Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2019


By Cheryl Radkiewicz

The Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival recently celebrated its 10th year.   The ballroom at the former Sands Casino in Bethlehem, now Wind Creek Bethlehem, was jammed over three days with thousands of guests savoring the best of the valley’s restaurants.  Imagine entering a vast expanse surrounded by restaurants and wineries.  

I remember the first time I attended a food and wine event many years ago. Overwhelmed by my surroundings.  I distinctly remember calling my sister and saying, “Barb, this must be what heaven is like.” I guess for a “foodie,” this is heaven.

The Lehigh Festival did not disappoint,  it never does.  

I’ll walk you through just some of the dishes served to guests:  Emeril’s Chop House: Goat Cheese Beignets, Roasted Pork Loin and Taco “al Pastor”;   Hellertown Bakery: Lemon, Blueberry Ginger Trifle; Steel Club: Shrimp Gumbo and Banh Mi Taco;  Hampton Winds: Hatfield Pulled Pork Sliders, Southern Peach Tea and Mudslide Cookies; Buddy V’s:   Spinach and Roasted Garlic Ravioli with Miniature Grandma’s Meatballs and Orange Pistachio Cannoli; Paxos:   YellowFin Tuna Tartare and Orange Chocolate Tulip with Gianduja Mousse; Emeril’s Burgers and More: Chicken Fried Steak, Bourbon Brownie Milkshake; Emeril’s Fish House:  Seared Gulf Shrimp with Kimchee and Fried Rice and Coconut Cream Pie in a Cone; Greene Marketplace: Red Wine Meatballs and Strawberry

Cheryl's Cuisine

Chef Chris Wilson

Bruschetta Toast; Maxim’s 22: Negroni Ice Cream; Passanante’s Home Food Services:   Cilantro Lime Chicken; Revel Social: Tropical Braised Short Ribs and Tender-Roasted Pork Belly; Sette Luna: Sardinian Fregola with Grilled Wild Ramps and local Spring veggies; Sodexo: Shrimp in White Wine Sauce over Homemade Pasta; Steelworks:   Bacon Mac and Cheese and Creole Seafood Gumbo.  

Chef Chris Wilson, Culinary Director of Emeril Lagasse’s Homebase in New Orleans, who oversees culinary operations at all of Lagasse’s restaurants as Chief Culinary Officer, delighted guests with his cooking demonstration and sense of humor.   

It was standing room only for his  program where guests were treated to tastes of his delectable dishes.  They were absolutely luscious and I would be remiss if I didn’t share them with my readers, so ENJOY!

Pork Schnitzel with Creamy Shitake Mushroom Sauce:

3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1Four shiitake mushrooms in pairs of two on white background cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 lb. pork loin cutlets, pounded to 1/8″ thickness
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1/2 lb. shitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1 cup leek, fine diced, white part only
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2/3 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges
Dab of mustard

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Combine eggs and milk, whisk to combine.  Place bread crumbs in a separate dish. Season pork cutlets with 1 tsp. salt and white pepper.  Dredge cutlets in the egg

and milk mixture, let excess drip off.  Dredge in the bread crumbs and set aside.  Heat oil in 14″ saute’ pan over medium high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter and heat until foam subsides. Add 1/2 of the breaded cutlets ( do not overcrowd the pan) and cook until cutlets are browned on both sides, approximately 1 1/2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain; transfer cutlets to a baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining cutlets. Repeat with an additional tablespoon of butter and the remaining cutlets.  

Discard any oil remaining in the skillet when done and wipe skillet to remove any browned bits.  Add remaining 3 Tbsp. butter to the pan and when foam subsides, add mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until mushrooms are golden brown and liquid has evaporated.  Add leeks and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until reduced by half. Add heavy cream, chicken stock and thyme. Reduce slightly until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper and a dab of mustard. Stir well.  

Divide schnitzel between four plates and spoon mushroom sauce over each portion.  Garnish with chopped parsley and a lemon wedge to serve immediately.


dark-horse-brut-roseDuck Breasts with Cherries and Rosé Sparkling Wine Reduction

4 boneless skinless duck breast halves (6 oz. approx.)
Salt, black pepper
Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or yellow onions
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup Brut Rose Sparkling Wine
1/2 cup duck or chicken stock
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp. toasted, skinned, chopped hazelnuts, as garnish

Score the fatty side of the duck breasts and lightly season with salt, pepper and Essence on both sides.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck breasts and sear on the fatty side for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes for medium-rare.   Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.  Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add wine, stock, cherries, honey and thyme and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan.  Cook ;until cherries are plump and liquid is reduced to a thick sauce, about 4 minutes. Add butter in pieces, stirring constantly to incorporate.  Adjust seasoning to taste. Return duck breasts to pan with any accumulated juices and cook over low heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.  

Transfer to 4 serving plates and spoon sauce and cherries over each portion.  Garnish with toasted nuts. Add additional ingredients and serve.


Cherries Jubilee

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 lb. Bing cherries, pitted
1 orange, juice and zest
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup Cherry Brandy (Kirsch)
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream

Melt  butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  Stir in sugar and cook until dissolved. Add orange juice, zest, vanilla and cook until syrup thickens  slightly, abut 2-3 minutes. In a small cup, stir cornstarch and water forming a slurry. Stir slurry into cherry mixture and cook until thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (2-3 min.).  Pour brandy over cherries. Place pan back on heat and carefully shake pan to ignite the pan. Use a match to flame cherries (if needed), cook until alcohol evaporates and sauce thickens.  

Divide ice cream between four bowls. Spoon cherry mixture over ice cream and serve.

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.