Cheryl’s Cuisine: April 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Did you know that April is National Garlic Month?  What would we ever do without this heavenly herb?   

Years ago, I attended the Pocono Garlic Festival where I decided, YES, there is such a thing as too much garlic, especially when it came to flavoring ice cream.  Tried it, but definitely did not enjoy it.  However, in every day cooking, I cannot imagine living without these heavenly cloves. 

So, in keeping with the celebration of the month, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes using garlic. 

Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing

1 pint mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s or Duke’s)
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup oil  (I use canola)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. garlic powder (Yes, 1 Tablespoon)
1/4 cup minced white onion

Combine all ingredients.  Makes 1 quart.

***

Bagna Cauda
From the former Villa Virella, Blakeslee

3 oz. sweet butter
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small can anchovies (drained and chopped fine)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Put butter, olive oil, anchovies and garlic in sauce pan.  Cook gently for about 15 minutes.  At last minute, blend in cream.  Caution:  DO NOT let mixture boil.  Transfer to copper pot, serve at once with raw vegetables.  Serves 6-8.

***

Crostini Ai Due Formaggi
Also from Villa Verilla

1/4 lb. Fontina cheese, grated
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, grated
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. dry white vermouth
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 loaves small Italian bread
Oil for deep frying

In small bowl or food processor combine cheeses, egg, milk, vermouth, garlic, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Mix very well.  Slice bread and carefully spread mixture to the edges of each slice.  Spread on both sides of bread. Fill pot with vegetable oil half way.   Heat oil and fry crostini until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute. Use tongs for turning.   Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

***

Tomatoz Garlic Shrimp
From Tomatoz, Wilmington, NC

6 oz. cooked fettucine
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. shrimp, cleaned
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped spinach 
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup vegetable or seafood stock
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese

Peel and devein shrimp.  Heat olive oil in heavy saute’ pan.  Add garlic and roast for 2 minutes just until edges turn brown.  Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and spinach.  Deglaze pan with white wine, then add vegetable or seafood stock.  Add pasta and toss to distribute evenly.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Sprinkle with Romano cheese and chopped parsley.  

***

Rum Runner Shrimp

3 lbs. large shrimp, rinsed and peeled
Salt, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
1/2 cup light rum
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a bowl, season shrimp with salt and hot sauce.  In smaller bowl, combine rum, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and cumin.  Blend with shrimp,  refrigerate and marinate at least 1 hour.   In small saucepan, combine butter and oil.  When butter begins to foam, add garlic.  Saute’ for 2 minutes.  Set aside.  Transfer shrimp with marinade to shallow baking dish.  Place shrimp in single layer.  Top with garlic sauce and bread crumbs. Broil until done (about 10 minutes).  Garnish with fresh parsley.  Serves 6.

***

Tomato Basil Soup
from Market on the Boulevard, Newport, R.I

4-27 oz. cans peeled and diced tomatoes
16 oz. tomato juice
2 cups white wine
15 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
4 oz. sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper
Celery salt

Saute’ onions in olive oil until translucent.  Add garlic and stir 1 minute.  Add wine, basil, tomato juice and sugar.  Let simmer approximately 20 minutes and add diced tomatoes.  Continue to simmer another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add pepper and celery salt to taste and remove from heat.  Soup should rest at least 1 hour before refrigeration.  This is best served the next day.  Yields: 4 quarts.

***

Petti Di Pollo Romano
One of my favorites from Sardella’s, Newport, R.I

4-8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs parsley
8 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter

Pound out chicken breasts and cut in half.  In bowl, mix mozzarella, garlic and parsley and roll mixture into balls, about 2″ round.  Place ball in center of chicken breast and secure with toothpick.  Repeat for other 3 breasts.  In large saute’ pan heat butter.  Flour chicken breasts and pat dry.  When butter melts, place chicken in saute’ pan and brown, turning until all sides are golden brown.  Add wine and reduce.  Place saute’ pan in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes, until breasts puff.  Serve two pieces of chicken over a bed of your favorite pasta and equally distribute sauce.  

Cheryl’s Cuisine: March 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Being raised Catholic, Fridays in Lent meant tuna for lunch and pizza or tomato-sauced pasta for dinner. Today we have so many options for “meatless Fridays.”   

I’m always looking for new ideas for dressing pasta on those “meatless Fridays,” rather than plain tomato sauce, clam sauce, pesto, oil and garlic, broccoli and garlic, etc.

So, this month I’ve poured through my library searching for some new (not same old, same old) non-tomato sauces for pasta. With a few more weeks left to the Lenten season, I’ll be serving these in my kitchen:

Olive Sauce for Pasta:

6 oz. mushrooms, chopped
14 oz. pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 oz. pitted black olives
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp. butter
Salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
8 Tbsp. cream
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Saute mushrooms in oil then blend with garlic, olives and parsley in food processor.  Cook pasta in boiling water about 8 minutes until al dente.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan and cook olive mixture with salt and pepper flakes for 5 minutes to release flavors.  Stir in cream.  Add Parmesan cheese.  Toss with pasta and serve.  Serves 4.

***

Fettucine with Chardonnay and Red Pepper Sauce:

2 cups Chardonnay wine
2 large roasted red peppers (can be canned, just drain)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
12 oz. fettucine, prepared al dente

Boil wine until it is reduced to 1/2 cup.  Puree’ peppers and add to wine; stir in cream.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Cut basil into strips and add to sauce.  Add sauce to pasta and toss well.  Toss with grated Parmesan and serve.  Serves 4.

  ***

Pasta with Shrimp and Jalapeno Orange Sauce:

6 Tbsp. butter
24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
1 small jalapeno chili, seeded, thinly sliced ( or use 1/2 tsp. of chopped canned chiles)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta (angel hair, if possible)
Parsley, for garnish

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and cook until just pink, approximately one minute per side.  Transfer shrimp to a plate.  Add shallots and jalapeno to skillet and saute 1 minute.  Add wine and bring to boil.  Mix in orange juice and cream.  Boil until reduced to thin sauce, stirring occasionally (approximately 10-15 minutes).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.   Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente; drain.  Add shrimp to sauce and cook until heated through.  Add pasta and toss well.  Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley. Makes 6-8 servings.

 ***

Shrimp and Linguine with Sherry Cream Sauce:

3 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. chopped shallot
6 Tbsp. cream sherry
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 oz. linguine, cooked al dente and drained

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat until melted.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add shrimp, garlic and shallot.  Saute for 15-20 seconds.  Stir in sherry.  Add cream, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.  Cook until shrimp turn pink, stirring constantly.   Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to a bowl.  Cover to keep warm.

Cook sauce until reduced by 1/4, stirring constantly.  Return shrimp to skillet.  Cook just until heated through.

To serve, spoon hot pasta onto 3 dinner plates.  Divide shrimp evenly between servings.  Drizzle with sauce.  Serves 3.

****

Linguine with Scallops, Shrimp and Snow Peas:

1 lb. linguine
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 Tbsp. butter, cold
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. bay scallops
1/2 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cups snow peas, blanched
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine until al dente; drain.  Toss with melted butter.  Heat remaining 5 Tbsp. butter in large skillet.  Add garlic and saute until softened.  Add scallops, shrimp, salt and pepper.  Saute for 3-4 minutes or until they are opaque.  Add snow peas and heat through.  Toss mixture with linguine.  Add cheese and serve at once.  Serves 4-6. 

***

Divine Wisdom Fettuccine:

1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 lb. fettuccine, cooked al dente and drained
Cracked pepper

In top of a large double boiler over simmering water, melt cream cheese and butter together.  Stir in evaporated milk and whisk until creamy.  Add 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and minced parsley.  Toss warm fettuccine into sauce.  Serve immediately with cracked pepper and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: February 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Since most of us will be staying in this Valentine’s Day, (Thank you, Covid) the possibilities are endless for serving some easy-to-make, delicious, creative desserts.  

If you have some fresh fruit, a jar of maraschino cherries, or frozen strawberries,  you’re on your way.  Most of these can be made in advance or just thrown together while dinner is in the oven or being picked up. So, relax and get ready for some very special treats.

Strawberries Amaretto:

1 pint strawberries
1 pint strawberry ice cream, softened
1/4 cup Amaretto
1/3 cup toasted, sliced almonds

Wash and hull strawberries.  Halve lengthwise and place in dessert dishes.  Quickly combine softened ice cream and Amaretto.  Spoon over strawberries and sprinkle with toasted almonds.  Makes 4 servings.

***

Jan’s Fruit Cup:

2 cups combined sliced strawberries, seedless white grapes and bananas
1 Tbsp. sugar
6 oz. sherry or brandy
Whipped cream

Combine all sliced fruit in a bowl.  Mix with sugar and sherry or brandy.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Serve with whipped cream.  

***

Strawberry Almond Crepes:

4 crepes (made ahead)
1-3 oz. pkg.  cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
4 tsp. Half and Half
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. Amaretto
2 Tbsp. toasted, chopped almonds

In small bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and half-and half; whip until smooth and fluffy.  Spoon 1/4 of cream cheese mixture down center of each crepe; roll up.  Place seam-side down on plates.  In small bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and Amaretto.  Spoon strawberry sauce over crepes; sprinkle with almonds.  Serves 2.

Note:  If you have pancake mix in the house, you can use that to make the crepes.  Simply mix 1 cup pancake mix with 1 cup water, 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp. sugar and beat until batter is smooth.   Pour about 2 Tbsp. batter into hot skillet which has been coated with melted butter. Cook until edges start to dry and center is set.  Turn to brown other side.  Note: This happens very quickly, so don’t leave the stove.

***

Molded Strawberry Dessert:

2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) frozen strawberries in heavy syrup, thawed
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup dairy sour cream
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water

Drain strawberries, reserving syrup.  Set berries aside.  In large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the whipping cream, 1 1/4 cups of the reserved strawberry syrup, sour cream and 3 tablespoons of the sugar until sugar dissolves.  Set aside.

In small saucepan, mix gelatin and water.  Let stand for 1 minute.  Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves.  Stir into cream mixture until blended.  Pour into a 4-cup mold.  Chill for 1 hour or until set.

To serve, in a small mixer bowl at medium speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks form.  Unmold chilled mixture onto serving plate.  Place strawberries in blender container.  Cover and blend at low speed for 30 seconds or until very smooth and shiny.  Pour about 1/3 cup pureed strawberries over mold; top with whipped cream.  Serve remaining berry sauce separately.  Makes about 8 servings (1/2 cup each).

***

Maraschino Soufflé Pie:

1 jar (8 oz.) red maraschino cherries
1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple
Water
1 envelope (1 Tbsp.) unflavored gelatin
4 beaten egg yolks
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Prepared and baked pie shell

Drain cherries and chop.  Drain pineapple, reserving syrup.  Add enough water to pineapple syrup to make 3/4 cup liquid. Soften gelatin in liquid in saucepan; add beaten egg yolks.  Blend thoroughly; stir constantly over low heat until gelatin dissolves and mixture coats a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.   Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt; cool slightly.  Add chopped cherries and drained pineapple.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add sugar, beating until stiff but not dry.  Fold whites into gelatin mixture.  Beat cream until soft peaks form; fold into gelatin mixture.   Turn into pie shell; chill about 4 hours or overnight.  Makes 6 servings.

 ***

White Chocolate Mousse Cherry Pie:

Crust:
14 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Filling:
1-21 oz. can cherry pie filling
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. almond extract

White Chocolate Mousse:
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Milk chocolate curls or shavings, optional for decorating

For crust: In food processor combine cookies and nuts; cover and process until cookies are finely chopped. Add butter, cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press onto bottom and up sides of a 9″ deep dish pie plate.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Cool on a wire rack.

For filling: Combine cornstarch and water in small saucepan until smooth.  Stir in pie filling.  Bring to boil and cook and stir for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat, stir in extract.   Cool completely.

For mousse: In large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; set aside.  In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cream; let stand for 1 minute.  Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat.

In large bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken.  Add sugar and extract; beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in gelatin mixture.  Fold into pudding.  Refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread cooled filling into crust; top with mousse.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.  Garnish with milk chocolate curls.  Makes 8-10 servings.