Archive for the ‘Main Courses’ Category

Not just IMO.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

When you compare St. Louis to other cities across America, St. Louis is clearly superior in every way, as any St. Louisian will quickly explain to you. The Golden Mean between NYC and LA, between Chicago and New Orleans. The Grand Middle. We have the Arch; none of the rest of you do. We have the Cardinals; you don’t. We have Famous-Barr’s French Onion soup. You just have plain ol’ sorry soup.

Now, to be fair, St. Louis is sadly lacking, of course, when compared to any of the fine small municipalities along the Mississippi. The smaller the town, the better. If you ever see a citizen from Festus, Missouri as a defendant on Judge Judy, for instance, we here at Mona Faye’s Kitchen assure you that Little Missy moved to Festus from St. Louis. We who were born in Jeff Co know better! We keep our yards trim, and our shirts tucked. We obey every rule handed down to us better than you who imagined them.


But I digress.

Another under-reported proof of St. Louis’ superiority is its pizza. We don’t abide by that gloppy, doughy mess from Chicago. Or that floppy grease trap from New York. No, our pizza is neat, just like Missouri.

Our pizza is round, of course. We aren’t radicals!! But we cut it square. That makes it neater.

No stretchy mozzarella in sight either. No, we St. Louisians demand our own shelf-stable, Wisconsin-made Provel cheese — a combination of provolone, Swiss, and white cheddar with a touch of smoke. It has a clean bite, you see — no messy strings with our cheese. You bite it and it’s cut. That’s the way we like it. We want commitment in our cheese product.

The crust is yeast-free and rolled out as thin as a cracker. Crackers are so tidy, and yeast is just too out-of-control.

The sauce is sweet and uncooked. The seasonings are sprinkled on top where we can see them and check up on them. We are the Show-Me State after all, and that includes spices.

If you are not born and raised in Missouri, chances are that you won’t like our pizza. But that’s just fine with us. That’s how we tell if you’re from around here. Or if you deserve to be around here.

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoons dark corn syrup
• 1/2 cup tbsps water
• 2 tablespoons water
• 16 ounces diced tomatoes
• 6 ounces tomato paste
• 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon crushed basil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon thyme
Italian Seasoning
• 2 teaspoons oregano
• 2 teaspoons basil
• 1 teaspoon thyme
Crust: Mix until thoroughly combined. Dough will be very stiff. Makes enough for two (2) 12″ pizza pies. The dough is ready to use “as-is” No need to rise or kneed. Divide the dough in half, shape into a round ball and roll out paper thin. In order to move the crusts around a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal works well.
Sauce: Combine.
Cheese: Provel only.
Bake in a 450 degree oven on a pizza stone. Check frequently until crust is a golden brown and crispy.

Once You’ve Had Black . . . Walnuts

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We here at Mona Faye’s Kitchen have had such a busy few months. We’ve moved! From our large farm kitchen in Festus to our newfangled modern condo kitchen in the booming metropolis of Hillsboro. We had to get rid of our jelly strainer, but carry on we must!

Even in our new duds, however, Tradition is important in Mona Faye’s Kitchen. You peel potatoes with a knife not a gadgety potato peeler. You are supposed to use three scoops of Folgers to make a pot of coffee and. nothing. less. Christmas isn’t Christmas without applesauce cookies.

And everything tastes better with black walnuts.

Any good salad or cookie or quick bread that comes from Mona Faye’s Kitchen must have a healthy portion of homegrown black walnuts. They are right from Grandpa’s “farm” so they must be good! And we’ve always put them in!!

And they taste, oh, so good!! Mmmm. . . . just like a big crunchy moth ball.

Now Mona Faye’s brood is not so thrilled. This younger generation! The first-born insists that he has to lay out his tongue on my clean counter top and scrape it with a fork after eating them. The second-born will discretely but politely mine for each nut crumb in any slice of date-walnut bread.

Yet we will keep including them.

These silly kids love this salad they found up the road. It’s at a restaurant that is simply a Mona Faye’s Kitchen wannabe. As if!! So I’ll include this recipe here because it does taste quite good. But it would be better if it were served at home instead of an unfriendly restaurant with too-strong coffee and over-sized portions.

And with real black walnuts.

Panera’s Mona Faye’s Fuji Apple Walnut Chicken Salad

    6 cups romaine lettuce

    1-1/2 cup grilled and sliced chicken breast

    1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin

    1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

    1/4 cup chopped candied walnuts or pecans

    2 oz. apple chips

Apple White Balsamic Vinaigrette

    2 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate

    1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

    1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

    1 tsp. Dijon mustard

    1/4 tsp. garlic powder

    1/3 cup olive oil