Archives for April 2014

Well Done by Kelly Montgomery

I truly hope none of my neighbors are reading this.  

It all happened a handful of years ago on a blazing hot Summer day; the kind of day that is made for that most manly of pastimes, drinking beer on the patio (and throwing in a little grilling to make it seem legit).  

FireI knew something was up when I heard Brock screaming from the patio. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I could certainly tell it was serious. “Did he spill ANOTHER beer?”, I wondered. And then, “Oh  #@!% —-Don’t tell me one of the dogs ate the meat right out of the marinade again!”. But it would turn out to be even worse than that. Much, much worse. 

Dropping whatever I was doing, I bounded out the back door to see what was up. And I kid you not, the gas grill was on fire. The whole thing. As in ‘flames shooting 10 feet in the air’ on fire. Even more alarming, the propane tank was engulfed in flames, and she looked like she could blow at any moment! I was encouraged to get back in the house and head for the point farthest from the developing situation. Which I did, gladly, in a hurry. 

I honestly don’t remember (or did I block it out?) how my husband managed to put out that fire. But somehow he did. When at last he sounded the all clear and I went out to assess the damage, I was relieved to find Brock in his original un-charred condition. But the nearby trees didn’t fare so well. The leaves were well done. Very. Well. Done. 

We were lucky that day. No one was hurt. The fire didn’t spread throughout the woods and torch the entire neighborhood. Even our dinner, which hadn’t yet made it onto the grill or been snatched by the dogs, was spared.  

But that, my friends, would be the last of our gas grilling days.  

In the years since, I have grown to appreciate once again the amazing depth of flavor that grilling over a real charcoal fire can build. Now I think we need a Kamado Joe ceramic grill that can smoke at low heat, turn into a pizza oven at high heat and everything in between.  And I’m not even afraid to go near the grill anymore. 

Really, I’m not.

Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar

Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  • 4 large brown eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons good wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper
Instructions
  • Break 2 or 3 eggs, according to your appetite, into a bowl, taking care not to break the yolks. Heat half the butter in a 6-inch frying pan, and when it turns golden, slip in the eggs very carefully. Cook, puncturing any air bubbles which form in the egg whites with a fork. Don't worry if the eggs go crisp and golden round the edge.
  • When they are cooked the way you like them, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and slide onto a heated plate. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar into the pan. Allow to reduce by half and pour over the eggs.
  • Wipe out the pan with a cloth or paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining butter, eggs, and vinegar.
Adapted from Food 52/Genius Recipes
Adapted from Food 52/Genius Recipes
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Layered Vegetable Omelet

Layered Vegetable Omelet
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded, cut into large wedges, flattened
  • Olive oil
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 1/4 c. shallots, minced
  • 13 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup plus 3 T heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cup sharp white cheese, shredded
Instructions
  • The day before: Roast the red peppers in a broiler until they blister. Remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set and steam for 15-20 minutes. Peel the peppers and chop. Heat skillet with olive oil and sauté the spinach until it is wilted, add the shallots and cook until transparent, season with salt and pepper.
  • One hour before serving: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and heat a kettle of water for the boiling water bath. Break 4 eggs into the bowl containing the peppers and do the same with the spinach. Add to each bowl 3 T heavy cream and a bit of salt and pepper, blend. Break remaining 5 eggs into a third bowl and blend with 1/4 c. cream and the cheese, salt and pepper. Prepare a 10” x 5 1/2” bread pan by lining it with a strip of parchment. Spray the parchment and pan with Pam.
  • To bake: Put a few inches of boiling water in a 9” x 13” pan, then place the prepared bread pan into it. Pour in the first layer of the pepper mixture. Bake for 18 mins. Add the spinach mixture. Bake for 18 mins. Add the cheese mixture and finish baking for 20 mins. Let cool for 5 mins. before slicing.
  • Can bake the day before and reheat in microwave.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Edamame Succotash

Edamame Succotash
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  • 1 slice center-cut bacon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 plum tomatoes. coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 3 T torn basil
Instructions
  • Cook bacon in non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tsp drippings in pan; coarsely chop bacon.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high. Melt butter in drippings in pan. Add onion; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn kernels; saute for 3 minutes until lightly charred. Add edamame, and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through bell pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and basil.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Sweet Pea and New Potato Frittata

Sweet Pea and New Potato Frittata
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 new potatoes
  • ½ cup sweet peas, fresh (cook with potatoes) or frozen (thawed)
  • ½ large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and ¼ cup parmesan. Set aside.
  • Bring potatoes to a boil in water and cook for 15 minutes until tender (add peas, if fresh, after 5 minutes). Drain and dice.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy, non-stick, oven-safe skillet. Sauté onions for 5 minutes until translucent (do not brown). Add potatoes and peas.
  • Add eggs to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes until eggs begin to set. Top with tomatoes and remaining parmesan. Place in center of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the center is puffed and just set. Let sit for 5 minutes out of the heat. Run a rubber spatula around the edge and beneath the frittata before transferring to a platter. Garnish with fresh dill and cut into wedges. Serve with a simple green salad.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Welcome Spring by Lynn Dugan

Spring has officially arrived! Just like the longer periods of sunlight each day indicate the arrival of spring (despite the cool Midwest temperatures), our cooking can, too. By incorporating spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, arugula, and fennel, we can defy the cold temperatures outside. Try this Sweet Pea and New Potato Frittata as a yummy lunch or dinner with flavors of spring.  The recipe is super easy and the only requirement is a non-stick, oven safe skillet. My personal favorite is the Swiss Diamond non-stick fry pan.  It goes smoothly from stovetop to oven for making frittatas and clean up is a breeze. But, a fast recipe with easy clean up means there’s plenty of time remaining for all that spring-cleaning.  So let’s keep that secret to ourselves!  Enjoy!

IMG_0404 (1)

Sweet Pea and New Potato Frittata (serves 4) 

8 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 new potatoes
½ cup sweet peas, fresh (cook with potatoes) or frozen (thawed)
½ large sweet onion, finely diced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Whisk eggs in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper and ¼ cup parmesan.  Set aside. 

Bring potatoes to a boil in water and cook for 15 minutes until tender (add peas, if fresh, after 5 minutes).  Drain and dice. 

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy, non-stick, oven-safe skillet.  Sauté onions for 5 minutes until translucent (do not brown).  Add potatoes and peas. 

Add eggs to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes until eggs begin to set.  Top with tomatoes and remaining parmesan.  Place in center of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the center is puffed and just set.  Let sit for 5 minutes out of the heat.  Run a rubber spatula around the edge and beneath the frittata before transferring to a platter.  Garnish with fresh dill and cut into wedges.  Serve with a simple green salad.

Not too Fancy or too Difficult Pastry Cream

Not too Fancy or too Difficult Pastry Cream
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Ingredients
  • 16 oz. milk
  • 2 oz. sugar
  • 1½ oz. egg yolks
  • 2 oz. whole eggs
  • 1.25 oz. cornstarch
  • 2 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. butter
  • ½ T. vanilla
Instructions
  • Dissolve 2 oz. sugar in the milk and bring to just a boil.
  • Beat the egg yolks and whole eggs together in a bowl.
  • Sift the cornstarch and 2 oz. sugar into the eggs and whip until perfectly smooth.
  • Temper the eggs into the milk, return to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Mixture should come to a boil and then make a “glug, glug” sound.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Pour into shallow pan and cover with plastic film so the plastic makes contact with the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming.
  • Cool and chill as quickly as possible.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Wood Roasted Salmon with Lemon Cream

Wood Roasted Salmon with Lemon Cream
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • freshly squeezed juice of 2 large lemons
  • six 5 to 6 ounce salmon fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • twelve thin lemon slices
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 cedar roasting papers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
Instructions
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the shallots and vermouth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced by one half. Add the cream and continue cooking until reduced by one half.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside. (The sauce may be prepared up to one day in advance, covered tightly and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.)
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Rub a light coating of olive oil on both sides of each salmon filet. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Remove the cedar roasting papers from the water and place them on a work surface. Place one lemon slice in the center of a paper and place a thyme sprig on top. Place a salmon filet on top and then put one slice on top of the salmon. Carefully wrap the paper over the fish and secure with bamboo picks or toothpicks. Place the wrapped salmon to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining salmon.
  • Roast until the salmon flakes and is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Check
  • Meanwhile, gently re-warm the sauce over low heat.
  • Transfer the salmon to heated serving plates and unwrap the cedar roasting paper. Serve with the lemon cream sauce on the side.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Sweet Tooth by Karen Fleming

I confess that I have an incredible sweet tooth. More specifically, I am addicted to chocolate. I know many of you can relate. It all started at a young age, visiting my grandparents in Chicago where we would enjoy a wonderful meal of roast leg of lamb and german potato salad.  But the best part was yet to come: Peterson’s ice cream, which my grandfather would go to their store and have hand packed that morning.  My sister and I would make a huge bowl of chocolate and vanilla which I would let melt slightly then stir to a chocolaty pudding consistency. Yum! But it didn’t stop there. When my grandparents came to our house, my grandfather always brought a box of Fannie May.  Thus began my love affair with Pixies! 

Working at Marcel’s, I have come to realize my sweet tooth can be constantly satisfied.  Whether it’s our delicious Lake Champlain Chocolates or Hammond’s variety of uniquely flavored chocolate bars, the opportunities are endless.  Not only can I get delicious Callebaut Chocolate for baking but we have numerous decadent chocolate cake and brownie mixes.  

In February, I had the opportunity to help at our Valentine’s Champagne and Chocolate class.  Our chefs Paul and Jean did an amazing job of incorporating chocolate into each part of the menu.  I can’t imagine a better meal!  I recently attended a crepe class by Jean and learned how to make chocolate crepes.  So easy and delicious.  They were filled with strawberries and topped with whipped cream. It brought back memories of my trip to France several years ago and the crepe stands with huge jars of Nutella.  I was in chocolate heaven!

Nutella
Editor’s Note:  Karen just wanted an excuse to put a picture of a cute French boy in her blog.

Easter is quickly approaching and once again those yummy chocolate bunnies have made an appearance at Marcel’s.  So come on in and satisfy your or someone else’s sweet tooth this spring. But leave a little for me!