Cheryl’s Cuisine: April 2019

hamBy Cheryl Radkiewicz

Easter is fast approaching and we’re talking: HAM. Ham has been a tradition in many households celebrating the Spring holiday and is the highlight of the Easter dinner.   

Each family has its traditional way to prepare the roast. For example, our family has always prepared it in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes per pound with a bottle of beer poured over it. Some use 7-Up, ginger ale, or pineapple juice poured over.  Basting is another important item in the process.

So,  if you like something  with a little more flavor, try this delicious marinated version:

Ham Royale:

3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sherry
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
Dash of ground cloves
5 lb. ham

Combine orange juice, sherry, sugar, mustard and cloves. Place ham in shallow baking dish and prick with fork. Pour sherry mixture over ham. Marinate several hours or overnight in refrigerator; turn occasionally. Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently. Makes 12-16 servings.

***

Now, what to do with the leftover ham… There’s ALWAYS leftover ham.

Ham and Cheese Chowder:

2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in lightly salted water until tender reserving cooking liquid.  Melt butter in large pot, saute’ onion and carrots until tender. Blend in flour.  Stir a few minutes to combine well. Stir in milk and 1 cup boiled potato liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened.  

Add ham, potatoes and cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

***

Ham Balls:

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs or 1 cup commercial breadcrumbs
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 lb. ham
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground pork
2 eggs, beaten

Soak crumbs in milk.  In food processor, grind ham and pork together twice, so the meats are mixed well.  Mix with soaked breadcrumbs and eggs. Knead until smooth and form into 30 balls. Place in casserole dish.

1 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients.  Pour over ham balls. Bake, covered, in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes; turn and bake, uncovered, for 30 more minutes.  Nice served with baked potato, coleslaw and green beans. Makes 8-10 servings.

***

Ham Fried Rice:

3 slices bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked ham
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3 green onions, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups cooked rice ( I do mine in the microwave)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

Cook bacon slices in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon slices, drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside.  Add chopped ham to hot drippings in skillet and stir-fry 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic and crushed red pepper and stir-fry 5 minutes.  

Add rice and stir-fry 3 minutes until thoroughly heated. Push rice mixture to the side of the skillet, forming a well in the center. Pour eggs into the well and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set.  Stir rice mixture into eggs; add soy sauce and crumbled bacon. Makes 4-6 servings.

***

Ham and Broccoli Noodle Casserole:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 1/2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup seasoned croutons, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, broccoli, 1 cup of the cheese, ham, macaroni, bell pepper and milk.  Spoon mixture into a 13x9x2″ baking dish Sprinkle with remaining cheese and croutons. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Makes 10-12 servings.

***

Grilled Ham Hawaiian Style:

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
6 slices cooked ham
6 pineapple rings, fresh or canned
6 maraschino cherries, whole

In small saucepan on medium heat combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar and butter.  Stir often until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Place ham slices side by side in a heavy skillet and turn to medium heat.  Coat each piece of ham with some of the sugar glaze. Cook until glaze begins to bubble in the skillet.

Turn ham slices over and place a pineapple ring and cherry on top of each slice.  Pour remaining glaze over ham. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Makes 6 servings.

From our house to yours: Have a Happy, Blessed Easter. Christos Voskrese!

Cheryl’s Cuisine: January 2019

wp-logo-generalBy Cheryl Radkiewicz

I’ve had Wolfgang Puck’s Pressure Oven for a few years and this holiday it saved my life. Yes, I’m being dramatic, however, it saved my holiday dinner parties. I don’t know about you, but even though there are only two of us in the household, one stove/oven is not enough.  We have two refrigerator/freezers and one large chest freezer. That’s how much I cook.

This year’s dilemma involved cooking a ham, turkey and all the fixings for out-of-town grandchildren.  I had an 11 lb. turkey and I didn’t want to get up at 5:30 a.m. to prep everything for a noon dinner. Puck’s oven to the rescue.  I made the turkey in less than one, yes, one hour in the pressure oven. It was perfect.

Cheryl's Cuisine - Wolfgang Puck ovenI had used the oven often in the past for mostly side dishes, but two Christmas’ ago, we had unexpected family pop in right before I  began starting to fix a quiet dinner for two.

Knowing my roast wasn’t large enough to serve the gang, I opted to delay starting dinner until they departed.  Once they did, the question was: How can I get this prime rib “slow roasted” before my husband starves to death?

Puck’s pressure oven to the rescue. In no time at all it was finished.  This genius invention combines a pressure cooker and an oven, also bakes and broils. It comes complete with its own baking rack, broil rack insert, drip/baking pan, roasting pan, crumb tray and rack removal tool.  More recent models also include a rotisserie rod. The oven, smaller than my microwave, measures 19″ long x 13″ deep x 12″ high and has a permanent spot on my kitchen counter.  

It’s also great in summer when you don’t want to turn your oven on and heat up the entire kitchen.

Here are a few of Wolfgang Puck’s quick dinner recipes he’s included with the oven:  

Honey Garlic Chicken:

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs  (I always choose the thighs)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and set function to BAKE.  Place all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and stir to combine.  Roll chicken in the mixture, making sure to coat thoroughly on all sides.  Place chicken in the roasting pan and place in oven in bottom position. Pour 1/2 cup water into drip pan with broil rack inserted.

NOTE: This will create the steam. Set the Vent Release Valve to SEAL and lower Sealing Lever to the SEAL position. Set the times to 25 minutes.  When time is up, turn Vent Release Valve to VENT and wait for all air to escape.

After vented slowly, raise Sealing Lever and press Door Release Button to open Door.  Check to see that internal temperature of chicken has reached 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

***

Wolfgang’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese:

8 oz. dried elbow macaroni
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 white onion
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne
10 oz. aged sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup fresh brioche or challah bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni until al dente.  Drain and spread on lightly oiled baking pan. Meanwhile, in separate pot, melt 3 Tbsp. of the butter and whisk in flour.

Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Add milk, onion and bay leaf. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove onion and bay leaf.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. and set function to BAKE. Set rack in middle of oven. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 3/4 of the Cheddar and all of the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne and fold in the macaroni.  Transfer to a lightly buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining Cheddar. Melt remaining butter in a saute’ pan over medium-low heat. Add bread crumbs and parsley and toss well.

Spread over macaroni. Put casserole in oven and set Vent Release Valve to SEAL and lower the Sealing Lever to the SEAL position.  Set timer to 25 minutes. Bake until casserole is bubbling and bread crumbs are golden brown. Turn Vent Release Valve to VENT and wait for all air to escape. After vented, slowly raise Sealing Lever and press Door Release Button to open the door.

Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

***

Simple Cream Biscuits:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
Additional cream and sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  and set function to BAKE.  Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil.  In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients by hand until a dough forms.  You do not need to be gently with this biscuit dough as it does not toughen.  

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop biscuits onto the sheet pan. Pat down tops with fingers and brush each biscuit with a little cream, if you like.  Pour 1/2 cup water into drip pan with broil rack inserted. (This will create the steam). Then place in bottom position. Sprinkle tops with a little more sugar, if you like, then place sheet pan in oven.  

Set the Vent Release Valve to SEAL and lower Sealing Lever to the SEAL position. Set timer to 15 minutes. When time is up turn the Vent Release Valve to VENT and wait for all air to escape. After vented slowly raise Sealing Lever and press Door Release Button to open the door.  

Cooking is complete when time is up or when golden brown and puffed. Remove biscuits and serve hot. Makes 8 biscuits.

***

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole:

1 bag (16 oz. size) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 can  (10.75 oz.) cream of broccoli soup
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 sleeve butter-flavored crackers, coarsely crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 F. and set function to BAKE.  Press broccoli into roasting pan in an even layer.  In mixing bowl, stir together the soup, milk, Cheddar, Parmesan, pepper and onion.  Pour this mixture over broccoli and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle crackers evenly over the top and place pan in the oven on the rack in the bottom position.  

Set the Vent Release Valve to SEAL and lower Sealing Lever to the SEAL position. Set times to 40 minutes. Bake until bubbly and browned, 35-40 minutes. When time is up, turn the Vent Release Valve to VENT and wait for all air to escape.  

After vented slowly, raise Sealing Lever and press Door Release Button to open the door. Remove from oven and leave to rest on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

***

Marian Getz, cookbook author, has collaborated with Puck and published a cookbook especially for his pressure oven. If you ever get the oven, get the book, I did.  It’s packed full of great recipes with beautifully colored photos of each dish. Here’s one of her favorites using the oven:

Buffalo Chicken Dip:

2 cups leftover chicken or turkey, diced
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup bottled ranch or blue cheese Dressing
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup bottled buffalo wing sauce
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Crackers, for serving

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients except panko and crackers. Apply non-stick spray to the roasting pan,  add the mixing bowl contents, then scatter the panko evenly over the top. Place the pan on the rack in the lower position then close the door.  

Set the Vent Release Valve to SEAL, lower the Sealing Lever to the SEAL position and set the timer. Set the oven to 350 F. and function to BAKE.  Cook for 25 minutes or until brown and bubbly. When cooking is complete, turn the Vent Release Valve to VENT and wait for all air to escape.

Once vented, slowly raise the Sealing Lever  and press the Door Release Button to open the door. Remove, garnish as desired, and serve with crackers. Makes 6 servings.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2018

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Due to the sunny, hot and rainy summer we’ve just experienced, berries are still plenty.

There’s nothing like fresh berries, whether it be blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries.  They seem to brighten up any meal, whether they’re added to salads, served just-picked, or highlight a dessert.

If you’re ever fortunate enough to travel to Maine — one of my favorite places on Earth — their wild blueberries are absolutely wonderful. Here are some quick ways to use the berries before the season passes:

blueberryBlueberry Pouffe Breakfast:

Nonstick cooking spray
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In large bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream, milk, orange peel, nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Stir in flour. In separate bowl with electric mixer, beat egg whites and remaining salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture.  

Gently fold in blueberries. Pour mixture into souffle dish. Bake 45 minutes or until puffed and browned and knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serves 6. Serve with maple syrup and sausage links.

***

Blueberry Crisp:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks butter, chilled
5 cups fresh blueberries, washed and stems removed

Preheat oven to 375.  In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.  Pour blueberries into a buttered 2 quart baking dish.

Sprinkle crumbled mixture over blueberries and bake 20 minutes.  Serves 6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

***

Breakfast Blueberry Lemon Bread:

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
bread4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Bread:
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
Freshly grated zest of 3 lemons (1 Tbsp.)

Preheat oven to 375.  In small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside. In medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and milk, blending until smooth. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.   

Add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest, then pour into a greased (or sprayed) 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Sprinkle with topping mixture and bake 50 minutes or until topping is deep golden brown and has formed a thick crust. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan.  

Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.

***

Moody’s Diner is a mainstay in Maine and known for its  down-home dishes. Here is one of its top desserts:

Moody’s Four Berry Pie:

Berries1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2-9″ refrigerated pie crusts
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca  
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly moisten the rim of one pie shell.  Place berries into the shell. In small bowl, mix together the sugar, tapioca, salt and cinnamon and pour it over the berries.  Dot the top with pats of butter. Drape the other pastry over the filling, pressing the top and bottom pastries together along the edge.  

Trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan. Using the back of a fork, press the times along the edge to seal the pastry. Bake for 1 hour until the top is golden. Serves 6.

NOTE: When I make this, I am very generous with the pats of butter and if I don’t have tapioca in the house, I use flour.  This is so good, it doesn’t need ice cream!

***

Maine Blueberry Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 large egg
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray and 8×12″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Cream butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add egg and beat. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter, alternating with the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

To make topping: Mix juice and grated peel of lemon with remaining 3/4 cup sugar.  Spread on hot cake and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool and serve.

***

Fresh Berries with Brandied Cream:

blueberriesBlueberries or a combination of  other fresh berries
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbsp. brandy

Wash berries and drain.  Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until thick, but still runny, then add brandy.  Pour over fruit. Enjoy!