Page 1

local mexican fare

treats by trike

gouda-stuffed burgers




Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis | JULY 2012 | FREE

mexican with a pop!

E£ää¥ 2 S¤Èè¡ uèÅ䧥ئ LäëèÊä¦ Our produce buyers choose Eckert’s peaches because tree ripening allows for a “just picked” flavor and prolonged freshness. Schnucks buys directly from growers like Chris Eckert and his family because we want to get produce to you faster and fresher, so it’s at its peak flavor. Buying local means produce in the field today will be in your Schnucks tomorrow.


©2012 Schnucks

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©2012 Charter Communications, Inc. Charter HD receiver required to receive all HD programming; TV must be HD capable; HD programming may vary. HBO GO® and Max GO® are free with HBO/Max subscription. HBO GO® and Max GO® are only accessible in the US and certain US territories where a high speed broadband connection is available. Minimum connection of 3 Mbps required for HD viewing on laptop. Select titles not available in HD. Minimum 3G connection is required for viewing on mobile devices. Some restrictions may apply. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. TNT, TBS, and CNN apps are free with corresponding level of service. Service is subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, which are subject to change. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. Service not available in all areas. Restrictions apply.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012










314-534-1700 4

JULY 2012


Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis

JULY 2012

from the staff

| 10 |

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online this month.

| 12 |

from the PUBLISHER

The people behind the pages.


Our staff and contributors share inspired ideas for tasteful living in St. Louis.


| 28 |

my stuff

Pi Pizzeria co-owner Chris Sommers rounds out good food with smart ideas.

| 31 |

gadget a-go-go

We put four tortilla presses to the test.



JULY 2012

New and notable in beer, spirits and wine.

| 34 |

mystery shopper

Buy it and try it: lychees.


Give your produce a pop with fizzy fruit.

| 38 |

how to

Take the sting out of cooking cactus at home.

| 40 | EASY EATS

Juicy Luicy burgers put a new spin on a backyard classic.

| 82 | The dish

Contributor Brandon Chuang shares the perfect dessert choice for those without a sweet tooth.


m e x i c a n ISSUE

| 44 |

making TAMALES at el chico bakery

| 60 |

hidden kitchens

Join us in Leticia Riveraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kitchen to make El Chicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s saught-after tamales.

| 48 |

A look at four taquerias serving up tasty dishes inside tiendas throughout St. Louis.

beyond the jar: real Salsas

Cook up these sweet, savory and smoky sauces at home.

| 52 |

mexican spirits

A toast to tequila and mezcal.

| 74 | Paletas

| 57 |

made with Masa

This simple corn dough is the base for a number of popular Mexican dishes.

| 68 | soups from the mexican kitchen

Local chefs share their recipes for rich and flavorful homestyle soups.

Break out of the mold with five modern takes on traditional Mexican frozen treats.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY of paletas (P. 74) BY

Jennifer Silverberg Table of contents photography BY

Laura Ann Miller (cocktail), Jonathan Gayman (soup and pastries) and Jennifer Silverberg (tamales)

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


Magazine Volume 3

| Issue 7 | July 2012

Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville Managing Editor Brandi Wills Managing Editor, Digital Content Kristin Brashares Art Director Lisa Triefenbach Vice President of Advertising Donna Bischoff Copy Editors/Proofreaders Stephanie Witmer, Andrea Mongler Contributing Writers Tony Busekrus, Brandon Chuang, Pat Eby, Chad Michael George Erik Jacobs, Jennifer Johnson, Angela Ortmann, Lucy Schnuck Matt Seiter, Michael Sweeney, Andrew Mark Veety, Cassy Vires Contributing Photographers Jonathan Gayman, Laura Ann Miller Jonathan Pollack, Jennifer Silverberg, Corey Woodruff Contributing Videographer Hannah Radcliff Contributing Illustrator Derek Bauman

Contact Us Feast Media, 900 N. Tucker Blvd., 4th Floor St. Louis, MO 63101 Advertising Inquiries Kelly Klein, 314.340.8562 Editorial Comments

Distribution To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Tom Livingston at Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright Š 2010-2012 by Feast Magazineâ&#x201E;˘. 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. A publication of Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, LLC A Lee Enterprises Company


JULY 2012

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis

The Feed

Online Exclusives

This Month’s Feast

Watch & Listen

Feast Events


Win a Weekend Getaway! Enter to win a taste of Indiana’s robust food scene through our July giveaway. Win tickets to the state’s annual Dig IN festival, a two-night stay at the luxurious Conrad Indianapolis hotel and dining and entertainment gift certificates – all valued at $648. Keep an eye on our Facebook ( and Twitter (@feastmag) feeds this month for entry details!

Exclusive VIDEO Market Magic: FEAST catches up with the folks at

Kitchen Kulture to explore their freshly prepared foods that feature Tower Grove Farmers’ Market vendors’ products. For more on Kitchen Kulture, turn to p. 18. Photography BY Corey Woodruff

Subscribe Now! Our award-winning enewsletter delivers extra recipes, St. Louis food-scene news and more every Tuesday. Sign up at or by scanning the tag at right.

CONNECT WITH US Scan this tag to LIKE us Scan this tag to FOLLOW us

ONLINE FEATURES Cocktail Craze: What We’re Drinking columnist Matt Seiter

reports on the latest cocktail trends coming out of the world-renowned Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans. Plus, he’ll share the notable off-the-main-drag drinks and dives he discovers during his stay in the Crescent City. Scan this tag to FOLLOW us Get the free app at


JULY 2012

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Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012






Feast Your Eyes Sat., July 1, 12:30pm Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

want to take a minute and give a big shout-out to all of the talented, dedicated people who collaborate to create this magazine.

This program invites you into the museum for a tasting prepared in response to the exhibitions and paired with local wine and cocktails.

L’Ecole Academy Class Thu., July 5, 5:30pm $100 per person, or 314.264.1999

Feast won a bunch of national- and state-level awards last month, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the folks you see listed on p. 8. The work that we do is a lot of fun (what’s not fun about food?) but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We hold ourselves and our contributors to high standards and we want to make each issue better than the last. Every month, it’s a joy to watch the book take shape as the content comes in, the photos are chosen, the design comes together and we start nit-picking the copy. You never know exactly how it will turn out, and that’s part of the fun. When we brainstormed this issue, we decided to focus entirely on one of our favorite cuisines: Mexican. We amassed our ideas and then sent forth our writers and photographers to uncover St. Louis’ Mexican-food scene. As we send the July issue to press, I hope that you’re as intrigued as we were by the results. It’s wonderful to win awards, but the real fulfillment is in working together to create something that you, our readers, will enjoy. Until next time,

Learn the techniques to perfectly grill seafood.

Grass-Fed Beef Burger Cook Off Wed., July 11, 6 to 8pm; Whole Foods Market

Come by the Brentwood location and sample the entries, then cast your vote for the best burger. You will be entered to win a new grill.

Wine Tasting Thu., July 19, 6 to 7pm; Mathew’s Kitchen RSVP to

Join columnist Angela Ortmann for a food and wine tasting at Mathew’s Kitchen.

Schnucks Cooks Cooking Class Wed., July 25, 6pm; Schnucks Cooks Cooking School $45, or 314.909.1704

Make the stuffed burger on p. 40.

Wine Tasting at 1904 Steakhouse Thu., July 26, 5 to 9pm; 1904 Steakhouse at River City Casino $35,

Don’t miss this special tasting featuring six delightful dishes perfectly paired with 1904 Steakhouse’s premium wines.

Feast Book Club Meet-Up Thu., July 26, 6pm; Tower Tacos RSVP to

Catherine Neville

Join us to discuss Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano. Explore the American assimilation of Mexican food while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drink specials. Purchase the book from Left Bank Books and receive 20 percent off.

Food Media Forum Sat., July 28 & Sun., July 29 $100;

Join us for this two-day food writing and food media workshop featuring Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food, plus insight and guidance from professional food photographers, writers and editors.

St. Louis Craft Beer Week Each event will provide an opportunity to talk to brewers, pair food and beer, advocate local beer, and meet other beer enthusiasts. feedback? 12

JULY 2012


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Shuttle to ALL Cards home games! Come In For $2 BBQ Taco Tuesdays! Our Beer Garden is OPEN! SouthTown Pub has joined with executive chef, Jamie Brust, to form SouthTown Pub and Smoke Shack. Utilizing many local vendors and markets, we have a unique menu of mouth watering BBQ, featuring five signature sauces. SouthTown Pub has also recently undergone extensive renovation to better serve our customers as well as reflect the unique charm that is South St. Louis City. Our hope is to provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for many years to come.

3707 South Kingshighway Blvd. • St. Louis, MO • 314.832.9009 •


#1 Baby Back Ribs If you have to pick up a knife to eat our baby back ribs, then we'll pick up your meal! Let us cater your next party or gathering! Visit our website for our full cateirng menu.

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3891 Mid Rivers Mall Dr. • 636.447.5355 • Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



| where we’re dining

Kitchen Kulture Tower Grove Farmers’ Market

When Chris Meyer and Mike Miller began selling food-themed shirts at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, they quickly decided to “pair prepared food with the shirts” to gain shoppers’ attention. TGFM vendors supply at least 60 percent of the ingredients used to create Kitchen Kulture’s rotating menu of stuffed pastas, salads, empanadas and entrées such as brined, smoked chicken breast or citrus-and-fennel smoked trout. They procure products from farmers early in the week; prep, cook and package the dishes; and then sell the prepared food each Saturday, calling attention to the farmers’ ingredients: Baetje Farms cheeses, egg yolks from Doublestar, basil from Veggie Boy. As some of the items are frozen or – like the pasta – raw, they plate a “suggested serving” example so shoppers can see how best to enjoy the products and understand the connection between the prepared foods and the market’s other vendors. – C.N. Tower Grove Farmers’ Market Saturdays through Nov. 3


JULY 2012

PHOTOGRAPHy by Corey Woodruff

farmers’ market kulture

FEAST FAVES / secret ingredient FEAST FAVES | what we’re dRinking

Sauvignon Blanc: Loire vs. Bordeaux written by Jennifer Johnson

What makes Sauvignon Blanc so compelling is its expressiveness of the site and soil – or terroir – in which it is grown. A relatively vigorous grape with an herbaceous quality resembling its offspring Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc produces highly aromatic, crisp white wines marked by aromas of pear, citrus, melon and grass when properly ripened. Sauvignon grown in the calcium-rich soils of the cool Loire Valley in France exhibits certain earthy qualities such as smoke and wet stone, whereas in Bordeaux it is marked by grassy herbal notes and is often softened by blending with the Semillon grape and aged in oak. This wine is ideal for a hot summer day. Serve chilled with fresh, light fare.

Laporte Le Bouquet Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Loire Valley, France

With a striking profile of gunflint, citrus and fresh-cut herbs on the nose, this wine from Sancerre – arguably the world’s finest Sauvignon Blanc region – bursts with lemon and pineapple on the palate with underlying pink grapefruit and a slightly honeyed extraction. Nice zesty finish. This wine is a welcome guest at any picnic or barbecue and works particularly well with fried chicken with all the fixings, with shrimp and vegetable kabobs, or at a clambake. $15.99; Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights,

ChÂteau Lamothe de Haux 2010

Bordeaux, France

Blended with the Semillon grape for texture, this wine epitomizes Bordeaux Blanc, with a softer frame to its acidity, hints of florals, sturdy wet stone notes and a lemony, invigorating finish. Serve with steamed mussels with fennel and tomato, grilled artichokes with cream sauce or baked fish with Thai lemon-mint sauce. $13.50; Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar, 1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield,

A St. Louis-based wine and food enthusiast, Jennifer Johnson is a sommelier, wine educator, journalist, and hospitality and marketing consultant who loves to celebrate life, family, food and wine.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



| where we’re dining

straight-up south side

Southtown Pub 314.832.9009 North Hampton

Southtown Pub is a straight-up South City hangout where the beer flows, sports glow from multiple TVs and the food is downright good. Don’t look for been-there, had-that jalapeño poppers. Here, the Southtown Atomic Turds are housesmoked jalapeños stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. The Hoosier Nachos offer a pile of Billy Goat chips loaded

with pepper Jack cheese, baked beans, banana peppers and sour cream with pulled pork or smoked chicken. Out back, smokers churn out brisket, pork butts, chicken and ribs, which you can have dry, Memphis-style, or wet, a la St. Louis. Pork steaks, chicken wings, huge sandwiches … it’s all good. The Smokehouse Mac ‘n’ Cheese is baked to order and can

be stuffed with your choice of smoked meats. The smoked meatloaf is perfect with a side of Angry Beans and a cold beer. And save room for dessert because there’s bacontopped chocolate bread pudding to be had. – C.N. 3707 S. Kingshighway Blvd., North Hampton

PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Gayman

Editor’s note: We received word that Southtown Pub will be closing for renovation July 9 to 20. “It will still feel like a South Side pub, but updated,” says chef Jamey Brust.


JULY 2012


Locally Made Salsas When you don’t have time to make your own salsa (get recipes on p. 48), try these truly tasty, locally made jarred versions. – B.W.

MADE IN: O’Fallon, Ill.

MADE IN: North hampton

MADE IN: St. Clair, Mo.

| 1 | Gringo Medium Smoked Salsa, $3.19; Sappington Farmers’ Market, 8400 Watson Road, Marlborough, | 2 | Jasbo’s All Natural Salsa Verde, $7.99; G&W Bavarian Style Sausage Co., 4828 Parker Ave., Tower Grove South, | 3 | Kimker Hill Farm’s Summer Salsa, $8.89; Local Harvest Grocery, 3108 Morgan Ford Road, Tower Grove South, PHOTOGRAPHy by Laura Ann Miller Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


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Financing available through BMW Financial Services

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| whAT we’re drinking

La Paloma Story and recipe by Matt Seiter

For most people, the first cocktail that comes to mind when they’re thinking of Mexican drinks is the margarita. In Mexico, however, the more popular tequila drink is La Paloma. It was created by Don Javier Delgado Corona at an establishment called La Capilla in the small Mexican town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. It’s a simple and refreshing cocktail made with tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda. The soda is what makes this drink unique in our neck of the woods. While grapefruit is an everyday soda flavor in Mexico, it’s not very popular here in the States. You can find it locally, however, at tiendas on Cherokee Street or at Jay International Food Co. on South Grand Boulevard. Look for the Jarritos brand grapefruit soda, which is bitter, slightly sweet and tart. These flavors carry over to the cocktail for a mouthwatering and fruity summer cooler. There are many variations on the La Paloma recipe, some using grapefruit juice instead of soda and some using agave nectar for added sweetness. You’ll find some recipes call for blanco tequila (unaged) while others use reposado tequila (aged two to 12 months in oak barrels). Playing with the ingredients to concoct your favorite variation makes this versatile cocktail a blank canvas for tequila experimentation.

La Paloma Serves | 1 |

Laura Ann Miller

2 oz ½ oz 1 pinch

blanco tequila, preferably Espolon fresh lime juice salt grapefruit soda grapefruit wedge or lime wedge, for garnish

| Preparation | Mix tequila, lime juice and salt in a shaker.


Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Fill a Collins glass with fresh ice, and strain the drink into the glass. Top with grapefruit soda and stir briefly to incorporate throughout. Garnish with a grapefruit or lime wedge and serve.

BARTENDER KNOWLEDGE All About Agave: Most Mexican spirits are derived from the agave plant. The two most popular and most widely available are tequila and mezcal. While these spirits have similar origins, they are distinctly – and pleasantly – different. According to Origin of Denomination regulations, tequila must be made in the state of Jalisco using Blue Weber agave. It must undergo strict aging requirements that result in four classifications of tequila, each presenting a deeper level of oak influence. Mezcal, on the other hand, can be made from several different species of agave and is normally not aged. Instead of the agave piñas (cores) being baked, as is done to make tequila, they are slow-roasted over hot coals in pits dug into the ground. The pits are covered with leaves to trap the heat and smoke, imparting the piñas with a rich, smoky flavor that carries over to the finished spirit. To learn more about these Mexican mainstay liquors, and for more cocktail recipes, turn to Mexican Spirits on p. 52. 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 is the creator of the Sanctuaria Cocktail Club.

La Paloma #2 Serves | 1 | 2 oz 1 oz ½ oz 1 pinch 1 Tbsp

blanco tequila, preferably Espolon fresh grapefruit juice fresh lime juice salt agave nectar club soda grapefruit wedge or lime wedge, for garnish

| Preparation | Mix all ingredients except soda and garnish in a shaker. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Fill a Collins glass with fresh ice, and strain the drink into the glass. Top with club soda and stir briefly to incorporate throughout. Garnish with a grapefruit or lime wedge and serve.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


FEAST FAVES / secret ingredient FEAST FAVES | Meet & greet

John Clopton

Frostbite Gourmet Ice Cream

Owner, Frostbite Gourmet Ice Cream written by Pat Eby


John Clopton, owner of Frostbite Gourmet Ice Cream, initally stumped the permit folks at St. Louis City Hall. “I’m not a food truck,” he explaines, “or a vendor parked on a corner. I’m pedaling a custom trike with a box on the front filled with dry ice and ice-cream orders to deliver.” His ice creams are usually a special-order item served at weddings and parties, but this summer he’ll hit the streets every Friday to deliver orders placed through his website to customers in Lafayette Square, eventually expanding to serve Downtown St. Louis and Soulard as well.

Photography by

J. Pollack Photography

Customers can dip into fun flavors such as lemonpoppyseed, cinnamon, mango, root beer, Champagne or Six Row Brewing Co.’s Strong Porter ice cream. Clopton sources locally from farmers and food artisans and says, “Ice cream is an indulgence, so the ingredients should be the best.” Sweet, simple and satisfying, you’re sure to see Frostbite Gourmet Ice Cream on the scene this summer!


JULY 2012

| shop-o-matic

PHOTOGRAPHy by Jennifer Silverberg


El Torito 314.771.8648

a taste of mexico From its grocery items and household goods to vendor stands and a full-service taqueria, El Torito is a wonderland of Mexican delights. Owners Hector and Angeles Garduño stock the shelves of their supermercado with Mexican kitchen staples, including canned dulce de leche, Mexican chocolate, fresh-baked pastries, a large selection of spices and dried chiles, Mexican snacks and candies, Mexican cheeses, and an assortment of rice and beans not found in the typical American grocery store. The small but impressive produce selection includes many hard-to-find items, and

the meat counter sells housemade fajitas, tamales, carnitas and fresh tortillas on the weekends in addition to its daily array of specialty meats and cuts. Throughout the store you’ll find the Garduños’ family members selling fresh snacks at vendor stands. The fresh fruit stand offers thick, juicy chunks of jicama, cucumber, prickly pear, mango, papaya, watermelon and more. Another stand offers fresh-squeezed juices and juice blends. We highly recommend El Vampiro, a blend made of carrot, celery, beet and ginger. And don’t pass up the esquite stand.

Cherokee Business District

In this version of the elote, a popular Mexican treat, corn, mayonnaise, lime juice, cotija cheese and chile powder are layered in a cup and served with a spoon. For something more substantial, check out the store’s taqueria, where a full-service kitchen serves a variety of antojitos, authentic entrées and deliciously creamy horchata and rompope. Order a margarita, sing along to the mariachi music and be transported to Mexico.

– B.W.

2753 Cherokee St., Cherokee Business District 314.771.8648




| 1 | Head to the meat counter to get skirt steak to make carne asada, bistec to make milanesa, costilla (horizontally sliced beef ribs), and chorizo and longaniza sausages. You’ll also find housemade items for sale, such as crema, salsas, chicharrones and masa dough. | 2 | Whether you’re following a recipe or just out to discover unchartered produce, El Torito has you covered. From nopales and chayote and calabaza squash to the even rarer yucca root and guajes verdes (seed pods from leucaena trees that are eaten raw or cooked), you’ll find what you need here. | 3 | El Torito’s extensive selection of spices includes less familiar items such as achiote (whole seeds and ground), epazote, dried hibiscus flower, ground shrimp and dried chile peppers, including guajillo, puya, ancho, arbol, pasilla, California and New Mexico varieties.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


Chicken Dinner Sundays -@% $6" 3CA3<"6 0A66"! >"B $6" 3CA3<"6 0A66"! '?)) Expires July 31, 2012. Dine-in only.

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You can't beat our meat! For over 81 years, the Wenneman family business has been a tradition for many people in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. With total commitment to customer satisfaction as their primary objective, we place great emphasis on product quality and customer service. Wenneman Meat Company is a full service, federally inspected, old fashioned butcher shop and meat market. We produce a complete line of our own meat, deli and poultry products. Our formulations and recipes have been passed down for generations, and remain unchanged, while continuing to grow our product lines.

Retail and Wholesale

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The Indie Craft Revolution One of the most unique design shows in STL, attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from over 85 hand-selected designers and artists. This exciting two-day shopping event makes it easy for you to buy local and support the STL economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast. The IndieCraft Revolution is an indoor/outdoor, booth style, juried art and independent craft market. Saturday Sunday July 14 July 15 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Indie Craft Revolution is a St. Louis Craft Mafia art and craft show located conveniently at Mad Art Gallery in Soulard MO.

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Award winning Steaks and Seafood Our award - winning upstairs private room is perfect for rehearsal dinners, business meetings, and private parties.

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JULY 2012


| what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re buying

Mexican Cookware |1|

Like all culinary traditions, Mexican cuisine has its own collection of tools and equipment used for food preparation and service. Sharpen your command of Mexican cooking with these wares. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; B.W.


|3| |4|

| 1 | Stovetop pepper/tortilla roaster, $19.95; Sur La Table, Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac, surlatable.


com | 2 | Preseasoned pig molcajete, $54.95; Sur La Table,

| 3 | Mexican molinillo, $15.50; Dean & Deluca,

| 4 | Cast aluminim comal, $12.89; | 5 | Tiago Light Blue Tortilla Warmer, $14.95; Crate & Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights,

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


Unique Western Apparel and Decor... Crafted to Last The Patina Pony is proud to present Western inspired clothing, boots, jewelry, accessories and designer home decor from today's top Western Artisans.

SAVE 10%

When you present this ad with your first purchase. Offer expires 9.30.2012. Offer not valid on furniture.

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An Oil & Vinegar Emporium Di Olivas brings you about 2 dozen of the world's freshest olive oils and about 2 dozen varieties of balsamic vinegar. We are St. Louis and St. Charles only Olive Oil stores recommended by the author of todays most recognized book about Olive Oil "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" Tom Mueller. Shop with us for your gourmet salt, pasta, sugar, and seasoning needs as well as olive oil based skin care items. Bring in this ad for a FREE SPECIAL ITEM with any purchase! (FM0412) Not to be combined with any other offer.

West County Center • 314.909.1171 • 617 South Main Street • St. Charles • 636.724.8282 •

Teaching the Art of Living and Dying Well ¿ Premier end of life care ¿ Outstanding holistic caregivers ¿ A peaceful transition ... The body, mind & spirit, in rhythm

ALTERNATIVE HOSPICE For more information contact Mar y Margill • 636.343.3839 •

Mariana Jewelry Spirit of Design at European Accent.

Mariana Jewelry is hand-made in Israel from natural gem stones. European Accent carries a large selection of Mariana necklaces, bracelets, pendants and earrings.

426 South Main Street • Historic St. Charles • 636.724.7677 26

JULY 2012

Enhance the Beauty of Your Home….. and reduce your energy costs. Window treatments do more than make a room look warm and inviting. They provide insulation, keeping your home cool as the weather heats up. Quality service and quality products to the Metro Area for over 21 years. Always Free measuring and Free installation. Call today to schedule your Free In-Home Consultation! $25 Off Each Window On Plantation Shutters

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Inspiring Creativity, Enriching Community... Cultivating Personal Development. Private lessons for all ages: Instrument, voice, drama & dance. Music Artist development, coaching and management. Specialized Workshops, Classes and Camps. Learn more about our studio, instructors and diverse choices of instruction in music and performance by going to our website or contacting us directly at: Enroll in and purchase lessons, camps, classes or workshops in the months of June and July and we will waive the $25 Enrollment Fee.

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St. Louis Home Fires is Barbecue Heaven �We carry 20 kinds of smoking woods �Over 100 Rubs & Local made sauces. �We offer charcoal, gas grills, Free-standing smokers, and more.

15053 Manchester Road • Ballwin • 636.256.6564 • Medical Employment Directory is St. Louis' #1 healthcare recruiting and staffing company!

For our Clients:

• Run the ad, screen resumes, interview, check references and perform a background check on every candidate • Available 24/7 to assist with “STAT” staffing needs • Work on a contingency basis --- no charge until M.E.D. delivers the “right” candidate for the job

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From your Smartphone

314.991.8806 Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



Chris Sommers

Co-Founder, Pi Pizzerias written by Catherine Neville SHOT ON LOCATION AT Pi Downtown

You were in finance and high tech in San Francisco when you bought the cornmeal crust recipe. What inspired you? I had fallen in love with a crust from a pizzeria near my condo. When I listened to people from all over the world gush about it, I thought that it could do well in other cities. When one of the [pizzeria] owners bought the condo across the hall from me, I took it as a sign. I convinced them to sell me that recipe for $20k. I moved home and convinced my friend, Frank Uible, to leave his career and build a pizzeria around the recipe. It sounds crazy to this day, but we knew we had something good. You’re now reaching back to your tech roots by launching Sqwid. Sqwid was conceived out of a challenge we experienced at Pi. Our guests were talking about us on social media, but we had no way to engage them, to thank them when they evangelized about our restaurants or to address situations when we failed to meet expectations. Before Sqwid, there was no tool that enabled businesses to both listen and act on social media. Do you prefer Pi’s thin crust pizza or the deep-dish? For the first couple of years it was all deep, but I am currently really into our thin. I also order thins to check the product quality and consistency of the crust from store to store. Variations in temperature and humidity affect our thin crust more, so it’s important to constantly evaluate the product. Favorite version? I am really into the new Grove pizza at the MX location. It’s topped with mozzarella, Volpi sopressata, red chiles, fresh oregano and spicy tomato sauce. The first truly spicy pizza on our menu. The response tells us we need to add this to all of our menus, and I think we will in the near future. How do you maintain the Pi brand but give each location something fresh? We look at everything from the guest’s perspective. If I am catching a show at The Pageant, I want to be able to grab a pizza and beer at midnight. If I am in midcounty for Saturday lunch, milkshakes are a no-brainer for the kids. At the MX the lunch traffic is monstrous, so of course we would like to be able to offer salad with soup. What do you wish the rest of the country knew about St. Louis’ culinary scene? We matter. 28

JULY 2012

Pi Pizzerias Multiple locations Visit to read the full interview with Chris Sommers.

PHOTOGRAPHY By Jonathan Gayman

When Chris Sommers and Frank Uible launched the first Pi Pizzeria on Delmar Boulevard in 2008, the entrepreneurs were already thinking about expansion. With the opening of the Mercantile Exchange location Downtown, Pi now has six outposts. So what led to the company’s rapid, well-managed growth? “Frank and I [agree] that it was to our advantage that we didn’t grow up in this industry,” says Sommers. “Our business backgrounds helped us quickly realize the need to surround ourselves with strong lieutenants. Our weaknesses turned into our strengths this way.”

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(636) 227-8303,

Experience Europe in the most dynamic Volvo ever built. Pick up your new Volvo S60 at the home of Volvo in Sweden and get to know the beautiful roads of Europe that inspired its advanced chassis. It’s the smartest souvenir you can get; with generous savings off your U.S. MSRP*, complimentary round trip tickets for two, insurance, registration, and home shipment services all included. See Europe at your own pace in the luxury European sports sedan designed around you.


Visit your Volvo retailer and ask about the Volvo Overseas Delivery program or call (800)641-1102, visit or join us on



Many New Groups Reduced!

Bottomless Wings on Wednesday 6-8PM

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New Menu Items: ✧ Mac N Cheese ✧ Italian Wrap ✧ Cobb Salad ✧ Southwest Chicken Salad ✧ The Jerk Signature Pizza

Come Help Us Celebrate Our 1 Year Anniversary 1201 Strassner Dr. • Brentwood, MO

of St. Louis, Inc.


825 South Lindbergh, 63131

314-993-5570 Quality Since 1871

Mon.-Wed.-Thurs.-Sat. 10:00-5:30 Tues.-Fri. 10:00-8:00 Sun. 12:00-5:00


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NOW OPEN in Chesterfield • Upscale Dining

Enjoy a fresh approach to authentic & traditional mexican dining. Our distinctive menu offers classics such as sizzling fajitas, 10-inch quesadillas and succulent empanadas. Our combination plates, along with hand tossed salads & freshly prepared guacamole will delight the most discernable of palates.




A visit is not complete without a sampling of one of our many different tequilas or a sip of our signature handmade Skinny Margarita, soon to become a “must taste” for everyone in St. Louis.

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JULY 2012

185 Hilltown Village Center, Chesterfield, MO 63017


Sunday - Thursday 11am-10:30pm • Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm

gadget a-go-go

Put to the test







written by Pat Eby

Photography by Laura Ann Miller





Royal Prensa Small Press

Cast Iron Tortilla Press

Mi Pueblo Wooden Tortilla Press

HCI Tortilladora Tortilla Press





This lightweight aluminum tool is a tiny press at just over 4 inches. Its purchase was a happy accident. It’s actually a press for gorditas and sopas, which use the same masa dough as tortillas. These make a thicker tortillalike bread, which can be split in half and stuffed. Muy delicioso.

The press came with instructions. Basic tenets, certainly, but the only model with any directions. Smashed masa and flour into the biggest tortillas at nearly 7 inches, thin and even.

This superfast press produces acceptably thin and even tortillas with a minimum of arm strength. The handle pulls down easily. With its utilitarian design and rustic good looks, Mi Pueblo gets attention in the kitchen when guests mingle with the cook.

A lightweight, shiny, clean tool that turns out 6-inch tortillas with ease. The design includes a hole to hang it from a rack or nail. The weight of the handle keeps it closed until you take it down.


The hinge wobbles the top plate when it’s pushed down. $11.99; Supermercado El Torito, 2753 Cherokee St., Cherokee Street Business District, 314.771.8648


Very heavy. The silver paint finish is lead-free but unattractive. The bottom of the plate is rough in places and may need to be used on a mat to avoid scratching countertops as you press. $19.95; Sur la Table, Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac,


It’s a honking-big press that hogs cabinet space. The staff person at El Torito said the hinges could be replaced at a hardware store if they wore out. Not sure whether that was a selling point or a suggestion for down the road.


The tortillas needed to be rolled out a little thinner with a rolling pin, but the work moved along at a good clip – a lot faster than shaping each tortilla by hand. $19.95; Cornucopia, 107 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood,

$19.99; Supermercado El Torito, 2753 Cherokee St., Cherokee Street Business District, 314.771.8648

C h ec

k pa g o u t e


W h at to l oo k for : Weight: The heavier the plate, the quicker the press. The lighter the plate, the easier to move from cabinet to counter. Choose what fits your space and strength. The heaviest press weighed nearly 5 pounds, but it made the thinnest tortillas.

Warp: Plates should be level with no hills, valleys, deep pits or bumps to press tortillas evenly flat with no thick and thin places. Check for warp on aluminum and wooden presses. They should stay firmly on the counter when operated without wobbling from side to side.

Plate Surface Area: Choose your tortilla size. The size of the pressing plate determines the maximum size for each tortilla. Don’t expect to make supersized 12-inch tortillas with a purchased press. Think 6- or 7-inch tortillas.

Materials: Cast iron, aluminum or finished woods only, please. Plastic presses don’t press easily or work well. If you choose cast iron, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry between uses, as it will rust. Choose finished hard woods over soft pine for durability.

Make your own fresh tortillas at home and serve them with the many delicious recipes in this month’s Mexican Issue. Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


ON the shelf

BEER written by Michael Sweeney

The creator of and founder of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, Michael Sweeney is also the craft beer manager at Lohr Distributing.

Founders Brewing Co.’s Red’s Rye P.A. STYLE: American IPA (6.6% abv) AVAILABLE AT: deVine Wines and Spirits, 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, Des Peres, 636.825.9647; $9.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles) PAIRINGS: Sausage and onion tart • Grilled romaine salad

I’m never a fan of the question “What’s your favorite beer?” But if you were to ask me what beers I would take to a desert island, the Red’s Rye PA would be at the top of the list. Founders has perfectly paired rye malt with a citrusy hop character, making the finest rye IPA in the United States.

Perennial Artisan Ales’ Saison de Lis STYLE: Saison (5% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Local Harvest Grocery, multiple locations,; $10.99 (750-ml bottle) PAIRINGS: Bacon-wrapped scallops • Camembert

This beer was originally created to be a seasonal brew, but after the first taste, Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore decided it was too good to hold back. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale has yeasty spiciness that accentuates the floral aspects of the chamomile flowers added to the beer. This is one of those eye-opening beers for all your friends who claim to not like beer.

New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Shift STYLE: American Pale Lager (5% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Friar Tuck, multiple locations,; $8.49 (four-pack, 16-oz cans) Pairings: BLT • Fresh pea soup

After a long day at work, many people will reach for a fizzy yellow beer in a can. Even the guys and gals at New Belgium were looking for something easy-drinking come quitting time. And with that in mind, they created Shift. Unlike many pale lagers, this is a beer with character. It’s smooth and quaffable but still has enough complexity to keep you coming back.

SPIRITS written by Chad Michael George

Award-winning sommelier and mixologist Chad Michael George is founder of Proof Academy, which covers everything from wine and cocktail list consulting to spirits and mixology education.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Provenance: Kentucky (43.3% abv) Available at: Randall’s Wines and Spirits, multiple locations,; $49.99 Try it: Neat, on the rocks, or in your favorite whiskey cocktail

After an award-winning career ‒ including gigs at Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniels ‒ and induction into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Lincoln Henderson came out of retirement to craft Angel’s Envy. Finished in vintage and ruby port casks, it's a big, smooth and silky whiskey with hints of tobacco and oats. Henderson guides each batch through maturation, so nuances may be noticeable from year to year.

E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon Provenance: Kentucky (50% abv) Available at: The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton,; $59.99 Try it: Neat, with friends, as this is a one-time release

In April 2006, a tornado ripped apart a portion of the Buffalo Trace Distillery. One of the buildings destroyed was Warehouse C, a 100-year-old-plus facility on the property. The surviving barrels, all nine to 12 years in age, sat in the hot Kentucky sun while the facility was rebuilt and then were bottled at 100 proof. The finished product is spicy all over, with heavy cinnamon, chocolate and allspice. It's smooth on the finish and downright delicious. This is a bottle to hold on to and share with good friends.

Rothman & Winter Orchard Peach Liqueur Provenance: Austria (24% abv) Available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations,; $21.99 Try it: With a few rocks or in a glass of bubbly

Rothman & Winter is a line of high-quality eaux de vie from Austria, and while the company has offered other delicious liqueurs, the peach liqueur is just now making an appearance. Three different Austrian peach varieties are used to flavor this eau de vie, which is also distilled from the same peaches. There is no overwhelming cloying sweetness, just smooth, ripe peach flavors.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR JULY Pouring wine photography by © Patterson

WINE written by Angela Ortmann

STLwinegirl Angela Ortmann shares her passion for all things epicurean through her event and consultation business, which is dedicated to enhancing your food and wine experience.

Stolpman Vineyards L'Avion Roussanne 2009 Provenance: Santa Ynez Valley, Calif. Available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton,; $34.99 Pairings: Halibut • Roast chicken • Risotto

Shaped by the combination of limestone soil, the climate of California’s Central Coast and dry organic farming practices, the Stolpmans' line of luxury wines rivals those of many well-known producers. Native to the Rhône, Roussanne is a lush white wine grape. Juicy pear, apricot and honeysuckle flavors meet inviting floral notes of jasmine with hints of black tea and nutmeg.

Bodega Colomé Amalaya 2009 Provenance: Argentina Available at: Robust Wine Bar, 227 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves,; $16 retail Pairings: Strong cheeses • Charcuterie • Blackened chicken

When touches of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat are added to a base of Malbec, a plummy, earthy red is conceived. Mellow smoke and spice contrast with this exotic and silky wine's red fruit flavors. Slightly chilled, this warm-noted red becomes warm-weatherfriendly and finds its place in any picnic basket or on your patio table.

Ramian Estate, Parlay The Bookmaker Red Blend 2009 Provenance: California Available at: St. Louis Wine Market & Tasting Room, 164 Chesterfield Commons E., Chesterfield,; $22 Pairings: Ribs • Cheeseburgers • Tapenade

This user-friendly blend of majority Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Syrah, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot, is an exceptional pick for red-wine lovers who favor fruit-forward, ripe and smoother wines. Jammy notes of blueberry and blackberry pie are laced with nuances of allspice and black pepper, and the finish exhibits warm vanilla bean and brown sugar.

Join Angela Ortmann and FEAST for a happy hour wine tasting at Mathew's Kitchen on Thu., July 19, at 6pm. RSVP to

JOIN US! Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


mystery shopper

Lychee Marshmallows By Jenny Bazzetta, Kakao Chocolate

Lychees bring a delicate sweetness to these handmade marshmallows. Eat them like candy or make grown-up s’mores with your favorite chocolate and chocolate graham crackers. Yield | 15 marshmallows | 4 Tbsp 1¼ cups + 2/3 cup ½ cup 1¼ cups 2 cups 3 Tbsp 1 Tbsp

nonstick cooking spray unflavored gelatin lychee purée*, divided water light corn syrup granulated sugar powdered sugar cornstarch

nonstick cooking spray. Stir together gelatin and 1¼ cups lychee purée. Set aside to let the gelatin bloom. Place water, remaining lychee purée, corn syrup and sugar in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Using a pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, brush down the insides of the pot to remove any loose bits of sugar. Boil the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 250⁰F, using a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature. Remove from heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin mixture until thoroughly combined. Beat the mixture with a hand mixer or stand mixer, gradually increasing the speed from low to high. Continue to beat the mixture for 10 minutes. Spread the marshmallow into the prepared pan and let it cool overnight. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch and lightly dust the top of the marshmallows with the powdered mixture. Invert the pan onto a cutting board. If the marshmallow doesn’t release easily, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Cut marshmallows with a knife or pizza cutter coated with the powdered mixture. Lightly dust all sides of the marshmallows with the remainder of the mix. * To make lychee purée, peel and seed ripe lychees. Place in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

MEET: Lychees Although native to Asia, the lychee is also grown in Florida. Its nicknames include litchi nut and alligator strawberry, though neither is an accurate description. Its lovely red outer shell sports a rough, leathery texture and releases an intense perfume when cracked open. With all their curious characteristics, it’s no wonder lychees seem so mysterious.

Stop by 34

Written by Erik Jacobs



The lychee thrives in warmer tropical climates and is

Lychees add a wonderful twist to traditional fruit

native to Southeast Asia. It is roundish in shape with a

salads, desserts and drinks and are sure to intrigue

stem like a cherry and when peeled open reveals a juicy

and delight those who are unfamiliar with them.

grapelike flesh that is usually clear or milky white. The

Lychees should be on the ingredient list of every mad-

edible flesh is wrapped around a hard, smooth, brown seed

scientist mixologist in town, as the juice and purée

that is not edible. Although it’s a member of the soapberry

are fabulous in cocktails. You can use canned lychees

family of fruits, it tastes and smells nothing like soap. It’s

(usually pitted) in a pinch, but, of course, fresh is best.

pleasantly sweet and fruity – often described as tasting

In addition, if you can find it, the honey from beehives

like a mixture of strawberry, watermelon and grape – and

located in lychee orchards is amazingly sweet and

is known for its dominant floral character. Because of its

floral, like the fruit. Using this honey in jasmine tea

flavor profile, it is often used as a descriptor for white

would certainly be extraordinary.

wines, most commonly Gewürztraminer.

to pick up more delicious recipes featuring lychees. Visit for information on its four locations. JULY 2012

PHOTOGRAPHy by Jennifer Silverberg

| Preparation | Coat a 9x13-inch pan with a thin layer of

check it out!

Feast extra


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“Repping what may be the new era of steakhouses.”

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Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



Fizzy Fruit STORY AND RECIPE BY Cassy Vires

Fizzy fruit, carbonated fruit, sparkling fruit – whatever you want to call it, this culinary trick makes molecular gastronomy accessible to even the most traditionalist cook. Introducing carbon dioxide to fruit doesn’t affect the taste and texture, but the fruit juices now dance across your tongue like little Champagne bubbles. It’s a fun, creative way to add life to everyday fruit and can be done at home with easily attainable items.

The simplest method, and the one that I recommend most, is to use an iSi soda siphon or whipper. The siphon uses carbon dioxide, which is what we need. | 1 | The whipper, which typically uses nitrous oxide, can accommodate carbon dioxide charges as well. | 2 | Simply place the fruit into the canister and charge with a single carbon dioxide charger. | 3 | Place the whole canister in the fridge overnight, and – presto! – you have fizzy fruit. The refrigeration helps to speed up the carbonation process and results in higher carbonation. The fruit will quickly lose its carbonation once it is no longer under pressure, so try to use it as quickly as possible. Porous fruits like strawberries, grapes, apples and citrus work best. Remove any inedible portions of the fruit and cut the rest into bite-size pieces before carbonating so that it can absorb as much gas as possible and can be served right out of the container. The second and much more scientific method is to use dry ice, which is simply frozen carbon dioxide. As its temperature rises, the dry ice sublimates, or “melts” back into its original gaseous stage. This sublimated gas is what carbonates the fruit. Dry ice is very dangerous to handle, so make sure you are well-read on the subject before attempting this method. Place a few pieces of dry ice in the bottom of a small cooler, and use a mallet to smash it. (Or simply purchase dry ice pellets.) Cover a wood cutting board or drying rack with a towel and place on top of the ice. Arrange the fruit pieces on the towel and seal the cooler. Do not use an airtight seal because as the ice sublimates, the pressure will grow and the cooler could explode. Let the fruit stand for about 30 minutes in the cooler to become fully carbonated. If the fruit is frozen, allow it to thaw before handling to avoid any contact burns. Remove the fruit and enjoy it as is, incorporated into salads or cocktails (and mocktails), served with yogurt, or reimagined any way you please. Cassy Vires is the owner and chef of Home Wine Kitchen. She received her culinary training in Houston and has a knack for reimagining classic dishes.


Watch chef Cassy fizzify fruit in this step-by-step video.


You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sing along to the outtakes from this month’s video. Scan the Microsoft Tag from your smart phone (get the free app at, or watch the video in the Watch & Listen section at


JULY 2012

Fizzy Waldorf Salad

This recipe is a fun update to a classic dish. The combination of sweet fruit and creamy dressing is given an extra pop with carbonation for a truly unique dish.

Serves | 4 | ¾ cup buttermilk ¼ cup olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp chopped chives 4 cups bibb lettuce 2 ribs celery, sliced 4 cups carbonated apples, grapes and cherries salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

| Preparation | In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon juice and chives. Whisk together until fully incorporated and set aside until ready to use. Arrange the bibb lettuce on four salad plates. | 4 | In a medium bowl, combine the celery, carbonated fruit and just enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and toss very gently. Place over the bibb lettuce and garnish with walnuts. Serve immediately.



PHOTOGRAPHY by Jennifer Silverberg


|4| Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


how to

how to

Prepare Fresh Nopales written by Brandon Chuang

Nopales, the spike-ridden paddles of the prickly-pear cactus, are a staple of Mexican cuisine. Served in everything from salads to tacos and as stand-alone fare, nopales are often overlooked by the average home cook because of their aggressive and daunting appearance. However, underneath the spiny skin lies a delicate and slightly tart flesh that can add a bright and unique flavor to a variety of dishes. This month we take you through the process of prepping nopales and take some of the sting out of cooking cactus in your own kitchen.

Pick and Choose Nopales can be found in a variety of Mexican markets around town. When picking out the best nopales, it’s important to follow the basic rules of produce shopping. Begin by looking for young, smaller paddles. Fresh nopales will have a crispness to them, like celery. Larger paddles will be older and tend to have a rubbery give to them that will yield less delicious results. It’s also important to look at the base of the paddle, where the nopales were harvested from the cactus. If the cut looks old and worn, keep searching.

Game of Thorns While a delicious vegetable, nopales are still cactus paddles, which means you have to remove the needles from the surface to ensure that most important of culinary goals: pain-free eating. There are a variety of ways in which to remove the points, but we found a glove and a sharp chef’s knife to be the most effective. | 1 | Holding the base of the paddle with your gloved hand, use the knife to scrape the thorny ends away from you—think of scaling a fish. Once you’ve removed the sharp ends from both sides, wash the paddle under cool water so that you can take a final look to ensure that you’ve removed all of the spines. | 2 | Next, take the point of your knife and remove the thorny edge along the entirety of the paddle.

Prep Squad Now that you’ve childproofed your nopales, you can prepare them for cooking, and the way you prepare them depends on how you’ll be cooking them. The two most common methods are grilling and boiling. If you’re going to grill your nopales, simply make a few score marks on each side of your paddles. Boiling nopales gives them a texture akin to cooked bell peppers, so the natural preparation is to | 3 | cut the nopales into bite-sized pieces.

Cooking Cactus To grill, simply brush nopales with olive oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. When nopales are prepared this way, popular finishes include a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of cheese before serving. To boil the cactus, prepare a pot of salted water – try adding a few cloves of garlic and some minced onions. Place the diced nopales into the boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The nopales will give off an okra-like slime throughout the process that can be remedied by adding a pinch of baking soda to the pot toward the end of cooking or by rinsing the nopales under cool water after they’re cooked. Add boiled nopales to tacos or make nopales salad, arguably the most popular cactus dish.

Though it may sound odd, nopales in scrambled eggs is a fantastic morning option that is quick to make. The cactus paddles’ briny flavor complements the smooth creaminess of the eggs. Throw it between two pieces of buttered, crusty bread on your way out the door, and you’ve got breakfast in about the same amount of time it would take you to say “a No. 6 with coffee, please.” 38

JULY 2012

Illustration by Derek Bauman

Breakfast of Champions


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Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



the burger, inside out Story and recipe by Lucy Schnuck

When I was a kid, my family had a favorite vacation spot in southwest Florida. Driving from the airport to our final destination, we would always pass a burger joint called Juicy Lucy’s. I was excited by it, as it shared my name, and I begged to stop every time we drove by. When the family finally gave in, I got to try one of Jucy Lucy’s burgers. It was delicious but very different. It was inside out! I bit into the burger, and warm and gooey cheese came pouring out. As I got older and began experimenting with food and cooking, I developed this recipe ‒ a gourmet take on the Juicy Lucy from my childhood.

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Serves | 6 | Chipotle Ketchup 15 oz 6 Tbsp 1 1 ½ ½ cup 1 tsp 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 1/8 tsp 1 dash 1 tsp


JULY 2012

| Preparation – Chipotle Ketchup |

Juicy Lucy Burgers 2 lbs 2 tsp ¾ tsp ½ tsp ½ tsp

Mix the ground beef and spices until thoroughly combined. Divide the meat

ground beef truffle salt freshly ground black pepper ground mustard onion powder


| Preparation – Juicy Lucy Burgers |

check it out!

Feast extra

evenly into 6 large balls. Divide each of the 6 balls of meat in half. Lightly flatten out the halves into ¼- to ½-inch-thick rounds. Place 2 Tbsp of Gouda in the center of 6 patties. Place the other 6 patties on top of the patties with the cheese. Seal the edges of each burger by pressing them together with your fingers. Lightly press the closed patties in your hand until slightly firm. Heat a cast-iron skillet over mediumlow heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the burgers to a plate, tent them with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the burgers on hamburger buns with chipotle ketchup and your choice of toppings.


The Fat That Binds. It’s normally a good idea to seek out ground beef with a lower fat content, but when you’re making inside-out burgers, fattier beef is needed to help the patties bind around the cheese and hold together during cooking. If the burger is made with lower-fat beef, the seal holding together the two patties will most likely split, and all of that delicious cheese will be lost.

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garlic powder shredded and lightly packed smoked Gouda hamburger buns, grilled or lightly toasted

Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Stir and press the mixture through the sieve using a rubber spatula. There should be about 2½ cups of ketchup in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.


Check out for a step-by-step slide show on making this month’s dish.

tomato sauce or tomato purée tomato paste chipotle in adobo sauce large shallot, diced roasted red bell pepper (jarred or fresh) raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar white wine vinegar molasses dark brown sugar celery salt ground cinnamon kosher salt

½ tsp ¾ cup 6

Thick and Chunky. If you like chunky-style ketchup, simply skip straining the mixture through a sieve. The Meat Cheat. It can be tricky to check for correct seasoning in raw meat. One way to test the flavoring is to cook a small ball of the seasoned meat in a skillet and then taste to make sure you’ll be happy with the finished product.

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JULY 2012



m e x i c a n ISSUE

St. Louisans love Mexican food. And with the breadth of options available to local diners comes a variety of interpretations on our neighbors' culinary heritage. Tex-Mex, Baja cuisine, New Mexican food and other Americanized variations all get lumped in the category of “Mexican food.” The truth is, finding authentic Mexican food can only be achieved by packing your bags and heading south. But there are many local establishments serving up honest approaches to the regional cuisines of Mexico. For the most part, taquerias – which serve mainly street food – define true Mexican food in St. Louis, as well as throughout most of the U.S. Here you'll find tacos filled with seasoned chunks of meat and garnished with cilantro and onion, instead of ground beef topped with lettuce and shredded cheese. Entrées are commonly layered with braised, grilled or steamed meats, roasted vegetables and rich, complex sauces. Most importantly, great Mexican food – whether on the shelves of a tienda or the menu of a restaurant – is more geographically accessible than you might think. From St. Charles County to east of the river, a taste of true Mexican cuisine is always minutes away.

making tamales at

el chico bakery

Written by Brandon Chuang


Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

For the uninitiated, tamales are cornmeal dough stuffed with a variety of fillings that's then wrapped in cornhusks and steamed. In the case of El Chico Bakery’s tamales, which are available only on the weekends, they’re always pork, they’re always offered one of two ways – with either green or red chile sauce – and they always sell out. That’s why on any given Friday night, normally right around 7pm, you’ll find Leticia Rivera working away in the back of her Cherokee Street shop. Her kitchen, while clean and organized, is old – no, seasoned. A giant oven in the corner – it’s literally the size of a small college dorm room – watches over Rivera as she works, the words “Middleby-Marshall Est. 1888” emblazoned across its white metallic chest. An industrial mixer, proofing racks, kitchen appliances and an army-green desk with a phone that doesn’t seem to stop ringing all surround a large worktable in the center of the room. It’s here, amidst the real-world imperfections and bad fluorescent lighting, that Rivera does her work. On TV, you’ll see cooks using fancy, high-tech equipment to construct their culinary creations. Rivera uses a camping stove. She sets it up in the back corner of her kitchen, propane tank at its side, and cooks the pork in a thick, giant pot. While the pork is stewing with onions and garlic, she begins work on her chile sauces – using tomatillos and jalapeños for the green chile sauce and anchos for the red chile sauce. Each chile gets water, garlic and salt added to it before it’s boiled and puréed. That’s it. When I ask Rivera for proportions, she can’t tell me. Rather, her daughter, Ana, who is translating for Rivera, says she can’t tell me because she doesn’t know. “She says she just adds everything until it looks right.” In fact, Rivera doesn’t even know the name – in English or in Spanish – for the cut of pork she uses. “She just goes to the butcher and points at what she wants,” explains Ana. It’s only after taking a closer look and asking a few more questions that the mystery is solved. Rivera uses pork shoulder, more fondly known in St. Louis as pork butt. Once the pork is fork-tender (after roughly three hours of cooking), Rivera removes it from the heat and sets it aside to cool. Separating the pork from the stock, Rivera shreds the meat by hand. With the stock she begins to make the masa, or cornmeal dough, combining the liquid with cornmeal flour, salt, vegetable shortening and baking powder. The woman standing before me, elbow-deep in masa, is a model example of oratorical feast or famine. When she does speak, it’s in staccato bursts – rapid-fire instructions to Ana telling me about the significance of the masa.



make your own refried beans Written by Brandi Wills

What to us is a store-bought staple is a home-cooked classic in Mexico. The term refried beans suggests that to make this dish, beans must be fried twice. However, this moniker is actually a mistranslation of the Spanish phrase, frijoles refritos, which means well-fried beans. When made at home – using just a handful of simple ingredients – this standard side dish is given a boost of flavor not found in the canned variety. Serve your beans at breakfast alongside huevos rancheros, as a side dish to a main course or on any number of antojitos, such as tostadas, sopes or huaraches.

Homemade Refried Beans Although refried beans are typically made with pinto beans, you can also use black, red or pink beans. Different beans may require different cooking times. A potato masher works best for creating a smooth paste while leaving some beans intact to give texture to the dish. Yield | 2½ cups | ½ lb ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp 6 Tbsp 1 sprig

“It’s the most important part of the tamales,” Ana translates for her mom. “You need to add the stock to impart the flavor throughout, and it’s best to mix it all by hand.” After approximately 40 minutes of kneading by hand, the dough's consistency is similar to that of thick oatmeal. When she’s satisfied, Rivera brings all the components, along with cornhusks she’s soaked overnight in cool water, back to the metal island in the middle of her kitchen. There she constructs the tamales at blinding speed, using a small serving spoon to spread the masa in the center of the husk, followed by a handful of the pork and then finishing with a smear of red or green chile sauce. After folding the husk in half over the tamale, Rivera rolls the excess husk tightly around the sides and continues on to the next one. Once all the tamales are finished, Rivera stands them up in steamer pots and stores them in the walk-in refrigerator. In the morning she’ll come in and steam the tamales on her trusty camp stove for about an hour. Because Rivera makes the tamales completely by herself, she sets a limit. Approximately nine dozen tamales are made by her hands every week. She doesn’t take orders; however, she does accept customers asking to have some set aside for them. That’s why the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since I’ve been here – customers are calling dibs on the tamales before they’re even made. Walking into El Chico Bakery, I hoped to learn the secrets behind how Leticia Rivera makes her amazing tamales. It turns out she doesn’t even know. Because Rivera doesn’t always prepare the same number of tamales at a time – some Fridays she’ll make the entire weekend’s worth; other times she’ll split the load over two days – she relies on her senses, dealing not in cups and tablespoons but rather “bits of this” and “just enoughs” of that. In fact, I have a feeling she’s a bit mystified as to why I’m sitting here in her beautifully ordinary and weathered kitchen to learn how to do what she believes is commonsense cooking. While it’s possible to glean from her ingredients list and make a facsimile of her tamales at home, I urge you to go for yourself on a Saturday or Sunday morning to try something that truly can’t be copied. Just make sure to get there early because on any given Friday night, normally right around 7pm, Rivera is quietly making tamales by hand to the seemingly endless accompaniment of a ringing telephone.


s i de

JULY 2012

dry pinto beans chopped white onion lard, divided epazote* fine sea salt

| Preparation | Rinse beans and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Add ¼ cup onion, 1 Tbsp lard and epazote. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the beans are soft, with the skin just beginning to break open, and the broth is soupy, about 2 to 3 hours. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid, discarding the epazote sprig. Heat the remaining lard in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the beans to the pan, 1 cup at a time, mashing them into a paste before adding the next cupful. Add cooking broth as needed throughout the process to thin the beans and keep them from sticking to the pan. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately. If making ahead, cover the surface of the beans with plastic wrap to prevent crust from forming. * Epazote is available at most Mexican markets.

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realsalsas! Beyond the Jar: Written by Pat Eby


Photography by Jonathan Gayman

Fiery and smoky. Fruity and sweet. Thin and smooth. Red, green, orange and mahogany. The salsas that

red p

grace tables in Mexican households are much more complex than the jars of chunky, tomato-based pico de gallo that are commonly picked up in grocery stores, and they add flavor far beyond familiar Tex-Mex appetizers. Think of salsa as a condiment, not just a dip. “Salsa

ipian sal s a

means sauce,” says Cesar Solis, chef at Iguana’s Mexican Cuisine. Although his restaurant serves customers thick and chunky red salsas with chips, he reserves the traditional salsas, like his mother’s mole poblano, for his cooking. And while you will find salsa cruda on many Mexican tables, most non-commercial versions are generally given a whir in a blender or mashed with

a mortar and pestle. “An authentic salsa is blended;

it’s going to be smooth,” says Carlos Lopez, co-owner

with Rick Hempe of Mami’s Tamales.

cooked to develop flavor. Carrie Houk, owner of La Cocinera cooking school, discovered the breadth and depth of Mexican cuisine through classes and one-onone teaching in Mexico. “After you blend a salsa, you can fry it in oil to make the flavors stronger,” she can thin out a salsa with broth to make a dipping sauce. But cooking with the salsas, using them as sauce – that’s what you want to learn.” The recipes here are authentic salsas to be spooned over meats and fish or drizzled on rice and beans. Of course, you can enjoy all these salsas with some warm, salty tortilla chips as well. No matter how you utilize these sauces, once you try a true Mexican salsa, you’ll probably ditch the store-bought variety for good.

l s a ve r d e

says. “Some salsas are thick, like a paste, and you

ra sa

Salsas aren’t always raw, either. Some are heated and

la cocine


Original Mole Poblano Salsa By Cesar Solis, Iguana's Mexican cuisine

’s spicy salsa

Yield | 4 cups | 7 12 7 2 2 4 cloves 6 Tbsp 2 Tbsp ¼ cup ¼ cup 1 ¼ cup 5 1 1 slice 1 pinch 1 pinch ½ tsp 3 8 5 cups 1 pinch 1 tsp 3 tablets

dried poblano peppers dried mulato peppers dried pasilla peppers dried chipotle peppers medium white onions, divided garlic, divided unsalted butter, divided sesame seeds blanched almonds unsalted peanuts 6-inch corn tortilla raisins large pitted prunes ripe plantain (platano macho) day-old bread, torn into pieces ground cloves ground cinnamon coriander seed large plum tomatoes, chopped tomatillos, cored and chopped chicken stock freshly ground black pepper granulated sugar Mexican chocolate, shaved*

| Preparation | Toast peppers in a skillet over medium heat until they are lightly browned and pliable. Be careful not to burn them, as this will cause a bitter flavor. Remove the seeds and soak peppers in lightly salted water overnight. If you like a hotter salsa, reserve ½ cup of the toasted seeds in a separate container. Don’t soak the seeds. The following day, add 2 to 3 Tbsp soaking water to a skillet over medium heat. Roughly chop 1 onion and 1 garlic clove. Add to the skillet and cook until just softened. Place chiles, cooked onion and garlic, and seeds (if you’re using them) in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.

n al m


Cesar Solis, a native of Puebla, follows his mother’s recipe for mole, which he uses as a sauce for cooking, plating and dipping. The layered flavors of the chiles, fruits, nuts and burnt corn tortilla give the salsa depth, while the slight sweetness of tomatoes, tomatillos and chocolate create a harmonious balance.

ole pobla n o

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium-low heat. Chop the remaining onion and garlic. Add to the pot and cook until golden-brown. Add the sesame seeds, almonds and peanuts. Cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve. Char the corn tortilla on both sides over a gas flame or under the broiler and then tear into strips. Add 2 Tbsp butter to the pot and fry the burnt tortilla, raisins, prunes, plantain and day-old bread. Stir in cloves, cinnamon and coriander seeds. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved onion and nut mixture.

Melt remaining butter in a skillet and fry the tomatoes and tomatillos until softened. Add to the pot, along with the chile purée and all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Working in batches, blend the sauce until smooth and return to the pot. Cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until it becomes a paste. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add water, if needed, to bring salsa to the desired consistency. Use as a sauce or as a dipping salsa with chips.

* Mexican chocolate tablets are available at most Mexican markets. Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012



salsa recipes Emma’s Spicy Salsa By Maria Emma Lopez, Mami’s Tamales

For a taste that’s tangy and bright, try this elegantly simple salsa from Maria Emma Lopez, a native of Sonora. Rich, thin and nearly creamy, it’s a perfect partner for chips. Spoon it over tamales, rice or beans for an extra kick of heat and flavor.

Red Pipian Salsa

La Cocinera Salsa Verde

By Carrie Houk, La Cocinera

By Carrie Houk, La Cocinera

Mexican cooks take care to roast the vegetables, toast the seeds and fry the sauce. Each step enhances this rich and flavorful salsa. “The last step, frying the sauce, makes all the difference,” Houk says.

A smooth salsa with a hit of heat and crisp lemony undertones. The color and shimmer of roasted tomatillos make this salsa a feast for the eyes as well. Dilute with broth to make as tasty sauce for chicken or pork.

Yield | 3 cups |

Yield | 3 cups |

8 6 ½ 2 cloves 3 cups 1 cup ¼ cup 1 cup

1 lb 4 to 6 1 2 cloves 2 cups 2 Tbsp ½ cup

Roma tomatoes dried serrano peppers large white onion garlic chicken broth or water, divided sesame seeds vegetable oil or olive oil* salt chopped cilantro

Yield | 4 cups | 8 to 10 4 to 5 5 cloves 1 ½ cup

ripe tomatoes fresh serrano or jalapeño peppers garlic medium white onion, diced cilantro leaves

| Preparation | Cut tomatoes into chunks. Stem peppers. Place tomatoes and peppers in a 4-quart pot. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook until the tomatoes soften. Place tomatoes, peppers, cooking juices and garlic in a blender and pulse to purée. Add diced onions and cilantro to blender and blend to a fine consistency. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.


JULY 2012

| Preparation | Roast tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic under the broiler until soft, lightly charred and blistered. Remove any stems from the peppers and purée the mixture with 1 cup broth or water. Set aside. Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden-brown, stirring to prevent burning. In a blender, purée the toasted seeds with 1 cup broth or water. Heat oil in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add seed purée and fry for 2 minutes. Add puréed tomato mixture and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add salt to taste. Stir in chopped cilantro. Add stock or water if needed to reach desired consistency and serve. * Although the traditional preparation would use vegetable oil, Houk prefers the taste of olive oil in this salsa.

tomatillos, cored and chopped serrano or jalapeño peppers medium white onion, peeled and quartered garlic chicken broth or vegetable broth olive oil or vegetable oil chopped cilantro salt to taste

| Preparation | Roast tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic under the broiler until lightly charred and blistered. Transfer the vegetables, with their juices, to a blender or food processor. Purée into a slightly coarse sauce, adding broth if needed to reach this consistency. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the sauce, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add remaining broth and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until the salsa reaches the desired consistency. Stir in cilantro and season with salt to taste. Cool before serving. Salsa will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Feast extra!

Go to for a mango salsa recipe from Milagro's Jason Tilford.


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pick a pepper Written by Brandi Wills

Chile peppers are a key ingredient in Mexican cooking, each variety imparting a different flavor profile and heat level to dishes. Home cooks are often surprised, when following a recipe using unfamiliar peppers, to find that their dish is too spicy or not spicy enough. Our quick and easy chile guide takes the guesswork out of picking the right pepper for your next Mexican cooking expedition.


The hottest of the hot peppers commonly used in Mexican cooking, they are used more for adding spiciness to dishes and sauces and less for imparting flavor.


Often considered to be just as hot as the habanero, manzana chiles are a bit easier on the stomach. This fleshy pepper is often roasted and added, unpeeled, to relishes and sauces.


These long peppers are sweet and hot. They make a great addition to vegetable dishes and are particularly good in guacamole.


These small chiles change from green to red when ripe. They have a clean and biting flavor.


One of the most popular chiles in Mexican cuisine. They are sold at various stages of ripeness, and you’ll find both red and green varieties in stores at varying levels of heat. Their flavor is similar to serrano peppers.


Smoked and dried red jalapeños, these have a smoky flavor and moderate heat and are a common addition to sauces and meat dishes.

chile de árbol

This small yet potent pepper is most commonly sold dried in our region and is great for flavoring sauces and stews. When toasted and ground, it can be used to flavor fruits and nuts as snacks.

yellow wax

Often confused with banana peppers, as the flavor profile is similar, yellow wax peppers are much hotter.


This chile gets its name, which means little rattle in Spanish, from the sound the seeds make inside the dried pepper. Its dark skin retains its color during soaking, and it exhibits a slightly nutty flavor.


Meaning little raisin in Spanish, this dried chilaca pepper has a rich flavor with notes of herb and licorice.


Mild in heat, these larger peppers are often stuffed and baked or fried. When roasted, their rich, earthy flavor is intensified, making them a great addition to sauces.


These large, mild chiles have a tougher skin that makes them great for stuffing or roasting. When mature and red, they are called chile Colorados.


This is a dried red poblano and has a fruity, slightly sharp flavor.


Smoky, tangy and rich, these dried peppers can be ground for spice mixes or made into a paste, which is often used to flavor meats before grilling.


This pepper is dried to a crisp. Its mild heat and citrus and apple flavors make it a great complement to fish dishes.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


spirits mexican

Story and recipe by Matt Seiter



Photography by Laura Ann Miller

Cocktail pictured ABOVE right: prince of jalisco

Tequila was first distilled on a large scale in 1795 by José Maria Guadalupe Cuervo. Over time, more distilleries began making the spirit and techniques became refined. The tequila production methods still in use today were said to have started with Cenobio Sauza in the late 19th century, specifically his use of the Blue Weber species of agave and his use of double distillation. Today there are two qualities of tequila: mixto and 100 percent agave. Mixtos are tequilas made from at least 51 percent blue agave but are allowed to have up to 49 percent other sugars present in the fermentation. Granulated sugars are most commonly used, but maize syrup and industrial sugars are also utilized. One hundred percent blue agave tequilas can be made utilizing only the Blue Weber agave plant and can be produced only in the Mexican state of Jalisco, located in the western part of the country. The Mexican government heavily regulates the business of producing tequila with a focus on production methods, quality and locations where the agave is grown. Laws also regulate the aging of tequila, of which there are four classifications. Blanco (silver, plata or white) is unaged tequila reduced to bottling strength just after distillation. Reposado is “rested” in wood barrels (mainly American oak) for at least two months but no longer than 12. Añejo is matured for at least one year but no more than three years. Extra añejo is matured for at least three years in oak. The longer tequila is aged, the smoother it tastes, making añejo and extra añejo bottlings best for sipping, while blanco and reposado tequilas are great in cocktails. Tequila has seen a revival over the past two decades on craft-cocktail menus, giving you more options for enjoying this fascinating spirit outside the standard margarita or La Paloma.


Cocktail pictured below right: Storming the Beach

The history of agave spirits dates back to the time of the Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s. The Spaniards’ knowledge of distillation and the natives’ knowledge of making an intoxicating beverage from the agave plant married to form the industry of Mexican spirits that we know today. While tequila is made specifically from blue-agave plants, mezcal can be made from a variety of agaves and is primarily made from espadin. Mezcal starts in the agave fields, in which the plants are allowed to mature for a period of 6 to 10 years, on average. At maturity, the piñas (the core of the plant) are stripped of their leaves, harvested and brought to the roasting pits. The piñas are cut in half and thrown on top of smoldering rocks gathered from the countryside and riverbeds. They are then covered with dirt and allowed to roast for 3 to 5 days. The roasted piñas are uncovered, crushed, fermented and then distilled. The resulting liquid is then redistilled and bottled. The process of roasting the piñas over smoldering rocks gives mescal a distinct smoky flavor, similar to that of some Scotch whiskies. Its smoke flavor is earthy with a touch of minerality. Since agave plants are naturally sweet, so is the resulting distillate. Most mezcals are produced in the small villages surrounding the mountains of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Each village has its own secrets for growing agave plants and giving agave juice its own unique terroir, just like wine. The traditional way to enjoy mezcal is to sip the spirit from clay cups, called copitas, with no additions. However, as of late, bartenders north of the border have been experimenting with this fantastic spirit as the base for wonderfully crafted cocktails.

Feast extra! Go to to get the recipes for the tasty and refreshing cocktails pictured here.


JULY 2012


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mexican pastries Panaderias (bakeries) are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. One of our favorites is Dianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bakery. Goods range from flaky to doughy, sweet to savory, fruity to creamy. Mexican breads and cookies are generally drier and less sweet than their American equivalents, however a variety of fillings and toppings, from fresh fruit to creams and cheeses to colorful icings, make them equally indulgent. Dianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is a wall-to-wall wonderland of fresh-baked goodness. Empanadas are stuffed with pumpkin, cheese or a variety of fruit fillings. Tacos take on a new identity as chewy pastries stuffed with a variety of sweet and savory fillings and rolled up for a portable snacking. Flaky, croissant-like pastry dough is shaped into orejas (ears) or manos (hands) and given a lightly sweet glaze. Diana's wide selection of traditional Mexican pastries also includes: Marranito, a pig-shaped cookie made with brown sugar or molasses; niĂąos envueltos (wrapped-up children), jelly-filled cake rolls topped with colorful sprinkles or shredded coconut; polvorenes, shortbread cookies covered in powdered sugar; elotito (tiny corn), a corn-cob shaped pastry flavored with lemon zest and topped with granulated sugar; and (pictured, from top to bottom), galletas azucar (sugar cookies), conchitas with pink and yellow icing, and ojo de buey (eye of the ox). 2843 Cherokee St., Cherokee Business District

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


Not Your Typical Mexican Restaurant Come and experience the newest addition to historic Cherokee Street. We use only the freshest ingredients. Please come and enjoy our array of dishes from our Homemade Aguas Frescas, a Mexican fresh fruit beverage, to our family recipe for Mexican Style Goat Barbeque.

2818 Cherokee St. • St. Louis MO 63118• Find us on

• Follow us on

• 314.932.1333

Open on Sundays too for Brunch or Dinner! Turkish/Mediterranean food is a cross between Southern European, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. Aya Sofia Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a large variety of cold and hot meze (small plates) that are intended to be shared and will complement any of our entrees,including delectable lamb, beef, chicken, and fresh seafood. Lunch: Tues-Fri - Dinner: Tues-Sun - Sunday Brunch Happy Hour: Tues-Fri NIGHTLY DINNER SPECIALS AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE PARTIES AND CATERING

Turkish Mediterranean Cuisine Known for our meze (small plates) and excellent wine selection

6671 Chippewa Street • St. Louis, MO 63109 • 314.645.9919 •

Deserves It Because She

We can restyle or custom design your jewelry BRIDAL Contemporary and Vintage Styles DIAMOND JEWELRY Pendants, Earrings & Bracelets LOOSE DIAMONDS Any Shape - Any Size DIAMOND REPLACEMENT Onsite Jewelers While-U-Wait Repairs (most within the hour) WE BUY GOLD

IL: St. ClairAF, Square from Victoria’s Secret) G?#EIGFH/ 4F(;C(!' @!(&-I9 G 7#5,6 #$+*D0HH%B>G# MO:AG&$$#H <-! ?-.::!9 >;.997#'H 8!%9 G%4/.;(99F3I" A= 30 #DHDD% G8)5,.8-,.)** 7D5+6 ,D0*,5HH B% '''21EI-!1!'!/!;2E.) 1=;E!(Across A"D;!# % +;E!BE#@ <4 % 2).,2(5,8-** ;F FI 1!&HH +=&!EHH;9F/ C6FG#C#@#=#!,6&:

“BBQ NIRVANA” STL MAG JUNE 2012 BBQ ASAP is a championship barbeque restaraunt offering award-winning BBQ. Our meats are slow smoked in a water based cooker, to produce the best BBQ in town; moist, tender & delicious. Come in and see for yourself.

Visit us on Facebook to win Free BBQ for a year!

15581 Manchester Rd. Ballwin, MO 63011 • 314.772.4800 • 54

JULY 2012

Sakura Japanese Restaurant & Sushi bar Sakura offers only the freshest ingredients in our Sushi, prepared by chefs who have over 20 years experience. Under new management, we now offer lower prices on all of our menu items along with weekly drink specials. Join us on Sunday's for $1 domestic beer bottles and 25¢ Sake shots. Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11am-2:30pm, 4:30-10pm Fri. & Sat. 11am-11pm, Sun. 11am-10pm

FREE Birthday Dinner!

*w/purchase of four dinners, 4:30pm to close *w/proper ID *Drinks Not Included *$20 maximum *Special offers cannot be combined.

'554 0"6>!7: +7!; ,!=<". 86=> 2*1 # /%(7::$6. 93 # 2'-)2&&)---2

Cherokee Street International Farmers Market The Cherokee Street International Farmers Market is an outdoor farmers market which provides fresh, affordable and culturally unique produce. We have special emphasis on farm produce grown locally by immigrant and neighborhood farmers. This market will bring healthy and local food to the underserved neighborhoods surrounding Cherokee Street. We will provide a vast array of vegetables and products from Asian greens to heirloom tomatoes, artist installations to yoga, hot peppers to eggplant, baked goods to comidas deliciosas! The Cherokee Street International Farmers Market will offer culturally diverse foods and traditions that are affordable to all of St. Louis! Starting this summer: Fridays 4-7pm at the corner of Cherokee and Texas!

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Cherokee and Texas 63118 •

While we can't fly you to wine country, we deliver the wine country experience. EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery American Fine Wines with Inventive American Cuisine • • • • •

Updated menu with seasonal dishes Expanded wine list, including new Cellar List and "Big Guns" List $5 Happy Hour, Monday - Friday, 2-6p.m. Live Music on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Nights. Voted "Diners’ Choice Winner" by OpenTable Like us on Facebook and enter to win our free wine and dinner give-aways Daily Updates - Special Offers - The Latest Scoop

550 Chesterfield Center • Chesterfield • 636.532.0550 •

An Authentic Twist on a Traditional Mexican Staple! Mami's Tamales (pronounced “Mommy’s”), specializes in authentic handmade tamales wrapped in corn husks. Mami’s recipes include a variety of fillings including beef, chicken, vegetarian, cheese and the most popular selection… pork! With a growing selection of traditional Mexican menu items, Mami’s Tamales offers something for everyone. We offer a choice of bottled Mexican and domestic beers, margaritas and the most popular mixed drinks in our festive lower level cantina! Dine in or carry out. Mami's is located just east of highway 55 at the Bayless exit. BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Buy any entrée and two drinks and receive any second entrée of equal or lesser value FREE* *With coupon. Not valid with other offers. Expires 7/31/12.

3971 Bayless Ave. St. Louis, MO 63125 • 314.772.4800 Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


A Word from Gerard's St. Louis Gerard's has been offering the finest continental cruisine to the St. Louis area since 1995. We serve only the best Steaks, Chops, and Seafood available as well as imported pasta from Italy. With over 600 Wines from around the world, Gerard's was one of 443 restaurants worldwide to receive the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for the 13th year. Please support locally owned restaurants Look us up at

1153 Colonnade Center • DesPeres • 314.821.7977 •

Fine Authentic Southwest Mexican Cuisine ......there is a difference! Salina's is the place you'll want to keep coming back for more. Excellent food and service since 1992.


• • • • • •

A quaint and friendly atmosphere perfect for lunch and dinner Home of the St. Louis Award Winning Fish Taco Enjoy freshly cooked chips and award winning salsa Homemade warm tortillas Reservations recommended for large parties Come by and say "Ohla' to Joe, Chaz, Patty and Shirley!

20 Clarkson Wilson Center • Chesterfield • 636.530.9010 •

A R T B Y D A Y, M A G I C B Y N I G H T


The Missouri Botanical Garden invites you to experience the magic of one of China’s most treasured events—the Lantern Festival! Chinese Lantern Festivals are spectacular exhibitions of larger-than-life, lighted works of art. You have to see it to believe it! Presented by

*<** 8+=% '.;A/ > 8@/ 3,!&5" 97 #<11? 4<1*2 -00)-1?? > %%%/(,:,@/,6$


JULY 2012

made with dough

masa Written by Erik Jacobs


Photography by Jennifer Silverberg


shot on location at Taqueria El Torito

Masa is Spanish for . In Mexico, however, it has ubiquitously come to mean corn dough and is used to make everything from tacos to pastries to sandwich breads. To make masa, one starts with dried field corn, generally white. This is not the tender, sugary-sweet variety on produce stands. This is tough, chewy corn. To make it palatable, it goes through a process called nixtamalization. The corn is first cooked in a solution of water and lime and

then left to soak overnight. The lime used in this process is a very alkaline calcium hydroxide – not the cute little citrus fruit – which helps soften the corn and loosen the difficultto-digest hulls, called eyes, so they can be removed. After the eyes are removed, the tender corn is ground into a

thick paste that can then be fashioned into a variety of shapes and sizes. While this process can be labor-intensive – and as such, most restaurants use masa harina, which is instant masa flour – the result is a fresh, grainy, flavorful base for a number of popular Mexican dishes.

made with masa sopes Many American diners aren't familiar with the sope, an integral part of the family of â&#x20AC;&#x153;little cravingsâ&#x20AC;? known as antojitos in Mexico. Starting with fresh masa dough, a thick disc is formed with its edges pinched up slightly. It is then flash-fried just to set the exterior and then topped like a tostada. While the tostada is fried to a crispy, crunchy finish, the sope is constructed to hold some weight. Think of a sope as a personal-sized Mexican thick-crust pizza where the pinched edges help to keep the beans, meat, crema and other goodies on top.

gorditas A further variation on the sope is referred to as a gordita, or little fat one. Masa is formed into a thick disc, only this time with no pinched edges. It is then griddled or fried until it puffs up in the center. Once cooled slightly, the gordita is cut open, stuffed and eaten like a pita sandwich.

huaraches A favorite from Mexico City, huaraches are named for their oblong shape that resembles sandals of the same name. Masa dough is given its sandal shape, deep-fried and then topped with salsa, meats, cilantro, crema and queso fresco. Fresh chopped tomato may find its way on board as well. These oversized variations on the sope are generally piled high with toppings and best shared among the table.

tacos Tortillas made from fresh masa have a sweet, earthy flavor that wheat-flour tortillas cannot match. Tacos are often served on double tortillas, as a single one is tender and easily torn. Those crispy, yellow, U-shaped shells used for American tacos are made from masa that is shaped first and then fried. And although they have become an icon of Mexican food for Americans, their invention is often credited to Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell.

tostadas Corn tortillas for tacos are optimally fresh only for a few hours after cooking. They tend to dry and get leathery with age. Frying the tortilla whole leads to a deliciously crisp base on which to build a tostada. Layered with beans, cheese, salsa, onion and lettuce, it makes a stand-alone meal.

tamales These precious little packages of corn masa are often filled with a bit of meat and salsa, perhaps some cheese, and then pressed and wrapped in a rehydrated corn husk (or banana leaves) and steamed in that wrapper. Tamale dough begins with coarsely ground fresh masa, but then lard and liquid are whipped in to tenderize the dough and allow it to get fluffy and light as it cooks. Whipping the dough also incorporates more air into the tamale, adding even more tenderness to an already ethereal bite. Clockwise from top: Gorditas, sopes and a beef huarache made with from-scratch masa at Taqueria El Torito, 2753 Cherokee St., Cherokee Business District, 314.771.8648.


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mexican meat preparations Written by Brandi Wills

Not only do traditional Mexican meat preparations come with their own lingo, they often use parts of the animal not customary on Midwesterners’ plates. Our guide to Mexican meats helps you navigate the menu at your favorite eatery and bring new flavors to go-to dishes. Al pastor – Al pastor loosely translates to cooked shepherd’s style. Its traditional

preparation is similar to the Turkish döner kabab, shawarma or the Greek gyros, in which meat is slow-roasted on a vertical spit – in this case, pork or lamb alternated with fresh pineapple – and shaved into slices with a large knife. The modern preparation is predominantly pork marinated with spices, pineapple chunks or juice, and chile peppers and slow-cooked until tender. It is served alone with warm tortillas and fresh chopped onion on the side as well as in a number of antojitos. Barbacoa – Although the name refers to pit barbecuing – the original, country-

style method of cooking meat or chicken that is wrapped in avocado or banana leaves – modern preparations of these chile-marinated and wrapped meats include grilling or baking. No matter the method, steaming the meat inside the leaves produces tender, juicy results full of spicy flavor. Cabeza – The Spanish word for head, cabeza describes the meat from a roasted cow's head. On a local menu, it is most likely served in a taco or burrito. In Mexico, the whole head will sit on a steamer or grill and customers will request the part they prefer, such as ojo (eye), oreja (ear) or mejilla (cheek). Carne asada and pollo asada – Literally translating to grilled beef (carne) or

grilled chicken (pollo), these dishes are among the most popular in the northern parts of Mexico – including the states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas – as well as in the U.S. The beef or chicken is marinated in citrus juice and simple spices, then grilled and served in tacos, tortas and burritos. Carnitas – A Spanish term meaning little meats, carnitas are tender chunks of

pork that are braised or roasted, often flavored with spices and citrus juice. Wellmade carnitas have a brown crust that gives the pork a succulent flavor and texture. ChicharrÓnes – Most often eaten as a snack, these puffy, crackly deep-fried

pork skins are deliciously seasoned and make a wonderful addition to salads, gorditas and tacos. Lengua – Lengua is beef tongue. Since the tongue is nearly pure muscle, it

is slow-cooked at low temperatures to yield a supremely tender texture and smooth, meaty taste. It is most commonly chopped into chunks and served on a number of antojitos. Machaca – Also called carne seca (dry beef), machaca is a Sonoran dish of salted

and air-dried beef that is then shredded and served in taquitos, burritos or tortas or served with a side of beans as a stand-alone meal. It is sometimes cooked with eggs, chiles and spices before being used as a topping or stuffing in antojitos. Picadillo – Picadillo is made from ground beef or pork that is cooked with

tomatoes, baking spices such as cinnamon and clove, raisins, and often chopped nuts. The layered flavors and textures of this tasty mixture make it a delightful filling for stuffed chile peppers and tacos, as well as an alternative to traditional tamale filling. Tripa – Tripa, or tripe, is offal from the stomachs of farm animals, most commonly from the cow. Tripa is most often served in tacos, dressed with cilantro, chopped onions, and chile sauce, or in menudo, a popular tripe-and-hominy stew. It demands attention from the cook to avoid being rubbery, but when prepared correctly, it has a luscious flavor akin to, but milder than, liver.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


Andrew Mark Veety |

Photography by Jonathan


hidden kitchens Written by

often hidden in plain sight, small family-run tiendas provide a connection to home for the Hispanic populations of St. Louis with a selection of kitchen staples, baked goods, produce, cuts of meat, and sometimes a taqueria with a menu of traditional Central and South American dishes and street food. From tacos to soups to whole roasted fish, taqueria offerings rival the flavors and diversity of dishes from much larger (and better-equipped) restaurants. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the tienda that few know about to become the taqueria that everyone is talking about almost overnight.

don carlos (at Carniceria Latino Americana)

pictured here

Make your way through the aisles of Central and South American groceries and brightly colored packages of candy, past the butcher case piled high with cuts of pork and beef, and you’ll find the unassuming counter that runs along the side of Don Carlos’ open kitchen. Grab a stool, order a tall glass of horchata, a refreshing agua fresca made with rice, sugar and cinnamon that will offer cooling relief from the heat of the red and green salsas that are found in front of every seat. Start with a basket of tacos de pollo – large sections of tender chicken seared goldenbrown, served in supple corn tortillas and topped with cilantro and onion. First-time visitors will find Cherokee Street regulars tucking into an array of authentic Mexican soups, served with slices of lemon and tortillas on the side. Savory posole, made with a base of hominy and slices of pork, is perfect for an afternoon meal. Spicy bowls of menudo – beef tripe simmered in a broth fortified with chile paste – are served on weekends. This traditional Mexican comfort food highlights a unique combination of rich flavor and texture from slow-cooked offal. 2800 Cherokee St., Cherokee Street Business District,, 314.773.1707

la morena mexican grocery store

pictured right & row below

Even locals tend to drive past La Morena Mexican Grocery Store, which is tucked away behind a strip of storefronts facing Manchester Road. This small grocery is a hidden West County gem for kitchen staples, breads and simply presented, delicious Mexican fare. Tacos al pastor – lightly grilled corn tortillas filled with marinated chunks of pork and pineapple – stand out, with acid from sweet-and-tart tropical fruit cutting through savory pork. Pair these tacos with a bottle of Boing! soda. It’s noncarbonated yet naturally effervescent from the fruit pulp that is suspended within the beverage. La Morena’s tasty approach to preparing pork makes another appearance in tamales, where the meat is braised, shredded and then stuffed inside balls of masa. Served in the corn husks they were steamed in, these tamales are sweet, savory and tailor-made for a healthy application of salsa verde – an addictive combination of tomatillo, chile, onion and a liberal amount of lime – found in squeeze bottles on each table. 14234 Manchester Road, Manchester, 636.527.8682

malintzi mexican grocery

pictured left & row above

The menu at Malintzi Mexican Grocery is handwritten on a dry-erase board at the rear of this Woodson Terrace tienda and changes throughout the day. On any given afternoon, the menu will offer a variety of taco fillings – pork, beef and chicken – however, diners should not miss the opportunity to try the placeros when offered. Served in handmade corn tortillas that have been blistered on a flat top, each taco is overflowing with large strips of carne asada, with onion, cilantro and cactus paddles grilled and mixed in with the steak. With so much flavor packed into each taco, you may feel salsa is unnecessary, but the dish benefits from a healthy dose of smoky guajillo chile salsa spiked with roasted tomatillos. A dish from Mexico City called huaraches – long discs of fried masa topped with meat, onions, potatoes and a liberal application of queso fresco – is a treat as well. Huaraches will remind some of sopes but are large enough to share around the table. 3831 Woodson Road, Woodson Terrace, 314.428.2075

New Casual Menu paired with traditional favorites, day and night!

St. Louis' Summer Time Tradition, for 21 years and counting! Join us at Harry's for the best view of St. Louis on the award winning patio; Happy hour Monday through Friday $2.50 bottles • $4 Wine • $4 infused wells $5 appetizer menu

Free pre-game shuttles to all Cardinals games! 2144 Market Street • Downtown • 314.421.6969 • harr

Authenic Mexican Cuisine Made in house from scratch. All family recipes. Family Owned Since 1967 Voted #1 Guacamole by the RFT (Riverfront Times) Voted Best Margarita by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Outdoor patio dining and newly remodeled bar. We can accomodate your next party up to 80 guests. Lunch Specials - Monday through Friday Dinner Specials - Monday through Thursday Open 11a.m. Monday through Sunday 1711 Collinsville Road • Collinsville, IL • 618.344.6435

Fun Food, Happy People, Great Drinks! FEAST FAVE 0 F;L( *;L;6M JI(LG 8%544(6 !;L( ,#1% 8%#L( );!(2 ;I6 &;3L#8> L(K5I -#I;#&3(11( ;I6 A;3K(2;I 8%#42 "$ E.I8% = 9<7 2;L;6 ? 8.4 5' 25.4 PATIO OPENING IN JUNE +#321 /5K( +#321 *(3-( HC5 3(2(3-;1#5I2@ B4(I D5I = +3# 21;31#I& ;1 99 ;K ;I6 *;1 21;31#I& ;1 9: ;K -5,B(* :<51 $B? ) .?@ &,D 93-3?=,/

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Celebrating 75 years Best food on the Illinois side. Chicken, steak, pasta, seafood, salads & sandwiches. Dine-in or carryout, full bar, large groups, outdoor patio. Live music every 2nd Thursday of the month. Only 25 minutes form St. Louis. 255 N to Fosterburg Rd. Exit 13. Super easy to get to. Open at 11am daily for lunch and dinner (Closed Mondays). Closed for holiday July 2nd - 4th. Re-open July 5th at 11am.

31'' ($>="!5;!? :/) # -9=$4+ 80 # ,&*)1,%)1,%' # 27>="99<>%..)2$6 Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


tienda el ranchito With a recent renovation, Tienda El Ranchito has grown from a small market to a full-service grocery with a butcher shop and produce section, home goods, clothing and a hopping restaurant offering both traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex specialties. The kitchen’s take on caldo de res – a simple beef soup with large chunks of steak, potato and corn in a clear broth – brightens with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, so don’t be bashful. The soup is served with a side of steamed corn tortillas that can be used to make impromptu tacos or, better yet, torn into pieces and slowly added to the soup for an additional layer of flavor and texture as they soak up the broth. Huachinango a la diabla – a whole red snapper dusted with chiles and pan-fried – makes a great centerpiece dish for sharing with your dining guests. The tender fish easily flakes with a fork. Logistically the midsection contains the easiest cuts to get at, but pros will gladly pass up most of the fillet for a chance to devour the moist meat located behind the fish’s head – an area known as the collar – which, with a bit of effort, yields the most flavorful meat of the fish. (pictured here) 2565 N. 32nd St., East St. Louis, 618.875.1521


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the mexican pantry Written by Brandi Wills

While Mexican cuisine utilizes a number of ingredients common to American households – rice, beans, tomatoes, onions, avocados and more – you’ll find a number of unfamiliar items listed in Mexican recipes. While some of the following items are readily available, perusing the aisles of Mexican tiendas for these and other ingredients will surely feed your culinary curiosity.

Chiles – Fresh and dried chile peppers are ubiquitous in Mexican cooking.

See p. 51 for a list of commonly used peppers and their heat levels. Masa harina – This instant masa flour is mixed with water and salt to make corn tortillas. Bolillos – Fresh-baked bolillo rolls are tapered, oval-shaped loaves that are staples for making tortas. Piloncillo – This unrefined sugar is made from sugarcane juice that has

a rich molasses flavor, similar to brown sugar but with notes of maple. It is sold in very hard cones that must be broken up with a knife before using. Mexican chocolate – Made using dark and bitter chocolate mixed with ground nuts, cinnamon and sugar, it is pressed into discs or tablets and has a granular texture. Crema – A Mexican version of sour cream, crema is richer and nuttier than American sour cream, though not as much so as crème fraîche. Chorizo – A highly seasoned pork sausage used widely throughout

Mexican cuisine, it is used in breakfast dishes, soups, casseroles and more. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage that must be cooked, while Spanish chorizo is cured and is often served in slices as a snack or appetizer. Quesos – Queso means cheese. Queso fresco is a young, unripened

cheese with a mild flavor and crumbly texture used primarily for garnish but also as a melting cheese. Queso anejo is an aged, hard cheese with a sharp and salty flavor that is usually grated for garnish. Queso asadero means roasting cheese, and its mild flavor and melting qualities make it ideal for stuffing chiles, vegetables or meats. Huitlacoche – This fungus occurs naturally on ears of corn, causing

kernels to turn gray and swell. Sometimes called corn truffles, it has an earthy, smoky, mushroom-like flavor and is considered a delicacy. Chayote – This pale green, pear-shaped squash has a tart, crisp flesh that

is prepared and eaten similarly to summer squash. banana and Avocado leaves – Banana leaves are used to wrap food for

steaming and impart only a mild flavor. Avocado leaves are anise-flavored and are used to season soups and casseroles as well as for wrapping meats and fish. Granadilla – A member of the passion fruit family, it has bright orange skin and seedy green pulp that smells and tastes like citrus fruit and is used in desserts and juice blends. Prickly pear – The fruit of cacti (the edible leaves of prickly pears are

nopales), its pulp has a lightly sweet, melon-like flavor and is studded with edible seeds.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


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soups Written by Pat Eby


Photography by Jonathan Gayman

from the Mexican Kitchen Caldo, sopa, sopa seca – a soup by any other name is still

a crem

a soup. In the Mexican home kitchen, flavorful caldos and sopas often enhance the main family meal, comida fuerte. Sopa seca, which translates to dry soup, often has more rice or pasta than broth and appears at small late-day suppers.

de cilantro con chayote

“Everyone sits down to a leisurely meal around 1 or 2 in the afternoon,” says Carrie Houk, owner of La Cocinera cooking school. “Families, workers in a family business – they eat together. A soup, salsas, rice, a meat dish, dessert. It’s an unhurried meal.”

Some cook down a pig’s head for posole. When Leticia Rivera of El Chico Bakery was a girl in Guadalajara, she and her sisters made hominy for the posole. They cooked the kernels, soaked them and removed the eyes of each piece. “We rolled the kernels between our hands to remove the skins. For posole, you cook everything together – the meat, garlic, onions, hominy, chiles.” Roasted vegetables and chiles, toasted spices, fresh herbs, garlic and meats – all cooked long and low – layer Mexican soups with flavor. Simple soups, done well, grace tables year-round.

Maria Emma Lopez, the cook at Mami’s Tamales, recalls how her family of 10, plus the 12 workers in her father’s small tailoring shop, gathered each day for comida fuerte, which means strong meal. Soup came first. “The fish soups, with fish stock, big pieces of fish and shrimp in a spicy tomato broth – caldo de cameron. Beef or pork soups with shredded meats and whatever vegetables we had fresh. We used every part of the animal, even the feet of the chickens and the pigs, in soup broths.”


Shrimp Albóndigas in Guajillo-Shrimp Broth By Jason Tilford, Milagro Modern Mexican

shrimp albóndigas in

For a new take on traditional Mexican albÓndiga (meatball) soup, try shrimp or lamb in place of beef meatballs. Jason Tilford served this variation of the classic Mexican soup to Diana Kennedy when the Mexican cooking guru last visited St. Louis. “She loved it,” Tilford says. Serves | 4 | Shrimp AlbÓndigas

2 lbs 1 1 ¼ cup 2 Tbsp 1 ½ cup 2 Tbsp 1 1 cup

31/40 count shrimp, peeled and deveined large red pepper, finely diced poblano pepper, finely diced finely diced white onion puréed chipotle in adobo lime, juiced chopped cilantro sea salt egg, beaten panko bread crumbs

Guajillo-Shrimp Broth 6 1 Tbsp 4 ½ cup 1 Tbsp 1½ quarts 1 Tbsp

Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise vegetable oil, divided guajillo chile peppers diced red onion garlic purée shrimp or lobster broth sea salt




limes, halved cilantro sprigs

| Preparation – Shrimp Albóndigas | Place shrimp in a food processor and pulse until well-chopped with no large chunks. Do not overprocess or the meatballs will be gummy. Place shrimp in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients except egg and bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until they are well-incorporated. Add the egg and bread crumbs. Mix again. Form into 1- to 1½-ounce meatballs by hand. Place on a tray and set aside. | Preparation – Guajillo-Shrimp Broth | Preheat oven to 450ºF. Brush tomatoes with half the oil. Place skin side up on a baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the skins brown. Meanwhile, toast the peppers in a skillet over high heat for about 20 seconds on each side. Remove from heat and place in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover with hot water and close container tightly. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain peppers, and rinse twice with cold water. Remove the stem and seeds, and chop. In a large saucepot set over medium heat, add the remainder of the oil and cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add broth, salt and roasted tomatoes and peppers. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Blend with a stick blender until the vegetables are well-chopped and broth is smooth. Return to a boil and add the albÓndigas. Cook in batches, without crowding the pot, for 7 to 8 minutes or until the meatballs float. Divide meatballs and broth into 4 soup bowls, and garnish with limes and fresh cilantro.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


o-shrimp b r o t h guajill

soup recipes Posole By Leticia Rivera, El Chico Bakery

When Leticia Rivera was a young woman living with her family in the state of Jalisco, she and her sisters made the hominy for posole from corn kernels. Today she makes this posole as a holiday main dish, using canned Mexican hominy and pork roast. This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller quantity.

Birria, a thick Mexican soup with well-seasoned meat and a hearty broth, is the meal Carlos Lopez asks his mother to make each year for his birthday dinner. Serves | 8 |

| Preparation | Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove the stem and seeds. Bring 2 cups of water to a low boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat, add peppers and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and remove the soaked peppers to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the soaking liquid and purée until the mixture is smooth. If necessary, add more liquid to achieve a smooth paste. Strain the pepper mixture and set aside. Cut the pork roast into 4 large pieces. Combine the peppers, pork roast and remaining water in an 8½-quart, or larger, stockpot. Add the garlic head to the stockpot. Cut the onion in half and add one half to the pot. Chop the remaining onion to be used as garnish on the soup. Add the hominy with its liquid and salt to the pot. Stir well to mix. Cook for 1½ to 2 hours over medium heat. Remove the garlic head and the onion half and discard. Remove the meat from the pot. The interior temperature of the meat should be at least 165ºF. Use two forks to separate the

4½ lbs 5 2 18 ½ cup 6 cloves ½ tsp 1 cup 1 4 16

Crema de Cilantro con Chayote By Carrie Houk, La Cocinera

Carrie Houk roasts chiles, onions and garlic to add depth of flavor to this beautiful cream of cilantro soup with squash. Chayote, once a staple food of the Mayas and Aztecs, blends well with strong seasonings and peppers. Serves | 8 | 1½ lbs 1 6 cups 2 6 cloves 2 ½ cup 2 cups ½ cup 8

By Maria Emma Lopez, Mami’s Tamales

ancho chile peppers water, divided pork roast garlic, intact with papery skin removed large onion, divided canned Mexican-style white hominy, liquid included* salt iceberg lettuce, finely shredded radishes, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds red salsa limes, quartered corn tostadas


* Mexican-style hominy is available at specialty grocers in 6-lb cans. The “eye” at the bottom of the kernel is removed, allowing the hominy to expand. Regular hominy may be substituted.


Serves | 12 | 3 10 cups 3 lbs 1 head 1 6 lbs ½ tsp 1 head 1 bunch 2 cups 6 12

roast into 12 large pieces. Place each piece of meat in a separate soup bowl. Ladle the broth and hominy into the bowls. Make a nest of shredded lettuce on top of the soup, and add chopped onion and radishes. Serve with salsa, lime wedges and corn tostadas.

bone-in lamb or goat (shoulder or leg)* bay leaves cinnamon sticks, cut into ½-inch pieces cloves coriander seeds garlic ground cumin finely chopped cilantro medium white onion, finely chopped limes, quartered warm corn tortillas

chayote squash, peeled and cubed large potato, peeled and cubed good chicken stock white onions, chopped garlic, chopped serrano peppers, chopped, seeds included butter, vegetable oil or olive oil chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish Mexican crema* salt and freshly ground black pepper freshly fried tortilla strips squash blossoms

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 300ºF. Reserve 1/3 of the cubed chayote. In a large saucepan, cook remaining chayote and potatoes in chicken stock until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Return soup to the saucepan. Roast onions, garlic and peppers until soft but not burnt. Remove from oven and purée until smooth. Add butter or oil to a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the purée for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Add to the soup, stir and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Purée, then return to the pot and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, to thicken. Temper the crema by placing it in a bowl and whisking in a small amount of hot soup. Whisk the tempered crema into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the reserved uncooked chayote into 8 separate soup bowls. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a few tortilla strips and squash blossoms.

| Preparation | Place lamb or goat in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover by an inch, and cook over medium heat for 2½ to 3 hours. As the meat cooks, skim foam and discard. When the meat is nearly done, add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds, garlic and cumin to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add ½ cup of broth and blend until smooth. Remove meat from broth, shred and set aside. Place mixture from the blender into a fine-mesh colander set over a large bowl or pan. Pour the remaining broth through the colander. The resulting liquid should be the consistency of runny gravy. Stir in the shredded meat. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro and onion. Serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.

* Mexican crema is available at Global Foods Market in Kirkwood and at El Torito on Cherokee Street. Sour cream or Greek yogurt may be substituted.

* Beef or pork may be substituted for the lamb or goat.

s i de

mexican beer pairings Written by Michael Sweeney

What to Pair with Mole:

German-style Hefeweizen When you have something as rich and decadent as mole, it would be very easy to go with a stout or porter. And you would have an excellent pairing if you did. But a lighter ale, such as a Germanstyle Hefeweizen, will provide contrast to the richness while the spiciness of the yeast in the beer will match wonderfully with this complex sauce. Beer Suggestions: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Kellerweis, Franziskaner Weissbier Brewery’s Hefe-Weisse, Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen, Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Hefeweizen


JULY 2012


What to Pair with Chile Rellenos:

What to Pair with Tacos:

There are many variations on the chile relleno, so it’s important to have a beer that can pair well with any interpretation. An American Blonde provides just enough character to enhance the freshness of the pepper while providing a refreshing quality as well. This is a wonderful summertime beer, beating back the heat of the dish along with the heat of the sun.

After the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, Mexico saw a large influx of German immigrants. With them, they brought influence in architecture, music and, of course, beer. It’s also not surprising that they shared the world’s most popular beer style: Pilsner. This light and easy-drinking lager often has a hint of corn flavor, which pairs well with a corn tortilla. And Pilsner has enough hop bite to cut through any meat you throw at it.

Beer Suggestions: Deschutes Brewery’s

Beer suggestions: Cuauhtémoc

Twilight Summer Ale, New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Somersault Ale, Bell’s Brewery’s Third Coast Beer, Perennial Artisan Ales’ Southside Blonde

Moctezuma Brewery’s Bohemia, St. Louis Brewing Co.’s Schlafly Pilsner, Ska Brewing Co.’s Mexican Logger, Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Pilsner

American Blonde

What to Pair with Posole:

American Brown Ale A hearty dish needs a hearty beer. American Brown Ale will easily stand up to the unctuousness of a posole brimming with pork and corn. It’s especially important to seek out American versions of Brown Ale, as they’ll have a bit more hop character to help balance this dish’s spiciness. The maltiness of the beer will make a posole just that much more savory. Beer suggestions: Avery Brewing Co.’s Ellie’s Brown Ale, Nectar Ales’ Hemp Ale, The Civil Life Brewing Co.’s American Brown, Big Sky Brewing Co.’s Moose Drool Brown Ale



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Story and recipes by Tony Busekrus Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Pictured above from left to right:

Dulce de Leche Pops, Margarita Pop/ Al Pastor Pop/Sangriasicle (top to bottom), Mexican Bomb Pops

Paletas are ice pops that originated in Mexico in the early 1900s and were sold from pushcarts and storefronts. If you grew up south of the border or in a Hispanic community, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely that you have fond memories of visits to the paleteria for the latest sweet treat made from seasonal ingredients. Who officially came up with the paleta and exactly where and when it was first popularized is debatable, but it's undeniable that these frozen desserts are heavily ingrained in Mexican culinary culture. Traditional paletas are fresh fruit-, cream- or yogurt-based and can include spices and herbs. But if it can be frozen, almost anything can be made into a popsicle. Usually handmade and very colorful, paletas are just as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate. Bring out your inner ice-cream-truck man and have fun trying these recipes. Whether your taste leans toward fruity, creamy, spicy or boozy, we have a recipe for you.


TIPS! Breaking the Mold Experiment with different molds and follow manufacturer’s instructions. There are hundreds of shapes and sizes online, or you can get creative and make your own using Dixie cups, plastic containers, ice cube trays and more.

Solid Advice Pops should freeze in their molds for the times suggested in these recipes, but for best results, freeze overnight.

Pop Goes the ’Sicle To remove the pops from their molds, dip mold into lukewarm water or run under the tap for 5 to 8 seconds and lightly squeeze the sides.

get a grip If using a mold without a handle built into the lid, you'll need to insert a wooden popsicle stick. To do this properly, freeze the filled molds for 30 minutes to help solidify the mixture, insert the stick and then freeze according to recipe directions.

Fudgesicles en Fuego When I think of frozen pops I remember the fudgesicles Mom kept in the freezer when I was a kid. Stay cool with this frozen version of Mexican hot chocolate. Yield | Ten 3-oz pops | 6 oz 2 cups 1 cup 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 1 tsp ½ tsp 1 dash

chocolate chips* heavy cream whole milk sugar unsweetened cocoa powder chile powder cinnamon ground cayenne pepper

| Preparation | Chop chocolate into small chips, if needed. Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepot. Heat over medium-low temperature, stirring as needed, until the chocolate is melted and thoroughly incorporated, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate to chill completely. Fill each mold with the chilled mixture, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 4 to 5 hours. * You can use any semisweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate. The 72 percent darkchocolate chips from Kakao Chocolate are recommended.


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paletas recipes Al Pastor Pops Ground chiles and fruit are often combined in paletas. I love the roasted pineapple, cilantro and spices of tacos al pastor and wanted to capture those flavors in a popsicle. Don’t worry ‒ for this we left out the pork. Yield | Ten 3-oz pops | 1 ¼ cup 1½ tsp 1 pinch 1 cup ¼ cup 1 Tbsp 1 pinch 2 tsp 3 tsp

large pineapple brown sugar Valentina fruit seasoning* chile powder water sugar fresh lime juice lime zest crushed dried arbol chiles** chopped cilantro

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel pineapple, cut in quarters lengthwise, remove core and slice into ½-inch chunks. Toss with brown sugar, fruit seasoning and chile powder. Roast in a glass or metal baking dish on upper rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes. (The edges of the pineapple may brown.) Remove from oven and spoon ¼ of fruit without the juice onto a cutting board to cool. Add water, sugar, lime juice and lime zest to remaining fruit in dish, stir and return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven, purée mixture and refrigerate until completely cool. Chop the fruit on the cutting board into small pieces and toss in a small bowl with chiles and cilantro. Refrigerate until completely cool. Fill each mold ¾ full with pineapple purée. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 to 45 minutes. Spoon in chopped pineapple, chile and cilantro mixture, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing, and stir into pop. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 4 to 5 hours. * Valentina fruit seasoning can be purchased at Jay International Food Co. on South Grand Boulevard. * * Any dried, spicy, red Mexican-style chiles can be substituted.

Dulce de Leche Pops

Everything is better on a stick, even your iced coffee. Try this twist on a caramel macchiato using a classic Latin dessert studded with crushed coffee beans. Dulce de leche takes some time to make, but the complex caramel flavor is worth the effort. Yield | Twelve 3-oz pops | 1 quart 1½ cups ½ tsp ½ tsp ½ tsp 3 cups 3 tsp 2 tsp 2 tsp

milk sugar vanilla extract orange zest baking soda heavy cream coffee beans* cocoa nibs** macadamia nuts

| Preparation | Stir together milk, sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest in a saucepot. Heat over medium flame for about 5 minutes to melt sugar. Add baking soda and lightly stir. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 2½ to 3 hours, until the color of dark caramel and reduced to about 1½ cups. Do not stir to incorporate the foam that may form on top. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in cream and refrigerate to chill. 78

JULY 2012

Crush, grind or chop the coffee, cocoa and nuts separately to the desired coarseness, and stir into chilled mixture, after about 30 minutes or when mixture is no longer warm. Fill each mold 1/3 full and freeze for about 45 minutes. Fill another 1/3 full and freeze for 45 minutes. Add remaining filling, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 4 to 5 hours. * Kaldi’s Colombia Monserrate beans are recommended, as they have notes of orange, caramel, cocoa and macadamia nut. ** Cocoa nibs are available at Kakao. Your favorite chopped chocolate can be substituted.

Sangriasicles The classic Spanish punch is a refreshing choice on a hot summer day. Even more so with this frozen pop version. Yield | Ten 3-oz pops | 3 12 oz 4 Tbsp 2 cups ¼ cup 2 Tbsp 1 Tbsp

medium oranges blackberries sugar, divided sweet, fruity red wine* orange juice water fresh lemon juice

| Preparation | Slice oranges into ½-inch-thick slices, trim off peel and separate the sections. Add ½ of the orange segments to a small bowl and the other ½ to a larger bowl. Slice the blackberries in half, and divide among the two bowls. Add 1 Tbsp sugar to the small bowl, toss and set aside for filling. Add remaining sugar and remaining ingredients to the larger bowl, purée and strain. Fill each mold 2/3 full with the purée. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Spoon the orange and blackberry mixture into the molds, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing, and stir to combine. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 4 to 5 hours. * Wine must have 14 percent alcohol or less to ensure freezing. Try Borsao Garnacha 2010, which has the flavor of blackberry.

Margarita Pops

My first experience with paletas was a Waborita popsicle at Sammy Hagar’s birthday bash in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here’s my version. (Beach not included.) Note that the inclusion of alcohol and the high sugar content of this pop increases the freezing time needed. Yield | Ten 3-oz pops | 1 2½ cups ½ cup ½ cup ¾ cup ¾ cup ¼ cup

lime water, divided sugar frozen limeade concentrate sour mix triple sec tequila crushed rock candy, for garnish*

| Preparation | Freeze lime for 1 hour. Using a sharp knife, cut the lime into 10 slices, as thin as possible. Boil 2 cups water in small pot, add lime slices and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and discard water. In the same pot, add remaining water and sugar. Bring to a simmer, add blanched lime slices and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and spread slices on a cooling rack or

parchment paper to dry for at least 1 hour. Reserve ¼ cup syrup for use in margarita. (Remainder of syrup can be saved for use in other cocktails and drinks.) Mix limeade concentrate, sour mix, triple sec, tequila and reserved syrup in a bowl. Fill each mold with margarita mix, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1½ hours, or until the mixture starts to become slushy. Cut candied lime slices in quarters, add 4 pieces to each pop and stir into mixture. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 6 to 7 hours. Dip the top of each pop in crushed rock candy before serving. * This is an optional fun touch. Rock candy can be purchased at Crown Candy Kitchen.

Mexican Bomb Pops

Find fun molds. There are hundreds online. This shape and recipe are a tribute to the Bomb Pop, an ice-cream-truck classic, but the colors of the Mexican flag are used here. Yield | Twelve 3-oz pops | Strawberry 1½ cups

1/3 cup 2 Tbsp 1 pinch ½ tsp ¼ tsp

strawberries, quartered sugar water lemon zest fresh lemon juice balsamic syrup*


½ cup ½ cup ¼ cup ¼ tsp

canned coconut milk heavy cream sugar pure vanilla extract


4 ¼ cup ¼ tsp 2 tsp 1 tsp

kiwis, peeled and sliced into ½-inch pieces sugar lime zest fresh lime juice honey

| Preparation – Strawberry | Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Purée and set aside until ready to use. | Preparation – Coconut | Whisk entire contents of canned coconut milk in a small bowl to thoroughly blend. Add ½-cup of the smooth coconut milk to a small pot. Reserve remaining milk for future use. Whisk in heavy cream, and warm over a low flame. Add sugar and vanilla. Heat about 5 minutes, until sugar is melted. Remove from heat. Place in a bowl or container, preferably metal. Cover and refrigerate. | Preparation – Kiwi | Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cooled completely. Purée and set aside until ready to use. | To Assemble | Fill each mold 1/3 full with strawberry filling. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes. Fill another 1/3 full with coconut filling. Re-cover and freeze for 45 minutes. Add kiwi filling, leaving about ¼-inch at the top of each mold for expansion during freezing. Cover with the handles and freeze until solid, about 3 to 4 hours. * Regular balsamic vinegar may be substituted, but the recipe is best with naturally reduced, aged balsamic vinegar, which can be purchased at Extra Virgin An Olive Ovation or Vom Fass.


s i de

mexico’s culinary regions Written by Brandi Wills

Although we often talk about “Mexican food” as a singular culinary concept, each region – influenced by geographical and historical factors – has its own distinct cuisine. The North – Baja California is the peninsula at the northwest corner of the country. It is the oldest continuously producing wine-making region in Mexico, and Sonora and Chihuahua are known for their cattle country, particularly for their hardy longhorns. This region’s specialties include a beef stew called caldiddo and machaca, which is dried and shredded beef. Monterrey is the industrial heart of Northern Mexico, brewing being a central part of its culinary heritage. It is the home of frijoles borrachos, or drunken beans, beans cooked in beer, onion, spices and garlic. Northern Mexico is the main cheese-producing region of the country, and Chihuahua is where the beloved chile con queso – melted cheese with strips of chile – was born. In addition, the flour tortilla reigns in the north, making burritos a staple dish. Central Mexico – Puebla is the home of two popular dishes, chiles en nogada – stuffed chiles dipped in batter, fried and served with walnut sauce – and mole poblano – a wonderfully complex sauce made with many ingredients including chiles, baking spices, nuts, tomatillos and chocolate. Just north of Mexico City is Bajio, also referred to as Colonial Mexico, where many local specialties are Spanish in origin; these include stuffed tongue and rich beef stews. Local produce informs much of Bajio’s traditional fare, including carnitas – pork cooked in lard and flavored with orange – and pulque, a drink made from the juice of the agave plant. Mexico City is a bustling metropolitan area, and its food reflects the fast-paced lifestyle. Here you’ll find familiar antojitos – quick bites such as tacos, tostadas, gorditas, sopes, huaraches and taquitos – as well as tortillas and tortas stuffed with meats, including chorizo from nearby Toluca. The Pacific Coast – The Pacific coast is a fertile growing region, rich with chiles, tomatoes and more. In Jalisco, agave is grown to make tequila, and red snapper are caught on this part of the coast and cooked over open fires. Inland is Guadalajara, famous for its spicy soups, especially posole and birria (see p. 68 for recipes). Down the coast, the state of Oaxaca is known for its use of chocolate in cooking, especially in moles, and its luscious orange groves, with many dishes featuring citrus fruit. Queso asadero, a mild melting cheese similar to mozzarella, originated in Oaxaca. The Gulf Coast – The Gulf coast is abundant with fish stocks. The state of

Tabasco is particularly famous for its fish, including sea bass, striped bass, crabs, lobsters and prawns. Veracruz has a famous fish market known for its red snapper. Along the entire Gulf coast, you’ll find jicama sprinkled with lime juice and raw chiles, as well as tamales rolled in banana leaves instead of the customary corn husks. This area is also known for its coffee plantations. The South – Yucatán has a heavy Mayan influence, reflected in its

cuisine by the prevalence of pit-cooked meats, hot habanero peppers, the pungent herb epazote and corn tortillas. Here, ceviche is composed of several types of shellfish popular in Yucatán. Huevos motulenos, made with eggs, refried beans and tomato sauce, is a staple in the region, as are recados, pastes made of spices and vinegar or citrus juice that are rubbed on meat before cooking.

Inspired Food Culture

JULY 2012


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29++ 59$.! 3*1%**< 9.< '!. 69;;*. 7/)-"#,-7,7/ : 4+9<$0(9.&*.-8*(

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JULY 2012

CLASSIFIEDS Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis ART


/(6 0224$'

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for more information Inspired Food Culture

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The dish

Lai Wong Bao

Contributor’s Pick

Brandon Chuang

I’m not much of a dessert person. When I’m out to dinner, my answer to the server’s question of what I’ll be having for dessert most commonly entails me lifting my nearly empty rocks glass and indicating “another of these.” Which is why I assume that my liver offers up a silent prayer of thanks whenever we go to Wonton King, home of lai wong bao. Lai wong bao is a custard-filled yeast bun that is steamed or baked in the oven. The result, a crisp-topped, cream-filled pastry, is a great option for us nondessert types. Its sweetness isn’t cloying like most desserts – the bun itself tastes similar to Hawaiian bread – but the custard filling does a good job of fulfilling any saccharine cravings you may have previously had. Not too sweet and not too big (it’s roughly the size of a donut), it has an added bonus of being offered at that most perfect of brunch options: weekend dim sum at Wonton King. Meaning that there’s no wait for some pastry chef to finish reducing the raspberry crème anglaise that’s about to be poured over your sugarcoated $15 dessert. Just point, and it’s yours. And that, to me, is exactly like how I take my Manhattans. Perfect. Wonton King, 8116 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.995.6982 Check out Brandon’s monthly column, How To (p. 38), and read his account of making tamales at El Chico Bakery (p. 44). photography by

Jonathan Gayman


2012 ROGUE

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July 2012 FEAST Magazine  
July 2012 FEAST Magazine  

FEAST Magazine delves into St. Louis' culinary scene for inspired ideas in cooking, the latest on restaurants, great gadgets, kitchen design...