Chinese Five Spice BBQ Ribs

Chinese Five Spice BBQ Ribs
For the ribs
  1. 8 cups of chicken stock
  2. 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  3. 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  4. 1 six inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 4 pieces ot, diced
  5. 1 medium onion, diced
  6. 1 medium carrot, diced
  7. 2 stalks of celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  8. 2-3 racks of baby back pork ribs (about 4-6 lbs) or however much will fit into your pot
For the glaze
  1. 1 tablespoon of canola or safflower oil
  2. 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  3. 2 tablespoons of chopped peeled ginger (I omit this cuz I don't care for the taste of ginger)
  4. 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  5. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  6. 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  7. 1 cup dark corn syrup
  8. 1/4 cup ketchup
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons of Chinese 5 spice powder
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons of sambal chili paste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large Dutch oven/pot, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and nestle the ribs in the braising liquid. Cover the pot and bake until the meat is tender, about 90 min.
  2. While the meat is braising in the oven, prepare the glaze. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 min. Add soy sauce, hoisin, corn syrup, ketchup, five-spice powder, and chili paste. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly (about 20-25 min).
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and place them on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temp to 350 and brush a thick coat of glaze on the top and underside of the ribs. Bake for 30-45 min, brushing the ribs with additional glaze at about every 15 min until done. Let ribs rest for 5 min and cut into portions.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Food Demos, Who Me? by Tania Pasterz

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” – Ruth Reichl

I am the newest member of the Marcel’s retail team: a group of women that love all things culinary and are passionate about cooking. Shortly after learning the retail ropes and just when I started to feel comfortable; I was informed I was scheduled to do a Food Demonstration. A reallife food demo with a TV monitor, surrounded by customers watching and listening to my every word.

I must confess, being a lover of all things food and entertaining, it is something I’ve dreamt about. Standing alone at my kitchen counter pretending to be some variation of the Barefoot Contessa. That said, just the thought of it gave me anxiety. Pretending alone in my own kitchen was one thing – but real customers, an audience other than my family? What if my food tasted horrible? What if I didn’t have enough? What if I couldn’t talk and cook at the same time? Despite some serious trepidation, I came up with a recipe that I thought would be good and began planning.

The day finally arrived. My food was prepped, my recipe tested and it was time for my own little cooking show to begin (still scared to death mind you). The customers showed up, they asked interesting questions, and liked my dish (Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Eggs)! In fact, one tiny patron (age 4) said, “excuse me but can I say something, this is very artistic.” Literally out of the mouths of babes. My fear melted away and I knew I was hooked.

Almost every Tuesday a member of the retail staff at Marcel’s does a food demonstration. We prepare simple, fast and delicious food designed for busy people. The team member’s name and dish appears on our quarterly calendars for you to pick and choose which demonstration best fits your schedule. There is no charge and no sign up. And you get to leave with a new recipe!

All you need to do is show up, sit down, maybe learn a tidbit or two and taste. 

Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Eggs
  1. 4 carrots, diced
  2. 4 parsnips, diced
  3. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  4. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  6. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 6 slices bacon, diced
  8. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  9. 1 5-ounce package baby arugula or mixed greens (about 8 cups)
  10. 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  11. 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping
  12. 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the carrots, parsnips, red onion, garlic and two tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet; season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast, stirring half way through, until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet.
  3. Whisk the remains 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the vinegar in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, bacon, arugula, parsley and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
  4. Heat the reserved bacon drippings in the skillet over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs and fry until just set, about 4 minutes. Serve over salad and top with more parmesan.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Even Chefs Make Mistakes In The Kitchen by Jamie Bordoshuk

 My first attempt at making Focaccia di Recco was a colossal disaster. And it wasn’t because I used sugar instead of salt, or set the oven to broil instead of bake (yes, I’ve done both).  No, this disaster was 100% because of a pan. More specifically, my favorite pizza pan with the little holes on the bottom.

After mixing all of the ingredients together and rolling out the dough, I popped my masterpiece into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Halfway through, I opened the door to spin the pan when a waft of thick smoke sailed from the oven and straight to the smoke alarm. After quickly slamming the oven door and crazily fanning the alarm with a dish towel, I decided to take my chances and just wait out the remaining 15 minutes. Unfortunately, my focaccia was not having it. The smoke was now seeping out of my CLOSED oven door.  

Opening the door again, I was blasted with a full-on bellow of smoke so thick that I couldn’t even see across the room. And right on cue, my trusty smoke alarm began blaring it’s familiar song. Turns out I had nicked the bottom of the dough and created a cheese “escape-hatch” through (you guessed it) those little holes in my pan. I was left with an empty shell of a crust and 8 oz. of cheese on the bottom of my oven. I shut off the oven and ordered take-out.

As they say, if you don’t succeed, try try again.

Recipe Card

Focaccia di Recco
  2. 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing pan and brushing on focaccia
  5. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water.
  7. 12 ounces Crescenza cheese, in small clumps (comes in 7 1/2 ounce packages)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush a 15 × 12 inch pan with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Mix all the dough ingredients until a ball is formed and knead until smooth then let rest covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a thin 16 inch round. Line the pan with one sheet of dough and allow the excess to overhang the edges. Place tablespoon size dabs of cheese evenly on the dough. Cover with second sheet of dough allowing the excess to overhang the edges. Trim the edge of the pan and turn the dough in on itself to seal the edges. Make small holes randomly in the dough to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with coarse salt. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chickpea Stew With Orzo and Mustard Greens

Chickpea Stew With Orzo and Mustard Greens
Serves 4
Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  2. 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 1 small fennel bulb or 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  7. 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (optional)
  8. 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
  9. 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  10. ¾ cup roughly chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
  11. ½ cup whole-wheat or regular orzo
  12. 1 quart loosely packed baby mustard greens or spinach (about 5 ounces) or whatever greens you have on hand
  13. Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  14. Chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)
  15. ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, more as needed
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, fennel or celery, and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper and rosemary, if using, and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, if using, or water, plus an additional 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, add the chickpeas, tomatoes and orzo. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer 10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Uncover and stir in the greens, letting them simmer until soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add more water if you want the mixture to be more souplike, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with chopped scallions (if desired), grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
  1. I substituted the orzo for quinoa and cooked the quinoa separately, according to package directions.
Adapted from NYT Cooking
Adapted from NYT Cooking
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Mandoo Mania by Jenny Chang

My fondest memory of food always centered around making mandoo (aka. Korean dumplings or potstickers). Perhaps that’s the reason I love to eat them so much.  However making them always seemed like such a chore. I didn’t appreciate the labor of love that my mother always put into the vat of filling she made every holiday season, particular for New Year’s Eve.   

Our entire family would gather around lunchtime every New Year’s Eve and devour a big bowl of rice cake soup (made with pure bone broth, of course) to satiate us before beginning the process of filling hundreds of dumplings. My mother made the dough early in the morning and portioned it out into big round dough balls. My father and uncles would each take turns rolling out each rested dough ball into the largest round sheet of dough that covered our entire kitchen table. Then, using an upside down stainless steel rice bowl, cut out each individual dumpling wrapper from the gigantic sheet of dough. With a pile of dumpling wrappers ready to go, my aunts and all of us kids would gather around the huge bowl of mandoo filling and begin the process of filling each wrapper to make the prettiest dumplings around. We would have contests to see who could fold the prettiest dumplings. My older brother always won. To this day, he’s still the best dumpling maker.

Because our extended family was so big, we often needed to make several hundred mandoo to enjoy in our dumpling rice cake soup, a Korean tradition always consumed on New Year’s Day. Plus a bag of frozen mandoo for each family to take home and enjoy at a later time. It was the highlight of my entire year, more so than Christmas or Thanksgiving. You see, New Year’s Eve was the one time a year that our entire family gathered together to laugh, tell stories, and make dumplings for hours on end, much like the scene in the movie… Crazy Rich Asians.

Dumpling making was always a family tradition and one that involved all of the children. That is why, though I don’t like to have other people cook with me in my kitchen because truthfully, I can’t stand to have the mess, I try to include my three children in the mandoo making process and see who folds the prettiest dumplings. Although, these days we don’t roll out our own dumpling wrappers anymore – store bought ones suffice just great, I still take the time to make mandoo for those special occasions. Though one thing does remain. When we make mandoo, we still make at least a hundred or more.

Easy Tomato & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Easy Tomato & Grilled Cheese Croutons
For Soup
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 cups onions, chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 4 cups chicken stock
  5. 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  6. large pinch of saffron threads
  7. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  8. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. ½ cup orzo
  10. ½ cup heavy cream
For Grilled Cheese Croutons
  1. 4 slices country white bread
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  3. 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 min, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 min.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt and orzo. Cook for 7 minutes. (it will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain and add to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top (see directions below).
  4. Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter, making sure to butter the corners. Put Gruyere cheese on unbuttered side of two slices and place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the cheese, buttered side up.
  5. Grill the sandwiches on a panini grill for about 5 minutes or a skillet until both sides are nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  1. From Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa FoolProof
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Salmon with Pesto & Tomatoes

Salmon with Pesto & Tomatoes
  1. 1 two pound Salmon Fillet
  2. 1 Jar Pesto (Marcel’s Pesto alla Genovese highly recommended)
  3. 2 ripe Heirloom or Beefsteak Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  4. 1 tablespoon s.a.l.t. Sisters Tuscan blend
  5. 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  6. 1 fresh lemon
  7. black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Place salmon on a baking sheet and spread the salt blend over the top. Next generously spread the pesto over the entire top of the fish. Layer the tomato slices on next and top with the cheese.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes or until desired temperature.
  4. Serve with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and ground pepper.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Brussels Sprouts?… Yes, Brussels Sprouts! by Denise Stano

I might be one of the newest members of the Marcel’s retail staff, but I have been a Marcel’s supporter for many years.  You cannot help but look twice at the eye-catching window displays (how about that Snow family and the gorgeous Simon Pearce trees!!), walk into the store and are greeted by the aromas coming from the chef’s cooking classes, you are immediately hooked.

My first class experience at Marcel’s was a private party in 2012.  I was working at another retail store in town (aka AliKat) and we decided to hold our Christmas party in mid-November.  Holiday retail hours can be brutal and exhausting, so beginning the season early with a fun party seemed like a good idea…especially in case any Scrooge-like temperaments emerged as the season progressed!

We gathered with spouses and significant others on a Saturday evening with Chef Paul. He worked out a delicious menu for us to prepare and we read the recipes with anticipation…Beef Tenderloin Medallions, Wild Mushroom Ragout, Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies, Capers and Walnuts…what?  Brussel sprouts…??

He inquired as to how many of us liked the tiny cabbage-shaped veggie ….. and of course, no one raised their hand.  He assured us that after preparing this recipe we would all become Brussel sprout converts.  We smiled politely at his statement though I know we were all very doubtful.  We followed his instructions for our cruciferous side dish while secretly looking forward to the Baby Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting dessert that was to follow.  But guess what? After roasting those little cabbages and tossing them with Chef Paul’s amazing dressing, we all were in agreement that it was our favorite part of the meal. We unanimously said YES to Brussel sprouts.

Many of us served them at our Holiday table the next week, and in my family it has officially become our most requested side dish.  So if you are like so many and turn your nose up at the thought of Brussel sprouts on your menu, do yourself a favor and give these a try.  I promise you will love them and you might just have a new family favorite.

And when you stop in to thank Chef Paul, please pick up the new schedule of classes for the next quarter.  I know you will enjoy a fabulous evening making new friends, learning new cooking techniques and discovering new tastes no matter which class you choose.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies, Capers and Walnuts
Serves 10
  1. 3 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  2. 3/4 cup olive oil
  3. salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  5. 2 shallots, peeled and trimmed
  6. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  7. 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  8. 2 tablespoons honey
  9. 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  10. one, 2 ounce tin anchovies, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Brussel sprouts and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat. Divide Brussel sprouts evenly onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and charred in spots. Shift the pans in the oven halfway through the roasting. Remove from oven. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Place steel blade into the work bowl of food processor. With motor running drop the garlic and shallots through feed tube and process until chopped. Add the vinegar, mustard, honey, capers and anchovies. Process to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and process until fairly smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the warm Brussel sprouts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter walnuts over the top. Serve right away.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Inspired Continuing Education by Kiley Fields

In any profession there is continuing education. Sometimes it is required, other times it is inspired. Inspiration to learn something…just because. I often have these moments of inspiration in the kitchen. Sometimes I immerse myself in a unique cuisine or an underutilized ingredient. But I recently had a very unexpected inspiration to educate myself. There were a couple interactions that inspired me…

My husband came home from work a few weeks ago and told me about a colleague who has been replacing his meals with a nutritionally packed drink instead of food. Soylent. Have you heard of this stuff? I will let you do your own research and make your own judgements. His colleague’s take was that consuming this cylinder bottle of “liquid food” increased his productivity in the office. What? He voluntarily consumes this stuff?

Another friend shared with me his morning breakfast. A fruit and vegetable packed smoothie – which sounded delicious – until he threw in the 24g protein packed scoop of snickerdoodle flavored whey protein. Stop there!

And finally, a girlfriend who is constantly on the run with five kids. She is a self-described “clean” eater. A go to protein for her might be boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked with olive oil cooking spray and no salt. Bad idea for so many reasons. When I saw her last she gave me a cute little “protein ball.” Protein balls are her thing. Just pop a bunch of nutritionally balanced ingredients in a food processor, pulse away, roll into balls, and you have an on-the-go nutritional snack. Quick, easy and no baking. Generally speaking I like the idea of these “protein balls”. Finally, we are using “real” food – not engineered liquid food or snickerdoodle flavored powder. But, how can we make them taste better, have better texture? Hence, my inspiration for continuing education!

  I spent a Saturday afternoon educating myself. My challenge was to develop a nutritional high protein convenience snack made with “real” food that tasted good. I needed variation in texture and depth in flavor. I tried sweet, I tried savory. I tried TVP – that’s where I drew the line. TVP, textured vegetable protein. This is the main ingredient in dishes like vegan “chicken nuggets” and vegan “beef tacos.”  It provides the protein and texture without the meat. Uh, really? Not sure this qualifies as “real” food.

After many trials and an entire pantry of ingredients utilized, I finally landed on a snack I was pleased with. High protein, lactose-free, and no refined sugar mini muffin bites. Nice texture and good flavor. I sampled them to a few of my best critics. Thumbs up all around. Most importantly, my girlfriend with five kids loved them. Then she asked if she could leave out the egg and throw all the ingredients in a food processor to make them into “protein balls.” Nooooooo! Enough with the protein balls!

My self-written course on high protein convenience snacks began and ended on that Saturday afternoon. I will make the mini muffins again, they were good. But until I get around to it, my go-to high protein snack will be a simple and nostalgic one: a fresh cut apple with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.

High Protein Mini Muffins Made With “Real” Food That Tastes Good
Yields 24
  1. 1 ripe banana, mashed
  2. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 4 tablespoons ghee, plus more for preparing muffin pan (can substitute butter, but will no longer be lactose-free)
  5. 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup teff flour (look for Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  8. 1 cup rolled oats
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  12. 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  13. 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  14. 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  1. Lightly grease mini muffin tin wells with ghee, set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl stir to combine banana, egg, peanut butter, four tablespoons ghee, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. In separate medium bowl whisk together teff flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts, flaked coconut and blueberries. Batter will be quite dense.
  4. Using spring loaded portion scoop or tablespoon fill each muffin well with 1.5 tablespoons of batter. Push down in to well slightly with back of tablespoon.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until puffed, golden, and cooked through.
  1. 3 mini muffins have 9 grams of protein. need more protein? eat more muffins.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Thanksgiving Countdown by Jennifer Dorn

We are a few days away from many peoples’ favorite holiday – Thanksgiving. We celebrate with our families and gather around tables across our community – we are thankful for our bountiful harvest and blessings.  It is a wonderful day and meal. But …yes there may be some stress for cooks out there on this final countdown.  I am lucky to work with many talented cooks that have shared some ideas with me – I have added a few of my own to allow you more time relaxing with family and friends.

First of all, a few things can still be purchased: 

  • Appetizer – order a Cheese & Charcuterie Board from Marché.
  • Dessert – order a delicious locally baked Pumpkin Pies from Marché. Call (630) 790-8890 no later than Saturday, November 17th.  
  • At Marcel’s we are stocked with brining mix and bags for your turkey and we are always available for your last minute kitchen and meal prep needs.

The few days leading up to Thanksgiving can be used to chop ingredients – yup this could take hours so go ahead and start early.  My co-worker Sharon chops the onions, celery and carrots and places them in labeled zip lock bags for time saving minutes on the big day.

Let your slow cooker do some extra work for you. Use it to keep extra side dishes or an extra turkey breast warm.

The day before, make many of your side dishes.  Bake your potatoes the day ahead and use the Powder Horn Potato recipe below.  It is one of our family’s favorites.  Did I mention that at our house it is all about the sides?!

Set the table early. My sister-in-law is so organized that she sets out her serving dishes/utensils and labels each one with a sticky note for use on the big day. This way you know what will go where and whether or not you need to make a last minute trip to Marcel’s for that one servingware piece still needed. One year we took old family photos/school pictures and made them into place card settings. Make it FUN because now you are ready and will have time for the details.

All of us here at Marcel’s are very thankful for our loyal customers and we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Powder Horn Potatoes
Serves 8
  1. 10 medium potatoes
  2. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  3. 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops or chives
  5. 2 cups sour cream
  6. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bake Potatoes in their skins at 400* for 40 minutes or until slightly firm. Cool overnight.
  2. Thanksgiving morning peel and grate potatoes mix together butter, cheese, onion, sour cream, salt and pepper and stir into potatoes. Pour mixture into lightly greased 2 1/2 quart casserole baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 mins or until lightly browned.
  1. From: Creme de Colorado Cookbook
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/