Cuisine: Hang a Muldoon on your wall…

While you whip up one of his great recipes...

Stephen Muldoon is a Marco resident who also happens to be an exciting and nationally acclaimed artist. He works in oil on canvas and executes murals as well. His work is currently on view through March 26 at the Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Drive. The subjects are all local scenes of Marco and Goodland. The works were commissioned by the Marco Island Historical Society and sponsored by the Fifth Third Bank.

Steve grew up in Ohio and attended the Cleveland Art Institute after high school.

“Art runs in our family,” he comments. “My Dad graduated from that school, and my grandfather was a painter, and so was his brother. My two older brothers are both talented, although they went into things like computers and management. I even have two nephews who show a lot of promise.”

Steve’s been painting since age 16 and had his first one-man show at 19. He had a summer studio on Lake Erie for several years and spent his winters in the Florida Keys and surfing in Costa Rica. Some friends interested him in mission work in Nicaragua, and he put in a lot of time there doing religious art, mostly murals for churches.

“No money in it,” he laughs, “but it was a wonderful and inspiring experience.”

His murals have won two prestigious Aurora awards from the Institute of Designers and Architects, and he was selected by a national magazine as America’s outstanding muralist. This attracted the attention of people on Marco, and he was commissioned to do murals for the Kahuna and Marco Polo restaurants. Before he was finished, he had eleven more assignments, and finally relocated here in 1997.

His mother Carolyn says she was delighted when he made the move to Marco, as he had painted all the walls in sight at her Ohio home.

Along the way, he’s traveled extensively in Europe, in addition to the time spent in the Keys and Central America. He draws inspiration from all of this varied background, and creates his own colorful and unique images. In addition to murals and oils on canvas, he produces museum-quality limited edition prints and giclées.

He will have a one-man show at Orion Bank next month, commencing with an evening program on April 10. He’ll also be doing a mural at the Manatee School in Naples sometime in April. He’s a busy young man.

His second passion is cooking. When you leave home and live on your own, you must learn to cook or eat frozen and canned foods forever. Steve chose cooking.

Picasso’s Pollo-Muldoon Style

4 chicken breasts on bone (Skinless)

4 servings of your favorite stuffing

Flour for dredging

2 cloves fresh garlic

2 small yellow onions, sliced thin

Olive oil as needed

4 ounces dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 small yellow pepper, chopped

1 small orange pepper,

Prepare the stuffing according to package instructions. Add 2 cloves of finely minced or shredded garlic while cooking. Refrigerate until chilled.

Using a small sharp knife, cut horizontally across each chicken breast, creating a pocket. Fill each pocket with the chilled stuffing. Coat breasts with olive oil and cover lightly with flour.

In shallow ovenproof dish, bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sauce:

Finely mince remaining 2 cloves of garlic. In a cast-iron skillet, cook garlic and sliced onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Add wine and heavy cream. Constantly stir and bring to a slow boil, then cook down a bit to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside to keep warm. To serve, place the chicken on a platter and spoon sauce over them. Garnish with diced red, yellow, and orange peppers, like an artist’s palette.

Muldoon’s Pet Sandwich

1 French baguette, the soft kind

1 small Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 clove garlic, shredded

Olive oil as needed

½ pound honey-cured ham

As much Brie as you like

1 Red Delicious apple

Mayonnaise or other preferred spread

In a cast-iron skillet, cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Set aside. Open the baguette and spread with mayonnaise or other condiment. Add the ham and Brie, spreading evenly. Add the caramelized onion and garlic. Shred a quarter-inch layer off the outside of the apple (Steve likes to leave the skin on) and scatter on top of cheese. Close sandwich and warm in a 350 degrees oven about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

East Meets West Curry

This is an adaptation of Steve’s chicken recipe above — he says that cooking is like art and sometimes you make it up as you go along.

For the sauce:

2 cloves minced fresh garlic

1 small yellow onion, finely shredded

Olive oil as needed

4 ounces dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

Chicken stock as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon curry powder

Brown onion and garlic in heavy skillet in olive oil. Add wine and cream and stir thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper and curry powder. While constantly stirring, bring to a slow boil and cook down a bit to thicken. Add chicken stock to increase sauce if you wish. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Chicken:

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, diced coarsely

Flour for dredging

Salt and pepper

Olive oil as needed

Shake chicken pieces in a paper or plastic bag with flour, salt and pepper. Brown pieces in olive oil in a heavy skillet, stirring and turning to cook evenly. Lower heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly done. Add the reserved sauce and adjust seasoning. Serve on a bed of rice. Steve likes to scoop up cooked rice with a ladle to form a sort of dome on the plate.

Garnishes:

1 small red pepper, diced

1 small yellow pepper, diced

1 small orange pepper, diced

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

Fresh green snow peas make a colorful accompaniment.

© 2008 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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