Cheryl’s Cuisine: March

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Mark your calendars. Gourmet Gala 2016 is schedule for Sunday, April 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort.

gourmeyChairs of this year’s event caution that last year’s event sold out early and are urging patrons to make their reservations as soon as possible so they won’t miss out on the “Wonderland” event.

Gourmet Gala  is a major fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Scranton, which serves the families of children who are hospitalized here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Mission of the House is to provide a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill or injured children in area medical facilities.  The mission is further enhanced with the establishment and management of the Ronald McDonald Family Room programs in area hospitals that provide a comfortable, nurturing environment for families.

Those interested in attending this year’s event may  contact the Ronald McDonald House for tickets at 570-969-8998.  Tickets are $40 per person in advance or $45 at the door.  However, Michele Margotta Neary, public relations director and media planner for United Gilsonite Laboratories, and Kathy Nelson, sales associate at the Carlisle Collection, chairs of this year’s event, note that tickets may not be available at the door if they sell out as quickly as they did last year.

Participating restaurants scheduled include:  A LIttle Pizza Heaven, Amber’s, Arcaro and Genell’s, Bazil’s, Bartolai Winery, Bella Faccia, Blu Wasabi, Cafe’ Rinaldi, Camelot, Cooper’s Seafood, Cusamano’s, Doc Magrogan’s, Down Home Rice Pudding, Edible Arrangements, Fire and Ice, French Manor, Gerrity’s Supermarkets, Gertrude Hawk, La Buona Vita/Stirna’s, Longhorn Steakhouse,  Loose Moose Cottage, Lucky’s Sporthouse, Manning’s Ice Cream, Market Street Bar and Grill, McDonald’s Restaurants, Moses Taylor Hospital, Nimble Hill Vineyard and Winery, Northern Wine and Spirits, Old Brooke Inn, Peggy’s Wing Sauce, Pocono Provisions, Posh @ The Scranton Club, Rustic Kitchen, Ruth’s Chris, Scranton Hilton–Casey’s and P.J’s & Trolley’s, State Street Grill, Terra Preta, TGI Friday’s, Villa Maria, What the Fork, Wildflowers and Wolfgang Puck Express.

Enjoy some of these recipes from restaurants participating  in the 29th annual event:

Stirna’s Champagne Chicken:

stirna12 chicken strips
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup flour
4-6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sliced almonds, roasted
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 cup champagne
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken strips with salt and pepper.  Dredge thoroughly in flour.  Heat olive oil in saute’ pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken strips.  Brown well, about 3 minutes each side.  Add garlic and mushrooms, saute’ another minute.  Add champagne and reduce by half.  Gradually add orange juice and chicken broth and continue reducing for about 4 minutes.  Whisk in heavy cream.  Heat until sauce thickens.  Gently stir in artichokes, cherry tomatoes and butter.  Continue to stir until butter is melted and distributed evenly throughout the sauce.  Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Spoon chicken and sauce over rice or pasta of your choice.  Sprinkle with parsley and almonds and serve.  Serves 4-6.


POSH’s Lobster Mac and Cheese:

poshGouda Sauce:
2 quarts heavy cream
4 oz. butter 4 oz. flour
8 oz. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese
2 oz. Parmesan cheese

Melt butter, add flour to make roux.  Add heavy cream, stir continuously.  Once cream is thickened, turn heat off.  Add cheese stirring until melted.  Cool sauce.

 Lobster Crumb Topping:
2 cups Panko Crumbs
4 oz. butter
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tsp. chopped thyme
4 oz. Parmesan cheese

Blend all ingredients.  Pulse in processor until incorporated.

NOTE: For 1 serving:
8 oz. Gouda Sauce
6 oz. Cavatelli Pasta, fully cooked
3 oz. Lobster meat (claw)
Top with Panko Crumbs

Bake at 350 degrees until brown on top.


Cooper’s Bisque of Maryland Crab Soup:

coopers3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 medium onions, minced
1 medium carrot, finely minced
1 quart (4 cups) milk, heated
3 Tbsp. Madeira wine
1/2 lb. lump crabmeat
Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/2 stick celery, finely minced
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. Seafood seasoning (like Old Bay Seasoning)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables and saute’ until soft.  Reduce heat to medium and add flour, whisking until smooth.  Cook 5 minutes, whisking frequently.  Stir in parsley and seasonings.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.  Add Madeira, crabmeat and salt, to taste.  Simmer 15-20 minutes.  DO NOT BOIL.  Note: If Bisque is thicker than desired, stir in additional milk to thin.


Ruth’s Chris’s Sweet Potato Casserole:

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts, (pecans preferred)
1/3 stick butter, melted

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Sweet Potato Mixture:
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a medium-size casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in large mixing bowl in the order listed.  Beat thoroughly with hand mixer to increase the fluffiness of the sweet potato mixture.  Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Note:  At this point, dish can be covered and refrigerated.

Sprinkle surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with crust mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes.  Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.  The brown sugar and pecan crust should be slightly browned and crunchy.


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