Food & Drink

July 14, 2014

Stir Crazy: 6 local culinary stars join forces for Field to Fork dinner

By attending the fifth annual Field to Fork Dinner, you have the opportunity and rare privilege of sitting down to a six-course dinner prepared by six of the best chefs in the bi-state area.

The dinner on July 26 will use local foods and products to benefit HeartLands Conservancy, at 25 years, the oldest and largest conservation and environmental organization in Southwestern Illinois

This year's chefs are: Meaghan Boyer, of Element, St. Louis; Jenny Cleveland, of Cleveland-Heath, Edwardsville; Tim Faltus, of Bellecourt Manor, Belleville; Josh Galliano, of The Libertine, Clayton, Mo.; Joe Hemp, of Robust Wine Bar, Edwardsville; and Jennifer Kennedy, of J. Fires' Market Bistro, Waterloo. Here's the rest of the info:

When: July 26, with 5 p.m. cocktails, 6:15 p.m. dinner

Where: Bellecourt Manor, Belleville

Cost: Members of HeartLands Conservancy, $70 per person or $500 per table; Non-members, $90 per person; $650 per table

Reservations: Required in advance to

Information: Website or Kim O'Bryan at 618-566-4451 Ext. 10 or

Features: Husband and wife team Ryan and Dana Dean of KSDK NewsChannel 5 will serve as emcees. Check the website for live and silent auction information. Music by Ragged Edge.

One less thing to do to get dinner ready: It's a recipe from the Baltimore Sun with pasta that doesn't require boiling. It originated on the label of jar of pasta sauce sold by Campbell's, which is no longer produced. But any jar or homemade sauce will work.

I'd add a pound of cooked Italian sausage for meat-lovers, and some fresh basil.


1 16-ounce box of pasta (ziti, penne or any other medium-sized, shaped pasta)

1 24-ounce jar of tomato sauce

24 ounces of water

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Freshly ground pepper

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine uncooked pasta, tomato sauce, water and seasonings in a mixing bowl. Pour into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and stir well.

Top with cheeses. Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pasta is fork-tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Try this simple dessert from the Miami Herald. It's a reader recipe tested by food writer Linda Cicero.

Pecan Date Squares

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped dates

1 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3 large eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter or grease a 9-inch square pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Add dates and nuts.

Beat eggs lightly together with brown sugar and vanilla until well mixed; combine with the dry ingredients and pour in pan.

Bake 1 hour. Let cool, then cut in squares. Serve with whipped cream or other garnish.

Makes 12 servings, each with 229 calories, 11 grams fat, 43 mg cholesterol, 4 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 100 mg sodium.

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail,; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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