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Jul 28, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: St. James Winery takes the Missouri Governor’s Cup again

July 27th, 2016

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Raise a glass to St. James Winery – bringing home the Missouri Governor’s Cup for the second year in a row. The winery was awarded the 2016 prize for its semi-dry white vignoles. St. James’ vignoles took the prize out of more than 308 wines submitted from other state vineyards.

“We didn’t feel much pressure to win this year after winning last year,” said Peter Hofherr, St. James Winery chairman and CEO. “We’ve had a three-year run that have been pretty good. We’ve won five international wine contests in the last two years.”

The competition took place in Columbia, Missouri on July 19 and 20. The Missouri Wine Competition is judged by the top wine and beverage experts from around the nation. Only Missouri wines are judged in this competition – those that received best-in-class honors were considered for Governor’s Cup.

“For our family and for the winery, this win means a lot,” said Hofherr. “We’re trying to push Missouri grapes and wines in a direction of high quality.”

The award for the best Norton varietals, the C.V. Riley Award, went to Noboleis Vineyards in Augusta for their 2014 Norton. Other wineries that took home best-in-class awards include:

• Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard for rosé
• Stone Hill Winery for dry white and dessert/fortified wine
• Montelle Winery for grappa
• Noboleis Vineyards for a dry red
• Pirtle Winery for sparkling

A complete list of all medalists can be found here.

 

Baked: Broccolini Melt

July 27th, 2016

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These broccolini melts are perfect for any meal or cut into smaller pieces for appetizers. Broccolini is similar to its cousin broccoli, but it has longer, thinner stems and a subtler flavor. Imagine gently sauteed, crunchy broccolini with garlic, onions and copious amounts of cheese, all atop a lovely piece of toast. It’s like a healthier version of grilled cheese. Customize with different types of bread and cheese, or make it extra decadent with an egg on top. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Broccolini Melt
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen
4 servings

1 lb. broccolini, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. water
Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small or medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
⅓ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
8 thin slices cheddar cheese
8 slices sturdy bread, toasted

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the broccolini and water and season with salt. Cover with a lid or damp paper towel and microwave 2 to 3 minutes, until the broccolini is tender but crunchy. Drain well and pat dry, then chop into ½-inch pieces.
• In a saute pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Add the broccolini and cook 2 minutes, seasoning with additional salt.
• Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add the balsamic vinegar, pecorino and red pepper flakes, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then arrange the bread. Evenly divide the broccolini mixture among the bread, the top each with a slice of cheddar. Bake 8 minutes, until the cheese melts and bubbles on top.

The Scoop: Old Standard Fried Chicken to close

July 26th, 2016

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Nearly two years after first flipping on the fryers, Old Standard Fried Chicken will shutter its doors after brunch service on Sunday, July 31. Owner Ben Poremba announced the closure today, July 26.

“It is a business decision,” Poremba said. “It wasn’t doing what we wanted it to do or fitting in with our general strategy.”

Poremba opened the fried chicken restaurant in Botanical Heights across the street from his two flagship restaurants, Elaia and Olio, in October 2014. Sauce reviewed the restaurant in March 2015.

Poremba, who also owns Parigi and co-owns La Patisserie Chouquette, said the space at 1621 Tower Grove Ave., will not sit idle long. He will announce a new concept, as well as any personnel changes or transitions, in the next week or so.

It’s been a busy year for Poremba. He opened his Italian concept, Parigi, in Clayton in February, and in June, he handed the executive chef role at Elaia and Olio to Ben Grupe in order to shift his focus from chef to restaurateur.

 

-photo by Michelle Volansky 

 

 

The Scoop: Coma Coffee to open in Brentwood

July 26th, 2016

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Brentwood will have a new place to get its java jolt come Aug. 1 when Coma Coffee opens at 1034 S. Brentwood Blvd., in University Tower. Siblings Corbin and Macy Holtzman have tapped Kaldi’s veteran Chad Denney to head up the roasting program.

“There is demand for a coffee shop in the building,” said Macy Holtzman. “People in St. Louis are developing a taste for really good coffee thanks to other industries like the craft beer movement.”

Upon opening, Coma will serve mainly beans from Ethiopia, El Salvador and Colombia with plans to rotate its selection based on customer reaction and sourcing. Holtzman said the 50-seat shop will focus on speed, serving drip coffee and espresso drinks. Whisk will provide grab-and-go pastries at the shop.

Growth is the goal for the Holtzmans, who also own a roasting facility at 4013 Papin St., in The Grove and plan to eventually open a tasting room there that will offer pour-overs and other third-wave coffee brewing methods, as well as opportunities to learn about coffee production and roasting. “We hope to be one of the top quality roasters in St. Louis,” said Holtzman said. “We want people to know our brand and know that we’re doing everything at a high level.”

 

Meatless Monday: Avocado Enchiladas

July 25th, 2016

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Go beyond guac tonight. We swapped traditional meat fillings for creamy avocado in enchiladas. Create a smoky sauce, then gently season avocado with lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno and spoon it into tortillas with a sprinkling of cheese. Roll up, pack in a baking pan and smother in enchilada sauce and bake until hot and bubbly. Click here for the recipe.

 

The Scoop: Dan Sammons takes over as Demun Oyster Bar exec chef

July 25th, 2016

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A new tide has rolled in at Demun Oyster Bar. Fifteen-year kitchen veteran Dan Sammons began his tenure as executive chef today, July 25. Sammons fills the spot left behind after chef Ben Edison exited the kitchen earlier this year. Sammons brings a range of experience from corporate operations chef at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood to working the kitchens at Berkeley, California’s eatery, Revival Bar & Kitchen.

“I fell in love with farm-to-table dining at Revival,” said Sammons. “The farmers brought the deliveries every day. We had to eighty-six menu items when we ran out of ingredients.”

For the past year and a half, Sammons has been working at LHM hotel properties, most recently serving a seven-month stint as the executive chef at Three Sixty. Both Sammons and Demun Oyster Bar general manager Tom Halaska said they are eager to work together to bring more local ingredients to the menu.

“In our initial interview, I asked him which farmers he knew and he said, ‘Which kind of farmer?’ That lead to a 45-minute conversation about who we knew and what they were doing,” said Halaska. “We have the same passion for food and drink.”

Diners can expect that passion to translate to changes on both the food and beverage menus. Halaska aims to create cocktails that complement the restaurant’s well-known oyster program and food menu, rather than a set list of standalone cocktails. “We want the food and beverage programs to work together in a unified way,” he said.

Sammons, who grew up on Southern cooking and summertime produce from his grandfather’s garden, plans to add and tweak menu items to reflect his experience. “There will be a salmon dish on the menu,” he said. “It will be like a salmon summer succotash with fresh vegetables.”

 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

July 24th, 2016

From new Korean restaurants in Chesterfield to chef changes at Central West End institutions, here’s what went down in the STL restaurant scene, in case you missed it.

 

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1. The Central West End’s newest establishment, courtesy of Derek and Lucas Gamlin (of Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar) will be called 1764 Public House and will open at 4910 W. Pine Blvd.

2. Expansion has been the theme this year for LuLu Seafood and Dim Sum, which recently launched its first food truck and plans to open two locations this fall called LuLu Asian Kitchen.

 

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3. After taking six months off, chef Carl Hazel is once again top toque in the kitchen. Hazel started as executive chef at West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP) on July 13.

4. After a limited trial run earlier this year, Katie and Ted Collier, along with Katie’s mother Belinda Lee and brother Johnny Lee, have secured a space in Creve Coeur where they will launch Vero Pasto – a meal delivery service initially offering a weekly selection of pizza and pasta.

5. Don’t let the Kampai Sushi Bar sign fool you. Yori, a new Korean restaurant, has opened at 1637 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield.

 

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6. One day in late June, a staircase appeared in 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s tasting room. It was the last element of the massive expansion, one that required drilling through solid concrete to construct. The brewery quietly opened the new space to the public a month ago.

7. Stone Summit Steak & Seafood opened doors at 17 Cliff View Drive in Wentzville on Monday, July 18. The massive 300-seat restaurant serves everything from 60-day dry-aged steak to yellowfin tuna.

First Look: 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s new tasting room

July 22nd, 2016

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One day in late June, a staircase appeared in 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s tasting room. It was the last element of the massive expansion, one that tasting room manager Cyle Lunsfordhodson said required drilling through solid concrete to construct. The brewery quietly opened the new space to the public a month ago.

As The Scoop reported in January, the tasting room expansion is the first of several projects on tap for the 5-year-old brewery. The space, which once housed 4 Hands’ wine and spirit barrels and pallets stacked high with thousands of cans, now more than doubles the brewery’s seating capacity. A second bar upstairs will offer nearly the same number of taps as downstairs, and two 70-gallon serving vessels suspended above the bar are set to soon pour the brewery’s most popular beers, City Wide and Single Speed.

A new menu has debuted with the new space. The Fifth Wheel, which is owned by Baileys’ Restaurants, helms the kitchen at the brewery and has swapped larger sandwiches for more snackable items, like chips and guacamole, street corn and a la carte tacos. All tacos feature ingredients made with 4 Hands’ beers, like the Incarnation Asada with skirt steak marinated in the Incarnation IPA and Pastors at War with Warhammer-infused pastor sauce.

Patrons of the new tasting room can also relive their mall arcade glory days with six cabinets including Tapper, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. There are also two skee-ball machines available, and a custom Contact High pinball machine is in the works. Here’s a look at what to expect when you climb the new stairs at 4 Hands:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky 

Tweet Beat: The week’s top tweets from #STL foodies

July 22nd, 2016

Think you should be on this list? Prove it. Follow and tag @SauceMag

 

By the Book: Preserving the Japanese Way by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

July 22nd, 2016

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Canning, pickling and preserving are great, ancient ways to make the most of a harvest. In Preserving the Japanese Way, author Nancy Singleton Hachisu dedicates 350 pages to the methods, ingredients and dishes of her Japanese husband’s heritage by way of his mother.

While there are instructions for making one’s own soy sauce, miso and rice vinegar, the recipes do not require homemade everything. As the reader and cook, you choose how much time and effort you want to invest. I opted not to make my own soy sauce or mayonnaise for the ginger-soy pork sandwiches and instead happily picked up the items at the store.

The recipe was simple – thin-sliced pork butt soaked in a two-ingredient marinade overnight. I tossed it in a smoking hot pan with a dash of sesame oil, then assembled the sandwiches. The result was fine – just fine. We all agreed the pork was too salty and, should I attempt it again, would use a reduced salt soy sauce. The marinade also needed something else for brightness. More ginger? Herbs? More acid? With some tweaking – and a tomato slice or two ­– this little sandwich might have prevailed.

Skill Level: Easy to super difficult. I know this isn’t helpful, but this book truly contains recipes for the novice sandwich maker and the professional preserver.
This book is for: The curious and adventurous of most any ability.
Other recipes to try: Fish sauce fried rice, green beans cloaked in miso
The Verdict: While it has potential, the recipe as written falls short and Asian-American emerges the victor.

 

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Ginger-Soy Pork Sandwiches
6 sandwiches

2 Tbsp. grated ginger
14 oz. thinly sliced pork butt with some fat
½ cup soy sauce
Mayonnaise, preferably homemade (see Note)
2 small onions
1 small head of red leaf or butter lettuce
12 slices pain de mie or another soft bakery bread
Dijon mustard
About ½ tbsp. sesame oil, for cooking

• Scrape the peel off of the ginger with the back of a spook and grate. Place the pork slices in a medium-sized bowl, pour the soy sauce over them and drop the grated ginger into the bowl as well. Pick up the pork slices one by one and smoosh in some soy sauce and grated ginger until all of the slices are coated with soy sauce and no longer pink. Slide the pork slices and marinade into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Roll the bag up, squeezing out all of the air as you go, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
• Assemble the sandwich components when you are about 45 minutes or so from eating.
• Make the mayonnaise, if using homemade (see Note); otherwise use jarred French mayonnaise. Avoid Japanese Kewpie mayo because it contains MSG. Cut the ends off of the onions, peel, and slice crosswise into ¼-inch half-rounds. Wipe the lettuce and make a stack of around 18 leaves (about 2 per sandwich) depending on the size of each leaf. (I prefer a thick layer of lettuce to one scraggly leaf.) Set up a bread station by laying the slices side by side on the counter or cutting board. Arrange them in a row of top pieces and a row of bottom pieces. Slather on the mayonnaise, dollop ½ teaspoon mustard onto the bottom slices, and spread. Lay 2 piece of lettuce on each of the bottom slices of bread and strew some onion half-rings on the lettuce. Lay another piece of lettuce on each of the top slices of bread.
• Set a large frying pan over high heat and film with a small amount of sesame oil when the pat is hot (hold your palm over the surface of the pan and you will feel the heat start to rise). Lift the pork pieces out of the soy-ginger marinade, shake off the excess liquid, and throw the pork pieces into the hot pan. Cook by tossing and separating the pieces that are clinging together with tongs until the pieces caramelize a bit over high heat.
• Lay 2 to 4 slices of pork on top of the piece of bread with the sliced onions and cover with the top slice of bread. Cut in half and serve immediately. Be warned – you may want more than one.

Variation: Throw on a couple of slices of ripe tomato in the summer.

NOTE: To make homemade mayonnaise, stir 1 tsp Dijon mustard (or ¼ teaspoon dried mustard) and ½ teaspoon brown rice vinegar into a farm-fresh egg yolk at room temperature. Whisk in about ¾ cup best-quality canola oil at room temperature very, very slowly. Once the mayonnaise looks like a creamy sauce (not oily looking), you can add the oil a bit faster. Season with a sprinkling of fine sea salt and dribble in a bit more brown rice vinegar to taste, if you like. Stir in ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or honey if you prefer a more Japanese style of mayonnaise.

 

Reprinted with permission from Andrews McMeel Publishing

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