In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 min, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 min.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt and orzo. Cook for 7 minutes. (it will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain and add to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top (see directions below).
Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter, making sure to butter the corners. Put Gruyere cheese on unbuttered side of two slices and place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the cheese, buttered side up.
Grill the sandwiches on a panini grill for about 5 minutes or a skillet until both sides are nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1 inch cubes.
I might be one of the newest members of the Marcel’s retail staff, but I have been a Marcel’s supporter for many years. You cannot help but look twice at the eye-catching window displays (how about that Snow family and the gorgeous Simon Pearce trees!!), walk into the store and are greeted by the aromas coming from the chef’s cooking classes, you are immediately hooked.
My first class experience at Marcel’s was a private party in 2012. I was working at another retail store in town (aka AliKat) and we decided to hold our Christmas party in mid-November. Holiday retail hours can be brutal and exhausting, so beginning the season early with a fun party seemed like a good idea…especially in case any Scrooge-like temperaments emerged as the season progressed!
We gathered with spouses and significant others on a Saturday evening with Chef Paul. He worked out a delicious menu for us to prepare and we read the recipes with anticipation…Beef Tenderloin Medallions, Wild Mushroom Ragout, Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies, Capers and Walnuts…what? Brussel sprouts…??
He inquired as to how many of us liked the tiny cabbage-shaped veggie ….. and of course, no one raised their hand. He assured us that after preparing this recipe we would all become Brussel sprout converts. We smiled politely at his statement though I know we were all very doubtful. We followed his instructions for our cruciferous side dish while secretly looking forward to the Baby Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting dessert that was to follow. But guess what? After roasting those little cabbages and tossing them with Chef Paul’s amazing dressing, we all were in agreement that it was our favorite part of the meal. We unanimously said YES to Brussel sprouts.
Many of us served them at our Holiday table the next week, and in my family it has officially become our most requested side dish. So if you are like so many and turn your nose up at the thought of Brussel sprouts on your menu, do yourself a favor and give these a try. I promise you will love them and you might just have a new family favorite.
And when you stop in to thank Chef Paul, please pick up the new schedule of classes for the next quarter. I know you will enjoy a fabulous evening making new friends, learning new cooking techniques and discovering new tastes no matter which class you choose.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies, Capers and Walnuts
3 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
2 shallots, peeled and trimmed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
one, 2 ounce tin anchovies, drained and rinsed
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, combine Brussel sprouts and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat. Divide Brussel sprouts evenly onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and charred in spots. Shift the pans in the oven halfway through the roasting. Remove from oven. Cover and keep warm.
Place steel blade into the work bowl of food processor. With motor running drop the garlic and shallots through feed tube and process until chopped. Add the vinegar, mustard, honey, capers and anchovies. Process to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and process until fairly smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the warm Brussel sprouts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter walnuts over the top. Serve right away.
In any profession there is continuing education. Sometimes it is required, other times it is inspired. Inspiration to learn something…just because. I often have these moments of inspiration in the kitchen. Sometimes I immerse myself in a unique cuisine or an underutilized ingredient. But I recently had a very unexpected inspiration to educate myself. There were a couple interactions that inspired me…
My husband came home from work a few weeks ago and told me about a colleague who has been replacing his meals with a nutritionally packed drink instead of food. Soylent. Have you heard of this stuff? I will let you do your own research and make your own judgements. His colleague’s take was that consuming this cylinder bottle of “liquid food” increased his productivity in the office. What? He voluntarily consumes this stuff?
Another friend shared with me his morning breakfast. A fruit and vegetable packed smoothie – which sounded delicious – until he threw in the 24g protein packed scoop of snickerdoodle flavored whey protein. Stop there!
And finally, a girlfriend who is constantly on the run with five kids. She is a self-described “clean” eater. A go to protein for her might be boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked with olive oil cooking spray and no salt. Bad idea for so many reasons. When I saw her last she gave me a cute little “protein ball.” Protein balls are her thing. Just pop a bunch of nutritionally balanced ingredients in a food processor, pulse away, roll into balls, and you have an on-the-go nutritional snack. Quick, easy and no baking. Generally speaking I like the idea of these “protein balls”. Finally, we are using “real” food – not engineered liquid food or snickerdoodle flavored powder. But, how can we make them taste better, have better texture? Hence, my inspiration for continuing education!
I spent a Saturday afternoon educating myself. My challenge was to develop a nutritional high protein convenience snack made with “real” food that tasted good. I needed variation in texture and depth in flavor. I tried sweet, I tried savory. I tried TVP – that’s where I drew the line. TVP, textured vegetable protein. This is the main ingredient in dishes like vegan “chicken nuggets” and vegan “beef tacos.” It provides the protein and texture without the meat. Uh, really? Not sure this qualifies as “real” food.
After many trials and an entire pantry of ingredients utilized, I finally landed on a snack I was pleased with. High protein, lactose-free, and no refined sugar mini muffin bites. Nice texture and good flavor. I sampled them to a few of my best critics. Thumbs up all around. Most importantly, my girlfriend with five kids loved them. Then she asked if she could leave out the egg and throw all the ingredients in a food processor to make them into “protein balls.” Nooooooo! Enough with the protein balls!
My self-written course on high protein convenience snacks began and ended on that Saturday afternoon. I will make the mini muffins again, they were good. But until I get around to it, my go-to high protein snack will be a simple and nostalgic one: a fresh cut apple with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.
High Protein Mini Muffins Made With “Real” Food That Tastes Good
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons ghee, plus more for preparing muffin pan (can substitute butter, but will no longer be lactose-free)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup teff flour (look for Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup dried blueberries
Lightly grease mini muffin tin wells with ghee, set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl stir to combine banana, egg, peanut butter, four tablespoons ghee, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. In separate medium bowl whisk together teff flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts, flaked coconut and blueberries. Batter will be quite dense.
Using spring loaded portion scoop or tablespoon fill each muffin well with 1.5 tablespoons of batter. Push down in to well slightly with back of tablespoon.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until puffed, golden, and cooked through.
3 mini muffins have 9 grams of protein. need more protein? eat more muffins.
Pound chicken to 1/8” thickness. Dredge chicken in flour and sauté in 1/2 cup butter (3-4 minutes per side). Place chicken in greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sauté mushrooms in remaining butter and spread over chicken.
Stir wine and chicken stock int drippings in pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Bake 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees until brown. Combine cheeses and sprinkle over chicken. Place under broiler 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, patted dry with paper towels
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cups Parmesan
1/4 cups chopped herbs (such as basil and parsley), plus more for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, add salmon skin-side up and cook until deeply golden, about 6 minutes. Flip over and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add butter. When butter has melted, stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.
Stir in heavy cream, parmesan and herbs and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
Return salmon back to skillet and spoon over sauce. Simmer until salmon is cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
Garnish with more herbs and squeeze lemon on top before serving.
Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Sauté chorizo sausage until lightly browned. Next add red pepper and green onions and cook another minute. Add cooked sausage to egg mixture and pour into prepared muffin tins. (It is important to spray or line with paper/silicone liners or the eggs will stick.) Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 16-18 minutes until eggs are set. Top with chopped tomatoes and avocado for extra healthy benefit!