Chef Talk: Summertime & College Cooking by Lynn Dugan

Register TODAY for Chef Lynn’s July 18th Cooking for College Students: Plant Based Eating hands on cooking class.

I just returned from a week with extended family at my parent’s house in Michigan. With 90-degree heat, we minimized our use of the oven during meal prep for the 25 of us.  Most of our cooking was done on the grill except for the enchiladas I had pre-made and frozen ahead of time.  We were all happy that enchiladas cook in just 20 minutes!  But the heat in the kitchen generated from the enchiladas was well worth it. These vegetarian enchiladas- made with shredded sweet potato and lentils- were enjoyed by all.  It is a recipe I was refining for the Cooking for College Students class that I am teaching on July 18 at 6:30pm.  Marcel’s College Cooking class is a perfect opportunity for young adults to learn together in the kitchen; it is always a lot of fun!  Marcel’s hosts a college cooking class twice a year and this is the first vegetarian one we have offered.  It has an amazing menu: Black Bean Avocado Mango Salad, Mexican Creamed Corn, Enchilada Casserole with Sweet Potato, and Coconut Rice Pudding. Please don’t miss it! 

Just like the cooking strategy my family and I had in Michigan, summer is always the ideal time to economize oven use. This Baked Honey Chicken is a recipe for success: cook once, eat twice.  Essentially, use the oven once to produce two delicious meals.  The chicken marinates for 1-4 hours before it’s baked for just 30 minutes.  Half of this cooked chicken is then saved in the refrigerator for the next night’s dinner, Key West Chicken Salad Wraps. The remaining half of the Baked Honey Chicken is served for that night’s yummy Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli.    

Baked Honey Chicken
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  2. 1/3 cup honey
  3. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/4 cup sliced scallions
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cover dish with foil and marinade in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours. Turn chicken once midway through marinating time.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, covered, in oven for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, uncover and turn chicken pieces over, and bake for another 15 minutes, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  3. Remove half of the chicken to a covered storage dish. Refrigerate and save for Key West Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps (recipe below).
  4. Use remaining chicken and the sauce from the baking dish to make Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli (recipe below).
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli

Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  2. 1/3 cup honey
  3. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  7. 2 cups cooked brown rice
  8. 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed
  9. 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  10. 1 scallion, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cover dish with foil and marinade in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours. Turn chicken once midway through marinating time.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, covered, in oven for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, uncover and turn chicken pieces over, and bake for another 15 minutes, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  3. Divide rice into each of four serving bowls. Top with equal portions of broccoli and sliced chicken. Spoon generous amounts of sauce on top of bowl contents. Garnish with shredded carrots and scallions.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. 8 ounces rigatoni
  6. 1 pound broccoli, stems trimmed and peeled, stems sliced crosswise into ¼” coins, and tops cut into florets
  7. ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
  8. ½ cup Whipped Ricotta (recipe follows)
  9. ½-1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  10. ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs, optional
  11. Whipped Ricotta (Makes about 1 ½ cups)
  12. 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (from Marché)
  13. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  14. Freshly ground black pepper
  15. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put the garlic in a small bowl and pour over enough olive oil to cover. Shape the sausage into 4 balls then flatten them like a hamburger patty.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook just shy of al dente according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage patties and cook until nicely browned on one side, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli coins and the sliced garlic, including the oil, to the skillet. Flip the sausage patties and keep cooking until the sausage is just about fully cooked, another 4 more minutes or so. Break up the sausage with a spoon into bite-size chunks. Add the chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds or so. With a ladle, scoop out about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, add it to the pan to stop the cooking of everything, and slide the pan from the heat.
  5. About 3 minutes before the pasta should be al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook all together until the pasta is ready. Scoop out another cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and broccoli, and add to the skillet.
  6. Return the skillet to the heat. Add ¼ cup or so of the pasta water, the whipped ricotta, and half the Parmigiano. Season the pasta generously with salt and black pepper. Shake the pan to combine the ingredients, put back over med. heat, and cook for a couple of min. to warm everything through and make a nice saucy consistency.
  7. Serve with more Parmigiano and top with the breadcrumbs, if using.
Whipped Ricotta Directions
  1. Put the ricotta, salt and 20 twists of pepper in a food processor and start to process. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Pause and scrape down the sides if needed. The mixture should get lovely and creamy. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper. Or a bit more olive oil – you should be able to taste the oil as well as the ricotta. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. From the book: Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Summer Vegetable Gratin

Summer Vegetable Gratin
Serves 4
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Base
  1. 1 garlic clove, minced
  2. 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  3. 2 teaspoons italian seasonings
Gratin Ingredients
  1. 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  2. 1 red onion
  3. 1 large eggplant
  4. 1 zucchini
  5. 1 summer squash
  6. 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  7. 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Stir together base ingredients in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Wash the vegetables. Cut each vegetable into 1/2 inch slices.
  4. Arrange vegetables and cheese over base, alternating colors.
  5. Top with fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and bake for 39 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. This is a great side dish and can also be a main served over pasta.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Dining Al Fresco by Didi Foth

Definition of al fresco: taking place or located in the open air: outdoor, outdoors. An al fresco lunch, an al fresco café, dining al fresco.

One of the things I look forward to most when summer arrives is being able to eat outside. All my friends know that if you make a reservation for lunch or dinner with me, a request for an outdoor table is a must, even on the warmest (or coolest) days. I feel the need to take advantage of every beautiful day since our warm weather is limited here in the Midwest.

My favorite place for al fresco dining, though, is on my own patio. I love sitting in my garden on a beautiful night with a summer menu, a pretty table, candlelight, and a great playlist. Nothing could be better! Over the years I have learned a few things to make the dining experience fun, beautiful and not stressful.

1. Keep the recipes simple: Food always seems easier in the summer. A trip to the farmers market can be the inspiration for the menu. A colorful summer salad and freshly picked local vegetables are perfect to accompany my husband’s pick on the grill. A freshly baked baguette and cheese (from Marché) and fresh fruit for dessert and the menu is set.

2. Bring the inside outside: I love bringing my dishes and glassware outside to set the table. It makes everything feel more special than using paper or plastic. My tablescape is often dictated by what is blooming in my yard. I enjoy cutting flowers and picking the tablecloth or placemats that best match the colors in my garden at the time. (I have Juliska Berry and Thread dishes in Whitewash and these go with any color scheme that I choose to use.)

3. Add some light when it gets dark: Candlelight makes everything prettier! I use candles everywhere while entertaining. Votives, hurricanes and lanterns all create a wonderful summer atmosphere.

4. Make a playlist: Have a playlist set before the evening starts so that it creates the mood or theme you have in mind. Music can get a party started and keep it going.

5. Have a signature cocktail or drink: It’s always fun to have a drink waiting for people when they arrive.

6. Don’t forget the bugs: Make sure to find a way to limit bug bites – citronella, candles, fans, bug spray. Nothing can push people inside faster than pesky mosquitoes.

Enjoy your summer nights entertaining al fresco. It makes summer so much more enjoyable and a welcome memory when the days get colder. Stop by Marcel’s and we can help you set the perfect summer table with beautiful tablecloths, placemats, napkins and candles!

Also, we are having our Juliska Placesetting Completion Event –thru June 30th!
Purchase 7 pieces of dinnerware, glassware or flatware and receive the 8th piece free all month long!

Chef Talk: Lessons Learned At The Table by Kelly Sears

There are 275 countries in the world; 19 major world religions; 6,500 spoken languages. Food is the one universal. Food has no language barrier, is borderless, and is entry: entry to people, their culture, their families, their lives. 

In a tribute to his friend Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper shared “in places near and far in the world, he talked, tasted, with open mouth, and eyes, and open heart and mind.” Simple, yet with depth; raw and honest, much like the man we think we knew as Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain expressed “…everywhere in the world, we go, and we ask these very simple questions, what makes you happy, what do you like to eat, what do you cook? We tend to get some really astonishing answers. People are telling you a story when they give you food. If you don’t accept the food, you are, in many cultures, whether in rural Arkansas or Vietnam, you are, rejecting the people.”

   When you sit down with someone and share their food, you are sharing their story.  People are telling you something about themselves with each bite, each sip, each serving.  No matter how small the size of the offering, the gesture is large, and the moment is magic.

We all tell a story through our food. If you listen closely, the dish will share more than the cook will reveal in standard conversation. It’s the ingredient not listed in the recipe, not found on the grocery list. It’s the depth of flavor, the peek inside, that if you are lucky enough, you can taste in each bite.

My husband is a landlord to college students. Our tenants represent the melting pot of not only America, but also the world. If you stay within the confines of your job, the relationship is tenant/landlord. But if you take the time to say hello, learn a name, discover what part of the map is home, doors open, and magic happens; you share a table. He calls them by name, they call him Mr. Dan.

Two young engineering students from a small village outside of Beijing invited us to their apartment to make dumplings. Multi-generational, mom and grandmother were visiting and deftly rolling out dumplings with the speed of a twelve-person assembly line. Every dumpling is the exact shape and size. Once all the dough was ready, it was time to fill.  Their dumplings were perfect, beautifully shaped, properly proportioned. Ours, overstuffed and unable to close. With direction, “the dumpling is the purse, the meat filling the money. Don’t let the money fall out of the purse.” An “ah ha” moment for sure; our dumpling skills improved. The meal was set out on two card tables, served on paper plates, with lots of chairs crammed around the tables. Make room for what’s important, worry less about what’s not.

Several young men from Saudi Arabia invited Mr. Dan to stay for coffee after he fixed their leaky faucet.  They set a cup in front of him and filled it half way. Mr. Dan said, only half a cup? The host then shared that his father, and his grandfather before him, taught him that you invite someone to stay by only filling their cup halfway. This way, the cup will constantly need to be filled, a little bit at a time, encouraging the guest to continue to stay and visit. When you fill the cup all the way, you are inviting them to leave; as in, This WILL be your only cup!  Half full leaves you room for more.

We invited some new tenants, a lovely Hispanic couple, over to teach us how to make tamales. We spoke with our hands, so we could understand one another. When I was about to add water in with the masa, my hand was tapped, and an index finger waved no-no.  She pointed to the pot where the pork had slow cooked and then back to the masa bowl. Yes, of course! Water tastes like water, but pork juice tastes delicious!!  We followed the leader and tied the husks. We counted hands and realized twelve hands make a hundred tamales easier than two. Share the work and it doesn’t feel like work.

After long holiday breaks, some would return with gifts for Mr. Dan, gifts from their home: tea leaves as fragrant as the small-town countryside, homemade candies and sweets from their villages, silk scarves, a Qur’an. Share a dumpling, a coffee, a tamale; open a door to a connection. This is me, this is how I live.

We spend a lot of time watching food TV, taking pictures of food, posting food but how much time do we spend breaking bread.  We look down into phones instead of up into experiences.  We can probably identify people by the parts in their hair rather than the colors of their eyes. How much time do we spend listening and connecting (the wireless kind).

Whether it’s a kitchen table, dining table, picnic table or folding table, pull up a chair and gather round. Eat what’s offered off the fork. People open up when you nod and say “yes please” to the plate being passed. More tales are told, more stories shared. It’s the first step to a connection, to listening.

May your purse hold money, your coffee cup never completely full, may you talk and taste with an open mouth, and eyes, with an open heart and mind. I know you’ll never leave hungry.

Bread can be sliced, dipped, slathered or torn, goes with any meal, can be served piping hot, toasted or stale tossed in a salad. Most recipes make two loaves, or in this case, rolls. Break Bread and Connect.

Pepper Bacon Bread
Yields 20
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Ingredients
  1. 340 grams Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  2. 70 grams reserved Potato Cooking Liquid
  3. 14 grams reserved bacon fat (can substitute butter here)
  4. 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  5. 332 grams all-purpose flour
  6. 9 grams sea salt
  7. 72 grams bacon, cooked and crumbed (fat reserved, see above)
  8. 5 grams coarse black pepper (may prefer 3 grams if making rolls)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees one hour prior to baking (baking vessel too)
  2. Boil potatoes (unpeeled) until tender, about 15-20 minutes
  3. Reserve 70 grams of the cooking water; set aside potatoes and liquid to cool
  4. Once cooled, mash the potatoes
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, reserved cooking liquid, bacon fat and instant yeast. Stir to combine
  6. Add half the flour and stir well (the mixture will be crumbly)
  7. Add the rest of the flour and the sea salt and stir. The mixture will seem very dry
  8. Use your hands and squeeze, press, and knead the mixture until it comes together as a dough
  9. Scrape the mass of dough on to a work surface and knead the dough 5-6 minutes. The dough will start out quite stiff and dry but will moisten over time
  10. Press the dough into a rectangle, top with bacon and pepper. Knead for a couple more minutes to incorporate the bacon and pepper
  11. Place in an oiled container, cover with plastic and ferment for 30 minutes
  12. After 30 minutes, fold the dough, cover again and let rest for 30 minutes
  13. After 30 minutes, the dough is ready to be shaped (loaf, batard or rolls)
  14. Proof the dough for 45 minutes to an hour; it should swell nicely and have a springy texture
  15. Once the loaf has risen, score the top from end to end
  16. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden browned
Adapted from Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor, MI
Adapted from Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor, MI
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Publican’s Mussels in Sour Beer

Publican's Mussels in Sour Beer
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon of butter
  2. 1 tablespoon of sliced celery
  3. 1 tablespoon of sliced garlic
  4. 1 tablespoon of sliced shallot
  5. 1 fresh bay leaf
  6. 1 teaspoon of picked thyme
  7. ½ teaspoon of chili flake
  8. 2 pounds of mussels
  9. 3-4 ounces of gueuze (a sour beer available at most large wine & beer outlets)
  10. 2 tablespoons of butter
  11. 2 tablespoons of chopped celery leaf
  12. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. 8-10 minutes before you want to serve, melt half of the butter in a 3 quarts sauce pot over high heat. Add celery, garlic, shallots, bay leaf, thyme, chili flake and sweat for a minute or two.
  2. Add mussels to pot and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Add the gueuze and cover pot until all of the mussels open; about 4-5 minutes. Uncover pot and stir in the remaining butter.
  3. Finish the mussels with a pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice. Sprinkle the celery leafs over the top of the mussels and serve immediately with a hot, fresh baguette.
Notes
  1. Courtesy of Cheers to the Publican cookbook.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Roasted Salmon Tacos

Roasted Salmon Tacos
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For the slaw
  1. 3/4 pound green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  2. 1/2 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and very thinly sliced
  3. 1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
  4. 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salmon
  1. Olive oil, for greasing the pan
  2. 1 3/4 pounds center-cut fresh salmon fillet, skin removed
  3. 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  4. 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  7. 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  8. 4 ripe Hass avocados, seeded and peeled
  9. 3/4 teaspoon Sriracha
Instructions
  1. At least an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, toss the cabbage, cucumber, vinegar, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cabbage to marinate.
  2. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon in it. Mix the chile powder, lime zest, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning mixture. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the salmon is just cooked through.
  3. Wrap the tortillas in 2 foil packets and place them in the oven with the salmon. Roughly mash the avocados with the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, the Sriracha, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. To serve, lay 2 warm tortillas on each of 6 plates. Place a dollop of the avocado mixture on one side of each tortilla, then some large chunks of salmon, and finally, some of the slaw. Fold the tortillas in half over the filling (they will be messy!) and serve warm.
Notes
  1. "Cooking for Jeffrey" by Ina Garten © Clarkson Potter 2016. Provided courtesy of Ina Garten. All rights reserved.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  3. 2 cups heavy cream
  4. 3 lemons
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 bunch broccoli
  7. 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  8. 1/2 pound baby arugula
  9. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  10. 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.
Notes
  1. From the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Fritters

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. Freshly ground black pepper
  4. 2 cups cooked wild-rice blend or other leftover rice
  5. 1 cup finely chopped parcooked broccoli florets, cooked
  6. 2 scallions, finely chopped
  7. ¾ cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar
  8. Butter and olive oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Make the batter: Using a fork, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Add the rice, broccoli, scallions, and cheddar and stir to combine.
  2. Cook the fritters: Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a pat of butter; let them warm. Using a soupspoon, scoop about 1 ½ tablespoons of the rice mixture into the pan and lightly press the top so it flattens to about ½-inch thickness. Here’s the essential bit: keep the heat low enough so that it takes a few minutes for the undersides to brown; if you move a fritter sooner, it will fall apart easily. But once the fritters are brown, the eggs have cooked, and the cheese has melted, it’s much easier to flip and repeat on the other side. Make the rest of the fritters with the remaining rice mixture, giving it an occasional stir.
  3. Note: I make these in a seemingly small size (2 inches) because that makes them easier to flip. Larger, they’re much more fragile until the egg sets up.
  4. Do Ahead: Keep the fritters warm in the oven or eat them immediately. The fritters will keep in the ridge and reheat well; you can also freeze them. But there aren’t usually leftovers.
Notes
  1. From Smitten Kitchen Everyday cookbook
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/