Cheryl’s Cuisine: July 2017

lvfoodwine-logoBy Cheryl Radkiewicz

Thousands of guests poured into the Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem for the recent 8th Annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  The three day event opened with a cooking demonstration  by Chef Emeril Lagasse and presentation of the awards for the Northampton Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management competition.

Winners of the event are given the opportunity to work alongside chefs, sommeliers and restaurant managers in three of Emeril’s restaurants in New Orleans, Emeril’s New Orleans, NOLA,  and Emeril’s Delmonico.

The Grand Tasting afforded guests the opportunity to savor some of the specialty dishes featured by area restaurants.    Those included:  187 Rue Principale, 904 West Restaurant and Lounge, Aunt Wendy’s Kiffles, The Bayou, Bell Hall, Broadway Social, Buddy V’s Ristorante, Carlo’s Bake Shop, Carnegie Deli, Centro, Chocolate Works, The Dime, Fiesta emerilOle’, Grain, Hampton Winds, Hellertown Bakery, Kingfish, Maxim’s 22, Mitzi’s Table, Paxos Restaurants, Queen City BBQ, Sette Luna, Sodexo, Steelworks, Spinnerstown Hotel, Villa Italian Kitchen, The Vineyard, Twisted Olive and Yianni’s Taverna.

In addition,  Emeril’s Chop House featured a Loaded Potato with house-cured bacon powder, crisp shallots and cheddar crackers along with Chimichurri Marinated Arrow Prime Steak with crisp yucca and jalapeno.   Emeril’s Fish House served a Miniature Blue Crabcake with cream corn, tomato jam and micro-greens and a Petit Banana Cream Tart with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and rum sauce.  And, last, but certainly not least, Burgers and More by Emeril  offered Crisp Buttermilk Chicken Slider with sundried tomato-balsamic jam, arugula, roasted peppers and mozzarella, and a Lamb Slider with goat cheese spread, cucumber, curry-mint aioli and micro watercress.

For his presentation, Emeril opted for two of his most popular dishes:

My Way Grouper Chowder:

2  1/2  lbs. grouper, monkfish, tilefish, monkfish, cut into 1″ pieces
chowder1 Tbsp. Emeril’s Creole Seasoning  or other Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. salt pork in 1/4″ dice
3 cups yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2  cups red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lbs. large russet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
2 1/2 quarts fish stock (recipe follows)
0007468309766_500X5003 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

NOTE: You can use any type of firm white fish fillets for this dish.

Season the grouper with the Creole seasoning, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat the oil and salt pork in a large pot or cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook the salt pork, stirring as needed, until crisped and its fat is rendered, 8-10 minutes.

Add the onions, celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, salt and cayenne and cook 1 minute.  Add the potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes.  Add the grouper and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper as needed.  Stir in the cream, if desired, and serve.

Fish Stock:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Bones and head (gills removed) from a 5- 5 1/2 lb. grouper or other firm white fish, rinsed
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 head garlic, halved
1  cup dry white wine
3 quarts cold water
2 lemons, halved
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, including stems, coarsely chopped
8 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme  or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. black peppercorns

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the bones, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.  Add the wine and water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pot and add the rinds, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns. Increase the heat to medium-high; when it begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool a bit.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer  into another container. Use the stock immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate  up to 1 week or freeze for 3 months.


Spaghetti Carbonara with Fresh Duck Eggs:

4 large duck or chicken egg yolks, beaten (use highest quality, freshest eggs)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
carbo3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lb. thickly sliced pancetta or guanciale
3 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked until al dente and drained, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched 2-3 minutes, or frozen, thawed

In a large bowl, briskly whisk together the eggs, pepper, salt, cheese and parsley until well combined.  Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring as needed, until crispy, about 6 minutes.  Add the shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring,  for 1 minute.  Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and peas,  and toss well, coating the pasta fully with the hot fat.  Cook, stirring to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan, until most of the water has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add half of the pasta to the bowl and quickly toss it with the egg mixture.  This will temper the egg yolks so they do not get scrambled from the heat of the pasta, but instead will end up evenly coating the strands of pasta.  Working quickly, add the remaining pasta to the bowl and toss until everything is thoroughly combined.

Portion the pasta into warm shallow bowls and offer a pepper grinder and more grated cheese, if desired.

Cheryl’s Cuisine

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Over 2,100 guests poured into Sands Casino in Bethlehem to attend the annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  Foodies were delighted with samplings offered by area restaurants and wineries.  Highlights included cooking demonstrations and wine seminars.

Cheryl Sempa Radkiewicz of the Dunmorean chats with Chef Chris Wilson during his recent culinary demonstration at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem. Wilson is the Culinary Director of Emeril’s Homebase in New Orleans.

This year’s culinary demonstration featured Chef Chris Wilson, a Connecticut native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, who has spent over 20 years working for Chef Emeril Lagasse.  Wilson now serves as Culinary Director of Emeril’s Homebase in New Orleans where he oversees culinary operations at Lagasse’s three restaurants in New Orleans–Emeril’s, NOLA, and Emeril’s Delmonico.

Wilson has been part of the festival each year where he delights audiences with his talent and sense of humor. Here are some of the dishes he prepared for us:

Pan-Seared Grouper with English Pea Puree, Chanterelles, Sunchokes, Rainbow Carrots and Minneola Burre Blanc

Pea Puree:

1/2 cup English Peas
Ice Water for chilling
1 tsp. Clarified Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp. Diced Leeks (White only, optional)
1/2 tsp. Chopped Shallots
2 Tbsp. Mascarpone Cheese

Blanch peas in boiling salted water until bright green, then drain, shock in ice water, then drain again.  Cook leeks and shallots in the clarified butter until translucent. Add peas until warmed.  Put pea mixture in blender, add mascarpone and blend until smooth. (The amount of cheese could vary depending on desired consistency.) Chill puree until ready to serve.


2 Rainbow Carrots
Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper
3 to 4 Sunchokes
Clarified Unsalted Butter, for sauteing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat carrots with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast, covered, on a baking sheet until tender.  Let cool and then dice.  Peel sunchokes, placing them in water so they do not discolor.  Slice, drain and saute’ over medium heat in clarified butter until tender and then chill.


Two 7 oz. Black Grouper Fillets, skin removed
Salt and Black Pepper
2 oz. Clarified Butter
1 tsp. Whole Unsalted Butter
1 clove Garlic
1 sprig Fresh Thyme

Turn oven temperature up to 400 degrees.  Heat saute pan until hot, then add clarified butter and heat until hot.  Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then sear the non-skin side of the fish until begins to brown, then transfer to the oven for 7 to 9 minutes.  Do not flip or move fish.  Remove pan and add the whole butter, garlic and thyme.

Beurre Blanc:

1/4 cup Chablis
1 tsp. Chopped Shallots
Juice of 2 Minneola Oranges
1 sprig of Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, diced, chilled
3-4 Chanterelle Mushrooms, cleaned, stems scraped, cut into uniform pieces and stored on paper towels
Clarified Unsalted Butter
Vegetable Stock, if needed

Combine wine, shallots, orange juice and thyme in a saucepan and cook until reduced by 95% (almost 1 Tbsp. liquid remaining).  Remove from heat and whisk in chilled butter to combine.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

To serve:  Preheat a saute pan.  Saute mushrooms in clarified butter.  Add the other vegetables and warm, adding a small amount of stock if needed to prevent the vegetables from drying out.  Baste fish with the  melted butter and pan drippings.  Arrange with beurre blanc on the bottom, then vegetables, then grouper and garnish with pea puree.

Roasted Baby Beet Salad with Warm Goat Cheese and Frisee

IMG_01381 1/2 lbs. Assorted Red and Golden Baby Beets, washed
Extra-virgin Olive Oil for drizzling, plus 1/2 cup divided
1/4 cup Sherry Wine Vinegar, divided
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. Milk
1/3 cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1-6 oz. Goat Cheese Log, chilled and cut into 6 even slices
1/4 cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tsp. Minced Shallots
2 tsp. Chopped Parsley Leaves
2 tsp. Chopped Chervil Leaves
1 tsp. Chopped Chives
3 cups Frisee Lettuce, roughly torn and washed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread aluminum foil onto work surface. Place beets on foil and drizzle olive oil generously over beets.  Seal aluminum foil around the beets and place on a baking sheet. Roast beets for 45 minutes to one hour, or until tender.  Remove from oven, unwrap beets and cool.  When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into wedges.  Place beets in a small bowl.  Sprinkle two tablespoons of sherry vinegar over the beets and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Set aside to cool completely.

Place flour in a shallow dish or pan.  Whisk together egg and milk in a second small dish.  Place breadcrumbs in a separate shallow dish or pan.  Season chilled goat cheese rounds with salt and pepper. Dredge rounds in flour, shaking off the excess, then in the egg wash, and finally in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat well.  Allow the breaded goat cheese rounds to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Arrange roasted beet wedges on six salad plates.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining two tablespoons of vinegar, dijon, shallots, parsley, chervil and chives.  Drizzle 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil into the vinegar mixture, whisking to combine.  Place frisee in a bowl and drizzle a little of the vinaigrette over the greens.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Divide frisee evenly among the six plates in the center of the sliced beets.

Heat the remaining  1/4 cup olive oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat.  Carefully place the goat cheese rounds into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan.  Cook until lightly browned and softened, about one to two minutes each side. (Since the goat cheese gets very hot, it may be helpful to use a fish spatula to turn the goat cheese during cooking).  Remove goat cheese from oil with a slotted spatula, and place on top of frisee.  Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on top of the sliced beets.  Serve immediately.  Serves six.