Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

This past week I was a surgical patient at Regional Hospital (formerly Mercy), which brought back many memories of when I was President of the Auxiliary, along with my mother being President of the Alumni Association and teaching at the School of Nursing.

It was 40 years ago that I began compiling a cookbook to benefit Mercy Hospital Teenage Volunteers (previously known as Candy Stripers). I was advisor to the volunteers for many years and we were in need of funds for our Scholarship Program.  

Thus, the Mercy Family Cookbook was born. After months of collecting favorite recipes from Mercy Hospital staff, families, and friends, recipes were organized on our kitchen table, sent to the publisher, and a legacy of great recipes began.

Many of those who shared their favorite recipes have passed on, however, those dishes have been cherished by many of us who hold the memories near and dear to our hearts.

With those memories fresh in my mind and heart, this month I’m featuring some of the best dishes from the Mercy Family Cookbook.

Clam and Beer Appetizers:

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup beer
1 small onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
4-6 ½oz. cans minced clams, drained (reserve juice)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet.  Combine first 8 ingredients with salt and pepper; mix well.  Add clams and mix well.  If too dry, add some clam juice.  Spread on toast rounds or spoon into shells.  Bake 10 minutes, then put under broiler until tops are golden.  

***

Velvet Turtle’s Chilled Cucumber Soup:

2 onions, chopped
2 leeks (white part), chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
Salt and pepper

In a stainless steel or enameled kettle, cook onions, leeks and cucumbers in the butter for 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened.  Stir in chicken broth, wine, and salt and pepper, to taste.  Bring liquid to a boil.  Whisk in 1 tsp. each of butter and flour and simmer the mixture for 1 hour.  In a blender or food processor fitted with steel blade, puree’ the mixture in batches.  Strain the puree’ through a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in the following:

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

Chill the soup, covered, for at least 2 hours and reseason with 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.

***

Noodles in Oil & Garlic:

1 tsp. oil
1 stick butter
1 can anchovies
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients and let simmer 5 minutes.  

Add:
1 can College Inn Chicken Broth

Keep on low heat.  Steam fresh broccoli.  Add to pan and keep on low heat.  Add noodles, which have been boiled to al dente.  Toss with ½ cup Parmesan Cheese.

***

Stroganoff Steak Sandwich:

2/3 cup beer
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lb. London Broil (1″ thick)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 cups onions, sliced thinly
12 slices French bread
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. horseradish

Combine beer, oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Place steak in marinade; cover.  Marinate overnight in refrigerator or for several hours at room temperature; drain.  Broil steak for 5-7 minutes on each side.  In saucepan, melt butter.  Blend in paprika and dash of salt.  Add onions and cook until tender, but not brown.  Thinly slice meat. 

For each serving, arrange meat slices over 2 pieces of French bread and top with onions.  Combine sour cream and horseradish.  Heat and spoon onto each sandwich.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Serves 6.

***

Mocha Nuggets:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup strong-brewed Folger’s coffee, cooled
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add chocolate.  Stir together flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture alternately with coffee.  Stir in rolled oats and nuts. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until done.  Makes about 4 dozen.  Ice with Coffee Icing.

Coffee Icing:
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Strong-brewed Folger’s coffee

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar.  Beat in vanilla and enough coffee to make a spreading consistency, about 2 Tablespoons.

***

Yummy Rum Treat:

4 pkgs. Stella D’Oro anisette cookies
1 large pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 large pkg. instant chocolate pudding
4 pkgs. Dream Whip
2 whiskey glasses Rum
5 whiskey glasses water

Mix together the rum and water; let stand.  Prepare puddings according to package directions.  In large oblong baking dish, dip cookies in rum mixture and line up close.  Build one layer cookies, one layer vanilla pudding, one layer cookies, and one layer chocolate pudding.  Spread Dream Whip mixture on top and let stand in refrigerator overnight. Decorate with chopped nuts and maraschino cherries.

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