Archives for November 2014

Cooking for a Crowd by Lynn Dugan

Fifteen people were coming for dinner in 2 short hours. I hadn’t finished grocery shopping and hadn’t ever cooked in the kitchen I was using. My husband and I were in Buenos Aires, renting a 1-bedroom apartment while visiting our oldest daughter who is studying abroad this semester. She plays for her Argentine school’s soccer team and invited her teammates for dinner.

We planned a dinner to reflect tastes from home: Antipasto, Tossed Green Salad, Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti, and for dessert, Lemon Cake with Fresh Berries. We were in the grocery store at a peak time and there was a line in every department to weigh and bag most of our shopping list. Luckily, my daughter, her friend, my husband and I divided the list and made it out of the store in under an hour.

CookingForACrowdLynnBack in the kitchen, I knew I had the skillets and saucepans I needed for this large batch of cacciatore. What I didn’t realize was that the stovetop wasn’t large enough to fit more than one large pan at a time. So, while my sous chefs prepped the antipasto and salad (and googled “how to light the stove”), I quickly prepped and simmered one batch of cacciatore and began to warm the oven. As soon as I could, I transferred the skillet’s contents onto a baking sheet and placed it in the oven. I did the same with my 2nd batch of cacciatore to make room on the stovetop for the large saucepan to cook the pasta. The timing was surprisingly perfect because as the 15 friends arrived for dinner, they enjoyed the antipasto and a televised fútbol match (their favorite team was playing). When the game ended, dinner was ready!

Here are my 5 tips for “Cooking for a Crowd’…just in time for the holiday cooking you will be doing for your own crowd! Enjoy!

  1. Begin with a menu. Preferably, build the menu from dishes you are already comfortable making. Since it can be stressful to cook for a crowd, adding a new recipe is a risk you may not want to take.
  2. Create a shopping list. Remember to include beverages and condiments, and things like lemons & limes for garnishing and creamer for coffee.
  3. Write a schedule. Look at your recipes and sort out what can be made days ahead and stored (in fridge or freezer). Next, for the day of the event, plan the time you need in the kitchen.
  4. Solicit help. Is there anyone that can help you prep and cook? Your family members or friends? Or, can you modify your menu to incorporate some pre-prepped items like already washed and prepped produce.
  5. Take a deep breath and enjoy! There is such joy to be found when friends and family gather to share a meal together. May you be Blessed!
Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 6
  1. 1-1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into quarters
  2. 1 T. olive oil
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. salt and pepper
  5. 1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced
  6. 1/2 pound white button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  7. 1 small onion, sliced
  8. 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  9. 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  10. 1/3 cup red wine
  11. 3 bay leaves
  12. 1/2 can pitted black olives, drained (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and chicken pieces. Salt and pepper the chicken in the pan and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn chicken, salt and pepper again, and brown for an additional 2 minutes. Add green pepper and onion. Sauté for a few minutes, scraping the pan for any brown bits. Add mushrooms, undrained tomatoes, sauce, wine and bay leaves.  Cover and slowly simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add optional black olives at the end of cooking.  Enjoy over cooked pasta.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Roasted Sausages and Grapes

Roasted Sausages and Grapes
Serves 6
  1. 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian pork sausages
  2. 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian pork sausages
  3. 3 T. unsalted butter
  4. 2 1/2 pounds seedless grapes (green, red, black), removed from stems
  5. 1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the sausages, and simmer for 8 minutes to remove some of the fat. Remove to a plate.
  3. Melt the butter in a large (12x15-inch) roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the grapes and toss them to coat with butter. Transfer the sausages to the roasting pan with tongs, nestling them down in the grapes in one layer. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the sausages once, until they’re browned and the grapes are tender.
  4. Transfer the sausages and grapes to a serving platter with tongs and a slotted spoon and cover with aluminum foil to keep them hot. Add the balsamic vinegar to the roasting pan and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to reduce the vinegar slightly. Pour over the sausages and grapes and serve hot with mashed potatoes.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Marcel's Culinary Experience

East Meets West Holidays by Jenny Chang

Our family moved into a new house this past September and the task of unpacking boxes and settling into our home filled my free time. And now with the holidays quickly approaching, the desire to be finally “settled” is paramount. We are making changes (i.e., painting, changing light fixtures, etc.) and adding the little touches that make a new house feel like your home.

I’ve always viewed our home as not just a place to rest at night, but a place to entertain and greet family and friends both near and far. No time is that more clear than during the holiday season, where gatherings often center around lavish and extravagant meals. Growing up in a Korean home, we celebrated the traditions of the west, alongside the traditions of the far east. Our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were often a bountiful combination of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, as well as rice, fish, dumplings, noodles, Korean short ribs, and an array of Korean vegetable side dishes (aka. Banchan). It was a feat to fit so much food on our family dining table.

Now that I have a family of my own and want to pass along the traditions I’ve grown to love with our holiday meals, I’ve learned to modify the abundance of food that we serve to create a dining table that balances an American and also Korean menu. Because there is often so much color and array of food served on the table, I start with a neutral palate. White dinner plates and non-descript wine glasses serve as the perfect background for such an overwhelming meal. From there, I add touches of color, mostly in shades of grey and silver, with beautiful serving platters, bowls, and candles. It is for this reason that I am so drawn to the simplicity of the Juliska Acanthus collection for its classic and timeless appeal. And then there are the Michael Aram pieces that I was introduced to during our most recent trunk show, which featured the amazing Ginko butterfly collection that is the perfect accompaniment to my Korean roots. Together, these pieces can help celebrate the blending of two cultures that co-exist in my home ever so seamlessly during a time of year that harkens tradition and family. As you prepare for your holiday meals this season, may your table celebrate your traditions and family in much the same way!


Juliska Country Estate Winter Frolic & Berry and Thread

To help with your holiday table decorating, stop in and pick up your Juliska dinnerware, flatware, or glassware during our Juliska Placesetting completion event through November 26th. For every 7 pieces that you purchase, you will receive the 8th piece for FREE!

Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon

Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon
Serves 8
  1. 2 red peppers
  2. 2 yellow peppers
  3. 2 orange peppers
  4. 2 jalapenos
  5. 2 onions, quartered
  6. 4 oz. bacon, diced
  7. 2 onions, diced
  8. 3 cups sweet potato, peeled, medium dice
  9. 3 T. flour
  10. 2 t. kosher salt
  11. 2 t. ground black pepper
  12. 2 T. smoked paprika, hot
  13. 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
  14. 4-6 cups chicken stock
  15. 2 cups half & half
  16. 2 ½ cups frozen corn
  17. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. De-seed and stem peppers and quarter. Toss peppers with the quartered onions, a bit of oil and spread on a baking sheet (may need two so as not to crowd the pan) and sprinkle with a generous portion of salt. Roast at 425 degrees until charred (about 20-25 minutes). Transfer roasted peppers and onions to a food processor and process into a smooth puree; set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon. Reserve fat.
  3. Remove bacon and sauté diced onions until translucent*. Add sweet potato and corn and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes over moderate heat. Add in the flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook three to four minutes to cook out the flour taste. Fold in pepper and onion puree. Add the chicken stock and half and half, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add the cheese to the chowder and continue to simmer until cheese melts. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  1. *If your bacon did not yield about 3 tablespoons of fat, add a bit of butter to reach 3 tablespoons
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies
  1. 225 grams unsweetened chocolate
  2. 337.50 grams butter
  3. 337.50 grams eggs
  4. 1350 grams sugar
  5. 3.5 grams salt
  6. 15 grams vanilla
  7. 225 grams bread flour; sifted
  1. Melt chocolate and butter together; set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla together until well blended. Blend in the chocolate mixture; fold in the flour.
  3. Grease and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Brownies will be fudgy but should feel set.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Snickerdoodle Blondies
  1. 2-2/3 c. flour
  2. 2 t. baking powder
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 1 t. cinnamon
  5. ¼ t. ground nutmeg
  6. 2 cups packed brown sugar
  7. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 T. vanilla extract
  10. 2 T. granulated sugar
  11. 2 t. cinnamon
  12. ½ t. nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.
  4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan.
  5. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting.
  1. Store in an airtight container at room temperature
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Gravy from Pan Drippings

Gravy from Pan Drippings
Yields 4
  1. Roasted chicken, turkey or other meat
  2. Kosher salt
  3. Freshly ground pepper
  4. Fresh thyme
  5. 3 - 5 c. chicken stock (depending on amount of juice from roast)
  6. ½ cup white wine
  7. 2 - 6 T. butter (depending on amount of fat from roast)
  8. 6 T. all purpose flour
  1. After you have taken the roast out of the oven, transfer it to a platter and tent it loosely with foil. While it is resting, put the roasting pan on the stove. Transfer whatever liquid is in the roasting pan to a glass measuring cup and let it settle (or use a fat separator). Separate the fat and the juices. Save the juices to add later. If you have six tablespoons of fat, add them back to the roasting pan. If you don’t have 6 tablespoons, supplement with enough butter to make 6 tablespoons total. Turn up the heat to medium high. Use ½ cup of white wine or broth to loosen the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Heat the pan over low heat and whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. The roux will be light brown when it is finished.
  2. Add saved juices from roasting pan and enough broth to total 5 cups of liquid in a steady stream and continue whisking. Whisk in any juices that have accumulated on the roast’s resting platter as well. Continue to whisk to desired thickness. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Finish with a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Stay Merry with Marcel’s by Kathy Malpede

The holidays, yes, I know. The very thought of them can induce a slight facial tic. I’m also aware that if you are reading this, you’ve also read numerous articles on how to pull off a Martha Stewart-esque stress-free holiday season. I too love fiction. You have the talking points of a peaceful holiday season memorized:

  • Remember what is important. I go to great lengths to make sure I have beautiful wrapping paper and wrapping accessories for all gifts. I won’t let it bother me that my presents under the tree are wrapped in Sunday’s auto section. (I love my husband but it has happened.)
  • Learn to say no and preface it with “Unfortunately.” (“Unfortunately, no, the elf on the shelf can’t make it this year!” is going to be my personal holiday goal.)
  • Meditate, pray, red wine, whatever works for you. (The red wine was my idea.)
  • Let Marcel’s help. And here’s how:

Marcel’s classes are a great gift for kids, parents, friends, and a sure hit for family grab bags. A gift card with our class calendars can be beautifully wrapped. You can even call ahead and we will have it waiting for you.

Holiday Gift Boxes – We have our new beautiful Marcel’s branded boxes that can be filled with food of your choosing, or choose from our hand-crafted selections below. These make the perfect corporate gift and can be shipped. Call ahead and we will have it ready for you. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)


Meat and Cheese Platters – Do you need an appetizer for a party or a family dinner? We can help you create a beautiful meat and cheese platter and pair it with the perfect wine. If you are taking it to a holiday party, put it on one of our many cheeseboards and there’s your hostess gift. And yes, call ahead, we will even run it out to your sleigh.

Let’s Talk Turkey By Paul Lindemuth

The phrase “let’s talk turkey” is something that got started in the US and was first recorded in 1824. But it likely goes far further back than that, perhaps to contact between Native Americans and settlers where conversation often centered on the supply of wild turkeys since Indians were said to have inquired whenever they met a colonist, “you come to talk turkey?”.

The meaning of the phrase has changed throughout the years and often refers to speak frankly, discuss hard fact and get down to business.  Given that Thanksgiving centers around turkey (usually not wild ones these days) and so many hard facts swirling around the preparation of said bird for the Thanksgiving feast, let’s get down to business.

Traditions abound in every household where families gather around the table expecting to see their favorite foods that typically only appear all together once a year; mashed potatoes and an ocean of gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pies and more. And at the center of this feast is the succulent roasted turkey with crispy skin.

Growing up I remember my father bringing home a fresh turkey from our local small town butcher shop. Together, he and my mother would start by cooking the giblets, onions and carrots in broth the night before Thanksgiving to turn into gravy. On Thanksgiving Day the bird would get stuffed, doused in butter, seasoned and put into the oven. What seemed like an eternity later it came to the table all brown and beautiful and would be expertly carved by my father. It was picture perfect.

Sadly, what I remember years later was overcooked, dry breast meat (my favorite part….and the favorite of many), rather gummy stuffing from the cavity and a platter of uneaten dark meat that was probably a bit underdone. I know this scenario is mirrored in many homes today. I’ve been asked many times “how do YOU cook your turkey?”. My answer now is I don’t cook a whole turkey. The romantic scenario of that perfect bird being carved table-side is often overshadowed by the reality of the unevenly cooked meat and the messy, cumbersome carving process.

TurkeyBreastMy solution? A perfectly roasted, juicy, crispy skinned turkey breast. I always roast a couple legs as well, separately, to satisfy the dark meat lovers. The result is succulent and easily carved to be presented on a beautifully garnished platter. The quick high temperature roasting is admittedly a bit daunting the first time and yields a spattered oven interior. But the results far outweigh the bit of mess. And once you experience the flavor and texture of this cooking method, I think you will never go back.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Perfect 60-Minute Roast Turkey Breast
Serves 6
  1. one 5 ½ to 6 pound whole turkey breast, thawed if frozen
  2. olive oil
  3. kosher salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper
  1. Position oven rack to the second level from the bottom. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Place the turkey breast side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub lightly with olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Roast the turkey for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and brown and the juices run clear.
  4. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  5. Using a long carving knife, remove the breast halves from the bones. Carve each breast across the grain into thick slices and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Smoky Braised Beef Chili with Cornbread Dumplings

Smoky Braised Beef Chili with Cornbread Dumplings
Serves 8
  1. 4 lbs. cooked and pulled boneless short ribs or pot roast*
  2. 1 large onion, small dice
  3. 2 carrots, small dice
  4. 1 t. cumin
  5. 1 t. coriander
  6. 1 t. smoked paprika
  7. 1 t. salt
  8. 1 t. pepper
  9. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  10. 1 T. tomato paste
  11. 1 large chipotle pepper, chopped
  12. 2 cups chocolate bock or other dark beer
  13. 1 cup beef stock
  14. 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  15. 1 cup grape tomatoes, roasted
  16. 1 can black beans, un-drained
  17. 1 can cannellini beans, un-drained
Cornbread Cheddar Dumplings
  1. 1½ cups flour
  2. 1 T. baking powder
  3. 1 cup cornmeal
  4. 1½ cups buttermilk
  5. 1 cup white cheddar
  6. ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onion and carrots. Once vegetables begin to sweat, add in all spices. Cook 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and tomato paste and cook an additional minute. Add a half cup of the beer, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the remaining beer, beef stock, and balsamic; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, beans, and short ribs**. Simmer 15 minutes to meld flavors.
  2. Combine dumpling ingredients and drop onto top of chili.
  3. Cover and place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes
  1. *Method to braise short ribs: Season with salt and pepper, brown on both sides, remove from pot and add chopped onion, carrot, 2 celery and soften. Add short ribs back into pot. Braise 3/4 covered with liquid of choice (ideas: beef or chicken stock and enhance with beer or wine). You can cook in a pressure cooker (40 minutes) or a Dutch oven (300 degrees for 2 hours). Remove the meat and use an immersion blender to puree liquid and vegetables. You can use that stock for the recipe.
  2. **Additional stock may be necessary to ensure meat and vegetables are submerged
Marcel's Culinary Experience