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The Courtyard

My Favorite Recipes: Dee Bryson, St. Louis Style

 

July 26, 2018 | View PDF

Dee Bryson, right, St. Louis street music artist, center, and Jorge Maldanado.

Gazette recipe writer Dee Bryson, right, with St. Louis street music artist, and co-worker Jorge Maldanado. Taken outside the National Blues Museum, St. Louis.

This week gave me the opportunity to spend some time in a city that took me by surprise, while traveling to a work convention. Initially, I wasn't too excited to embark on this expedition in July to what I dubbed "St. Louis, Misery." Just the thought of the thick humidity and smothering heat were enough to squash any excitement. On top of that, my only other experience with this particular midwest town was one I didn't care to repeat. The expectations were somewhere between dreary and dismal.

Upon arrival, I braced myself for the choking humidity and blistering heat, only to be somewhat astonished to walk out of the airport greeted by a gentle, warm breeze with a slight kiss of moisture. The temperature was a comfortable, sunny 85 degrees by some miracle from mother nature. Furthermore, with a little research, my heart was softened when I found out fun facts like St. Louis was one of the first places in the country to manufacture shoes.

From the perspective of a woman who packed more shoes than clothes on this trip, it was a real turning point. St. Louis is full of fun facts, such as being the first U.S. city to host the Olympics. It houses the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the St. Louis Cardinals, and its famously large gateway arc . The city also offers more free sightseeing opportunities than almost anywhere in the United States, including the St. Louis Zoo and many museums. Beyond that, the people are friendly and the aroma of food is tantalizing.

Perhaps it was the fact that I didn't have a car, and I had to walk my way around downtown, which proved to be a benefit, considering the security filled streets from Vice-President Pence being in town. Feeling the wind blow by my face and greet me with the rich aromas from the local flavors caused me to slow down long enough to take in the beautiful architecture and plentiful history that surrounded me.

Aside from the, "Naked Bike Parade" that I would prefer to burn out of my memory, it was a pleasant experience. It doesn't compare with the calm and peace that the Palouse has to offer, but I can say that I am looking forward to returning some day and enjoying a few more experiences in the great city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Recipes

St. Louis Blues Pasta

Recipe adapted from GeniusKitchen.com

1 lb. penne pasta

1⁄2 lb. bacon

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. collard greens, chopped and rinsed

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can chicken broth

1 Tbsp. wine vinegar

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to directions, drain. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and reserve bacon. Pour off all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings.

Sauté garlic and onion in remaining drippings. Sprinkle with salt. Add collard greens and stir to coat collard greens with bacon drippings. Add chicken broth. Cover pan and simmer until collard greens are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and hot pepper sauce.

Mix collard greens and pan juices with the cooked pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped bacon. Ready in 20 minutes - serves four.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

from tidymom.net

This coffee cake is a St. Louis tradition, where the cake becomes the crust and holds a gooey cream cheese filling. It's generally served for breakfast, but can easily make an appearance on any dessert table.

For cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 large egg

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

For filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine cake mix, one egg and melted butter. Press into a greased 9x13x2 inch pan with your fingers. Using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, two beaten eggs and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over first batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are brown. Dust with powdered sugar on top after cake has cooled.

Make this a day or so ahead of time, because when it's a day or two old, the gooey center firms up more. Prep time: 15 minutes, cook time: 40 minutes.

 
 
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