A Repertoire by Amy Patterson

A peek inside of a recipe collection is revealing. Each recipe a star, a collection that inks out a distinct constellation over time – a personal roadmap of traditions, travels, relationships and memories.
 
My file after 20 years in my own kitchen is scattered amidst pages of heavily annotated cookbooks, dog-eared pages of Fine Cooking, vintage cards in my grandma’s ornate script and a healthy pinch of recipes gathered online. Of the thousands of recipes that could be unearthed in my home, there are a handful that reappear time and again – a motley mix that is a representation of my family’s tastes and sensibilities.  Years of experimentation have mined out our shining stars: an endlessly adaptable loaf of peasant bread, a dead-simple before school pancake recipe, an aromatic chipotle and cumin burger…  
 
Eggplant Dip is my favored appetizer for a party. Every time I whip this up, I am reminded of my Aunt Lois, who clipped this from the Chicago Tribune in the early 90’s. Or if there is a chill in the air, I’ll appear with a retro batch of Hanky Pankies ready to slide into the oven – a dish that could only be reproduced by someone time traveling from an early 80’s avocado-green kitchen in Minnesota. It invariably requires a dash to the supermarket in a clandestine search of Velveeta. (Not an ingredient that Daniel sources at Marché…)
 
Nothing makes me happier than sipping a glass of wine, tending a dish braising on the stovetop and daydreaming of the French countryside. Thus a Sunday dinner chez nous is likely Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes or a velvety celery root purée (a relatively recent addition to our repertoire).  Another (Italian) candidate would be a long-simmered Bolognese with fresh ribbons of fettuccine helped along by my daughter Lily.
 
A frenzied weekday often culminates with Salsa Chicken. Chicken thighs, 2 bottles of salsa – one red, one green. Gloriously simple and requested often; so little effort for a tasty taco. The award for most requested weeknight dinner is tied between my “signature” Sausage Pasta or Lily’s favorite – Korean Bulgogi Steak with Coconut Jasmine Rice.
 
Almond Cake from my battered and beloved copy of Cooking for Mr. Latte is my go-to dessert. This most delicious of cakes can be topped with seasonally appropriate fruit that improves with a leisurely nap on the countertop. If it is up to Gage, he will request Kahlua Vodka Cake, a nice slice of boozy and boxed Americana from my old colleague’s mother out East.
 
Open my fridge in the summer and you will find a pitcher or two of my Gazpacho – a vibrant melange of fresh vegetables lightly tempered by the addition of country bread and fruity olive oil. This never fails to transport me back to Southern Spain and is perfect for al fresco entertaining on the patio. As we are heading into summer, this is the recipe from my collection that I would love to share with you below.
 
Next week, we are moving to Idaho. As I pack up our home, I am paying extra care to my cookbooks and recipes. I’ve found several snippets from Marcel’s and I know that many of these recipes will slip into my time-honed repertoire and forever remind me of my connection with this magical and delicious little place.  These are the things that I will hold onto.
 
Editor’s Note: All of us at Marcel’s and Marché are going to miss Amy and her charming family in our midst.  Amy has been with us since the doors opened and her passion for food and eye for the creative have contributed so much. A bientôt, Patterson family!
 
Gazpacho
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups day-old country bread, torn into pieces
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. pinch of cumin (or more to taste)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  5. 3 pounds ripe in-season tomatoes
  6. 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 red pepper, chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons red onion
  9. 1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
  10. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  11. 1/4 pound ham (or pancetta), cubed
  12. 1 thick slice of country-style bread, little cubes for croutons
Instructions
  1. Place the bread in a bowl, add cold water to cover, and let soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain the bread and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. Place garlic, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, mash them to a paste.
  3. Place the tomatoes (lightly sprinkled with kosher salt), cucumber, red pepper, red onion, soaked bread and cumin/garlic/salt paste in a large bowl. Toss to mix and massage everything together. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Add to blender (it may need to be in 2 batches) along with olive oil. Purée until smooth.
  5. Transfer soup to a large bowl and season with sherry vinegar and salt to taste.
  6. Refrigerate the gazpacho, covered, until chilled. At least 2 hours.
  7. Heat a small skillet to medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and cubed ham and fry until crisp. Remove to bowl leaving olive oil behind. Add cubed bread and fry until browned. (No need for oil with pancetta)
  8. Garnish soup with cubes of ham, croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Dining in the American Riviera by Jamie Bordoshuk

Santa Barbara is known as “America’s Riviera” for good reason. The lush Mediterranean climate, picturesque Pacific coastline, red tiled roofs and sophisticated culture make you feel like you’ve been magically transported to Spain or Italy. In addition to all of this, it also holds the title for having the most restaurants per capita on the central coast – 450 to be exact.

My wife and I were lucky to call Santa Barbara ‘home’ for the entire month of January. And we had one goal – to try as many of Santa Barbara’s restaurants as possible.

First on our list was Brophy Brothers, a Santa Barbara staple for the past 30 years that is located right in the harbor with views of mega-yachts and playful sea lions. Brophy’s wins the Best Seafood title year after year, but it’s their award-winning Brophy’s Clam Chowder that keeps the locals coming back. My bowl was brimming with big chunks of clam, russet potatoes, onions and celery in a perfectly creamy base. Top all of this off with a basket of warm sourdough and a local craft brew and I was in heaven.

For Taco Tuesday we ventured out in search of a Cali-Mex restaurant that served homemade chips and salsa, fresh flavors and strong margaritas. Walking up State Street, we came upon Sandbar, an outdoor restaurant with fire pits, heat lamps and a wonderful ‘come as you are’ vibe. The stars were aligned again as we were pleasantly surprised to hear that Happy Hour included 2-for-1 margaritas and $5 appetizers. Sandbar became our weekly ‘spot’ for the rest of our Tuesdays.

On our final weekend (with my sisters in tow), we visited Paradise Café – the first and only Santa Barbara restaurant to grill their prime steaks and fresh seafood using live wood oak. Live oak imparts the unique and pungent flavor to meats, seafood and vegetables while allowing the quality of these ingredients to come through. The savory flavors brought out by the oak allow them to keep additional seasonings to a minimum. For an appetizer, we ordered the fresh local mussels steamed in wine, butter, garlic and Pernod. Unbelievable! In addition to the flavor, each mussel was literally the size of a silver dollar. No two ways about it, we just had to order another bowl!

Although we didn’t make it to all 450 restaurants, we did put a dent in the list. You can bet that we will be picking up where we left off next year. While at home, I make this New England Clam Chowder and imagine we are harbor-side at Brophy’s.

New England Clam Chowder
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (10 oz) cans clams, with juice reserved or 2-3 pounds fresh clams
  2. 2 cups bottled clam juice
  3. 4 cups seafood broth
  4. 3 tablespoons butter
  5. 2 cups onions, small dice
  6. 2 cups celery, small dice
  7. 2 carrots, small dice
  8. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  9. 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 3 cups potatoes, peeled and medium dice
  12. 2 cups heavy cream
  13. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté onions, carrots and celery in butter, until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf and sauté for 1 minute more. Add potatoes, seafood broth, reserved clam juice and bottled clam juice. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked - about 20 minutes. Add clams and heavy cream and cook another 5 minutes. If soup is too thin, mash a few of the potatoes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

 

Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings

Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 3 quarts, plus 1 cup chicken stock
  2. 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  3. 2 stalks celery with leaves, thinly sliced
  4. 1 large yellow onion
  5. ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Dumplings
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
  6. ¼ cup low-fat milk
  7. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large pot combine stock, carrots, celery, onions and parsley, maintaining a minimum depth of 4” of liquid for the dumplings to float. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. To make the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta, milk and herbs; add to flour mixture. Stir just until dough holds together. Using a tablespoon, form dumplings into balls and drop into boiling broth. Cook 15 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  4. 3 carrots, chopped
  5. ½ pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  6. ¼ cup flour
  7. ¾ teaspoon salt
  8. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  9. 3 cups chicken stock
  10. 1 cup cooked wild rice
  11. 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  12. 3-4 cups cooked chicken, diced
Instructions
  1. In a deep saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 3 minutes, or until onion is wilted. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes longer. Add the flour, salt and pepper and cook until the mixture bubbles and begins to turn golden. Add the stock; cook and whisk until thick and smooth. Add the wild rice, chicken and parsley and heat through.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Bone Broth

Bone Broth
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pounds bones (organic pasture raised poultry or grass fed beef)
  2. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 onion, quartered
  5. 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  6. 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  7. Water
Instructions
  1. Add the bones, vinegar, and vegetables to a large stockpot with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the pot with water until it covers the bones by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a very low simmer. Let the broth simmer covered for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more nutrients will be extracted from the bones. Ideally, the bones should be soft and crumble easily when they are done.
  2. Let the broth cool and then strain the bones through a fine mesh sieve into mason jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for several months.
Notes
  1. You can also use a pressure cooker - we used an 8 quart stovetop model.
  2. Add all bones, vegetables, vinegar and salt to pot. Fill with water to max fill line. Lock on the lid and turn the dial to high pressure. Place the pot on a burner set on high heat. Once the indicator pops up indicating that the pot has reached high pressure, immediately decrease the temperature to the lowest possible setting to maintain high pressure.
  3. Let cook for 2 hours. Let the pressure release naturally. Let cool and strain broth into mason jars.
Adapted from Nourish the Roots Blog
Adapted from Nourish the Roots Blog
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Lemon-Chicken & Pepe Soup

Lemon-Chicken & Pepe Soup
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 T. olive oil
  2. 4 scallions (white and green parts separated), chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 small zucchini, diced
  6. 1/2 t. kosher salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  8. 9 cups chicken stock, plus additional if needed
  9. 3/4 cup acini de pepe pasta (or Israeli couscous)
  10. 1-1/2 t. lemon zest
  11. 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
  12. 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  13. 1-1/2 T. chopped fresh dill
  14. 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  15. 1-1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  16. 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  17. red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallion whites and celery; cook 1 minute or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic, zucchini, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add stock, pasta and lemon zest; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in chicken, beans, dill, and parsley; cook over medium-low for two minutes, or until chicken and beans are heated through.
  4. Just before serving, stir in lettuce, lemon juice and scallion greens. If soup becomes too thick, stir in additional stock as needed. Serve garnished with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Adapted from Food 52
Adapted from Food 52
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Lobster Bisque

Jill consulted one of her favorite culinary references, the Larousse Gastronomique, to create a luxurious Lobster Bisque.  

LobsterBisquePictureText

Editor’s Notes: 

Mirepoix = Carrots, Onions and Celery; Bouquet Garni = Bundle of Fresh Herbs (Jill used Thyme and Rosemary)

Jill used Heavy Cream in place of Crème Fraîche and sautéed Shrimp in place of the Crayfish since she had already cooked her Lobster for the garnish.  A lesson that recipes are to be used as a template and you can use what you have on hand.  Enjoy!

BisqueRecipe_edited-2

The Best Soup I’ve Ever Made by Heidi Kise

‘Tis the season to be thankful for what we have and attempt to avoid that creeping gluttonous feeling. Overindulgence is something our society has become very accustomed to. If we have a nice meal yet are not stuffed to the gills, we often think that the portions were too small. Other unfortunate habits include tossing away rotten food in the trash from the refrigerator and not eating/saving leftovers. Leftovers are often my favorite things to eat. Creating something magical for breakfast from last night’s dinner is a fun task in our home. When we have excess vegetables in our refrigerator, soup is one of the things I often make.

Sharing big bowls of soup with crusty Italian bread around the fireplace with wine, cozy sweaters and loved ones is one of my favorite things to do on these cold winter evenings. Soup is satiating and soulful and even though it can be eaten all year long, now really is the best time to enjoy a steaming bowl. It isn’t typically considered fancy and it can include just about anything at all.

freezerSoup gives you a chance to stretch your creativity by using what you have on hand. Most of you who know me well, know that I don’t like waste. In this attempt to avoid waste, I toss many goodies, that might otherwise go unused, in the freezer. Even if it’s just a quarter cup of something, I am often surprised at what I can do with it later. At any given time, you’ll find about a dozen labeled ziplocs in our freezer. Examples of what you might find may be: leftover caramelized onions, tomato paste, black beans, a myriad of sautéed vegetables, mushroom stock, and braised pork. If I know we won’t be able to enjoy some produce we have, before it goes bad, I briefly sauté it in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pop it in the freezer. This same rule applies if I have some cooked meat or grains that will go unused or even herbs and stock.

On a recent Sunday, I dove in to this surprise of ziplocs and made what will forever be called, the “Best Soup I’ve Ever Made.” I wouldn’t typically serve a “freezer” soup to guests, however, this one is tasty enough to! Sometimes all you need for dinner is right at your fingertips. That, and a pinch of creativity.

Freezer Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 T. olive oil
  2. 2 cups sautéed veg (carrot, onion, fennel)
  3. 1 t. mixed herbs, minced (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)
  4. ¼ cup sautéed green garlic
  5. 1 cup sautéed kale (or other greens like spinach or arugula)
  6. 1 cup whole white beans
  7. 2 cups farro, cooked (can use any grain you have)
  8. 2 chopped tomatoes and their juices
  9. enough stock to create desired consistency
  10. soy sauce
  11. Sriracha
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, add oil and sautéed veg and sauté on medium low for 2 minutes. Add herbs and sauté another 2 minutes. Add everything else and simmer for 10 minutes until all the flavors have melded.
  2. Add a splash of soy sauce and sriracha. Enjoy with bread.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 quarts chicken broth or cold water
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 3 slices pancetta (1/4" thick), diced
  4. 1 large yellow onion, minced
  5. 2 stalks celery, minced
  6. 2 carrots, minced
  7. 1 T. Italian parsley, minced
  8. 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  9. 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  10. 2 red potatoes
  11. 1/4 lb green beans, ends trimmed & cut into 1/2" pieces
  12. 2 zucchini, diced
  13. 1/4 lb mushrooms, diced
  14. 1 cup frozen peas
  15. salt & pepper to taste
  16. Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  17. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese freshly grated to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat chicken broth (or water) in pot and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat oil in large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add pancetta, onions, celery, carrots and parsley cook, stirring, 10 minutes or until vegetables are lightly brown. Add tomatoes and stir until they soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cannellini beans, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes until vegetables are well mixed. Add broth or water and rind, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook partially covered stirring periodically for 2 1/2 hours, or until soup is thick. Remove cheese rind, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with grated Parmigiano.
Notes
  1. *Rice or small pasta may be added during last minutes of cooking.
Adapted from Biba Caggiano
Adapted from Biba Caggiano
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Cream of Summer Corn Soup with Tarragon

Cream of Summer Corn Soup with Tarragon
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Ingredients
  1. 6-8 ears of corn, shucked
  2. 4 sprigs tarragon plus chopped leaves for serving
  3. 1 cup heavy cream
  4. Kosher salt
  5. freshly ground pepper
  6. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Cut corn kernels from cobs and set aside. Using the back of a knife and working over a large dish, scrape each cob to extract as much milk as possible. Bring corn milk, cobs, tarragon sprigs, cream, and 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Strain cream mixture into another large saucepan; discard solids. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and lightly simmer to blend flavors, 15 minutes. Add reserved corn kernels and simmer until soft, 5-10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer 1/2 of corn mixture to a blender; add Parmesan and purée until smooth. Stir purée back into corn mixture and season to taste.
  4. Serve sprinkled with chopped tarragon.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/