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The Iron Lady

When it comes to kitchen affairs, cast iron still rules

green curry crackdown ∙ a matzo mitzvah ∙ pot pie in a jiffy s t. 2013 lo u is’ i n d e pe n d e nt cu l i n a ry au th o r it y March

sau c e m aga zi n e .co m

F R E E I, SAUCE ma r MAGAZINE c h 2 013I 1


March 2013


M a r c h 2 013 • VO LUM E 13, Issue 3 @allysonmace





Allyson Mace Stacy Schultz @stacymschultz Meera Nagarajan @meera618 Julie Cohen @julieannacohen Ligaya Figueras Stacy Schultz Rosa Heyman Emily Lowery Michelle Volansky Julie Cohen Byron Kerman Jonathan Gayman, Ashley Gieseking, Laura Miller, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser Glenn Bardgett, Matt Berkley, Julie Cohen, Ligaya Figueras, Kellie Hynes, Byron Kerman, Cory King, Michael Renner, Stacy Schultz Erin Keplinger Sharon Arnot Allyson Mace Angie Rosenberg Rachel Gaertner, Jill George, Erin Keplinger, Allyson Mace, Angie Rosenberg Jill George

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use, in 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 will apply. Sauce Magazine is printed on recycled paper using soy inks.

St. Louis, MO 63103 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 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.

March 2013

march 2013

contents 9 A La Carte

Reviews 15 new and notable: Elaia and Olio



by Michael Renner

19 Nightlife: The Rustic Goat


by Matt Berkley

20 Cook’s Books: Bloggers Get Bookish by Stacy Schultz

Home cooking 23 What in the world: Black radishes by Ligaya Figueras

24 Vegetize it: Matzo ball soup All the Soup, None of the Schmaltz by Kellie Hynes

26 One ingredient, 3 ways: Rotisserie Chicken The Home Cook's Secret Weapon by Dee Ryan

28 By Popular Demand The Block's Missouri Trout


37 cover details

30 The Iron Lady When it comes to kitchen affairs, this

Last course

grande dame rules

39 Stuff to do

By Kellie Hynes

by byron Kerman

40 Five questions for: Andy Ayers by Byron Kerman

37 Short List: Thai Green Curry BY Julie Cohen

(Flip your magazine over for a big surprise!) As the piles of snow begin to melt away, our thoughts turn to the sunny skies of spring. In our inaugural Guide to Healthy Living, we’ll show you how to get your garden ready for prime planting season, reveal the secret to an awesome salad (no lettuce required) and help make sense of the Paleo craze. Get ready; spring is here!

truffle mushroom mac-n-cheese at the tavern kitchen and bar p. 30

Photo by Carmen Troesser Oops! In the February issue, we misspelled the name of the co-owner of The Block in the story A Life with Swine. The man identified in the picture labeled No. 1 on page 38 and in the text on page 41 is Brian Doherty, not Brian Dougherty. We sincerely regret this error. March 2013

green curry crackdown p. 37 a matzo mitzvah p. 24 pot pie in a jiffy p. 11 = recipe on this page I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 5


March 2013

We’re (obviously) big proponents of print here, yet we can’t help but squeal at all that the digital age offers. Did you know how many ways you can enjoy Sauce Magazine these days? From your computer screen to your tablet, even your phone, the options are nearly endless. Here are a few new ways to connect with us all month long. Thanks, Internet. We owe you one.

PIN TO WIN | Living a whole and balanced life is never easy, especially with so many tasty eats tempting us at every meal. But as the temperatures rise, we figure this is the perfect time to launch our inaugural Guide to Healthy Living (Flip your magazine over for a fun surprise!). And as our thoughts turn to healthy snacking, crisp seasonal salads and finally buying that compost bin we’ve been eyeing, we want to see the recipes, products and advice you turn to for staying on track. Create a Pinterest board called My Guide to Healthy Living by March 31 at noon for a chance to win a T-Fal Wok with built-in steamer or a T-Fal Juice Extractor. For contest details, head to


LISTEN | This month, New and Notable reviewer Michael Renner did double-duty, reviewing both restaurants Ben Poremba recently opened in the Botanical Heights neighborhood: Elaia and Olio (Turn to page 15 to see his review.). But Poremba’s vision for the area spans beyond restaurants. Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU’s Cityscape on Friday, March 8 at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., to hear how Poremba hopes to help transform this neighborhood formerly known as McRee Town in this month’s Sound Bites segment. | | |



March 2013


When you’re in the mood for seafood and it’s gotta be more than just mussels, order a big ol’ bowl of piping hot bouillabaisse at Nico and bask in comfort food done right. Spoon up all those fresh-from-the-sea mussels, shrimp and scallops – along with the house-made chorizo (Bonus!) – then tear off hunks of herbaceous rosemary focaccia and sop up Photo by greg rannells

what’s left of that glorious spicy, saffron-tinged broth. It’s like a warm blanket for your insides. Nico • 6525 Delmar Blvd., U. City • 314.727.0200 •


Clean those greens crab cake benie $9

The Crab Cake Benie is a steal. And because The Kitchen Sink serves breakfast all day, you can take advantage of this deal anytime. Two plump crab cakes take the place of an English muffin, each topped with flash-fried spinach and a perfectly poached egg, adorned with a slightly spicy Creole hollandaise. The best part about this newish diner: Only a handful of dishes on the menu cost more than a Hamilton, so even if crab’s not your thing, the options for fare that won’t squeeze your wallet are seemingly endless. The Kitchen Sink, 280 DeBaliviere Ave., St. Louis, 314.261.4455

Put down that thrice-washed bagged greens marketed as “ready to eat,” and pick up a whole head of lettuce. Then follow these steps for prepping crisp salad greens that are ready to eat when you are. First, tear – never chop – the greens, or you’ll bruise those lovely leaves. Next, fill a large bowl with cold water and place it in the sink. Add the greens, swish them around and let sit for a few minutes until dirt and debris sink to the bottom. Using both hands, lift the lettuce out of the water, and transfer to a colander, or place on a clean, dry kitchen towel or atop layers of paper towels. Gently pat the greens dry or use a salad spinner. Lay the greens on a clean, dry kitchen towel or on a fresh stack of paper towels and roll it up. Set the bundle in a resealable plastic bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal and store in the refrigerator. The greens will stay crisp for about 1 week.

For many, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day involves enjoying the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. The typical beverage? Beer, a gorgeous pint of Guinness to be exact. Yet this year, I suggest trying a grape alternative to the fermented grain. — Glenn Bardgett, member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, and wine director at Annie Gunn’s


Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc, 2009, Santa Barbara, Calif. One sip of this bottle and you have juiciness that’s not just thirst-quenching, it’s “mind-quenching.” Santa Barbara wine guru Jim Clendenen brings the lush, grape-y pinot gris and marries it to the steely, crisp pinot blanc. At $20 or less, it could be the all-day white for your St. Pat’s celebration this year.

Mettler Epicenter ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel, 2009, Lodi, Calif. The Mettlers are one of the old-time grape-growing families in the central California area of Lodi. Fifty-yearold vines and six generations make this $20 fruit bomb red even better. Huge flavors and typical zin soft tannins will make your pot of corned beef dance the jig.

Siduri Pinot Noir, 2011, Sonoma, Calif. For many years, winemaker Adam Lee has shown his mastery of the challenging pinot noir. His Sonoma Coast blend, at about $22, has the punch and power that I love from this region but keeps the earthiness to make even the most fragrant of cabbage dinners want to stay and play.

March 2013

kitchen sink photo by jonathan gayman


Chicken pot pie doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. The secret to a bowl of creamy

make this

comfort in less than an hour: frozen puff pastry and a rotisserie chicken from the market. Heat 2 cups chicken broth in a small pot. Stir in 1 bouillon cube until dissolved. Keep warm. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 cup of frozen white pearl onions (thawed and drained) and 3 minced garlic cloves. Saute until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Gradually whisk ¼ cup of flour into the butter until there are no lumps. Repeat with the warm broth, whisking in ¼ cup at a time. Add 1½ cups peeled, chopped carrots and bring the broth to a simmer until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup heavy cream, 1½ cups cubed rotisserie chicken, 1 cup thawed frozen peas and 1 tablespoon each of freshly chopped parsley, thyme and rosemary. Divide filling between 4 greased ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Place a puff pastry circle that’s ¼ inch larger than the bowl on top. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Then, bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before digging in. – Stacy Schultz

photo by jonathan gayman

Had no idea what that grocery store rotisserie chicken could do? Turn to page 26 for three more reasons to fall in love with this secret ingredient.

March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 11

[beer] 1

Year-Round Fry Dive

Over the past several months, we’ve seen an influx in the number of chocolate beers released in Missouri and Illinois. Here are three standouts that use one of my favorite foods in the right way. — Cory King, certified Cicerone and brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales


1. Carryout is the order of the day (every day) at Mother’s, so take in the people parade from a plastic chair while you wait. 2. Mario Singleton prepares an order (Try to ignore his hat.). 3. With all the napkins provided, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll sneak into your order on the drive home. 4. Owner Freddie Murphy (right) prepares fish for battering, while Mario Singleton readies the only plates at this North City standby: carryout boxes. 5. Fried shrimp and french fries do a body great.


Mother’s Best Fried Fish 2738 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.533.4433



Charleville Box of Chocolate If you like chocolate as much as I do, then you won’t be scared of how decadent this beer is. This local brew, a Belgian Quadruple at heart, is layered with flavors and aromas of milk chocolate, dark cherries, cocoa powder, Tootsie Rolls, chocolate cake and aged rum. It’s a big, bold take on what a chocolate beer can be. Odell Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout Chocolate? Yep. Creamy milk stout backbone? Yep. Odell made another true-to-style, solid beer with Lugene. Rich chocolate dominates the first sip. Not only can you smell the creamy lactose, but its mouth-coating characteristics shine on the tongue after you swallow. This one’s smooth, balanced, rich and wonderful.   Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence This Belgian-style chocolate ale leans more on a balancing act of dark, roast-y chocolates with its fruity plum and prune yeast esters than its name suggests. Black with a tan head, hints of cracked espresso dry out the palate and make this incredibly easy to drink.


March 2013

Photos by jonathan gayman

While dozens of parishes host Friday fish fries during Lent, what happens when Easter arrives? Rather than quit your newfound fish addiction cold turkey, err fish, head to Mother’s Best Fried Fish, where battered catfish, tripe, jack salmon and shrimp are served hot all year long. And if you realize your thing-for-fish was really just a thing-for-fried, there’s always the fried okra. – Julie Cohen

March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 13


March 2013


new and notable: elaia and olio p. 15 nightlife: the rustic goat p. 19 cook’s books: blogger cookbooks p. 20

New and Notable: Elaia and Olio by Michael Renner • Photos by Carmen Troesser


t Elaia and Olio, one expects the olive oil to be damn good. Elaia (el-ah’-yah), after all, takes its name from the Greek word for both the fruit of the olive tree and the liquid gold of those pressed olives, while Olio is Italian for “oil.” Sure enough, dabs of glassy, green, fruity oil dotted my seafood stew like translucent little jewels floating in a pool of creamy white. It was Sunday brunch at Olio, a stylish wine bar/small plates concept and half of Ben Poremba’s ambitious dual project located in the rapidly gentrifying Botanical Heights neighborhood formerly known as McCree Town. Housed in a jaw-droppingly restored 1930s art deco gas station (more oil), complete with white-glazed brick and bright red cornice, Olio must be the coolest old place/new space around. Where Olio is rakish and industrial, Elaia is elegant and exquisite, located in Elaia and Olio a rehabbed house conjoined to Olio by 1634 Tower Grove a corridor. The two are also connected Ave., St. Louis, by a repertoire of flavors, hospitality and 314.932.1088, a culture of sharing that defines what, Poremba dubs Middle-Terranean: the southern parts of Spain, France and Italy, and all of Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, North Africa and his native Israel. But back to Olio’s stew, the one scented with thyme and chock-full of chunks of halibut and big, fleshy diver and small, plumpish bay scallops, all in a delicate fish stock with a hint of cream. Not so much a stew as a soup, it provided delicious warmth on a cold Sunday morning. All it lacked was a few thick slices of crusty bread to soak up the fragrant liquid.

Olio opened in Botanical Heights in November. The restaurant/wine bar is connected to its sister restaurant, Elaia. March 2013

Also for brunch is shakshuka, an Israeli dish with deep North African roots of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, thick and chunky. Poremba poaches the eggs separately before placing them atop the sauce and, that week, added marble-sized chickpeas before serving it in a small copper dish. A drizzle of Olio’s own private label olive oil made the two quivering white pillows glisten in the morning sun, the overall seasoning more mellow than fiery. Poremba’s grandmother’s “famous” egg salad makes an elegant tartine: three thick slices of crusty bread, each topped I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 15

review new and notable: elaia and olio

Elaia's beet and lobster salad

mixture and miscellany. A vintage record player pumps the soundtrack through Bose speakers; faux shop lights provide bar lighting; servers use iPads; a spider-like chandelier constructed of swing arm desk lamps hangs in the service bay; canisters of olive oil echoing the old motor oil cans sit on shelves of reclaimed wood; patrons reflect both cheap chic and upscale boutique, many wearing the hippest of eyeglasses. There are clever cocktails, each with their fancy ingredients and born-on dates listed on the menu. There are local and international beers to sip. But more than anything, there is wine, all from regions matching the Mid-Terranean focus of the food. With a list this well-constructed and curated by Brandon Kerne and Andrey Ivanov (the beverage manager who holds the title of Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers), there is no reason to stick to merlot and chardonnay. Stretch a bit with a big-bodied Italian red made from the Aglianico grape, with its smoky dark fruit and firm tannins described on the menu as “the true iron fist Elaia Olio's "famous" egg salad

with a blend of perfectly boiled egg so finely chopped it’s nearly granular in texture, flecks of herbs, and just a enough mayo to bind and keep everything moist. Although brunch is quite popular, Olio belongs to the night, which is often packed

and lively. From the outside looking in, there’s a warm glow spilling out of the large storefront windows and bay door, like a more inviting version of the Hopper’s Nighthawks painting. You want to go inside. Once there, it’s an olio of modern and retro, to use the word’s English meaning for

in a velvet glove.” To further the adventure, explore wines from Lebanon, Austria, Greece and even Mexico, and lesserknown varietals from well-known regions of France, Spain and Italy, all described unpretentiously by Ivanov and the welltrained staff. While there is an extensive list of wines by-the-glass, the monthly wine flights offer a great opportunity to explore.

Of course there are excellent salumi and charcuterie from Salume Beddu, where Poremba is a co-owner, and, during my visits, delightful miniatures like cauliflower tahini and salmon rillettes. But pause before ordering, lest your eyes widen to the size of small plates when the check arrives; two of us easily split a c-note for three glasses of wine and four, three-bite noshes. Brunch aside, I was more impressed with Olio’s ambiance and drinks than the food. If Olio is the coolest place to be seen, Elaia is the sexiest. Like Olio, everything at Elaia has a story: the flooring made from reclaimed cork, the “Monsterpiece” chandelier desgined by Poremba and made by local artist Jenni B. Jipsi, the heavy Dr. Suess-like chairs constructed from composite materials. Where the fare at Olio is almost too focused and simple, Elaia’s is expansive and complex, modern without being anonymous, creative yet controlled. The Berkshire pork was “roasted” for six hours in what Poremba called his magical oven (a CVap, which maintains heat and moisture at a constant temperature for long periods). But the real magic was on the plate: A substantial 1½-inch thick glistening boneless loin cooked to the proper 140 degrees, possessing a texture as tender and smooth as veal – something no normal roasting could approximate. Also on the plate: creamed cabbage, black-eyed peas and a dollop of whipped salt-baked sweet potato. A bit of this, a bit of that on the fork and you choose the perfect bite. Beef – tender slices of tenderloin, braised and roasted – came splayed out on a bed of sweet and mellow braised fennel, charred eggplant and fava beans; each ingredient softly complementing the other but supporting the star of the dish. To begin the meal, though, there were pumpkin soup and a parfait of foie gras; the former thick and earthy, the latter a pop-in-your-mouth

AT A GLANCE : Elaia Where 1634 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.1088,

Don’t Miss Dishes Menu changes nightly but any beef, pork or fish entree.


Vibe Sexy, subdued and elegant – a mere 28 seats.

Entree Prices $20 to $30. Tasting menu: $100, $200 with wine pairing.

When Tue. to Sat. – 5:30 to 10 p.m. (last seating at 10 p.m.)

March 2013

delicacy of funky lusciousness accented by a strip of coconut gelée all on a schmear of puréed mango. For added whimsy, a scattering of puffed rice to the side. Both the tasting and a la carte menus change nightly, with by-the-glass wine selections following suit. Complain all you want about the limited offerings – a mere three or four – and unlisted prices, but I, for one, was happy to try something I’d never heard of nor would’ve tried were it not for my trust in Ivanov’s knowledge: a spicy and remarkably refreshing Austrian red made from the Blaufrankisch grape. A dessert of chouquette more than satisfied, with its light choux pastry dome filled with a mixture of pastry cream and heavy whipping cream, resting in a pool of caramel sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sweet, crunchy, boozy. A professor friend of mine recently published Exquisite Mixture, a book in which he examines the intellectual history of how blending foreign ideas and cultures, not Anglo-Saxon sovereignty, transformed early 18th century England. At Elaia and Olio, urban renewal is admixed with renewed emphasis on worldly wines and foods of different cultures. Exquisite, indeed.

AT A GLANCE : olio Where 1634 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.1088 Don’t Miss Dishes Brunch: Egg salad tartine, anything with eggs and Salume Beddu bacon. Vibe The place to be seen – bright, rakish and industrial. Entree Prices Brunch: $7 to $18. Lunch/Dinner: $6 to $15. When Lunch: Tue. to Sat. – 11 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Dinner: Tue. to Sat. – 5 p.m. to midnight. Sun. – 6 to 9 p.m. (3-course prix fixe only). Brunch: Sun. – 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 17


March 2013

review nightlife: The rustic goat

Nightlife: The Rustic Goat by Matt berkley • Photo by Jonathan Gayman


he old axiom “first we eat with our eyes” rings as true for an establishment’s atmosphere as it does for its actual food and drink. But looks can deceive. Such is the case on the quiet corner of Washington and Jefferson Avenues. Here, inside massive storefront windows sits The Rustic Goat, a gorgeous music lounge and eatery where style, unfortunately, trumps substance. First impressions: There’s no getting around the fact that this place is a joy to take in. Those who show up early in the evening are able to snag a prime spot on one of the lounge’s low white couches, which line the windows of the central area. Looking across the huge space, they can take in the high polished tables and designer model chairs that surround an open kitchen, which spits out roaring flames and savory wafts; an March 2013

Everything about the place – down to the bathrooms – is modern and well-adorned. This is where the moniker of the joint can confuse. Nothing is rustic about this slick, urban, industrial loft space with its high ceilings and fancy lighting.

additional level of booth seating hovering over a long bar; and a split level rear area with additional lounging space as well as pool and foosball tables. Everything about the place – down to the bathrooms – is modern and well-adorned. This is where the moniker of the joint can confuse. Nothing is rustic about this slick, urban,

Soothing late-night jazz vibe aside, however, there are some unfortunate issues with The Rustic Goat. Lack of effort is not the problem here. Staff is attentive, engaged and eager to help. Unfortunately, it seems like they’re the ones who need the help. These people need training, badly. The flow of liquor is slow and sloppy. If a The Rustic Goat waiter doesn’t 2617 Washington Ave., know the proper St. Louis, 314.371.4031, ingredients to Facebook: The Rustic Goat a cocktail, it’s understandable, but a bartender should. Case in point: After ordering a simple dirty vodka martini on the rocks, I waited nearly 10 minutes to be presented with a tepid glass of vodka, straight up, no ice, no olives and no olive juice. I spent the rest of the night ordering off the ample menu of specialty house cocktails like the Purple Hospitality and the Oriental Goat, but, unfortunately, these seemed thrown together almost as haphazardly as the drink recipes themselves. Like many bars, The Goat falls prey to the overuse of flavored vodkas and sweet overbearing mixers. Even a whiskey and Moonshine sub-section is wrought with oddly chosen, too-sweet combos: i.e. The Blonde Goat, a sugary mess of Southern Comfort, amaretto and Sprite; or The Whiskey Orchard, which is little more than well whiskey and too much apple juice. On occasions like these, it’s advisable to stick to beer. The bar service even for this proved agonizingly slow.

industrial loft space with its high ceilings and fancy lighting. Rather than folksy or quirky, the atmosphere is smart and contemporary yet warm and approachable.

Like the venue, the crowd at The Rustic Goat is decidedly well-dressed. Around 10 o’clock on a Friday, The Goat’s reception area teems with patrons looking to grab a seat near the jazz trio busy tuning up for the first set of the night. There’s a buzz in the air and a growing din in this crowd of primarily middle-aged, 20- and 30-something professionals. The bar is lined with a handful of friends busy chatting with the waitresses and manager. The jazz trio starts, and the acoustics prove wellpitched. Some of the groups look up from their cabernets and watch the show, but most are still lost in conversation.

The accompanying plates were likewise less-than-satisfying, although they did get served faster. A flatbread pizza was soggy and bland, while the house burger might have been good had the server asked how I wanted it cooked rather than rushing off and returning with a crispy little hockey puck of ground beef sandwiched between a crumbling biscuit. Whether or not The Rustic Goat is a welcome addition to Washington Avenue’s social scene has yet to be determined. While the space is phenomenal, the menu and service need some reconsideration. Hopefully, management will build on the strength of the physical structure and the jazz lounge vibe, both of which set this raw little newcomer pleasantly apart from the rest of the neighborhood. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 19

review Cook’s books: blogger cookbooks

Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space and Entertaining with Ease by Emily Schuman

Bloggers Get Bookish Here’s our dirty little secret: We’re just as obsessed with food blogs as you are. So we’ve been thrilled to see the plethora of new cookbooks penned by some of our favorite household names, from Smitten Kitchen to Cannelle et Vanille. Join us every Tuesday at blog as we cook and reveal recipes from the books of these bright-eyed bloggers this month. Then, enter to win a copy of their cookbooks to add to your own collection.

Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking by Aran Goyoaga

Tickets are sold out for our Sauce Celebrity Chef Series event with Deb Perelman, but you can still see Perelman signing her new book March 1 at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books, 321 N. 10th St., St. Louis, 314.367.6731.

Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto by Michael Ruhlman

Staff Pick: Family Style Food When we need a little break, we turn to Karen Tedesco’s blog, Family Style Food. An area personal chef, Tedesco creates inventive dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients with eyecatching photos that are so beautiful, they can inspire even the most exhausted home cook (or food writer) to get out to the market – and into the kitchen. (


March 2013

book photos by michelle volansky; food images courtesy of

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 21


March 2013

what in the world: black radishes p. 23 vegetize it: matzo ball soup p. 24 one ingredient, 3 ways: rotisserie chicken p. 26 the new classics: missouri trout p. 28

what in the world are

black radishes? First cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean, black radishes aren’t mainstays in produce bins these days. This peppery radish, also known as a niger radish, is striking for its black skin that threatens to stain the fingers like charcoal (Don’t worry; it won’t.). Use it: Black radishes don’t pop with sharp, spicy flavor like other radish cultivars, so take advantage of their dark skin in raw and cooked dishes. Wash and trim the ends, along with any errant roots, then use it – skin and all – as a salad vegetable. Try pickling it or shredding it into slaw. For a warm side dish, saute thinly sliced black radishes, then mix them with black sesame seeds, a drizzle of sesame oil, freshly chopped cilantro and salt. For an unexpected hors d’oeuvre, make black radish canapes.

photo by greg rannells

Buy it: Global Foods Market, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112,

March 2013

Black Radish Canapes 6 to 8 Hors D’oeuvre Servings 1 medium black radish, washed, ends and errant roots trimmed, coarsely chopped 6 oz. cream cheese ¼ cup chopped chives Kosher salt to taste 24 cocktail-style rye bread slices (or cocktail-style pumpernickel slices) Half of an avocado, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 6 red radishes, thinly sliced ½ cup radish sprouts • Add the black radishes, cream cheese and chives to a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt. • To serve, either arrange the black radish cheese spread, bread slices and toppings on a serving platter, allowing guests to assemble their own canapes, or assemble the canapes in the kitchen: Spread the black radish cheese spread on each slice of bread. Top with 1 avocado slice, 2 to 3 red radish slices and a few radish sprouts. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 23

home cooking Vegetize it: Matzo ball soup

All the Soup, None of the Schmaltz BY Kellie Hynes • Photos by Carmen Troesser

Isn't eight days without bread torture enough? Vegetarians should be able to enjoy a big bowl of matzo ball soup. This Passover, they can.


March 2013


he first (only) time I made matzo balls for my Jewish in-laws, Shiksa Dough Bombs of Doom dropped out of the pot. They were tough with gritty, uncooked centers that resembled the desert their people wandered for 40 years. Only drier. Those concrete-filled matzo balls haunted me. But it’s a classic, nourishing dish that should be in everyone’s cooking repertoire, especially with matzo’s big week coming up (All hail Passover!), so I decided to try again. And this time, I’d make a healthier version without chicken broth and schmaltz (chicken fat). My mother-in-law’s chicken broth is the pretty, translucent color of warm sunshine. My homemade vegetarian stock has a russet tone better suited to heavy stews. The color comes from slowly simmered vegetables, which also give it a hearty taste. Could I make a lighter-looking broth that wasn’t light on flavor? First, I diced all of my vegetables into ¼-inch bits. The smaller the piece, the more flavor extracted. Then I sauteed the vegetables until they were soft, but not brown. I added some cold water and brought it to a boil. Here’s what they don’t tell you on cooking shows: If you have a boiling pot of broth, and you add pepper to it, and you lean into the aromatic steam and inhale gloriously, you will get a snoot full of pepper. And if you have just used pungent white pepper instead of black because hey, that might taste good, you will cough so much that your abs hurt

March 2013

and it counts as your workout for the week. To add insult to eye-watering injury, a brief simmer yielded a lightcolored, but weak-tasting broth. For flavor’s sake, browner was better. Perhaps I’d have better luck duplicating my mother-in-law’s fluffy matzo balls. A little research suggested two tricks. One is to whip the egg whites before folding in the dry ingredients. The second is to use carbonated water instead of tap. Whipping the egg whites was easy, but my seltzer was flat (another thing that never happens on TV). Improvising, I used lime-flavored sparkling water – and it worked. The matzo balls were fluffy! Slightly tropical tasting, but fluffy! I don’t really recommend lime-flavored matzo balls. But I do recommend facing your cooking disasters. It’s a marvelously heady feeling to overcome whatever obstacles a dish throws at your feet. Or up your nose.

Fearless Matzo Ball Soup 4 to 5 Servings 3 Tbsp. olive oil 2 large onions, peeled and chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces 2 green onions, chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces

2 tsp. freshly minced garlic 6 sprigs fresh thyme 6 sprigs fresh parsley 2 fresh bay leaves 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 8 cups cold water Fluffy Matzo Balls (recipe follows) Freshly chopped dill or parsley for garnish • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables and saute, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. • Add the garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. • Stir in the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cold water, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. • Reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. • Strain, reserving the broth and discarding the herbs and vegetables. • Divide the broth evenly between 4 to 5 soup bowls. Add 2 Fluffy Matzo Balls (recipe follows) to each bowl. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley. Note: The soup will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Fluffy Matzo Balls Makes 8 to 10 balls 4 large eggs, separated ¼ cup carbonated water ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 tsp. salt, divided

1 cup matzo meal Pinch freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp. baking powder* (optional) 8 cups cold water • Whip the egg whites in a bowl until white and frothy, but not stiff. Set aside. • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the carbonated water and oil. Set aside. • In a third bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of salt with the matzo meal and black pepper. (*If you’re not keeping kosher for Passover, also add the baking powder.) • Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then add in the dry mixture. Stir gently and thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to overnight. • Add the water and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and pat – don’t pack – the cold dough into balls slightly smaller than the inside of your palm. • Drop the balls into the boiling water. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook without removing the lid for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the balls from the water and keep warm in a bowl. • Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To reheat the matzo balls, place them in a pot with 2 inches of vegetable broth or salted water set over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until heated through. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 25

home cooking one ingredient, 3 ways: Rotisserie Chicken

The Home Cook's Secret Weapon By Dee Ryan | Photo by Greg Rannells


ome turn up their noses at supermarket rotisserie chickens, assuming they’re shortcuts for incompetent or lazy cooks. But with a little love, the savory, succulent meat these little birds yield can be a busy home cook’s best kept secret. So lower that nose, Judgy McJudgerson, and grab yourself one of those plastic nests filled with possibilities.

Hash: Pull skin and meat from 2½-pound chicken. Chop meat, including crispy skin, and set aside. Discard other skin. Boil 2 pounds unpeeled potatoes until fork-tender. Let cool and dice. Saute 1 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat


until onion is translucent. Toss in diced potatoes and 4 cups vegetables (such as chopped peppers, diced squash, green beans and shredded Brussels sprouts). Season to taste with salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. Stir in chopped chicken and drippings from container. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup heavy cream, and let cook down for 5 to 7 minutes. Add ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley and spoon into 4 bowls. Top with a poached egg.

Pho Ga: Pull skin and meat from 2½-pound chicken. Discard skin, shred meat and set aside. Place carcass in large stockpot with half of an onion; 2 carrots; 2 celery stalks; 2-inch piece of lemongrass

smashed with a knife; 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled, sliced and smashed with a knife; 3 smashed garlic cloves; and 4 to 5 whole black peppercorns. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer. In a dry skillet, toast 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon whole cloves and 2 whole star anise over medium-high heat until fragrant. Add toasted spices to broth. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, skimming any foam. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Stir 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon fish sauce into strained broth. Add more salt, pepper, fish sauce and sugar to taste. Ladle broth into 4 bowls. Divide shredded chicken and 1 10-oz. package of prepared rice noodles between bowls. Serve with fresh cilantro, Thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño slices and lime wedges.

Mexican Chicken Salad: Pull skin and meat from 2½-pound chicken. Discard skin; shred meat into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 small minced shallot, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture into chicken. Add 1 chopped head greenleaf lettuce; 3 chopped Roma tomatoes; 1 chopped avocado; ½ cup diced red onion; 1 cup chopped red, yellow or green peppers; and ¼ cup diced jicama to a large salad bowl. Toss in half of a 15-ounce can drained and rinsed black beans and 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels. Add chicken and a little queso fresco. Serve as a salad or wrap.

March 2013

March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 27

home cooking By Popular Demand

By Popular Demand The Block's Missouri Trout

The Block, 146 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.918.7900 and 33 N. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.535.5100,


March 2013

Photo by carmen troesser

Eaten a dish at an area restaurant that you'd do just about anything to make at home? Email us at to tell us about it. Then let us do our best to deliver the recipe By Popular Demand.

Missouri Trout 2 Servings Courtesy of The Block’s Brian Doherty 1 red onion 1 cup buttermilk 2 cups flour 1 oz. olive or vegetable oil for frying Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 cups milk plus more as needed 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into florets 1 Tbsp. freshly chopped herbs (such as parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage) ½ lb. butter, softened, plus more for sauteeing 2 4-oz. boneless Missouri trout filets, split, cleaned and deboned 1 cup cornmeal fish breading ¼ cup sliced shallots 1 lb. fresh green beans ½ cup pork jus or chicken stock

Special equipment: candy thermometer 1 DAY AHEAD: • Using a mandolin, shave the onion into paper-thin rings. Transfer to a bowl with a lid and pour in the buttermilk. Let soak in the refrigerator overnight. • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. • Drain the onion rings well but don’t rinse them. Dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. • Heat the oil in a pot big enough for deep-frying all of the onions at once and clip a candy thermometer to the side. When the oil reaches 350 degrees, drop the onions in and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a stack of paper towels to drain, and immediately season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. • Add 2 cups of milk and the cauliflower to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer until

March 2013

the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Strain, reserving the simmering liquid. Add the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor and add a few tablespoons of the reserved milk. Blend, adding more milk, a few tablespoons at a time (up to ½ cup), until the mixture is the consistency of thin mashed potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve and keep hot. In a medium-size bowl, stir the freshly chopped herbs into ½ pound of softened butter until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep soft. Season the trout lightly with salt and place the cornmeal breading in a large, shallow bowl. Dredge the fillets in the cornmeal breading. Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in a large ovenproof saute pan over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the breaded fish, skin side up, and let cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Flip and bake until crisp on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a stack of paper towels to drain and keep warm. Add more butter as needed with each batch. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and add the shallots. Cook for 1 minute, then add the green beans, and season with salt and pepper. Add the pork jus or chicken stock and continue cooking until the green beans are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Spread 2 ounces of the cauliflower purée on each of 2 plates (Reserve the remaining purée to use as a side dish with meat or fish entrees.). Top each plate with 2 trout filets. Gently spoon the green beans atop the fish, followed by a spoonful of herb butter. Garnish with a small handful of fried onion rings. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 29

The iron

Truffle Mushroom Mac-N-Cheese

When it comes to kitchen affairs, this grande dame rules by kellie hynes | photos by carmen troesser

the tavern kitchen and bar

recipe on page 35 30 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I

March 2013

like cooking. I love cookware. Sturdy oversized roasters. Shiny stainless pots. Polished copper sauciers. So when I ruined my everyday nonstick skillet with metal utensils, I was giddy at the prospect of replacing it. But with what? An enameled, cast-iron Le Creuset French oven (think Dutch oven from le France) is the prom queen of my kitchen: posh, pretty and popular with all the recipes. She heats without hot spots and moves from stove top to oven effortlessly. You wouldn’t have to twist my arm to get an LC skillet. But you would have to twist my wallet – I’d have to spend at least $100 for a 10-inch pan. A Lodge cast-iron skillet without an enamel coating heats just as beautifully for around $20. And food cooked in bare cast iron actually adds small amounts of iron to your diet, which is helpful if you aren’t a fan of leafy greens. But cast-iron skillets have a high-maintenance reputation. Food sticks and the pans rust if they aren’t “seasoned.” Contrary to the name, seasoning does not mean flinging salt and pepper around. It’s a process by which you grease the inside of your pan with Crisco or lard and then heat it. The grease soaks into the pores of the pan, creating a smooth, nonstick surface. (Unlike manufactured nonsticks, this one is chemical-free.) Here’s the best part: The surface improves every time you cook with fats. So if you’re lucky enough to purchase or inherit an old pan that has been seasoned by hundreds of suppers before you, you may never have to season it in the oven at all. If you’d prefer to buy a new pan, the current Lodge line of cookware is labeled “Foundry Seasoned.” Think of this pre-seasoning as a good, but incomplete, start. To make your Lodge truly nonstick, and before you cook anything really acidic like tomato sauce (which can eat away the patina), you need to season it a bit more. There are a million different ways to season cast iron, but my favorite is to just fry a few pounds of bacon in it before I cook anything else. (Further proof that few problems in this world can’t be fixed with a few strips of fatty swine.) So, once you’ve fried your bacon, how do you clean the skillet? Conventional wisdom says that dish soap will break down the patina, forcing you

March 2013

to season the pan more often. Current wisdom says that not using soap on a greasy pan is gross. I’m squarely in the middle. If I can wipe my pan clean with a paper towel after, say, making a quesadilla, I’m done. But when I make fish, you better believe I use soap. Just a little though and I never, ever put it in the dishwasher. I just rub a little kosher salt on the burned bits to ease them away, then I heat the clean pan on a warm burner to coax out any rust-causing water droplets. Lastly, I give it a final wipe with a vegetable-oiled towel. Trouble? Nothing’s too much trouble for this gorgeous gem. The mystique of cast iron is that you don’t really own it. You just nurture it until its next cook comes along. David Smith is a collector and seller of vintage Wagner- and Griswold-brand cast-iron pieces. On his website,, I found the most beautiful 1930s-era 10-inch Wagner skillet you can imagine for only $25. The inside is smooth and glossy like black glass; it compels me to pamper it. And cook in it. And feed it bacon. Apparently, pan-enchantment is a real thing. Cary McDowell gets inspired by the castiron collection he covets at Winslow’s Home. “I look at the pieces and want to fill them with something special,” the executive chef said dotingly as if speaking about each of his children. For Winslow’s Fried Chicken Tuesdays, he fills his 15-inch Lodge skillet with peanut oil and fries chicken using a technique he learned from his grandmother. “I submerge the chicken a half at a time. I don’t deep-fry it, because that’s the way my nana taught me.” He also depends on vintage cast iron for a scallops entree, which he begins by heating a blend of peanut and olive oil until it shimmers and shakes. Scallops quickly join the party, sizzling and searing into the skillet’s fiery surface. McDowell tucks hearty greens into the pan’s empty nests and lets the buttery mollusks steam in the juices seeping from the wilting leaves. The result is a chunky, fresh sea scallop that’s cooked evenly, perfectly, deliciously. Chef Brandon Benack’s cast-iron memories reach all the way back to his grandmother, who seared plump little meatballs in a darkblack cast-iron skillet. At Truffles, Benack has cast-iron skillets dedicated to searing fish and chicken. “There’s just a unique taste you get,” he said. “It comes from the seasoning in the pan.” Another set of cast iron is reserved for his Gooey Butter Brownie, a chewy, gluttonous dessert of deep-dark chocolate, vanilla butter and fresh

berries. “They bake better in the cast iron,” he noted, “more evenly.” In decades past, uncoated cast iron stayed in the kitchen while its prettier, enameled cousin got to take the esteemed trip out to the dining room. But chef Justin Haifley likes the rustic look of the skillets on his tables at The Tavern Kitchen and Bar, where cozy, comfort food is given a contemporary bent. In fact, individually sized cast-iron dishes replace shiny white plates for all of the side dishes and most of the desserts at the Valley Park restaurant. Like Haifley’s truffle mushroom mac-n-cheese – a rich combination of a basic roux to which Haifley stirs in half-andhalf and a little Parmesan, followed by cremini mushrooms, sharp green onions, a little fresh thyme and a glug of Madeira wine. This ultimate carb indulgence gets capped with an ode to the decadent: deeply earthy, garlicky truffle oil. Mathew Unger also opts for cast iron to deliver hearty fare to the tables at his restaurant, Mathew’s Kitchen in South City. The skillets are the ideal vessels for sealing in a perfect crust on everything from Unger’s Shepherd’s Pie to his equally satisfying Chicken Pot Pie. For the limited-time Lenten version, Unger combines the buttery meat of a lobster’s tail with a classic mixture of peas, carrots, corn and potatoes. Everything gets poured into a piecrust, topped with shreds of sharp cheddar cheese and garlicky biscuits, and left to bake and bubble in a brutally hot 600-degree oven. “Cast iron holds the heat so well,” Unger said, “food stays sizzling hot on the table.” But perhaps my favorite cast-iron tale comes from Josh Galliano, executive chef at soon-to-open The Libertine. Galliano’s grandfather, a welder, strung up several cast-iron Dutch ovens in his fishing camp. After he passed away, the ovens were lost for years before being discovered enveloped in a thick layer of mud and rust. The oven Galliano inherited was restored by a group of friends in a magical process involving oil, beer, a campfire and a giant explosion. If you think the oven’s story is legendary, just wait until you taste the fried chicken he makes in it. It’s no wonder that chefs who have worked in the heat of the world’s most demanding kitchens wax romantic about the pans that carry them through the flames. And now that I’m a part of the castiron tradition, my days of coveting chic French enamel are over. Me and my Wagner, we’re gonna spend a whole lifetime cooking together. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 31

Southern Fried Chicken recipe on page 33

Easy As Fry If your skillet has some seasoning but just looks a little dry, fry a pound of bacon in it. Remove the bacon, rinse the skillet with hot water, wipe dry and reheat until all the water evaporates. Repeat until your skillet glows (or you’re sick of bacon). 32 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I

Getting Serious About Seasoning To fully season a new skillet, or re-season a skillet that has been scrubbed, heat the skillet on a low burner until warm, then wipe the inside with Crisco. Place it upside down in a 225-degree oven, and bake for 30 minutes with a cookie sheet

on the rack below to catch any drips. Remove from the oven, and wipe away excess Crisco with a paper towel. The skillet should still look wet. Place the skillet upside down in the oven again, and turn the oven off. Let it remain in the oven until it’s cool to the touch. Wipe with a dry paper towel and store. March 2013

Southern Fried Chicken Courtesy of Josh Galliano (of soon-toopen The Libertine) 4 to 8 Servings For the Sweet Tea Brine 2 quarts water ¼ cup salt 1 ∕8 cup sugar 1 ∕8 cup Creole spice mixture* 1 family-size tea bag For the Chicken 2 3½-lb. chickens, each cut into 8 pieces Lard for frying (or a combination of canola oil and lard) For the Buttermilk Soak 2 cups buttermilk 1 ∕8 cup Creole spice mixture* ¼ cup hot sauce, preferably Crystal brand 2 eggs (added just before breading) For the Breading 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups yellow cornmeal ½ cup Creole spice mixture* ¼ cup cornstarch Special Equipment: Meat thermometer, candy thermometer, 10- to 12-inch well-seasoned cast-iron pan or Dutch oven

DAY 1: • Place all of the ingredients for the Sweet Tea Brine in a pot. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, transfer to a container to allow it to cool completely. • Place the chicken pieces in the Sweet Tea Brine. You may need two containers in order to fit the chicken pieces in the brine. Stir to make sure the chicken is in contact with the brine. Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.

DAY 2: • Remove the chicken pieces from the brine and transfer to a new container(s). • Add the buttermilk, Creole spice and hot sauce to the container to make the Buttermilk Soak, and stir to make sure that the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours. March 2013

DAY 3: • Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the beaten eggs to the container with the chicken sitting in the Buttermilk Soak. Stir to combine and set aside. • In a large bowl, combine all of the Breading ingredients. Stir and set aside. • Remove each piece of chicken from the Buttermilk Soak, being careful not to let too much of the buttermilk mixture splash into the Breading. Dredge each piece of chicken in the Breading, making sure each piece is well-breaded, and lay it on a baking sheet. (If not frying the chicken immediately, place it in the refrigerator until ready to fry.) • When ready to fry the chicken, preheat the oven to 250 degrees and clip the candy thermometer to the side of a 10- to 12-inch well-seasoned cast-iron pan or Dutch oven. Fill the pan with 1½ inches of rendered lard until it registers 300 degrees. Monitor the flame under the pot so you don’t heat the lard to its smoking point. Set a meat thermometer within reach, and place a wire rack atop a large baking sheet for holding the chicken after frying. • Working in batches, carefully place the breaded chicken in the lard, making sure not to splash hot grease on your hands. When the moisture begins to “bead-up” on the raw side of the fried chicken, use metal tongs to flip the pieces over. If you notice that the breading is getting too dark while it is frying, flip the chicken a bit earlier. Fry until the breast pieces read an internal temperature of 165 degrees on the meat thermometer and the other pieces read 155 degrees. Depending on the ability to maintain the temperature of the oil at 300 degrees, the chicken will take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Remove the fried chicken pieces to the wire rack and then place the tray in the oven, leaving the oven door cracked open just slightly. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, adding each fried piece to the warming tray. • Serve immediately.   * Galliano makes his own spice mixture at home but recommended buying a premade mixture such as Tony Chachere’s.

PRETTY PRINCESS Sometimes, a good splurge is worth every last penny. This gem is the perfect size for chicken and dumplings, or braising and slowcooking roasts.

$250 to $315. Le Creuset 6¾-quart Oval French Oven. Available at Cornucopia in Kirkwood,; Kitchen Conservatory in Clayton,; and Chef’s Shoppe in Edwardsville, Ill.,

Enamored with Enamel

Enamel looks equally marvelous on the stove top and tabletop and makes everything effortless. Food never sticks, it’s dishwashersafe and there’s no seasoning necessary. Prepare to pay for all that convenience. An enameled cast-iron piece costs exponentially more than its blue-collar counterpart. $130 to $165. Le Creuset 11¾-inch Iron Handle Skillet. Available at Cornucopia in Kirkwood,; Kitchen Conservatory in Clayton,; and Chef’s Shoppe in Edwardsville, Ill.,

A Non-Enamel pan is a workhorse that’s inexpensive and practically indestructible. It cooks in the highest heat without hot spots and even adds a little iron to your diet. Season it properly, and it will be the best non-stick skillet you ever use. $30 to $40. Lodge Logic 12-inch Pre-Season Skillet. Available at Cornucopia in Kirkwood,; Kitchen Conservatory in Clayton,; Terra in Des Peres,; and Chef’s Shoppe in Edwardsville, Ill., I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 33

RULES OF UNENGAGEMENT Sometimes, even well-seasoned cast iron can latch on to bits of that juicy scallop and never want to let go. Here are a few ways to avoid such sticky messes. • Take your meat or fish out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. Cold protein + hot pan = hot mess. • Preheat your pan before adding any oils or fats, then let the grease heat until a drop of water “pops,” before adding the meat or fish. • Let your meat or fish sear and release before flipping it. If you try to pry it off, it will leave a layer of crust behind.

Cast-Iron Sea Scallops with Spinach and Mushrooms winslow's home

recipe on page 35 34 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I

March 2013

Cast-Iron Sea Scallops with Spinach and Mushrooms

everything to bring out the flavor and finish with olive oil. • Serve immediately.

Courtesy of Winslow’s Home’s Cary McDowell

Truffle Mushroom Mac-N-Cheese

4 Servings  Large flake sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 12 sea scallops, dry packed (no liquid solution) ½ lb. fresh mushrooms of your choice, thickly sliced ½ lb. young spinach, cleaned thoroughly Cooking oil (such as a blend of olive and peanut oils) 1 ripe lemon High-quality finishing extra-virgin olive oil   Special Equipment: 10-inch cast-iron skillet with lid • Preheat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until extremely hot. Have a lid nearby. • Sprinkle a thick layer of flake salt and black pepper on a plate. Place the scallops face-down on the plate, allowing the seasoning to be evenly distributed on the face of the scallops. Season the other side of the scallops generously with the flake salt only. • Coat the hot pan with cooking oil. Quickly place the scallops in the pan, salt-and-pepper-side down, with an equal amount of space between them. Cook until the edges turn golden brown, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. • Add the mushrooms into the empty space in the pan. Cover with the spinach, and quickly place the lid on top. Let cook for 3 minutes. • Turn off the heat, remove the lid and transfer the scallops to a clean plate. The mushrooms and spinach should have captured the juices from the scallops and contributed their own. Add the mushrooms and spinach to the plate. • Squeeze a little lemon juice over March 2013

• Working in batches if necessary, divide the mixture between six 10-ounce cast-iron skillets and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. • Remove from the oven, garnish with a scattering of sliced green onions and thyme. • Serve immediately.

Courtesy of The Tavern Kitchen and Bar’s Justin Haifley 4 to 6 Servings ½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 Tbsp. butter, divided 2 cups cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced ¼ cup Madeira wine ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 quart half-and-half 2 cups Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp. kosher salt 2 oz. truffle oil 4 cups cooked cavatappi noodles Green onions, sliced on a bias for garnish Freshly chopped thyme for garnish Special Equipment: 4 to 6 10-ounce castiron skillets • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until all of their moisture has been released and evaporated. Deglaze the pan with the wine and saute until the mushrooms absorb the wine, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and keep warm. • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. • Melt ½ cup of butter in a large pot set over medium-high heat. • Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. • Gradually whisk in the half-and-half until it is thoroughly combined and there are no lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil. • Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and truffle oil. • Turn the heat down to low and cook for 20 minutes. • In a separate pot, combine the cooked pasta and sauteed mushrooms. • Coat the pasta and mushrooms with a generous amount of Parmesan sauce to taste and stir to combine.

Half-Baked Chocolate Chip CookieS Courtesy of The Tavern Kitchen and Bar’s Justin Haifley

KEEPING THE LADY ALIVE • Wipe with a paper towel and a dab of vegetable oil.

• Loosen burned bits with a paste of kosher salt and warm water.

6 Servings 2½ cups flour ½ Tbsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1½ tsp. baking powder ¾ lb. butter ½ cup sugar 1½ cups dark brown sugar, packed 2 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1½ cups milk chocolate chips 1 cup ground dark chocolate (58 percent) Special Equipment: 6 10-ounce cast-iron skillets • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. • Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium-size bowl. Set aside. • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for 4 minutes. • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. • Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. • Add the chocolate – both the chips and the ground chocolate – and mix until combined. • Working in batches if necessary, add 4 ounces of the batter to each of six 10-ounce cast-iron skillets. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. • Remove from the oven, garnish with a scoop of cookie dough ice cream and serve immediately.

• If you must, scrub really sticky food with a drop of mild liquid detergent and a plastic brush. Never use abrasive sponges or soaps.

• Rinse and pat dry.

• Place the skillet in a warm oven or on a warm burner until all water evaporates.

• Give a final wipe with a vegetable-oiled paper towel or a shot of cooking spray.

• Store in a dry place. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 35


March 2013


With the laundry list of ingredients and imprecise quantities that go into green curry, it’s easy to see how Thai cooking is often considered art, not science. But while curry might be a forgiving recipe, consider me the princess and the pea. To distill curries’ true virtues, I kept two controls for my venture: a medium heat level and shrimp as my star. Yet not even these constants were free from criticism, with cocktail-sized crustaceans and pathetically weak or ulcer-inducing heat landing otherwise suitable suitors firmly on the “no” list. A faultless curry, not so thin as broth but not so creamy as buttermilk, must master the delicate balance of savory and sweet. There should also be an abundance and variety of good vegetables, but not too many – this isn’t a stir-fry – and not too few – a fork should still be required. And the color? Lima bean green. Here now, the swans. — Julie Cohen

Pearl Café

Fork & Stix

Simply Thai

8416 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Florissant, 314.831.3701,

549 Rosedale Ave., U. City, 314.863.5572, Facebook: Fork & Stix

2470 N. Highway 67, Florissant, 314.921.2179

Among the endless strip malls along North Lindbergh Boulevard, Florissant houses not one but two Thai titans. Even though Pearl Café and Simply Thai are owned by the same crew, the green curries were different and equally awesome. Succulent yet firm chunks of Chinese eggplant and slightly crunchy green beans created additional textures to the usual suspects: bell peppers, bamboo shoots and shrimp (peeled and deveined – nice touch). Too often the coconut milk and palm sugar added to the curry paste tip the sweet-and-savory scale into dangerous saccharine territory, but here, each bite started sweet and ended with a sip of water – just as it should.

Although Fork & Stix specializes in northern Thai cuisine (which doesn’t always showcase coconut milk or chiles – curry staples), this new eatery must have borrowed a page from NFL/MLB sensation Bo Jackson, knocking this Southern Thai treat out of the park. The curry itself was thin enough to soak through the rice, a necessity when ordering everything medium, but not so thin as to resemble soup. Added bonuses: sinuses cleared and insides made warm on a cold day. The best part: It tasted just as good, if not better, the next day for lunch.

March 2013

This curry is green, as expected, but a faithful green, light in shade from the coriander, limes, lemongrass and chiles – none of that creepy Ecto Cooler neon stuff some restaurants dare to serve. Studded with a generous amount of plump shrimp, tender peas, shredded bamboo shoots, chunks of red and green peppers, and wisps of sweet basil, each bite was balanced with a heat that got my brow sweaty but didn’t deter me from jamming another bite in before I finished the first.

ONLINE EXTRA| Visit the Extra Sauce section of to see this month’s Short List Runner-Up. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 37


March 2013

stuff to do:

this month by Byron Kerman

Wine and Cheese Wolf Howl March 1 & 21 – 7 p.m., Endangered Wolf Center · 636.938.5900

Wolf down some snacks and then howl with actual wolves at the twice-monthly Wine and Cheese Wolf Howl at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka. On the first Friday and third Thursday of most months, guests at the fascinating wolf sanctuary start their adventure by sampling a variety of chards, cabs, pinot noirs, pinot grigios and sweet wines, paired with charcuterie and cheeses. After this fortification and a brief program on wolf behavior, a guide leads the tour group on a short hike to the wolf enclosure, where guests howl into the night, and the wolves usually answer! Hike back for coffee, hot chocolate and home-baked desserts. Heed the call of the wild, and you’ll never be the same.

Tea Cuppings at the London Tea Room

Various dates and times, The London Tea Room · 314.241.6556 The weather is brisk, but the tea sommeliers on staff at downtown’s The London Tea Room have the skills to make you master a high-quality “hot cuppa.” The Afternoon Tea Class (March 15 – 3 p.m.) will dissect the British tradition of afternoon tea with sampling and discussion of scones, clotted cream and, naturally, tea. The Tea Rarities Class (March 20 – 7 p.m.) will offer tasting and conversation on several rare teas not commonly found in the U.S. And finally, March 2013

next month’s Tea Blending Class (April 5 – 6 p.m.) will feature a chat on the history of tea blending, concluding with the opportunity to take your own blend home.

Schlafly Stout & Oytser Festival March 8 to 9, Schlafly Tap Room · 314.241.2337

The oysters are the aphrodisiac and the stout makes you dizzy at the annual Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival. Guests can plow through their share of 30,000 fresh oysters of various types and watch teams of “star shuckers” with nicknames like “Bimbo” cracking open bivalves with alarming speed. Three styles of Schlafly stout are on tap: Oatmeal Stout, Coffee Stout and Nitro Irish Stout. Slurp!

Burgers and Bordeaux March 11 – 6 to 9 p.m., Schnucks Cooks School of Cooking 314.909.1704

This popular, sin-centric class returns to the Schnucks School of Cooking this month. Wine expert Brad Brown pours three Bourdeaux, one for each beefy burger that students grill up in the test kitchen. The Juicy Lucy Burger, the Bahn Bacon and Egg Burger, and the Schnucks Meat Man’s Stuffed Burger are each washed down with a strong, paired Bordeaux. Students will also indulge in oven-roasted sweet potato

fries and brownies for dessert. Call for reservations.

Flavored Whiskey Class March 14 – 6:30 p.m., Rendezvous Café and Wine · 636.281.2233 rendezvouscafeand

Is flavored whiskey an apostate’s abomination or a tasty indulgence – or both? You be the judge at Rendezvous Café and Wine Bar in O’Fallon, Mo., with a class that features tastes of Red Stag Black Cherry, Red Stag Cinnamon, Cabin Fever, Dock 57 Blackberry, Seagram’s 7 Crown Honey and Black Velvet Toasted Caramel. Oh Lordy, you may need a designated driver after this one. Call for reservations.

Boozy Book Club April 1 – 7 p.m., Absolutli Goosed · 314.771.9300

Books and alcohol. Two great pastimes that go together quite well at the new Boozy Book Club. A certain gal calling herself the “Cocktail Ambassador” has arranged monthly get-togethers at various local spots where nonfiction books about the glories of liquor are discussed, while three or four related drinks (in a halfsize) are sipped by all present. The April pick is How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice by Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier. The Club is a great way to explore vintage and modern cocktails. RSVP at Facebook: The Cocktail Ambassador.

sponsored events

St. Louis Fashion Week

March 21 to 23 · various times and locations Join ALIVE magazine for a spring lineup you won’t want to miss. The week will start on March 21 with Spring into Fashion, an event to benefit Friends of Wings at The Saint Louis Galleria, where top stores will show off their spring styles. Steampunked, a children’s fashion show, will follow on March 22 at the MX Exchange Plaza, and the week will conclude on March 23 at the MX Exchange Plaza with GLOW: Go Local, featuring lines and collections from Blush, 10Denza, Devil City, KayOss, Paulie Gibson and Michael Drummond. For details and ticket information, visit

Sauce Celebrity Chef Series: Richard Blais

Sat., March 30 – 10 a.m. to noon · The Market at The Cheshire · Join Sauce Magazine, Left Bank Books and The Cheshire for the latest Sauce Celebrity Chef Series event! Richard Blais, chef-owner of The Spence in Atlanta and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, will demonstrate some of his refined cooking techniques during a question-and-answer session while the crowd nibbles on freshly made treats from The Market. Blais will sign copies of his new cookbook, Try This At Home: Recipes From My Head to Your Plate. Tickets cost $35, include a to-besigned copy of Try This At Home and are available at I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 39

5 Questions for Andy Ayers For almost five years now, Andy Ayers has been the guy behind the guy. His relentless quest to deliver produce from local farmers to area chefs has made his small operation, Eat Here St. Louis, indispensable. These days, the former owner of Riddle’s Penultimate Cafe and Wine Bar can tell stories about rutabagas, kohlrabi and eggplant that are, well, ultimate. — Byron Kerman

Did your mom have to work to get you to eat your vegetables growing up? We had a big garden and that’s where I learned to appreciate homegrown tomatoes. My dad started ‘em in the cellar and babied them along. We grew okra and green peppers, although my mom was of the school that you should cook them until they laid down flat in the pan as a mush. I remember the first time my girlfriend stir-fried a bunch of vegetables in a wok. I couldn’t believe it – they shone with flavor. My big nemesis as a kid was rutabaga. My dad believed that rutabaga was God’s gift to mankind. They could make me eat it, but they could not make me like it. I love it now. How long have you worn the beard? Since I ran away from home and went to Mexico when I was about 17. I’ve trimmed it, but I haven’t cut it off. I had this fantasy of being a desperado and not coming back, but I only feel at home in America. Is there an unusual kind of produce you try to champion? Kohlrabi is really low profile. Most people have never seen one and they don’t know what it is. It looks like Sputnik. It suggests a root vegetable, but it’s not. The stem swells up right above the ground, and that’s the edible part. They’re delicious. You’ve been known to take out-of-state jaunts to source hard-to-find products. I just found a 19th century water-operated grist mill that stone-grinds the grits, and I drove to Midway, Kentucky to meet them and see the place. This is the best quality product available. I like to stay within 150 miles, but sometimes you gotta go where you gotta go, even if it’s 300 miles. Meeting the people is important to me, too. I also just got this amazing vinegar from Cody, Nebraska, where a farm family grows and harvests the fruit, crushes and vinifies the juice into wine, converts the wine into vinegar and barrel-ages, packages and sells the results right on the farm. Wait ‘til you taste them!

To see the rest of our interview with Ayers, head to


Have you ever handled produce that looked like something or someone? Actually, eggplant is frequently anthropomorphic and I once had one that looked just like Richard Nixon. March 2013

Photo by laura miller

eat here st. louis 7036 Bruno Ave., St. Louis, 314.518.6074,

March 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 41


February 2013

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Guide to Healthy Living 2013

Guide to Healthy Living 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 3


Guide to Healthy Living 2013

A Spoonful Of

A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but the sweet stuff has nothing on these good-for-you sips. — Julie Cohen

Local Honey Though there’s no hard evidence that local honey relieves allergy symptoms, honey does boost energy and reduce swelling. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes great, too. Find local honey at area markets and restaurants including Straub’s, Maude’s Market and Golden Grocer.

Apple Cider Vinegar This acid has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and is suspected to aid in carbohydrate digestion and weight loss. Hold your nose and take a gulp.

Cherry Juice This super food has even more antioxidants than pomegranates. Drinking just a spoonful has been proven to decrease muscle soreness. Shots after the gym, anyone?

Coconut Oil This heart-healthy oil helps the body build resistance to viruses and bacteria. It has also been linked to lowering cholesterol. Bonus: You get to smell like sunscreen year-round.

Lemon Juice A tablespoon taken an hour before a meal has been shown to help asthma; it also helps to relieve constipation, heartburn and indigestion. Pucker up – and squeeze it fresh.

Olive Oil Research has linked a tablespoon a day to weight loss because of its appetite-suppressing potential. Sound too slimy? Just add it to your salad.

spoons Photo by carmen troesser

A cup ol’ a local artisan tea ladies Two local tea purveyors are happy to deliver a healthy way to cheer up. Look for ReTrailer at area shops, where you can pick up loose tea blends made with organic, fair-trade ingredients. We’re partial to the Cup of Love and keep a stash of Calm Yo’ Tummy for belt-loosening moments. Traveling Tea offers so many loose tea blends that we could stand at its farmers market booth for hours. Find Traveling Tea this month at the St. Louis Community Farmers Market (March 9) and Maplewood Winter Market (March 30). Guide to Healthy Living 2013

Calling all locavores Missed the deadline to sign up for a subscription to a CSA? Two area grocery stores will let you join any time. Maude’s Market offers monthly and seasonal CSAs, with stashes to feed households large or small, and vegetarian and gluten-free options to boot. Local Harvest Grocery offers a weekly harvest subscription for omnivores or vegetarians, with pickup at its Kirkwood and Tower Grove locations. Sign up at and

continued on page 9 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 5

don’t know how bad they feel until they cut those things out.” As for the grains and dairy question, Nichole explained that, due to modern-day agriculture, those foods are not what they once were. Grains and soybeans are genetically modified. Milk is pasteurized and homogenized. So really, Paleo is about avoiding foods that have been processed beyond our body’s recognition. Which is why the gluten-free bread found at the grocery store isn’t Paleo – it’s made with xanthan gum and rice flour. Which is also why the DiGiuseppis started The Organic Cave in the first place. “I can give up bread,” Nichole said, “but Angel missed sandwiches.” Since Nichole enjoys baking, she decided to make Paleofriendly rolls and sweets. “Through trial and error, I just started substituting foods I knew we could use that wouldn’t affect our bodies in a negative way,” she said.

Decoding the Paleo Diet by kellie hynes | photos by laura miller Right now your favorite Hollywood starlet and your favorite dry cleaner are singing the praises of the Paleo diet, a plan based on what cavemen hunted and gathered. And apparently those fur-gathering folk didn’t grocery shop at Target like the rest of us. Those who follow a Paleo regimen eat lots of meat, fruits and veggies. The list of what they don’t eat is daunting:

gluten, dairy, casein (a milk protein), grains and soy. And that’s where it gets confusing. Didn’t our ancient ancestors eat whole grains? Or drink mammoth milk? We chatted with the co-owners of The Organic Cave Paleo Bakery to better understand the philosophy behind this of-themoment diet. Nichole DiGiuseppi and her wife, Angel, discovered the


Paleo diet when a friend who was a nurse suggested it could help Nichole’s migraines. After 30 days, Nichole was headachefree. Angel’s asthma had improved. Both women felt fewer stomachaches and less bloated. “Our bodies can’t process gluten, grains, soy and dairy,” Nichole said. “When we eat them, our bodies react. Our intestines become inflamed. People

The results were so tasty, friends and family encouraged the women to sell their goods at a local farmers market. Less than a year later, demand is so high that they’ve moved into a commercial baking space. “We started baking for ourselves, and then we found out that other people needed it, too,” Angel explained. “We couldn’t say no.”

paleo picks

Iced Scones

There’s nothing dry about these saltysweet goodies. Coconut oil and almond flours make the scones moist and delicious. $4 for 3.

Chocolate Cake in a Jar

Super-cute and yummy too. Technically it’s big enough to share, but one bite of this rich, pure cocoa and coconut flour cake, and you’ll keep it all to yourself. $8.

Want to try the Paleo diet for yourself? Stop by The Organic Cave Bakery at 3323-1 Domain St., St. Charles, 636.541.7321, Or pick up the bakery’s items at Local Harvest Grocery’s Kirkwood and Tower Grove locations, and through the Feed Your Vitality meal delivery service,

Drew Drops

Quite possibly the best chewy drop cookie you’ll ever have. Liberated from soy and made with dairy-free chocolate chips, these taste better than the real thing. $9 for 6.

Guide to Healthy Living 2013

Guide to Healthy Living 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 7


Guide to Healthy Living 2013

skinny drinking


Just because you’re watching your waistline doesn’t mean you have to give up booze entirely. Get the skinny on why you should choose a fizz over a flip, where you can find a cocktail under 100 calories, and why one of your favorite poolside sippers will get you nowhere near bikini-ready. – Ligaya Figueras


The calories in each of two of the lowest-calorie beers around: Miller Genuine Draft 64 and Beck’s Light


The amount by which the total calorie count in the average Piña Colada exceeds that of a Big Mac

The difference in calories between unsweetened sun tea and a Long Island Iced Tea



The calories in a standard 4.1-ounce pour of Champagne


The amount of carbs, cholesterol and fat in a distilled spirit

Find food allergy freedom New Day Gluten Free, the only dedicated glutenfree eatery in St. Louis, is sensitive to more than those diagnosed with Celiac disease. Every item at the restaurant, located in Ellisville, is also peanut-free and many don’t even have casein, eggs, tree nuts or soy. Carry on and prosper, allergy-burdened eaters. Guide to Healthy Living 2013

The calories in each of the six cocktails on Fleming’s Skinnier Cocktails menu. Try the Stiletto, Farmer’s Skinny Daughter or Tickled Pink.


When your pantry is stocked with health-conscious staples, it’s easy to prepare nutritious meals at home. Enter Golden Grocer. With nearly 300 bulk items and foods that fit dietary restrictions of all shapes and sizes, this should be your first stop on a path toward a healthier lifestyle. – Ligaya Figueras

Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Powder The nutritional benefits touted for raw cacao powder include improving heart function, alleviating stress and reducing your risk of cancer. Throw it into baked goods, sauces, spreads and smoothies.

45 .

The additional grams of fat in a cocktail containing a whole egg as opposed to an egg white

Perhaps the most important number for your heath: the limit of alcoholic drinks per day for men and women, respectively, as recommended by the American Heart Association

12 to

Thunderbird Energetica Energy Bars Not only is this bar soy free, gluten free, dairy free, GMO free, all-natural and with no added sugar, it’s “shaman blessed.” Namaste and nighty-night, Luna Bar.

Raw Cashews Whether you’re cooking, baking or snacking, cashews are best when fresh. Also grab gogi berries and Himalayan Monukka raisins.

MaraNatha Sunflower Seed Butter Try this nut butter made from sunflower seeds, then start an office trend with your SS&J sandwich.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One!” FreshPressed Virgin Coconut oil This organic, fair-trade oil boosts metabolism and is a rich source for quick-energy providing medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs). Drizzle it over curry or atop desserts, use it as a cooking oil or for popping popcorn, even spread it on as a lotion.

Golden Grocer, 335 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.367.0405,

continued on page 11 Fuel for the Wee Ones In need of a healthy lunch spot where little Johnnie won’t be nibbling sugary sweets that are sure to make naptime a nuisance? Head to Foundation Grounds, where the Kids Bites menu offers organic PB&J or a whole-wheat quesadilla and a side of fruit for just $5. There’s no kale or lima beans at this Maplewood coffee house, but while he’s busy munching, you can enjoy your cappuccino in peace.

Farm to Table without the Guilt If you haven’t discovered the Wellness Spa menu at Harvest Restaurant yet, it’s time you fine dined guilt-free. Low-cal salads wear house-made fat-free dressings, while entrees feature lean proteins and peakseason produce, and are often prepared with heart-healthy Kreta Reserve EVOO. Butter or cream? Not a drop. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 9

2 a.m. Shakshuka

Boozy Bonus One skillet and one bowl means you won’t be cursing a sink full of dishes in the morning. Because who are you kidding? Clean up is so not happening tonight.


1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. Sriracha Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 to 6 eggs 4 oz. feta crumbles (optional) Flat leaf parsley for garnish 1 loaf crusty white bread or stack of pita

So you’ve danced the night away, and you’re hungry. Before you ruin a week’s worth of diet and exercise in a pepperoni-pizza binge, feast on shakshuka (shahk-SHOO-kah), a popular eggy Israeli dinner and the world’s most perfect drunk food. It’s fabulously fun to say,

doesn’t require precise measuring and hits the spot when you’re craving some savory sustenance after a long, martini-laden night out. Traditional recipes call for sauteed chiles, but a teaspoon of Sriracha does the job with no extra effort. You can also simplify the entire

dish by substituting jarred pasta sauce for the tomatoes and spices. Sober enough to really cook? Add chiles, diced red peppers, capers, olives or spinach. No matter how you prepare it, shakshuka is so good for you, you’ll have no regrets in the morning. – Kellie Hynes

• Empty the cans of tomatoes and their juices into a medium bowl. Use your hands to squeeze the whole tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside. • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and smoked paprika. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. • Add the tomatoes, Sriracha and a pinch of salt. Stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. • Bring the tomato sauce back to a boil over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs onto the top of the sauce, leaving space between each egg so that they don’t overlap. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the eggs reach your desired level of doneness, remembering that the eggs will continue to cook after the pan is removed from the heat. • Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Serve inside the pan with bread or pita for sopping up all that tomato and egg goodness. Guide to Healthy Living 2013

Photo by Greg Rannells

late-night snack

4 Servings

Composting in a Cinch If you want a happy vegetable garden, you need happy soil. And there’s no better way to improve soil while saving money and helping the environment than by turning kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost. Composting is the controlled process of decomposing organic material into fertilizer that conditions the soil.

jack petrovic photo by laura miller

Making your own “black gold” is easy. First, choose a dry, shady location on which to place your compost bin. Add to the bin a 6-inch layer of “brown” matter such as hay, straw or old leaves. Next, add a 2- to 3-inch layer of “green” organic matter, such as grass clippings, manure, table scraps, coffee grinds and egg shells. (Compost no-nos: meats, oils, fish, dairy products, bones, diseased vegetables or flower plants, herbicidetreated grass clippings or weeds, and dog and cat feces.) Continue building the pile with layers of green and brown organic matter, watering the compost just enough to keep it moist, and turning it weekly with a shovel or pitchfork. If the compost is too wet or dry, it will

spring training

not heat up and will take longer for materials to break down. Covering the bin with a tarp will keep rain out and preserve moisture. Compost is ready to be added to the garden when it’s dark in color and smells earthy. – Ligaya Figueras

Hoping the dead leaves and rotten tomatoes festering in your garden all winter have magically transformed into fertilizer? Possibly. But that oft-forgotten bed of mess will need a little more TLC to yield that garden you’ve been dreaming about all winter long. And you’re just in time; March is the perfect month to get down to business. According to Schlafly Bottleworks’ master gardener and horticulturist Jack Petrovic, techniques for improving your soil range from throwing topsoil and compost on top of last year’s garden to double-digging your plot and sending soil samples to labs for analysis. For the average home gardener, he suggested this user-friendly approach to getting your soil in shipshape for prime planting season. — Julie Cohen

This fully adjustable, highly portable bin can hold more than 1 cubic yard of compost material. Easy to assemble and with aerated sides that accelerate decomposition, it’s a great choice for beginner and master gardeners alike.

$38. Reynolds GeoBin Composting System, Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive St., Central West End, 314.454.6868,

1 In the words of Petrovic, “Don’t be cheap. Be sure to buy quality compost (or make your own – see left). For the cost of a new cell phone, you can have a dump truck-full of quality compost delivered to your door.” * Available at Worm’s Way, 1225 North Warson Road, Olivette, 314.994.3900,

Jump on the Juice Bar Bandwagon The Urban Eats Cafe and Bar Plus juice bar has been making quick work of fresh produce since 2011. At Nadoz Cafe at The Boulevard, a juice extractor was put to work late last year, while the juice bar at Nadoz’s location near SLU is mere weeks old. Among the offerings, Nadoz owner Steven Becker swears by the Cardio; we swear by the Mean Green. New to juicing? Start with the tame Green Apple. Guide to Healthy Living 2013


With the enormous amount of erosion and depletion Missouri soils have suffered, we’re left with what’s referred to as “Missouri clay,” with 4 to 6 inches of topsoil in our gardens, if we’re lucky. Start by using a rake to turn over the first few inches of your topsoil. Cover the topsoil with ½ inch of compost* or composted manure, and rake it in.

2 Sprinkle a Complete Organic Fertilizer (COF)* over the garden. This will add a balance of important minerals to your soil. You can also add the volcanic rock dust AZOMITE* instead of COF, or use a combination of the two.

Top the COF with a light covering of mulch or straw. If you use leaf mulch, be careful not to work it into the top layer or it will severely rob the soil of nitrogen, and growth may slow or stop for months. Just lay it on top.

4 Go through this process every year, preferably in the fall (but March is OK, too). Over the years, organic material will eventually leach into the deeper layers, allowing roots to grow deeper. Stop by Schlafly Bottleworks on the first Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. for Petrovic’s community gatherings and check out Schlafly’s Gardenworks’ Facebook page for news on upcoming gardening classes.

Raise the roof The folks at Urban Harvest STL are working to transform the 8,000-square-foot roof of a warehouse at 1335 Convention Plaza into the city’s first rooftop farm. They hope to launch a CSA in 2014. To help Urban Harvest raise the $25,000 it needs to begin construction, visit or shop this month at Whole Foods’ Brentwood location, which will donate 10 cents to Urban Harvest for every reusable bag you use. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 11


We appreciate romaine for all its roughage, but we’d rather opt for a salad because it’s exquisite, not because it’s a dieter’s requisite. These four lettuce-less salads – a feast for both eyes and appetite – are proof positive that a salad can be more than a mélange of rabbit food. – Ligaya Figueras

Apricot, Coconut and Mint salad |

Leeks and Quail Egg salad | 4 Servings

SALAD 3 cups prepared couscous, warm 6 oz. dried apricots, sliced into thin strips 1 yellow pepper, roasted, skin peeled, cut into thin strips 1 cup freshly chopped mint ½ to 1 cup toasted coconut flakes


4 Servings

DRESSING In a small bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons of lime juice from about 3 limes, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

SALAD 1 lb. leeks, cleaned, trimmed and sliced thinly on a bias 1 bunch watercress, washed, dried and tough stalks removed 20 Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise 8 quail eggs, hard-boiled (or soft-boiled), peeled and halved

DRESSING In a small bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons of olive oil, 1½ tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Guide to Healthy Living 2013

salad Photos by CARMEN TROESSER

Lose the

salad Photos by CARMEN TROESSER

ORANGE AND BEET SALAD | SALAD 4 oranges, skin and white pith removed, cut into thin rings ½ lb. beets (about 2 medium beets), cooked, peeled and diced Half of a small red onion, cut into thin rings

Guide to Healthy Living 2013

4 Servings DRESSING In a small bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons of plain yogurt, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of finely minced jalapeño, 2 teaspoons of orange juice, ½ teaspoon of orange zest, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

WARM MUSHROOM SALAD | 4 Servings In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over low heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and let warm for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, then add 12 ounces of mixed mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, cremini) and saute until browned.

Stir in ¼ cup of freshly chopped parsley. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup of chopped walnuts and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 13

Keeping your balance Part of Jason Tilford’s job is bouncing between the four restaurants he co-owns with his brother, Adam – Barrister’s, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen, Milagro Modern Mexican and the newly opened Mission Taco Joint – and the nine others he consults on with buddy Chris LaRocca. With temptations of onion rings, burritos and margaritas galore, he’d have to be batteryoperated not to get real fat, real fast. Yet he’s one of the slimmest chefs in the business. Sure, he has guilty pleasures – Barrister’s wings and Milagro’s chicken enchiladas to name a few – but Tilford has found a way to keep the extra pounds at bay, even while working the line. We begged him for his tricks for staying balanced in the most gluttonous profession around. He was happy to oblige. — Julie Cohen

Eat well, but eat often I hardly ever sit down with a plate of food. I eat a lot, but mainly small meals, all day. I try not to eat late at night. I try to skip the sweets and fried food. It’s funny; when you get into a routine, you crave eating healthy, almost. You get so used to it that eventually that Alfredo cream sauce doesn’t even look good. Mix it up I play soccer, but it’s tailed down a lot since I turned 40. I also do some weight training and flexibility stuff. I’m trying to get into yoga, but it might be too boring for me. And I coach my son’s soccer team.

Hit the gym early I have to get my kids to school by 7:30 a.m., and the restaurant stuff doesn’t really wake up until 9. If I don’t go in the morning, usually, it’s not going to happen. If work starts calling? [Laughs] I can answer the first couple texts and emails of the day on the treadmill. If you miss the morning window? I go to Club Fitness and there’s one near my house, one between Milagro and Barrister’s, one near my sons’ school. They’re all in my rat race. There’s even one near Restaurant Depot [a purchasing center for restaurants]. facebook: mission taco joint


Guide to Healthy Living 2013

photo by ashley gieseking

Shot on location at Sweat

Guide to Healthy Living 2013 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 15

March 2013  

March 2013 main issue with Guide to Healthy Living insert

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