Archives for August 2013

Make it an Event by Jill Foucré

A number of years ago when the first twinklings of Marcel’s started to emerge in my mind, the part that I was in love with was the prospect of having cooking classes.  I love to cook and entertain, I love to try new things, experiment with new recipes and techniques and make as many of the ingredients as possible from scratch.  When I would attend classes at recreational cooking schools, I always learned something, had fun, had a great meal and was in the company of those who also shared my love of cooking and great food.

Marcel’s clearly evolved into both a cooking school and a beautiful retail store and I am so glad we can offer both and that they complement each other so well.  I love everything about Marcel’s but my heart is in the kitchen.  Since we opened almost two years ago we have held 368 classes and have had 113 private events – and have had over 6,000 students in our kitchen!  The private events have been something I didn’t fully anticipate when we were initially planning Marcel’s.  I thought we would do some events like this but not nearly the scope and quantity.  

For private groups we have done everything from kid’s birthday parties to bachelorette parties and bridal showers to corporate groups (including some fun competitive formats!) to couples to friends to families.  We like to tailor to the customer’s needs so we don’t have predetermined menus — we set a date, I book a chef, we plan menus, and then we’re ready for a great event!  From personal classes for two people to cocktail party-style events for 60 and everything in between, we can format something for everyone.  We also love to do add ons like favors or flowers or personalized aprons.  

Open House 08242013Recently we held our first ever open house for event and meeting planners to spread the word about Marcel’s and we have joined the Dupage Convention and Visitors Bureau so we can become a destination for those looking for the best venues in the area.  And in the process, so many people are also discovering downtown Glen Ellyn — we regularly hear “I had no idea Glen Ellyn had such a great downtown!”

I am excited to be the host site for so many fun, memorable events – it truly embodies our quest to help everyone cook, create, and celebrate.

Seared Scallops with Julienned Leeks and Ginger Cream

Seared Scallops with Julienned Leeks and Ginger Cream
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Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds large sea scallops, trimmed
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (plus additional butter if needed)
  • 1 cup julienne leeks (white part only)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped leeks (white part only)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  • Pat the scallops dry with a clean kitchen towel. In a large non-stick skillet melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderately high heat. Add just enough scallops to fit in the pan without crowding. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until well browned and the centers are just cooked through. Transfer the scallops to a plate. Cover and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining scallops. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the julienned leeks and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, just until the leeks begin to color. Transfer the leeks with a slotted spoon to another plate and set aside. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the minced leeks and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ginger, white wine, lime juice and any accumulated juices from the scallops. Cook to reduce the liquid by one-half. Stir in the cream and cook, swirling the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the scallops on 4 heated serving plates. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the scallops and garnish each serving with some of the julienned leeks.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken and Raja Pizza

Grilled Chicken and Raja Pizza
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  • For the Pizza Dough
  • 1 Package Rapid rise yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm water (105-110)
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon Table salt
  • 2 Cups Bread flour
  • For the Topping
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Pound shredded/chopped cooked chicken
  • 3 Large roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 Poblano chiles, roasted
  • 4 Cups Grated Fontina cheese
Instructions
  • Pour the yeast into the work bowl of a food processor or stand up mixer. Add half the water and a pinch of the sugar, and whisk. Let stand 5 minutes to proof the yeast. When the mixture looks foamy, add the remaining water, sugar, oil, wheat flour and salt, stirring to blend. Whisk in half the flour, then stir in the remaining flour. Process the dough (or blend with dough hook) for 1 minute, or until the dough begins to clear the sides of the work bowl, adding more flour as needed.
  • Remove the dough, knead a few more times, then place in an oiled bowl and let rise, covered for one hour. Punch dough down, cut into quarters and let rise again. Roll each dough piece into a 6” round and stack between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, bring the olive oil to a slow simmer in a saucepan and add the garlic and crushed red pepper flake. Immediately remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • To roast the poblanos, place them directly on your gas stove’s burner grate and heat over a medium flame, turning frequently, until darkly charred. Cover with a kitchen towel and let steam for 10-15 minutes, then peel off and discard the outer layer of skin. (Don’t do this under running water.) Slice the peppers into thin strips (about ¼” wide.)
  • Have all the remaining topping ingredients ready to go. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the dough rounds directly onto the grill grate and grill until marked and golden, about 2-4 minutes. Turn and brush with the garlic-olive oil. Strew each round with some of the tomatoes, poblano slices, chicken pieces and fontina cheese. Close the grill or cover the grill pan with a large pan. Cook 3 minutes longer, or until the cheese begins to soften.
  • Remove the pizzas from the grill. Cut into 6ths and serve.
Notes
  • Rajas is a classic Mexican dish of roasted poblano chiles with tomatoes and melted, buttery cheese. This grilled pizza combines leftover chicken with the flavors of rajas.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken & Arugula Salad with Cippolini Onion Honey Marmalade

Grilled Chicken & Arugula Salad with Cippolini Onion Honey Marmalade
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Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 10 oz. arugula or mixed greens
  • 1½ lbs. cippolini onions, peeled
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 oz. sherry vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  • Add a small amount of oil to sauté pan and heat over medium-high flame. Once pan is hot, add chicken and sauté 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness of the cut. Remove from pan, let cool before slicing.
  • Combine the onions and butter in a sauté pan and cook over low heat until golden brown; add honey and vinegar. Cover with a lid and bake at 325 degrees until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Season with thyme, salt, and pepper and cut into rough medium dice or alternately pulse in a food processor for desired texture.
  • To plate: Lay a bed of arugula or mixed greens on salad plate, top with sliced chicken, and drizzle with marmalade
Notes
  • Bittersweet bulbs of the grape hyacinth taste and look like small onions – sometimes referred to as wild onions. For peak flavor, slow simmer or braise
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

South Carolina Cooked Cole Slaw

South Carolina Cooked Cole Slaw
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  • 1 Head of Red Cabbage Sliced
  • 1 Head of Green Cabbage Sliced
  • 1 Red Onion Sliced Thin
  • 1 Carrot Shredded
  • 2 Green Onions Sliced Thin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Celery Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ cup granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup of Apple Cider
  • ¼ cup of Apple Juice
Instructions
  • Combine cabbage, red onion and carrots in glass mixing bowl. Place spices, sugar, apple juice and apple cider into a sauce pan. Bring liquids to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Bring the ingredients to a boil and simmering for 15 minutes allow the ingredients to release and combine flavors. After 15 minutes of simmering, allow the liquid to cool for 10 minutes and pour over cabbage, carrot and red onion mixture. Place coleslaw in refrigerator, allow to cool before serving. Garnish with green onions, and check seasonings.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Roman Style Pizza with Pear, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese

Roman Style Pizza with Pear, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese
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Ingredients
  • 1 ½ t. Rapid rise yeast
  • ½ Cup Warm water (105-110)
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Table salt
  • 1 Cup Bread flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Firm-ripe pears, diced
  • 1/4th Large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 Slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 oz. Grated Fontina cheese
  • 6-8 oz. Crumbed goat cheese
  • 2 Cups Baby arugula leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  • Pour the yeast into the work bowl of a food processor or stand up mixer. Add half the water and a pinch of the sugar, and whisk. Let stand 5 minutes to proof the yeast. When the mixture looks foamy, add the remaining water, sugar, oil, wheat flour and salt, stirring to blend. Whisk in half the flour, then stir in the remaining flour. Process the dough (or blend with dough hook) for 1 minute, or until the dough begins to clear the sides of the work bowl, adding more flour as needed.
  • Remove the dough, knead a few more times, then place in an oiled bowl and let rise, covered for one hour. Punch dough down, cut into quarters and let rise again. Roll each dough piece into a 6” round and stack between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, bring the olive oil to a slow simmer in a saucepan and add the garlic and crushed red pepper flake. Immediately remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Have all the topping ingredients prepped and ready to go. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the arugula and toss to coat.
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the dough rounds and grill until marked and golden, about 4 minutes. Turn and brush with the garlic-olive oil. Strew each round with some of the diced pears, sliced onion, prosciutto slices and the cheeses. Close the grill or cover the grill pan with a large pan. Cook 3 minutes longer, or until the cheese begins to soften and the pizza is crispy.
  • Remove the pizzas from the grill and top each with a handful of the dressed arugula. Serve the pizzas whole and cut at tableside into fourths.
Notes
  • Romans make ultra thin, crispy pizzas with unique, seasonal toppings. This version celebrates the flavors of autumn.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Fresh Cranberry Bean and Tomato Stew

Fresh Cranberry Bean and Tomato Stew
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Ingredients
  • 8 oz (abt 225 grams) fresh shelled Cranberry Beans
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded - or to taste (optional)
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 4 med-large (about 12 oz) ripe Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano,
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme,
  • Sugar to taste, optional (if tomatoes are off season)
  • Salt to taste
  • Few fresh oregano leaves to garnish
Instructions
  • Combine the beans, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until tender; around 10-12 minutes. While the beans are cooking, in a separate pan, sauté the onion and garlic in a skillet in 1 teaspoon oil. Saute the onions until translucent and then add the chopped tomatoes along with the dried herbs. Add about 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
  • Continue cooking until the tomatoes soften; add the beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Mash some beans to thicken the stew. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve hot.
  • Try it with flatbread, Indian rotis, (even flour tortillas work), bread etc. Especially delicious the next day added on top of Bruschetta  (along with some basil pesto).
Adapted from chefinyou.com
Adapted from chefinyou.com
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Plums with Cinnamon Agrodolce and Ice Cream

Grilled Plums with Cinnamon Agrodolce and Ice Cream
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup Best quality balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 6 Firm, ripe black, red, or Italian prune plums, cut in half, pit removed
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted
  • Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving
Instructions
  • Combine the vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove and discard the cinnamon sticks. Hold at room temperature.
  • Just before serving, preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush the cut sides of fruit with the melted butter and place, cut side down on the grill for 3 minutes, or until warmed and marked.
  • Arrange 2 of the plums in serving bowls. Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with a generous spoonful of the agrodolce syrup.
Notes
  • Agrodulce is an Italian sweet-sour sauce classically served with pork or fish. This slightly sweeter version is amazing with desserts.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Parmigiano-Reggiano Roasted Corn on the Cob

Parmigiano-Reggiano Roasted Corn on the Cob
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Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 ears corn, husk and silk removed
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on each ear of corn. Sprinkle the corn with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Wrap each ear with aluminum foil and place on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Notes
  • Alternate Cooking Method. 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  • 2 medium cucumbers, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile/garlic paste
  • 2 pounds white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and chopped (including tender greens)
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 small green chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil for frying
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  • Place the sliced cucumber into a colander. Add the 1 Tablespoon of salt and toss the cucumber slices to evenly coat them with the salt. Place the colander over a bowl and allow the cucumbers to stand to drain off the water, about 20 minutes. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl. Add the carrot, ginger, vinegar, sugar and chile paste. Mix well. Allow the cucumber relish to stand while you prepare the fish cakes. In the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade combine the fish chunks, cilantro, lime juice, green onions, curry paste, green chile and ½ teaspoon of salt. Pulse the mixture until the fish is finely chopped but not a paste. Form the mixture into 8 cakes and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the fish cakes into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. To cook, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough canola oil to the pan to cover the bottom evenly. When the oil is hot add the fish cakes a few at a time and cook for 2 minutes per side, gently turning them over. When they are well browned transfer the fish cakes to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all the fish cakes have been fried.
  • To serve, transfer the fish cakes to plates and garnish with the fresh cilantro sprigs. Serve with the cucumber relish.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/