. “Competition is great, but we just don’t have any.”
Inspired Food Culture
Though he’s grown white asparagus for most of his life, Don’s primary income was earned raising cattle and pigs under the name Don Ross and Sons, until he retired in 2002 – but he didn’t retire from growing white asparagus. In nearby Belleville, Ill., white asparagus used to be big business. Generations of Midwesterners grew up associating the first snaps of spring with pale spears of white asparagus. Restaurants in the region featured dishes and sometimes entire menus focused on white asparagus during the growing season in April and May. For decades, the plant was produced in high volume to satisfy regional and even national demand, eventually earning the moniker “Belleville white asparagus.” The man responsible for putting white asparagus on the Belleville map was a farmer named Charles Goetz, who began growing white asparagus – a popular crop in his family’s native Germany, where spargel usually refers to white asparagus, while grüner spargel distinguishes the green – near Belleville just after the turn of the 20th century. Quickly, Goetz became the Midwest’s largest white asparagus farmer, if not the largest producer in the country. Dozens of other local farmers would eventually grow the crop, but none were as famous as Goetz. In 1982, Goetz Farm closed, ending the story of Belleville’s most celebrated white asparagus producer. But in another city fewer than 10 miles away, the story of a different white asparagus farm was already well underway and far from finished. Don Ross planned to keep the crop’s roots firmly planted in the region. Don is the second generation to grow white asparagus on the family farm in Freeburg. He is actually related to Charles Goetz through marriage – his grandfather’s sister married a Goetz. According to Don, Goetz’s success inspired his father to take up white asparagus farming, starting with just three rows in the mid-1940s. (“My dad also had strawberries,” Don says. “He was known as the strawberry king of Belleville.”) By the time Don was 16, he was retrofitting machinery and farm equipment to improve the growing process. By the early 1970s, he had inherited the family business, and says his farm was producing the bulk of white asparagus coming out of the region. Since Goetz Farm shuttered, a more accurate nickname for the crop today would be “Freeburg white asparagus” – Don and Joyce Ross are the only growers still producing white asparagus in the metro area. Don believes this might have something to do with white asparagus being a specialty crop – it’s labor intensive to harvest and requires more time and land than green asparagus, as white asparagus rows are usually more than 10 feet apart to leave room for dirt to mound over stalks – but because of Don’s knack for modifying machinery, operations at his farm are more efficient compared to traditional white asparagus harvesting methods. “When [past farmers] used to do this they would shovel by hand or use a garden rake, and that took time,” Don says. But even with streamlined efficiency, growing white asparagus is still exhausting work. About a week before harvest, Don begins
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Inspired Food Culture
preparing the fields: First he fertilizes them; then he sprays for asparagus miner, a pest that destroys crops; finally he uses a retrofitted machine he calls the “ridger” to move dirt from each side of the rows onto the small hills where the asparagus grows underground. In total, he says it takes an entire week to get the rows ready for harvest. Though Don takes on most of the work himself, he and Joyce are quick to acknowledge that their family helps out however and whenever they can. Don and Joyce have two sons, Ronnie – who has worked at Eckert’s in Belleville for around 25 years – and Kevin – a mechanic who owns Jerry’s Truck & Auto Body in Freeburg. They credit their sons with helping to keep white asparagus production in motion all these years. Kevin’s wife Jodie and their two children also help out during the sixweek harvest season. Don says some stalks of white asparagus come out of the ground shorter, some longer (“we like to see a six-inch length”), some thinner, some thicker. Because the plant is deprived of sunlight it has heavier skin than green asparagus, which must be peeled before the asparagus is eaten. Then there is the bulbous end of the asparagus shoot (“what we call tips,” Joyce says) that are cut shorter. Tips don’t need to be peeled and are a favorite among their customers. “Really, the tips are the best,” Joyce says. “Why sure,” Don says with a smile. “That’s the best deal we got.” Once white asparagus season is in full swing, there’s another arm of the business Don has to tend to: answering phone calls from vendors like Eckert’s, the Belleville Farmers’ Market and Produce Row and from local chefs, all curious to find out when the Ross’ white asparagus will be available for purchase. Over the years Don says he’s sold his white asparagus to restaurants like Tony’s in Downtown St. Louis and the now-defunct Lincoln Jug in Belleville. Today he supplies four St. Louis chefs with white asparagus each season: Kevin
Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe, Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, Gerard Craft of Craft Restaurants Ltd. and Josh Galliano of The Libertine. His connection to this group of chefs began years ago when New York restaurateur Larry Forgione opened the now-shuttered An American Place in Downtown St. Louis. Don says that Forgione sought him out specifically for his white asparagus, which eventually led to a relationship with Galliano, who worked at An American Place until leaving to lead the kitchen at Monarch in 2008. Once at Monarch, Galliano kept in touch with Don and served his white asparagus in various interpretations at the restaurant each season. This spring, Galliano plans to serve a white asparagus-focused tasting menu at The Libertine, as well as a series of rotating dishes that highlight the vegetable. This echoes a German dining tradition called spargelkarte, where restaurants develop menus based around white asparagus during the height of the growing season. Until serving the Ross’ product at restaurants around town, Galliano says he was unaware of the white asparagus legacy in Belleville and its significance in the region. “When we have white asparagus on the menu, people come in looking for it and they start to tell you their own story about it. That’s fun,” Galliano says. “The Ross’ white asparagus is one of the rarer things grown around here. I love that connection to the past and being a part of that in a sense…providing a demand that helps them justify continuing that tradition.” The flavor of white asparagus is often described as slightly more bitter than green, the texture a bit more delicate. Don and Joyce say that there aren’t many distinguishing characteristics between white and green asparagus, aside from a hint of flavor. (“I add a little sugar to water when I boil it, because we always say white asparagus has a little bitterness to it,” Joyce says.) Aside from the asparagus tips, Don says restaurant chefs are usually interested in the jumbo-sized stalks they produce. “The texture is fantastic; it has toothsomeness, but it’s still tender,” Galliano says. “It hasn’t been picked, sat around in somebody’s warehouse, dried out and gotten woody; it’s as fresh as we can get. It has a nice bite, a nice bitterness to it, more than a lot of other white asparagus. They’re big [stalks]; it’s more like the asparagus from Provence. It has a delicate, grassy, bitter note to it, a citrusy flavor. It’s striking on the plate – because of the size, because of the color.” Before moving to the metro area, Galliano was familiar with the broader history of white asparagus as a delicacy in France and Germany – white asparagus is still referred to as “the royal vegetable” in many European countries – and continues to be prized among home cooks and restaurant chefs in Germany and throughout
Europe. There are even spargelfests dedicated to celebrating the vegetable in cities across Germany each year. When Charles Goetz brought white asparagus to Belleville, he not only brought a piece of heritage and home to German-Americans living in the region, but also created a link between the two cultures that, through Don and Joyce Ross, endures and connects us to that heritage today. “[Don] is one guy on one tractor, and it is up to him,” Galliano says. “And with such passion and care for the quality, we’re only getting it if he feels it’s worth selling. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to work with such a pure product. It’s been really cool to show friends in other parts of the country who don’t have the opportunity to cook with it. If we go to an event out of town, I like to bring it because it shows off our region and there’s a coolness factor to that – we’ve got this, you don’t – it’s something that sets us apart. It’s the Midwest, it’s our heritage, it’s our tradition.” Or at least, it’s our tradition for now. According to Don, it takes three years to establish white asparagus rows on his farm. The plant grows in a fern, which furnishes the root system for the next year. From there, plants can have up to 20-year life spans. This past season, Don got rid of six rows. He hasn’t decided yet if he’ll replace them. Years ago, at the height of production, Don was turning out more than 2,000 pounds of white asparagus during the six-week growing season. This year he estimates that number will be as low as 1,200. “We’re getting older, so we’re getting smaller,” Joyce says. “And now [Don’s] talking about maybe putting out a few more [rows], but you can’t cut them for three years…by then he’s going to be 80 years old. We’re getting too old to do it. Now, once we’re done, I think it will just kind of…” “It will fade out,” Don says quietly. “Hopefully not totally. You never know. I’d like to keep it going for another generation, if it’s possible. My sons would like to do it, but when you have a job, you can’t do it all. It’s time-consuming.”
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The Cutting Edge In Gourmet Cooking
For the time being, Don has no intention of giving up the white asparagus. As a result of this year’s long and unseasonably cold winter, he says the harvest will likely be pushed back by a few weeks – it might not begin until late April or early May. Earlier this year Don was interested in a new asparagus plant that he read about some time ago – he says that if he could find out more about it, he’d like to experiment with it over the next few years. He hasn’t had luck hunting it down yet, but his passion to keep improving remains strong. Don might be down six rows this season, but it’s not for lack of trying. And as long as the golf cart-like canopied tractor is operational, there’s no slowing him down.
Catch the April episode of Feast TV to learn more about Josh Galliano’s work with Don Ross and to watch Galliano prepare white asparagus dishes at The Libertine.
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Inspired Food Culture
white asparagus recipes
Olive-Oil Poached Cobia with White Asparagus Nage Recipe by Josh Galliano, The liBeRTine
Nage is a very flavorful liquid used to poach foods, most commonly seafood. It’s quick to prepare but still imparts very intense flavor. Serves | 4 | CoBia
3-oz portions cobia salt and freshly ground black pepper tsp extra virgin olive oil
WhiTe aspaRaGus naGe
1 1 1 4 1 4 2
qt fish stock lb white asparagus trimmings* garlic clove black peppercorns shallot tarragon leaves Tbsp dry vermouth
2 2 1 ¼ ½
¼ ½ 2
Tbsp onion, chopped Tbsp celery, chopped tsp tomato paste lb butter lb crawfish salt pinch cayenne pepper cup all-purpose flour cup almond flour Tbsp sorghum molasses
8 4 4 2 4 8 12 4
white asparagus nage (recipe below) baby carrots, scrubbed, greens trimmed Tbsp unsalted butter pinch xantham gum oz Louisiana crawfish tails oz English peas salt and freshly ground black pepper green asparagus tips, blanched white asparagus tips, blanched snow peas, blanched, trimmed portions cobia, removed from Cryovac bags (recipe below) tarragon oil (optional) Tbsp preserved lemon, diced cup pea sprouts Crawfish Crumble (recipe below)
| Preparation – Cobia | preheat an immersion circulator to 131°F. prepare fish by seasoning with salt and pepper. place fish in individual cryovac bags with 1 tsp olive oil in each bag. Using a cyrovac vacuum bag sealer, seal with 100 percent pressure. place bags of fish in immersion circulator for 15 minutes. Set aside.
if you don’t own an immersion circulator and a cyrovac vacuum bag sealer, heat a small pot of olive oil to 180°F over low heat. Gently place fish in oil, one piece at a time. Using a digital thermometer, make sure the oil temperature does not drop to below 140°F. cook the fish for about 10 minutes. When the fish reaches an internal temperature of 135°F it is done.
| Preparation – White Asparagus Nage | in a metal mixing bowl that can fit inside of a pressure cooker, combine all ingredients. place bowl inside of the pressure cooker on a rack. place water in the pressure cooker to reach about halfway up the side of the bowl. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sealing the lid and cooking on the maximum operating pressure, 15 pounds per square inch (psi). Heat pressure cooker until a hissing sound emits, then lower temperature in order to regulate the hissing. cook for 10 minutes. Remove pressure cooker from the stove and place under running cold water to dissipate the heat and pressure. Remove bowl from pressure cooker. Strain and reserve broth. *Trimmings refer to extras or “unwanted” or otherwise unusable pieces of white asparagus.
| Preparation – Crawfish Crumble | preheat oven to 275°F. prepare crawfish butter by combining first 7 ingredients in a food processor. pulse food processor 4 times. place the contents into a saucepot over low heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing burns. Strain butter through a chinois into a shallow casserole dish. Refrigerate until chilled. place butter in a stand mixer with remaining ingredients. beat mixture until well combined. Lay mixture on a sheet tray and spread out.
Mix preserved lemon and the pea sprouts together and arrange on top of each fish portion. Sprinkle a handful of crawfish crumble on top of fish portions. Serve.
Chilled White Asparagus Recipe by Josh Galliano, The liBeRTine
The yuzu shibori juice in this recipe can be purchased locally at Global Foods Market, while Pok Pok ginger vinegar and Pok Pok tamarind vinegar are available for purchase online at shop. pokpoksom.com. Serves | 4 | CompRessed WhiTe aspaRaGus
8 1 2 1 Quinoa
1 ½ 1 1 1
1/3 1/3 1/3 3
12 2 1
| Assembly | in a small saucepot over medium
Gently place each fish portion in the center of 4 large bowls. Divide nage among 4 bowls, then arrange blanched asparagus tips, 3 snow peas per bowl, crawfish tails, english peas and carrots in each bowl. if desired, drizzle tarragon oil on nage.
cup yuzu shibori cup Pok Pok ginger vinegar cup Pok Pok tamarind vinegar Tbsp Versawhip pinch xantham gum quart container
Chilled WhiTe aspaRaGus
Reheat blanched asparagus tips and snow peas.
cup water salt and freshly ground black pepper cup quinoa tsp basil, chopped tsp mint, chopped Tbsp unsalted butter
bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
heat, heat white asparagus nage. Add baby carrots and simmer 1 minute. Stir in butter and pinch xantham gum, then add crawfish tails and english peas. Taste nage and add salt and pepper to taste.
stalks white asparagus, peeled tsp honey Tbsp Grüner Veltliner Tbsp yuzu shibori juice
water salt stalks white asparagus, peeled Tbsp butter Tbsp whipped yuzu, plus more for garnish (recipe below) quinoa, cooked (recipe below) pieces compressed white asparagus (recipe below) oz local caviar such as Hackleback or trout bachelor buttons or other edible flowers nasturtium leaves
| Preparation – Compressed White Asparagus | Using a mandolin, shave white asparagus stalks 1/8-inch thick. in a small mixing bowl, combine honey, Grüner Veltliner and yuzu shibori juice. place shaved asparagus in a cryovac bag as flat as possible. pour liquid from the mixing bowl into the bag. Using a cryovac vacuum bag sealer, seal bag with 100 percent pressure, plus an extra 20
seconds for compression. Once compressed, refrigerate bag until ready to use it. if you don’t own a cryovac vacuum sealer, use a microwave to heat liquids in a small bowl to around 170°F, then pour over the shaved asparagus and refrigerate.
| Preparation – Quinoa | in a small pot with a lid, bring water to a boil. Season water with salt and pepper and add quinoa. Stir and return to a simmer, then turn heat down to just barely simmering. continue simmering quinoa until most of the liquid has evaporated. cover with lid and remove the pot from heat. Steam for 10 minutes. When quinoa is steamed, fold in basil, mint and butter.
| Preparation – Whipped Yuzu | place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk ingredients together on medium speed. continue mixing until a meringue forms. Transfer to a quart container for future use.
| Preparation – Chilled White Asparagus | in a medium-sized pot, bring water seasoned with salt to a boil. blanch white asparagus for 1 minute, possibly longer depending on thickness of the stalks. Once tender, place in a sauté pan. Add butter and whipped yuzu. Heat asparagus over low heat until vegetables are coated with whipped vinegar, approximately 1 minute. Once asparagus is glazed, refrigerate for 5 minutes before plating. On 4 plates, create rectangles of quinoa. place 3 asparagus stalks on top of quinoa. Make a diagonal of the garnishes toward the tip of the asparagus: Make a curly “Q” with compressed white asparagus, it will hold its shape; sprinkle caviar over asparagus; arrange edible flowers and nasturtium leaves around caviar; place 2 dollops whipped yuzu around quinoa on each plate.
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FEAst Visit feastsTl.com ExtrA for The libertine’s asparagus salad recipe developed by executive sous chef Josh poletti.
Fresh From The Woods To You Your source for morels picked in the Midwest, certified and shipped fresh. Season is short...mid April until the end of May.
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on the Written by Liz Miller
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Pull Quotes compiled by Brandon Chuang
Machines the size of small cars whirl and hum, conveyor belts carrying lumber zip by overhead, sawdust and wood scraps crunch underfoot. The faint twang of a country music song drifts out of a nearby radio. There isn’t a clear path to follow as you move across the enormous factory floor, and aside from a pair of safety glasses, little else to protect you in this sea of pulsing machinery. Even on a cool day in late winter the air inside the factory is thick, warm, dry. It’s chaotic, but once you adjust to the wood particles stinging the back of your throat, it’s not bad. Really, it’s all kind of thrilling, because this is where Boos Blocks are made. John Boos & Co. isn’t a household name, but if you pay close enough attention, you’ll begin to see the company’s logo everywhere. They are regularly featured on cooking-focused TV shows like Chopped, Top Chef and Master Chef. They are used in the kitchens of the country’s top restaurants and praised by celebrity chefs like Daniel Humm, Rick Bayless and Bobby Flay. And the next time you visit the meat, bakery or deli departments at your local Schnucks or Dierbergs stores – or the concessions stands at the Edward Jones Dome, for that matter – take a closer look at the stainless-steel countertops, work tables, sinks and shelving behind the service counters; on the right-hand side of each shiny piece of steel appears the John Boos & Co. logo. To the average person, Boos products might hide in plain sight, but the factories where they’re produced in Effingham, Ill., are hard to miss. Almost smack-dab in the center of the state, Effingham is the small, quiet town the company has called
home since its inception in 1887, when Conrad Boos built the first Boos Block out of sycamore wood to use in his blacksmith shop. The story goes that the local butcher in Effingham saw the block and wanted to buy one to use as a cutting
“Cutting on wood is the best. Once I found out that Boos was right over the river, I knew I needed more of it. We’ve formed a great relationship, and they have since provided cutting boards and counters for Niche, Taste and Pastaria.”
boards pack serious heft, made with solid, dense wood like Northern hard rock maple, the most common variety used by Boos. According to company president Joe Emmerich, hard rock maple trees grow very slowly and usually in colder climates, causing growth rings to be denser. The end results for Boos are hard, highly durable surfaces. The company also uses American cherry, red oak and black walnut wood species.
surface, and the Boos business – named for Conrad’s son, John – was born. Some of Boos’ relatives still live in the Effingham area today.
Some of its cutting boards are smaller or slighter than others, but you can’t really call any of Boos’ products thin. Especially not Boos butcher blocks, which are almost all imposingly thick. The company makes two distinct types of cutting boards and blocks: edge grain, made with 1¾-inch-wide strips of wood, each as long as the length of the wood, glued together with the edge-grain up; and end grain, made using many small squares of wood, each cut and placed standing upright. Visually the difference is obvious; edge grain looks like one solid piece of wood, while end grain appears more like a checkerboard, with varying shades of wood assembled in square or rectangular patterns.
No matter the shape or size, Boos Blocks and
“The end-grain actually wears better over time,”
–Gerard Craft, owner, Craft Restaurants Ltd., St. Louis
Emmerich says. “As the product developed over the years, we always stuck with that end-grain as one version of the cutting board. Some people prefer that primarily for a cutting surface. It also has a little bit of a style to it; not everyone manufactures it the way we do.”
“High-quality tools help produce highquality food, and what makes [Boos] so special is their impeccable craftsmanship and durability. We use them in all of our restaurants, and in my home as well. And if you think cutting boards are just surfaces for cutting, why don’t you prep on concrete?” –Paul Kahan, chef-owner, Avec, Big Star, Blackbird and Publican, Chicago
The first step in building Boos Blocks begins just off the company’s lumber yard in Effingham, inside a structure half exposed to the outdoors. Here, a three-man team sorts lumber to gauge its grade. Two of the men move individual boards from a large wood pile and lay them side-by-side so that the third man can inspect each, piece by piece, using what’s called a grader’s stick to approve each board for processing. After the lumber is inspected, it rests in an outdoor staging area for a couple of weeks, the first step in a rigorous drying process. Lumber is then transferred to silo-sized drying kilns for 18 to 28 days. The gigantic, wood-fired kilns run around the clock seven days a week, with tall smoke stacks that can be seen from miles down the road extending into the sky, steadily exhaling cloudy puffs of smoke. The kilns are heated by the facility’s equally humongous boiler, which is fueled by sawdust and other wood scraps generated inside the facility. Covered in bulbous sockets, controls and a network of intersecting pipes, the decades-old boiler (emblazoned with the words “Made in West Germany” on its side) heats the boiler room to a toasty, if not balmy, temperature. It’s hard to imagine standing in that same room on a hot summer day.
“Boos has been in my kitchen for as long as I can remember. As any chef will tell you, the details are what really matter, and Boos really pays attention to the details. If [you’re] searching for the highest quality knife, why not care deeply about the surface you give it?” –Kelly English, chef-owner, Restaurant Iris and The Second Line, Memphis, Tenn.
After lumber leaves the kilns it enters the production line, where it’s cleaned and molded. Workers then mark defects on each board by hand using fluorescent markers and crayons. These marks are later read by the computer program that operates the machine that cuts lumber into some of the cutting boards, kitchen countertops, work tables, dining tabletops and more. Nearby,
cutting surfaces are sanded on both sides to make them dually functional, while non-cutting surfaces like countertops and work surfaces are only sanded on one side. Once products are sanded, they’re shaved, branded with the Boos logo, oiled and packaged for sale before being shipped to retailers in St. Louis like Bertarelli Cutlery, Session Fixture Co. and Ford Hotel Supply Co. Thicker butcher blocks (specifically, 10- to 16inch thick blocks) are made using the company’s oldest piece of continuously operating machinery, the screw press. It’s an intimidating, hulking machine that looks sort of like a humansized vise, used to slowly apply pressure to extra-large butcher blocks (think 400 or 500 pounders), squeezing together wood and glue in permanent place. These days the screw press only runs about once a week for eight hours, but Boos used to make every block it produced using the machine. It can only turn out about 100 blocks a month, compared to the thousands made each month in the facility today. The first time you use a Boos Block, you begin to understand what sets it apart from other cutting boards. Emmerich says that the wood Boos uses
– particularly hard rock maple – treats knives gently, keeping them sharper longer. Over time that not only benefits knives, but leads to higher-quality output in general. When you set a heavy kitchen knife down on the surface of a Boos Block, it lands with a significant thud. Like a well-made knife, Boos Blocks have a way of enduring for generations.
“Boos is special, plain and simple. There are other cutting board makers out there and people who will special make some, but none have the look and craftsmanship of a Boos Block. We use them in the kitchen for prep, but we also use smaller boards for serving; some of the bigger boards we use for getting a good look to our buffets and the food we serve on them. My first and only choice in wood boards in Boos.” –Josh Galliano, chef-owner, The Libertine, St. Louis
In early 2013, leading up to the company’s 125th anniversary celebration, a woman visited the Boos Butcher Block Showroom & Outlet, the company’s retail store in Effingham, and struck up a conversation with manager – and Boos celebrity – Norbert Bruce. She told Bruce about the Boos Block in her kitchen; about how it had been in her family as long as anyone could remember. Bruce’s curiosity was piqued. He asked the woman to send him a photo of the block and promised to help her identify its age – something he regularly helps people across the country do with Boos products. When Bruce saw the photo, he immediately knew it was a rare find. “I instantly recognized it was one of our very first solid sycamore blocks, three-legged sycamore stump block, manufactured, we figure, around 1899 to 1905,” Bruce says. “I talked to her for months about bringing it to the showroom for the 125th anniversary. One leg
is always shorter than the other two, and there’s a reason for that: It tilts just enough so the blood runs off into the sawdust. And it still had some of the original red paint on it. That block was 42-by16-inches and in 1905 sold for $14.19. And Boos was still making money on that, at $14 and change. Beautiful block, heavy, too. Still heavy as can be.” Bruce says stories like this aren’t uncommon, though usually less buried in time. “I don’t want to use the word packrat, but I don’t throw anything away that I think a customer might use to restore a block,” Bruce says. “It’s an honor to restore a 70-year-old block for someone.” Other Boos employees describe Bruce as the company’s “go-to man” for chefs and industry insiders across the country. “[Chefs] turn into a bunch of little kids in a candy store as soon as they walk in the door,” Bruce says. “I find out what they’re looking for and find a link between them and me and the Boos butcher blocks – and it’s always there, if you look deep enough.” Between its stainless-steel and wood factories and corporate offices, Boos’ operations consume about 187,000-square-feet of land in Effingham, with 180 employees spread out across several buildings. The company is currently in the process of expanding its steel plant by 40,000-square-feet, with plans to add another 40,000-square-feet next year. With eyes toward the future and expansion already in motion, maybe it doesn’t really matter if John Boos & Co. is a household name. The company has managed to build an extraordinary empire simply by hiding in plain sight.
“A great wood cutting board is very important in any kitchen. It needs to be durable and meticulously constructed so it can take abuse from constant and extensive knife use — and it needs to be sturdy, yet elegant. It’s for these reasons that I’ve always liked Boos Blocks in the kitchen.” –Daniel Humm, chef-owner, Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Get inside the John Boos & Co. factories in Effingham, Ill., and see how Boos Blocks are made with our behindthe-scenes tour in the April episode of Feast TV.
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this is Vern Creely’s Jerusalem. it is sacred, and he doesn’t want you to know about it. We are somewhere within Cuivre river State Park. We had walked down a fire road, through a campsite and down a steep hillside to a clearing in the woods. and with spring’s budding foliage and cacophony of bird songs, it definitely feels sacred here. Creely and his rottweiler, Ziva, come to this place nearly three times a week. he lives only a few miles from the park’s north entrance. the retired postal worker and avid gardener loves the peace and the tranquility of the place, but what keeps him coming back over and over again in the spring season is not some celestial ideal or search for spiritual connection. What keeps him coming back is a sublime and somewhat primal urge: the hunt for morel mushrooms. this is my second foray today with Creely as part of Morel Madness, an annual gathering of the Missouri Mycological Society. We are just two of more than 100 people scattered out throughout Cuivre river State Park and the surrounding area in search of the elusive morel. “My dad was the one who taught me how to find them,” says Creely, who has been hunting mushrooms since he could walk. “he would take us to places where he knew we would find some. and that is what i like to do now with the Morel Madness weekend. i like the camaraderie. When i see someone find one for the first time, i see the thrill they get. i still get that thrill today when i find them.”
the madness sets in
Morel Madness is a three-day affair with forays taking place on the second day. The first day is largely social and educational. I arrive around dinnertime on Friday and, after some presentations on morels and other fungi, I venture out from the main building toward the campfire area where I listen to stories from veteran foragers. With full bellies, they relay tales of past great finds while their breath crystallizes in the crisp air. The stories are perfect – the right amount of fact and fiction. Each story outdoes the previous in terms of the amount of morels found and the cleverness needed to find them. I wake the next morning smelling like campfire and hungry to create stories of my own. I walk from my cabin to the main building and after inhaling a homemade breakfast, I am introduced to Vern Creely. We set out for a trail on the north end of the park. The woods are quiet. A recent rainfall has the air heavy with an earthy scent that is welcome after a long winter. As we tromp through the forest, Creely says that most of the morel organism is an underground mycelium – some of them stretch for miles – and the part we are hunting is its fruiting body. Kind of like an apple on a tree. At this point, my mushroom hunting tenure consists of only a few hours, but already I can begin to understand the mania that I heard longtime foragers describe yesterday. I notice that the woods that were once a homogenous backdrop take on a new life. The morel is usually a saprotroph – it is in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of certain trees – ash, sycamore and elm. The fruiting bodies, the honeycomb-like brown mushrooms, are temperamental and require moist, warm conditions to emerge. The soil has to be between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, they are ephemeral. They tend to be here today and gone by tomorrow. “When it comes to hunting morels, you are not looking down, you are looking up,” says Charlie Raiser who has been hunting mushrooms since our country’s bicentennial celebration. “Mysteriously, if the elm tree is diseased, then it prompts the mycelia to produce more fruiting bodies. The ‘50s and ‘60s were the golden age of morel hunting because of Dutch elm disease – it swept through North America and killed millions of elm trees.” I pace around a bunch of what I think are elm trees – the bark is gray with ridges and brown streaks. I pause and tilt my head. I swear there are conical contours in the soil that I hadn’t seen before. I squat down, and with a surgeon-like
The April episode airs at 2pm on Sat., April 5, and 1pm on Mon., April 7. Feast TV will also air on the nineCREATE channel throughout the month.
During our April episode, follow a “morel maniac” into the woods, and pick up insider tips for hunting the elusive mushrooms. Get in the kitchen with The Libertine’s Josh Galliano and Josh Poletti to see how they make the most of white asparagus season. See how a redesigned space at Five Bistro has given chef Anthony Devoti a whole new playground for rotating dinner concepts. And, journey to Effingham, Ill., for a rare look at the making of John Boos & Co.’s highly coveted cutting boards.
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precision, I remove leaves and fallen bark from a root system. My neck tingles in anticipation, and I feel the kind of rush that gambling addicts describe when they let it ride. I do not find a morel. But what I find on the foray is something much more profound – an obsession. “Some people call it ‘mushroom eyes,’” says René Sackett, the organizer of the 2013 Morel Madness. “It is passion. When you think about it, it is pretty cool that the morels are always out there – underground – and what we are after is the fruit. It just decides when the time is right to show itself.” In the five years that she has been a member of the Missouri Mycological Society, Sackett has never found a morel. Ever. But that has not reduced her passion. She even keeps a dried morel at her bedside for good luck and, admittedly, she sometimes asks it how she can find other morels. “I live close to a park, and I will just go out there to walk the dogs and forage even when I know it is not the right time of year to look for morels,” says Sackett. “Because there is this off-chance that maybe just around that next tree or that next hillside, I will find one.” A love for the outdoors certainly appears to be the only prerequisite to falling victim to the madness – it does not discriminate on any other basis. Raiser admits that his interest in mushrooms has a gustatory component. But before he is a mushroom hunter, he’s an outdoorsman. “I like to be in nature and a fair number of the people in the mycological clubs are outdoors people. They value the experience of being in nature as much as they value finding a mushroom,” says Raiser, who is a former board member for the Missouri Mycological Society. “Hunting animals or foraging for mushrooms just gives me the raison d’etre for being in the woods. It adds a new dimension to the whole experience.” Raiser explains that one of his colleagues uses a GPS locator to record the spots where he finds morels. Hunters greatly increase their odds if they return to the same place. When Creely and I were on our foray, we came upon a sapling whose branches were tied with orange and pink ribbons of tape. Creely shook his head and laughed to himself in a knowing way. Mushroom hunters had used ribbon to mark the location of morels – a common practice in the region. “There is considerable interest in morels in Eastern Missouri compared to other areas of the country,” says Raiser, who moved to the Midwest from New Jersey. “There is a fair amount of competition in our area, so people want to make sure they get there first.”
This business of mushroom hunting might seem strange to some: A group of seemingly normal individuals traipse about the woods for hours and even days looking for a particular fungus. “I have a friend who is a shrink and a mushroom hunter, and she says that mushroom hunting is a form of a compulsive disorder,” says Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia, a book about the experience of falling in love with fungi. “It usually happens after a person finds that first payload. From then on, they are constantly hopeful.” For those who need a rational explanation for morel foraging, there is a financial one. If you have developed a taste for morels, dining out can be expensive. Their sometimes unpredictable and ephemeral nature coupled with their extraordinary flavor increase their price for chefs and local markets. Foragers point out that by heading into the woods, you are able to enjoy a delicacy provided by nature for free.
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It is early evening when Creely and I return to the main camp empty-handed. We find, however, that we are not alone. The only people to have found any morels that day were two young sisters. Between the two of them, they found a handful of black morels. At the end of Morel Madness, one of them was recognized for finding the most morels while the other received an honor for finding the biggest morel.
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For the record, I received zero honors. Apparently the weather had remained too cool to inspire morels at this point in the season. (I would later learn that Creely would return to the very path we walked and hit the morel mother lode.)
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At the potluck that night, inside the main cabin there is the aroma of at least 100 dishes covering four long tables. Most of them do not necessarily involve mushrooms, but there is an artisan spirit behind the food, evidenced in the abundance of homemade wine and beer and the attention to locally sourced ingredients. Willie May, a longtime member of the Mycological Society, shows up to the evening’s festivities with a big cardboard box of morels. It is never fully established whether or not he found them that day or on a previous day’s forage. Either way, he allows me the honor of sampling one. “I like to just sauté mine in some butter and fresh thyme,” says Creely. “Keep it simple and that way you can taste the mushroom.” It is difficult to describe the morel flavor. I can use all of the appropriate adjectives. A morel is woodsy and smoky. It is complex and wild. The difficulty in description beyond that is, I believe, that my palate is influenced by my psychology. For hours I had been in search of this elusive character in the woods, and now I finally tasted one. As such, some degree of released tension and victory is at work as I chew. It tastes marvelous.
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morel is woodsy and smoky. It is complex and wild.
Forage for wild morel mushrooms with veteran morel hunter Willie May in the April episode of Feast TV. 56
more than morels Even though there were only a handful of morels found that day, you would not know it by the excitement and convivially of the group. Morel Madness is only one of the many forays that the Missouri Mycological Society hosts and it is the one most frequented by newbies. Eugenia Bone describes morels as a gateway mushroom. Since morels are among the most easily identifiable edible mushrooms, they offer a gateway into a kind of fungi fervor. “We are morel-centric in the United States in many ways,” she says. “Morels appear around the same time that everyone wants to get outside, and they taste better than anything you will find in the market. But I think the obsession for the hunt is the same for all mushrooms.”
I cannot help but feel a degree of disappointment that my foraging had come up short. I wander near the back of the room where there is a table dedicated to an assortment of fungi and slimes that were found on various forays throughout the day. They lie on paper plates or torn sheets of brown paper towel with penciled-on names. A piece of a tree limb sits on its side with black flutes jutting out of it – a group of black chanterelles. A couple of red furry disks lay on a paper plate with the label pycnoporus cinnabarinus – a common polypore found on the trunks of fallen trees. Another, polyporus squamosus or pheasant’s back mushroom, is so-nicknamed because it resembles the bird’s coloring. A group of foragers gather nearby, rifling through guidebooks to figure out how to label all of them. Of particular interest is one identified as gyromitra caroliniana – a red, fleshy ball. The common name for this one is “false morel.” They are one of several poisonous cousins to the morel – containing a toxin that can damage the liver and central nervous
system. Several of the foragers, like Creely, have eaten them in the past and have not experienced any side effects. But most in the community warn strongly against taking any chances. Creely admits that while he loves morels, his favorite mushrooms to hunt are chanterelles – a flute-like, usually brilliant orange mushroom that emerges in the middle of the summer and has a strong fragrance. Unlike the earthy morels we are hunting, the bright chanterelles have a fruity scent and flavor. “I didn’t know anything about chanterelles until I joined the Mycological Society,” he says. “Now I enjoy hunting a lot of edible mushrooms – hen of the woods, lobster mushrooms and chicken of the woods.” Maxine Stone has been hunting mushrooms since the 1980s. She believes that the impulse to gather is planted somewhere within us. “Almost everybody starts with an edible mushroom focus,” says Stone, who authored Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms, a field guide to foraging. “But if you are a gatherer like me, then you find out that all mushrooms are unique,
beautiful and elusive. You become interested in the science behind it.”
beyond the madness Though I never found any morels on my foray with the Mycological Society, I uncovered something that I didn’t expect. One week after Morel Madness, I take a 13-mile run through the Lost Valley Trail in Weldon Spring, Mo., and the normally grueling minutes are filled with discovery. I wander off the trail several times in search of familiar conical shapes under what appeared to be distressed trees on north-facing slopes. I carelessly wade through seas of poison ivy and trip clumsily over underbrush as I pretend to be a mycologist. As I near the trail head, I see a family making its way through the brush near a creek. The two young children carry baskets and are eagerly snatching at the ground. “Hey,” I call out. “You guys looking for morels?” “Yeah, we are,” answers the woman, her child tugging on her left arm. “Well, back up the trail a ways there is a grove of ash trees. You might have some luck.” I say all of this as though I really know what I am talking about. And I realize there is no hope for me. I am one of a growing number of victims. And I am completely at peace with it.
freshly foraged chefs make the most of the elusive morel written by
photography by Jennifer Silverberg
“i think what makes morels so popular, besides the taste, is the finite time they are available,” says Chris Ladley, executive chef of herbie’s Vintage 72 in the Central west end. “we will go through 300 pounds of morels in a month at herbie’s. we start getting phone calls in March asking when the morels will be in.” Ladley isn’t the only St. Louis chef fielding phone calls requesting morel dishes: Missourians want their morels the moment the temperature edges above 60°F. “there is an expectation at certain times of the year to have certain items on the menu, and morels are at the top of that list for springtime,” says Carl McConnell, chef and proprietor at Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville. three species of morel mushrooms bloom around the area in the spring: black, yellow and half-free. Morels are actually more closely related to truffles than, say, button mushrooms, as they fall under the same phylum and kingdom, while most other edible mushrooms are classified under a different phylum. between two- and 12-inches high with a spongy, tall dome on their hollow stems, morels are everywhere, but they are famously difficult for foragers to find and impossible for commercial farmers to grow. this enigmatic quality combined with their singular, desirable flavor and dense texture makes morels one of the most highly sought after ingredients in mid-spring. “it’s a great way to start spring off with a little sexiness,” says Jon Dreja, executive chef of Franco in Soulard. “Morels have an earthy, almost nutty flavor to them, interspersed with smoky undertones. their flavor is as strong as it is divine.” home cooks can track down morels from local foragers like ryan Maher of Missouri wild edibles – or find your own through foraging outdoors. be careful if foraging for the first time: “as with any mushrooms, don’t go picking wild ones unless you know what you are doing and the area they are growing in,” says Dreja. “any pesticides or chemicals sprayed will be absorbed by the mushrooms growing there.” if the morels’ stems are not hollow, throw them away. these are poisonous, false morels. to prepare them, “soak morels well in brackish water and rinse thoroughly to avoid pests and earth. never eat them raw,” McConnell says. grilled, boiled, broiled, fried, baked or sautéed; prepared with lemon, butter or pepper; pickled; stuffed; put into soups, stews, pastas and salads – the preparation possibilities seem almost endless, which presents a dilemma: what is the best way to enjoy them? Start with this collection of recipes developed by local chefs specifically to showcase morels’ distinct flavor and texture.
Buttermilk Crêpes with Morels There are many health benefits associated with morels: They’re a good source of minerals and vitamin D, and what better way to get your morning vitamins than with a morel-topped buttermilk crêpe for breakfast? Serves | 4 | Buttermilk Crêpes 2 eggs, lightly whisked
½ cup buttermilk ½ cup sparkling water 1 cup flour 2 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt nonstick cooking spray
Recipe by Carl McConnell, Stone Soup Cottage
Morels 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced finely 1 clove garlic, minced 8 oz morel mushrooms, rinsed clean 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 cup cream 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped finely salt and freshly ground black pepper
| Preparation – Crêpes |
Combine all wet ingredients. Sift in flour and combine until smooth. Add sugar and salt. Refrigerate batter for at least 4 hours.
Heat an 8-inch nonstick crêpe pan over medium heat. Grease pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Ladle 1 oz batter into pan and swirl to evenly coat pan. Cook until lightly brown and then flip. Cook the other side until brown. Repeat as needed.
| Preparation – Morels | In a saucepan over high heat, heat olive oil. Once oil is hot, add onion, garlic and morels. Sauté until water has cooked out of morels, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and add lemon juice, cream and tarragon. Reduce until cream is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over buttermilk crêpes.
ReCIpe by aDaM Karl gnau, ACeRO
Celebrate Midwestern spring the Italian way with a combination of caramelized morels and made-from-scratch pasta. The 00 flour is extrafancy durum wheat. You can find this flour at Italian and specialty grocers. Serves | 4 |
3 3 2 10
cups morel mushrooms, rinsed clean Tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 Tbsp salt small shallots, diced oz chicken or vegetable stock Parmigiano-Reggiano
mixed well, slowly incorporate small amounts of flour into the egg mixture. Once mixture comes together, knead with your hands until smooth, elastic dough forms. Roll out to desired thickness and cut into thin fettuccine. In a large pot, cook pasta in heavily salted, rigorously boiling water until cooked through.
cups Antimo Caputo 00 semolina flour extra-large eggs water, salted
APRIL MAY 2013 2014
| Preparation – Pasta Dough |
In a large bowl, add flour. Make a well in the flour. Crack eggs into well. Mix eggs with a fork. When eggs are
| Preparation – Morel Sauce |
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add morels, 3 Tbsp butter and pinch of salt. Sauté until slightly
caramelized, then add shallots. Cook until shallots begin to turn translucent. Add stock and remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Reduce until sauce emulsifies.
| To Serve |
Add pasta and parmigianoReggiano to the pan of sauce; mix to combine. Serve immediately.
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Morel Mushroom Agnolotti with English Pea Purée Blood & Sand serves this delicate pasta garnished with blanched peas, roasted morels and pea shoots. Rosenfeld recommends weighing ingredients for the pasta dough to achieve the desired consistency. Serves | 6 | Pasta Dough
800 200 335 220
g Antimo Caputo 00 flour g coarse semolina flour g egg yolks g water
1 1 5 1 2
lb morel mushrooms, rinsed clean olive oil shallot, thinly sliced cloves garlic, thinly sliced cup dry sherry water Tbsp butter salt
8 2 2 1
cups water, salted cups English peas, shucked Tbsp butter Tbsp agrumato olive oil* salt
water, salted olive oil fresh lemon juice
ReCIPe By DaviD rosenFelD, BlOOd & SAnd
Add morels and cover with water. Simmer until very tender, about 30 minutes. Strain liquid and reserve. Purée mushrooms while still hot, using as much cooking liquid as necessary for a smooth but thick purée. Begin with approximately ½ cup liquid. Add butter to purée and season with salt. Cover purée with plastic wrap to prevent a film and let cool.
seal. Place on a covered tray and refrigerate.
| Preparation – Pea Purée | Bring water
*Agrumato olive oil can be substituted with any lemon-infused olive oil.
seasoned heavily with salt to a rolling boil. Add peas and cook until very tender. Strain and purée peas, using enough cooking liquid to purée smooth. Add butter and oil to purée and season with salt to taste.
In a large pot of boiling water seasoned heavily with salt, cook agnolotti to desired tenderness. Cook time will vary depending on thickness of dough. Once cooked, drain delicately and toss with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve over pea purée.
| Assembly | Roll out pasta dough to desired thickness in sheets about 4-inches wide. Using a piping bag, pipe mushroom filling across the length of the pasta sheet, about ¼-inch above the bottom. Roll pasta over filling in 1 full rotation. Using the back of a wide knife, make indentations in the roll every ¾ inch. Using a fluted rolling cutter, cut across the top of the roll to remove excess dough from the top, then cut through each indentation quickly to form a
| Preparation – Pasta Dough | Mix Caputo and semolina flours together to form a mound with a well in the center large enough to hold wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Put the wet ingredients in the well. Using your hands, mix egg yolks and water together and begin incorporating flour. When dough forms a ball, knead on a clean work surface for about 15 minutes. Cover and allow to rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour. | Preparation – Agnolotti Filling | Clean morels thoroughly. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil just to coat the bottom of the pot. When oil is rippling, add shallots. Allow to brown slightly, then add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add sherry. Cook off sherry and reduce until almost dry.
Watch publisher Cat neville prepare a version of this dish in the april episode of Feast TV. 62
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more morel recipes Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Fresh Morels Recipe by Adam Lambay, Chaumette Winery and Vineyards
This chicken dish lets morels shine, served atop the chicken breast with wine, onions and herbs. Serves | 4 | ½ lb morel mushrooms, rinsed clean 4 Tbsp butter, plus 2 Tbsp salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 boneless chicken breasts 4 small spring onions, rinsed, diced finely 1 cup Chaumette Chardonel Reserve ½ tsp fresh thyme, minced 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 2 cups chicken stock ½ cup spring peas
| Preparation | Depending on size, quarter larger morels and split the length of smaller morels to create bite-sized morsels. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 4 Tbsp butter. Liberally apply salt and pepper to chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts into skillet, skin-side down. Chicken should only be turned once while cooking. Using a fork, gently pull up one end of chicken. If it is a bronzy-brown shade, turn it over. If it is has not developed much color, let it cook longer. Once chicken has been turned over, add onions and morels. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Deglaze skillet with 1 cup Chaumette Chardonel Reserve, cooking until wine has reduced by half. Add thyme and parsley. Pour in chicken stock, turn heat up to medium-high and allow liquids to reduce by at least half. Chicken should be cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and rest on a serving dish. Add ½ cup fresh spring peas and 2 Tbsp butter to skillet. Gently, stir continuously, taking care not to break up morels. Taste braising liquid and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour liquid over chicken and serve.
Herbie’s Morel Pasta Recipe by Chris Ladley, Herbie’s Vintage 72
Morels stand out even when served with other strong flavors. This Port-cream sauce is sweet and rich, yet the morel flavor rises to the top. Serves | 3 | Sautéed Morels 1 lb morel mushrooms, rinsed clean
water, salted butter salt and freshly ground black pepper Port-Cream Sauce
750 ml Port wine 5 shallots, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 quarts heavy whipping cream ½ cup slurry of cornstarch and water salt and freshly ground black pepper Pasta
1 lb linguine, cooked Port-Cream Sauce (recipe below) Sautéed Morels (recipe below) Gruyère cheese, shaved fresh tarragon
| Preparation – Sautéed Morels | Cut morels in half and soak in salted water by submerging 2 to 3 times, in a fresh bowl of salted water each time. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté morels in butter and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. | Preparation – Port-Cream Sauce | In a sauté pan over medium heat, reduce Port wine with 64
shallots and garlic down by 2/3. Add heavy whipping cream and bring to boil. Thicken with slurry. Season with salt and pepper.
| Preparation – Pasta | Toss linguine with Port-
1 pig trotter, deboned, cleaned salt ½ onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 small carrot, chopped 1 bay leaf ¼ bottle Burgundy 1 cup pork stock 2 oz bacon 2 oz ground pork 2 gherkins 2 Tbsp grain mustard 1 clove garlic 1 egg white ¼ cup heavy cream 1 egg ¼ cup milk olive oil ¼ cup seasoned flour ¼ cup breadcrumbs
cream sauce and top pasta with sautéed morels, shaved Gruyère cheese and fresh tarragon.
Morel Toast with Lemon and Goat Cheese Recipe by Mike Miller, Kitchen Kulture
This appetizer shows off the earthy flavor of morels by pairing them with crisp citrus, bitter arugula and soft goat cheese on a baguette. Serves | 8 | Sautéed Morels 2 Tbsp butter
½ lb morel mushrooms, rinsed cleaned, sliced into ½-inch rings Maldon sea salt freshly ground black pepper Toasted Bread
1 fresh baguette, sliced into 8 1-inch pieces olive oil salt Herb Salad
handful wild arugula 8 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed 6 sprigs fresh parsley, destemmed 1 lemon, zested, juiced 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper Assembly
1 lb fresh chèvre, room temperature, divided | Preparation – Sautéed Morels | Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large sauté pan over mediumhigh heat, sauté butter and morels until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
| Preparation – Toasted Bread | Brush both sides of 8 pieces of bread with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast on sheet tray in oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. | Preparation – Herb Salad | In a large bowl, mix arugula, herbs, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
| Preparation – Assembly | Spread 1 Tbsp softened chèvre onto toasted bread. Top with morels. Divide herb salad onto pieces of bread.
Frisée Salad with Charred Morel-Caraway Vinaigrette Recipe by Jon Dreja, Franco
This hearty salad combines roasted morel mushrooms with shallot chips, a poached egg and fried bacon-stuffed pig trotter, which must be prepared in advance and chilled overnight. The dressing also must be prepared in advance. Pork stock can be substituted with a mixture of half beef stock and half chicken stock. Serves | 4 to 5 | Charred Morel-Caraway Vinaigrette 4 oz morel mushrooms, rinsed clean
½ medium shallot 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus ¾ cup salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted in a dry skillet, lightly crushed 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp honey ¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp water 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
Bacon-Stuffed Pig Trotter
Shallot Chips vegetable oil
1 shallot, peeled, sliced into thin rings salt and freshly ground black pepper Roasted Morels
3 to 5 morel mushrooms, rinsed clean 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper Poached Egg 2 quarts water
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar 1 egg
1 cup frisée lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces 2 Tbsp Charred Morel-Caraway Vinaigrette (recipe below) Bacon-Stuffed Pig Trotter (recipe below) 6 halves Roasted Morels (recipe below) 1 Poached Egg (recipe below) Shallot Chips for garnish (recipe below)
| Preparation – Charred Morel-Caraway Vinaigrette | Combine morels with shallot, coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill morels over high heat until slightly charred and shallot until charred and soft. Once cool, mince morels. In a food processor, combine grilled shallot, caraway seed, mustard, honey, vinegar and blend until shallot is puréed. While food processor is running, slowly drizzle in remaining olive oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Fold in morels and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 day to allow morels to rest in vinaigrette.
| Preparation – Shallot Chips | To a skillet, add oil until coated and heat over medium heat. Spread shallot slices onto a towel to soak up excess moisture, then add to the skillet. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Transfer shallots to a paper towel to drain and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
| Preparation – Roasted Morels | Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut morels in half lengthwise and toss with oil. Lay morels in a single layer on a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 12 to 15 minutes. | Preparation – Poached Egg | In a saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil and add vinegar. Break egg into a ramekin. Swirl water briefly and slide egg into water vortex. Cook for about 3 minutes, then remove egg from saucepan using a slotted spoon. | Preparation – Bacon-Stuffed Pig Trotter |
Preheat oven to 350°F. Singe off any remaining hairs left on trotter and sprinkle lightly with salt. In braising pan over medium heat, add trotter and onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Add Burgundy and pork stock and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight lid or aluminum foil and cook in oven for about 2 hours or until trotter is easily pierced with a knife. You want trotter to be well cooked, but not collapsing. Allow trotter to cool in stock, but remove it before stock begins to gel. In a food processor, combine bacon, ground pork, gherkins, grain mustard, garlic and egg white. Blend until puréed; you might need to allow processor to cool down in intervals to prevent overheating. Place mixture in a bowl over ice to keep chilled. In a separate bowl, whisk heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into bacon farce to form bacon mousse. Open trotter on a sheet of aluminum foil lined with a sheet of plastic wrap on top and fill cavity with bacon mousse, roughly reshaping skin to the original shape of the pig’s foot. Don’t overstuff it since mousse will expand when cooked. Wrap trotter tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, twisting the ends of both tightly. In a large saucepot over medium heat, poach trotter for about 20 minutes in simmering water to allow mousse to set. Let cool and chill overnight in plastic wrap and foil. Once chilled, remove trotter from plastic wrap and foil. With a sharp knife, slice trotter into 4 to 5 disks, depending on size, and discard cloven hoof. In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk until combined. In a small saucepan, heat oil for frying. Dredge trotter slices in flour, then in egg mixture and finally in breadcrumbs. Fry both sides of trotter until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Place trotter on a paper towel to drain.
| Frisée Salad | Toss frisée lettuce with vinaigrette and plate. Top salad with fried trotter, roasted morels and poached egg. Garnish with shallot chips and roasted morels. Serve immediately.
Leek and Morel Gratin Recipe by Cassy Vires, Home Wine Kitchen
Morels are the main ingredient in this creamy gratin, which serves as an entrée or side dish. Serves | 2 | 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 3 Tbsp leeks, sliced 6 oz morel mushrooms, rinsed clean salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp sherry ¼ cup heavy cream 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped 2 Tbsp Gruyère cheese, grated ¼ cup breadcrumbs
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, but don’t brown. Add leeks and cook until soft and fragrant. Add morels and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft. Increase heat to high and add sherry. Cook for 1 minute to allow alcohol to burn off. Add cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, then top with remaining ingredients. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until melted and slightly brown on top.
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the last bite
Contributor: Matt Sorrell, Writer Candy bars have always been a weakness for me, so much so that I have my wife hide the mini candy bars that pop up every year around Halloween lest I gorge myself into a sugar coma. When I found out that Element in Lafayette Square was serving a deconstructed PayDay candy bar on its new dessert list, I had to give it a go. According to pastry chef Meaghan Boyer, her inspiration for the dish was a similar love of sugary childhood sweets and a desire to transport guests back to that simple pleasure. On the plate, this dessert is a stunner; a gorgeous tower of crunchy peanut butter meringue and peanut butter nougat settled on a pool of caramel, accented with crumbles of chocolate and praline bits. Visually this PayDay might be a far cry from the lumpy aesthetics that inspired it â€“ but with one bite, you get all the classic elements of the original: peanuts, nougat and crunch that made the PayDay such a beloved treat. Element, 1419 Carroll St., Lafayette Square, 314.241.1674 elementstl.com
Matt Sorrell is our new On the Shelf spirits columnist. Check out Mattâ€™s bottle recommendations this month on p. 32.
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