Aged Cheddar and Beer Dip

Aged Cheddar and Beer Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons of butter
  2. 3 tablespoons of flour
  3. 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
  4. 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  5. 1 (12 oz.) bottle lager
  6. 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 6-8 pieces
  7. 6 ounces of extra-sharp cheddar, grated (1 ½ cups)
  8. 6 ounces of Gruyere, grated (1 ½ cups)
  9. 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  11. ½ cup coarsely crushed pretzel rods, plus whole pretzel rods for serving
  12. Celery stalks, for serving
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, whisking about 2 minutes. Add thyme and mustard, then gradually add beer, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add cream cheese, a piece at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in cheddar and Gruyere, a handful at a time, until melted. Remove from heat. Add Worcestershire. Season the dip with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve, sprinkled with pretzel crumbs, with pretzels and celery.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing

Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing
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Dressing
  1. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Couscous
  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) Israeli couscous, sometimes called pearl couscous or maftoul
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  5. 12 ounces grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or baby heirloom tomatoes of assorted colors, halved (about 2 cups)
  6. 4 ounces (about 1 cup) feta, coarsely crumbled or chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  7. 1 cup jarred red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  8. 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  9. 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  10. 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  11. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. For the dressing: Whisk the oil, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. For the couscous: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Cook the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Mix together the spinach, tomatoes, cheese, peppers, parsley, almonds and mint in a large bowl. Add the couscous and the dressing. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Anniversary Cream Puffs

Anniversary Cream Puffs
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For the Puffs
  1. 1 cup milk
  2. ¼ pound butter (1 stick)
  3. Pinch Kosher salt
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 4 eggs
For the Cream
  1. 5 egg yolks, room temperature
  2. ¾ cup of sugar
  3. 3 tablespoon of cornstarch
  4. 1 ½ cups of scalded milk
  5. ½ teaspoon of vanilla
  6. 1 teaspoon of Cognac
  7. 1 tablespoon of butter
  8. 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
For the Chocolate Sauce
  1. ½ cup of heavy cream
  2. 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
  3. 2 tablespoons of honey
  4. 2 tablespoons of prepared coffee
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the milk, butter, and salt over med. heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
  2. Make 1 1/2” wide x 1” high mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (Use either a piping bag, 2 spoons or a 1 ½” scoop). Smooth with wet fingers. Bake for 18-20 min., or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 min, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven and make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on med-high speed for 4 min. Reduce to low and add the cornstarch. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5-7 min. If the custard comes to a boil and appears curdled, switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly for another 2 min; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter and heavy cream. Pour the custard though a sieve into a bowl. Place some plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts. Add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  5. For serving, cut each puff in half, fill with a spoonful of cream, replace the top, and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
Notes
  1. Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Whole Wheat Berry Waffles

Whole Wheat Berry Waffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat berries - not the flour - just the berries
  2. 1 1/2 cups milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  6. 1/4 cup oil
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put wheat berries and 1 cup milk into Vitamix.
  2. Blend on high for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup milk and blend an additional 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients - blending quickly — and cook on hot waffle iron until golden brown.
  3. You can also use this batter for pancakes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Sweet and Salty Lettuce Wraps

Sweet and Salty Lettuce Wraps
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb of ground chicken or pork
  2. 2-3 ounces of chopped water chestnuts
  3. ¼ cup of chopped pineapple
  4. 1 clove of minced garlic
  5. ½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  6. 4-5 tablespoons of This Little Goat Went to Tokyo cooking sauce*
  7. 2 sliced green onions cut on the bias
  8. 1 head of Bibb or Boston Lettuce, leaves separated
  9. 1 tablespoon of oil (canola)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pan. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add garlic and ginger. Add water chestnuts, pineapple, and This Little Goat Tokyo cooking sauce. Toss in pan until thoroughly mixed. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onions.
  2. Arrange lettuce leaves on tray or platter. Spoon a teaspoon of chicken mixture onto each lettuce leaf. Drizzle Tokyo cooking sauce over chicken mixture (optional) and serve.
Notes
  1. *Little Goat sauces are available at Marcel's Culinary Experience
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Anne’s Asian Style Fish Fillets with Fresh Spinach

Anne's Asian Style Fish Fillets with Fresh Spinach
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  3. 1 lb thin fresh fillets such as trout or tilapia
  4. 2 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  6. ¼ cup soy sauce – may be reduced sodium
  7. 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  8. 2 teaspoon minced bottled ginger
  9. 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  10. 12 cups loosely packed fresh prewashed spinach leaves, tough stems removed
Instructions
  1. Place flour, black pepper and fish fillets in a Ziploc bag. Shake to coat.
  2. Heat oil on medium high in a sauté pan. Add the fish to the pan and cook on the first side until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the fillets and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until lightly browned on the second side and the fish is opaque and begins to flake easily with a fork, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. When the fish is done, remove it to a serving plate. Pour the vinegar and soy sauce into the skillet and stir to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add garlic, ginger and sesame seeds.
  4. Add the fresh spinach and toss to coat in the sauce and to wilt. You may have to cook the spinach in batches, removing the first batch with a slotted spoon to leave the juices in the pan for the second batch and place with the spinach.
  5. Place all of the cooked spinach and fish back into the pan over medium low heat and cover. Cook 1 – 2 minutes to reheat. Serve at once using tongs to place spinach on each plate, topping with a fillet. Drizzle remaining sauce over fish.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Pesto Pronto by Brandy Fernow

As a chef instructor, people always ask me “do you cook like this at home every night?” And my answer is a swift “nope!” Yes, I am a chef, but I am also a busy mom of two active 1st and 2nd grade boys. That means I’m running all week from school, to sports, to cub scouts, volunteering, doing homework, playdates, cleaning, cooking, and of course teaching classes at Marcels!

So no, I don’t cook every night and it’s certainly not a gourmet meal every night either. We do eat at home every night and I have learned to cook smart. Cook one night, then turn that into 2 more meals that I can make in 15 minutes or less.

One of my favorite go-to’s for this technique is a simple pesto sauce. What probably comes to mind is the traditional basil, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil. I certainly make this version to toss over pasta or accompany chicken, but I also use the same fundamentals to make a dozen other “pestos” which to me is generally an herb, nut, cheese and oil – whipped together in seconds with the help of my food processor.

Now – to make this a million other ways, you just swap the herb, nut and cheese combos. For example, Mexican night – use cilantro, pepitas, queso or cotija cheese, and a dash of red pepper flake. Or sweeten it up a bit by swapping arugula for basil, pecans for pine nuts, adding 2 tablespoons of honey and ½ cup ricotta. Or try parsley, almonds, and asiago.

This way you can pour over ANYTHING! Pesto variations are great poured over steak pork, chicken or fish, tossed with pasta, quinoa or favorite grain, drizzled over roasted veggies, you name it.

Bonus – you can freeze in portions and re-use. Why haul out that food processor more than once? Make big batches of a few kinds and freeze in portions. Pull out and enjoy on that frenzied night you’re trying to get something fresh, but fast on the table.
I’m featuring this favorite pesto technique in a private event this month at Marcels for a group of moms looking to cook once, eat twice. We are serving the pesto over flank steak, then recycling it to a pasta for the next meal. If you have a group that is looking to learn something specific or want to have a good time with your friends, let Marcels know and they can customize your own private event!

Fresh Basil Pesto
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  2. ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  3. Zest and juice of a lemon
  4. Handful of fresh parmesan
Instructions
  1. Add all to a food processor and add olive oil until you have you preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoon Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning mix
  3. 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  4. 1 medium onion
  5. 1 zucchini
  6. 1 red pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together oil and seasoning mix. Add chicken cut into chunks. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat.
  3. Cut vegetables into chunks and toss with some more olive oil and TOSA mix to coat.
  4. Thread chicken and vegetables on skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked and vegetables are crisp tender.
  5. Serve with saffron rice.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Cherry BBQ Meatballs

Cherry BBQ Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices thick bacon, finely chopped
  2. 1/4 cup onion, minced
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  4. 2 pounds lean ground pork
  5. 1 pounds lean ground beef
  6. 1/3 cup American Spoon Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce
  7. 1/4 cup American Spoon Dried Red Tart Cherries, finely chopped
  8. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  9. 2 tablespoons cream or half and half
  10. 1 whole egg, beaten
  11. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  12. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  13. 2 teaspoons salt
  14. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  15. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sauté the bacon in a small sauté pan over medium heat. When the bacon is about half cooked, add the onions and garlic and continue to sauté until bacon is cooked and onions are transparent. Drain any excess grease from the bacon. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix gently. Add the mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Roll meat mixture into meatballs, using one rounded tablespoon of the mixture for each meatball. Place the meatballs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a platter or serving bowl. Add grilling sauce to taste and mix gently before serving.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

One Pan Farro and Tomatoes

One Pan Farro and Tomatoes
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 1 cup farro
  3. ½ large onion (use white for mildness)
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. 9 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less to taste)
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  9. Few basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  10. Grated parmesan, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (5-10 minutes is enough) while you prepare the other ingredients. Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and set a timer for 30 min.
  2. Bring uncovered pan up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, though, cook for additional 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a wide serving bowl. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with parmesan and basil.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/