Marilyn Schlossbach, chef and owner of New Jersey’s “vacation fare” themed Langosta Lounge, has been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and now for the public. Every month, people who are looking to wine and dine while learning from the master herself can experience “Cooking with Marilyn” held at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park. Each cooking demonstration features seven different tasting dishes, paired wines or spirits. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, let’s try your heartstrings. Each event also raises funds for a local charity. Total win-win.
I had the opportunity to attend March’s “Farm-to-Table Spring Fare” segment where we sampled seven courses that were paired with wine samplings from R&R (with a specialty tequila cocktail from Langosta’s very own bar manager.) In true Marilyn form, a portion of the proceeds benefited the evening’s charity beneficiary, the Purr’ n Pooch Foundation for Animals. It was the perfect combination for a food and dog lover!
The evening started off with a very large cheese course from Ocean Grove’s Cheese on Main. Owner and cheese guru Susan Morris presented three different cheeses including a Saint Angel triple cream cheese that resembled a very, very creamy brie, a French Bethnal goat’s milk cheese, and a hard Swiss raw milk blend of cow and goat cheese. They were paired with an apple cranberry chutney and nutbread. By the time I remembered to take a picture, the plate was half empty! The cheeses were paired with a crisp Pavi Pinot Grigio from California.
As we ate our way through the cheese course, Marilyn joined the party to show us how to cook her first dish, a fiddlehead spring pea risotto featuring meyer lemon, black garlic, and mascarpone cheese. Cooking with her LeCreuset in front of the audience on a small burner, Marilyn walked us through the recipe, sharing that you should “always cook with the wine that you’re drinking.” The risotto was extra creamy thanks to the mascarpone cream, while the fiddleheads were perfectly crunchy, a really nice contrast. (It’s hard to get someone to actually like a fiddlehead in my opinion, and Marilyn succeeded).
On to the next course! A perfectly (not) cooked steak tar tar featuring garlic skapes, white soy, and the best caper berries I’ve ever had in my life. They were roasted in sea salt, making them crunchy outside and so tasty on the inside. If I had a choice, I would have had an entire plate of them. Next up was my favorite dish, seared scallops with farro, a rainbow chard salad, fried sunchokes. The scallops were perfectly cooked, firm on the outside, soft on the inside, and were finished with a tart glaze.
As if we weren’t full enough, out came a tagliatelle with braised duck, ramps, and yellow and blue foot mushrooms. Despite the duck’s natural fattiness, the dish was really light and would definitely be on my table in the middle of spring.
The final entrée course featured tacos three ways: Gambas de ajillo (shrimp and garlic), fava bean, garlic, kale and manchego; and my favorite, a fried avocado, braised short rib with onion marmalade. (Side note: If you haven’t fried an avocado yet, you’re missing out.) Pair that with the succulent short rib and the sweet onions and you’ve got a home run for the taste buds. The tacos were paired with a tequila cocktail featuring sorrel liquor, pineapple juice, lime and simple syrup with a cinnamon sugar rim. It was light and refreshing with a hibiscus flavor element. The evening culminated with a delicious dessert platter from Marilyn’s friends, Leslie and Beth, featuring lemon verbena shortbread.
I left feeling like I had eaten my way through spring (I think that’s what Marilyn was going for). And at $65 per person, it’s a fun night to experience great food, delicious cocktails, and personal cooking tips from a local chef who knows her way around the kitchen. Not only did you receive notes about cooking, but the guys from R&R provided some excellent information for choosing wines for various plates. If that’s not reason enough, you’re giving back to the community!
The next “Cooking with Marilyn” is on April 22 and will feature the theme “Sustainable Fish, Foul, Oysters and Veggies” in honor of Earth Day. A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Littoral Society.
If you’re interested in any of the recipes or would like to attend the next class, visit www.MarilynSchlossbach.com and bring spring into your kitchen!
1000 Ocean Ave.
Melissa Beveridge is a freelance journalist and editor, focusing on great food, healthy living, and wellness. Her passion for eating and living well embodies her writing. A lover of all things Jersey, she is also an avid traveler, always looking to discover those hidden culinary gems everywhere she goes. Her musings can be found on her blog mbeewell.wordpress.com.