Archives for March 2017

Weekend in Santa Fe by Robin Nathan

I’m a Western girl at heart. Any chance I get, that’s the direction I head, and I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Santa Fe, one of my favorite cities in the American west.

I met a couple longtime girlfriends there (I can’t say “old girlfriends” anymore, since we’re now actually OLD), and we ate and shopped (but mostly ate) our way through the town. If you’re unfamiliar with northern New Mexico and it’s cuisine, there are three ingredients which really define it: Hatch chilies, both green and red, and both HOT; piñon nuts, AKA pine nuts; and blue corn.

As a heat-freak, I love the fire-y Hatch chilies in everything from salsas and enchiladas to pizza and burger toppings. Locals string the red chilies together in the early fall to form ristras, allowing the chilies to dry and provide a ready supply all year. As for piñon nuts, I’ve been munching on them all my life — living on the west coast and spending time in the southwest provided easy access. One of my girlfriends on the trip, a native Midwesterner, was surprised to learn the nuts are actually harvested from pine cones. But not just any old pine tree’s cones will do – they must be from a piñon pine, the short, scrubby looking pine tree that prefers the higher altitudes of northern New Mexico and Arizona.

What’s Left of my Pancake…

Blue corn, however, is perhaps the most exotic of the cuisine’s native ingredients. Originally cultivated by the Hopi tribe of New Mexico and Arizona, blue corn is ground into a powder for use in tortillas and native breads. In the hands of white folks, it’s found it’s way into muffins, pancakes, and even pizza crust. Blue corn provides 20% more protein than white or yellow corn, and has a sweeter, nuttier flavor. Sunday morning found me and my friends feasting on delicious and lightly crunchy blue corn and piñon pancakes at the Plaza Restaurant, one of the oldest restaurants in Santa Fe, and as depicted in the name, right on the main plaza, across from the Native American artisan market. You don’t have to travel to Santa Fe to pick up some blue corn meal – look for Bob’s Red Mill at your local specialty store! Get your hands on some and try these pancakes some weekend morning soon!

Blue Corn and Piñon Pancakes with Piñon Butter
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For Pancakes
  1. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 ½ cups blue corn meal
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 3 tablespoons sugar
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 ½ cups milk
  8. ½ cup buttermilk
  9. ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  10. ½ C. Piñon pine nuts
  11. Additional melted butter for griddle
For Butter
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 tablespoon honey
  3. 3 tablespoons piñon pine nuts
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Confectioner’s sugar or maple syrup for serving
Make the Butter
  1. Using a small spatula, combine the butter, honey and piñon nuts in a small bowl and season to taste with salt. Set aside at room temperature. (Refrigerate if making more than an hour in advance, bring to room temperature before using.)
Make the Pancakes
  1. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Combine the eggs, milks and melted, cooled butter in a smaller bowl or large glass measuring cup. Whisk to blend, then pour into dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated, the batter should still be a bit lumpy.
  2. Preheat a griddle to moderate heat (350 if it has a thermostat.) Lightly butter the griddle and ladle the batter onto the griddle to form the pancakes. Sprinkle with a few of the pine nuts and cook until the underside is golden, about 2-4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side. Transfer to a platter and hold in a warm oven until all the batter has been used.
  3. To serve, pile onto plates and dollop with the soft piñon nut butter. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or drizzle lightly with maple syrup and enjoy.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Turkey Burgers with Moroccan Spiced Aioli

Turkey Burgers with Moroccan Spiced Aioli
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  2. 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  3. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  4. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
  8. 1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
  9. 4 1/3 -inch-thick red onion slices
  10. 1 large red bell peppers, quartered
  11. 4 slices white cheddar cheese
  12. 4 brioche hamburger buns
  13. Arugula
Aioli
  1. Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, shaking skillet often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Finely grind toasted seeds in spice grinder or in mortar with pestle. Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper.
Burgers
  1. Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4-inch thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger.
  2. Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.
  3. Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer. Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula. Cover burgers with bun tops and enjoy.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

The Joys of a Food Memory by Rita Cevaal

This time of the year is the perfect excuse to cozy up and watch all of the great Academy Award nominated films. One of my favorites this year was the film Lion. Based on a true story, it is about a small boy who gets lost on a train that takes him thousands of miles from home. He is eventually adopted by a couple from Australia, and settles comfortably there. It is not until he is at University that he meets other Indian students; the smell and sight of Indian food and culture trigger childhood memories .

This story reminds me of when my Grandma would visit from California, always arriving with trinkets and stories of her travels. While she was staying with us she would always bake. We would place bookmarks in cookbooks, marking the things we wanted her to make the next time she was in town. Food certainly has a way of generating memories, and this is especially true with a particular recipe of hers. She visited one time with a recipe cut out from a newspaper for “Boiled Cookies,” and it became an instant favorite. Not only were they yummy, but we loved that they were called “boiled” cookies. Today, many call these “No-Bake Cookies.” Despite the different names, they are still made the same way, bringing butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa to a boil on the stove before adding vanilla, peanut butter, and oatmeal. The next step is to spoon the mixture onto sheets of waxed or parchment on the kitchen counter, while fighting the willpower not to eat them before they cool.

I know my family now has their own memories of these cookies since they were a regular after school snack. We call these a semi-healthy cookie since they are gluten-free and we make them with organic sugar and oats!

 

 

No Bake Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. ¼ cup cocoa
  3. ½ cup milk
  4. ½ cup butter
  5. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  6. pinch of salt
  7. ½ cup peanut butter
  8. 3 cups rolled oats
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax or parchment paper. Let cool completely before removing from paper.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chive Risotto Cakes

Chive Risotto Cakes
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Ingredients
  1. Kosher salt
  2. 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  3. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  4. 2 extra-large eggs
  5. 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  6. 1 1/2 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (5 ounces)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 3/4 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  9. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Bring a large (4-quart) pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, fontina, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  4. Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard (2 1/4-inch) ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

EVENTS + CLASSES LIKE NO OTHER

There’s a class tailored to your palate, global curiosity and social schedule. Register today to reserve your spot in the kitchen and at the table.

Plan a private event. Gather with friends, family or colleagues to celebrate the special milestones that make life and work meaningful. 

Bacon Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
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Ingredients
  1. 5 slices thick cut bacon, cut into roughly 1/2-inch squares
  2. 1 pound brussels sprouts, each sprout cut in half
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and sauté until slightly cooked but not crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and set aside.
  2. Add the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper and sauté until the brussels sprouts soften and turn a brighter and deeper shade of green, about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the bacon is crispy and the brussels sprouts have turned golden around the tips and are relatively soft when pierced with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes more, stirring every 2 minutes.
Adapted from FINEX USA
Adapted from FINEX USA
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Panko Crusted Salmon

Panko Crusted Salmon
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  2. 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  3. 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  4. 1 clove of garlic - minced
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  7. Four 6 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on
  8. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  9. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  10. Lemon wedges, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside.
  3. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board. Mix the garlic and mustard together. Generously brush the top of the fillets with mustard mixture and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet. The mustard will help the panko adhere.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or large heavy, ovenproof pan. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin.
  5. Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the panko is browned.
  6. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the salmon hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Mustard Roasted Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup whole grain Dijon mustard
  2. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  7. ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  8. ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  9. 1 ½ pounds small red and white skinned potatoes, cut into ¾”wide wedges
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment.
  2. Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add the potatoes; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat.
  3. Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes, toss, and roast until potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside, about 25 minutes longer.
Notes
  1. Can be made 2 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature, then rewarm in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Dining in the American Riviera by Jamie Bordoshuk

Santa Barbara is known as “America’s Riviera” for good reason. The lush Mediterranean climate, picturesque Pacific coastline, red tiled roofs and sophisticated culture make you feel like you’ve been magically transported to Spain or Italy. In addition to all of this, it also holds the title for having the most restaurants per capita on the central coast – 450 to be exact.

My wife and I were lucky to call Santa Barbara ‘home’ for the entire month of January. And we had one goal – to try as many of Santa Barbara’s restaurants as possible.

First on our list was Brophy Brothers, a Santa Barbara staple for the past 30 years that is located right in the harbor with views of mega-yachts and playful sea lions. Brophy’s wins the Best Seafood title year after year, but it’s their award-winning Brophy’s Clam Chowder that keeps the locals coming back. My bowl was brimming with big chunks of clam, russet potatoes, onions and celery in a perfectly creamy base. Top all of this off with a basket of warm sourdough and a local craft brew and I was in heaven.

For Taco Tuesday we ventured out in search of a Cali-Mex restaurant that served homemade chips and salsa, fresh flavors and strong margaritas. Walking up State Street, we came upon Sandbar, an outdoor restaurant with fire pits, heat lamps and a wonderful ‘come as you are’ vibe. The stars were aligned again as we were pleasantly surprised to hear that Happy Hour included 2-for-1 margaritas and $5 appetizers. Sandbar became our weekly ‘spot’ for the rest of our Tuesdays.

On our final weekend (with my sisters in tow), we visited Paradise Café – the first and only Santa Barbara restaurant to grill their prime steaks and fresh seafood using live wood oak. Live oak imparts the unique and pungent flavor to meats, seafood and vegetables while allowing the quality of these ingredients to come through. The savory flavors brought out by the oak allow them to keep additional seasonings to a minimum. For an appetizer, we ordered the fresh local mussels steamed in wine, butter, garlic and Pernod. Unbelievable! In addition to the flavor, each mussel was literally the size of a silver dollar. No two ways about it, we just had to order another bowl!

Although we didn’t make it to all 450 restaurants, we did put a dent in the list. You can bet that we will be picking up where we left off next year. While at home, I make this New England Clam Chowder and imagine we are harbor-side at Brophy’s.

New England Clam Chowder
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (10 oz) cans clams, with juice reserved or 2-3 pounds fresh clams
  2. 2 cups bottled clam juice
  3. 4 cups seafood broth
  4. 3 tablespoons butter
  5. 2 cups onions, small dice
  6. 2 cups celery, small dice
  7. 2 carrots, small dice
  8. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  9. 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 3 cups potatoes, peeled and medium dice
  12. 2 cups heavy cream
  13. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté onions, carrots and celery in butter, until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf and sauté for 1 minute more. Add potatoes, seafood broth, reserved clam juice and bottled clam juice. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked - about 20 minutes. Add clams and heavy cream and cook another 5 minutes. If soup is too thin, mash a few of the potatoes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

 

Weeknight Bolognese

Weeknight Bolognese
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
  2. 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  3. 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  4. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  5. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  6. 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
  7. 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  8. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  10. 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  12. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  13. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  14. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
  3. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/