Lemon and Orzo Soup with Spinach and Chicken

Lemon and Orzo Soup with Spinach and Chicken
  1. 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  2. 3/4 cup each diced carrots and celery
  3. 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  1. 1 tablespoon each fresh garlic and thyme
  2. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  3. 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  4. 1 cup dry orzo
Off Heat, Stir In
  1. 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey
  2. 1 pkg. fresh baby spinach (5oz.)
  3. 1-2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
  4. 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Crumbled Feta cheese
  1. Sauté onions, carrot, celery in oil in a large pot over med-high heat until softened, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and pepper flakes to pot; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in orzo; cook until al dente about 7 minutes. Off heat, stir in chicken/turkey, spinach, zest and lemon juice. Season soup with salt. Garnish with feta and additional zest.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home December 2013
Adapted from Cuisine at Home December 2013
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chickpea and Kale Curry

Chickpea and Kale Curry
  1. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  3. 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  4. 3 cups chopped lacinato kale
  5. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  6. 1 tablespoon garam masala (optional)
  7. 1 teaspoon curry powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  12. 1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (refrigerated or canned)
  13. 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  15. Cilantro springs
  1. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale and garlic; cook until kale is softened; about 2 minutes. Stir in curry powder, cumin, garam masala, salt and pepper. Add peanut butter; stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Stir in coconut milk and chickpeas. Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce begins to thicken slightly; 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fresh lime juice. Sprinkle with cilantro sprigs. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over quinoa, rice or with naan bread.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Culinary Fight Club by Kiley Fields

The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club…
…unless it’s a different kind of Fight Club…a Culinary Fight Club.

25 champions from 14 cities came together this past Sunday to compete in the 2019 Annual Culinary Fight Club Championship in Chicago.

Culinary Fight Club is a national organization that hosts live cooking competitions. Attendees watch while three teams race for 45 seconds to choose 15 ingredients from the ‘pantry’. Teams then have 60 minutes to create a dish that represents their take on the theme. Attendees and judges vote and choose a winning dish and a Culinary Fight Club champion is named. These 25 champions came out strong this past Sunday.

From home cooks to executive chefs, competitors highlighted different cultures, ingredients, and cooking techniques – all tempting the taste buds of ticket holders and judges. And let me tell you…it was delicious!

This was the first time I attended a Culinary Fight Club event and it will not be my last. As the season culminating event, this Fight Club took on a bit of a different format. The event started with the Culinary Fight Fest (CFF). The goal of the CFF was for attendees to taste all the bites the chefs had to offer in an effort to pick the top four favorites. For three hours my husband, myself and a few other friends, ate and drank our way through 25 different bite-size masterpieces while chefs described their dish, their cooking background, and what made their culinary heart tick. At the end of the three hours, the CFF concluded, tasting stopped, and ballots were cast. The four winning bites of the Culinary Fight Fest were announced, and these chefs advanced on to The Final Plate, the crowning competition of the night…

Best Bite Wins…
First Place: Kris Schoenberger (BBQ’d Productions Bar and Grill, Third Lake, IL) – Kansas City Wagyu Surf n’ Turf Slider
Second Place: Chris Allen (City Winery Restaurant, Nashville, TN) – Boston Scallop and Shrimp Aglio E Olio with Pancetta and Yukon Puree
Tied for Third/Fourth: Cory Hinton (Private Chef, Chattanooga, TN) – Romance of Eden, an elevated Shrimp Po’ Boy
Tied for Third/Fourth: Jamie Bisioulis (Private Chef, Glenview, IL) – Chicken Kiev Croquette with Candied Pork Belly

Pumped with a Best Bite win under their belt Kris, Chris, Cory and Jamie proceeded to the 45-minute quick fire challenge in the style of “Chopped” – creating one final dish for the judges to critique. It was an intense 45 minutes of concepting, creating, and plating while the audience watched and the clock ticked down. The buzzer rang and the cooking stopped.

All four chefs did a stellar job pulling together their dishes, but only one chef could prevail. The 2019 Culinary Fight Club Champion title was awarded to Kris Schoenberger. Chef Schoenberger was definitely a crowd favorite with his emotion (tears were shed), passion, and love for food and how it brings people together. This was his third year competing and advancing to The Final Plate Championship and his first win. He said “Three is my lucky number,” and I would say ‘Third time’s a charm’ definitely holds true for Kris.

To learn more about upcoming Culinary Fight Club events check them out here. You can also learn about the great way they are giving back by partnering with Fight2Feed, a non-profit organization with the mission to eliminate hunger in Chicago by utilizing leftovers from restaurants and food trucks.

In honor of the 2019 champion, Kris Schoenberger, here is my own spin on a Surf n’ Turf Slider.

Korean-Inspired Surf n' Turf Sliders with Daikon Carrot Pickle
Yields 8
  1. Daikon Carrot Pickle
  2. 5 ounces daikon, julienned or thinly sliced
  3. 5 ounces carrot, julienned or thinly sliced
  4. 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1/2 cup sugar, granulated
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. Bulgogi Sauce
  9. 1/3 cup soy sauce
  10. 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  11. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  12. 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  13. 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  14. 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  15. 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  16. Sliders
  17. 1 pound ground chuck
  18. 3 ounces bacon, ground or finely chopped in food processor
  19. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  20. 1 teaspoon salt
  21. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  22. Lobster
  23. 8 ounces cooked lobster meat, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  24. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  25. 1/2 lemon, zested
  26. 2 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more tt
  27. 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  28. salt and pepper, to taste
  29. 8 slider buns, for assembly
  30. Mayonnaise, for assembly
  1. For pickle, add daikon and carrot to pint size mason jar or other heat proof container with tight fitting lid. Bring vinegar and water to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Add salt and sugar and simmer until both dissolve, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully pour hot pickling liquid into mason jar with daikon and carrot. You can discard any extra pickling liquid. Let sit, uncovered, until room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover and keep at room temperature if using within a few hours. If making in advance, seal container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Pickles can hold in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. To a small saucepan add all bulgogi sauce ingredients, except sesame oil. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat and continue cooking until sauce thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. For sliders, gently combine ground chuck, bacon, garlic powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Form in to 8 equal sized sliders and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator to allow sliders to re-chill, about 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
  4. While sliders are chilling combine lobster, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chives in a small bowl. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Preheat gas grill to medium-high heat or light a charcoal grill and let coals burn until hot and covered in white ash. You want to achieve a cooking temperature of approximately 400 degrees.
  6. When grill is preheated, place sliders directly on grill grates and let cook about 3 minutes on the first side until nice grill marks appear. Flip burgers and brush bulgogi sauce on top of burger. Continue cooking on second side, about 3 more minutes. Flip and brush sauce on second side. Remove sliders from grill and toast buns for just a minute or two. Assemble sliders – spread bottom of buns with mayonnaise, top with slider patty and brush with additional bulgogi sauce. Divide lobster mixture evenly between sliders. Finish with a fork full of daikon carrot pickle. Close sliders and serve immediately.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Cheesy Mushroom Quesadillas with Summer Succotash

Cheesy Mushroom Quesadillas with Summer Succotash
  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 12 ounces sliced white mushrooms (5 to 6 cups)
  3. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 3 roasted hatch peppers, thinly sliced
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 1/2 cups grated havarti cheese (about 6 ounces)
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  8. 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  9. 1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  10. 2 cups fresh corn
  11. 1 cup frozen lima beans
  12. 1 red pepper, diced
  13. 1/2 red onion, diced
  14. Juice from 2 limes
  15. 1/4 cup olive oil
  16. 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter, the hatch pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate; let cool. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. Toss the cheese with the oregano in a large bowl. Sprinkle on one side of each tortilla and top with the mushroom mixture. Fold the tortillas in half to cover the filling.
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat. Working in batches, cook the quesadillas, flipping once, until the cheese melts and the tortillas are browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the jalapeno and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the corn. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a separate bowl add diced peppers, onions, lima beans.
  5. Make a vinaigrette with the lime, oil and honey. Combine corn and jalapeño to the other veggies and toss with the vinaigrette.
  6. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with the succotash.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Skillet Tomato Tart

Skillet Tomato Tart
Serves 6
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  3. 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  4. 4-6 tablespoons ice-cold water
  5. 4 medium heirloom tomatoes
  6. 1 cup crème fraiche
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
  9. 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  10. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  11. Fresh black pepper
  12. 10-12 fresh oregano leaves, torn
Homemade Crème Fraiche*
  1. 1 pint (16 oz) heavy cream
  2. 2 tablespoons (1 oz) cultured buttermilk
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons water and pulse a few more times. If the dough has not begun to come together, add more water a tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between, until a very loose dough forms. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Core and slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Lay the slices in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let drain 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 15-inch round. Carefully lay the dough into an 11” – 12” large oven proof skillet. Gently press down into the corners and allow excess dough to hang over the sides.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the crème fraiche and egg yolk. Drizzle the bottom of the dough with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and then spread the crème fraiche mixture over the dough. Dot with goat cheese and sprinkle with chopped oregano. Blot the tomatoes dry with paper towels, then layer on top of the goat cheese.
  5. Gently fold the excess dough onto the outside edge of the tomatoes. Brush the crust lightly with remaining olive oil. Season the entire tart with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown, rotating once halfway through cooking. If the center begins to inflate too much, poke a small hole in the filling to release some steam.
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few torn oregano leaves.
Homemade Crème Fraiche
  1. Combine buttermilk and heavy cream in non-reactive container. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until thickened to desired texture, about 12 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  1. *yields 2 cups
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Mojo Shrimp with Caesar Salad

Mojo Shrimp with Caesar Salad
  1. 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 large shallot or 1/4 sweet onion thinly sliced
  4. 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  5. 1/4 cup lime juice
  6. 1/4 lemon juice
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 1 tablespoon of butter
  1. Caesar Salad
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  4. 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  5. 1 clove garlic mashed into paste with pinch of salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1/4 Olive oil
  8. Salt & Pepper to taste
  9. 2 Heads Romaine lettuce
  10. 1/2 baguette halved lengthwise and brushed with olive oil
  11. (grill 2 mins per side) chop into cubes for croutons
  12. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. 1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed with tails left on
  2. Olive oil for brushing
  3. 1 teaspoon Mojo Salt Blend from S.A.L.T. Sisters
  4. Cilantro - chopped optional garnish
  5. Thread shrimp onto skewers and brush with olive oil - season with Mojo salt blend. Grill on medium high heat for 3 mins per side.
  1. Plunge egg in boiling water for one minute, remove from water and cool. Whisk juices, garlic, Worcestershire, the egg and the olive oil. This makes a light citrus dressing for the salad.
  2. Toss the romaine salad with dressing and parmesan cheese. Top with the grilled shrimp and Mojo sauce. Serve salad with cilantro garnish and grilled croutons.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Buttermilk and Herb Marinated Chicken

Buttermilk and Herb Marinated Chicken
  1. 4 bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves
  2. 1 cup buttermilk
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 2-3 teaspoons LFK Backyard Blend seasoning
  4. 1 lemon
  5. 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  1. Mix together the buttermilk, herb blend, lemon zest and juice and garlic together. Add the chicken and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Grill at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Caesar Potato Salad

Caesar Potato Salad
Serves 6
  1. 2 pounds small unpeeled round red potatoes
  2. 8 unpeeled cloves garlic
  3. ¼ teaspoon salt
  4. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  5. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 tablespoon water
  8. 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  9. 1/3 cup diced purple onion
  10. ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  11. 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. Place potatoes and garlic in a Dutch oven; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 24 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain; cool potatoes and garlic slightly.
  2. Peel garlic; place in a large bowl and mash. Stir in salt and next 5 ingredients. Cut potatoes into quarters; add to garlic mixture. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Serve warm or cover and chill.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Skillet Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing

Skillet Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing
  1. 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons Butter
  3. 4 Scallions - chopped
  4. 4 Ears of Sweet Corn- husked
  5. 1/2 teaspoon LFK Seasoning "Rub it Right"*
  6. (or Mojo SALT Sisters Blend)*
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. 1 Pint halved Grape or cherry Tomatoes
  10. Juice of one Lime
  11. 1 Diced Ripe Avocado
  12. Chopped Cilantro to garnish
  1. Heat cast iron skillet for 5 minutes, then add oil and butter. Add chopped onions, and cook for 2 minutes. Next add corn kernels and seasoning to the skillet. Cook at medium high heat for 5 minutes and then add the halved tomatoes, lime juice, and diced avocado - stir until the avocado "melts" into the salad - about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Garnish with chopped cilantro - serve warm as a side dish or serve with your favorite chips.
  1. *available at Marcel's
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Crunchy Honey Lime Apple Slaw

Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Crunchy Honey Lime Apple Slaw
  1. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  2. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  3. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  4. ½ teaspoon cumin
  5. ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  6. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  8. ¼ teaspoon sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  1. 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  2. ½ cup green apple, diced
  3. ½ lime, zest and juiced
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  6. sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  1. ¼ cup mayonnaise
  2. 2 tablespoons sriracha
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  5. 1 pound medium sized shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed)
  6. 6 taco size corn tortillas
  7. 1 ripe avocado
  8. cilantro
  1. Whisk together vinegar, honey, lime, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the shredded cabbage, apple and onions. Stir until everything is coated in dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  1. Stir together all the ingredients for the seasoning in a bowl. Pour the seasoning over the shrimp and stir until the shrimp are coated. Heat 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes per side.
  1. Place about 1/4 cup of the coleslaw on a heated corn tortilla along with 3 shrimp and a slice of avocado, and cilantro to garnish. Drizzle some Sriracha sauce and a squeeze of lime on top and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/