Storied Sweets A tale of two pastry chefs
t h e n ew nic h e ∙ 7 r e as o ns t o ex p l o r e e d war ds v ill e ∙ r e lishin g r hub ar b s e as o n s t. lo u is’ i n d e pe n d e nt cu l i n a ry au th o r it y May 2013
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E E , may 2 013I 1 saucemagazine.comFI RSAUCE MAGAZINE
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contents M ay 2013
13 A La Carte
Reviews 21 new and notable: Niche by Michael Renner
25 Nightlife: Basso by Matt Berkley
26 Cook’s Books: How to Cook For a Crowd by julie cohen
28 where to explore next: Edwardsville by Ligaya figueras
Home cooking 31 The Ultimate: Margherita Pizza by Ligaya Figueras
34 Vegetize it: Gyros Fine-Tuning the Food Court by Kellie Hynes
36 One ingredient, 3 ways: Rhubarb Pink and Green and Red All Over by Dee Ryan
38 By Popular Demand Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum's Singapore Noodles
Last course 54 Stuff to do by byron Kerman = recipe on this page
features 42 The princess & the punk Two women. Two bakeries. And the bittersweet path that ties them together. by stacy schultz
49 Haute Condiments At Home Once you master the technique for making your own condiments, you’ll never settle for store-bought again BY Kellie Hynes
Canelés from La Patisserie Chouquette p. 42
Photo by Greg Rannells the new niche p. 21 7 reasons to explore edwardsville p. 28 relishing rhubarb season p. 36
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M ay 2 013 • VO LUM E 13, Issue 5 @allysonmace
PUBLISHER MANAGING EDITOR ART DIRECTOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR @ligayafigueras SENIOR STAFF WRITER SPECIAL SECTIONs EDITOR Fact checkers PROOFREADER PRODUCTION DESIGNER ONLINE EDITOR EDIBLE WEEKEND WRITER CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
RELATIONS DIRECTOR OFFICE MANAGER ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER SENIOR ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES ACCOUNT MANAGER INTERN
Allyson Mace Stacy Schultz @stacymschultz Meera Nagarajan @meera618 Julie Cohen @julieannacohen Ligaya Figueras Stacy Schultz Rosa Heyman, Anthony Orso Emily Lowery Michelle Volansky Julie Cohen Byron Kerman Jonathan Gayman, Laura Miller, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser, Michelle Volansky Vidhya Nagarajan Glenn Bardgett, Matt Berkley, Julie Cohen, Ligaya Figueras, Kellie Hynes, Byron Kerman, Jamie Kilgore, Ted Kilgore, Cory King, Meera Nagarajan, Michael Renner, Dee Ryan, Stacy Schultz, Valeria Turturro Erin Keplinger Sharon Arnot Allyson Mace Angie Rosenberg Rachel Gaertner, Jill George, Erin Keplinger, Allyson Mace Jill George Anthony Orso
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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 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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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.
NEW COLUMN | Pizza. Everyone eats it. Everyone loves it. But making it? Well, that’s another story. For the debut of our new column, The Ultimate, we asked a few area pizza masters to share their secrets to re-creating the crowned queen of Neopolitan pies: Margherita pizza. Turn to page 32 to see their invaluable suggestions on toppings, tools, even the trick for achieving that beautifully charred crust without a fancy, wood-burning oven. Then, head to SauceMagazine. com/blog, where you’ll find the recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough from baker and pizza expert Ted Wilson (pictured). Happy baking!
facebook.com/saucemagazine | twitter.com/saucemag | pinterest.com/saucemagazine | instagram.com/saucemag
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Photo by greg rannells
This month, we’re ecstatic to be teaming up with Left Bank Books to bring you an afternoon with food activist Michael Pollan for the latest installment of our Sauce Celebrity Chef Series. Tickets and more information are available at saucemagazine.com/sponsored.php. Can’t make it to the event, or simply want to hear more from the award-winning author? Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU’s Cityscape on Thursday, May 10 at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., as we chat with Pollan about his new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, and being an advocate for change in the world of food policy.
FIND US ON INSTAGRAM | Every day on Instagram, we’re showing you what we’re eating, drinking and cooking off the clock. You’ll find us documenting our test kitchen trials, snapping pics of our favorite chefs and bartenders, even revealing the cookbooks currently on our nightstands. If you aren’t familiar with Instagram, think of it as Facebook’s hipster little sister. We can’t promise it’s always pretty, but, damn, is it tasty. Find us @SAUCEmag.
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Think salads are the consolation prize for vegetarians and waistline watchers? Then you haven’t had the CHEF SALAD at BBC ASIAN BAR AND CAFE. This sweet and spicy starter is salad in its greatest form: Tender marinated squid, warm mushrooms, juicy cucumbers, crisp kaiware sprouts and spicy mayonnaise all come together to deliver bold Asian flavors and an eclectic Photo by Greg Rannells
fusion of textures. So grab your chopsticks and dig in. This should prove once and for all that great salads really do exist. BBC Asian Bar and Cafe • 243 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis • 314.361.7770
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MAKE THIS lemon curd
The mere mention of the words lemon curd sets our taste buds a-tickle. Anyone can whip up a pint (plus a bit to spare) of this tart pantry perk, but it takes some serious willpower not to grab a spoon and eat the entire silky spread straight from the pan. To make this one-pot wonder, whisk together 3 large eggs in a large saucepan. Add 1¼ cups granulated sugar, ¾ cup room-temperature butter, and the zest and juice of 3 lemons (about ²∕³ cup juice). Stir well. Cook on medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring periodically. Reduce heat to low and let cook 2 minutes longer, stirring gently. Turn off the heat and let curd sit for 1 to 2 hours to thicken. Pour into clean jars, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Spread it on toast, scones, biscuits, pancakes, crepes or French toast, stir it into plain yogurt, or use it to spike your morning parfait. – Ligaya Figueras
active time: 10 minutes
photo by greg rannells
Scones from La Patisserie Chouquette. For more on this new bakery, turn to page 42.
La Patisserie Chouquette 1626 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.7935, facebook.com/chouquettestl
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A Seat at the Bar
photo courtesy of urbanchestnut.com; illustrations by vidhya nagarajan
Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake
ted and jamie kilgore
May is the month of the Kentucky Derby, which always makes us thirsty for mint juleps. This boozy beauty is concocted quite simply of bourbon, mint and sugar and is traditionally served in a silver julep cup. Feel free to settle for a glass, and let your inner cocktail geek experiment by using other quality spirits in place of bourbon (Think aged rum, brandy, etc.). Grab 6 to 8 hearty mint sprigs, and muddle them lightly in your drinking vessel with ½ oz. simple syrup. Add 2 oz. of bourbon (or other if you dare!) and top with crushed ice. Stir till your glass starts to frost, then top with more ice and a generous amount of mint sprigs to garnish, so you’ll get a nice big nose-ful while enjoying your julep. — Ted and Jamie Kilgore, USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart and co-owners/ bartenders at Planter’s House (opening soon)
It was a Wednesday afternoon at my desk with two classic French whites: Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fumé 2011 (a famed Loire Valley sauvignon blanc) and Christian Moreau Chablis 2011 (an equally esteemed chardonnay from Burgundy). Chef Lou Rook had the great idea to send some beautiful oysters from Prince Edward Island to challenge these two wines. Pouilly-Fumé was stunning with the simple oyster, and the Chablis was dead-on amazing when the oyster was dipped in mignonette. The bivalve’s aroma combined perfectly with the fragrance of both wines. There is a reason why classic pairings become classic. It was certainly a great day at the office. — Glenn Bardgett, member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn’s
No one can say that craft beer drinkers don’t love hops. This love has not only helped evolve some styles, it has also helped create several new ones. The classic IPA started as an English Ale that was highly hopped to help preserve it during long shipments. This mindset, however, goes against everything we know today, as hoppy beers are best when consumed fresh. Though we now have white, black, red, brown, double, session, American, Belgian and English IPA’s, several characteristics are common throughout these different expressions: bold, hoppy aromatics; a balanced to forward bitterness; and a dryness that accentuates the hops. Try Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Firestone Walker Wookey Jack for different, yet fantastic takes on the delicious IPA. – Cory King, Certified Cicerone, head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales and founder of Side Project Brewing
The guys at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., know all about the joys of soaking up the sun with frosty brew in hand. After all, that’s why they opened an authentic German Biergarten right outside the Midtown brewery in the first place. When you’re at home cracking open a craft beer with friends this season, take a leaf out of assistant brewer James Rogalsky’s book and make this the soundtrack to your springtime day-drinking. – Meera Nagarajan
1. Greedy Gal Derrick Morgan
6. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere Neil Young
2. Crackin’ Up Bo Diddley
7. Beechwood Park The Zombies
3. Let Me Go Home, Whiskey Snooks Eaglin
8. The Woodman Lee “Scratch” Perry
4. Pin in Your Cushion Bo Carter
9. De Kalb Blues Leadbelly
5. Ten to Twelve The Upsetters
10. Say Me Say Justin Hinds & the Dominoes
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10 things to know about
Green bean delivery
You’re more likely to roast a free-range chicken and a stalk of organic Brussels sprouts for dinner if you don’t have to fight through the crowded aisles at the grocery store to get them. In early February, Green BEAN Delivery did your to-do list a favor, delivering fresh produce and perishables to St. Louisans’ doorsteps each week. Sound familiar? Think again. Here, 10 ways Green BEAN Delivery is making healthy eating more convenient, affordable and accessible. – Valeria Turturro
What you see is what you get. There is no sign-up fee or long-term commitment, just a $35 minimum for each order. Leaving town for a few weeks and want deliveries paused? No problem. You can plan up to 12 weeks ahead of time through an online calendar. Check off the dates you want delivery to be suspended, and no food – or money – will be wasted.
You can give as you gather. The first stop Green BEAN Delivery made in St. Louis was to the St. Louis Area Food Bank, where it dropped off one ton of fresh produce. Customers can donate to the food bank every week by leaving canned goods in their empty bins. As part of its Constant Canned Food Drive, Green BEAN will deliver and match any donations with leftover commodities from the week.
You can meet your farmers. Want to know more about the hardworking men and women whose goodies arrive at your door each week? Just head to greenbeandelivery.com/missouri/ to read all about them – and to snag some healthy recipes.
Green BEAN Delivery
Bins are highly customizable. When the online store opens at 3 p.m. on Thursdays, you can view the produce bin that’s been created for you. Want to swap out beets and kale for apples and oranges? Go right ahead. You can choose from a selection of 30 to 50 substitutes.
It’s not just for herbivores. In addition to bringing customers 40 to 60 produce options each week, Green BEAN works with local artisans to offer more than 1,000 grocery items like pork, beef, chicken, bread, coffee and milk. You don’t even need to turn on the ignition. Green BEAN makes more then 400 deliveries each week to more than 700 active customers as far west as Pacific and as far east as
Edwardsville. Talk about doorto-door service. You’re supporting several local producers. While a traditional CSA is based around one farm, Green BEAN builds networks with as many local artisans and farmers as possible. So in one bin, you could have goodies from Big Bison Meat Co., Boeckmann Family Farms, Good Earth Egg Co., Buttonwood Farm, Geisert Farm, Heartland Creamery, Dogtown Frozen Pizzas, Companion Bread and Mississippi Mud Coffee.
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Products are all natural and preservative free. Each item’s label tells you where (local, Midwest region, U.S., tropical, Canada or Mexico) and how it was grown (certified organic, sustainably or conventionally). If you’re lucky, you might come across a red, white and blue potato, like the American Pride potato one farmer produced last year around the Fourth of July.
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5 New Restaurants to Try This Month
ALUMNI SAINT LOUIS 200 N. 13th St., St. Louis, 314.241.5888, facebook.com/alumnistl
BOMBAY FOOD JUNKIES 573.578.6583, twitter. com/bombayfoodtruck, facebook.com/ bombayfoodjunkies
CENTRAL TABLE FOOD HALL 23 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.5595, centraltablestl.com
Part cafeteria, part wine bar, part fine-dining restaurant, it’s hard to define this much-anticipated behemoth of a space, but it’s easy to find a reason to stop in. Those who work nearby will find burgers, pizzas, sushi and graband-go sandwiches ready in time for a quick lunch break, while dinner patrons will be seated for plated service starting at 5 p.m. That’s when chef Nick Martinkovic’s creative, locally sourced menu shines with wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, globally influenced small plates, an oyster-andclam raw bar, and freshly rolled sushi from Chop Shop’s own Eliott Harris. With wines by the bottle or the glass, a handful of local brews on draft, and a sake list to boot, there’s something to whet any appetite.
A new truck rolls into town this month that pays homage to the vegetarian street fare of Bombay. Start with the vada pav, a potato burger served with a bright green cilantro-jalapeno chutney, and the pav bhaji, a fiery mixture of vegetables cooked in a slew of spices, sopped up with a buttery Indian bun. Finish things off with a cup of kulfi ice cream, which tastes of sweet cardamom.
Blueberry gooey butter cake
Chef Eric Brenner (formerly of Moxy) helms the kitchen at this new spot, where STL classics are infused with from-scratch preparations and locally sourced ingredients. T-ravs are rolled out in the kitchen and filled with a blend of salsiccia, veal, beef and cheese. The slinger is topped with farm-fresh eggs. And the gooey butter cake looks more like a blueberry cheesecake. But one bite reveals Alumni’s mission: “To celebrate the people, places and food that make Saint Louis great.”
PICCIONE PASTRY 6197 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.932.1355, piccionepastry.com photos by michelle volansky
Next time you’re in The Loop, stop by this new corner bakery for a sugar rush that will make you feel as though you’ve been strolling the cobblestone streets of Italy. Dunk bombolini into a trio of dipping sauces (rich chocolate or fruit-forward raspberry and lemon curds), nibble one of nine varieties of cream-filled cannoli or eat the Italian flag with a slice of chocolate-dipped marzipan Italian Tricolor cake. May 2013
THE WHEELHOUSE 15 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314.726.7955, wheelhousestl.com Nearly three-dozen TVs and loads of Red Bull will make college grads flock to this Clayton sports bar, but the fromscratch menu, helmed by Nick Del Gaiso (former sous chef at Scape), will crush any bar food clichés. Almost everything is made in-house, from the smoked jalapenos in the sweet-andsmoky chutney topping the Wheelhouse Burger (ground in the back) to the preserved lemons and freshly whipped mayo comprising the aioli, which accompanies the smelt chips. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 19
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new and notable: niche p. 21 nightlife: basso p. 25 cook’s books: cookbooks for entertaining p. 26 where to explore next: edwardsville p. 28
New and Notable: Niche by Michael Renner • Photos by Carmen Troesser
id Gerard Craft break your heart when he moved Niche from the city’s quaint yet quirky Benton Park to the county’s corporate yet classy Clayton? Did you sigh with resignation when you learned the new Niche dropped a la carte entrees in favor of its fourcourse prix fixe and nine-course tasting menus? Craft offers no apologies. As the owner of four top St. Louis restaurants, he doesn’t have to. If you think this makes Craft sound arrogant, just sit at one of the four chef ’s table seats. Order the tasting menu (the only option available at the counter) and watch the 33-year-old, shaved-head, tattooed über-chef calmly move about the kitchen, quality-check over the shoulder of a cook, arrange food on a plate with painstaking precision. Watch him present the dish like the shy, humble, unassuming man he is. Listen as he describes, without a hint of pretention, what you are about to eat. Those airy, raw garlic Niche “marshmallows” topping the spring garlic 7734 Forsyth soup seem downright normal when Craft Blvd., Clayton, explains the process. Same with a shot glass 314.773.7755, of nettle tea laced with rendered chicken fat nichestlouis.com at the start of the meal, a little something from the kitchen to, according to my server, “get you in the mood,” that sounds absurd until you sip the slick, warming potion. It’s an approach – no, an attitude – that permeates the kitchen: Seemingly incongruent ingredients and flavors coaxed into a harmony meant to surprise and excite.
Braised Carrot: barigoule, quinoa, dill, chive, yeast May 2013
For me, it started at the front bar with a Beets Knees cocktail, an outrageous take on the classic prohibition-era Bee’s Knees. Sip after sip, complex layers emerged: The earthy hit of gin (Missouri’s Pinckney Bend) infused with golden beets, giving way to the ringing tartness of fresh lemon juice tamed by the sweet, floral notes of lavender-infused honey. Another new drink, the In Fashion, turns the Old Fashioned on its head with cherry-anddate-infused bourbon and rosemary bitters. A tin of what looks to be caviar, and is labeled as such, accompanies the drink; the trompe l’oeil effect created by spherified beads of rosemary oil, cherries and dates that are made to resemble roe. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 21
review new and notable: niche
from his sleeve pocket and meticulously arrange Brussels sprout leaves in a bowl, nestling them into soft, fresh ricotta and caraway crumbles so they become little bowls for the steaming smoked trout broth. A spoonful of everything gives the full effect all in one bite: bitter, smoky, salty, sweet flavors and creamy, crunchy textures. This is why we dine out. That spring garlic soup – the one with those inexplicable garlic marshmallows magically floating to the top when hot liquid hits the bowl – was no mere soup. It was an elixir, made even more intoxicating by the addition of fragrant, citrusy-spicy bergamot leaves, preserved lemon purée, and bits of dried beets and carrots.
Far right: chef-owner Gerard Craft
Once seated at the kitchen counter, more surprises. Pop-in-your-mouth coxinha, a flash-fried savory croquette filled with cream cheese and dried chicken skin, was gone in one crunchy bite. An eggshell filled with lemon-maple custard and shiitake mushrooms came topped with bonito caviar (the real stuff this time), for a flavor combination that had me scraping the shell
with my little spoon. Dia’s cheese bread, a course of buttery, doughy cheese biscuits, made more addictive by the accompanying creamy-white whipped lardo, included thin slices of aged country ham and a smattering of pickled vegetables. The fun of eating at the counter is watching and chatting with the cooks. Like observing chef de cuisine Nate Hereford pull tweezers
Meat courses included braised pork belly served alongside puffed crispy skin perked up with a rub of Japanese chile pepper, and filet beef prepared sous vide and finished on the plancha. See-through slivers of radish, a radish purée, fava beans and a melon-ball scoop of chervil ice cream (another unexpected taste sensation) tamed the richness of the belly, while kohlrabi prepared three-ways, micro mustard greens, and crunchy wheat berries provided the needed pop and texture to the filet. Somewhere along the way, I was presented with a bowl of lemons and celery. Somewhere in that bowl was an intermezzo in the form of an adult freezer pop: a refreshingly tart, savory blend of dill, lemon, celery and Hendrick’s gin. Pacing nine courses can feel either like a horse race or a cricket match. My courses were paced so well that I actually wanted dessert. Pastry chef Alex Feldmeier got whimsical by
granulating bay leaf ice cream and sprinkling it over lemon-fennel custard. A trifle was trumped up with coriander, dandelion root, orange and Missouri black walnuts. In the main dining room, both the chef ’s tasting and the four-course prix fixe menus are available. Vegetarian options and wine pairings are available with each. I typically avoid wine pairings with large tastings mostly due to palate fatigue, but the four-course menu was a good way to explore a few interesting wines as well as what all the fuss is about regarding Craft and his Niche, all without making the monetary commitment to the chef’s tasting and wine pairing, which, together, will run you $130 per person. Val de Mer, a French Chablis – unoaked, steely, mineral-ly, buzzing with acidity – was the proper foil for pieces of Meyer lemons in a beef-fat caper vinaigrette sauce dotting the plate of bite-size cubes of crimson tuna crudo along with triangles of olive oil-poached tuna. I’m easily bored with most Spanish reds, but my interest was piqued when a mencía, unfamiliar to me, was poured with the game hen course. Somewhere between cabernet Franc and Garnacha, its spice and floral characteristics accented both the griddled hen and the earthy chicken liver mousse. Where both the chef ’s tasting and prix fixe four-course menus were comfortably filling, the vegetable option, at least the prix fixe version, was best suited for those practicing hara hachi bu, or roughly, “belly 80-percent full.” None of the courses during any of my meals at Niche seemed self-indulgent or intended to flaunt technique over substance. While every dish arrived exquisitely plated, it never felt like there was too much eager ambition on display. As at the old Niche, staff is highly skilled, if not precocious. As for that broken heart, the new Niche is your only anodyne.
AT A GLANCE : niche Where Niche, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, nichestlouis.com
Don’t Miss Dish Menus change regularly. The chef’s tasting menu has no options; options are limited with the four-course prix fixe. Just eat. Veg menus are available for both.
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Vibe Everyone, from the haut monde to the hoi polloi, is drawn to Niche. The new space is sleek and modern.
Entree Prices Prix fixe menu: $55; $90 with wine. Chef’s tasting menu: $85, vegetable tasting $80; $130 and $125, respectively, with wine.
When Tue. to Thu. – 5 to 9 p.m. Fri. and Sat. – 5 to 10 p.m. May 2013
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review nightlife: Basso
Nightlife: Basso by Matt berkley • Photos by Jonathan Gayman
Hounds Tavern next door, Basso embraces the Old World style with a modern twist (and does so without being obvious or cheesy).
ood-fired pizzas and bowls of steaming housemade pasta reinforce pseudo Italian-style cocktails at Basso, the boisterous and continuously packed gastropub burrowed below The Restaurant at The Cheshire. An upscale, casual spot where the flames of wall-mounted gas lamps crackle and illuminate an Old World charm, Basso is best enjoyed as a late-evening drinking and dining spot. Full disclosure: Things did not start out well for me and Basso. It’s easy to hold a grudge against a joint where first impressions include a hostess who can’t find your reservations and then proceeds to shuffle your party around a waiting area for over an hour and a half between various frazzled (and genuinely apologetic) wait staff; and then, after finally being seated, receiving what could best be called an average meal (hardly anything worth a wait). This is a bitter pill to swallow, but in hindsight, it was one I ordered by booking a table at a freshly minted restaurant yet to be properly broken in. Sufficient time having passed, I decided to descend the winding May 2013
Basso’s attempts behind the bar to put modern spins on classic drinks are not nearly as successful as the ambiance. Two of the worst offenses are the New Fashioned and the Sicilian Sling, neither of which is wellserved by Basso’s overly sweetened reinvention unless, of course, chilled apple cider with a hint of bourbon is your ideal beverage of choice to wind down with. There’s a reason Italy is not famous for its cocktail innovation: It has none. Thankfully, Basso’s enormous bar is otherwise extremely well-stocked and wellmaintained by a staff that works on its toes. Off-theBasso, 7036 menu cocktails are prepped Clayton Ave., quickly and with the proper Richmond Heights, care. (I immediately washed 314.932.7820, the disappointing New basso-stl.com Fashioned down with a superb Old Fashioned.) I was also impressed with the draft selection, which includes massive Pilsner glasses frothing over with cold Peroni, random Italian beer selections such as Il Chiostro Singel Absinthea and Chocarrubica, and a staircase and give Basso another chance. I’m hefty list of other European and local craft happy I did. The first thing I learned: Don’t beers on draft – about 32 in total. The wine bother with a reservation; don’t even bother list is more than adequate, though I wasn’t going during dinner hours. Wait until after 9 overly impressed with the by-the-glass p.m. This is your best bet for great service and selections, which hover at a little too pricy on an outstanding late-evening meal. the taste-to-value ratio. From 7 p.m. till close on weekend nights, That said, I was happy with an $8 glass of Basso hosts a subterranean melee. Patrons – full-bodied Masi Modello Rosso, which well-heeled young professional types in small paired well with a starter of Lobster groups – are mostly shoulder-to-shoulder at Arancini – presented hot and flavorful Basso’s rectangular main bar, where they vie on thick dollops of rich tarragon aioli. for space, check each other out, toss their Pizzas are enjoyable (though a bit soggy in hair, flirt across the room, feed their texting the middle), but the real attraction when obsessions and occasionally motion for the it comes to substantial fare is the pasta, attention of a bartender. Basso very well deliciously simple comfort plates made inmight have a sound system, but the din of house and served in half and whole portions. conversation during the weekend cancels A standout is the Mafalda, a bowl of wide out all other noise. Certainly, Basso is not noodles tossed in a savory ragù of beef and lacking in style. The atmosphere is that of a pork – a dish so good, it made me cringe to dark, rustic wine cellar. The space is touched think of anyone even considering a sprinkle off by the glow of a blazing fireplace and a of Parmesan. As I finished the last bite well handful of lamps that reveal sleek, wooden, after 10 o’clock, I was still surrounded by a high-top tables between the enormous zincsolid drinking crowd eager to press on. The topped bar and leather booths that encircle noise in this place, still heavy, isn’t likely to the underground space. Much like The go down anytime soon. Restaurant bar upstairs and the Fox and
order it: Basso
A meal here isn’t complete without a big bowl of housemade pasta. You can’t go wrong with the Mafalda, a wide noodle tossed in a spoton ragù of beef and pork.
Avoid the cocktail list and head straight for the taps, which feature almost threedozen beers brewed as far away as Italy and as nearby as Maplewood.
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review Cook’s books: books for entertaining
Bottega: Bold Italian Flavors From the Heart of California’s Wine Country by Michael Chiarello
How to Cook For a Crowd The warm winds of spring beckon for cocktails on the porch, al fresco dining and plenty of chatter by the grill. But before you start compiling your patio party guest list, check out these cookbooks for everything you need to know about the art of entertaining. Join us every Tuesday at SauceMagazine.com/ blog as we cook and reveal recipes from these books. Then, enter to win a copy to add to your own collection.
Cindy’s Supper Club: Meals from Around the World to Share with Family and Friends by Cindy Pawlcyn This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life by Eli and Max Sussman
illustration by vidhya nagarajan; cindy's supper club photo by michelle volansky
Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes by Nigella Lawson
Expert pick: The Blackberry Farm Cookbooks, by Sam Beall Since a pop-up is essentially a restaurant with an expiration date, the concept conjures a carpe diem attitude – the same mind-set of a great party. So we asked the mastermind behind Entre Underground dinners and pop-up restaurants, John Perkins, for the cookbook he used as inspiration for his recent, southern-themed pop-up, A Good Man is Hard to Find. “Imagine Napa Valley in Tennessee and you have Blackberry Farm. The food is familiar, southern food, but definitely refined. And the books themselves are beautiful enough to be coffee-table books … for those with a coffee table large enough. They’re big books!” Entre, 360 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314.632.6754, entrestl.com/presents
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review tour: edwardsville
where to explore next Edwardsville
With its tightly packed historic buildings and Wildey Theater marquee in the backdrop, Main Street in Edwardsville, Ill., feels like a scene from Back to the Future. While the Edwardsville of 2013 still holds as much small-town 1950s charm as fictional Hill Valley, Calif., its food scene has kept pace with the times. The Land of Goshen Community Market, Fiona’s, 222 Artisan Bakery and Sacred Grounds Cafe are oldies but goodies, while Cleveland-Heath and Craft Chophouse offer the latest in farm-to-table and steakhouse fare. And since Edwardsville is just a half-hour drive from downtown St. Louis, you don’t even need a DeLorean to get there. – Ligaya Figueras
Northside Dairy Haven It’s like Ted Drewes with a grill on a gravel parking lot. We’re not ashamed to admit that we love lowbrow – and a good car cruise – especially when that means a concrete in one hand, a Dreamsiclelike vanilla orange twist cone (Northside makes its own sherbet.) in the other and a Charco cheeseburger waiting on the dashboard. What’s up with toasting just the bottom bun of this burger? “It’s just better that way,” responded an employee. It sure is.
Photo by jonathan gayman
Northside Dairy Haven, 1902 N. Main St., 618.656.9233
Vanilla orange twist cone
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BIN 51 WINE & SPIRITS Bin 51 is a wine, liquor and beer shop – and the solution when you can’t snag a reservation at Cleveland-Heath. Try this: Select your bottle of wine, then ask the Bin guys for the Cleveland-Heath menu and call in your order. Kick back at the community table or in one of the leather chairs, and start sipping as you await food from the hippest restaurant to arrive at the door. We raise a glass to partnerships like these.
Bin 51 Wine & Spirits, 200 S. Buchanan St., 618.307.5909, bin51wines.com
PEEL WOOD FIRED PIZZA
Maple-bourbon pork pizza
Since opening in late 2009, the Peel team has been using its wood-burning oven to turn out pies both traditional and eclectic. The buffalo chicken pizza is a crowd-pleaser, but if you yearn for sweet on savory, pig out on the new maple-bourbon-pork pizza, topped with house-cured bacon. But first, attack the black-truffle risotto cakes with reckless abandon, then wash it all down with one of the two-dozen craft beers on tap.
Bin 51 Wine & Spirits
photos by jonathan gayman
Taj Indian Cuisine, 138 N. Main St., 618.655.0586, tic.com
lentil-and-rice pilaf, with a savory mix of sauteed mushrooms, truffle peelings and duck pâté tucked beneath the crispy skin. You can enjoy it with a cold brew or continue your love affair with the bourbon-heavy, smoked-ice-filled High Rise cocktail, birthed at the grill’s STL-based sister restaurant, Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood.
Mike Shannon’s Grill, 871 S. Arbor Vitae, Suite 101, 618.655.9911, mikeshannonsgrill.com
SGT. PEPPER’S CAFE
TAJ INDIAN CUISINE (vegetable fritters) in cilantro chutney and tamarind sauce for some fresh-on-syrupy sweet flavor. Dinner? Buffet’s gone. Go for the goat biriyani.
Peel’s new neighbor is a feast for both eyes and appetite. It’s always “game on” at this upscale sports-themed grill and lounge – whether you’re ogling the collection of the former Redbird’s personal memorabilia or watching America’s favorite pastime on one of the monster TVs. Any burger is a winner, but you’ll be thinking about the gyro burger long after you lick the feta cheese-yogurt dressing off your fingers. The homerun entree from chef Ginger Humphrey’s menu of progressive American cuisine: a roast chicken, nesting on a tasty
From left, High Rise cocktail, roast chicken
This Beatles shrine isn’t open late night – but it should be. Why? Well, Sgt. Pepper’s cheap eats are the drunk man’s best friend and because greasy breakfast fare is available all day at this cafe. If the house-specialty horseshoe – Texas toast topped with your protein of choice (Go for the buffalo chicken.), fries and an oozy, cheese sauce – is too big of a beast for you, species down with the ponyshoe. Pair it with a mint Oreo shake and you’ll be in a state of such bliss, you might break out into a rendition of Hey, Jude. Let it be.
Peel Wood Fired Pizza, 921 S. Arbor Vitae, 618.659.8561, peelpizza.com
Lunch? Buffet, baby. Saag paneer, chicken curry, chicken tikka masala … all your Indian favorites are here and they’re all good. Don’t miss the kadhi pakora, vegetables swimming in a thick, chickpea flour-based gravy made tangy with sour yogurt. Then try dipping the fried pakora
MIKE SHANNON’S GRILL
Buffalo chicken horseshoe
GLOBAL BREW TAP HOUSE & LOUNGE
Sgt. Pepper’s Cafe, 218 N. Main St., 618.692.1345, sgtpepperscafe.net
The 50 beer taps at Global are not only global, they’re constantly changing. When we want one of everything, the answer is a flight of five 5-ounce pours – pick from hop ‘n’ berries, IPAs, stouts, local suds or seasonal brews. The wife calling? Pull yourself away from the friends you just made at the bar and get your butt home, but not before you build a to-go pack. Choose six 12-ounce bottles or three large-format ones. If deciding between the approximately 200 bottled brews delays you, just show your better half the 25-percent discount on your receipt and you’re off the hook. Global Brew Tap House & Lounge, 112 S. Buchanan St. Suite 1, 618.307.5858, globalbrewtaps.com saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 29
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the ultimate: margherita pizza p. 31 vegetize it: gyros p. 34 one ingredient, 3 ways: rhubarb p. 36 by popular demand: singapore noodles p. 38
Margherita pizza from The Good Pie, 3137 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.289.9391, thegoodpie.com
the ultimate margherita pizza
photo by greg rannells
Crust. Tomatoes. Mozzarella. Basil. The queen of Neopolitan pizza is understated in her simplicity, yet efforts to achieve this crowning beauty have caused countless headaches in the kitchen. Finally, area experts reveal their essential tricks to making the ultimate Margherita pizza at home.
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home cooking Go to saucemagazine.com to find Wilson’s recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough.
the ultimate: margherita pizza
THE TOOLS You don’t have to have a wood-fired oven to get the thin, crispy crust and great chew of a Neopolitan pizza (See the heat trick at right.). But a tricked-out pizza peel and stone will elevate your pie to new heights.
G.I. Metal Perforated Aluminum Pizza Peel Aluminum peels are durable, flexible and don’t dry out like wood ones. The perforation lets you shake off excess flour before sliding the pizza onto the stone to avoid burning, and the rectangular shape gives you more surface area, making it easier to lift, slide and adjust the pizza. $96. (model A-45RF/50) gimetalusa.com
Emile Henry Ceramic Baking Stone This rectangular, heat-tempered, scratchproof, chip-proof, coated stone won’t crack in your oven and has more surface area than round versions, a crucial factor in achieving that crisp crust. $40 to 60. Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, 314.862.2665, kitchenconservatory.com
“The minute you cut through the center of that pizza, it will release steam, which gets under the crust and it will get soggy in the middle. When you eat it with a fork and knife, you’re eating it from the outside-in, so it doesn’t release steam in the center.” – Vito Racanelli, chef-owner, Mad Tomato
We queried quite a few chefs about the brands they’ll bet the house on. Bonus: These high-quality products are all made in the USA. ladles is all you need; you should be able to see the dough through the sauce. No. 10 Can, 6 lbs. 7 oz.: $4.89. DiGregorio’s Market, 5200 Daggett Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.1062, digregoriofoods.com Stanislas Alta Cucina “Naturale” Style Plum Tomatoes
Hodgson Mills Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour You don’t have to spend extra dough to make great dough. Unbleached, allpurpose flour is fine. This near-local company offers a high-quality product that’s available at most supermarkets.
“We tried every single Italian one,” said Gerard Craft, owner of Pastaria, who settled on this domestically grown tomato because it offers “a nice bite of acidity” and “the right consistency, just crushed on its own.” For a fresh sauce, simply crush the whole, peeled tomatoes in your hand and season with salt. A couple
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Calabro Fior di Latte Cheese Buffalo mozzarella? Not so fast. Cow’s milk can produce a cheese with fabulous flavor. This fior di latte has a lovely creaminess, mild saltiness and melts beautifully
into the sauce. Cut it into slightly larger chunks (4 ounces cut into 6 slices for a 12-inch pizza); the cheese will take longer to melt, so it won’t burn by the time the crust is done. ½ lb.:$6. Pastaria, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com
Fresh basil Some chefs add the leaves before popping the pizza in the oven, others wait until after. Place the outer, shiny side of the leaves up. If you add prior to baking, when drizzling olive oil over the pizza, drizzle some on the leaves to keep them from burning and discoloring.
Creating a great pizza at home is all about technique. Let Ted Wilson, who trained under pizza god Jim Lahey, take you through it.
GETTING INTO SHIPSHAPE Cover the dough with just enough flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the lightly floured work surface. Use the pads of your fingertips to gently push on the center of the dough until you feel the work surface but don’t break through the dough. Flatten and stretch the dough by pushing from the center of the dough and moving outwards until you get within 1 inch of the rim of the circle that’s taking shape. Give dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue until a round disk forms. While stretching and shaping, place a hand under the dough to ensure it isn’t sticking. If so, toss a little flour onto the work surface. Gently guide dough outward from its underside as it rests on your fingers to stretch it further. TOP IT OFF Ready the toppings before shaping the dough. Once the dough is shaped, quickly add the toppings in this order: sauce, cheese, basil (optional), drizzle of 1¼ to 1½ tablespoon of olive oil and a 4-fingered pinch of kosher salt. Leave the outer rim of the pizza untouched. RAISE THE HEAT To get your home oven to reach restaurant-high temps, toggle between the bake and broil functions. Place the stone in the oven on a rack set in the topmost position with enough room for the pizza. Preheat the oven to its highest baking temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Just before shaping the dough, switch to broil. Shape the dough, add the toppings, then use the peel to slide the pizza onto the hot stone. Switch the oven back to its highest bake temperature for 2 to 3 minutes, then back to broil. The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbling, the crust is charred but not burnt, and the underside is golden, about 3 more minutes (5 to 6 minutes total). May 2013
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home cooking Vegetize it: gyros
Fine-Tuning the Food Court BY Kellie Hynesâ€˘ Photos by Carmen Troesser
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ou’re a fabulous foodie. But every now and then, you crave an offering from the food court – something you can hold in both hands and tear into without shame, or napkins. The mall gyro, with its salty feta, tangy tzatziki and pillowy pita, calls to me. I decided to create a vegetarian version at home, away from the scary mall meat. Traditional gyros are made with piles of spicy lamb. Would piles of sauteed mushrooms satisfy? Nope. Shiitake mushrooms were too rubbery. Portobellos have a better texture but a ho-hum flavor. Perhaps using the same spices that season gyro meat would help. Problem solved. Marinating the portobellos in olive oil plus cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper gave my mushrooms an intriguing, snarf-worthy flavor. I then wondered if my favorite meze, saganaki (aka fried cheese), could be just as tasty. Kasseri is a Greek sheep’s milk cheese that browns and melts beautifully, so I figured I’d start there. The steps for frying cheese are pretty basic: Heat oil. Coat cheese in flour and beaten egg. Sear cheese in oil. On my first try, the hot olive oil smoked up the kitchen and triggered the smoke alarm. More tragically, the eggs didn’t coat the cheese evenly. And the uncoated bits of cheese dissolved into lumpy, flour-packed puddles. I’d been using olive oil, but canola oil has a higher smoke point, which significantly reduces your chances of a visit from the fire department. That was an easy fix, but what could I do about the uneven coating? Since I had watched streaks of egg white literally slide off the frying cheese, the fault laid in my slap-dash egg beating. For the second trial, I beat the eggs with a hand mixer, so the yolks and whites were fully blended. And instead of
flour, I took a cue from Mai Lee chef Qui Tran, who dredges his tofu in cornstarch. Finally, I had foolproof fried cheese perfection. But I still used the stove-top exhaust. The last head-scratcher was the tzatziki. Most recipes require deseeding cucumbers and draining the sour cream/yogurt over cheesecloth. Who has time for that? Instead, I sliced a seedless cucumber and gave the slices a cursory pat with paper towels. As for the sour cream and yogurt, I just drained the liquid from the containers. The resulting tzatziki was slightly more watery than restaurant tzatziki but totally passable. To satisfy a texture purist, thicken it with whipped feta. Yes, feta tzatziki on top of fried Kasseri is too much of a good thing. But isn’t that what the food court is all about?
Veggie Gyros 4 Servings 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 oz. plus ¼ cup feta crumbles, divided* ½ cup sour cream, liquid poured off the top ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt, liquid poured off the top ¼ tsp. freshly minced garlic 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced and set on paper towels to dry 4 white-flour pitas 1 head romaine hearts, chopped Portobello Filling or Kasseri Cheese Filling (recipes follow) 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced Half of a large red onion, thinly sliced
in the remaining cucumber slices. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. • Divide the pitas between 4 plates. Divide the romaine and filling of your choice evenly among them. Top with the tomatoes, onions, tzatziki and remaining ¼ cup of feta. • Serve immediately. * Don’t want feta in your tzatziki? Just add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the sauce.
Portobello Filling ¼ tsp. white pepper ¼ tsp. black pepper ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. smoked paprika 6 oz. (2 to 3 large) portobello mushroom caps ½ cup olive oil 1 tsp. freshly minced garlic • Mix the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. • Rinse, but don’t de-gill, the portobellos. Pat dry, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices. • Place the mushrooms, oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture in a quart-size Ziploc bag. Seal and let the mushrooms marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. • Heat a cast-iron skillet over mediumhigh heat. When the skillet is very
hot, add the mushrooms (with their marinade). Reduce heat to medium and saute until the mushrooms are soft and slightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.
Kasseri Cheese Filling 2 large eggs ½ cup cornstarch 6 oz. cold Kasseri cheese* ¼ cup canola oil • Using a hand-held mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until they are foamy and the whites are fully incorporated. • Pour the cornstarch into a Ziploc bag. • Remove the Kasseri cheese from the refrigerator and cut into ½-inch thick slices. Place the cheese in the Ziploc bag with the cornstarch and shake until it’s well coated. • Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water splatters. Working in batches if necessary, dip the cheese slices into the beaten egg, then carefully drop them into the oil. Cook until golden brown, 60 to 90 seconds per side. Carefully remove the cheese from the oil with a heat-proof slotted spoon. * Available at Dierbergs, 8450 Eager Road, Brentwood, 314.962.9009, dierbergs.com
• Add the lemon juice and 2 ounces of feta to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until the feta is creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the sour cream, yogurt, garlic and half of the cucumber slices, and pulse 3 or 4 times, until the tzatziki is barely blended. Pour into a bowl and stir
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home cooking one ingredient, 3 ways: rhubarb
Pink and Green and Red All Over By Dee Ryan | Photos by laura miller
hubarb is one of the toughest ladies on the block. Oh sure she looks innocent, but don’t turn your back on her. She’s tarter than she is sweet, her leaves are poison and she’s a vegetable in the same sneaky way that tomatoes are a fruit. The color difference is mostly varietal – green rhubarb isn’t necessarily unripe, nor will red be sweeter – but if you want that gorgeous ruby color in your dish, go with a redder stalk. Whatever you do, don’t fence this chick in; she’s destined for far more than pie filling.
Orange-Rhubarb Pancakes with StrawberryRhubarb Syrup Combine 1 cup rhubarb (chopped into ½-inch pieces), ½ cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons orange zest and ½ cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until rhubarb is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, mash and let cool. To make the pancake batter, whisk together ½ cup white flour, 1¾ cups medium-grind cornmeal flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in 2 eggs, 1¾ cups buttermilk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until smooth, adding more buttermilk as needed. Stir in the orange-rhubarb sauce. Make strawberry-rhubarb syrup by adding 1 cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup chopped strawberries and ¼ cup rhubarb (chopped into ½-inch pieces) to a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. Cook pancakes in a large skillet or hot griddle. Serve with strawberry-rhubarb syrup, powdered sugar and whipped cream.
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We’re not kidding about those poisonous leaves – cut them off and dispose of them. Then give the stalks a good rinse. Don’t bother peeling them; that fibrous “skin” will break down during cooking.
Rhubarb-Ginger Fizz In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water, ¼ cup red rhubarb (chopped into ½-inch pieces) and a freshly chopped 1-inch knob of ginger. Set over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves and liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. Let liquid come to room temperature, then transfer to re-sealable container.* In a shaker, combine 8 ounces gin, 4 ounces rhubarb simple syrup and ice. Shake hard for 20 seconds. Strain into 4 martini or coupe glasses, top with club soda and garnish with an orange twist. * The rhubarb simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.
Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Rhubarb Compote In a small saucepan, combine ¹∕³ cup cider vinegar, ½ cup packed brown sugar, 2 cups rhubarb (chopped into ½-inch pieces), 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons freshly chopped ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves and ¾ cup chopped red onion. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in ¹∕³ cup golden raisins, cover and set aside. Combine 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and Chinese Five Spice. Sprinkle spice mixture all over 1-pound pork tenderloin. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides, about 90 seconds per side. Place skillet in 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Diagonally carve ½-inch slices. Serve with spicy rhubarb compote. May 2013
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home cooking By Popular Demand: singapore noodles
By Popular Demand Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum's Singapore Noodles Eaten a dish at an area restaurant that you'd do just about anything to make at home? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about it. Then let us do our best to deliver the recipe By Popular Demand. Lu lu Seafood and Dim Sum 8224 Olive Blvd., U City, 314.997.3108, luluseafood.com
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Singapore Noodles Courtesy of Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum 2 SERVINGS
Photo by carmen troesser
1 lb. baby shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and drained 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼-inch strips 2 Tbsp. thin soy sauce ¼ cup white wine 1 Tbsp. cornstarch ½ tsp. ground white pepper Canola oil 1 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger ½ cup scallions, cut into 1-inch strips 1 Tbsp. minced garlic ½ lb. bean sprouts 1 red bell pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded and julienned 1 onion, peeled and julienned Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 lb. thin rice noodles, soaked in cold water for 2 hours and drained 2 Tbsp. Madras curry powder
• Place the shrimp and chicken in a medium-size bowl. Add the soy sauce, white wine, cornstarch and white pepper and stir to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. • Place a wok over medium-high heat and coat with canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, scallions and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. • Add the shrimp and chicken (with their marinade) to the oil, and stir-fry quickly for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and chicken from the wok and set aside. • Add the bean sprouts, bell pepper and onion to the hot wok. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the wok and set aside. • Wipe the wok clean and coat well with a new layer of canola oil. When the oil is smoking hot, add the eggs and rotate the pan so as to quickly spread the egg into a pancake shape. While the egg is still partially fluid, add the rice noodles to the wok. • Stir and fold the noodles and egg into small pieces, so they are uniformly dispersed. Continue to stir to keep the noodles from sticking to the pan. • Add the curry powder. When the noodles are steaming hot, add the shrimp, chicken and vegetables back into the wok, and stir until everything is steaming hot. • Serve immediately. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 39
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La Patisserie Chouquette's Amour of macarons, passion fruit mousse and raspberry cremeaux. Opposite: Pint Size Bakery & Coffee's vanilla bean sandwich cookies with raspberry buttercream
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THE PUNK May 2013
Two women. Two bakeries. And the bittersweet path that ties them together. BY STACY SCHULTZ PHOTOS BY GREG RANNELLS saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 43
From left: Christy Augustin, Simone Faure
a Patisserie Chouquette and Pint Size Bakery & Coffee were this close to being one bakery. Well, sort of. On their way to a zumba class one day, Simone Faure and Christy Augustin had an idea: They should open a bakery together. It made sense. They both had worked in pastry for years. Faure had climbed the ranks of The Ritz-Carlton, first in New Orleans and then in St. Louis, to become the company’s first black female executive pastry chef. Augustin had nabbed the pastry chef title in such prominent kitchens as King Louie’s and Sidney Street Café after cutting her teeth at Bayona in New Orleans. They each had yet to break out on their own, so why not do it together? They elicited the advice of Ben Poremba, the tough-talking co-owner of South City’s Salume Beddu whom Faure had met and befriended while working at the luxe Clayton hotel. He listened to their idea and nodded, telling them that, should they have any questions, he’s their guy. Moments later, Faure’s phone rang. “‘You know you and Christy is not gonna work, right?’” Faure recalled Poremba saying, imitating his thick Israeli accent. “Lord, what a hot mess that would’ve been,” she laughed. “That’s what we should’ve called it: Hot. Ass. Mess. We have such completely different styles and such completely different views on pastry.” Poremba was right. A brainchild of the two sugar mavens would never have worked. 44 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com
s I walk the three-and-a-half steps from the glass door to the wood service counter at Pint Size Bakery, it’s instantly clear that the name on the sign outside is not ironic. This place is freaking tiny. The sounds and smells dancing through the air indicate that the bakery’s day commenced hours ago. The whirr of a blender. The metal clank-clank-clank of the churning stand mixer. The banging of sheet pans pulled from the oven and clumsily slid onto the cooling rack. The clap of eggs as they break on the counter and the plop as they plummet into the pool of cold milk below. The suctioning of the fridge door opening and closing. The smell of butter and sugar and brewed coffee. The Temptations belting out the chorus to Sugar Pie Honey Bunch. This is less a measured ballet than a frantic tap dance, with just enough space for everyone to conduct their routine without knocking one another to the ground. But that’s the fun of it. A young girl greets me from behind the counter. Augustin, the choreographer of the show, is nowhere to be found. While I wait, I peruse the display case lit by bulbs nestled inside quart-size Mason jars that dangle from the ceiling. Plates are crammed next to tiered cake stands and linenlined baskets, all filled with crumbly pastries in flavors like nana-nut, lemon-passion fruit and artichoke-Asiago. To the left, oatmeal cream pies oozing with marshmallow fluff buttercream share space with walnut-white chocolate blondies and rosemary scones crowned with dollops of orange marmalade. Behind them, there’s a ricotta bundt cake, and back toward the cash register sit brown-butter Rice Krispie treats. They’re wrapped in little Mylar bags stamped with white labels bearing a drawing of a Mason jar with the words “Pint Size Bakery” scribbled inside. These are the kind of desserts you could actually pass off as your own at your sister’s baby shower or your cousin’s christening. They’re big and wobbly, misshapen, messy and a bit too gooey. They have names like Upside Downs and Brookie – which, let’s be honest, sounds like a fourth-grader’s afterschool experiment. But then you take a bite. And the brownie is rich and moist and tastes deeply of really good chocolate. The tender cookie smashed in the center was baked just long enough and is sprinkled with coarse golden sugar crystals that glisten like little jewels and crunch pleasantly with each nibble. Your cover is blown. There’s no way you could pretend to have made these; no way you’d know that the tiny little seeds inside real vanilla beans make cupcakes sweeter than any extract ever could. Or that the salty debris of potato chips are the perfect foil to juicy cranberries and super-sweet white chocolate in the bigger-than-your-fist Cranberry Crunch Cookies. Or that by turning classic sandwich flavors into BLT muffins and hamand-cheese scones, you can satisfy both the egg-lovers and the pastry devotees during the morning rush. Nope, that takes talent, skill, experience. “I’m here! I’m here!” A cheerful voice cascading from the back door wakes me from my sugary daze. “We’d run out of herbs, so I was li-ter-a-lly picking them out of my yard,” Augustin explained excitedly. Apparently, it also takes some damn good ingredients. Like basil that was plucked from the backyard, bacon that was cut from pigs who were free to root in the mud at Todd Geisert’s sprawling nearby farm, and eggs that fell from hens who happily coo and peck with the sun on May 2013
their backs all day long. “It’s something I take great pride in – having a check for that farmer when he comes through the door every Saturday,” Augustin said as she scrubbed sticky dough from large metal bowls in the sink. “Not only am I using what I think are the best possible eggs and I might pay twice what restaurants pay for their eggs, but I’m also supporting this little, niche industry, which is keeping that nasty factory farming out of something that we eat so much of.” I soon realize that Augustin’s dedication to free-range eggs, unbleached flour, pure butter and real sugar isn’t some halfbaked effort to emulate Gwenyth Paltrow but rather a deeply
"I fought like hell to get out of New Orleans. coming from the projects and a mother who was 14 years old when she was pregnant with me, I knew that I couldn’t be there. But for Christy, she made a choice to live there … For all intents and purposes, she was a New Orleanian.”
— Simone Faure, pastry chef and owner, La Patisserie Chouquette ingrained element of her baking philosophy. “Most flours are bromated in the U.S., which is illegal in many parts of Europe. It’s a known cancer-causing agent,” Augustin explained, now peeling locally grown zucchini for Morning Glory Muffins. “If it’s bleached flour, they bleach it with chlorine bleach to whiten it and to extend the shelf life. Bromating does the same thing. I’m a tiny, tiny bakery and I go through about 100 pounds of flour a week, so does it need to be bromated? Having a health scare myself, it certainly made me think, well, I don’t really eat fast food but maybe I shouldn’t be eating all this boxed and packaged stuff, either.” That health scare arrived while she was the pastry chef at Sidney Street Cafe in Benton Park. “I didn’t know what was wrong for a really long time,” she recalled. “I was having trouble getting through the day in a hot kitchen on my feet.”
When the opportunity to teach at Le Cordon Bleu arose, the regular hours and time off her feet lured her in. By the time she found out she’d been battling curable thyroid cancer, she had already accepted the position. But teaching gave Augustin time. To relearn the skills she had acquired in culinary school. To learn cost control and what it meant to be someone’s boss. To create a business plan for the bakery taking shape in her head. On January 1, 2012, Augustin made a resolution with her husband that she’d be 50 percent of the way to opening her bakery by the end of the year. Within six months, Pint Size opened for business.
hen I first sat down with Faure to talk about her new bakery, Chouquette, her opening date was still unknown. She didn’t have the space ready or the logo designed. But she had an image in her head – a very clear one – just like Augustin had months earlier. “I want a sweet boutique, and by boutique, I mean if you went in to a shoe shop, everything would be beautifully displayed. Like, when I went into Coach, everything was displayed in a way that you feel compelled to look, to touch, to smell, to buy.” Before I even open the door to La Patisserie Chouquette, it’s apparent that all those months of planning paid off. I’m staring at precisely the picture Faure had painted. It looks nothing like the old-school bakeries to which Augustin’s cramped little corner spot pays homage. In fact, it doesn’t look like a bakery at all, but rather the designer stores lining Paris’ Champs-Élysées, with its sleek white walls, airy open space, glitzy window displays, overpriced bags and shiny jewelry cases. Except the structures in the windows aren’t mannequins donning Dior, they’re old hat boxes propping up beautifully crafted tiers of wedding cakes: some white with purple flowers, others black with elaborate quilting detail. And that shiny jewelry case – the antique gold one right in the center of the shop, with gold leaf-lined drawers – it’s not catching my eye with glistening diamond necklaces but with row after row of French macarons in vibrant shades of green, fuchsia, purple and deep, dark espresso. This is an entirely different kind of beautiful.
Even the handbags are edible: Cakes enveloped in sugary fondant that’s been impeccably folded and probed to perfectly imitate the quilting on handbags that would easily cost four figures if they were made from leather instead of sugar. Even the molding on the ceiling looks like it’s been piped in frosting. “It reminds me of cake,” Faure gushed. The pastry cases are filled with desserts with clean, modern lines. A tall, triangular wedge boasts more than 40 layers of paper-thin crepes and ivory-colored cream for a cake known as mille crepe that, when carefully sliced, reveals flavors of candied ginger, lime and white chocolate. On the far left are the signature choux du jour: flat-bottomed spheres of crisp pastry dough whose hollow centers get filled with milk chocolate-hazelnut cream from the pointy tip of a pastry bag upon ordering. To the right, there’s a plate of canelés, classic French domes whose crisp, caramelized surface give way to a creamy center in flavors like chocolate and green tea. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 45
Top row from left: Carrot cake macarons and Tahitian vanilla bean choux du jour at La Patisserie Chouquette. Bottom row from left: Pineapple upside down cakes and seasonal brioche at Pint Size Bakery & Coffee
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f Augustin is childlike, warm and whimsical, then Faure is refined, fussy and all grown up. Faure looks as far as Japan for pastry wisdom. Augustin rips out pages from old church annuals. Faure seeks to awaken the senses with her desserts. Augustin wants to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling with hers. Both women have been classically trained and worked in kitchens well within the city’s – and the country’s – upper echelon. But it’s the way each chooses to use those experiences that distinctly separates them. Augustin’s philosophy toward baking is much the same as a great writer’s approach to the laws of language: Once you know the rules, you know how to break them. By dreaming up playful hybrids of memorable pastries, she appeals to the little kid inside each of us who remembers when sugary treats were a reward for cleaning our rooms or downing a plate of Brussels sprouts. She uses her experience working with dedicated locavores like Sidney Street’s Kevin Nashan and Bayona’s Susan Spicer to source the very best ingredients, and then tricks our taste buds with flavor profiles that leave us both nostalgic for the past and giddy over the feeling that we just scored a seat at the hot, new farm-to-table restaurant. She tells me that her husband refers to her style as “punk rock grandma.” It fits perfectly. Faure is less punk rock and more princess, less American and more French. She adheres strictly to the rules and techniques she first learned in culinary school and then honed as she worked her way up the notably tough kitchens of The Ritz. She pays painstaking attention to every detail in order to properly introduce American palates to the high-end pastries of Paris and southern France, most of which we’ve never heard of, much less tasted. Before opening Chouquette, Faure told me that she wasn’t sure how St. Louisans would take to some of these new, foreign treats. “I loooove canelé but there are probably five people in the city of St. Louis who know what canelé are and they are probably all of French decent. I want to introduce those to people, but not just in the traditional way but in a way that would come off well to an American palate. I think the biggest thing for Americans to get over will be the texture of the canelé, where it’s crisp on the outside and custardy on the inside. Is it a cake? Is it a pudding? What is this?” Turns out, it didn’t matter. The canelés have sold out every day since Chouquette opened its doors in February. By now you’ve probably realized that there are few parallels between Pint Size and Chouquette (beyond the sugar, flour and butter, of course). Why, then, would two distinctly different women with two completely opposing styles of baking ever consider going into business together? Well, put them in a room together and you’ll understand. These two go way back. They met more than a decade ago, when Augustin walked into Faure’s pastry kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. “These two fresh faces came in and one was like, ‘Hey! I’m Christy! I guess I’m gonna be working here!’” Faure recalled in her best Augustin impression: bubbly, smiley and filled with enthusiasm. “I looked down at her and I was like, ‘You need to cover that tattoo right now.’ It was not love at first sight.” Of course they didn’t hit it off immediately. Faure is sarcastic, outspoken and has no problem putting you in your place.
Augustin, meanwhile, is just as warm and energetic as Faure portrayed her to be, positive in a way that lets her belt out a makeshift ode to caffeine and sugar (her two favorite things in life) one second, and makes you wish such relentless optimism was contagious the next. They were an unlikely match, but they quickly developed a close bond. “Soon, we were getting together to eat ridiculous pastry around New Orleans, going to Christy’s hosted Oscar parties at her house,” Faure said. Their friendship grew stronger, even as Augustin left The Ritz for Bayona six months later.
o when the storm surge of a Category 3 hurricane tore through the levees of the Gulf Coast a yearand-a-half after the women met, they both felt the pain. In one morning’s time, the city they called home became awash with uncertainty. Faure went off to work at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Beach Resort and Augustin evacuated to a place she never planned on returning to: her native St. Louis. “I did not intend to leave New Orleans or Bayona, but the storm changed things and I didn’t have much of a choice,” Augustin said. “For a long time, I really struggled with the fact that we left. I didn’t want to come back [to St. Louis]. I was pretty pissed about it, honestly.” It was four years before Faure applied to the pastry chef position at The Ritz in St. Louis in an effort to be closer to her now husband. By then, Augustin had fallen in love with her hometown, discovering a camaraderie within the local restaurant community that didn’t exist in the tourist-focused kitchens of New Orleans. When Faure walked off the plane at Lambert, Augustin was there to greet her. The friendly face was a source of comfort for Faure, a sign that her path was shifting in the right direction. For Augustin, having Faure close by meant she had someone to eat and laugh with, someone who had seen what she’d seen. “Christy goes into a funk that time every year,” Faure said about the grip that Katrina still has on Augustin today, her voice now softer and quieter. “She starts to feel it. And you see it coming on her face, in her body. She is a different person. It had a different effect on all of us. Since I was a kid, I knew New Orleans was not gonna be my last stop. I fought like hell to get out of New Orleans. Coming from the projects and a mother who was 14 years old when she was pregnant with me, I knew that I couldn’t be there. But for Christy, she made a choice to live there … For all intents and purposes, she was a New Orleanian.” Look closely inside the cases at Pint Size and Chouquette, and you can see traces of the intertwined paths of their owners: the galette des roi that sit out front during Mardi Gras season at Pint Size. The bourbon pecan buns that drip with thick white glaze at Chouquette. But what really ties these two very different women together isn’t location or timing or tragedy, it’s the very same thing that brought them together in the first place: a profound passion for their craft. One Saturday morning before Faure had left The Ritz to open Chouquette, she found herself at Pint Size, standing in line for a salted caramel croissant. Since their extremely laborious nature restricted them to weekend-only fare, the gooey, buttery buns had quickly garnered a cult-like following at the bakery. “They weren’t gonna be ready for like 10 minutes, and Simone convinced a woman she had never met sitting next to her in line to wait for her
If Augustin is childlike, warm and whimsical, then Faure is refined, fussy and all grown up. Faure looks as far as Japan for pastry wisdom. Augustin rips out pages from old church annuals.
croissant in exchange for some free macarons if she delivered it to The Ritz,” Augustin recalled. “Simone was on her way to work, so she couldn’t wait and she had been telling the lady that she had just made pumpkin pie macarons. So the lady waited for her croissants, went home and went about her day, and went to The Ritz for dinner and got her pumpkin pie macarons. Simone can convince anyone to do anything.” When Faure opened Chouquette, she began selling what she called “not your grandma’s croissants.” Augustin’s croissants are made by hand. Faure uses a sheeter. Augustin rolls hers in sugar and salted butter so the sugar caramelizes when they bake. Faure makes a classic version, one slathered in almond paste and another with a thick sliver of rich, dark chocolate hidden inside. Whose is better? Good luck figuring that one out.
La Patisserie Chouquette 1626 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.7935, facebook.com/chouquettestl Pint Size Bakery & Coffee 3825 Watson Road, St. Louis, 314.645.7142, pintsizebakery.com
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We home cooks are an enthusiastic bunch. We get giddy over raw-milk cheese. We debate the use of sweet versus smoked paprika. And salt? Our drawers overflow with pink, grey and fleur de sel. Which is why we should make our own condiments. Homemade condiments can add nuance to every meal, and best of all, the ingredients are infinitely changeable. If you like the tarragon mayo on your asparagus, make a basil one for your BLT. Enjoy horseradish butter on your steak? Finish your scallops with a lemon version. Once you master the technique for making your own fresh condiments, youâ€™ll never settle for store-bought again.
by kellie hynes | photos by carmen troesser May 2013
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mayonnaise Recipes on page 53
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Roasted green chilesauce
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sweet and savory ketchup &
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layer with a sharp knife and grate the peeled root with a cheese grater. In a pinch, you can use prepared horseradish from a bottle, but it may not be as piquant.
Approximately ½ cup
Tarragon Mayonnaise Mayonnaise is made by emulsifying a raw egg and oil or, as I like to call it, magic. The results are light and fluffy, completely unlike the rubbery stuff that globs out of the bottle. Use this tarragon mayo as a sweet dip for oven fries or to jazz up a grilled chicken breast.
Approximately 1 cup 1 large egg* 3 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ tsp. freshly minced garlic 1 cup canola oil 1 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar 1 Tbsp. freshly chopped tarragon (or 1 tsp. dried) ½ tsp. salt • Bring all of the ingredients to room temperature. • Crack the egg into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the lemon juice and garlic, and pulse until the mixture is combined. • With the processor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the chute. The slower you pour, the better. • Stop the motor and add the vinegar, tarragon and salt. Pulse until evenly combined. Tarragon mayonnaise will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 4 days. * Older raw eggs can harbor bacteria. If yours didn’t just drop from the hen, use an egg marked “pasteurized.”
Horseradish Butter Butter makes everything better. Use this recipe to kick up your steak, corn on the cob or green vegetables. Regular butter works just fine, but use a rich European butter if you want to spread it easily, say, over a baguette. You’ll find fresh horseradish root in the produce section of your grocery store. Remove the outer May 2013
1 stick unsalted butter, softened 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped chives 4 Tbsp. freshly grated horseradish (from an approximately 3-by-1-inch root) 1 ∕4 tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. freshly minced garlic • Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse until well combined, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. • Press the butter into a small ramekin, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Horseradish butter will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. Use it immediately, however, to taste the true bite of the horseradish.
Spicy Stout Mustard What does it take to make the spiciest mustard in town? Just a few tablespoons of mustard seed and a bottle of our local brew. Brown mustard seeds have a horseradish-like heat to them, so play with the brown-to-yellow ratio to achieve your preferred level of zing. You can also experiment with different vinegars. White balsamic adds a contrasting sweetness; use sherry vinegar for a deep, dark punch.
Approximately ½ cup 3 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds* 2 Tbsp. brown mustard seeds* ¹∕³ cup Schlafly Oatmeal Stout 2 Tbsp. white balsamic or sherry vinegar 2 Tbsp. honey 1 ∕4 tsp. ground allspice 1 ∕4 tsp. salt • Combine all of the ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. • Pour the ingredients into a blender. Cover and blend until the seeds are broken down and the texture is thick, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Spicy stout mustard will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. *Available in the spice aisle of area grocery stores
Sweet and Savory Ketchup If you avoid the high-fructose, storebought version, you’ll appreciate this approach to ketchup. It’s made with agave and molasses, so pile it on your burger with a clear conscience. Add horseradish to make a tangy cocktail sauce, a few drops of Sriracha for sizzle, or brown sugar and ginger to make a delicious barbecue version.
Approximately 4 cups 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 tsp. freshly minced garlic 1 Tbsp. tomato paste 1 ∕4 cup agave nectar* 1 Tbsp. molasses ½ cup white vinegar 1 ∕4 tsp. ground allspice ½ tsp. salt • Pour the tomatoes and their juice into a large bowl. Squeeze the tomatoes with your hands until they break apart. Set aside. • In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until it’s soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. • Pour the tomatoes into the onion-and-garlic mixture. Add the remaining ingredients, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. • Let cool slightly, then purée with an immersion blender, if you have one. If using a traditional blender, let the ketchup cool completely before blending and work in batches. Sweet and savory ketchup will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. *Available in the baking aisle, or near honey and maple syrup, at area grocery stores
Roasted Green Chile Sauce This versatile topper is long on flavor and low on heat. Let the flavors blend overnight, and you’ll be rewarded with complex flavor notes that won’t fry your palate. Prefer something that clears your sinuses? Reserve some of the chile seeds to put back in the
sauce, or blend in pieces of a roasted Serrano pepper until you taste the burn. Enjoy your roasted green chile sauce over pork, enchiladas, even eggs.
Approximately 2 cups 1½ lbs. Hatch or Anaheim chiles 2 ripe Roma tomatoes 1 Tbsp. olive oil Half of a large yellow onion, chopped 3 tsp. freshly minced garlic 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 cup water ½ tsp. cumin 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice 1 ∕4 cup freshly chopped cilantro • Preheat the broiler. • Wash and dry the chiles and place them on a foil-covered, broiler-safe pan. Place the pan under the broiler and let the chiles char on all sides until they are mostly black, about 10 to 15 minutes. • Using tongs, immediately place the chiles in a large Ziploc bag and seal, letting the hot chiles steam for 15 minutes. Use your fingers to peel and discard the charred skin and stem. Slice the chiles lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds. Chop the chiles and set them aside in a large bowl. • Slice the tomatoes lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds. Place the tomatoes in the bowl with the chiles. • In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until it is translucent and slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. • Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic, cooking and stirring until the flour browns. Add the water and scrape up any burned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. • Add the chiles, tomatoes, cumin and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. • Let cool slightly, then purée with an immersion blender, if you have one. If using a traditional blender, let the sauce cool completely before blending and work in batches. • Stir in the white balsamic vinegar, sugar, lime juice and cilantro. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Roasted green chile sauce will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 53
stuff to do:
this month by Byron Kerman
Microfest May 3 and 4 – various times, Upper Muny parking lot, Forest Park · 314.227.7302 stlmicrofest.org Now that St. Louis has become flooded with craft-beer goodness, festivals like Microfest get bigger and more interesting each year. This event is truly a who’s-who of the current craft-beer scene, as beer from the likes of Urban Chestnut, Square One, Civil Life, Cathedral Square, Alpha, New Albanian, Heavy Riff, 4 Hands and dozens of other breweries will be available for sampling. You can choose any of three sessions to attend over two days. While you’re there, enjoy live music, silent auctions, food from local vendors like Hendrick’s BBQ, brewing demos and even a homebrew competition during one of the sessions. Proceeds benefit Lift for Life Gym, which provides safe, free activities for children 8 to 18 years of age.
Ferguson Farmers Market May 4 – 8 a.m. to noon, 20 S. Florissant Road 314.324.4298 fergmarket.com As spring has finally arrived, so, too, has one of our favorite outdoor markets. The list of more than 45 vendors selling at this year’s Ferguson Farmers Market includes Becker Brothers BBQ, Christie’s Jamaican Foods, Fun Time Mini Donuts, Just Omelets (made-toorder omelets), Kamp’s Peach Orchard, Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, Mast Amish Produce & Bakery, Missouri Honey, Mustache Academy Farms, “R” Pizza Farm, Sugar Creek Piedmontese (beef), Thies Farm and Greenhouse, and Voss Pecans. There will be special events throughout the year such as cookie decorating, sheep petting, a pie contest and a German food day.
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Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street May 4 – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Cherokee Street at Iowa Avenue · 314.632.6498 cincodemayostl.com Reacquaint yourself with the Mexican delights of Cherokee Street at the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, a whirlwind of a day that offers street food, live music, a dance party and the funkiest parade around. Authentic Mexican fare like burritos, tacos, quesadillas, sopaipillas and horchata just taste better when they’re purchased at outdoor booths. So enjoy them as you listen to live music and watch the parade, a surreal affair that puts the excesses of Mardi Gras to shame. Check out a great video of last year’s celebration at the site above.
Food Truck Friday May 10 – 5 to 8 p.m., Tower Grove Park 314.772.8004 saucemagazine.com/ foodtruckfriday.php There’s no need to chase food trucks all over the city when so many of them convene at Sauce Magazine’s own Food Truck Friday. No less than 20 trucks are scheduled to form a monster food corral at this season’s opening event at Tower Grove Park. Cha Cha Chow, Chop Shop, Completely Sauced, El Gran Taco, Go Gyro Go, Guerrilla Street Food, Holy Crepe, Hot Aztec, Le Food Truck, Lulu’s Local Eatery, My Big Fat Greek Truck, Sarah’s Cake Stop, Sarah’s Meltdown, Seoul Taco, Shell’s Coastal Cuisine, Steam Roller, The Cheese Shack, The Sweet Divine, 2 Girls 4 Wheels and Zia’s are scheduled to be at this month’s event, with beer from Schlafly. This month, consider attending part two of the fun: the Food Truck Friday After Party at Sasha’s on Shaw (8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., 4069 Shaw Ave.).
Taste of Edwardsville May 18 – 7 to 11 p.m., Meridian Ballroom, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville 618.977.4612 · tasteofedwardsville.com Once upon a time, Taste of Edwardsville was a regional affair that may have piqued our interest, or frankly, maybe not. But with the culinary renaissance in that ‘burb (see page 28 for details), we’re making a beeline for the fest this year. Bella Milano, Big Daddy’s, Chava’s Mexican Restaurant, Cleveland-Heath, Craft Chophouse, Edison’s, Joe’s Pizza, Mike Shannon’s Grill, Olive Oils & More, Peel Wood Fired Pizza, Sunset Hills Country Club, TeaSpoons Café, Wang Gang Asian Eats and Wooden Nickel will all offer serious grub at this indoor party to benefit Edwardsville Neighbors in Need. So if you haven’t been out to this Illinois town yet, this sounds like a darn good reason to make the drive.
sponsored events Sauce Celebrity Chef Series: Michael Pollan May 9 – noon to 2 p.m., Moulin · 314.772.8004 saucecelebseriesmichaelpollan.eventbrite.com/ For this month’s Sauce Celebrity Chef Series, Michael Pollan will chat with the audience over lunch as he discusses and signs his new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Purchase tickets ($55) at the website above.
Food Truck Friday May 10 – 4 to 8 p.m., Tower Grove Park · 314.772.8004 saucemagazine.com/foodtruckfriday.php See left for details.
Gateway CookieEating Contest May 25 – noon, Grandma’s Cookies, St. Charles 636.947.0088 grandmascookiesonmain.com The winner of the annual Gateway CookieEating Contest at St. Charles’ Grandma’s Cookies gets $100, and the winners within each age bracket get free cookies for a year. These are swell prizes, but based on past numbers, you gotta eat a heck of a lotta chocolate-chip cookies to win. One year, the overall winner ate 11 three-ounce cookies. That’s more than 2 pounds of dessert consumed in six minutes. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, you can have milk while competing. Register before May 13 for a discount on the competitor’s fee; that amount includes a T-shirt and a certificate good for a dozen cookies at a later date – when you’re not so full. The contest is a benefit for the Gateway Hemophilia Association.
Denotes a sauce sponsored event
Urbanaire May 11 – 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Contemporary Art Museum · 314.862.4900 · promoonline.org Celebrate equality with hors d’oeuvres and libations from area restaurants, live and silent auctions, and musical entertainment.
Taste of Maplewood May 18 – noon to 9 p.m., Sutton Boulevard just south of Manchester Road · 314.781.8588 · maplewood-chamber.com Grab a Schlafly, goodies from Maplewood restaurants and wares from local boutiques as you enjoy live music for this annual street party.
Amazing Taste May 19 – 1 to 5 p.m., Wildwood Town Center 636.861.2623 · circleofconcern.org Indulge in food, wine and beer from more than 80 vendors as you cheer on your favorite bartender in the mixologist contest and bid in the silent auction. May 2013
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