Delicata Squash & Black Bean Tacos

Delicata Squash & Black Bean Tacos
  1. 1 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and cut into 1/4” slices (skin can stay on)
  2. olive oil
  3. kosher salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper
  5. ground cumin
  6. 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  7. 4 ounces fresh ricotta
  8. cilantro, chopped
  9. 8 street taco sized tortillas (4”)
  10. pico de gallo (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Use convection heat.
  2. Toss squash slices with olive oil, a generous sprinkle of kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper and cumin to taste (1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start). Spread onto a baking sheet - do not overlap pieces. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until starting to caramelize.
  3. Toss black beans with a touch of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and cumin to taste.
  4. Mix fresh ricotta in a small bowl with kosher salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
  5. Heat tortillas for a few minutes in oven until warm.
  6. Spread each tortilla with the ricotta mixture, top with black beans, squash and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with pico de gallo if desired.
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Farro with Kale, Caramelized Onions and Hazelnuts

Farro with Kale, Caramelized Onions and Hazelnuts
  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  3. 4 large yellow onions, peeled, trimmed and cut into half round slices
  4. Salt
  5. Freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  7. 1 bunch flat Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into julienne strips
  8. 1 1/2 cups farro
  9. Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons (or more to taste)
  10. 1/2 cup (or more) extra virgin olive oil
  11. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they being to soften. Season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently to scrape up the fond from the bottom of the pan, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the Marsala. Add the kale and cook just until the kale wilts. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Add the farro and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the farro in a colander.
  4. In a large bowl combine the farro, onion and kale mixture and lemon juice. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. To serve, drizzle enough olive oil over the farro to moisten it. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional lemon juice for extra brightness.
  6. Spoon the farro onto a large serving platter. Scatter the hazelnuts over the top and serve at room temperature.
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Autumn Greens with Cider Vinaigrette

Autumn Greens with Cider Vinaigrette
  1. 1 shallot, minced
  2. 1 tablespoon apple cider
  3. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  4. ¼ cup walnut oil
  5. salt & freshly ground pepper
  6. 5 cups mixed greens, such as Belgian endive, Swiss chard, watercress and Romaine
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together shallot, cider, and vinegar. Whisk in the walnut oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the greens and divide among four plates. Serve immediately.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Wild Rice, Pear and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnuts

Wild Rice, Pear and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnuts
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 1 cup wild rice
  3. 1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into ½” cubes (4 cups)
  4. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  5. ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  6. 2 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  7. 2 medium ripe pears, cored but not peeled, cut into ½” cubes
  8. ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  9. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  10. ½ teaspoon salt
  11. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. ½ cup walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
Cook the wild rice
  1. Add the water to a 2 quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook. Start checking the rice after 20 min. Rice may take anywhere from 20-45 min. to cook, depending on whether it’s hand harvested or cultivated. Tender wild rice just starts to split apart at the ends. Drain well. Let cool.
Make the salad
  1. As the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Combine the wild rice, sweet potatoes, parsley, scallions and pears in a large mixing bowl. (If you plan to refrigerate the salad for a few days, leave the pears out and add them right before serving).
  3. Whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a small bowl, until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the wild rice mixture and toss to coat. Serve topped with walnuts.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
  1. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3 tablespoons dark rum
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's fairly even.
  5. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
  1. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream (vanilla or cinnamon).
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Golden Roast Chicken with Apples, Leeks & Kale

Golden Roast Chicken with Apples, Leeks & Kale
Serves 4
  1. 2 t. dried ground sage
  2. 2 t. dried marjoram (or basil)
  3. 1 1/4 t. salt
  4. 1 t. dried thyme
  5. 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 whole broiler/fryer chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
  7. 1 large leek, ends trimmed, split lengthwise, well rinsed
  8. 4 to 5 cups roughly chopped lacinato or other tender kale, about 6 ounces total
  9. 2 medium-large Honeycrisp apples, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  10. 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the sage, marjoram, salt, thyme and pepper in a small dish.
  2. Place chicken on cutting board, breast side down. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut out the backbone. Flip chicken over; split the chicken in half through the breastbone. Rinse the chicken, and pat dry. Rub it all over with half of the seasoning blend.
  3. Cut the rinsed leek crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Mix the leek, kale and apples in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning blend; toss to mix well. Add the oil; toss again to coat with oil.
  4. Set a wire rack over the vegetable mixture in the pan. Arrange the chicken halves on the rack. Roast, stirring the vegetables once, (be careful moving the chicken while you do this), until chicken juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork and vegetables are fork-tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Carefully move the chicken halves to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon the vegetables and all the pan juices into a serving bowl. Cut the chicken halves into 2 pieces. Serve with the roasted vegetables.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Dessert Squares with Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter

Dessert Squares with Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
Yields 24
  1. 1 pkg. yellow cake mix; set aside one cup
  2. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  3. 3 eggs, large
  4. 1 jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
  5. 2 T. milk
  6. 1 T. flour
  7. 2 T. sugar
  8. 1/4 cup butter, softened
  9. 1 t. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Divide yellow cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9" x 13" pan.
  3. Mix the jar of the Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter with two eggs and milk. Pour this result over the cake mix.
  4. Stire the reserved cup of cake mis with the flour, sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pumpkin layer.
  5. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into 2" squares.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Marking Time by Kelly Sears

For some, cranberries are what come jellied in a can. For others, they are tart little orbs that, when combined with enough sugar, make a cranberry sauce that can be slathered on bread for a leftover holiday turkey sandwich. For me, cranberries mark time; the beginning of one season, the end of another. The first weekend in October has my husband & me, yellow lab and little beagle loaded in the truck, packed up for the change of seasons.  

The trek begins north, well above the mitten, to the land of shuttered mines, pasties, and Yooper’s. If you’re lucky enough, along the drive, Mother Nature will unveil her latest fall line.  Trees filled with leaves bursting with the colors of a late September garden; golden pumpkin, deep green acorn, scarlet Swiss chard, auburn Hubbard squash, and yellow field corn.

freerangeThe house, a transfer of ownership from late father to son, off a bumpy old road named after alphabets and county numbers, is tucked in a place with no Starbucks, three television channels and a very weak cell signal. But on these 40 acres of Pure Michigan, where the deer play, the chickens are really range free, the Northern lights dance, and the sky is so clear it seems like every star is visible, nature’s playground trumps electronic entertainment.

This stop on the journey brings a chimney sweep, a delivery of wood and a harvest of apples. The old house is warmed by wood. Three face cords get dumped, split and stacked. For those that don’t speak lumber, that’s north woods slang for a really good arm/chest/back workout and two Motrin before bed. The two apple trees in the front yard produce enough for the chipmunks, squirrel, deer, and a couple of buckets for me. Some apple butter, applesauce, and a pie or two are on the agenda later but for now, this house is ready for winter, which up here, ends on a Monday and begins the following Tuesday.

blackcatThe second leg has the truck traveling west to Wisconsin for part two of the winterizing weekend. No highways, just more roads that keep your speed at 60 until slowing you down to 25, through the small towns all with different names but the same three bars, two gas stations, and local super club. Running parallel with Lake Superior, the air stays chilled and the sky clean and clear. A pit stop in Ashland at our favorite coffee shop The Black Cat, and favorite bakery, the Ashland Baking Company, has us refueled for the final 90 miles.


This is cranberry fest Saturday. The first Saturday in October every year when the small town of Stone Lake swells from 500 to 10,000, all in celebration of the cranberry. Most rural towns lay patronage to some fruit, vegetable, or commodity that helps the town survive. In college, my roommate from rural Michigan was the potato queen from her spud producing community; Hayward Wisconsin respects the elusive prehistoric fish, the Musky, with a bar, a museum and a festival. And our little town is no different; the cranberry reigns supreme.

For 12 hours, Main Street, lined with hay bales and checkered flags is transformed into the race track for homemade derby box cars, crafty vendors hawk their hobbies, an old hippie sells the best cheese curds ever, and the whole town stands in the street to drink cranberry wine, red solo cups of Wisconsin’s finest brew, and eat meat on a stick.

But what this weekend is really is the end of the season. Summer is officially over. Piers come out, boats get trailered, life jackets get strung up to finally dry out, inner tubes deflate, flannel replaces the cotton sheets and the mouse traps get set. The leaves are beginning to fall revealing the neighbor’s house that, throughout the summer months, is almost hidden from view. So for now, I’m done making jam, pickling vegetables and preserving summer. The cranberry tart is in the oven. Fall has arrived and winter is nipping at its heels.

Cranberry Deep Dish Tart
  1. 3 cups fresh cranberries
  2. ¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  3. ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  4. zest of one orange
  5. 1 t. cinnamon
  6. ½ t. each; nutmeg, allspice, and cloves
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. ¼ cup sour cream
  11. 1 t. vanilla
  12. 1 cup flour
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a deep 10’ pie plate.
  3. Toss cranberries, pecans, brown sugar, orange zest, and spices in prepared pie plate until well mixed and spread evenly throughout the pie plate.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk eggs, butter, sugar, sour cream and vanilla until thoroughly blended; gradually stir in flour until smooth and pour evenly over cranberry mixture.
  5. Bake 55-60 minutes until browned on top and fruit bubbles.
  6. Serve warm with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Farro Bowl with Sausage & Roasted Fall Vegetables

Farro Bowl with Sausage & Roasted Fall Vegetables
Serves 6
  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾” pieces
  2. 2 T. olive oil
  3. 12 oz. Italian sausage, mild or spicy, casings removed
  4. 1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced
  5. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  6. 2 cups farro (about 12 oz.)
  7. 4 cups chicken stock
  8. 11 oz. broccoli rabe (rapini), ends trimmed, roughly chopped (6 cups)
  9. 2-4 cups baby arugula
  10. pinch of red pepper flakes
  11. 1-2 cups shredded cheese (smoked gouda, provolone, sharp cheddar)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix sweet potatoes and oil and spread on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast, stirring often, until tender and golden, 20 minutes.
  3. Crumble sausage into large skillet. Add onion; cook over med. heat, breaking up sausage, until sausage is browned and cooked through, 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute. Place farro and stock into saucepan. Heat to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until farro is tender. Add broccoli rabe and simmer additional 2 minutes. Strain farro into a colander set over a bowl to catch extra stock. (Recipe can be made up to this point in advance, up to 3 days. Refrigerate all parts separately)
  4. Add drained farro to skillet with sausage. Stir in about ½ cup of reserved stock and heat through. Remove from heat; stir in sweet potatoes, arugula and a few crushed red pepper flakes. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/