Cheryl’s Cuisine: January 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

One of the most popular things in entertaining today is a charcuterie board.

Many of us have been serving the items on the board for decades, some calling it an “antipasto.”  

For my own family, I usually serve “charcuterie” items on cute, little serving dishes, rather than piled atop each other due to certain family members who won’t eat fruit on the same platter as cheese or meats.  But, actually, it’s still a charcuterie.

Charcuterie is a display of dried meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, nuts, spreads,  crackers, toasts, and other favorite vegetables.  Certain meats are a MUST…such as Genoa salami, sliced paper-thin…as a matter of fact, all the meats should be sliced as such.  

Prosciutto, pepperoni, and flavored hams are also a good choice.  Don’t forget the olives, pickles, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers sprinkled with good olive oil and capers.

If you are pressed for time, you can always go to the store and get small containers of peppadew peppers, marinated artichokes, roasted garlic cloves, marinated mushrooms and Italian/Greek olives.  You can also purchase fresh mozzarella ….for example, I buy bocconcini or pearls, drain the water, dress them with olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  

Remember, bleu cheese, brie, cheddar cheeses and fresh fruits such as strawberries and grapes are a must.

Now think Super Bowl! Here are some recipes for you to prepare if time warrants:

Shrimp Salad:

2 lbs. cleaned, boiled shrimp
1 small onion, grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
14 cup finely chopped celery

Mix all ingredients together and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

***

Shrimp Salad with Shrimp Vinaigrette:

1 lb. shrimp
Sesame oil
Peel and clean shrimp.   Saute’ in sesame oil.  

Vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup peanut oil
Juice of 1 orange

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients.  Drizzle over shrimp.

***

BLT Dip:

1 lb. bacon
16 oz. (1 pt.) sour cream
8 oz. mayonnaise
1 medium tomato

Fry bacon crisp and crumble.  Finely dice tomato.  Mix all ingredients.  Chill.  Serve on bagel chips.

***

Brandied Cheese Ball:

Prepare this a day or two ahead to blend flavors.
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup chopped pecans, divided in half

Combine cheeses with brandy, mixing thoroughly.  Stir in half the chopped pecans. Chill until firm, then form into a ball.  Coat with remaining pecans.  Wrap in plastic and chill until serving.  Serve with crackers.

***

Olive Pate’:

1 can black olives 
1/2 cup green olives with pimiento
1 clove garlic
Olive oil

Put olives and garlic in food processor. Process until finely chopped.  Add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Refrigerate. Serve on small toasts or water crackers.

***

Rosemary Cayenne Walnuts:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups walnut halves or pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  In medium bowl combine olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Add walnuts and toss to coat evenly with mixture.  Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

***

Bistro Cheese Spread:

2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. unsalted whipped butter
2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh chives, chopped
3/4 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp. fresh dill, chopped

Place garlic in blender or food processor.  Add buttter, cream cheese and herbs.  Mix well and chill before serving.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: December 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

What is your favorite meat to serve for Christmas?  Mine is Prime Rib.   Many area restaurants which served prime rib have eliminated it from their menus since Covid.   If you’re fortunate enough to find one at a good price, grab it and freeze it for that special day.   

However, there are many other options (none cheap today) that have made their way to my Christmas table in previous years.  This month I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes for preparing meat for that special day.

Prime Rib:

1-5 lb. prime rib (with or without bones)
1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Garlic cloves, cut in halves or quarters

Let roast sit out at room temperature at least 2 hours before cooking.  When ready to cook,, put slits in roast and insert garlic cloves.

With your hands, spread softened butter all over roast.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place meat on rack in stainless roaster.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.   Roast 5 minutes per pound for Rare; 6 minutes per pound for Medium; 7 minutes per pound for Well Done.  Turn oven off and DO NOT OPEN oven for 2 hours.  Test with meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and loosely cover with foil.  Should rest about 20 minutes before serving.

RARE:  Pull out at 115 F,  final rested temperature= 120-129F
MEDIUM RARE:  Pull out at 125F, final rested temperature =130-134F
MEDIUM:   Pull out at 130F, final rested temperature=135-144F
MEDIUM WELL:  Pull out at 140 F, final rested temperature=145-154F
WELL:  Pull out at 150F, final rested temperature =155-164F

***

A friend of mine recently asked me for my recipe for Short Ribs.  This is another option for a special meal….Christmas table-worthy.

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine:

6 lbs. bone-in English-style short ribs 
Salt and pepper
3 cups dry full-bodied red wine
2 large onions, chopped medium
2 large carrots, chopped medium
2 large celery stalks, chopped medium
9 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 3 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or combination of chicken and beef stock or broth
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves ( you can use 3/4 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (you can use 1/2 Tbsp. dried)
3 medium bay leaves
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 450 F.  Arrange short ribs, bone side down, in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan (13x9x2); season with salt and pepper.  Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster.  Note: I remove ribs to platter and pour off liquid fat).  Return ribs to pan and put back in oven and continue to cook until meat is well-browned, 15-20 minutes longer.  Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside.  Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.  Place roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon.  Set roasting pan with wine aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots and celery.  Saute’, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in wine from roasting pan, then add chicken or beef stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper, to taste.  Bring to boil, add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.

Note: At this point, I debone the ribs, butting fat caps off.  Discard bones and fat caps.  Place meat and veggies in casserole in refrigerator to cool overnight.  Pull out bay leaves and discard.  Put sauce into separate bowl in refrigerator to cool.  When sauce is cooled overnight, scoop off any fat from top and discard.  Then place sauce and meat together in large pot.  Simmer until everything is just heated through.

Serve with mashed potatoes……heavenly!!!  This dish is very rich.

***

Steak Diane:

2 Tbsp. butter, divided
12 oz. beef tenderloin, cut into 3 oz. medallions
Salt, to taste
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp. white onions, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, like Baby Bella
1/4 cup brandy or white wine (I use brandy)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the hot pan and heat until it foams. Season beef with salt and pepper, pressing pepper into steaks.  Add first steak to skillet and sear, cooking no more than 1-2 minutes before turning it over and cooking 1 minute on the second side.  Remove steak from pan to warm oven-proof platter.  Repeat with remaining steaks.  Keep steaks warm in low oven. After steaks are all in oven, add chopped onion to skillet, adding more butter if needed.  Cook 2 minutes until translucent.

Add mushrooms and saute’ 1-2 minutes.  Add brandy or wine and Worcestershire sauce to pan; bring quickly to boil.  Stir in mustard.  Allow this to cook about 1 minute before adding stock.  Cook 1 minute more.  Add cream.  Bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat.  

***

Bourbon Pork Tenderloin:

2 pork tenderloins
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
Oil
1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
Sprinkling of thyme, oregano and parsley
1 can beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spread mustard over pork and roll in brown sugar. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in frying pan and saute’ pork until browned on all sides.  Pour bourbon on top.  Place in baking dish, sprinkle with spices, add broth to dish, cover and bake 45 minutes or until it reaches 155-160 degree temperature.  Serve with pan juices or add cornstarch and water mixture for gravy.  Serves 6.

***

Rack of Lamb:

2 racks of lamb, trimmed and frenched
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Dijon mustard
Seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil

Preheat oven to 450 F.  After racks are prepared, spread Dijon mustard over both sides of rack.  Season with salt, pepper and crushed garlic.  Roll in seasoned bread crumbs.  Put oil in frying pan and brown on both sides until golden.  Remove to baking pan.  Roast until lamb has reached desired doneness:  135-140 F. for medium rare, 145-155 F. for medium, about 25-30 minutes.  

                                                                             ***

From our house to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a HEALTHY, happy New Year!!                                                             

Cheryl’s Cuisine: November 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

This week my husband and I made our annual pilgrimage to Ritter’s Farm Market in Mount Cobb. We filled the car with wonderful varieties of apples, homemade pies, doughnuts, cider and butternut squash.   

Do you realize you can use apples in any course on your table? They’re not just for dessert.  In previous columns, we’ve shared recipes for cobblers, pies, crumbles, cakes and other desserts, however, this month we’re serving up some special ideas for all…from soup to side dishes to salad to main courses. So, get ready to enjoy…..it’s apple season!

Scandinavian Apple Soup:

2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups diced apples
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet red wine
Whipped Cream and Cinnamon, for garnish

Stir together the chicken broth and cornstarch.  Combine with diced apples, cinnamon and salt in saucepan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until apples are soft.  Pass through a strainer.  Add sugar and red wine.  Taste for sweetness.  Note: This will depend on the kind of apples used.  Add more wine or sugar if needed.  Chill well.  Top each serving with a spoon of whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.   Makes 4-6 servings.

***

Apple Salad with Celery Seed Dressing: 

Dressing:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. celery seeds
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1 cup vegetable or canola oil  ( I use canola)
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Place all dressing ingredients in blender or food processor.  Blend or pulse until thoroughly combined. 

4-5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 heads Romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces

Place apples in medium bowl. Pour dressing over apples; toss to coat.Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until well-chilled. Serve apples atop lettuce. Makes 6-8 servings.

***

Apple Slices Baked in Butter:

4-5 apples
Salt
Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Sugar
Butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pare, core, and thinly slice apples. In a flat, lightly buttered baking dish, arrange apples in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle apples with a little salt and, generously,  with sugar. Add lemon juice and pour the butter over the fruit. Bake apples, basting them occasionally, at 300 degrees for 25 minutes. At this point you may stop and continue later.

Just before serving, sprinkle apples with a little more sugar, dot with butter and put them under the broiler until their edges turn golden. Makes 6 servings.  

***

Baked Apples and Carrots:

6 apples, cored, peeled, sliced and divided in half
2 cups carrots, sliced, cooked and divided in half
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Salt, to taste
1 cup orange juice

Arrange half the apples in a greased 2-quart casserole; cover with half the carrots.  Repeat layers; sprinkle with sugar, flour and salt.  Pour orange juice over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

***

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Mustard Glaze: 

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup cola soda
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 – 1 lb. pork tenderloins
1/3 cup bourbon (or apple juice)
1/4 cup raisins
1 small Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, halved
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Combine oil, hoisin sauce, soda, orange juice and soy sauce, stirring well.  Place tenderloin in shallow dish; pour marinade over top.  Cover and chill 6 hours or overnight.  Combine bourbon or apple juice and raisins in small bowl and let stand 45 minutes to plump raisins.  Butterfly tenderloins lengthwise and lay open flat.  Alternate apple and onion slices down the center of each.  Top evenly with raisins, garlic and rosemary.  Close tenderloin over filling and place on aluminum foil.  

Combine syrup, brown sugar, and mustard; brush half over tenderloins.  Fold foil closed and place in 13x9x2″ pan.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Pour remaining syrup mixture over tenderloins and close foil.  Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees.  Serves 6.

***

Buttermilk Cider Chicken with Apples & Pecans:

8-4 oz. skinned and boned chicken breast halves
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into wedges
1 Red Delicious apple, cut into wedges
1 cup apple cider
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Place chicken in 13x9x2″ baking dish; pour buttermilk over top.  Cover and chill overnight.  Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; add apple wedges and saute’ until browned.  Add cider to apple wedges and bring to a boil; boil until cider is reduced to 1/4 cup.  Add broth and cream and boil 15 minutes.  Drain chicken; dredge in flour, coating well.  Cook chicken in hot oil in separate skillet over medium heat until done.  Drain apple wedges, reserving sauce; add apple wedges to chicken and cook until thoroughly heated.  Add reserved sauce and chives to chicken.  Sprinkle with pecans and cook until thoroughly heated.  Serves 6.

***

Sugared Apples:

1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large apples, seeded and sliced
Powdered sugar

Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in shallow dish.  Heat oil in heavy skillet until hot.  Coat apple slices in flour mixture and fry 6-8 minutes.  Set on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.  Serve warm.  Great treat to enjoy as you’re decorating the Christmas tree!