Cheryl’s Cuisine: Jan. 2017


Tracey Lugo and Kevin Curau of the Borgata Baking Company pose during their demonstration of Boozy Milkshakes during the recent Savor Borgata celebration at Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Holiday celebrations are still in full swing and whether you’re entertaining at home or visiting family and friends, it is truly the most wonderful time of the year.  In keeping with the holiday spirit, we’re  talking about  festive holiday drinks for the occasion.  

These drink recipes were shared during the recent Savor Borgata celebration in Atlantic City.  The Borgata Baking Company, under the direction of Executive  Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois, formerly White House Pastry Chef, featured demonstrations by Kevin Curau, Restaurant Manager of Borgata Baking Co., and his assistant, Tracey Lugo.     

The Borgata Baking Company, by the way, is a highlight of one’s trip to Atlantic City. Menu items feature a wide array of house-made gelatos.  While visiting,  I consider it a daily ritual to enjoy the Hazelnut Gelato…truly, a cup of heaven.  Other items at the baking company include house-made pastries, cookies, brownies, decadent French macarons (the most popular pastry) in addition to specialty sandwiches, such as a  muffaletta or cheesesteak.

The “Boozy Milkshakes”, needless, to say, are one of the most popular items on the menu.  So, if you have a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Creme, Myers Rum, Kahlua or Frangelico, you can treat yourself to some of these luscious drinks.

Frozen Cappuccino Milkshake: 

Melon Gelato
1 1/2 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 1/2 oz. Kahlua
1/2 cup milk

  Mix all ingredients together in blender or Vitamix. Pour, serve and enjoy!


ccf_freshstrawberrycheesecakeCheesecake Sensation:

Strawberry Gelato

1 1/2 oz. Myers Dark Rum
1/2 cup milk
1 mini cheesecake

Blend all together, pour, serve and enjoy!


Almond Joy:

Ritter Sport Chocolate Bar
Coconut Gelato
1 1/2 oz. Frangelico
1/2 cup milk

Blend all ingredients together for a chocolaty, coconut-y treat!


Now for some other holiday drinks served at various restaurants at Borgata:

Boozy Candy Cane Milkshake:

candy12 oz. vanilla gelato
2 oz. Rumple Minze Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz. simple syrup with red coloring
5 mini candy canes

In blender or mixer, blend vanilla gelato, schnapps and 2 mini candy canes for 30 seconds or until it is a rich, creamy smooth consistency.  Do not add any cream as the schnapps thins out the shake.  Keep simple syrup in squirt bottle.  Squirt three horizontal lines in serving glass.  Pour shake into middle of glass, top with whipped cream and hang mini candy canes from rim of glass.


From Chef Wolfgang Puck and his staff including Executive Pastry Chef Guechida Kamel of France and Alex Resnik:

Eggnog Martini:

1 oz. Myers Dark Rum
1 oz. Hennessey VS Cognac
1 3/4 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. heavy cream
1 whole egg
Grated nutmeg

Add all ingredients and dry shake for 20 seconds.   Add ice to shaker and full shake for 20 seconds.  Pour into martini glass and top with freshly grated nutmeg.


Other Borgata restaurant features include:

rumchataCoastal Christmas Cocktail:

2 oz. Captain Morgan
1/2 oz. Rumchata
1 oz. vanilla simple syrup
Splash of ginger juice

 Combine all with ice, shake and serve.


The 12th Man:

1 oz. Melon liquor
1 oz. grenadine, chilled
4 oz. Sprite

 Pour melon liquor into champagne flute first.  Add Sprite followed by grenadine poured slowly so it settles in bottom of glass.  Beverage should have half dark red/purple and half green.


Dange-russ Daiquiri:

6 cups ice
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz. frozen strawberries
4 oz. lime juice
4 oz. lemon juice
6 oz. rum
2 oz. Sprite

In blender combine ice, sugar and strawberries.  Pour in lime juice, lemon juice, rum and Sprite. Blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve.  Recipe yields 8.


kahlua175new__19716-1363380586-1280-1280Espresso Martini:

12 oz. ice
1 oz. Espresso
2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
1/4 oz. liquid sugar

Fill cocktail shaker with ice.  Add espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur and liquid sugar.  Shake vigorously several times in a back and forth motion.  Rim the cocktail glass with sugar. Pour into glass, straining the ice.

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.