Archives for May 2014

La Boite Bloody Marlene

La Boite Bloody Marlene
Serves 1
A gin-based Bloody Mary is called a Red Snapper, but when you season it with gin botanicals such as juniper and substitute wasabi for horseradish, we think you should change the name! ~ Lior Lev Sercarz.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 oz. tomato juice
  2. 1 ½ oz. gin
  3. ¼ oz. Worcestershire sauce
  4. ¼ oz. lemon juice
  5. ¼ oz. lime juice
  6. ½ t B-Marlene spice blend
  7. 1/2 t. pickled wasabi
  8. ¼ t hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Build in a mixing glass then fill with ice.
  2. Stir with ice, then fine strain into a chilled Collins glass
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Vanilla Glazed Pan Seared Salmon

Vanilla Glazed Pan Seared Salmon
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Ingredients
  1. 2 8-oz salmon fillets
  2. 2 T. grape seed oil
  3. 3-4 T. vanilla bean paste
  4. Kosher salt
  5. Freshly cracked pink peppercorns (if not pink, use mixed peppercorns)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. While the skillet is preheating, rub the salmon fillets with salt and peppercorns. Add 2 T grape seed oil to the hot skillet. Place the salmon in the skillet and pan sear them on both sides. Remove from the heat and "smear" on the paste with a pastry brush. Place the skillet with the salmon in the oven for 5-7 minutes to set the glaze.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Texas Hill Country Borracho Beans

Texas Hill Country Borracho Beans
Serves 10
“Borracho” means drunken in Spanish. These beans will be fabulous with barbequed or smoked meats at your next cook out.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds dry pinto beans
  2. 10 slices thick cut bacon
  3. 2 small white onions, diced
  4. 8 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 T. chile powder
  6. 2 t. paprika
  7. 1 t. ground cumin
  8. 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  9. Big handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  10. 2 jalapenos, kept whole and pierced with a knife
  11. 12 oz. dark Mexican beer (such as Negro Modelo or XX)
  12. 1 ½ cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Place the pinto beans in a large bowl and cover with water by at least 2”. Let soak overnight. Drain the beans and set aside.
  2. Cook half the bacon in a large stock pot. Remove when crisp, reserve the drippings. Add the onion to the drippings and sauté briefly. Add the garlic and spices and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and pierced jalapenos and stir to coat. Return the beans to the pot with the beer and the broth. The beans should be covered by the liquid at least 3” (add water if needed.) Chop the remaining bacon into ½” pieces and add it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook over moderate heat until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional chopped fresh cilantro and the crumbled cooked bacon.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Springtime in Texas

texas hill country mapWhat comes to mind when you think of Texas? Windy stretches of tumbleweed filled desert, the bustle of Houston or Dallas, maybe the beaches at Corpus Christi? How about rolling green hills, small lakes and winding rivers, wildflowers by the thousands, and some of the best food anywhere?  I just returned from a long weekend with a dear friend in the Texas Hill Country, and that is just what I experienced. 

This area, between Austin and San Antonio, was originally settled by Germans and Polish who came to run the lumber mills in the mid 19th century. Their culinary influence can still be seen, felt, and tasted today in little towns like Fredricksburg where restaurants still serve schnitzel and homemade sauerkraut.  These folks stayed on, owning many of the huge ranches that cover the area today, their culinary path twisting with the locals and the cowboys.  In the 1960s, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson encouraged the planting of millions of bluebonnets throughout the Hill Country which bloom for miles every spring, making a beautiful place even lovelier. 

Texas Hill Country Borracho Beans
 “Borracho” means drunken in Spanish. These beans will be fabulous with barbequed or smoked meats at your next cook out.
10-12 Servings
borracho-beans (1)

2 pounds dry pinto beans
10 slices thick cut bacon
2 small white onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chile powder
2 t. paprika
1 t. ground cumin
4 roma tomatoes, diced
Big handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 jalapenos, kept whole and pierced with a knife
12 oz. dark Mexican beer (such as Negro Modelo or XX)
1 ½ cups chicken broth

Place the pinto beans in a large bowl and cover with water by at least 2”.  Let soak overnight.  Drain the beans and set aside.

Cook half the bacon in a large stock pot.  Remove when crisp, reserve the drippings.  Add the onion to the drippings and sauté briefly.  Add the garlic and spices and cook 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and pierced jalapenos and stir to coat.  Return the beans to the pot with the beer and the broth.  The beans should be covered by the liquid at least 3” (add water if needed.)  Chop the remaining bacon into ½” pieces and add it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook over moderate heat until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional chopped fresh cilantro and the crumbled cooked bacon.

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  2. 1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
  3. 1 cup cake flour
  4. 2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  5. 2 teaspoons salt
  6. Olive oil for the bowl
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand 1 minute, or until the yeast is creamy. Stir until the yeast dissolves.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour, and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut the dough into 2 to 4 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. Dust the tops with flour.
  5. Place the balls on a floured surface and cover each with plastic wrap, allowing room for the dough to expand. Let rise 60-90 minutes, or until doubled.
  6. Thirty to sixty minutes before baking the pizzas, place a baking stone on a rack in the lowest level of the oven. Turn the oven to the maximum temperature, 500 or 550 degrees.
  7. Shape and bake the pizzas with your choice of toppings.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Apple Sausage Mini Quiches

Apple Sausage Mini Quiches
Yields 24
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Ingredients
  1. 7 oz. puff pastry, thawed
  2. 4 large eggs
  3. ½ c cooked chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  4. 1 small apple, finely diced
  5. 2 oz. camembert or brie cheese, diced
  6. 2 tsp. grainy dijon mustard
  7. 1 T. fresh thyme
  8. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with butter. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry into a 12 inch square. Cut 24 2 inch rounds using a cookie cutter, a 1/4 cup measure or similar object about the same size as a mini muffin cup. Carefully press the pastry rounds into the prepared muffin cups, making sure the bottoms are flat. Poke the bottoms with a fork.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the sausage, apple, cheese, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture among the pastry cups and bake until the eggs are puffed and set, about 15 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before unmolding.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Vanilla Paste; Beyond Dessert by Chef Jean True

As many of you know, one of my favorite food products I discovered at Marcel’s is Nielsen-Massey’s Vanilla Bean Paste.  Did you know that vanilla is the most popular flavoring in the world?  For vanilla adds a sweet, but, not too sweet and a subtle, “velvety” flavor to many a recipe.  Especially the paste, for the seeds add even more vanilla flavor. But, where does it come from?  The bean or pod, as it is sometimes called, comes from the fruit of the Vanilla Orchid, grown in warm, humid climates. Do note that this plant was originated in Mexico and is now also grown in Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahiti, Uganda, India, Jamaica, Hawaii, China, and the Philippines. The largest producer of vanilla pods is Madagascar.

Another fun piece of history is that Queen Elizabeth I, inspired by her apothecary, Hugh Morgan, in 1602, suggested that vanilla should be used as a flavoring by itself and not just in combination with the cocoa bean for hot chocolate.  Thus, was born the flavor of vanilla as the primary flavor in the world.

Now, how to use this aromatic, delectable, yet mighty, vanilla. With its many components, it lends itself to balancing sweet and acidic ingredients.  I’m now adding 1or 2 teaspoons of the vanilla paste to marinara sauce, spicy stir fry shrimp, and, of course, pastries. I do recommend adding the vanilla paste to sugar and butter as you are creaming the two ingredients. When  preparing a savory dish, add it at the end of the cooking time.

Recently, I assisted Chef Karla Lawrence at a culinary conference in Chicago.  She is the chef/owner of the Artisan Kitchen, a great restaurant in Poducah, Kentucky.  Her creativity and passion for cooking inspired her most delicious salmon recipe.

IMG_0998

Vanilla Glazed Pan Seared Salmon

2 8oz salmon fillets
2 tbsp. grape seed oil
3-4 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked pink peppercorns(if not pink, use  mixed peppercorns)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
While the skillet is preheating, rub the salmon fillets with salt and peppercorns.  Add 2 tbsp grape seed oil to the hot skillet.  Place the salmon in the skillet and pan sear them on both sides.  Remove from the heat and “smear on the paste” with a pastry brush.  Place the skillet with the salmon in the oven for 5-7 minutes to set the glaze.

Cooking with Shell by Rita Cevaal

On Tuesday, June 3, I will have the privilege of cooking in Marcel’s kitchen with my daughter Michelle. It is a free recipe demonstration that will run from 11am -2pm, and we plan on having a lot of fun!  Please stop in and see what is cooking. We will be making her recipe for Black Bean Burgers.  It is a recipe she found, has made many times, and has made it her very own.  Friends and family already know she makes a great black bean burger.

Black Bean Burger

It is so fun to have another adventurous cook (or 2) in the house.  Nurturing a budding young chef with the tools needed and the freedom to explore in the kitchen can be a lasting gift for the whole family.  Preparing and sharing a meal together are the times when advice is given, stories are told, laughter is heard, examples are set, and memories are made.

We are here to help you at Marcel’s with classes of all types and any kitchen supplies you may need.  Our website has the current class calendars and also a great recipe section to get you started.  These are great recipes from our popular free Tuesday demos.  You really should check it out – there is great stuff in there.

Hope to see you on June 3!

The Spice of Life by Chef Jamie Bordoshuk

If variety is the spice of life, it’s spice that brings life to food.  And recently, I definitely got my fill. 

Like many of you, the end of March signals Spring Break trip for my family. We usually gravitate towards sun, sand and surf spots – Orlando, Maui, Puerto Rico.  This year, we decided to mix it up and go somewhere completely different – New York City.  We spent our week feasting on the lights, sounds, smells and flavors of Broadway and 42nd street in the heart of mid-town Manhattan.  The food was truly memorable in every way, from the traditional northern Italian family style enormous plates at Carmine’s on 44th Street to the exotic pates, cheeses and artisanal meat board at The Park in Chelsea.  Even the hot dogs and roasted almonds from the push cart vendors smelled and tasted delicious.

One of our best afternoon surprises was a visit to the storefront spice shop, La Boite, in Hell’s Kitchen on 11th Avenue.  Owned and operated by Lior Lev Sercarz, La Boite is a biscuit and spice shop that is only open 12 hours a week.  The intense aroma of the unique spice blends hits you the moment you walk though the door of this tiny, stark white shop.  Although I missed Lior by a mere 5 minutes, I did get to smell and sample the more than 40 wonderful spice blends that he has created.  And when Chef Paul Kahan was at Marcel’s last November, he said Lior’s spices were some of his favorites.

Enjoy this one-of-a-kind Bloody Mary recipe that includes La Boite’s special B-Marlene Spice Blend.

The best news?  La Boite spices are available right here at Marcel’s.

 spices 1

La Boite Bloody Marlene

A gin-based Bloody Mary is called a Red Snapper, but when you season it with gin botanicals such as juniper and substitute wasabi for horseradish, we think you should change the name!  ~ Lior Lev Sercarz.  

Ingredients

 4 oz. tomato juice
1 ½ oz. gin
¼ oz. Worcestershire sauce
¼ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. lime juice
½ t B-Marlene spice blend
1/2 t.  pickled wasabi
¼ t hot sauce

Directions:

Build in a mixing glass then fill with ice. 
Stir with ice, then fine strain into a chilled Collins glass
Garnish with a lime wedge

Mushroom and Spinach Skillet Strata

Mushroom and Spinach Skillet Strata
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 oz baguette (about a 9 inch piece) cut up into ½ inch cubes
  2. 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  4. 4 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  5. 1 large clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  7. 4 oz. baby spinach (4 cups lightly packed)
  8. 4 large eggs
  9. 1 cup whole milk
  10. 3 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
  11. Salt
  12. Fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the heating oven until dry and pale golden, 3-5minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but not browned, 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook stirring occasionally until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Add the cheese and bread, toss until combined and transfer to the skillet. Stir until all of the ingredients are distributed evenly and then press down on the mixture to flatten it a bit.
  4. Bake, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until set in the center, about 5 minutes more. Let cool briefly, slice and serve.
  5. May vary cheese, greens and add ham or sausage.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/