A Repertoire by Amy Patterson

A peek inside of a recipe collection is revealing. Each recipe a star, a collection that inks out a distinct constellation over time – a personal roadmap of traditions, travels, relationships and memories.
 
My file after 20 years in my own kitchen is scattered amidst pages of heavily annotated cookbooks, dog-eared pages of Fine Cooking, vintage cards in my grandma’s ornate script and a healthy pinch of recipes gathered online. Of the thousands of recipes that could be unearthed in my home, there are a handful that reappear time and again – a motley mix that is a representation of my family’s tastes and sensibilities.  Years of experimentation have mined out our shining stars: an endlessly adaptable loaf of peasant bread, a dead-simple before school pancake recipe, an aromatic chipotle and cumin burger…  
 
Eggplant Dip is my favored appetizer for a party. Every time I whip this up, I am reminded of my Aunt Lois, who clipped this from the Chicago Tribune in the early 90’s. Or if there is a chill in the air, I’ll appear with a retro batch of Hanky Pankies ready to slide into the oven – a dish that could only be reproduced by someone time traveling from an early 80’s avocado-green kitchen in Minnesota. It invariably requires a dash to the supermarket in a clandestine search of Velveeta. (Not an ingredient that Daniel sources at Marché…)
 
Nothing makes me happier than sipping a glass of wine, tending a dish braising on the stovetop and daydreaming of the French countryside. Thus a Sunday dinner chez nous is likely Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes or a velvety celery root purée (a relatively recent addition to our repertoire).  Another (Italian) candidate would be a long-simmered Bolognese with fresh ribbons of fettuccine helped along by my daughter Lily.
 
A frenzied weekday often culminates with Salsa Chicken. Chicken thighs, 2 bottles of salsa – one red, one green. Gloriously simple and requested often; so little effort for a tasty taco. The award for most requested weeknight dinner is tied between my “signature” Sausage Pasta or Lily’s favorite – Korean Bulgogi Steak with Coconut Jasmine Rice.
 
Almond Cake from my battered and beloved copy of Cooking for Mr. Latte is my go-to dessert. This most delicious of cakes can be topped with seasonally appropriate fruit that improves with a leisurely nap on the countertop. If it is up to Gage, he will request Kahlua Vodka Cake, a nice slice of boozy and boxed Americana from my old colleague’s mother out East.
 
Open my fridge in the summer and you will find a pitcher or two of my Gazpacho – a vibrant melange of fresh vegetables lightly tempered by the addition of country bread and fruity olive oil. This never fails to transport me back to Southern Spain and is perfect for al fresco entertaining on the patio. As we are heading into summer, this is the recipe from my collection that I would love to share with you below.
 
Next week, we are moving to Idaho. As I pack up our home, I am paying extra care to my cookbooks and recipes. I’ve found several snippets from Marcel’s and I know that many of these recipes will slip into my time-honed repertoire and forever remind me of my connection with this magical and delicious little place.  These are the things that I will hold onto.
 
Editor’s Note: All of us at Marcel’s and Marché are going to miss Amy and her charming family in our midst.  Amy has been with us since the doors opened and her passion for food and eye for the creative have contributed so much. A bientôt, Patterson family!
 
Gazpacho
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups day-old country bread, torn into pieces
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. pinch of cumin (or more to taste)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  5. 3 pounds ripe in-season tomatoes
  6. 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 red pepper, chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons red onion
  9. 1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
  10. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  11. 1/4 pound ham (or pancetta), cubed
  12. 1 thick slice of country-style bread, little cubes for croutons
Instructions
  1. Place the bread in a bowl, add cold water to cover, and let soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain the bread and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. Place garlic, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, mash them to a paste.
  3. Place the tomatoes (lightly sprinkled with kosher salt), cucumber, red pepper, red onion, soaked bread and cumin/garlic/salt paste in a large bowl. Toss to mix and massage everything together. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Add to blender (it may need to be in 2 batches) along with olive oil. Purée until smooth.
  5. Transfer soup to a large bowl and season with sherry vinegar and salt to taste.
  6. Refrigerate the gazpacho, covered, until chilled. At least 2 hours.
  7. Heat a small skillet to medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and cubed ham and fry until crisp. Remove to bowl leaving olive oil behind. Add cubed bread and fry until browned. (No need for oil with pancetta)
  8. Garnish soup with cubes of ham, croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Pressure Cooker Penne with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Pressure Cooker Penne with Butternut Squash and Ricotta
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded
  2. 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  3. 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  4. 3 cups chicken broth
  5. 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salty broth)
  6. 12 ounces penne or other short cut pasta that normally cooks in 9 to 13 minutes
  7. 1 cup ricotta
  8. 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
  9. 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  10. 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more to pass at the table
  11. 1 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Cut half the squash into 3/4 inch chunks and the remaining squash into 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a 6-quart or larger cooker. Stir in the onions, chicken broth, salt (if using), and smaller pieces of squash. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. (It’s ok if all of the pasta is not covered with liquid.) Set the remaining squash on top. Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and quick-release the pressure. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape.
  3. Add the ricotta, sage and parsley to taste, and the parmesan. Stir gently until some of the squash breaks up. If the pasta is not uniformly tender, replace the lid during this period and set the cooker over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is done. Stir in the toasted nuts.
  4. Serve in large, shallow bowls. Pass additional parmesan at the table.
Adapted from Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker by Lorna Sass
Adapted from Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker by Lorna Sass
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup walnut pieces (ground to 1/2 cup walnut powder)
  2. 1 1/4 cup cake flour (divided, plus more for dusting pans)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 stick butter (softened, plus 1 tablespoon to grease pan)
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 orange (zested)
  11. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  12. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  13. powdered sugar (to dust)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 9-inch cake pan with butter and dust with flour and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor add the walnuts and 1/4 cup flour and pulse until finely ground to a powder. Remove from the processor to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.
  3. To the ground walnuts, add the remaining flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.
  4. In the bowl of the food processor add the butter and sugar and pulse until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and maple syrup and process until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined. While the machine is running, drizzle in the buttermilk and continue to process until the batter just comes together.
  6. Remove to the cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Remove to a baking rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Adapted from Carla Hall
Adapted from Carla Hall
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

The Deep Blue Sea by Cherise Slattery

I woke up at 4 am. My bed was rocking back and forth. Images of the movie The Perfect Storm came to mind. I was sure my life was over! Too scared to open the balcony doors, and too dark to see anything anyway, I imagined the 30 foot swells that were going to tip us over as I fitfully fell back to sleep. I awoke the next morning to sun peeking through the blinds, and ventured a look outside. With the boat still rocking, imagine my surprise to see tiny, 3 foot waves of the most beautiful blue you could imagine. Yes, I survived my first Caribbean cruise.

When I mentioned I was taking my first cruise, everyone said “You won’t even feel the boat moving, and the food is fantastic.” Well, they were half right!

The food on our ship was abundant. I wandered through the offerings before choosing my meal every day.   There was fresh fruit, grilled vegetables, carving meats, salads, cheeses, breads, pastries, plus prepared foods. You have a taste for Italian food, check. You want Mexican, check. Asian, Caribbean, German, American, check, check, check and check.  In addition to that, you could go to one of the restaurants on board, sit down, and order off a menu that changed every night. Besides being perfectly prepared, the food was displayed beautifully, with fruit and vegetable carvings at every turn. Even with all these choices, I found myself being drawn to Souvlaki almost every day for lunch. I currently have an obsession for Tzatziki sauce!   Please enjoy my version of Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
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Chicken Souvlaki
  1. 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. Juice from 1 fresh lemon
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. salt and pepper
Tzatziki
  1. 1 small cucumber, peeled and grated
  2. 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  3. 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  4. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. ½ teaspoon salt
To serve
  1. pita
  2. tomatoes, thinly sliced
  3. red onions, thinly sliced
Chicken Souvlaki
  1. Combine all ingredients, marinate in refrigerator for two hours, occasionally stirring.
  2. Thread chicken onto skewers, discard marinade. Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked through and slightly charred.
Tzatziki
  1. Grate the cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve. Combine all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
To serve
  1. Wrap chicken and sauce in a pita with thinly sliced tomatoes and red onions.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Bacon Jam Sliders

Bacon Jam Sliders
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef, made into 8 patties
  2. 1/2 jar Terrapin Ridge Farms Hot Pepper Bacon Jam
  3. 4 slices Provolone, cut in half
  4. Frozen Onion Rings, cooked
  5. 8 slider sized buns
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook burgers in the hot skillet until they have browned on one side. Flip burgers and spread Terrapin Ridge Farms Hot Pepper Bacon Jam on the cooked side. Add a slice of provolone. Continue cooking until the burgers are cooked through. Place on slider bun and top with an onion ring.
Notes
  1. If you have leftover onion rings dip them in the remaining Hot Pepper Bacon Jam - Yum!
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Risotto with Asparagus and Pesto

Risotto with Asparagus and Pesto
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Ingredients
  1. 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. ½ cup minced onion
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  7. ½ cup dry white wine
  8. ¾ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” lengths
  9. ¼ to 1/3 cup pesto, to taste
  10. 2-4 tablespoons Parmesan, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently just until tender (3 minutes). Stir in rice and garlic and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add wine and stir until it is no longer visible in the pan. Begin adding simmering stock about ½ cup at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should bubble. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add some more stock and continue to cook, adding more stock and stirring when rice is almost dry.
  3. After 10 minutes, add asparagus and continue to stir and add stock for another 10-15 minutes until rice is al dente. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice, stir in the pesto and additional cheese and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Mixture should be creamy. Serve while hot.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

3 Things in the Kitchen to Teach Your Kid Before Going to College by Lynn Dugan

My oldest daughter Becca (on right) and her friends started cooking together in high school and have made many delicious treats in our kitchen!

Do you have a high school senior? If so, are you going through a mental inventory of what he/she needs to know before going off to college? I’ve been wondering myself if my own senior son has the laundry skills, checkbook balancing know-how, and the motivation to clean a dirty bathroom before he goes off to college at the end of the summer. There is so much to learn in so little time! While all of that is swirling in my head, what I can feel good about is that he is equipped in the kitchen with basic skills. Here are three things in the kitchen to teach your own child before going off to college:

Basic knife skills and safety
Make sure the chef’s knife you are using is sharp and is being held with fingers wrapped around the knife’s handle and the index finger and thumb gripping the knife’s base. Practice first by cutting some fruits and vegetables. Discuss a few pointers while enjoying the process: cutting downward and away from your body, always using a cutting board and never cutting on metal surfaces, Formica counter tops, stoves or in your hand. Remember, too, that knives should be hand washed and never thrown into a dishwashing sink amongst other dishes.

Food safety
This lesson is a very important topic for a cook of any level. Cutting boards used for raw meat should never be shared with produce (or anything else) before they are washed and sanitized. Pay attention to ‘use by’ dates on packaged foods. Know proper cooking temperatures (cooking poultry to 165 degrees and ground meat to 160 degrees). When thawing frozen food, it should always be done in the refrigerator overnight (instead of on the kitchen counter), and perishables should be refrigerated as soon as possible when brought home from the grocery store or when used in a recipe. Practice regular hand washing and keep work surfaces clean before and after food prep.

Stove Top Skills
Basic instructions go a long way when navigating a stove top. This new know-how should include how to turn on each burner, how to match burner size with pot size, and when to use the different low, medium and high heat settings. Together, you can start with boiling water on high heat for pasta or rice and then turn down the heat for the remainder of the cook time. Basic pan frying or sautéing skills are also helpful as a quick method for cooking protein and vegetables. For example, diced chicken cooked in a skillet can be added to the pasta or rice made in the steaming/boiling lesson (add marinara sauce or pesto and some shredded cheese for an easy meal). Try sautéing vegetables in a little olive oil like the sliced zucchini and onion you may have cut in the knife skills lesson. It makes a delicious side dish. Below is a super easy recipe you can use to further develop stove top skills!

Most importantly, enjoy this time in the kitchen with your child. It will be time well spent!

Cheesy Beef and Tomato Noodle Skillet
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound lean ground beef
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 14 ounces water
  6. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  8. 1 medium sliced zucchini, cut ½ inch thick
  9. 1 cup uncooked egg noodles
  10. 1 can (14 ounces) fire roasted, diced tomatoes
  11. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a 10-inch skillet, brown ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Remove beef with a slotted spoon; pour off drippings. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add water, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper, zucchini and egg noodles. Push pasta into liquid. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Return beef to skillet and heat through. Sprinkle dish with cheese and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil
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For the Pad Thai
  1. 4 ounces brown rice noodles (you can get stir-fry type noodles or Pad Thai noodles - and usually that's half a box)
  2. 1 zucchini
  3. 1 red pepper
  4. half of a yellow onion
  5. 2 carrots
  6. 2 tablespoons oil
  7. 1 egg, beaten
  8. ½ cup peanuts, chopped
  9. ½ cup fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, and basil, chopped
For the Sauce
  1. 3 tablespoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce substitute)
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or sub another sweetener)
  3. 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  4. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
Instructions
  1. Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of cold water to soak.
  2. Spiralize the zucchini, red pepper, and onion into noodle-like shapes. Cut the carrots into very small pieces (or spiralize them, too, if they're big enough).
  3. Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies - stir fry with tongs for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp (if they are not spiralized, they might need longer). Be careful not to overcook them - they'll get soggy and heavy. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
  5. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Drain the noodles - they should be softened by now. Add the noodles to the hot pan and stir fry for a minute, using tongs to toss. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute or two, until the sauce is starting to thicken and stick to the noodles. Push the noodles aside to make a little room for the egg - pour the beaten egg into the pan and let it sit for 30 seconds or so. Toss everything around with the tongs. The egg mixture will stick to the noodles and everything will start getting sticky.
  6. Add in the vegetables, toss together, and remove from heat. Stir in the peanuts and herbs and serve immediately.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Versatile Veggie Sauté

Versatile Veggie Sauté
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup soy sauce
  2. ¼ cup American Spoon Farmhouse Relish
  3. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  4. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  5. 1 leek (white part only), cut in ½ inch slices
  6. 1 bunch broccolini, cut into bite-size pieces
  7. 1 head bok choy, cut into bite-size pieces
  8. 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  9. 1 cup snap peas, trimmed
  10. 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  11. 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, halved
  12. ½ cup carrots, chopped
  13. 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends discarded and cut into bite-size pieces
  14. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  15. pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, relish, and corn starch.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the leek, broccolini, and bok choy to the skillet and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining vegetables, garlic & red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until still slightly crunchy, another 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat and stir to coat the vegetables.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Spicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok Choy

Spicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok Choy
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces baby bok choy (3 or 4 small heads)
  2. 1 inch piece ginger root
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 4 ounces flat rice noodles
  5. 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  6. 1/2 pound ground pork
  7. 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  8. 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  9. 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  10. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  11. 1/2 - 1 fresh fresno chile or jalapeño, seeded if desired, thinly sliced
  12. 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  13. 1 teaspoon sesame oil, more for drizzling
  14. Cilantro and/or torn basil, for serving
Instructions
  1. Trim bok choy and separate dark green tops from white stems; leave tops whole and thinly slice stems. Peel ginger and finely chop.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain and run under cool water; drain again.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, breaking up with a fork, until golden and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl.
  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Stir in half the scallions, ginger, garlic and chile. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bok choy stems and a pinch of salt. Cook until bok choy is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Toss in leaves and return pork to skillet.
  5. Toss noodles, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar into the pan. Cook until just warmed through.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil and herbs.
Adapted from New York Times
Adapted from New York Times
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/