Cheryl’s Cuisine: November 2017

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Last week my husband and I made what I consider to be an “emergency” trip to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I had just received notice via email that Country Curtains would be closing after 60 years.  

Every window in our house is adorned with Country Curtains. After I recovered from my shock and dismay, I told my husband that this trip was a necessity, the last opportunity I would have to buy my favorite Country Curtains.  So, on a beautiful fall day, we headed up the New York State Thruway.    

For him, it was a treat as the “home” of Country Curtains is the Red Lion Inn, both owned by the Fitzpatrick Family. The Inn has been an historic landmark since 1773, and in 1968 Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick, who owned a thriving curtain business, purchased the Inn where the main Country Curtain store would be located.    

Needless to say, we have frequently visited the Red Lion Inn–not only for the curtains, but also for the ambiance, great food, quaintness and the “welcoming” porch.  

So while I spent two hours (yes, two hours) in the Country Curtains Store in the rear of the Inn, my husband sat patiently on that front porch watching literally hundreds of visitors taking photos of the porch and the gigantic pumpkins adorning the front entrance.    

While visiting the gift shop, I purchased the Inn’s new Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, which they serve with baby greens,  dried cranberries and walnuts, and also on chicken salad or as a marinade for chicken or fish.

The Inn has long been known for it’s food, so  here are some of the Red Lion Inn’s top recipes for you to enjoy during the upcoming holiday seasons:

Autumn Bisque Soup:

butternut4 cups chicken stock or broth
1  cup onion, chopped
2 slices bread, crusts removed, cubed
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped coarse
1 lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Combine stock or broth, onion, bread cubes, apples, squash, salt, marjoram, rosemary and pepper in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil over moderate heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove squash with slotted spoon and scoop out flesh , returning flesh to the soup and discarding skin.  

Puree soup in batches in a blender.  Return puree to the rinsed-out kettle.  In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks and cream.  Stir in a little soup into the egg mixture, and then stir this back into the soup.  Heat soup over moderate heat until it is hot, but do not let it boil.  Ladle bisque into heated bowls and serve.  Serves 4-6.


Russian Dressing:

1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
2 sweet pickles
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 tsp. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
1/2 clove garlic, peeled
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Process the egg, pickles, onions, both bell peppers and garlic together in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Dressing will keep in refrigerator for 1 week. Yield: 2 cups.


Cheddar, Ale and Sausage Soup:

1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. onion, diced
1181cheddar5year3-jpg-jpg-jpg3 Tbsp. carrot, diced
3 Tbsp. celery, diced
1 Tbsp.  garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups ale
1/2 lb. bratwurst, diced
1/2 cup diced, canned tomatoes
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese

Saute’ all vegetables except tomatoes in butter.  Add flour and cook 20 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.  Add chicken stock and ale, stirring until slightly thickened.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour until flavors are blended.



Welsh Rarebit:

2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. ground paprika
1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. prepared English mustard
Salt, to taste
10 slices Canadian bacon
10  thick tomato slices
5 English muffins, split
Ground paprika
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat milk with bay leaf in a small saucepan.  Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in another saucepan.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes to form a roux.  Do not brown.  Remove bay leaf and whisk the hot milk into the roux and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg.  

Add cheese, beer, broth, 1 tsp. paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt to the roux.  Mix thoroughly and cook slowly over low heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Adjust seasonings.  Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.

Grill bacon and tomato slices on a grill or under broiler until lightly browned.  Toast muffins and spread muffins with remaining butter.  Top each muffin with a slice of the grilled bacon and grilled tomato slice.  Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce over each rarebit. Sprinkle with paprika and place under broiler until lightly browned and bubbly, about 2 minutes.  Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.  Serves 5.


Roast Beef Hash:

1 1/2 lbs. cooked prime rib or roast beef, trimmed of fat and gristle
3/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
1/2 lb. onions, quartered
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Cut beef into 1″ cubes.  Combine beef cubes, potatoes, onions, and seasonings in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside, covered, for 2 hours.  Coarsely dice or chop meat mixture with a meat grinder or food processor, but do not allow to get mushy.  Heat oil in skillet and cook hash over medium heat until potatoes are brown.  

Turn hash over and cook the other side.  Adjust seasonings.  While hash is cooking, fry or poach eggs.  Top each portion of hash with 2 eggs and serve immediately.


Leo the Lion:

1/2 scoop raspberry sherbet
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
6 Tbsp. club soda
1 orange slice, for garnish
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish

Place sherbet and orange juice in blender and blend at medium-high speed for 15 seconds.  Pour into a glass and top with the club soda.  Garnish with orange slice and cherry.  Serves 1.

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