P I C N I C
R E V I E W
ST. LOUIS’ INDEPENDENT CULINARY AUTHORITY July 2018
tim wiggins of retreat cools off with a cachaça cocktail, more on p. 30
L E C H E P. 32
P E R U
T H E
L O U P. 47
FREE, JULY 2018
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Where's your favorite place to picnic?
JULY 2018 • VOLUME 18, ISSUE 7
PUBLISHER ART DIRECTOR MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR, DIGITAL STAFF WRITER EDIBLE WEEKEND EDITOR PROOFREADER SENIOR DESIGNER ASSOCIATE EDITOR CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS I love getting food from the food trucks, bringing my own bottle of wine and watching a movie outside at the Art Hill Film Series.
ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES EVENTS COORDINATOR LISTINGS EDITOR INTERNS
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Allyson Mace Meera Nagarajan Heather Hughes My front lawn where my kids and I can see/visit Catherine Klene with all the neighbors Matt Sorrell and visitors on my busy Catherine Klene city street. Megan Gilmore Michelle Volansky Lauren Healey Julia Calleo, Lauren Healey, Izaiah Johnson, David Kovaluk, Caitlin Lally, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser, Michelle Volansky, CJ Zeilenga Vidhya Nagarajan Sam Balmer, Glenn Bardgett, Matt Berkley, Lauren Healey, Katie Herrera, Heather Hughes, Kellie Hynes, Jamie Kilgore, Ted Kilgore, Catherine Klene, Meera Nagarajan, Maggie Pearson, Michael Renner, Matt Sorrell, Quinn Wilson, Stephanie Zeilenga Allyson Mace Matt Bartosz, Angie Rosenberg Amy Hyde Shakespeare in the Park! I have a tradition of bringing a tomato Amy Hyde tart and a bottle of rosé. Natalie Archer, Sam Balmer, Quinn Wilson
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 July 2018
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cuban po'boy at sister cities cajun p. 17
contents JULY 2018
editors' picks 9 E AT THIS Fried Green Tomato BLT at Cork & Barrel Chophouse and Spirits
by heather hughes 10
Knead Bakehouse & Provisions
52 STUFF TO DO by sam balmer and quinn wilson
LUNCH RUSH by matt berkley 23
54 WHAT I D O
Solera Wine Bar
by stephanie zeilenga
by catherine klene
dine & drink
CHEF TOUR Nick Bognar at Nippon Tei
by matt sorrell 12
HIT LIST 4 places to try this month
by heather hughes and catherine klene
27 A SE AT AT THE BAR
Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake
by kellie hynes
PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
by glenn bardgett, katie herrera, and ted and jamie kilgore
reviews 17 N E W AN D NOTABLE Sister Cities Cajun
by michael renner July 2018
30 ELIXIR Spirit of Brazil
by matt sorrell
SWEET SERENDIPITY 40
PICNIC PERFECT by maggie pearson
COVER DETAILS Cachaça Crush Retreat bar manager Tim Wiggins enjoys an Exit Strategy cocktail made with one of his favorite spirits, cachaça. Technically a type of rum, the funky, grassy Brazilian favorite is becoming more popular in the U.S. Try it in a classic Caipirinha cocktail or one of Wiggins’ creative drinks at Retreat or the forthcoming Yellowbelly. Learn more on p. 30. PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 FM this month when Sauce editors Heather Hughes and Catherine Klene join St. Louis on the Air to share the must-try new restaurants on the Sauce Hit List.
PASSPORT TO PERU by stephanie zeilenga saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 7
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e d i t o r s' p i c k s
EAT THIS The feelings we have for the FRIED GREEN TOMATO BLT on the lunch and brunch menus at CORK & BARREL CHOP HOUSE AND SPIRITS might seem inappropriate for a sandwich. With toothsome tomato slices coated in crispy fried cornmeal, thick bacon, fresh lettuce, rich pimento cheese and a creamy-spicy-tangy comeback sauce worthy PHOTO BY JULIA CALLEO
of executive chef Candice Possâ€™ Mississippi heritage, this Southern star deserves a lot of love.
CORK & BARREL CHOP HOUSE AND SPIRITS, 7337 MEXICO ROAD, ST. PETERS, 636.387.7030, CORKANDBARREL.COM
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clockwise from left: lengua tacos from el toluco taqueria & grocery, yaki ika from sushi koi and the interior at sushi koi
chef tour NICK BOGNAR Nick Bognar grew up working at his mother Ann Bognar’s restaurants, Nippon Tei and Tei Too, but eventually, he wanted to try his luck elsewhere. Bognar “polished off some of the rough edges” at Uchiko in Austin, then headed to Cincinnati, where he worked at Kaze, then the acclaimed E&O Kitchen as head sushi chef. After his mom saw what he was creating for other restaurants, she asked him to come home to Nippon Tei last year. When he gets the chance to get out of the kitchen, Bognar is pretty particular about where he goes. “Good value is really important when it comes to restaurants,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be amazingly creative or original, as long as I can get a variety of things I can’t do at my house.” – Matt Sorrell Rice Thai Bistro “It’s a tiny Thai place run by my aunt and uncle, Nina and Bryan Prapaisilpa,” said Bognar of this micro joint on the border of Ballwin. “It’s a two-person operation, but they’re making the best trueto-Thai food around.” His go-to order? The rad na, a noodle dish
with slow-cooked beef and veggies. 14536 Manchester Road, Winchester, 636.220.1777, ricethaibistro.com El Toluco Taqueria & Grocery Cherokee Street doesn’t have the authentic taco market cornered. “We have some pretty great taco shops in town,
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but this one stands up to any of them,” Bognar said. “They’re probably the best tacos in the county.” He recommends the lengua tacos or the massive tortas for those who are more than a bit peckish. 14234 Manchester Road, Manchester, 636.686.5444, Facebook: El Toluco Taqueria
Local Chef Kitchen Bognar particularly admires chef-owner Rob Uyemura’s locavore focus at this small West County eatery. “What he’s doing is so cool,” Bognar said. “Almost everything is local and sustainable. It’s a special place.” Because the menu changes so frequently, he puts himself in Uyemura’s hands when he visits. “I just ask Rob to make me food.” 15270 Manchester Road, Ballwin, 636.220.3212, Facebook: Local Chef Kitchen
Sauce On The Side Bognar hits The Grove location of this local calzone chain almost every week since it’s close to his home base. His calzone of choice is the Gonzo, a beast stuffed full of salami, dates, spinach and a trio of cheeses. “It always curbs my cravings.” 4261 Manchester Blvd., St.
Louis, 314.932.7800, sauceontheside.com Louie “There’s such great value there, and everything is super tasty,” Bognar said. “I haven’t had a bad experience, and I just keep going back. You can tell they’re doing everything themselves, every day.” He’s especially fond of the pasta courses. “I just order all of the pastas on the menu when I go, and I have to get the plate of prosciutto. It’s insanely delicious and massive.” 706 Demun Ave., Clayton, 314.300.8188, louiedemun.com Nippon Tei, 14025 Manchester Road, Ballwin, 636.386.8999, nippon.teistl.com
PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK
Bognar said. “This is it.” Continuing to keep it in the family, the CWE staple is run by Bognar’s aunt, Whitney Yoon. “They’re doing some kick-ass sushi here.” Additionally, Bognar said he’s partial to the yaki ika (grilled squid) on the hot apps list. 4 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.367.2209, sushikoistl.com
Sushi Koi “People always ask me where I go for sushi,” July 2018
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4 new places to try this month
Barg Continental Restaurant is an education in perfectly executed Afghan cooking. Starters like bolani, a traditional flatbread stuffed with seasoned mashed potatoes and scallions, and sambosas, a thin wonton-like pastry filled with a spiced potato mixture then fried, are both heavenly dipped in the verdant, cilantro-packed chutney. The soltani – skewers of lamb and beef perfectly cooked and shockingly tender – put any kebab you’ve ever made to shame. Barg’s precise hand with seasoning is also evident in mantu, a delicate pasta filled with ground beef and onions, topped with a rich split pea sauce and garlic yogurt. Your homework: Try these dishes as soon as possible.
BARG CONTINENTAL RESTAURANT
clockwise from bottom, cappuccino at maypop, maypop coffee & garden shop, robin johnson and stuart keating of earthbound satellite, the shut up and dance cocktail at earthbound satellite
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We’re into the MAYPOP COFFEE magical secret & GARDEN SHOP garden vibe at this new nursery/coffee shop in Webster Groves. The brick home was converted to a bright, spare coffee shop with a sprawling nursery out back, complete with soaring greenhouse and patio. Sip on a solid Blueprint Coffee cappuccino at a bright yellow table surrounded by a jungle of beautiful plants and flowers available for purchase. The local-focused cafe also offers Big Heart Tea and baked goods and snacks from the Living Room in Maplewood.
When you hear Earthbound Beer opened a cocktail bar, you go. When you walk past the place twice because it’s hidden inside Soulard Preservation Hall with no sign (coming soon, we hear), you persevere. Though the boxy space lacks the atmosphere of the Cherokee Street brewery, the Earthbound team had its way with the bar itself, which sports space-themed illustrations and gold foil-lined shelves. Check out the daily rotating spritz special or order the Shut Up and Dance. Made with dark rum, mezcal, Fernet-Vallet, Velvet Falernum, lime juice and mole bitters, it’s smooth, smoky and richly spiced.
803 Marshall Ave., Webster Groves, 314.764.2140, maypopshop.com
1921 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, Facebook: Earthbound Satellite
The corner of Washington Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue just became our go-to for a quick burger fix. You can build your own, or let the pros guide you with one of the extreme specials. We’re partial to the cheesy overkill of the Mac 10, a halfpound beef patty stacked with lettuce, tomato, mayo, candied bacon, cheddar and mac and cheese. Vegetarians can get in on the burger madness with a tasty house-made chipotle black bean patty spiced up with pepper jack cheese and roasted sweet cherry pepper aioli, as well as avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onion. Add a side of sweet-spicy-creamy mango cole slaw, or indulge your sweet tooth with funnel cake fries – a more manageable bite-size take on the carnival classic.
THE CORNER STREET FOOD
2605 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314.802.7800, Facebook: The Corner Street Food
MAYPOP PHOTOS BY LAUREN HEALEY; EARTHBOUND PHOTOS BY CAITLIN LALLY
6417 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314.338.1234
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reviews All Sauce reviews are conducted anonymously.
cuban po'boy at sister cities cajun
NE W A ND N OTA B L E
sister cities cajun BY MICHAEL RENNER | PHOTOS BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
“First, you make a roux” is the classic pronouncement of every Southern cook. After my first two bites of seafood gumbo at Sister Cities, the Cajun restaurant now located on South Broadway, I got the sense that chef and co-owner Travis Parfait takes the declaration seriously. Whether dark and smoky or light and nutty, roux is the foundation upon which gumbo is built, and even a gumbo simpleton like me can distinguish Parfait’s as seriously exceptional.
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of complex flavor and intoxicating aroma. True to Parfait’s country Cajun tradition, oil (not butter) formed the roux, the holy trinity was present (onions, celery, bell peppers), the garlic redolent and the tomatoes nonexistent.
reviews NEW AND NOTABLE p. 2 of 2
That Parfait is still making gumbo is a testament to the Louisiana native’s grit. When he and his partner/co-owner Pam Melton, who works the floor, opened Sister Cities Cajun & BBQ in 2013 in Dutchtown, it was a hidden gem – one of the best Cajun restaurants in town. Then, 2016 became the year of catastrophes. In January, a car crashed through the front window. The restaurant reopened with difficulty. Then, unbelievably, another car smashed into the building in March, making the couple question the logic of working so hard on a building they would never own. After operating on a pop-up basis out of Melt on Cherokee Street, the reincarnation of Sister Cities Cajun debuted in a renovated three-story brick building in the Marine Villa neighborhood of South City a year later.
AT A GLANCE sister cities cajun July 2018
Gumbo showed up again in the Dirty Chick, one of several dishes carried over from the old, accident-prone restaurant: a plump and juicy smoked chicken breast smothered in gumbo on a bed of dirty rice. In a kitchen devoid of shortcuts, Parfait grinds the pork butt and chicken thighs the dining for the rice himself. room and gumbo at Other returning sister cities favorites include cajun chicken and sausage jambalaya and a lineup of po’boys. The former veered slightly from traditional preparations, consisting of smoky, shredded thigh meat and spicy chicken sausage from G & W Sausage Co. with rice and a variety of veggies. For the Cuban po’boy, a hoagie was layered with smoked, crispy-edged pulled pork and pork belly with crunchy house-made pickles, mustard, Provel cheese sauce and a delicious, locally made sweet-spicy pepper relish spread with the unfortunate name of Goose Poop. It was good enough to make every other Cuban sandwich wither in embarrassment. There are 120 seats, including a deck out back overlooking the upcoming dog park. The space has 12-foot high ceilings, lots of natural light and even a Bitcoin ATM for the cryptocurrency-savvy. But back to that superb gumbo. It starts with a dark, mahogany-hued roux. The multi-hour process incorporates seafood and vegetable stocks, clam juice and spices simmered with plump shrimp, bits of clam, crawfish and bite-sized scallops for an abundance
Where 3550 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.405.0447, sistercities cajun.com
Don’t-Miss Dishes Seafood gumbo, Cuban po’boy, Cajun smoked wings
Like that riff on the Cuban, the shrimp and grits weren’t prepared classically. There was no bacon, the meaty shrimp were sauteed in brown butter and – this is where it got interesting – in lieu of creamy grits, savory grit cakes and a piquant red sauce provided the tasty Southern stalwart’s foundation. A trio of crawfish and crabcakes included house remoulade and corn-poblano salsa. Even with such a standard dish, Parfait excels – instead of mayonnaise, he binds the meat with a vegetable and flour roux and egg.
Vibe Beautifully renovated brick building with gleaming wood floors and a dining room flooded with natural light
Other little touches making Sister Cities stand out include house-made salad dressings (the lighter yogurt-based dressing in the Cajun slaw was a favorite) and cocktails made with plenty of attention. A far cry from the sickeningly sweet pre-mixes, Melton’s Hurricane Kennedy (named for her mother) is made with fresh, strained macerated fruit, three kinds of rum and a splash of Irish whiskey for added depth. I prefer red sangria, but had to admit that her white wine version impressed with pear, brandy and Missouri bourbon. Lest you think Sister Cities is a onetrick Cajun pony, consider the smoked meats and tacos. BBQ may no longer be in the name, but it’s still a big draw, especially on Saturdays when ribs are featured. The beloved chicken wings returned to the daily menu in all their massive, smoky glory. Like the ribs, Parfait rubs them with his own blend of Cajun herbs and spices before smoking and finishing in a convection oven with a second rub. The result is a tearapart frenzy of crispy, savory skin and succulent meat. The three taco choices (blackened fish or zucchini, spicy shrimp and smoked chicken) are a natural fit on the new menu. Larger than mini street tacos, these beauties come two to an order with enough filling to make the dish mealsized. My deeply smoked chicken tacos were benefited by some thick pork belly and greens, all dressed with a creamy herb sauce. Also new to the menu was a vegetarian stir-fry of seasonal vegetables served over caramelized riced cauliflower. That last dish, the zucchini tacos and even the Creole pasta show not only the breadth of the kitchen’s talent, but the value that Parfait and Melton put on satisfying different tastes while providing a good time with great food in a cool space. That is, after the roux is made.
Entree Prices $12 to $14
When Tue. to Sun. – 11 a.m. to midnight
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reviews LUNCH RUSH
knead bakehouse & provisions BY MATT BERKLEY | PHOTOS BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
Simplicity is key at Knead. The bread-slinging Lindenwood Park powerhouse dishes up a smart and imaginative menu of scratch-made soups, salads and sandwiches. Since opening last November, chef-owner A.J. Brown and his kitchen staff have honed their traditional baking skills and rolled out impressive new selections. The cafe is bright and cozy, brimming with customers perched at the two bars and long communal tables.
G RILLE D CH E E S E
PORCHET TA SA NDW ICH If you can’t decide on a sandwich, order the porchetta. This Old World Italian roast is tucked between two slices of Knead’s gentle sourdough. The porchetta – pork belly wrapped around a cut of pork roast stuffed with sage, rosemary, onion and garlic, and tied together like a burrito – is roasted three hours before being cut into thin, tender slices that have a rich, bacon-like flavor. Topped with a smoked cheddarGouda mixture, tomatoes, microgreens, dill-infused aioli and mustard, this savory treat tastes like a high-end BLT you never want to end.
Knead’s grilled cheese is a thing of beauty. The smoked cheddar and Gouda mixture is melted with a roux, creating a smooth and creamy Velveetalike cheese sauce minus the processed flavor. The end result is light and delectably gooey with a super soft, ricotta-like texture that goes exceptionally well sandwiched between light and buttery smooth slices of the housemade brioche with fresh tomatoes from the same local farm that supplies cucumbers for Knead’s house pickles.
veggie-centric soup. Broccoli, turnips, kale and cabbage are cooked and pureed together for a harvest festival in a bowl that eats like a meal – thick, creamy and rich with a generous hit of smoked cheddar and house-made kefir. The very green, very satisfying soup is topped with crunchy flash-fried Missouri wheat berries that bob on the surface and sneak their way into each wonderful spoonful.
is brined at least four days before being smoked seven hours in a steady haze of mesquite and hickory. It’s worth the effort for the juicy and incredibly tender slices of smoky brisket that rest on crispy sourdough.
K A L E A N D KEF I R SALAD
BRAS S ICA S MO K E D CH E DDAR S O U P Knead’s version of the classic broccoli cheddar is a unique,
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B R I S K E T SA NDW I C H No small amount of work goes into Knead’s brisket sandwich. The grass-fed beef
chive dressing to produce a unique ranch/Caesar hybrid flavor. The salad is a perfect match for a half-and-half lunch plate with one of the savory sandwiches like the porchetta or brisket.
Crisp red cabbage and lacinato kale serve as a crunchy base for this fresh salad laced with Missouri pecans, carrot slivers and puffed wheat berries. A dose of Parmesan combines with a generous (but not overwhelming) amount of creamy house-made kefir and
The Harvest Salad, while fresh, eye-pleasing and studded with sunflower seeds and the fantastic puffed wheat berries, was overwhelmed by a Champagne vinaigrette too heavy on the vinegar. Another disappointing dish was the lentil and white bean chili, which lacked substance and seemed sour and overrun with an acidic lime flavor.
Knead Bakehouse & Provisions 3467 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314.376.4361, kneadbakehouse.com
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prices. The selection can be dizzying, but the staff is more than happy to make a tailored recommendation. If a bottle is already open, they’ll even pour you a sample so you Solera wine don’t end up bar stuck with a 212 W. Third St., glass you don’t Alton, 618.433.9655, like. It’s a nosolerawinesinc.com loss way to expand your wine palate.
made with a dry red that isn’t overshadowed by an excess of sugary fruit. It was refreshing without being saccharine.
The eight-page list extends beyond the usual varietals into less-explored territory. These are grouped under “Other Interesting Whites” and “Other Interesting Reds,” making it easier to try something new. Bottles from Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria and Sardinia all make an appearance.
The limited food menu features classic wine pairings: cheese and sausage, available in 2-ounce portions and served with crackers. Five cheeses are currently available, ranging from mild and buttery Havarti to pungently sweet blue cheese. The meat selections are from some of the best local producers, including Volpi chorizo and Veneto salami from Salume Beddu. Complimentary raw almonds are available on request, and Solera plans to add additional snacks soon. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to end your visit with a selection of chocolates from local chocolatier Rick Jordan. The chocolate-covered praline combined with the plummy, spicy Casa Smith Primitivo out of Washington state was ace.
the interior at solera
solera wine bar BY STEPHANIE ZEILENGA | PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK
ine culture can come across as intimidating or snobbish, but Solera Wine Bar in downtown Alton offers a relaxed and approachable space for wine lovers and novices alike. The small bar is warm with exposed brick and reclaimed wood walls and large pieces of bright artwork reminiscent
O R D E R T H I S July 2018
of decorative Tuscan tiles. A long, L-shaped bar, hightops and a comfy leather couch offer plenty of space to settle down with a bottle for an evening of intimate conversation. A few wine books are scattered around if you wish to learn more as you sip. There are also two tables outside the front door perfect for people-watching in Alton’s quaint downtown. It’s
a quieter scene, but I found it deeply relaxing to be in a bar at night without needing to shout or jostle to get a drink. More than two dozen by-the-glass options are available, including whites, reds, sparkling, sherries and ports. Glasses range from $5 to $11, and approximately 200 bottles can be purchased at retail
The wine bar has a solid beer list, including Old Bakery Beer Co., Destihl Brewing Co. and Bells Brewery cans.
If your only response to gewürztraminer is gesundheit, Solera won’t judge. It seems their policy is to never assume expertise, which makes for a less intimidating, more inclusive experience than some wine bars. When I asked how the sangria was, the bartender defined it without missing a beat. I’m familiar with the drink, but if that hadn’t been the case, I would have appreciated not having to ask. The sangria, by the way, was excellent – available only occasionally, it’s
Beyond wine, Solera offers about 10 beers by the can or bottle, including selections from The Old Bakery Beer Co. in Alton and Destihl Brewing Co. out of Bloomington, Illinois. Meads from B. Nektar and Galena Cellars are also available.
Enjoying wine is about slowing down and savoring, and Solera has created an atmosphere that encourages exactly that.
Solera co-owner Ryan Gray said the wine list is “for casual wine drinkers and explorers alike.”
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& drink if you like chardonnay, you'll love this chenin blanc.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN
A SEAT AT THE BAR / Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake Summer is the perfect time to enjoy soju, a low-alcohol Korean spirit distilled most commonly from a blend of rice, barley, sweet potato and tapioca. Soju’s flavor is refreshing, lightly citrusy, easygoing and subtly sweet, making it a TED AND JAMIE perfect pairing for food and hot KILGORE weather fun. Jinro Chamisul USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart Classic soju is one of the most and co-owners/bartenders at Planter’s House widely available. It is best consumed ice cold in a brisk, shot-like fashion, or try soju in place of vodka in any cocktail for a change of pace. 375-milliliter bottle: $6. Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.645.2050, parkerstable.com July 2018
The 2016 Simonsig Chenin Blanc is what every inexpensive chardonnay wants to be when it grows up. It has a bracing, unoaked acidity that makes your mouth water and GLENN BARDGETT honeydew and tropical Member of the Missouri Wine notes made for outdoor and Grape Board and wine sipping with mild, creamy director at Annie Gunn’s cheeses or shellfish. A great dry white wine value, it comes from a Stellenbosch winery with almost 50 years of experience with the popular South African varietal. $11. Lukas Wine & Spirits, 15678 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543, lukasliquorstl.com
Buckwheat in a beer’s malt bill adds texture and provides a delicate nuttiness that complements yeast-driven floral, funky or fruit flavors. Wellspent Buck, a Belgian-style single ale from the new Wellspent KATIE HERRERA Brewing Co. in Midtown, Director of beer at STL showcases the grain in Barkeep and account manager at Craft Republic a refreshingly low ABV, light-bodied and complex brew. Buckwheat highlights bubble gum, spice and citrus notes that dance across the palate. Draft. Wellspent Brewing Co., 2917 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.328.0505, Facebook: Wellspent Brewing Co. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 27
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caipirinhas at retreat COCKTAILS
B Y M AT T S O R R E L L
Cachaça is imbibed on the regular by millions in Brazil but is mostly known in the states as the main ingredient in the Caipirinha cocktail. Technically a type of rum, cachaça is most definitely its own thing. Like rhum agricole, it’s made with sugarcane juice rather than molasses, giving it a verdant, grassy character. Artisanal versions tend to be distilled in pot stills, further enhancing those vegetal notes, while industrial varieties use column stills, yielding a more stripped-down, harsher spirit. A simple Caipirinha makes a great introduction to the spirit. The classic cocktail is made with sugar and lime, but do not be fooled – this is not just a cachaça daiquiri. In Caipirinhas, the whole lime is cut into quarters and muddled with sugar in a glass, then topped with the spirit. The texture is
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rough and rustic, with a bold flavor thanks to cachaça’s inherent funk. Try making a traditional Caipirinha at home, or order one at Yemanja Brasil, Texas de Brazil or Brasilia. If you’re interested in exploring cachaça’s cocktail potential beyond its greatest hit, head to Retreat. Bar manager Tim Wiggins is a fan of rhum agricoles, so it was just a matter of time until he embraced cachaça’s grassy funk. Two of his favorite creations on Retreat’s menu are based on Avua, a cachaça new to the St. Louis market. Exit Strategy begins with the prata, or unaged version, then adds white rum, aloe vera, pineapple, ginger and beer foam for a tantalizing combination of funk and spice with a little bitterness. The prata shows up in Retreat’s classic Caipirinha as well. Avua also produces an ambruana cachaça aged in its namesake wood. “I think it’s the most exciting product they have,” Wiggins said. “It has this brown sugaroatmeal thing that I think is mind-
BUY IT Avua: $37. Intoxicology, 4321 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.3088, intoxicologystl.com
blowing.” He pairs it with gin, black currant puree, almond, vanilla cream and lime in the Window Seat. By the looks of it, you might expect the pink drink to be heavy and sweet, but it’s actually refreshing and light with a subtle berry flavor and great aromatics thanks to a torched cinnamon stick garnish. Wiggins plans on using cachaças heavily at Yellowbelly, the seafood and tropical drinks spot scheduled to debut later this year. He said the bar will have 70 or so rums and “as many cachaças as I can get my hands on.” In addition to using it in more cocktails, Wiggins wants to encouraging solo pours and flights of various cachaças, allowing the aged expressions especially to really shine.
BRASILIA RESTAURANT 3212 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.932.1034, brasiliastl.com RETREAT 6 N. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.261.4497, retreatgastropub.com TEXAS DE BRAZIL St. Louis Galleria, Richmond Heights, 314.352.8800, texasdebrazil.com YELLOWBELLY yellowbellystl.com YEMANJA BRASIL 2900 Missouri Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.7457, brazildining.com
CAIPIRINHA 1 SERVING
1 lime, quartered 2 tsp. sugar or ½ oz. simple syrup 2 oz. cachaça • In a double Old-Fashioned glass, muddle the lime wedges and sugar. Top with the cachaça. Or, combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously. Pour the contents of the shaker, including the ice, into the glass. July 2018
PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
spirit of brazil
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SWEET SERENDIPITY the easiest dulce de leche recipe ever
B Y P H O T O S
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K E L L I E B Y
H Y N E S
C A R M E N
T R O E S S E R
ICED DULCE DE LECHE COFFEE
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he origin of dulce de leche is a mystery. A distracted Argentine housekeeper may have left a pot of sweet milk on the stove too long. But perhaps she lived in Uruguay. Maybe it was Napoleon’s personal chef – or a handful of his soldiers – who burned their beverages while otherwise occupied on the battlefield. What all the fables have in common is a reverence for the world’s most delicious cooking accident. Dulce de leche is the heavenly result of slowly simmered sugar and milk. Seriously slowly simmered – like for hours. It’s often compared to caramel, but that misses the mark. Caramel is made from cooked sugar. DDL’s sugar-plus-milk combination takes the toasty sweetness of caramel and adds an incandescent richness that you feel from the roof of your mouth to the tips of your toes. Imagine my giddiness when I discovered this decadent confection can be made with one slow cooker, two cans of condensed milk and zero effort. Let me just say, I now have nine jars of DDL in my refrigerator, and no one in my family is mad about it. Simply open the cans of sweetened condensed milk – not evaporated milk, please and thank you. Divide the syrupy goodness between three glass canning jars, using a rubber spatula to extract every last drop. Then pick a flavor, like sea salt. Stir it in tenderly and lovingly – this is the only work you have to do, so you might as well do it with some ceremony. The amount of sea salt is entirely up to you. I initially added one-quarter teaspoon to each jar. That was the exact right amount when my DDL was served warm. But when consumed cold – straight out of the jar, over the sink, in the
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middle of the night – it was so salty my lips pursed. Start with less because, like a good story, you can always add more embellishment, but you can’t take it back. Screw the lids on tightly and place the jars upright in your slow cooker, then add hot tap water until the jars are submerged. My research recipes required covering the lids by an inch, but those writers either had squatty jars or bathtub-sized slow cookers. I filled mine to the tippy top, and water only covered the jars by a quarter-inch. Fortunately, water doesn’t evaporate from the slow cooker, so that scant measurement was enough. Cook on low for eight hours, leaving it alone except for lingering gazes of anticipation. Then use tongs to pull the jars out of the water, and let them cool on your countertop. When the jars are touchable, your milk caramel is ready to be savored.
BOURBON DULCE DE LECHE BREAD PUDDING
Not only is slow cooker dulce de leche effortless, the texture is ethereal – it’s neither solid, nor liquid, nor rubbery, nor gritty. It’s smooth like hot fudge on its best day, which is why DDLkissed ice cream is a dazzling dessert; so are apple pie, bread pudding, shortbread cookies and flourless cake. But by far my favorite use of DDL is layered over dried apricots, covered in a blanket of dark chocolate. If you make only one recipe, make that. If you become as obsessed with dulce de leche as I am, try experimenting with different flavors. Vanilla is an easy add. I liked cinnamon and bourbon. Complex seasonings like chili and curry powder move DDL into the savory universe. As with sea salt, the amount of bonus ingredients varies. A good rule of thumb is one-eighth teaspoon per jar for dry ingredients and one-quarter teaspoon for wet. Then, eight hours later, taste and make a mental note of any adjustments for next time. There will be a next time.
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SEA SALT DULCE DE LECHE 3 8-OUNCE JARS
2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk Scant ½ tsp. sea salt, divided Special equipment: 3 half-pint canning jars with lids and a slow cooker • Divide the condensed milk and salt equally among the canning jars, and stir well. Tighten the lids onto the jars, and place them upright in the slow cooker. • Add hot tap water to the slow cooker until the jars are completely covered. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low 8 hours. • Use tongs to remove the jars from the hot water and let rest at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Serve warm or refrigerate up to 3 weeks.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CHILI DULCE DE LECHE GLAZE 3 TO 4 SERVINGS
1 1½-lb. pork tenderloin 1 tsp. olive oil ½ tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup chili dulce de leche 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 tsp. minced garlic ¼ tsp. ground chipotle • Preheat a covered gas grill to 350 degrees or prepare a charcoal grill for medium, indirect heat. Rub the tenderloin with the olive oil, salt and pepper. • Microwave the dulce de leche in a small bowl on high 30 seconds. Stir
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in the Dijon, garlic and chipotle. • Grill the tenderloin, covered, turning occasionally until lightly charred on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the tenderloin with the dulce de leche glaze on all sides, then continue to cook, turning frequently, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, 5 to 10 more minutes. • Let the tenderloin rest 5 minutes, then serve hot.
BOURBON DULCE DE LECHE BREAD PUDDING 8 TO 10 SERVINGS
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. butter, divided 6 cups stale Italian bread, cut into 1½inch cubes 2½ cups whole milk 1 cup room-temperature bourbon dulce de leche, plus more for serving ¼ cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 4 large eggs, beaten • Using 1 teaspoon butter, grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish, then add the bread and set aside. • In a blender, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, milk, dulce de leche, sugar and vanilla. Blend until well combined, 30 seconds. Add the eggs and pulse 2 to 3 times, until just incorporated. Pour the milk mixture over the bread. • Cover the baking dish securely with aluminum foil and let the bread soak 1 hour in the refrigerator. • Remove the bread pudding from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 325 degrees. • Tent the baking dish with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the center is firm and the exposed bread cubes are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. • Let rest 10 minutes before serving warm with additional warmed bourbon dulce de leche.
ICED DULCE DE LECHE COFFEE 1 SERVING
1 cup hot coffee 2 Tbsp. cinnamon dulce de leche 1 cup ice • Stir the dulce de leche into the coffee until it is completely dissolved. Pour over ice and serve.
CHOCOLATE-COVERED DULCE DE LECHE APRICOTS 4 SERVINGS
3 oz. vanilla dulce de leche 3 oz. dark chocolate melting wafers, like Ghirardelli 3 oz. dried apricots • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. • Place the dulce de leche in a small bowl and microwave on high 20 seconds, then stir. Microwave 10 seconds then stir again, repeating until the dulce de leche is liquefied but not boiling. • Place the chocolate in another small bowl and microwave on medium 20 seconds. Microwave 10 seconds then stir again, repeating until the chocolate is smooth. • Dip each apricot in the dulce de leche and then the chocolate, shaking off any excess. Place them on the prepared baking sheet to cool. If the dulce de leche or chocolate become too thick, reheat them in the microwave 15 seconds. • Refrigerate 30 minutes, then serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN’T GET ANY BETTER... Skip the sea salt and flavor your condensed milk with one of the following. A general rule of thumb is to add 1∕8 teaspoon of a dry ingredient or ¼ teaspoon of a wet ingredient to each jar before cooking, then taste when it’s done and adjust to your liking. * bourbon * cardamom * cinnamon * chili powder * cloves * chocolate syrup * curry powder * espresso * Irish cream * orange extract * rum * vanilla extract
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CHILI DULCE DE LECHE GLAZE
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Anyone can get takeout and sit on the ground. From alfresco problem solvers to picture-perfect extras, picnics are all in the details. B Y
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M A G G I E
P E A R S O N
1. Kuhn Rikon Cheese Knives $22. Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods, 4180 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2744, lemongem.com
2. St. Innocent Oeil de Perdrix Rosé Sweet and floral, this smallbatch Oregon rosé is the extra-special wine your picnic needs. $22. The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave., Central West End, 314.932.5665, thevinogallery.com
4. Yay Straws Set of six: $9. Paper Source, 8811 Ladue Road, Clayton, 314.881.0473, papersource.com 5. Oh Happy Day! Plates, Cups and Napkins Prices vary. Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.454.6868, bowoodfarms.com
4 3. Collapsible Mesh Food Tents Keep the ant parade away. Set of three: $12. World Market, multiple locations, worldmarket.com
8. Egyptian Amber Candle Heady and sweet, these locally made jarred candles will light the way when the sun sets on evening picnics. $12. May’s Place, 3249 Ivanhoe Ave., St. Louis, 314.659.8745, maysplacestl.com
9. Piedmont Picnic Basket Tidy service for two features porcelain plates and real wineglasses. $130. World Market, multiple locations, worldmarket.com
10. Twister Blanket Insulated to keep damp ground at bay, this outdoor Twister board brings the fun for those discontent to sit around sipping rosé for hours. $37. Paper Source, 8811 Ladue Road, Clayton, 314.881.0473, papersource.com
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13. Camille Champagne Coupe If you’re daring enough to go full English picnic, these coupes will make you feel like Duke or Duchess of the 314. $11. Crate & Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights, 314.725.6380, crateandbarrel.com
14. Sferra Linen Napkins Prices vary. Sallie Home, 9821 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314.567.7883, salliehome.com 14
11. Classic Leather Camp Stool Ensure durable seating for adventures in the field with this wooden stool with leather seat. $37. Blick Art Materials, dickblick.com
PICNIC AND A SHOW
Compiled by Sam Balmer St. Louis summers are made for picnics with free outdoor events almost every evening in July. Concerts and a Movie at Lafayette Park lafayettesquare.org July 14, 21 and 28 – Lafayette Park, St. Louis
Whitaker Music Festival missouribotanicalgarden.org Wednesdays in July – Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Gateway Festival Orchestra gatewayfestival orchestra.org July 8, 15, 22 and 29 – Brookings Quadrangle, Washington University, St. Louis
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12. Bee’s Wrap Food Wrappers Washable, reusable, compostable! Prices vary. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com
Carondelet Concerts in the Park carondeletliving.com Sundays in July – Carondelet Park, St. Louis Mondays in July – Bellerive Park, St. Louis Tuesdays in July – Fanetti Park, St. Louis Music Under The Stars florissantmo.com July 4, 14, 21 and 28 – St. Ferdinand Park, Florissant
Old Orchard Gazebo Music & Movie Series Facebook: Old Orchard Gazebo Music & Movie Series July 6 and 13 – Gazebo Park, Webster Groves Art Hill Film Series* slam.org July 13, 20 and 27 – Art Hill, Forest Park, St. Louis *Sauce-sponsored event
Ferguson Citywalk Concert Series fergusoncitywalk.com July 13 and 27 – Outdoor Plaza, Ferguson Citywalk Sunday Serenades and Musical Mondays with Compton Heights Concert Band chband.org Sundays in July – Francis Park, St. Louis Mondays in July – Tower Grove Park, St. Louis July 2018
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PERU July 2018
BY STEPHANIE ZEILENGA // PHOTOS BY CARMEN TROESSER
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clockwise from top left: lucky llamas in peru; cacti grow in the lower elevation of the andes; ancient incan terraces used for growing potatoes, corn and other crops; incan ruins in peru; a fountain featuring incan ruler pachacuti in cuzcoâ€™s plaza de armas; machu picchu at dawn; sunrise in the andes; cuzcoâ€™s steep walkways are
PHOTOS BY CJ ZEILENGA
perfect for working up an appetite.
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The sharp, briny smell of the Pacific Ocean permeates Lima, Peru. Casual
cevicherias serve up pisco sours and cold Cusqueña beers alongside bracingly acidic ceviches mellowed out by chunks of sweet potato and giant starchy corn kernels. Around 350 miles southeast, the city of Cuzco is cradled by the Andes Mountains instead of the sea. Corn, grains and ají chilies are grown here, as well as thousands of potato varieties resulting from ingenious Incan agricultural experiments. Rather than bright seafood, dishes tend toward heartier stews and soups meant to fuel long treks through the passes. Peru’s biodiversity is just one reason the country has one of the foremost food cultures on the planet. History also plays a role. “It’s the first fusion cuisine,” explained Jorge Calvo, front of house manager at St. Louis’ Mango Peruvian Cuisine. “It merges the fresh ingredients Peru has to offer with influences from all over the world, starting with the migration that occurred in the 1500s through World War II, when Japanese relocated there in large numbers. It includes influences from China, Italy, Spain and the native Incans and preIncans.” Anyone who enjoys ceviche or quinoa knows that Peruvian popularity is nothing new – but it’s getting easier to experience what makes the cuisine so special without buying a plane ticket. July 2018
PERU IN THE LOU Don’t feel like tackling Peruvian cuisine in your home kitchen? Mango, located downtown, serves up delicious dishes in a warm, sophisticated space, and Panka Peru, located a little farther afield in Fairview Heights, Illinois, is an authentic Peruvian restaurant run out of the Fairview Lounge gas station. Inside the unassuming exterior, you’ll find a convenience store stocked with American and Peruvian wares, as well as a friendly neighborhood restaurant with a great beer list, cocktails and wine. ORDER THESE AT MANGO: 1001 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9993, mangoperu.com JALEA MIXTA The fried calamari, shrimp and fish is pretty standard, although perfectly crispy, but the dish gets interesting with the addition of fried yucca, sliced red onions, cilantro and an addicting aioli made with ají peppers and mint. BATERREGA Y OLLUCO This beet salad tastes as unique as it looks. At the base is a generous pour of huancaina, a creamy Peruvian cheese sauce that gets its vibrant yellow color from ají peppers. That is topped with salt-roasted and pickled beets and pickled olluco, a Peruvian root vegetable. It also includes tomato-y aguaymento, crunchy cancha corn, greens and a minty huacatay pesto. AJÍ DE GALLINA Quintessential Peruvian comfort food, ají de gallina can roughly be translated to “hen’s chili.” Shredded chicken is covered in a bright yellow, creamy sauce made with ají amarillo, Parmesan
and walnuts. The dish is garnished with a hard-boiled egg and olives and served with rice. The chicken is perfectly moist, and the use of ají peppers in the sauce adds a fruity, spicy flavor profile. SALTADO DE CHAMPINOÑES This vegetarian take on lomo saltado may be even better than the original. A variety of mushrooms add meatiness to the dish, which also includes onions and tomatoes and a garlicky, deeply savory sauce. ORDER THESE AT PANKA PERU: 10616 Lincoln Trail, Fairview Heights, 618.394.8904, pankaperu.com EMPANADAS The empanada comes freshly baked. The little pocket of house-made dough is filled with beef, onions, tomatoes and olives. Raisins add an addictive pop of sweetness. CHOROS A LA CHALACA A unique, refreshing way to enjoy mussels, this dish tops steamed and chilled bivalves with a zesty mix of red onion, tomato, corn and cilantro. CEVICHE Fish out of a gas station restaurant? Just do it. This ultra fresh Peruvian classic, made with white fish, lime juice, cilantro, red onions, sweet potatoes and starchy choclo, tastes exactly like the version found in neighborhood restaurants around Lima. LOMO SALTADO Strips of tender beef tenderloin are cooked with wine and sauteed with red onion and tomato. A soy sauce-based sauce adds an umami kick. You might wonder whether it’s really necessary to include both french fries and rice. It absolutely is.
THE PERUVIAN PANTRY
A trip to Global Foods Market in Kirkwood is all you need to bring a little Peru home with ingredients like giant corn and spicy-fruity ají chilies.
A Peruvian groundcherry related to the tomatillo, an aguaymento looks like a small yellow tomato and has a sweet, mildly tart flavor. Sungold cherry tomatoes make a good substitute.
One of Peru’s cornerstone ingredients, ají amarillo is a bright orange, fruity and medium-spicy chili that lends a comforting warmth to sauces, stews and soups. Substitution is tricky, since you either have to sacrifice the ají amarillo’s fruity flavor or go with a pepper with far more heat. The best heat alternative is a serrano. For the closest flavor, go with a habanero or scotch bonnet.
Ají limo chilies are small and come in a variety of colors. The flavor is fruity and spicier than the ají amarillo. Ají limos are often used in ceviche and other fish dishes. Habaneros are a viable replacement in recipes.
Resembling a small bell pepper, rocotos pack a heavy heat punch. They are one of the oldest domesticated chili peppers. Try fresno chilies if you need a substitute.
Also known as Peruvian corn, choclo has large kernels with a starchier texture and less sweet flavor than the typical North American sweet corn. Conventional American corn has a different character, but will serve in recipes calling for choclo in a pinch.
Also known as Peruvian black mint, this herb is used to flavor a variety of dishes. A member of the marigold family, it has notes of mint, tarragon, basil and lime. Huacatay is often available in Latin grocery stores as a paste. A mixture of fresh mint and basil will serve if you can’t find huacatay. *Available frozen, jarred or dried at Global Foods Market, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112, globalfoodsmarket.com saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 49
S O LT ERI T O DE Q UI NOA
Courtesy of Mango Peruvian Cuisine 4 SERVINGS
Solterito is a traditional Peruvian salad. Tossed with quinoa, it makes a proteinrich, fresh and filling meal. “It’s glutenfree and vegetarian and can easily be vegan if you omit the queso fresco,” Calvo said. 1 cup cooked red quinoa 1 cup cooked white quinoa 4 oz. queso fresco, cubed 1 small red onion, finely diced 1 tomato, seeded and diced ¾ cup frozen fava beans, thawed ½ ear choclo, kernels removed 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro 1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley 1 Tbsp. olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste • Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
Peru: The Cookbook Peruvian cuisine authority chef Gastón Acurio owns restaurants and franchises all over the world. Astrid & Gaston, his high-end bistro in Lima’s Miraflores district, was named one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for displaying the stunning biodiversity of Peru in dishes such as cuy (guinea pig) prepared Peking-duck style and chocolate humita, a steamed corn cake. La Mar is a vibrant Lima cevicheria serving up fresh Peruvian seafood dishes and a variety of Pisco-based cocktails. Get a taste of Acurio’s culinary genius at home with Peru: The Cookbook. $50. Left Bank Books, left-bank.com
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CEV I C H E
Courtesy of La Mar's Gastón Acurio 4 SERVINGS
Peru’s national dish, ceviche is raw fish “cooked” in a sour, spicy marinade called leche de tigre. Red onions add pungency, while steamed corn and sweet potato add an addicting starchy counterpoint to the ultra-fresh fish. 1 small sweet potato, peeled 1 ear choclo or corn 1 lb. fluke, flounder or sole, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 ají limo or ají amarillo, minced Large handful fresh cilantro, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced Kosher salt, to taste Juice of 4 limes 1 cup leche de tigre (recipe follows) 1 red onion, thinly sliced • Fit a steamer basket into a large pot. Add 1 inch water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. • If needed, add more water to the pot and return to a boil. Add the corn and
steam until tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Cut the potato into large chunks and the corn into quarters. In a large bowl, toss the fish with the ají, cilantro, garlic and salt. Add the leche de tigre. Stir the lime juice into the ceviche along with about half the red onion. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Reserve enough remaining onion for garnish, then divide the rest among 4 bowls. Divide the ceviche evenly over the onion, then the sweet potato and corn. Garnish with the onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.
L ECHE D E TIG R E
Courtesy of La Mar's Gastón Acurio MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
Aside from its role in ceviche, leche de tigre is also enjoyed on its own as a shot, combined with pisco or sipped the morning after as a hangover cure. ²∕³ cup fish stock ½ cup lime juice
1½ oz. white fish, cubed ½ red onion, chopped 2 Tbsp. chopped ají limo or ají amarillo 2 Tbsp. chopped celery 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro • Add all ingredients to a blender, and pulse a few times to combine. • Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, cover and chill.
LO MO S ALTAD O
Courtesy of Mango Peruvian Cuisine 2 SERVINGS
Lomo saltado is what Mango's Jorge Calvo calls “the staple dish of Peru.” A fusion of Chinese stir-fry and classic Peruvian ingredients, this dish is served everywhere from high-concept, trendy restaurants to stalls in local markets. Olive oil, for frying ½ lb. russet potatoes cut into ½-inch cubes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 lb. beef tenderloin cut into ½-inch strips 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced 6 cherry tomatoes, halved 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp. ají amarillo paste 6 Tbsp. soy sauce 2 Tbsp. beef stock 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar White rice, to serve Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish • Fill a large, deep skillet 1∕8-inch high with oil and preheat over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until tender and crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. • Season the steak with salt and pepper. Place a large wok or pan over high heat. When the pan is smoking, add the vegetable oil and sear the steak about 3 minutes, or until done to your liking. If the pan is crowded, brown in batches. Plate and set aside. • Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, ají paste and salt to taste to the pan. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the soy sauce, stock and red wine vinegar. Return the steak to the pan and toss. Remove from heat. • Serve over the potatoes and white rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
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stuff to do:
BY SAM BALMER AND QUINN WILSON Grace City Wide Fair
July 1 – noon to 6 p.m., Tower Grove Park, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, 314.436.1559, Facebook: Grace City Wide Fair Treat yourself to traditional county fair favorites with a St. Louis spin at the Grace City Wide Fair. Local staples like Seoul Taco, Byrd & Barrel and Strange Donuts remix the classics alongside pie-inspired beers from 4 Hands Brewing Co. Once you’ve had your fill, check out the family-friendly entertainment options and live music.
Burgers n’ Brews
July 7 – 6 to 10 p.m., The Land of Goshen Community Market, 100 St. Louis St., Edwardsville, Illinois, 618.307.6045, burgersbrews. brownpapertickets.com Head to downtown Edwardsville for a great cause. Tickets include a choice of three sliders with accompanying side dishes from Cleveland-Heath, 1818 Chop House, Peel Wood Fired Pizza, Clean Eatz and Mike Shannon’s Grill, plus two glasses of Recess Brewing beer or wine. Proceeds support the Goshen Market Foundation. Tickets available online.
July 7 – 2 to 10 p.m., July 8 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., St. Stanislaus Church, 1413 N. 20th St., St. Louis, 314.421.5948, saintstan.org Embrace (or find) your Polish side at St. Stanislaus’ two-day festival. Spend Saturday indoors relaxing in the beer garden or Sunday feasting on Polish sandwiches, pierogis, kielbasa and gołąbki (cabbage rolls). Take a guided tour of the church, visit the chuck-a-luck (a dice game) booth or peruse Polish pottery.
Food Truck Friday
July 14 – 2 to 6 p.m., Grand Basin at Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis, stlbeer.org Come for the brew, stay for the view at the 12th annual St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival. Enjoy unlimited samples from more than 50 greater St. Louis area breweries including 2nd Shift Brewing, 4 Hands Brewing and Hopskellar and homebrew clubs. Bring your own picnic or chow down on fare from food trucks such as Frankly Sausages, Zia’s on the Hill and Essentially Fries. Tickets available online.
July 13 – 4 to 8 p.m., Tower Grove Park, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, 314.772.8004, saucefoodtruckfriday.com More than 20 trucks join Food Truck Friday, including Guerrilla Street Food, Angie Burger and Syberg’s. Sip local pours from Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., 4 Hands Brewing Co., Noboleis Vineyards and Brick River Cider Co. while you enjoy live music. Take your time and skip the line – buy Speed Passes online and pick them up at the Sauce tent.
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St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival
Art Hill Film Series
July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3 – 6 p.m., Art Hill, Forest Park, 1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, slam.org/filmseries Head to Forest Park when the Art Hill Film Series returns with four films featuring epic quests. The movies start at 9 p.m., but get there early for a food truck fest featuring a dozen rotating trucks like Farmtruk, Vincent Van Doughnut and Seoul Taco. The series kicks off with Oscarwinning epic, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
The Amazing Taco Race: A Scavenger Hunt
July 14 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cherokee Street, St. Louis, 314.977.1250, Facebook: Taco Race Sleuth your way around Cherokee Street for a scavenger-hunt style taco tour. Follow the clues to three adult beverages, three tacos and a dessert at participating restaurants like Kalbi Taco Shack, El Torito, Earthbound Beer and El Chico. Proceeds benefit Casa de Salud.
Feast Your Eyes: Salt & Smoke
July 24 – 6:30 to 9 p.m., Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314.535.4660, camstl.org Attend the marriage of food and art at one of the Contemporary Art Museum’s most popular events. Salt & Smoke takes inspiration from museum installations to create a four-course dinner with vegetarian and pescatarian options also available. Beverage pairings are also featured. Tickets available online.
Clayton Restaurant Week
July 16 to 22, participating restaurants, Clayton, claytonrestaurantweek.com Try something new or enjoy an old favorite during the summer edition of Clayton Restaurant Week. Seventeen participating restaurants like Avenue, Pastaria and Ruth’s Chris prepare $25 or $35 threecourse dinner menus. Menus and a full list of participants available online.
Bikes & BBQ Festival
July 21 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, 1 Riverfront Drive, Alton, 800.258.6645, libertybankamphitheater.com Prepare to roll out and pig out at the free Bikes & BBQ Festival. The event features hundreds of motorcycles on display, including exotic and custom bikes, live music and renowned pit masters like Capitalist Pig and Doc’s Smokehouse, who put forth their finest-tasting barbecue. VIP tickets available online or at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau. July 2018
REMEMBERING MIKE ARNOLD
Sauce Magazine extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Mike Arnold, aka Gus Gus Fun Bus, who died after he was hit by a truck during a robbery in June. Arnold was a proud champion of St. Louis and its restaurant industry. Donations to the Arnold family can be made online at GoFundMe; search Mike Arnold.
Visit bonfire.com/gusgusfunbus to purchase a PHOTO BY JONATHAN S. POLLACK
special edition Gus Gus Fun Bus T-shirt. All proceeds go to the Arnold family to help pay medical bills, funeral expenses and future lost wages.
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WHAT I DO Malou Perez-Nievera Search YouTube for “Jollibee recipe,” and Malou Perez-Nievera’s online cooking show “Skip to Malou” is among the top results. Her video on the Filipino chain’s wildly popular fried chicken has 2.7 million views and counting. Perez-Nievera has created more than 80 short episodes showing home cooks how to prepare classic Filipino dishes from lechon to chicken adobo, and she has hosted dozens of pop-ups around St. Louis. “I want to be the Filipino version of Ina Garten,” she joked. She recently retuned from a two-month stay in the Philippines and shared how she went from an immigrant mom cooking for her family to an online Filipino food expert. – Catherine Klene
best way for them to know their roots is to cook food. I know that later on, their palate grows, but at least it will be embedded somewhere in their food memory that this is Filipino food.”
“ M y d a d wa s a politician, and our h o u s e wa s a lway s f u l l o f g u e s t s , even for breakfast. I would watch how our help would prepare a vat of noodles instantly. I was just always amazed at how they do it. ... I was the one who entertained and who loved to serve. The inclination was there, but I never really thought of doing this as a career.”
“The basic ingredient in Filipino food is the v i n e g a r because we come from a tropical country and [during] a time with no refrigeration, one way to preserve our food was to cook it with vinegar and acid.”
“I had three kids, so I h a d t o f e e d t h e m , and the
“A l l t h e r e c i p e s t h at I h av e a r e a l l m y t a k e . If you would let a traditional Filipino eat my food, she wouldn’t recognize it until she would taste it. I try to play with the flavors and the looks of it. I try to modernize it.”
Skip to Malou, skiptomalou.net, YouTube: Skip to Malou
“We use everything t h at A s i a n c o u n t r i e s u s e , but on the other side of the spectrum, because we were colonized by the Spanish. We have a lot of Spanish influences like our stews in tomato sauce, our lengua, which is tongue, our ox tripe stewed in tomato sauce.” “A s m u c h a s p o s s i b l e , I wa n t t o g r a s p t h e t r a d i t i o n a l way o f c o o k i n g the recipes that were handed down by my grandmother. That’s what I did the past two months. I didn’t cook. I just watched. … I love the play of it. I love the fusion of the old and new in what I know now.”
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PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
“ I s ta r t e d c o o k i n g w h e n I s ta r t e d d a t i n g . I believe in that saying, ‘The way to your partner’s heart is through the stomach.’ Literally, that’s how I got my husband. Our maid cooked this dish, this reposado, which is this Filipino shrimp tempura, and I said I cooked it. He fell in love with me, like head over heels. [When that maid left,] I said, ‘I cannot cook it. She cooked it!’ He said, ‘Oh my God, you tricked me.’”
“ W i t h o u t k n ow i n g w h a t a b l o g wa s , I s ta r t e d ‘ S k i p t o M a l o u . ’ And there it was. I didn’t know it was like birthing a new baby because it takes a lot of time and energy and effort and passion to write and continuously write. … For someone who didn’t know about photography and SEO or anything internet, it made me work 24/7 to build ‘Skip to Malou.’”
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