Cheryl’s Cuisine: March 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Well, Lent has arrived and having been raised in a staunch Catholic family, my thoughts turn to Fridays (days of fast and abstinence in the  Church). I remember growing up when eating meat on EVERY Friday was not permitted. Meals on Friday consisted of tuna fish and pizza. To this day,  I have a strong dislike for tuna.  

My family didn’t eat fish either.  Now and then we would be treated to Phillips’ Seafood in South Scranton for shrimp and scallops… that was great!

We have so many options today and Lent is only a few weeks long.  My Lenten repertoire includes crab cakes and homemade tartar sauce. I have shared this recipe in the column numerous times and have never found any better.  

In addition, homemade potato pancakes are always a hit.  I grate them so there’s no liquid and add very little flour to the mixture.  

I actually try to experiment with different meatless recipes also, hoping they are popular enough to add to my menus during the year.  So here goes this year’s meatless dishes, favorites of the Junior Leagues of Florida:

Lemon Caper Shrimp with Orzo

1 1/2 cups orzo
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 fresh garlic cloves, mashed
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined  (tails intact if you like, I always remove mine)
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup dry white wine
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. capers, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook orzo using package directions and drain.  Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil  in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add shrimp, 2 Tbsp. parsley, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until opaque. Remove shrimp to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add lemon juice and wine to skillet and bring to boil over medium-high heat to deglaze skillet.  Lower heat to medium-low. Add butter, lemon zest, capers and shrimp and toss to combine. Cook just until heated through.  Spoon orzo into individual pasta bowls. Spoon shrimp mixture over orzo and top with 2 more Tbsp. parsley and Parmesan cheese.   Makes 4 servings.


Shrimp de Jonge

1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. shallots
1/4 cup sherry
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 tsp. parsley, chopped

Bread Crumb Topping:
1 lb. butter, room temperature
1/3 cup shallots
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

10 large shrimp
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. fresh chives

For the Sauce:  Melt butter in saucepan and saute’ shallots until translucent.  Add sherry and reduce by half. Add cream, salt and pepper, and reduce again by half, or to a nice, thick consistency.  Add parsley and set aside.

For Topping:  Combine all ingredients in a food processor until well blended.  Set aside.

For Shrimp:  Saute’ shrimp for 2 minutes on each side in butter.  Transfer to oven-proof dish and top with bread crumb topping mixture.  Heat at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until brown. Top with sauce and fresh chives.


Bar-B-Que Shrimp Orleans

Butter Mixture:
1/2 lb. butter
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 tsp. seafood blackening spice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. whole leaf oregano
1/2 tsp. whole leaf thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp. blackening spice
4 Tbsp. white wine
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped, for garnish

Bring butter to room temperature.  In mixing bowl whip all ingredients into the softened butter until evenly blended.  Set aside in refrigerator. Can be kept refrigerated for a few weeks.

For Shrimp:  Melt butter in large saute’ pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute’ for 1 minute; do not brown. Add shrimp and blackening spice and cook just until shrimp turns opaque.  Add white wine and reduce by 2/3. Remove pan from heat to keep herbal garlic butter from breaking and immediately stir in prepared seasoned butter until melted and creamy.  You may need to return pan to heat briefly to melt butter, but don’t overheat as it will cause butter to separate.

Serve immediately with crusty French bread for butter sauce.  Garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 6.


Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze:
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger root

1-( 2 1/2 lb, 3/4 to 1″ thick)  whole salmon fillet

For glaze: Combine brown sugar, honey, and butter in small saute’ pan over medium heat and cook until melted, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger root. Let stand until cool.

For salmon: Place salmon skin side down on large piece of foil.  Trim foil, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2″ border. Coat meat of salmon with the glaze.  Grill over medium heat until edges begin to brown and interior is opaque. Remove salmon to cutting board and cut crosswise into 6-8 pieces.  Do not cut through skin. Lift meat from skin using a spatula and arrange on serving platter. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.


Savory Wild Mushrooms

2 oz. clarified butter
2 tsp. shallots
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 oz. shitake mushrooms, diced
2 oz. oyster mushrooms, diced
2 oz. brandy
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. cornstarch diluted in cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
12 toast rounds
12 slices fontina cheese
12 rosemary sprigs for garnish

Heat clarified butter in skillet.  Saute’ shallots. Add rosemary, thyme, shitake and oyster mushrooms and saute’ for about 3 minutes.  Pour in brandy and flame it. Add heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes. Thicken with diluted cornstarch.  Season to taste. Divide mushroom mixture and sauce over toast rounds and top with cheese slices. Glaze under top broiler until browned and warm.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serves 6.


Pasta with Rosemary Cream Sauce

8 oz. pasta
1/4 cup rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. pureed canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.  Saute’ rosemary in olive oil in saucepan over low heat for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream and cheese. Cook until heated through, stirring frequently. Toss with pasta in serving bowl.  Makes 2 servings.


Seafood Au Gratin

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. horseradish
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. white wine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup flaked cooked crab meat, drained
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup cooked shrimp, cut in half
Grated Parmesan cheese

Blend cream cheese, milk, horseradish, butter, wine, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Fold in crab meat, scallions and shrimp.  Put in pie plate or au gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

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