Follow by Email

Monday, July 28, 2008

Justus Drugstore a restuarant

For my birthday, Dan took me to Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO. We had been wanting to eat there for a while and we finally made it. I was worried that the place was over-hyped, but my concerns were for nothing. This place is wonderful!! It's worth the drive to Smithville, even with too high gas prices. Travel magazine even listed Justus Drugstore as the reason the visit the state of Missouri in their July '08 issue.

The kitchen is totally exposed to the small, beautifully appointed dining room. There is a nice sized outdoor eating area and a small, but fully furnished bar. Even the restrooms are worth checking out. Reservations are recommended, but they do welcome walk-ins.

We were fortunate enough to have the General Manager/Owner Camille Eklof wait on us! She gave us lots of info on the restaurant and the menu. Everything is prepared from scratch and they buy from local farmers. Everything on the menu comes with a suggested wine pairing, so it takes all of the guess work out of what wine goes with what meal. I, personally took full advantage of this.

We started our meal with an Herb Cheese Spread that was made with house made goat and ricotta cheeses with chives and served with house made crackers ($8.00). This was very good and light, a perfect starter for a meal.

Dan had the Mixed Baby Greens with a creamy balsamic dressing ($7), while I chose the Maytag Blue Cheese Salad of mixed greens, beets, apple gelee and a thin Missouri black walnut praline ($9). Both were very good and perfectly dressed.

For dinner , Dan chose the Akaushi Beef, a Kobe flat iron steak served with a brandied morel mushroom cream sauce, chive mashed potatoes and asparagus ( $26). He loved it and from my taste, I agreed with his enthusiasm for the dish. I ordered the Akaushi Beef Brisket ($22). This was Kobe beef braised in their house brewed root beer with a celery root puree, smoked vanilla butter glazed carrots, watercress, sorrel and arugula dressed in a honey sassafras mustard vinaigrette with a sprinkling of vanilla pepper on the plate edge. The flavors were meant to evoke the old drugstore flavors and they did that and more. The flavors of this dish exploded in my mouth with each bite, truly amazing stuff.
For dessert Dan ordered the Flourless Ale Cake ($8) which was this nice white chocolate mousse with a mint foam and marshmallow meringue and I had the Goat cheese Cheesecake ($8) with a sour cherry topping and a shortbread crust. Not my favorite dessert of all time, but I don't really like goat cheese ( I was being adventurous).
The Executive Chef/Owner Jonathan Justus sat with us during dessert and told us a short history of his career and the opening of the restaurant. After dessert, Camille served us a complimentary glass of Moscato, the perfect ending to the perfect meal.
They are located at 106 W. Main, Smithville MO 816-532-2300 .

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This is a quick recipe for a topping that's good on grilled meat or fish, or as I served it over penne pasta. The trick to adding pesto to pasta is too use some of the pasta water to thin out the pesto. This helps the pesto coat the pasta so that you don't have clumps of pesto.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

1 (10 oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 cup (packed) fresh basil
3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Blend sun-dried tomatoes, their oil, basil and garlic in a food processor until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese, salt and pepper.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping

I prepared this pie last week and it was delicious. It was also very easy since I cheated and used a frozen pie crust and frozen blueberries. The recipe called for using wild blueberries, fresh or frozen, so I opted for frozen. The crumble topping is amazing and very simple. The original recipe came from the Bon Appetit. Serve this with some premium vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping

1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie crust

3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
32 oz. frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 oz. marzipan, broken into 1/3 inch pieces
1/4 chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp. salt

Thaw pie crust.
Whisk sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Stir in berries and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens, frequently stirring gently, about 13 minutes. Chill until cool, about 1 hour.
Combine flour, marzipan, butter and salt in food processor. Blend until mixture begins to clump together. Transfer to a bowl; chill 30 minutes.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Spread pie filling into unbaked crust. Sprinkle topping evenly over. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tequila-Glazed Chicken with Jalapeno

Here is a grilled chicken recipe that is simple to prepare and has an awesome flavor, it's sweet, spicy and smoky. The original recipe calls for using red jalapenos, but my local grocery only had green on this outing. I came across the recipe in the August '07 issue of Bon Appetit and I'm glad that I saved it. Try this one out, it's good cold the next day, too!
Tequila-Glazed Chicken with Jalapeno
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds, coarsely ground
1 3/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 3 1/2-to 4-lb. cut up chicken
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup gold or silver tequila
2 Tbsp. (packed) golden brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 t0 2 jalapeno chiles, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
Mix coriander, salt and red pepper. Sprinkle all over chicken. Arrange chicken skin side up on a baking sheet; cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
Combine juice, tequila, honey, jalapenos and shallot in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Cool glaze. Transfer 3 tablespoons to a small bowl and set aside for serving.
Arrange chicken on prepared grill, skin side up. Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Brush chicken with glaze. Turn chicken over; brush with glaze. Grill until juices run clear when pierced with a fork, turning and brushing with glaze, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and spoon reserved glaze over top.

Fresh tomatoes in KC

Heather asked where you can find good, homegrown tomatoes in Kansas City. I found some really good ones at the Farmer's Market at Briarcliff Village. The market is on Thursdays from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM. I have also bought some nice ones at Green Acres at Briarcliff Village. There are so many little farmer's markets popping up across the city and there is also the City Market. Parkville has a nice market on Saturday mornings and North Kansas City has one on Friday mornings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tomato & Avocado Salad

This salad was inspired by one I had in Italy once. With all of the wonderful home grown tomatoes you can get right now, this makes the perfect summer salad.

Tomato and Avocado Salad
1 large ripe tomato, cut into wedges
1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
juice of 1/2 of a lime
3 large basil leaves, sliced
fresh marjoram leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper
Arrange the tomato and avocado on a plate. Squeeze lime juice over all, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Serve.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mustard & Coriander Roasted Potatoes

This is a great recipe for roasted potatoes. I usually do my rosemary roasted potatoes , but I may have to switch it up some. The flavor of these potatoes is so amazing and the vinegar gives them a nice subtle kick. The potatoes are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Try these with a grilled pork loin or a nice juicy rib-eye. The recipe comes from the March 2008 Bon Appetit.

Mustard & Coriander Roasted Potatoes

1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
6 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, crushed
Coarse kosher salt
3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring vinegar and mustard seeds to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer until almost dry, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add mustard and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1 inch; sprinkle with salt. Boil 3 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Cook over medium-high heat until dry, shaking pan occasionally, 3 minutes.

Meanwhile drizzle oil over large rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven to heat for 10 minutes.

Add potatoes to mustard mix and toss. Spread potatoes on hot baking sheet (oil may splatter). Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes. Turn, roast until brown and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Serve hot.