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: July 2017

lvfoodwine-logoBy Cheryl Radkiewicz

Thousands of guests poured into the Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem for the recent 8th Annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  The three day event opened with a cooking demonstration  by Chef Emeril Lagasse and presentation of the awards for the Northampton Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management competition.

Winners of the event are given the opportunity to work alongside chefs, sommeliers and restaurant managers in three of Emeril’s restaurants in New Orleans, Emeril’s New Orleans, NOLA,  and Emeril’s Delmonico.

The Grand Tasting afforded guests the opportunity to savor some of the specialty dishes featured by area restaurants.    Those included:  187 Rue Principale, 904 West Restaurant and Lounge, Aunt Wendy’s Kiffles, The Bayou, Bell Hall, Broadway Social, Buddy V’s Ristorante, Carlo’s Bake Shop, Carnegie Deli, Centro, Chocolate Works, The Dime, Fiesta emerilOle’, Grain, Hampton Winds, Hellertown Bakery, Kingfish, Maxim’s 22, Mitzi’s Table, Paxos Restaurants, Queen City BBQ, Sette Luna, Sodexo, Steelworks, Spinnerstown Hotel, Villa Italian Kitchen, The Vineyard, Twisted Olive and Yianni’s Taverna.

In addition,  Emeril’s Chop House featured a Loaded Potato with house-cured bacon powder, crisp shallots and cheddar crackers along with Chimichurri Marinated Arrow Prime Steak with crisp yucca and jalapeno.   Emeril’s Fish House served a Miniature Blue Crabcake with cream corn, tomato jam and micro-greens and a Petit Banana Cream Tart with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and rum sauce.  And, last, but certainly not least, Burgers and More by Emeril  offered Crisp Buttermilk Chicken Slider with sundried tomato-balsamic jam, arugula, roasted peppers and mozzarella, and a Lamb Slider with goat cheese spread, cucumber, curry-mint aioli and micro watercress.

For his presentation, Emeril opted for two of his most popular dishes:

My Way Grouper Chowder:

2  1/2  lbs. grouper, monkfish, tilefish, monkfish, cut into 1″ pieces
chowder1 Tbsp. Emeril’s Creole Seasoning  or other Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. salt pork in 1/4″ dice
3 cups yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2  cups red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lbs. large russet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
2 1/2 quarts fish stock (recipe follows)
0007468309766_500X5003 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

NOTE: You can use any type of firm white fish fillets for this dish.

Season the grouper with the Creole seasoning, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat the oil and salt pork in a large pot or cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook the salt pork, stirring as needed, until crisped and its fat is rendered, 8-10 minutes.

Add the onions, celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, salt and cayenne and cook 1 minute.  Add the potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes.  Add the grouper and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper as needed.  Stir in the cream, if desired, and serve.

Fish Stock:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Bones and head (gills removed) from a 5- 5 1/2 lb. grouper or other firm white fish, rinsed
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 head garlic, halved
1  cup dry white wine
3 quarts cold water
2 lemons, halved
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, including stems, coarsely chopped
8 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme  or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. black peppercorns

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the bones, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.  Add the wine and water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pot and add the rinds, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns. Increase the heat to medium-high; when it begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool a bit.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer  into another container. Use the stock immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate  up to 1 week or freeze for 3 months.


Spaghetti Carbonara with Fresh Duck Eggs:

4 large duck or chicken egg yolks, beaten (use highest quality, freshest eggs)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
carbo3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lb. thickly sliced pancetta or guanciale
3 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked until al dente and drained, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched 2-3 minutes, or frozen, thawed

In a large bowl, briskly whisk together the eggs, pepper, salt, cheese and parsley until well combined.  Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring as needed, until crispy, about 6 minutes.  Add the shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring,  for 1 minute.  Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and peas,  and toss well, coating the pasta fully with the hot fat.  Cook, stirring to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan, until most of the water has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add half of the pasta to the bowl and quickly toss it with the egg mixture.  This will temper the egg yolks so they do not get scrambled from the heat of the pasta, but instead will end up evenly coating the strands of pasta.  Working quickly, add the remaining pasta to the bowl and toss until everything is thoroughly combined.

Portion the pasta into warm shallow bowls and offer a pepper grinder and more grated cheese, if desired.