EGG 6 smart recipes for 1 versatile ingredient
challah french toast with lemon curd, recipe on p. 32
S T L’ S
T O P
P. 39 ST. LOUIS’ April 2018 INDEPENDENT CULINARY AUTHORITY
7 PLACES TO
L O U I E
TRY THIS MONTH
P. 13 SAUCEMAGAZINE.COM
THE BEST MEAD WE'VE EVER HAD P. 28 2018I 1 saucemagazine.com IFREE, SAUCE APRIL MAGAZINE
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APRIL 2018 • VOLUME 18, ISSUE 4 How do you feel about mead?
PUBLISHER ART DIRECTOR MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR, DIGITAL STAFF WRITER EDIBLE WEEKEND EDITOR PROOFREADER SENIOR DESIGNER ASSOCIATE EDITOR CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mead reminds me of Hagrid from "Harry Potter."
ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES EVENTS COORDINATOR LISTINGS EDITOR INTERNS, FACT CHECKERS
Allyson Mace Meera Nagarajan Heather Hughes Drinking mead is tasting the history of Catherine Klene beverage alcohol. Matt Sorrell Catherine Klene Megan Gilmore Michelle Volansky Lauren Healey Jonathan Gayman, Ashley Gieseking, Izaiah Johnson, David Kovaluk, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser, Michelle Volansky Vidhya Nagarajan Katie O’Connor Glenn Bardgett, Matt Berkley, Lauren Healey, Katie Herrera, Heather Hughes, Kellie Hynes, Laura Kern, Jamie Kilgore, Ted Kilgore, Catherine Klene, Meera Nagarajan, Michael Renner, Kristin Schultz, Matt Sorrell, Stephanie Zeilenga Allyson Mace Matt Bartosz, Angie Rosenberg Amy Hyde Amy Hyde Andie Divelbiss, Laura Kern, Claire Ma He’s a good friend of mine.
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whole or in part, of the contents without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. While the information has been compiled carefully to ensure maximum accuracy at the time of publication, it is provided for general guidance only and is subject to change. The publisher cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information or be responsible for omissions or errors. Additional copies may be obtained by providing a request at 314.772.8004 or via mail. Postage fee of $2.50 will apply. Sauce Magazine is printed on recycled paper using soy inks.
EDITORIAL POLICIES The Sauce Magazine mission is to provide St. Louis-area residents and visitors with unbiased, complete information on the area’s restaurant, bar and entertainment industry. Our editorial content is not influenced by who advertises with Sauce Magazine or saucemagazine.com. Our reviewers are never provided with complimentary food or drinks from the restaurants in exchange for favorable reviews, nor are their identities as reviewers made known during their visits.
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St. Louis, MO 63103 April 2018
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broccolini at louie p. 17
contents APRIL 2018
editors' picks 9 E AT THIS Coconut chocolate fudge ice cream at Clementine’s Creamery
by heather hughes 10
M E A L S TH AT CHANGED MY LIFE Adam Altnether of Elmwood
by meera nagarajan
NIGHTLIFE The B-Side
by stephanie zeilenga
dine & drink 25 A SE AT AT THE BAR Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake
by glenn bardgett, katie herrera and ted and jamie kilgore
HIT LIST 7 places to try this month
by heather hughes, catherine klene, meera nagarajan and matt sorrell
Eggs your way
Masters of mead
6 smart recipes for 1 versatile ingredient by kellie hynes
by heather hughes
17 N E W AN D NOTABLE
48 STUFF TO DO by kristin schultz and laura kern
veggie burgers by catherine klene
by michael renner PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
LUNCH RUSH The Clover and The Bee
50 WHAT I D O Gibron Jones
by catherine klene
by matt berkley
Cardamom challah French toast with easy lemon curd. Read about the science behind these and other egg-cellent recipes on p. 32. PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER
SPRING MEZZE fresh mediterranean recipes from ben poremba's restaurant, olio by lauren healey
Tune in to 90.7 KWMU when Sauce staff join St. Louis on the Air to share must-try new restaurants, then check back later in the month when Hosco’s Gibron Jones and Sauce talk urban agriculture and food justice in St. Louis.
CORRECTION: In the March 2018 issue, we misspelled Lehmann Goods on p. 39.
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e d i t o r s' p i c k s
EAT THIS CLEMENTINE’S CREAMERY is one of the only St. Louis establishments where the entire Sauce team orders the same thing. Variety be damned – no one wants to miss the COCONUT CHOCOLATE FUDGE ice cream. A subtle undertone of creamy coconut is the only hint that this sumptuous, velvety dessert is somehow vegan. Otherwise, it’s all PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
taste bud-coating midnight-dark chocolate with just enough sweetness to dispel any lingering bitterness.
CLEMENTINE’S CREAMERY, 1637 S. 18TH ST., ST. LOUIS; 730 DEMUN AVE., CLAYTON, 314.858.6100, CLEMENTINESCREAMERY.COM
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that were so bright orange right when they hit the pan, and they were so small and fresh that you just eat them whole. I was with family [and] friends having this great feast I’d never eaten before in an alley [at] like a kids’ picnic table with tiny plastic chairs, with water running down the side of the building, eating world-class food.”
A DA M A LTN ETHER As St. Louis looks forward to Niche alums Adam Altnether and Chris Kelling’s first restaurant, Elmwood, slated to open in Maplewood late this summer, Altnether looks back on the food that has changed his outlook on dining. The former Cardinals executive sous chef said he’s increasingly realized many factors contribute to an amazing meal: the food, the service, the music and, most of all, the company. Here, he reflects on three memorable meals that changed his life. – Meera Nagarajan
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HOG ISLAND OYSTER CO., MARSHALL, CALIFORNIA, 2015 “You buy the oysters right out of the traps, and you sit there and shuck ’em yourself. They have Champagne they sell and one very small grill where they’ll also grill oysters to order, so you can have Champagne and raw oysters, and then you move into grilled oysters with flavored butters and dips and grilled bread. “There was something about that day – it was great weather, you literally can’t get fresher ingredients at that point and you’re staring out at the bay that oysters are growing in. It was so special to see that whole cycle. It gives you a new sense of appreciation because those guys work their asses off bringing those traps in. They’re shaking ’em, cleaning ’em and scrubbing each oyster; it’s pretty crazy. … We had a huge group of friends, [so] we grabbed three picnic tables that had three grills. My friends were throwing the Frisbee around, and we were just grilling and shucking oysters in the sun. Being in that salty air, you can’t be in a bad mood; it’s impossible.”
H O C H I M I N H C I T Y, VIETNAM, 2015 “There was this woman who was making banh xeo – it’s like a big yellow Vietnamese crepe – in an alleyway off a random street in Saigon. Typically, banh xeo is shrimp, a little bit of roasted pork and bean sprouts folded into a crispy crepe. This lady … it almost looked like she was on stage with a set of drums. She was sitting on a 5-gallon bucket and had all of her ingredients in front of her. All the drums were these smoking hot frying pans; it was insane. And the way she moved — she’s probably been doing this for 40 years — I’ve never seen anything like it, but she would have every single pan working at a time. “At our table, there were six of us, and we probably ate 15 of these things. You’re eating all these lettuces and indigenous herbs and spices that you don’t really see here. You’re wrapping all of that up and eating, and then she brings by another crepe. Her shrimp were still alive; they were little tiny shrimp
“Everything you ate was one of the best bites you’ve ever eaten – modern American cuisine but with different flavor influences. There was one dish where you started the next progression through the meal with a shot of tuna spinal fluid – pretty wild. They treated it like a palate cleanser. It tasted like super fresh fish from the ocean; it was more gelatinous than you would imagine, but it was clear [with] a briny, super clean flavor. … We were able to share that meal with two of our best friends. The thing that I realize now is if you’re eating great food with great people, you’re going to have the time of your life.” April 2018
ILLUSTRATION BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN
MEALS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
SAISON, SAN FRANCISCO, 2013 “The best upscale meal I’ve ever had was at Saison in San Francisco. It was really inspiring to see how much care Joshua Skenes took of every single ingredient that he brought into that place – all the way to the point that he had four different seafood [options] on the menu, so he had four different tanks all set to the same temperature and salinity of the water they were caught in. They were still swimming live, so right as they were ordered, he would take them out of the tank.
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7 new places to try this month
the dining room at vp square
PHOTO BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY
While you’ll recognize many dishes on VP Square’s menu, finding them all together might be surprising. If seeing ramen paired with banh mi makes you nervous, don’t worry – owner Victor Pham knows his pan-Asian. Be sure to start with the egg-encrusted shrimp wontons: wok-fried shrimp and pork dumplings form little mounds of umami in a disc of scrambled eggs with green onion. Another egg-based favorite was the crispy Vietnamese crepe filled with rich pork, shrimp and bean sprouts and served with a piquant, savorysweet dipping sauce. If you’re sharing (or insanely hungry), try a showstopping Sichuan spicy hot pot: a caldron of flavorful broth swimming with pepper flakes served with springy noodles, greens, beech mushrooms, tofu, fresh shrimp, chicken and shavings of beef that curl enticingly when they cook in the soup. Next time you can’t decide between Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean – or boba tea! – head toward South Grand.
3611 Juniata St., St. Louis, 314.833.4838, Facebook: VP Square
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Just in time for spring, Wellspent Brewing Co. has opened doors at its 5-barrel brewery and tasting room in Midtown. Try the Buck, a hay-hued 3.2 percent Belgian single with a subtle nuttiness. The House Saison also delivers with a refreshingly light, slightly funky palate, while the Fat of the Land golden pale ale offers a bit more heft and bitterness. A partner food program is still in the works, but patrons can snack on The Tamale Man tamales and should keep an eye out for food trucks like Balkan Treat Box and Pie Hard, which have made appearances on the weekends.
Meat is king at Texas de Brazil, but the salad bar isn’t bad either. For $43, customers can eat unlimited helpings of both. Along with the usual salad suspects, the Brazilian steakhouse chain’s buffet offers substantial options like the surprising moqueca fish stew, filled with perfectly tender fillets of cod in a coconut curry sauce. The meat comes to you churrascariastyle, on swords carried by servers who carve and serve tableside. For simple cuts, do not miss the classic picanha (sirloin cap) and flank steak – both perfectly pink and tender. The massive braised beef ribs taste like the best pot roast Grandma ever made, and though the mini sausages are supposedly Brazilian, they’d fit in at any good Texas barbecue joint. You’ll consume more than is decent, but unlike other all-you-can-eat concepts, the eagle-eyed service and festive atmosphere will make you feel classy doing it.
TEXAS DE BRAZIL
WELLSPENT BREWING CO.
LeBron James may be better known for winning NBA finals and Nike deals, but apparently he also knows how to pick a pizza franchise. Blaze Pizza is exploding nationally, and the first St. Louis-area location offers flashcooked 11-inch pies with a superthin, tender, chewy crust we’ll come back for. Try it in the Art Lover with artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, chopped garlic and not-too-much red sauce – no soggy bottoms here. Ordering online is easy and allows you to pick up pizzas and a basic salad or two – we like the Greek – without waiting in line.
The team behind Ferguson Brewing Co. recently opened Baked Woodfire Pizza Joint. Go straight for the pizza – particularly the Margherita with house tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, burrata and basil. The bright, satisfying sauce was covered with more molten blobs of cheese than typical for the traditional pie. The Beetzza was also notable with roasted beets, goat cheese, roasted garlic and walnuts baked in the woodburning oven, then topped with a fresh salad dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. The springy, chewy pizza dough also found its way into a can’t-miss dessert: cinnamon nuggets rolled in a cinnamonsugar coating and served with a sugarglaze dipping sauce. If you’re thinking cinnamon buns, that’s exactly right.
BAKED WOODFIRE PIZZA JOINT
1050 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.682.4005, blazepizza.com
235 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson, 314.736.1810, baked-pizza.com
from top: bibimbap from vp square, wellspent brewing co. and wellspent’s buck belgian single
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Saint Louis Galleria, Richmond Heights, 314.352.8800, texasdebrazil.com
Alpha Brewing Co. and Plantain Girl Mandy Estrella are the latest in a string of partnerships between local breweries and established restaurants and caterers. Far from the usual pub grub, Alphateria puts out creative Caribbean fare, from empanadas and tacos to a jibarito sandwich and ropa vieja plate. Pro-tip: the vegetarian plate – black beans, rice, maduros (ripe plantains) and tostones (twicefried green plantains) topped with avocado slices and pickled onion – is a good way to try several sides all at once.
4310 Fyler Ave., St. Louis, 314.578.8789, plantaingirl.com
Asian-style karaoke has arrived on The Loop in high style. W’s dazzling interior would be at home in Vegas or Tokyo, and offers both a public stage and private soundproof rooms for belting out your rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing.” While karaoke is the main attraction, food hasn’t been forgotten. The kitchen opened with dishes similar to those from the owner’s other business, Corner 17, but now offers a mix of sushi and bar fare. The menu ranges from fried California rolls and steamed edamame to fried ravioli, chicken wings and cheese sticks.
THE W KARAOKE LOUNGE
6655 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.376.4055, Facebook: The W Karaoke
PHOTOS BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY
2917 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.328.0505, wellspentbeer.com
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reviews All Sauce reviews are conducted anonymously.
pork chop with shishito peppers at louie
NE W A ND N OTA B L E
louie BY MICHAEL RENNER | PHOTOS BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
T h e o n ly s i g n a g e a n n o u n c i n g M at t M c G u i r e ’ s s u p e r b n e w r e s ta u r a n t is an unassuming lighted box protruding from the building’s façade with Louie printed in no-nonsense capital letters. Walking up one drizzly night, the sign’s soft white glow was a beacon cutting through the noirish mist. I liked this Louie place instantly.
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reviews NEW AND NOTABLE p. 2 of 3
Once inside, the only connection to McGuire’s previous restaurant, the beloved King Louie’s, is a collection of decorative plates along the dining room wall, all autographed by chefs, musicians and celebrities who flowed through the restaurant during its 13-year run before shuttering a decade ago.
Nestled in the historic DeMun neighborhood, Louie took over part of the massive Jimmy’s on the Park, which closed in 2016. The long, skinny space features custom floral wallpaper behind a tufted leather banquette, some impressive deer antlers from McGuire’s farm and a back bar constructed from old postal sorting bins. The space seats a manageable 77 at David Stine Woodworking tables and custom bar with an adjoining marble counter that offers the best view of the woodburning pizza oven surrounded by white marble walls. The result is a warm, relaxed and inviting room bathed in an aura of graceful informality.
on mussels and white wine. The dining room is strictly reservations only, but bar seating is first come, first served. It’s a great place to perch for dinner, which is convenient since it’s dinner only at the bar until an hour before closing.
It’s a neighborhood spot as much as it is a destination – comfortable enough for an older woman of means, possibly from one of the swanky high-rise apartments nearby, to tuck herself in at the bar and read a thick book while supping
Dining at the bar one evening, having neglected to make reservations, I tried a beautiful Italian salad full of baby gem lettuce, radicchio, chickpeas, sweet peppers and coarsely chopped Castelvetrano olives. The bright, lemony,
The focused, 20-ish-item menu is Italian-influenced but much more rustic than traditional Italian. To find that balance, McGuire assembled a solid kitchen crew, including Sean Turner (an alumnus of Blood & Sand, Brasserie and Lincoln Ristorante in New York) as executive chef and Josh Poletti (formerly at The Libertine and a 2014 One to Watch) as chef de cuisine.
from left, broccolini pizza and roast chicken with broccoli rabe
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from left, owner matt mcguire, house bread and butternut squash agnolotti
An order of creamy polenta, generously enhanced with earthy roasted mushrooms and savory grated Grana Padano, made an excellent complement.
briny dressing clung to the nooks and crannies of the compact leaves, and fat Parmesan shavings added a pleasant, gritty texture and nutty taste. The housebaked bread proved noteworthy not only for its quality – lofty, airy chunks topped with garlic, sesame, red pepper flakes and salt, perfect for dipping in the extravirgin olive oil – but also for its price: complimentary. Our entrees were likewise noteworthy; both were actual meal-sized portions, not just miniaturized versions of something you’d want more of while feeling guilty for spending too much.
AT A GLANCE
louie April 2018
The roasted chicken at Louie, comparable to the juicy airline cut I love at Reeds American Table, is cooked to a similar burnished copper hue and served with an equally fragrant pan jus. Even at nearly 2 inches thick, a fist-sized, bone-in pork chop was impeccably grilled, juicy and gnawable; the dollops of chermoula sauce (parsley, lemon, garlic) surrounding it perfect for dipping bite after bite. The accompanying bumper crop of blistered shishito peppers – some mild, some spicy – provided enough for leftovers.
Where 706 DeMun Ave., Clayton, 314.300.8188, louiedemun.com
Don’t-Miss Dishes Roast chicken, pork chop, pizza
As the bread indicated, anything beginning as dough is a good bet. Pizzas are basically Neapolitan-style but slightly thicker and baked a bit longer. Of the four pizzas available, I tried the Margherita and Diavola – the former with classic basil, garlic and buffalo mozzarella; the latter with soppressata, sliced potato, pickled red onion and pecorino. I found the Diavola too pungent and salty, but both pies had perfectly blistered collars, beautifully charred undersides and plenty of that crispy-chewy tug that makes yeasty bread so great. I overheard a bartender describe the pastas as “manageable” to a couple fasttalking guys from Italy who were already devouring a pizza each. They ordered both
Vibe Warm, fun, boisterous space that reflects owner Matt McGuire’s aesthetic sensibilities
agnolotti and the one I chose, chitarra (“guitar”): spaghetti simply sauced with tomato, basil, chili and Grana Padano. You can’t go wrong with either. McGuire knows wine. The list is full of Italian bottles that pair beautifully with food. Glasses of good house wines range from $7 to $10 – practically unheard of these days – with many bottles less than $40. The beer list is strong, and the cocktail list is fun, as well. On all my visits, Louie was filled with chatty couples and groups of friends enjoying the vibe as decibels soared – a testament to the level of hospitality McGuire has fostered among his service staff and the superb quality of the kitchen. To diners around in the late ’90s and early ’00s, King Louie’s was known for its simple approach and talented cooks, making it legendary in local restaurant yore. Clearly, McGuire has nailed it again.
Entree Prices $21 to $28
When Mon. to Thu. – 5 to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. – 5 to 11 p.m.
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reviews LUNCH RUSH
the clover and the bee BY MATT BERKLEY | PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK
It’s 12:45 on a Saturday afternoon, and The Clover and The Bee is fit to bust. The line, which takes over half an hour, spills out onto the sidewalk in front of the chic new Webster Groves spot. Exposed brick, marble countertops, plush emerald green banquettes and a hand-painted floral mural collide to create a vibrant and comfortable space buzzing with action. Launched by the owners of the neighboring Olive & Oak, The Clover and The Bee benefits from one of St. Louis’ powerhouse kitchens in a counter-service format. The food is well thought out and executed without pretension. This lunch is worth the wait.
BURRATA SANDWICH Caprese fans will love this deceptively simple, lemonand pine nut-infused sandwich. A thick layer of smooth burrata (fancy, creamier mozzarella) is smothered with a broccolini pesto. All are gently clamped in a fresh ciabatta roll with an ideal softness-to-crunch ratio. On the lighter side, this sandwich would make an ideal match for a cup of the beef and farro soup.
PASTRAMI SANDWICH This simple, straightforward pastrami on rye is exactly what you want it to be. Long, thick dill pickle slices accompany a generous helping of salty house-made pastrami, light Fonduta and a tangy hit of classic yellow mustard. All this is framed by two perfectly thick, crispy-soft slices of seeded rye toast. It’s a sandwich you never want to end.
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LAMB MEATBALL PLATE Though it may look like an itsy-bitsy starter, the lamb meatball plate eats like a gourmet entree. The tender meatball (yes, just one in the lunch portion) is certainly enjoyable on its own, but underneath the delicate sphere is a gorgeously creamy polenta that steals the spotlight. Soft, charred red cabbage brings a sweet and sour kick, while salsa verde provides a dose of mild heat and acidity. Putting it over the top is a firm, but still perfectly gooey, poached egg that leaks deliciously on each forkful – effectively making this the kind of dish you should share but instead greedily devour.
kale in a rich beef broth with gentle hints of garlic, thyme and hoisin. While the meat is succulent and satiating, the real stars are the fresh vegetables and exquisite broth, which cries out to be mopped up with a crusty hunk of bread. The only thing I regret is ordering a cup and not an entire bowl.
THE DOWNSIDE Not everything was a hit. I was disappointed by the hand pie – each element was good, but there was too much crust compared to the measly portioned filling. Despite the indulgent Asiago potato salad on the side, I also recommend skipping the smoked flank steak, as the meat suffered from an off-putting metallic taste. However, the only serious drawback to The Clover and The Bee is access to a table. This exceptional new restaurant’s convenient little carryout window will no doubt see a lot of foot traffic this spring and summer.
BEEF AND FARRO SOUP Savory, smooth and intensely satisfying, tender bits of stewed beef and nutty farro swim alongside healthy chunks of carrot, celery and
The Clover and The Bee 100 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.942.1216, thecloverandthebee.com
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types. It’s never so crowded you feel smothered but never so empty you feel like you’re drinking alone.
the b-side BY STEPHANIE ZEILENGA | PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK
he B-Side on Cherokee Street invites you to order a pitcher of beer and offer yourself to the whims of the night. It’s refreshingly simple, delightfully unpretentious and casually intimate – in other words, almost a dive bar but not so rough that you need to fumigate your entire person upon leaving. With only one beer on tap – Stag – and a food menu
O R D E R T H I S April 2018
consisting of exactly four dirt-cheap items, this place is gloriously unconcerned with the trendy. It’s like that friend who doesn’t give a shit if you like him, which somehow makes you adore him even more. If Stag just won’t cut it for you, a small selection of bottled and canned beers is available, and there’s a full bar. It could depend on who’s working, since there’s no cocktail menu, but the bartenders turned out perfectly respectable drinks on my visits.
the door is propped open, letting the city sounds of Cherokee Street waft in gently. The back patio feels like a South City backyard with a fire pit, string
The food here may be the opposite of the small-plates, vegetable-forward cuisine du jour, but damn does it taste good after a cold Stag – especially since everything is less than $5. The house burger is a juicy patty with comeback sauce, American The B-Side 2709 cheese and Cherokee St., St. grilled onions Louis, 314.354.8180, stacked between Facebook: The a soft sesame B-Side seed bun. The vegan chili – smart move to offer a meat-free option – is surprisingly rich and complex. The Frito Bandito combines the chili and a chopped burger with a glorious mess of Fritos, Stag-marinated onions, lights and an assortment of jalapenos and comeback sauce. chairs. Music – at just the right volume to inject a buzzy A small caveat for those who energy – propels the night prefer more refined watering forward with an eclectic mix holes: There may be some of everything from hip-hop to aspects of The B-Side you won’t blues to psychedelic rock. find so appealing. A few of the chairs were broken, and I The thick wooden bar think the manager swiped my offers plenty of space for a cocktail (the Hanky Panky: diverse cast of characters – a sultry concoction of gin, some burrowing down for a sweet vermouth and Fernetlong night, others running in Branca recommended by for a bag of burgers and a quick the bartender) before it was chat with the jovial bartender. delivered to me one night, As evidenced by the couple which meant a longer wait. I heavily making out at the bar didn’t mind a bit – it’s all part one night I was there, people of the divey charm – but some clearly make themselves at might. Frankly, The B-Side home. You’ll find hip urbanites, doesn’t care. It knows its tribe, college kids, washed-up rockers and I hope it never changes. and impossibly cool biker
The Frito Bandito is a glorious mess of Fritos, chili, marinated onions, jalapenos and comeback sauce.
Order a classic B-Side burger topped with American cheese, grilled onions and comeback sauce.
The B-Side has only been open since late 2016 but feels comfortably broken in. A red neon B lends a retro glow to the small space, which is decorated with a kitschy assortment of artwork and old-school miscellany like a cigarette machine and a mysterious bass propped up against the ATM (for the cash-only bar). A few arcade games line one wall, providing cheap entertainment and an invitation to stretch the night a bit longer. On warmer evenings ,
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with notes of dark red fruits and chocolate, this petite sirah is a winner.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN
A SEAT AT THE BAR / Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake Tequila is often relegated to margaritas or shots, but we like it in our version of the Mexican Firing Squad. This floral cocktail with notes of cinnamon and clove dates back to 1939 in Charles H. Baker Jr.’s now famous book “Around the World TED AND JAMIE with Jigger, Beaker and Flask.” KILGORE In an ice-filled shaker, combine USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart 2 ounces Milagro Silver tequila, and co-owners/bartenders at Planter’s House ¾ ounce (real, pomegranatebased) grenadine, ¾ ounce lime juice and 2 dashes Angostura bitters. Shake vigorously, strain into an ice-filled highball glass, garnish with pineapple and a cherry and enjoy the taste of the Mexican highlands. April 2018
The petite sirah grape is an underappreciated California treasure. When I taste the Vina Robles Petite Sirah Estate, I am consistently amazed, especially by the 2014 vintage. Coming from GLENN BARDGETT an impressive West Coast Member of the Missouri Wine winery, it has a dense, and Grape Board and wine opaque, teeth-staining deep director at Annie Gunn’s purple hue and tastes like it looks with notes of juicy blackberries, dark chocolate and spice. It’s also budget friendly, so you can sip it all weekend and won’t notice a change in your bottom line. $17. Whole Foods Market, various locations, wholefoodsmarket.com
Just in time for the weather to turn warm, 4 Hands Brewing Co. cools it down with a crisp and refreshing ode to Belgian wheat. A beautiful, hazy straw yellow shade, Ripple White Ale smells of citrus KATIE HERRERA and Bazooka Joe gum. Director of beer at STL Significant effervescence Barkeep and account manager at Craft Republic pushes the fluffy body and notes of bubblegum and mild spice across the palate to finish with clean and balancing bitterness. Six-pack: $9. The Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.727.8788, wineandcheeseplace.com saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 25
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B Y H E AT H E R H U G H E S
One of the biggest problems facing Martin Brothers Winery in Hermann is that customers have tried its product before. You’d think it would be easier to sell what is purportedly the oldest alcoholic beverage ever made, but a lot of people hate mead – for good reason. Many meads are overly sweet and overrun by adjuncts or artificial flavors that don’t disguise their flaws. But you can forget the golden goblet your nerd friend made you try at his Tolkien-themed birthday party – Martin mead isn’t like that. “We’re applying wine principles,” said head winemaker Patrick Martin. “The wine concept, historically, is to highlight the flavor of the harvest, so we’re using modernday winemaking techniques to accomplish that goal.”
Martin Brothers Winery meads are available at Friar Tuck. friartuckonline.com
According to Martin, a lot of mead producers use a “historical technique or recipe that predates Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.” They don’t benefit from the centuries that the beer and wine industries have had to refine their methods and cater to consumer interest because mead hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity. (Sorry, Beowulf.) “It all starts with the honey,” Martin said. “So, we obviously taste the honey by itself the same way that a winery would taste the
grape by itself at harvest. But for us, we’re deciding on what type of flavors are in this honey … what type of yeast could be used to highlight or destroy these flavors … then we determine what kind of oaking strategy are we going to use to really lock those flavors in.” Made up of just those three elements – honey, yeast and oak – it’s amazing how different the meads taste. “We think of honey as a sweetener, but honey is extremely diverse,” said Derek Martin, Patrick’s brother and winemaking partner. “There’s a lot that honey itself has to offer.” The wildflower variety tastes like pure, complex honey with a surprising dryness and a tart, grape wine-like finish. It’s rich gold in color, like a bath bead. The Lucerne Blossom Mead is lighter with a less honey-heavy flavor and a lighter, straw color. It has heavy vanilla extract, lavender and clove on the nose with a creamy baking spice character on the palate and an almost menthol, smoky floral finish. Such complexity and balance are no accident. Take the Orange Blossom Mead. “We noticed when we were tasting it that there [was] very, very subtle vanilla, a very rich floral note, and there was a hint of that bitter orange peel-type note in the honey itself,” Patrick said. “So for that one, we had a handful of yeasts that would really help us unlock those flavors. ... We used American oak because American oak has those vanilla-type notes [which] helped magnify it.” Even those who have dated far too many Anglophiles and are ready to take a stand against the sickly sweet nostalgia of the ancient brew might find something new here. Life really can be all honey and wine.
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PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN
m a s t e r s o f m e a d
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K E L L I E
P H O T O S
S M A R T
R E C I P E S
F O R
V E R S AT I L E
I N G R E D I E N T
H Y N E S
C A R M E N
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eggs courtesy of page pardo
E G G S H A V E A S P E C I A L P L A C E I N M Y H E A R T A N D M Y R E F R I G E R A T O R .
(Not the door. Never the door.) Fancy jams, imported cheeses and exotic-looking fruits come and go, but eggs are the steadfast constant. Tasty up to a month after their packed-on date, they’re always ready to whip into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts or even cocktails (kiss kiss, gin fizz). So what makes eggs such indispensible ingredients? I took a hard-boiled look at the science behind the shells in these rounds of reliability. We all know that eggs are packed with protein – a whopping 6 grams per large egg. But what you may not remember from biology class is that protein is made from long chains of amino acids. Those in egg protein happen to be the nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make, so we take them from the food we eat. These nine notables are why an egg is referred to as a “complete protein” or “superstar.” Now this is where the science gets interesting. Imagine the amino acids in the egg protein – curled up, cozy, suspended in H2O – like tightly tangled spaghetti noodles in a pot of water. Some of them are attracted to the water. We call those amino acids hydrophilic when we want to sound smart. But other eggy amino acids are the opposite – hydrophobic, repelled by water. When we heat eggs, we denature the amino acids (aka unwind the noodles) and break up the peptide bonds that hold them together. Free to pursue their love, the hydrophilic amino acids connect to nearby water molecules. Meanwhile, the hydrophobic amino acids become best friends with Anything Not Water. These shifting, tumultuous relationships are what make eggs beautiful binders. Ever wonder why Grandma uses eggs in her famous meatloaf? It’s because all those heat-
forged new connections weave a molecular net so strong it can hold ground beef in a loafy shape. There are other ways to denature the amino acids besides heat. You can physically pummel the peptides until they separate, also known as whisking raw egg whites until stiff peaks form. When you make a meringue, you’re manually freeing the amino acids while simultaneously introducing air. The hydrophilic amino acids hook up with water molecules to form a net that holds air bubbles and peaks in place. If all that’s not enough, eggs can also do the unthinkable. When used as an emulsifier in things like hollandaise, bearnaise, mayonnaise and Caesar dressing, they do their binding best with oil and water. This is precisely why mayo is the only condiment at the picnic that you don’t have to shake before using. The amino acids have your back. But be careful with your mad science. Denaturing amino acids is an incredibly efficient process, meaning the more you break up bonds, the more new bonds are made. If too many bonds are created, your food becomes tough. Ever tried overcooked custard? All those molecular nets make it seriously rubbery. Knead your challah dough a few minutes too many? Your friendly amino acids will make it tougher than a final exam. When you work with eggs, it’s generally true that less denaturing is more delicious. Now, you may be wondering if egg fandom is healthy given that the yolks are golden cholesterol bombs. Absolutely. Yolks also contain goodfor-you mono and polyunsaturated fats plus most of the egg’s vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamins A, B and D. Best of all, you can get a dozen of these nutritious workhorses for about the cost of a single latte. But we’ll save economics for the next lesson.
BACONKISSED MEATLOAF Use the food processor to do the heavy chopping in this recipe. Resting the loaves on a bed of onions makes them moist but not soggy. 8 TO 10 SERVINGS 1 large onion, peeled 1 large carrot, peeled and quartered 1 celery stalk, quartered 3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped 2 slices stale white sandwich bread 2 eggs 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 2 tsp. smoked paprika 2 tsp. dried parsley 1 tsp. seasoned salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 lbs. lean ground beef, pork, turkey or veal ¼ cup tomato paste
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. • Slice the onion in half vertically. Cut one half into ½-inch slices and place them in the bottom of the baking dish. Cut the remaining onion into 2 pieces and set aside. • Place the carrot and celery in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 5 times. Add the onion pieces and pulse 5 more times. Add the bacon, bread, eggs, garlic, smoked paprika, parsley, seasoned salt and black pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped, 5 to 7 times. • Place the meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion mixture and tomato paste and mix well. Shape the meat into 2 oval loaves, and place them in the baking dish on top of the onions. Bake 1 hour, uncovered. Serve hot.
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H A L L F R E
T O A
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recipe on p. 37
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B R O W N E G G S O R W H I T E E G G S ? Trick question! Shell color is determined by the chicken’s breed and doesn’t make a bit of difference in the egg’s flavor or nutrition. Pick any color eggs that are fresh off the free-range farm. Pasture-fed chickens produce eggs higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and heart health.
R E A D U P If you love to geek out about food science, pick up a copy of Cook’s Illustrated’s The Science of Good Cooking $40. Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.6731, left-bank.com
A Y O
recipe on p. 37
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recipe on p. 37
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Because this recipe uses a raw egg, choose a freshly laid or pasteurized egg. Older eggs can harbor bacteria.
1 room-temperature large egg 1 Tbsp. room-temperature lemon juice ½ tsp. minced garlic 1 cup canola oil 2 tsp. Champagne vinegar 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. dried dill 1 ∕8 tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• In a food processor, pulse the egg, lemon juice and garlic until combined. • With the processor running, add the oil very slowly, 1 drop at a time. Once the mixture starts to thicken, pour the oil in a slow, steady stream. The egg mixture will become thick and opaque. • Add the vinegar, dill, salt and pepper. Pulse until evenly combined. Keep the dill mayonnaise refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.
CARDAMOM CHALLAH This easy bread requires very little kneading. Make sure you use a thermometer to ensure the water temperature is Goldilocks-perfect.
1¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. water, divided 1 ¼-oz. package active dry yeast ½ cup honey ½ cup sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs 2 large egg yolks, divided 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. cardamom 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5¼ cups flour, divided
• Microwave 1¼ cup water on high until it’s 105 to 110 degrees, about April 2018
40 seconds. Pour the yeast into the warm water, stirring to dissolve. Let sit until the mixture becomes foamy on top, about 5 minutes. • In a large mixing bowl, combine the honey, sugar, oil, eggs, 1 egg yolk, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and vanilla. Beat with a fork until well combined. Add the yeast mixture and stir again. • Add 5 cups flour to the liquid mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until absorbed. The dough will be very sticky. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup flour onto a work surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and only slightly tacky. • Wash, dry, then lightly oil the mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a clean dishcloth. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down, then let it rise again until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour. • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. • Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, and roll it out into long ropes on the floured surface. Braid the dough. Transfer the braided loaf to the prepared baking sheet, cover with a dishcloth and let rest 30 minutes. • Mix the remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash over the braided loaf. Bake the challah until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.
CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST The only thing better than fresh challah is French toast made from the secondday bread. Top with lemon curd for a sweet, eggy treat.
3 large eggs ½ cup 2 percent milk 1 ∕8 tsp. cinnamon 1 ∕8 tsp. vanilla extract 1 Tbsp. salted butter 8 ¼-inch slices day-old challah 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Lemon curd, for serving (recipe follows)
• In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until well combined. Pour the mixture into a flatbottomed baking dish. • In a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirl the butter so the cook surface is evenly greased. • Working in batches, dip 1 slice challah into the milk mixture, let it soak 2 seconds per side, then place in the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining slices. Serve hot with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a dollop of lemon curd on the side.
EASY LEMON CURD More than the juice, fresh lemon zest gives this jammy custard its bright flavor. Double the zest if you want more pucker.
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) room-temperature butter 1½ cups sugar ¼ cup lemon juice ¼ tsp. lemon zest 1 ∕8 tsp. kosher salt 4 large eggs
NUTELLA MERINGUE COOKIES Use the freshest eggs you can find, and separate the whites from the yolks while they are still refrigerator cold. Let the whites come to room temperature before beating.
3 DOZEN COOKIES
4 room-temperature large egg whites 1 cup superfine sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ cup Nutella
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. • In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Slowly pour in the sugar, continuing to beat on high until the sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form. • Microwave the Nutella 30 seconds on high to liquefy, then stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 10 seconds. • Drizzle the Nutella over the top of the meringue. Do not stir. Evenly space 1-tablespoon dollops of meringue on the prepared baking sheets. • Place the baking sheets in the oven and immediately turn it off. Leave the cookies undisturbed 2 hours.
D O N ’ T T O S S T H O S E S H E L L S !
• In a stand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. • Pour the mixture into a heavybottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd just starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until you can drag your finger through the custard on the back of the spoon and it doesn’t fall back on itself, approximately 10 minutes. • Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.
• Scrub your cast-iron skillet with crushed eggshells. • Make coffee less bitter by adding a tablespoon of clean, crushed shells to the grounds before brewing. • Fertilize your garden and ward off tomato blossom end rot; drop shell shards in the holes before planting your seedlings. • Make a natural, face-firming mask of egg whites and pulverized shells.
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PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK
Veggie burgers have come a long way from the tasteless brown patties found in frozen food aisles. These days, many omnivorous restaurants take as much time to develop unique plant-based patties as they do their beefy counterparts. When we crave a veggie burger, we’re not necessarily after something determined to be as meat-like as possible; we want blends of real legumes and vegetables that deliver protein, pair perfectly with a spectrum of toppings and appeal to both our vegetarian cousin and carnivorous brother. These three house-made veggie burgers give all diners something to cheer about. – Catherine Klene
Lulu’s Local Eatery
3201 S. Grand Ave., St. Louis, 314.300.8215, luluslocaleatery.com
4317 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9252, laylastl.com
2203 S. 39th St., St. Louis, 314.771.4278, sweetartstl.com
Lulu’s Local Eatery has touted the Buffalo Blue Burger since its earliest days as a food truck. The patty is coated in panko for a crunchy crust that gives way to a soft sweet potato and black bean interior. It’s soused in a lip-tingling Buffalo sauce tempered by a smear of house-made vegan ranch dressing, all snuggled in a sturdy pretzel bun. One bite of this tangy burger and you’ll understand why it’s been a menu staple for six years.
At a meaty burger joint, it’s easy to default to a thin, premade patty for the lone vegetarian in an omnivorous crowd. Not at Layla. Red beets add a vibrant, medium-rare hue to Jane Says, a thick lentil-based patty bolstered by a supporting cast of condiments on a brioche bun. White farmer cheese and lemon-garlic mayo add creaminess with a subtle heat, flash-fried kale gives crunch, smoky mango sauce brings sweetness and roasted sumac onions provide a surprising tartness.
For proof that SweetArt chef-owner Reine Bayoc works meatless magic in her Shaw cafe, look no further than the Southwest Burger. This towering indulgence piles the lentil- and carrot-based SweetBurger with cheese (dairy or vegan), mixed greens, tomato, a rich, how-is-that-vegan Southwest chipotle sauce and crowns it all with two crisp, golden onion rings. In theory, you should pick up this Dagwood-esque burger with your hands. In practice, there’s no shame in using a fork.
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shishito peppers recipe on p. 47
fresh mediterranean recipes from b en poremba's restaurant , olio BY L AU R E N H E A LE Y P H OTO S BY C A R M E N TR O E S S E R April 2018
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Olio has charmed Botanical Heights with a continually evolving menu of mezze and larger, shareable plates for more than half a decade. Owner Ben Poremba – the restaurateur behind other local favorites including Elaia, Parigi, Nixta and the forthcoming The Benevolent King in Maplewood – prides himself on Olio’s fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare, which he calls Middle-terranean. At Olio, Poremba and executive chef Ben Grupe have mastered the relaxed, fresh flavors we’re obsessed with right now. Here, they share some of the restaurant’s recipes perfect for simple spring meals and elegant entertaining.
Sicilian capers from Agostino Recca are unmatched, according to Poremba. “They’re preserved in salt as opposed to brine,” he said. “Rinse them off [and] they taste fresh, not briny. It’s got the real floral flavor of capers.” Be sure to look for “capers in salt,” lest you end up with brineriddled buds. amazon.com
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“You can buy olives from the store, but the trick is to remove some of the brine,” Poremba said. “Soak them in hot water, dry them out and basically re-flavor them. We do that by cooking them in very low heat in a very aromatic olive oil with bay leaves, coriander, rosemary and citrus peel. We keep them in that oil.”
flavor.” If you want to pick some up grocery shopping, Poremba recommended the Afghan Food Market on South Grand, and said Global Foods Market in Kirkwood boasts a wide selection. Afghan Market, 3732 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.664.5555, Facebook: Afghan Market
Olio utilizes four to six varieties of olive oil for different purposes. Poremba’s favorite for daily use is from Olea Estates, a Greek grove owned by a St. Louis family, but he recommended switching it up, too. Tunisian oils are “aggressive, pungent, nutty and woodsy,” while some Italian oils from the Lago Del Garda region are “subtle and elegant.” Olea Estates, 2566 Metro Blvd., Maryland Heights, 618.888.6532, oleaestates.com
“Use it like you use very good vinegar in many ways,” Poremba said. “I particularly like pomegranate molasses in things that require agrodolce – sweet and tart stuff. It’s great in salad dressings. I like to drizzle it over fresh cheese like labneh or even ricotta. It’s one of the main ingredients in muhammara and is good on roasted vegetables.” Look for the Cortas brand. Jay International Food Co., 3172 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.2552, Facebook: Jay International Foods
“There’s a huge controversy,” Poremba said. “A lot of people know pita as pocket bread. I don’t think that’s accurate. It’s generally bread that doesn’t require a lot of finesse; it’s rustic. Ours intentionally doesn’t have a pocket; it’s spongelike and thick. I love the chewiness. We bake it in a wood-fired oven, which gives it a really nice crust and
Poremba would love to get his hands on tahini from Nablus in the Palestinian territories, but importing the ingredient isn’t feasible for day-to-day operations. Olio uses a Lebanese brand called Al Kanater. Global Foods Market, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112, globalfoodsmarket.com
CHICKPEA SALAD 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 2 red bell peppers 8 cups cooked chickpeas ¹∕³ cup chopped cilantro ¹∕³ cup chopped mint ¹∕³ cup chopped parsley ¹∕³ cup chopped caramelized onions (optional) ¹∕³ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¹∕³ cup pitted and chopped Suri or Castelvetrano olives ¹∕³ cup white balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp. chopped preserved lemon 1 tsp. ground cumin Braised lamb shoulder (recipe on p. 47) • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. • Char the peppers over a flame until blackened on all sides, about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a large zip-top bag and let steam until the skins are easy to remove, about 5 minutes. Use a knife to scrape off the skin, cut the peppers in half, scrape out the seeds and remove the stems. • Oil the baking sheet and add the peppers in an even layer. Roast 12 minutes to dry, then let cool. • Cut peppers into strips or dice them. • In a large bowl, stir together the peppers, chickpeas, cilantro, mint and parsley. Fold in the onions, olive oil, olives, vinegar, preserved lemon and cumin. Serve topped with braised lamb shoulder. April 2018
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CAPONATA 4 TO 6 SERVINGS ½ eggplant, peeled and medium diced Kosher salt, to taste ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup small-diced celery ¼ cup small-diced onion ½ cup passata* 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar 2 Tbsp. chopped capers 2 Tbsp. pitted and chopped green olives ½ Tbsp. sugar Freshly ground black pepper, to taste • In a large mixing bowl, toss the eggplant with salt and let rest 30 minutes. Squeeze the eggplant to remove excess liquid. • Add the oil to a Dutch oven and preheat over high heat. Add the eggplant and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and onions and cook 2 minutes. Add the passata, vinegar, capers, olives, sugar and black pepper and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool. • Serve at room temperature on garlic-rubbed toast or bread. * Passata is a strained tomato puree. Mutti passata is available at John Viviano & Sons Grocers, shopviviano.com.
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RECIPES TZATZIKI 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 1 cup yogurt 1 cup diced, peeled cucumber ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sour cream 1 Tbsp. chopped dill 1½ tsp. honey 1½ tsp. white balsamic vinegar ¾ tsp. garlic powder Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste • Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well. • Drizzle on grilled white meat or roasted vegetables such as zucchini. Alternatively, eat with pita or serve as a dip with fresh cucumber.
BABA GHANOUSH 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 1 cup minced carrot 1 cup minced celery 1 cup minced onion Grapeseed or canola oil 3 to 4 Sicilian eggplants, or 4 ²∕³ cups Ziyad canned eggplant ¾ cup tahini 2 Tbsp. lemon juice Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste Fresh mint and pomegranate seeds, for garnish Pita, for serving • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. • Place the carrot, celery and onion in a saucepan and add enough oil to just cover the vegetables. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the
courtesy of olio’s ben poremba and ben grupe
vegetables darken, about 1 hour. Let the sofrito cool and set aside. • Meanwhile, pierce the eggplants all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast until blackened on all sides, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then cut in half and scoop out the flesh from the eggplant skins. Discard the skins and stems. • In a food processor, pulse the roasted eggplant in batches until it reaches desired consistency. • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggplant, 2 tablespoons sofrito (reserve the rest for another use), the tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. • Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds and serve with pita.
MUHAMMARA 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 2 to 3 garlic cloves 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for roasting 3 cups piquillo peppers, preferably Matiz Navarro 1 cup toasted walnuts 11∕8 tsp. cumin ¹∕³ tsp. cinnamon ½ cup pomegranate molasses 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. • Rub the garlic cloves with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Set aside, and reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees. • Rinse the piquillo peppers and pat dry. • Oil the baking sheet and add the peppers in an even layer. Roast 12 minutes to dry. Let cool.
• In a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic, walnuts, cumin and cinnamon. Pulse until the pepper mixture forms a smooth paste. • With the food processor running, add the pomegranate molasses, grapeseed oil and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Continue processing until fully incorporated. • Serve with crackers or pita, use as spread for sandwiches or as a sauce for grilled meat.
SHISHITO PEPPERS 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 1 medium onion 1 cup white balsamic vinegar 1 cup water 1 Tbsp. sugar ½ lb. shishito peppers 2 Tbsp. olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste ¾ cup Israeli feta, diced 2 mint sprigs, roughly chopped 2 dill sprigs, roughly chopped 2 Italian parsley sprigs, roughly chopped 5 to 6 oregano leaves, roughly chopped 2 sprigs basil, cilantro or other fresh herbs, roughly chopped (optional) • Slice the onion very thin and place in jar. • In a saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil, then pour over the onion. Let cool. • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. • Toss the peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper and place in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast 5 minutes.
• Turn on the broiler. Char the peppers under the broiler until blackened on all sides. • Transfer the peppers to a plate and garnish with the feta, drained pickled onions, mint, dill, Italian parsley and oregano.
BRAISED LAMB SHOULDER 4 TO 6 SERVINGS 1½ Tbsp. kosher salt 1½ Tbsp. ras el hanout 1½ Tbsp. sugar 1 3-lb. bone-in lamb shoulder 4 cups lamb, chicken or beef stock 10 garlic cloves 3 to 4 celery stalks, medium diced 2 large carrots, medium diced 1 fennel bulb, medium diced 1 large onion, medium diced 3 rosemary sprigs 1 thyme sprig 3 Tbsp. harissa, plus more to taste Chickpea salad (recipe on p. 45) • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. • Stir together the salt, ras el hanout and sugar in a small bowl. • Trim the fat off the lamb shoulder, and rub the spice mixture all over the meat. • Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and add the stock, garlic, celery, carrots, fennel, onion, rosemary and thyme. • Cover the pan with parchment, then foil and crimp the edges to seal. Braise 10 hours. • Let rest until cool enough to handle. Separate the meat from bones and shred. • Mix the meat with harissa to taste. Serve over the chickpea salad.
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stuff to do:
BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ AND L AURA KERN
West End Grill and Pub Anniversary Party April 3 – 6 to 9 p.m., West End Grill and Pub, 354 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314.531.4607, Facebook: West End Grill and Pub Raise a glass and help West End Grill and Pub celebrate a decade of serving food, cocktails and fun to friends and neighbors in the Central West End. If you’ve stopped by in the last decade, after a show or just after work, go back and wish the restaurant a happy anniversary with drinks, a complimentary buffet and live music.
Chef’s Garage Sale April 14 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, Facebook: Midwest Association of Farmers Markets From kitchen to table, come find your new favorite cooking and dining gear. Chefs, restaurants and home cooks have donated everything from table linens, dishes, utensils and vintage service ware. It’s all for sale to benefit local farmers markets.
April 6 – 7 p.m., Parigi, 8025 Bonhomme Ave., Clayton, parigistl.com A taste of Napa is paired with a five-course Italian dinner as Parigi welcomes Peter and Deanne Franus and their acclaimed wines. Pairings include a 2016 Chardonnay with tuna involtini and a 2014 cabernet with a grilled prime strip loin with gorgonzola butter, zucchini and Japanese yam. Email email@example.com for reservations.
April 15 – 6 to 9 p.m., Quincy Street Bistro, 6931 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, chefshelpingchefs.bpt.me Six young chefs showcase their skills at a six-course dinner. Look for dishes like Korean braised short rib and tres leches cake with passion fruit coulis from chefs like Elaia & Olio and Element alum Josh Charles, Sidney Street Cafe’s Alex Salkowski and Quincy Street Bistro’s Dakota Kolb. Tickets available online.
Spirited Sessions: Farm to Cocktail
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April 16 - 4 to 8 p.m., Intoxicology, 4321 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.3088, intoxicologystl.com Grab a drink and take in the bartending battle at Intoxicology. Amateurs and pro bartenders create cocktails featuring Tempus Fugit Spirits like crème de cacao, absinthe and vermouth. Industry pros T.J. Vytlacil, John Stefanski and Tempus Fugit Spirits co-founder John Troia judge the drinks and award cash prizes.
Spring Chefs Dinner
Parigi Franus Wine Dinner
Tempus Fugit Grand Prix Cocktail Competition
April 11 – 7 to 10 p.m., The BHive at Brennan’s, 4661 Maryland Ave., St. Louis, Facebook: STL Barkeep STL Barkeep partners with Vicia bartender Phil Ingram and Sauce Magazine’s Matt Sorrell to create fresh spring drinks with Till Vodka and ingredients from local farms. Eat Here STL joins the fun to discuss the local produce. Tickets available online.
Belleville Ale Fest April 21 - 1 to 5 p.m., 4204 Brewing Co. Banquet Center, 6435 W. Main St., Belleville, 618.233.2015, bellevillealefest.com Celebrate craft suds at this year’s Belleville Ale Fest. Sample offerings from more than two dozen local and national breweries like 4204 Brewing Co., Big Muddy Brewing, Ten Barrel Brewing, Old Bakery Brewing Co. and Schlafly. 4204 Brewing and other local vendors serve tasty treats, too. Tickets available online.
A Tasteful Affair 30
Dining Out For Life
April 22 – 2 to 5 p.m., Four Seasons, 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, foodoutreach.org/tasteful-affair-30 Food Outreach celebrates 30 years of serving St. Louis at its Broadwaythemed affair. Enjoy food samples from well-known St. Louis establishments like Farmhaus, L’Acadiane, Mission Taco Joint, as well as a silent auction and entertainment by Ben Nordstrom and Friends. Tickets available online.
April 26, participating locations, stlefa.org/dofl Satisfy your appetite and help others with your morning cup of joe or a multicourse meal during Dining Out for Life. More than 110 local restaurants donate at least 25 percent of each bill to benefit Saint Louis Effort for AIDS, a local nonprofit that benefits people living with AIDS. A full list of participants is available online.
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WHAT I DO
Gibron Jones Urban farming is in Gibron Jones’ DNA. As a kid, he helped tend his family’s 17,000-square-foot garden in Walnut Park, where he learned the benefits of growing his own food. After a stint living on an Austrian pumpkin farm, Jones left a successful multimedia career in the music industry to return to his St. Louis roots. He launched Hosco Shift, a nonprofit with farms across St. Louis and a mission to teach others how to operate urban agriculture businesses. Here’s how this music industry pro became a food justice advocate. – Catherine Klene
“ T h e r e w e r e t wo p e ac h t r e e s , an apple tree, beans, squash, melons, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, corn, lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower. We grew everything. … That was pretty much a family affair. We grew so much food that – if you grow 75 tomato plants, that’s way more tomatoes than you can use. We were literally giving them away, selling $5 bags of tomatoes. We’re talking grocery paper bags for $5. Nowadays, you get two or three for $5.” “The music industry is kind of like a f r at e r n i t y – you never really leave it. Even to this day, people still call me. And when I go to New York, I still have a lot of people who still work in the music industry. If I wanted to get back into it, I could, but I just have no interest in it except maybe doing a little bit of producing, which I kind of do on the side because I need an outlet from the farming.” “ I w o u n d u p s tay i n g o n a p u m p k i n f a r m in Lannach, Austria. This farm is interesting because the family was one of the biggest [producers] of kurbiskernol, which is pumpkin seed oil. I remember eating there one day and ordering a salad, and they came out with this black oil on the salad, and I was perplexed as to what the hell it was. … Once I tasted it, I was hooked. I had tons and tons of salad in Austria.”
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“ I ’ v e a lway s b e e n a p e r s o n t h at ’ s t h e D av i d a g a i n s t G o l i at h , and Goliath being the major corporation. … I don’t know exactly when that kicked off – I would like to say when I moved back here and when family members were dying because of cancer and all diet-related illnesses and diseases and things like that. That triggered something in me to start taking a stand for food justice.” “ I f I s p e n d $ 1 0 , each individual seed might be .000001 cent. I now take that seed that’s less than a penny – maybe 10 thousandths of a penny – and now it’s a seedling. People buy seedlings for a dollar. That’s like the stock market almost – penny stocks. … I started looking at that as a way to challenge the system that we have and basically provide a way for people to not only feed themselves but change the conditions that they’re in by growing food.” “My m o m st i l l g r ows v e g e ta b l e s in her backyard, and I cannot for the life of me grow like her. I’m trying, but she is amazing. Her stuff looks so good it almost looks like it’s plastic.” “When I see children i n t e r e st e d i n g r ow i n g f o o d , t h at g i v e s m e h o p e . When I go to schools and see gardening programs, when I see other people wanting to start community gardens, when I see people who say, ‘I don’t know anything about growing food, but I want to do it. … Can you teach me?’ That gives me hope.” Hosco Shift, 314.561.9699, hoscofarms.com
PHOTO BY ASHLEY GIESEKING
“ W e p r o d u c e d e a s i ly 10,000 to 20,000 p o u n d s o f p r o d u c e [a year] just from that little small area [in Walnut Park]. We were literally feeding the neighborhood just because we wanted to feed ourselves and cut our costs of living.”
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