Archives for January 2016

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Cilantro-Lime Finish

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Cilantro-Lime Finish
Serves 6
  1. 1 T. olive oil
  2. 1 large green pepper, seeded, large dice
  3. 1 poblano pepper, seeded, large dice
  4. 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  5. 1 medium onion, large dice
  6. 1 T. minced garlic
  7. 1 1/2 T. ground cumin, divided
  8. 1 1/2 t. ground coriander, divided
  9. 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  10. 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  11. 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  12. 1 T. lime juice
  13. 1/2 t. salt
  14. 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt or non-fat sour cream (optional)
  15. 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. Using the “sauté” function* on the slow cooker, heat oil until shimmering. Add peppers, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 teaspoon coriander. Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add chicken, beans and broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on “high” for 4-6 hours or “low” for 8-10 hours.
  3. Shred chicken with a fork and stir in the reserved cumin and coriander, the lime juice and salt.
  4. Serve in individual bowls garnished with cilantro and yogurt.
  1. *If your slow cooker lacks a sauté function, cook as directed in a skillet over medium heat. Then add the contents to the slow cooker.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Chef Kelly’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

Chef Kelly's Favorite Chocolate Cake
  1. 3¾ cups sugar
  2. 3 1/3 cups flour
  3. 1 cup cocoa powder
  4. 3 t. baking powder
  5. 3 t. baking soda
  6. 2 ½ t. salt
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 16 oz. milk
  9. ¾ cup vegetable oil
  10. 2½ t. vanilla
  11. 16 oz. boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. In a different bowl, combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients into the dry with paddle attachment on medium speed.
  5. After combined, add the boiling water.
  6. Fill 3 9-inch round pans 2/3 full and bake at 350 until cake tests done and begins to pull from the sides of the pan, about 20 minutes.
Kelly loves to serve this cake with Warm Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter with 2/3 cup brown sugar; add in 2 T. brewed coffee, 2 T. corn syrup, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, cool slightly and drizzle over cake and serve.
Adapted from Chef Nancy Carey
Adapted from Chef Nancy Carey
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Herbed Biscuits & Ham Sandwiches

Herbed Biscuits / Ham Sandwiches
Yields 8
  1. 8 T. unsalted cold butter, cubed
  2. 2 cups flour (I use half white whole wheat)
  3. 1 t. sugar
  4. 1 T. baking powder
  5. ¼ t. kosher salt
  6. ¾ t. baking soda
  7. 2 T. chopped fresh dill
  8. 2 T. chopped fresh mint
  9. 2 T. chopped fresh flat parsley
  10. 2 T. chopped fresh tarragon
  11. ¾ cups buttermilk
  1. mustard
  2. honey
  3. sliced ham
  4. bread
  5. butter pickles
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Put cubed butter in freezer.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and herbs in a food processor. Pulse to combine. (If you don’t have all the herbs called for, just make sure you use ½ C. herbs total.) Drop in butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Pour in buttermilk and pulse until mixture just comes together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, then cut into thirds. Stack thirds on top of each other and pat out into a rectangle again. Repeat twice, then pat into a 4x12 inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise and then into 8 square biscuits.
  5. Bake on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet until puffed and golden, 10-12 minutes. To make sandwiches, split biscuits and spread with mustard and honey. Top with ham and pickles and make into sandwiches.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Trends, Backstories and the Potato by Deb Forkins

The Chicago Trib just ran an article on Food and Drink Trends for 2016. According to the senior food editor Brett Thorn at National Restaurant News, “the overarching trend is people want to feel more connected with the food. They want to know the back story.” Well, FOM (Friends of Marcel’s) have been ahead of that trend for quite some time! Our chefs blend their culinary-inspired passions with backstories and love of place to bring you unique and inspiring class recipes and experiences. Our blog posts are full of food associations and recipes from our aunt’s cookbooks or our trip to Paris. Visit one of our free Tuesday Demos and learn why that particular recipe is so special to your demonstrator/hostess. It’s difficult for all FOMs to strip a dish from the context and the company with which it was consumed.

debblog3Personally, I uncovered the backstory of the lowly potato this August while traveling to Cusco, Peru and the Incan Trail. I always associated the potato with Ireland, but actually the first potato crops can be traced back to the ancient Incan culture of Peru thousands of years ago. In 1536 the Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru discovering the flavors of the potato (along with the gold) and carried the tubers back to Europe. Within 4 decades from that time, most of Europe, including Ireland, was farming potatoes.

debblog2Much like our Native North Americans, the Incans revere all living things – particularly Pachymama, Mother Earth, and all things that she provides. Peru has over 3,500 kinds of potatoes, all with names that evoke an intimate connection, “best black woman,” “best red woman,” “makes the daughter-in-law cry,” “like an old bone” to name a few. One or more kind of potatoes are served at every meal. The Incans have always been farmers extraordinaire. A mountainous terrain does not lend itself to a farming culture, but the ancient Incans were architectural wizards and tamed the landscape with now famous terraces. The Andean countryside is punctuated with amazing terraces that date back thousands of years, still pristine but unused as they have been deemed historic landmarks. Today, the typical Incan farmer rents a small plot of land and feeds his family from his land, selling any surplus stock he might have. Through serendipitous events, Marc and I visited one such farm family while in Peru, high in the Andes several hours from Cusco. We were immediately embraced by Marcello (south American cousin of Marcel’s???) and his family. We spent the afternoon learning their culture, conversing through an “unprofessional” interpreter who was also our driver. We walked their small property which included the garden of potato tubers, quinoa plants, corn and assorted vegetables, the llamas they raised for wool, the plants they collected knowing which color each plant leaf or root would impart to the wool, and the large wooden loom which is central to every Incan home turning the wool into magnificent blankets and clothing. We were their guests for lunch, and sat in their one room mud block home, as the women prepared many varieties of potatoes (all amazingly delicious) over an open fire. Marcello displayed samples of his produce on a blanket spread on the ground. Marcello’s daughters showed us how to make yarn from the harvested wool, and we dyed the yarn gold. The tall peaks of the Andes surrounded us, the sun was high and the air was crisp and fresh. It was an absolutely magical day, one we will never forget, along with a newfound love for the potato.

New Year, Old Recipe by Jenny Chang

JennyChangBlog2At the start of every new year, I get the urge to hunker down in the kitchen and get cooking. This time, I was inspired to cook an old Korean favorite, JaJang Myun (noodles with black bean sauce). As a child, this was a signature dish my father would make and we kids would all slurp our noodles with enjoyment.

I know it’s generally not polite to make such noises while you dine. However for most Asians, it’s perfectly acceptable to slurp your noodles. In fact, it’s encouraged. Slurping your noodles is a sign that you enjoy your meal. So as I sit in my kitchen, sitting around the island, slurping my JaJang Myun, I smile as I watch my 3 kids slurp their noodles and see the ring of black bean sauce cover the corners of their mouths. It’s heaven seeing them enjoy the same dish I relished so often as a child.

So I leave you with this thought… what dish will you make that allows the people in your life the joy of making sounds as they eat the dish you so lovingly prepared for them? Take these little sounds as a sign that they thoroughly enjoy your meal!

JaJang Sauce
  1. ½-3/4 lb. boneless pork chop or pork belly, diced
  2. 1 large zucchini, diced
  3. 1 yellow onion, diced
  4. 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  5. ½ cup black bean paste (available at most Asian grocery stores)
  6. 3 T. safflower, vegetable or canola oil
  7. 1 ½ T. corn starch, mixed with ¼ cup cold water
  8. julienne cucumber slices for garnish
  9. Korean style thick wheat noodles* (1lb), cook according to package directions
  1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large sauté pan and sauté pork until golden and crispy.
  2. Add potatoes, onions and zucchini. Cook for another 3 minutes, until onions are almost translucent. Make a well in the center of the pan and add the remaining oil. Add the black bean paste to the center of the pan where the well was made and cook the paste for a few minutes.
  3. After a few minutes, mix the paste in with the rest of the vegetables to ensure a nice coat. Add 2-3 cups of water, just enough to cover all of the vegetables and pork. Bring to a slow boil and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add corn starch mixture and slowly stir, allowing the sauce to thicken. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
  5. Portion noodles into individual pasta dishes and cover with sauce. Garnish with cucumber slices. Enjoy!
  1. *Linguine pasta can be used in place of Korean noodles, however it does taste best with Korean noodles. Alternately, you can serve on top of rice.
Adapted from Maangchii Real Korean Cooking Cookbook
Adapted from Maangchii Real Korean Cooking Cookbook
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Lobster Bisque

Jill consulted one of her favorite culinary references, the Larousse Gastronomique, to create a luxurious Lobster Bisque.  


Editor’s Notes: 

Mirepoix = Carrots, Onions and Celery; Bouquet Garni = Bundle of Fresh Herbs (Jill used Thyme and Rosemary)

Jill used Heavy Cream in place of Crème Fraîche and sautéed Shrimp in place of the Crayfish since she had already cooked her Lobster for the garnish.  A lesson that recipes are to be used as a template and you can use what you have on hand.  Enjoy!


Spicing Things Up by Robin Nathan

BucatiniPancettaOk, so the holidays are over. It’s dark at 4:30. It’ll be months until the weather’s warm again. We can moan about it, or we can pick up our pans and do something about it!  I say, fight dreary with flavor!

I’ve got the first salvo right here. A classic pasta dish from the central Italian town Amatrice, a few hours east of Rome, it’s traditionally made with bucatini pasta and pancetta, but you can substitute bacon or even turkey bacon for the pancetta. Bucatini is a long, round noodle – about the size of spaghetti, but it’s hollow. The first time I ate it, I quickly realized you can’t slurp it – the hollowness makes it like a straw! You can slurp, but nothing happens! So eating it is a great way to brush up on your pasta twirling skills.  You won’t get much practice, though. It’ll be gone faster than the 10 minutes it takes to make!

Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
Serves 4
  1. 8 oz. pancetta, diced
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 yellow onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. ½ t. dried red chile flake
  6. 12 oz. whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
  7. 1 pound bucatini pasta
  8. grated Pecorino Romano
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it boils, add the pasta and cook 7-8 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, put the pancetta into a large skillet and render it for about 8 minutes, until some of the fat has melted off, but the pancetta is still on the soft side. Add a little olive oil if you need to keep it from sticking at the beginning. Drain off all but 2 Tablespoons of the drippings. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and chile flake and cook 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt. Simmer gently.
  3. Drain the pasta and add it directly to the skillet with the sauce. Toss for a minute or two to combine.
  4. Tong into bowls and garnish liberally with Pecorino Romano.
Marcel's Culinary Experience