Cheryl’s Cuisine: Sept. 2016

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Have you ever re-read an old cookbook that brought back so many memories?

Well, this summer I spent time visiting in hospitals, first with Cousin Agnes at St. Luke’s in Bethlehem, and one week  with my husband at Lankenau Medical Center in Philadelphia where he underwent spine surgery.  

Part of my hospital-visiting ritual is a stop at the gift shop.  My main question is asking if the hospital has a cookbook.  Lately, the person in the shop looks at me as though I have five heads.   However, I’m not giving up.  Cousin Agnes has an appointment for a procedure at Hershey Medical Center in mid-September, so I’ll be hunting again.

Years ago many hospitals had cookbooks that were used as fund-raisers for various groups.   This memory prompted  me to drag out my old Mercy Family Cookbook from the early 1980’s when I was Teenage Volunteer Advisor (formerly Candy Stripers) at Mercy in Scranton.  Our living room was filled with recipes from hospital employees, volunteers and friends as I compiled the book for publication.  Proceeds benefited the Scholarship Fund for the youngsters who went on to further their education after high school.

So today, we’re walking down memory lane with some of the most popular dishes from that book.   As I page through,  I remember many of the people who donated recipes.  Some are no longer with us, however, I cherish those memories from a time when it truly was a “Mercy Family.”

Tangy Cheese Appetizer Fondue: 

2 pkgs. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 jar Progresso pepper salad, drained well ( do NOT use any liquid from this jar)
6 pepperoncini (Progresso small jar, drained, but save some liquid)

Mix all ingredients.  Use a little liquid from pepperoncini.  Serve warm in fondue pot with bread chunks or crackers.     – Louise Cinquegrani


Potato Salad Alla Fiorani: 

2 lb. boiled botatoes
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 cloves minced fresh garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. wine vinegar
1/2 c. salad oil
1/2 c. sliced stuffed pimento green olives (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in salad bowl.  In another bowl, mix celery, parsley, onion, garlic, wine vinegar, salad oil, salt and pepper.  Mix well and pour over potatoes and mix together.  Refrigerate until chilled and serve.       – Rose Florey Fiorani


Velvet Turtles’ Chilled Cucumber Soup:

2 onions, chopped
2 leeks (white part), chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 c. butter
2 c. thinned chicken broth
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. flour

In stainless steel or enameled kettle, cook onions, leeks and cucumbers in butter for 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened.  Stir in chicken broth, wine and salt and pepper.  Bring liquid to  boil.  Whisk in 1 tsp. each of butter and flour and simmer mixture for 1 hour.

In blender or food processor fitted with steel blade, puree mixture in batches.  Strain puree through a fine sieve into  a bowl and stir in:

1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. snipped dill
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
3-4 drops Tabasco sauce
1 c. peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber

Chill soup, covered, for at least 2 hours and add salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into chilled bowls and garnish each serving with:

1 thin slice lemon
1 tsp. sour cream
Sprinkling of minced parsley   

Serves 4-6. – Betty Wren Cook


Noodles in Oil and Garlic:

1 tsp. oil
1 stick butter
1 can anchovies
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 can College Inn Chicken Broth
1 lb. pasta of your choice, boiled until al dente
Fresh broccoli, steamed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Combine oil, garlic, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.  Let simmer in pan 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth.  Keep on low heat.  Add steamed broccoli and keep on low heat.  Add boiled pasta.  Toss with Parmesan cheese.   – Barbara Malakin


Shrimp and Crab Cardinal:

1 1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. mik
1 lb. fresh or frozen shrimp, cooked, drained and peeled
1-12 oz. pkg. frozen crabmeat, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash of bottled hot pepper sauce
1 c. soft bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 c. finely shredded  Gruyere or Swiss cheese

In large saucepan, cook mushrooms in 1/4 cup butter until tender.  Stir in flour until smooth.  Add milk all at once.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.   Cook 1 minute more.  Stir in shrimp, crabmeat, sherry, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and hot pepper sauce.   Spoon mixture into 8 or 10 appetizer-size ramekins or baking shells.  Toss together bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp. melted butter.  Sprinkle over each serving.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until light brown.  Sprinkle cheese atop each serving.  Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.  Garnish each serving with watercress, if desired.– Sylvia Glassman


Irish Coffee Dessert:

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 c. cold milk
1 c. milk, heated to boiling
2/3 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. Irish whiskey
2 Tbsp. creme de cacao
1/2 pt. whipping cream
8 ice cubes

Sprinkle gelatin over cold milk in blender.  Let stand 4 minutes.  Add hot milk and process at low speed until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Add all other items except ice cubes.  Process at high speed until blended.  Add ice cubes, one at a time, until melted.  Pour into parfait or dessert dishes.  Chill until set.  Garnish with whipped cream or chocolate curls.       – Jimmy Durkin


Apple Sabayone:

5 egg yolks
5 Tbsp. sugar
1-4 oz. can applesauce
1/2 c. golden cream sherry  (Paul Masson)
Sliced or slivered almonds
Cinnamon sprinkle

Beat sugar and egg yolks in bowl until thick and lemon colored.  Transfer to double boiler over very low simmering water.  Add golden cream sherry very slowly while beating.  Add applesauce.  

Continue beating until egg mixture is light, but thick in consistency (5-7 minutes). Mixture should triple in volume.  

Pour into attractive clear glass.  Garnish with almonds and sprinkle cinnamon.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Serves 6. – Betty Hayes

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