Cheryl’s Cuisine: July 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

When I think about a “perfect” summer,  for me it includes not turning on the oven.  Yes, I love cooking, but that’s why we have grills.   Thoughts of light summer meals…cool, refreshing and casual…are just a few of my favorite summer memories.

One item I really enjoy is Boursin Cheese.  It’s a soft combination of milk, cream, garlic, parsley, chives, salt and white pepper. The cost is approximately $7 for a 5.2 oz. ball.  New to the company is Boursin Chimichurri Style….Just tried this week and it’s a winner…packs a punch…only a dab needed on a cracker.

I’ve been making homemade Boursin for years…and it goes a long, long way.   You can serve it on crackers, slices of zucchini,  baked potatoes, toast points, etc.  It’s a definite summer treat.

Homemade Boursin Cheese:

2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp.  dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. rosemary

Whip all ingredients with electric beaters.  Store in refrigerator.  Make in advance to merge flavors.

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Here are some other quick “cool” ideas for the lazy days of summer!

Peppery Pimento Cheese:

1-1 lb. block sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1-4 oz. jar sliced pimentos, undrained
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1 or 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients.  Serve on crackers.

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Tortilla Dip:

2-4 oz. cans chopped green chiles
2-4 1/2 oz. cans chopped black olives
3 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips.

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Romaine, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad:

2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 avocados, sliced
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 cups fresh grapefruit sections

Combine romaine, avocados, grapefruit and olives in large bowl. Add Red Wine Vinaigrette, tossing to coat.  Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 red onion, grated

Whisk all ingredients together.

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Best Shrimp Salad:

1-16 oz. pkg. small shell pasta
2 lbs. cooked, frozen salad shrimp, thawed and drained
1 cup chopped celery
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Russian salad dressing
2 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions (without adding any oil or salt) until al dente; drain.  Combine shrimp, celery and green onions in bowl and mix well.  Combine mayonnaise, salad dressing, capers, lemon juice, celery seeds, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning in a bowl and mix well.  Add mayonnaise mixture to shrimp mixture and toss to coat.  Stir in pasta.  Chill, covered, until serving time. 

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Mini Cheese Balls:

2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup minced green onion
1 (2  1/2oz.) pkg. thinly sliced deli ham,  finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese, onion, ham and Worcestershire sauce.  Shape into walnut-size balls.  Roll in chopped nuts.  Refrigerate until serving. Serve on crackers or toothpicks.

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And, what’s life without dessert?

Amaretto Cheese Spread:

1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
1-(2 1/2 oz.) pkg. slivered almonds, sauteed in butter

Blend Amaretto into cream cheese. Form a ball and chill until firm. Before serving, cover with almonds and allow to reach room temperature.  Serve with thinly sliced apples and pears.

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Cheesecake Bonbons:

1 small store-bought cheesecake
1-12 oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Cut cheesecake into 24-36 small squares.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheet; freeze 1-2 hours.  Remove frozen bonbons from freezer and dip into melted milk chocolate.  Place back on parchment paper until set.  Once set, drizzle with either semi-sweet or white chocolate, or both.  Once set, may be placed in zip-lock freezer bags.  Will keep frozen for up to 2 months.

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