Cheryl’s Cuisine: October 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth brought back many memories of a trip to Europe some years ago. My sister and I spent a summer vacation in England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany.  

Our first stop was England, where we took as many tours as possible.  Off-time we spent walking through Kensington Gardens, which is, in my estimation, one of the most serene, well-manicured gardens in the world.   

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to London without shopping at Harrods Department Store.  I was overwhelmed by the magnificence of the store, and in particular, the Food Halls.  

As I have always been interested in cooking, I purchased the Harrods Cookery Book, hoping to recreate some of the dishes I gaped at in the halls.  I even opened a charge account there.

At that time the American dollar was very strong, so needless to say, I shopped until I dropped all through Europe and had my purchases shipped back home. It was like “Christmas every day” when the packages arrived.  The only item I didn’t ship was the arborio rice, which I purchased in Assisi.  It was about 25 cents per 1 lb. bag…so I loaded 10 bags into my luggage….and prayed through Customs!

I’ve selected some of my favorite Harrods dishes to share with you this month…Enjoy!

Shrimp Newburg:

4-  3/4″ thick slices white bread, crusts removed4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp.  Madeira wine
2 tsp. brandy
1 lb. shelled shrimp
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup cream
½ tsp. paprika
Watercress, to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place slices of bread on cookie sheet.  Melt half of the butter and brush over the bread.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a pan and add the Madeira and brandy.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the shrimp.  Season and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.  

Mix egg yolks with cream and stir into the pan.  Cook over a gently heat for 5 minutes, stirring until sauce thickens.  Do NOT allow mixture to boil or it will curdle.  Spoon shrimp and sauce onto baked bread and sprinkle with paprika.  Serve hot garnished with watercress.   Serves 4 as an appetizer.

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Spaghetti with Anchovy and Oregano Sauce:

7 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 oz. can anchovy fillets, drained
1 lb. fresh pasta (spaghetti)
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Finely chopped parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in small saucepan and saute’ garlic until golden.  Reduce heat to very low, stir in anchovies and cook gently until anchovies have completely disintegrated.  Meanwhile, cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente.  

Stir in oregano and pepper into the sauce.  Drain pasta well and turn into a warmed serving dish.  Pour sauce over sprinkle with parsley and gently toss together.  Serve with plenty of Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4.

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Tagliatelle with Crab and Asparagus Cream Sauce:

½ lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
6 oz, crabmeat (1 cup)
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 thin ham slice, finely chopped  (I omit that if not on hand)
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. fresh tagliatlle
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Steam asparagus until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.  Roughly flake crabmeat.  Melt butter and saute’ shallots until soft, then stir in ham (if using).  Add asparagus, crabmeat, half the cream and seasoning. Simmer gently over moderate heat, carefully stirring until sauce has thickened slightly.   Reduce heat and simmer gently while cooking pasta.

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain well, then return to pan with remaining cream and 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.  Toss over low heat until well combined.  Transfer to serving dish and make a hollow in the center of the pasta.  Pour crab and asparagus sauce in the center and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Serve at once.  Serves 4.

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Fettuccine with Gorgonzola Sauce:

4 Tbsp. butter
6 oz. Gorgonzola cheese (1 cup), crumbled|
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Parsley, sage and oregano (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. fettucine

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add Gorgonzola, then stir over gently heat for 2-3 minutes, until melted.  Pour in cream and wine, beating vigorously.   Mix in basil, salt and pepper (sage and oregano, if using..I do) and cook, stirring until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.  Cook fettucine in large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.  Drain thoroughly. Gently reheat Gorgonzola sauce, beating vigorously all the time,.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Turn pasta into serving platter and pour sauce over.   Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve at once.  Serves 4.  

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Pumpkin Risotto:

3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 lb. pumpkin flesh, cut into 1″ cubes
1 cup arborio rice
2 ½ cups hot chicken stock or broth
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 large oranges
1 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
Salt and pepper

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add shallots and saute’ for 2-3 minutes.  Add pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring.  Stir in ½ cup stock, orange zest and juice and ginger.  Simmer, stirring, until all moisture has evaporated.  Add another ½ cup stock and cook again until it has evaporated. Continue adding stock and cooking rice in the same way until all stock has been used.  When ready, the rice should be tender, but firm to the bite and creamy. The pumpkin should also be tender.  Season and stir in remaining butter. Serve hot.  Serves 4.

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This is a great accompaniment to holiday dinners:

Roasted Potatoes and Parsnips:

2 lb. potatoes, peeled and halved
2 lb. parsnips, peeled and halved
Salt
8 Tbsp. butter

Cook potatoes and parsnips in large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place butter in baking dish, and put into oven to melt.  Scratch surface of potatoes only with a fork, to give them a crunchy skin when cooked.  When butter is hot and sizzling, add potatoes and parsnips and toss in butter.  Roast for about 1 hour or until crunchy and golden.  Serves 6.

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Melon & Strawberries with Champagne:

2 cantaloupe, crenshaw, or other small melons
1 ½ lbs. strawberries
4 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 bottle chilled champagne or sparkling dry white wine

Cut melons in half and scoop out seeds.  Hull strawberries, cut in half and place in each melon half.  Sprinkle sugar over the fruit if wishes, and pour about ¼ cup champagne over each serving.  Eat at once, served with remaining champagne.  Serves 4.

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