Recipes from the St. Louis restaurant The Hill

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Hill in St. Louis certainly has to be one of the most celebrated culinary sites in the Midwest. This mostly Italian community is full of fabulous restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries like no others. As written in the cookbook "A Taste of the Hill": "The Hill has always had a strong commitment to the city of St. Louis and exemplifies the premise that strong neighborhoods are integral to the variety of the city. The elements of family, civic involvement, neighborhood pride, education and religious faith continue to be woven into the fabric of our community." The cookbook is now in its second edition from the St. Ambrose Parish. The first edition cookbook sold more than 14,000 copies. While you visit Viviano's grocery on The Hill, be sure to pick up your own copy of this amazing cookbook.

Bagna Cauda

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 to 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 can (1 ounce) flat anchovies, drained, rinsed and chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Dash red pepper flakes

2 carrots

2 zucchini

2 ribs celery

1 red bell pepper

4 green onions

8 grissini (slender Italian breadsticks)

To prepare dip:

Gently heat olive oil in heavy saucepan. Add garlic; cook over medium-low heat until garlic is light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in anchovies; cook 1 minute. Let mixture cool slightly, then puree it in blender. Season to taste with black pepper and red pepper flakes. Place bagna cauda in small chafing dish or fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. Or mixture can be reheated and placed in 4 individual ramekins.

To prepare vegetables:

Cut carrots, zucchini, celery and red bell pepper into 1/2-by-3-by-4 inch strips. Cut green onions into 3-inch lengths. Arrange vegetables and grissini on platter or stand them upright in glasses or cups. Let each diner dip vegetable strips and breadsticks in bagna cauda. Yields 4 servings.

Panzanella

2 pounds fully ripe tomatoes, cored, cut in 3/4-inch cubes

3 cups stale or toasted whole grain bread, cut in 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut in thin strips, or 2 tablespoons dried leaf basil

1/4 cup sliced green onion or scallion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In large serving bowl, place tomatoes, bread cubes, basil and onion. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat. Let stand about 20 minutes to soften bread. Yields 7 cups, 4 to 6 portions.

9th Street House Tea

2 family-size tea bags

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup white grape juice

1 cup sugar

Pour 8 cups of boiling water into pitcher with tea bags. Brew for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in lemon juice, white grape juice and sugar. Serve over ice.

Stracciatella

6 cups chicken stock

3 large eggs

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Pinch ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch pepper

Heat stock to boiling. Beat eggs in small bowl. Add cheese, parsley and nutmeg. Stir stock rapidly with spoon while adding egg mixture in steady stream. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Formaggio Chicken Spaghetti

6 to 8 desired chicken pieces

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 can tomato soup

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cups water

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon crushed oregano

salt and pepper to taste

4 slices mozzarella cheese

4 slices provolone cheese

In a roasting pan, combine all ingredients except last 2 cheeses and spaghetti. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, stir and add last 2 cheeses. Return to oven for an additional 30 minutes. Cook desired amount of spaghetti and serve with sauce.

Italian Stufato

1 (4- to 6-pound) brisket of beef, chuck or rump roast

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup canned Italian tomatoes

5 small crushed garlic cloves

2 medium onions, sliced

Few basil leaves, sliced

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup dry white wine

3 sprigs parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

In Dutch oven or heavy kettle, heat oil and brown roast well on all sides. Add wine, reduce heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover. Simmer 4 hours until meat is fork-tender, turning roast once. Skim fat and serve. This is great served over rice or pasta.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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