Archives for February 2017

Making the Sale by Kelly Montgomery

Without a doubt Marcel’s is a great place to work. It offers fun co-workers, customers who become friends, the smell of bacon frying or onions caramelizing back in the kitchen, and so much more. But this job is not without its occupational hazards. Being continually and relentlessly exposed to terrific cooking tools and beautiful home accents can lead to overspending, marital strain and insufficient cabinet space.

As you might imagine, I’ve got quite a collection of kitchen stuff and exquisite tableware. Brock, my husband, has developed a certain look when he sees me coming in with a Marcel’s bag. It’s a look that says, “Is it necessary to have four different machines to make coffee?” (Um….kind of! They’re all different! And anyway we have 5 not 4. Just saying.). It asks “Don’t we already have way too many plates?” (Well, technically yes, but look at how gorgeous these are and how great they look with all our other Juliska plates!!)

It begins innocently enough. I’m having a discussion about the wonderful features of a product with a customer and next thing I know I’m the one who’s standing at the counter purchasing it. I’ve literally sold it to myself!! It was in this exact way that I recently became the owner of a Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker. I think selling that machine to me may have been the best sale I’ve ever made.

So I brought it home. And when, as expected, I got “the look”. I countered, “But it’s a pressure cooker and a slow cooker and a rice cooker and an egg cooker and a steamer! It browns and simmers and keeps food warm until you’re ready to eat it! It makes yogurt for crying out loud!  It even does the dishes!”  (Wait. No. But you can brown things and then finish them in the same pan so it basically helps with the dishes!)  I sound like an infomercial!!

I’ve owned my Multi-Cooker for about a month and have had so much fun trying new recipes and learning easier and faster ways of doing things.  And when Brock recently wondered aloud  “Where has this thing been all our lives?”, I shot him my look that says “Told ya!”

Stay tuned for my upcoming demo using the Multi Cooker to make Pressure Cooker Penne with Squash and Ricotta.

See you at Marcel’s!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
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Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ½ cup milk or almond milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  • Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs and combine thoroughly. Then mix together the remaining wet ingredients: Greek yogurt, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Add in dry ingredients (flour, flax, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt) and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each up about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Braised Short Ribs with Orecchiette

Braised Short Ribs with Orecchiette
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Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup stock - beef or chicken
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato purée
  • Parmesan cheese
  • heavy cream, to taste
  • parsley or celery leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 pound Orecchiette pasta, cooked al dente
Instructions
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a stovetop pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add short ribs and brown on all sides. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook until softened. Stir in tomato paste. Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock. Bring to high pressure and pressure cook for 1 hour. Naturally release pressure. Remove bones and skim fat*. With a fork, shred the short ribs.
  • In a medium saucepan, add short ribs with its cooking liquid and tomato purée. Simmer over medium heat. Add a touch of cream and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
  • Serve with Orecchiette pasta and garnish with herbs and Parmesan.
Notes
  • Fat is easy to remove if made in advance and chilled.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
  • 2/3 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Milk (for glaze)
Instructions
  • Butter and flour baking sheet.
  • Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and grated orange peel; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  • Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract in small bowl to blend.
  • Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; stir with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press out dough on lightly floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness.
  • Using 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps, press out dough and cut out additional scones.
  • Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes (or up to 20 minutes if refrigerated). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/