Yogurt Pound Cake

Yogurt Pound Cake
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 2 1/2 cups flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 8 oz lowfat vanilla yogurt
  1. Beat together butter & sugar until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir vanilla into yogurt. Alternately add dry ingredients and yogurt to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into well greased and floured Bundt or Tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Celebrate Mom With Marcel’s This Mother’s Day!

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, we once again have the opportunity to celebrate and honor our mothers and all of the women that have helped raise us and our children.  Moms, grandmothers, aunts,  sisters, friends, can all play an important role in our children’s lives.  Finding gifts that matter and are meaningful, can be a bit of a challenge.  What better way to show your love and appreciation than with a hand-made gift and some simple pampering?

Marcel’s is here for you.  Join us on Saturday, May 5th for a special Mother’s Day event where your child will create their very own masterpiece to honor that special woman.  Local artist, Kristin Fischer owner of Muirwood Reclamations, will be at Marcel’s from 11 am – 3 pm to work with your little artist (or artists of any age) to create personalized concrete coasters. These coasters are perfect for a bedside table, coffee cup, or wine glass.  After your artist has created their own coasters, Kristin will take them to be glazed and will return them by Wednesday, May 9th to be picked up from Marcel’s in plenty of time for Mother’s Day.

To start Mother’s Day off on the right note, you and your kids can present her with a darling breakfast-in-bed basket.  This basket will include our housemade individual-size quiche, Hudson Henry granola, a Strawberry and Champagne chocolate bar, spring luncheon napkins and a bit of light culinary reading.  We are also proud to include a bottle of fresh pressed juice from Glen Ellyn’s newest shop, JOY Bar.  Call, stop in the store or order your breakfast basket online.  Baskets are $35.00 and can be picked up on Saturday, May 12th. 

Finally, we will have a Mom’s Day Wish List that mothers, grandmothers, etc. can complete. Have mom or grandma stop into the store to complete her Mom’s Day Wish List or download a copy of the wish list. Is she a connoisseur of kitchen tools? Loves to set a beautiful table?  Now is the time to find the perfect way to honor her!

Happy Mothers Day to all of the women who mother in so many ways!

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Serves 6
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 8-9 oz. croissants (can substitute other rich bread such as brioche or challah)
  3. 2 cups half and half
  4. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 9 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped, divided
  7. 4 egg yolks
  8. 1 egg
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, divided
  10. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8x8-inch glass baking dish (or comparable) with butter.
  2. Cut bread in 1-inch pieces and spread in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and no longer soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In small saucepan combine half and half, 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved taking care to not scorch milk. Remove from heat and immediately add 7 ounces of white chocolate, whisking until melted. Let cool slightly.
  4. In large bowl whisk egg yolks and egg until uniform. Slowly drizzle in warm milk mixture and continue whisking to temper liquid while incorporating with the eggs. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and whisk to combine. Toss toasted bread into custard and let soak at room temperature until custard is well absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer bread and any remaining custard from bowl to buttered pan. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and set, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
  6. To make accompanying sauce bring 1/2 cup heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 ounces of white chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
  7. Portion bread pudding in individual serving dishes and drizzle white chocolate sauce on top.
Adapted from Yvonne Ruperti
Adapted from Yvonne Ruperti
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chef Talk: Recipe Testing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Kiley Fields

Cooking Mad Lib:

“I found a recipe online for (insert dish of choice) Coq au Vin. I followed the recipe exactly, and it (fill in the blank with a negative outcome) tasted like a rubber shoe after I spent hours in the kitchen with the highest expectations for a fantastic meal at home. What did I do wrong?”

To be honest, probably nothing. Just because you found it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. And it doesn’t mean the recipe was tested either. Although a dish sounds amazing, sometimes executing it through a well written (or posted) recipe is a bit more challenging.

 As a chef instructor writing and testing recipes is one of the more tedious yet rewarding parts of my job. I don’t recall ever writing a recipe perfectly the first time. There is almost always a re-write, or two…or five. And, depending on the mood I am in or the recipe I am testing, sometimes the test is done on a controlled group of one (me!) or a large cackle of friends.

I have learned over time that there is a right way and wrong way to seek feedback while testing recipes.

  1. Don’t overserve the testers before serving the food – I had a group of girlfriends over to test cocktails and appetizers – after the fourth cocktail they “L-O-V-E-D” everything. Seriously?

  1. Don’t expect your starving teenager to give thoughtful feedback – After he downed a plate of mussels in sofrito and polished off a grilled octopus salad he said was “ok” and asked if there was any leftover pizza.
  1. Be clear that you are seeking their feedback (not their co-workers) – I gave a friend a plate of whoopie pies. I ran in to her a few days later and she said she didn’t want the “calories” in the house so she put them in the lunchroom at work.

And although the recipe successes have outnumbered the failures…failures have existed. “I like the flavor, but the texture kind of makes me want to vomit.” That response is probably my favorite – that was definitely a “back to the drawing board” moment. Shout out to the “honesty”…but man that was a shot to the ego!

Anyone who cooks can relate – there is unbelievable pleasure in making someone happy through food. I am always appreciative of those that are willing to try and retry my food to make me better at what I do. Because, at the end of the day, a good, well tested, solidly written recipe makes my kitchen (and yours) a better place to be. 

P.S. Here are some of my favorite more reliable, almost always tested, online recipe resources: marcelsculinaryexperience.com; seriouseats.com; cooksillustrated.com; and thekitchn.com.

One-Bite Chocolate Whoopie Pies
For cakes
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  10. 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  11. 1 cup whole milk
For filling
  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
  2. 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  3. 3/4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1 1/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In stand mixer on low speed mix together butter, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla, until smooth. Add egg and mix until incorporated, then add cocoa powder and mix to combine. In alternating additions, add flour and milk in three parts, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix until batter is uniform with no lumps.
  3. To bake cakes, line rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Transfer batter to piping bag and snip off tip of bag. Pipe batter, about 1-1/2 inch in diameter, on to parchment lined baking sheet, leaving room between cakes as they will spread. A standard size 12” x 18” baking sheet should fit 36 cakes (4 cakes across by 9 cakes long). Bake the cakes until set and firm to touch, about 6-8 minutes. Let cakes cool slightly on baking sheets. While still lukewarm, peel cakes away from parchment and let cool completely.
  4. To make filling, in stand mixer, on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste and salt and mix to combine. Beat in fluff on medium speed until well incorporated and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer filling to piping bag and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.
  5. To assemble, pipe filling on one cake and top with second cake. Whoopie pies can be enjoyed immediately or stored in air-tight container in refrigerator if not enjoyed within 30 minutes. Bring whoopie pies to room temperature before serving.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Quick-Sautéed Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic

Quick-Sautéed Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic
  1. 1 pound large peeled, deveined but tail on raw shrimp
  2. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 lime zested and juice
  6. 1 large chipotle in adobo, seeds and ribs removed and minced
  7. 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil. When oil is hot, add the shrimp, salt and garlic and sauté, stirring often.
  2. When shrimp are almost done, add the lime zest, juice, chipotle and cilantro. Sauté a minute more until shrimp are done. Remove from heat.
  1. Sautéing requires very high heat and very little fat. Great for shrimp or sea scallops. A wok works great, otherwise a large skillet so you can move the fish around.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Vegetarian Street Tacos

Vegetarian Street Tacos
  1. 1 ripe peeled avocado
  2. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  3. 1/2 cup mexican cream (crema), greek yogurt or sour cream
  4. 3 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  5. 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  6. 1 lime
  7. 1 teaspoon honey
  8. 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles)
  9. 1 ear of corn
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  11. 1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms
  12. 1 cup black beans
  13. 1 package small “street” style corn tortillas
  14. 6 tablespoons crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
  15. Fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Place avocados in a blender; add crema, chopped cilantro, lime juice from 1/2 lime, salt and pepper, to taste, blend until smooth and creamy, set aside.
  2. Combine red onion, shredded cabbage, lime juice from 1/2 lime, and honey, salt and pepper, to taste. Toss together and set aside.
  3. Char corn on open flame of the stovetop, turning with tongs. Cool and cut off the cob, set aside.
  4. Heat heavy pan to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes, or until most of liquid evaporates. Add in corn and black beans; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in adobo sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place warm tortilla on plate. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado mixture in center of each tortilla. Top with slaw, 1/4 cup mushroom mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese and cilantro leaves, if desired.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Thai Chicken Flatbread

Thai Chicken Flatbread
  1. 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  2. 1/2 pound Chicken Breast - boneless skinless cut into chunks
  3. 4 Green Onions - chopped
  4. 1 Carrot - shredded
  5. 1/2 cup Mushroom slices
  6. Jade Mekong Ginger Sauce
  7. Naan flat bread or your favorite prepared pizza crust
  8. 2 cups Mozzarella cheese
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped Peanuts
  10. 4 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Heat oil in skillet and cook chicken cubes until cooked through - about 6 minutes. Season with 2 T Mekong ginger sauce, salt, pepper, add green onions, mushrooms and cook another few minutes.
  3. Spread a thin layer of Mekong sauce over the Naan bread. Top with chicken mixture, a generous amount of cheese, shredded carrots and a few more green onions. Cook flatbreads for about 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with cilantro and chopped peanut garnish.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Beet Farro Pistachio Goat Cheese Salad

Beet Farro Pistachio Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 4
  1. 4 beets - sliced into quarters
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 cup farro
  4. 2 cups fresh spinach
  5. 2 tablespoons pistachios
  6. 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  7. Balsamic vinegar
  1. Turn oven on to 400. Prepare beets; coat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes or so until done. Let cool.
  2. To prepare farro—combine 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup farro in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. To assemble the salad - place the farro and beets on the spinach. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and crumble goat cheese on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Serrano Ginger Lemongrass Chicken Patties

Serrano Ginger Lemongrass Chicken Patties
  1. 1 pound ground chicken
  2. 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  3. 4 green onions, white and green parts
  4. 1/2 cup Serrano Ginger Lemongrass Sauce (Marshall’s brand Haute Sauce)
  5. 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  8. 1 egg, beaten
  9. 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  10. 1 tablespoon butter
  11. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Either by hand or in a food processor, finely chop the water chestnuts and green onion.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, chopped ingredients, sauce, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper together by hand.
  3. Form the mixture into patties. Dip each in the beaten egg, then in the bread crumbs, coating both sides.
  4. Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. In batches, and without crowding, place the patties in the skillet. Cook about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side, flipping only one time.
  1. Adapted from the marshallshautesauce website.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Dark Chocolate Fondue

Dark Chocolate Fondue
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  3. ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  4. 1 cup (8 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips
  5. ¾ cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  6. 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, cherry liqueur, or brandy
  1. In a med. saucepan, combine the cream, vanilla, and salt. Heat over med. heat until the mixture barely simmers. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolates and the liqueur. Stir until completely smooth. Serve in fondue pot.
  2. Serve with: fruit, pound cake, angel food cake, cookies…
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/