Cheryl’s Cuisine: January 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

One of the most popular things in entertaining today is a charcuterie board.

Many of us have been serving the items on the board for decades, some calling it an “antipasto.”  

For my own family, I usually serve “charcuterie” items on cute, little serving dishes, rather than piled atop each other due to certain family members who won’t eat fruit on the same platter as cheese or meats.  But, actually, it’s still a charcuterie.

Charcuterie is a display of dried meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, nuts, spreads,  crackers, toasts, and other favorite vegetables.  Certain meats are a MUST…such as Genoa salami, sliced paper-thin…as a matter of fact, all the meats should be sliced as such.  

Prosciutto, pepperoni, and flavored hams are also a good choice.  Don’t forget the olives, pickles, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers sprinkled with good olive oil and capers.

If you are pressed for time, you can always go to the store and get small containers of peppadew peppers, marinated artichokes, roasted garlic cloves, marinated mushrooms and Italian/Greek olives.  You can also purchase fresh mozzarella ….for example, I buy bocconcini or pearls, drain the water, dress them with olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  

Remember, bleu cheese, brie, cheddar cheeses and fresh fruits such as strawberries and grapes are a must.

Now think Super Bowl! Here are some recipes for you to prepare if time warrants:

Shrimp Salad:

2 lbs. cleaned, boiled shrimp
1 small onion, grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
14 cup finely chopped celery

Mix all ingredients together and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

***

Shrimp Salad with Shrimp Vinaigrette:

1 lb. shrimp
Sesame oil
Peel and clean shrimp.   Saute’ in sesame oil.  

Vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup peanut oil
Juice of 1 orange

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients.  Drizzle over shrimp.

***

BLT Dip:

1 lb. bacon
16 oz. (1 pt.) sour cream
8 oz. mayonnaise
1 medium tomato

Fry bacon crisp and crumble.  Finely dice tomato.  Mix all ingredients.  Chill.  Serve on bagel chips.

***

Brandied Cheese Ball:

Prepare this a day or two ahead to blend flavors.
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup chopped pecans, divided in half

Combine cheeses with brandy, mixing thoroughly.  Stir in half the chopped pecans. Chill until firm, then form into a ball.  Coat with remaining pecans.  Wrap in plastic and chill until serving.  Serve with crackers.

***

Olive Pate’:

1 can black olives 
1/2 cup green olives with pimiento
1 clove garlic
Olive oil

Put olives and garlic in food processor. Process until finely chopped.  Add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Refrigerate. Serve on small toasts or water crackers.

***

Rosemary Cayenne Walnuts:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups walnut halves or pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  In medium bowl combine olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Add walnuts and toss to coat evenly with mixture.  Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

***

Bistro Cheese Spread:

2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. unsalted whipped butter
2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh chives, chopped
3/4 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp. fresh dill, chopped

Place garlic in blender or food processor.  Add buttter, cream cheese and herbs.  Mix well and chill before serving.

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