Cheryl’s Cuisine: October 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Apples, apples and more apples….whether  you get them at area Farmer’s Markets or travel to Ritter’s in Mount Cobb, as we do, it’s definitely apple season.  Apples are one of the most versatile fruits and, honestly, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like apples.  

From appetizers, breakfast, main meals, soups to desserts, apples are on the menu.   Some of my favorite varieties include Honeycrisp, Red and Golden Delicious,  Fuji, Gingergold and Gala.  

So, let’s explore ways to serve this perfect fall fruit not only for Thanksgiving, but also anytime…

German Apple Pancake

1 cup all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 apples, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 °.  In medium bowl, mix eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt.  Whisk until smooth.  Put butter in 13x9x2″ baking dish and place in oven until butter is melted. Add apple slices to baking dish and return to oven for 5 minutes.  Remove baking dish from oven and pour batter over apples.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Return to oven and bake 20 minutes.

***

Fall Apples and Chicken

2 large onions
5 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 boneless, chicken breasts, halved (approximately 2 lbs.)
3 medium apples, sliced
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 °.  Coat baking dish with spray or butter.  Saute’ onions in butter, but do not brown. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken breasts.  Arrange over apple slices.  Combine cheeses with crumbs.  Sprinkle over chicken and apples.  Drizzle with cider.  Bake 35 minutes.

***

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops

4 pork chops, 1″ thick
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped celery
1 Tbsp.  chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped raisins
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. water

Cut horizontal slit in each pork chop to form a pocket. Combine butter, apple, stuffing mix, cheese, celery, onion, raisins, orange juice, and salt in small bowl.  Mix well.  Fill each pocket with stuffing mix; secure opening with wooden toothpicks.  Arrange pork chops in 12×8″ dish.  Mix Worcestershire sauce with water and brush on chops.  Bake in 350°oven for 45-60 minutes or until thermometer reaches 160-170°.

***

Scalloped Apples

5 large apples, peeled
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

This one is one of my husband’s very favorite side dishes. Slice apples into thin wedges and place in microwave-safe bowl.  Cover apples with all remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a small hole to vent.  Microwave on High for 4 minutes.  Stir well and microwave an additional 3-5 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve hot.  

***

Glazed Apples and Carrots

10 fresh carrots, scrubbed or peeled, and sliced
5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
6 Tbsp. golden brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter 
Dash of salt

Place carrot slices in steamer basket.  Toss apple slices with lemon juice and add to carrots in steamer.  Cover and steam just until tender.  Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and salt.  Stir constantly over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolves.  Add steamed carrots and apples, turning to coat with glaze.  Serve hot.  Makes 8 servings.

***

Autumn Salad

1 head cauliflower

2 bunches broccoli
1 large cucumber
3 stalks celery
3 carrots, peeled
1 green pepper, seeded
1/2 red onion
2 Red Delicious apples
1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup raisins
Buttermilk dressing

Dice vegetables, apples and cheddar into bite-sized pieces.  Combine with raisins in large bowl. Drizzle with Buttermilk Dressing.   Serves 6.

Buttermilk Dressing:

1 egg
3 tsp.  Dijon mustard
2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 cup buttermilk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. basil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in large container, whisking until well mixed.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator.  Yields: 5 cups.

***

German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)

4 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour
1 tsp. lemon rind, finely grated
2 Tbsp. milk
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.   Using mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.  Add salt, lemon rind, and vanilla extract.  In separate bowl, measure flour and baking powder.  Whisk together to combine.  Add flour to sugar/egg mixture alternately with milk until a loose dough forms.  Spread batter into greased 10″ springform pan. 

Peel, core, and quarter apples.  Using a knife, make 6-8 slits into each apple quarter, leaving the slices connected on one end so apple will fan out.  Place apple fans over batter in circles to cover the batter.  Bake 40-50 minutes.  Cool  Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.  Cut and serve with sweetened whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream), or better yet…Manning’s Apple Crisp Ice Cream!!!

***

Quick Apple Crisp

6 cups peeled and sliced apples
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Dash salt
1/2 cup cold butter

Whipped topping or Vanilla Ice Cream or Manning’s Apple Crisp Ice Cream

Place apple slices in lightly greased, medium baking dish.  In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apples in dish.  Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are tender.  Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.  Serves 6.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2020

Cheryl's cuisine

Summer vegetables on Cheryl’s kitchen counter challenge her creativity in preparing summer meals. This month we’re featuring zucchini on top shelf. Bottom shelf highlights perfect summer tomatoes and her husband’s Super Marconi Pole Beans.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Right now,  I’m looking at zucchini on my kitchen counter.  Yes, I’ve made zucchini pizza, zucchini squares, zucchini pancakes, zucchini bread, etc., however, my husband is “tired” of the “same old, same old,” which prompted me to look for new, exciting ways to serve the summer vegetable. 

That is, if you consider zucchini “exciting”.  By itself, it’s definitely NOT.  It’s what you add to it that gives it flavor.  Here are some new, exciting ways to serve the vegetable, which grows prolifically in almost every garden:

 Zucchini & Tomato Gratin:

3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1/4  tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

Layer 1/2 of the zucchini and 1/2 of the tomatoes in a greased 8×8″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Layer the remaining zucchini and tomatoes over the Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake in 400 degree oven to 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves 4-6.

***

 Zucchini and Cheese Casserole:

3 cups zucchini, grated
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 cup grated or shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoning
Pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and put into a well-buttered 2- quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serves 6.

***

Zucchini and Linguine:

1 lb. linguine
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 tsp. basil 
Grated Cheese
2-3 medium zucchini 
1/3 tsp. oregano
2 cloves minced garlic

Cut zucchini into julienne strips.  Salt and let sit in a strainer about 1 hour.  Then drain zucchini on paper towels, which have been layered, until moist of moisture is gone.  Heat oil.  Saute’ zucchini, garlic and spices in oil.  Pour over drained, al dente linguine and toss.  Top with grated cheese.  Serves 4.

***

 Posh Squash:

2 lbs. zucchini, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook squash in boiling water until tender.  Drain and cool.  Mash cooked squash.  Combine mayonnaise, cheese, onion and eggs.  Stir into mashed squash and pour into casserole dish.  For topping, combine melted butter and bread crumbs.  Spoon on top.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serves 4.

***

Oriental Zucchini Saute:

2 zucchini, sauteed in olive oil or butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 small minced onions, sauteed
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

After zucchini and onion have been sauteed , combine all other ingredients in microwave bowl. Heat a few minutes to blend flavors.  Pour over zucchini and serve.   Serves 4.

***

Zucchini with Sour Cream:

3 medium zucchini
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. grated cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Paprika
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
Additional grated cheese

Slice washed, unpeeled zucchini into thin rounds; simmer, covered, in a small amount of water for about 6-8 minutes, shaking pan frequently.  Drain.  Combine sour cream, butter, 2 Tbsp. grated cheese, salt, pepper and paprika; stir over low heat to melt cheese.  Remove from heat and mix in chives; toss lightly with zucchini.  Place in buttered flat baking dish; top with crumbs and sprinkle with additional cheese.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

NOTE: This can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, but increase baking time to 30 minutes.  Serves 6.

***

Zucchini Beef Skillet:

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
3 cups sliced zucchini
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 cups corn
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
Chopped parsley

Saute’ beef, onion, and pepper in large skillet until browned.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serves 4-6.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

COVID or not, it’s time for the Farmer’s Market.  Yes, I socially distance and always wear a mask. It’s such a treat walking through the market looking at all the freshly grown produce, homemade baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables, and fresh meats.

My thoughts are always racing as to what new dishes I can make with the fresh items.   This month I’m focusing on broccoli. My family has always loved broccoli and all other members of the cabbage family.  So here are some new, fresh ideas:

Green Goddess Broccoli Salad:

1 large bunch broccoli (use only the florets)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped 
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing:
1 bottle Green Goddess Dressing
Juice of half a lemon
Garlic powder to taste.

Mix all salad ingredients together.  Combine dressing with lemon and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss.  Serves 4-6.

***

Beach Salad:

3 broccoli crowns
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Soak broccoli crowns in cold water 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Chop broccoli crowns and some of the stems.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.  Add broccoli, onion, bacon and raisins.  Toss gently to mix.  Place in serving dish and sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 6.

***

Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Picante sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I use leftover rotisserie chicken breast)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sweet red pepper
Flour tortillas, warmed

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Picante, garlic and chili powder.  Add chicken, broccoli, tomato, cheese, onion and peppers;  toss to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with tortillas. Makes 6-8 servings.

***

Broccoli Pie:

1 large onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli, cooked ( I steam mine)
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash nutmeg
1 unbaked pie pastry (9″)  I use refrigerated crust

In skillet, saute’ onion in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.  Add eggs, broccoli, cheeses, salt and nutmeg.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Let stand a few minutes before serving.  Serves 6-8.

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These next two recipes are great served with grilled meats, especially steaks!

Broccoli Puff:

1-10 oz. pkg. broccoli cuts or fresh broccoli, cooked
1-10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. melted butter

Cook broccoli and drain well.  Put in baking dish.  Mix together soup, cheese, milk, mayonnaise and egg; pour over broccoli.  Brown bread crumbs in butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 4-6.

***

Broccoli and Bleu Cheese Casserole:

2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli, chopped,  or fresh broccoli, steamed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2-3 Tbsp. bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rich, round crackers, crushed (I use Town House)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cook broccoli and drain well.  In saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in flour, cream cheese and bleu cheese.  Add milk; cook and stir until bubbly.  Stir in broccoli and pour into 1-quart casserole.  Crush crackers and toss with 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Place on top of broccoli.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more.  Serves 6.