Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2017

Cheryl's Cuisine

Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock displays two dishes from Emeril’s Fish House he prepared at the recent Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Chatting with Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock is truly one of the highlights for me during the annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  Bock oversees six restaurants and manages over 400 food and beverage employees.   I can’t even imagine what his daily routine consists of.    He arrived at the Sands after a  career which began at the Culinary Institute of America, Accomac Inn, Windows on Steinman Park in Lancaster,  Hotel Hershey, Greensboro Country Club, Bent Creek Country Club and Woodstock Inn and Resort.  Part of his culinary duties include not only overseeing the restaurants and food services, but also demonstrating his expertise during the annual festival.

This year Chef Bock highlighted some of the most popular dishes served at Emeril’s Fish House.  The menu at the Fish House offers a variety of chilled and raw seafood appetizers including Clams on Half, King Crab Legs and Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps.

Now for the  dishes shared by Chef Bock during the event:

Asian BBQ Salmon Poke with Green Onion Pancake with Sesame:

Asian BBQ Salmon:
1/2 lb. wild salmon, cut into half inch cubes
1/2 cup green onions, minced
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 tsp. ginger root, minced
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp. lemongrass, minced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Poke Dressing:
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/3 cup sesame oil
1 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 oz. hoisin sauce
1/2 Tbsp. dry chillies or red pepper flake
2 tsp. rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients.  Makes approximately 2 cups.

Green Onion Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup minced green onion
1/2 cup and 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water
1 Tbsp. vegetable or coconut oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, to fry

In a large bowl sift flour.  Add 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water and stir until the ingredients are blended well.  Sprinkle flour over a kneading board or other appropriate kneading surface.  

When the dough is still hot, knead the dough for about 3 minutes or until it becomes soft and elastic.  Shape dough into a ball and place back in the bowl, covering with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest for about 30 minutes.  Place dough on lightly floured surface and cut dough into two sections.  

While making sure that the dough does not stick to  your kneading surface, roll dough into a 14″ circle.  Spread 1/2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil on the dough.  Next, spread 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. salt.  

Finally, Sprinkle 1/3 cup chopped green onions on the dough.  Roll dough into sections and make each section into a spiral/snail shape.  Flatten spiral with the palm of your hand.  Roll it out into a 5″ disk.  Repeat with other 3 pieces.  

Heat 1 Tbsp. salad oil in a frying pan.  Put one of the pancakes in the pan and immediately flip it over to coat the dough with oil evenly.  Cover with a lid and cook each side about 3 minutes or until nicely browned.  (Makes approx. 2 cups).  Serve salmon on top of pancake and top with dressing.


Charred Octopus Salad:

2 cups cooked octopus tentacles
1Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. sliced smoked green olives
2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. celery leaves
1 cup charred cauliflower florets
4 fresh figs,  grilled, if possible
2 Tbsp. crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 cups arugula
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red pepper-curry emulsion

In cast iron skillet or grill, char the octopus, approximately 5-8 minutes, remove and hold warm.  In a mixing bowl, combine lime zest, lime juice, Dijon mustard, honey.  Drizzle in olive oil to emulsify.  Place red-pepper-curry emulsion on plate.  

Combine arugula, olives, figs, cauliflower, and octopus with lime dressing.  Arrange on plate and garnish with crumbled feta.


Pan-Seared Red Snapper and Tuna Bolognese:

Pan-Seared Red Snapper:

2 Red Snapper fillets (pin bones removed, skin on, approx. 6-7 oz. each)
4 oz. Ahi Tuna Belly, minced
3 oz. pancetta, coarse grind or  fine minced
1 oz. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
3 oz. white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grape tomato confit
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. whole butter or 1 oz. extra virgin olive oil (to finish)
Grilled lemon for garnish

Sear fish fillets in olive oil, skin side down first.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Turn and cook 3-4 minutes or until firm.  Remove and hold.  To saute’ pan, add pancetta.  Cook until golden brown.  Add garlic, tuna, diced canned tomatoes.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add in grape tomatoes, oregano, basil.  Finish with butter.

Arugula Herb Fennel Salad:
2 cups Arugula
1/2 cup thin shaved fennel
1/2 Tbsp. basil leaves
1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Lemon oil
Kosher salt/pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve with snapper.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2017

Cheryl's Cuisine photo

Dunmorean Food Editor Cheryl Sempa Radkiewicz displays Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin prepared by Chef Tyler Baxter, executive chef of Emeril’s Chop House at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem during the recent Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.

When Tyler Baxter was a student at Northhampton Community College majoring in Culinary Arts, little did he realize he would be serving cuisine at some of the most popular Lehigh Valley restaurants, let alone  becoming the Executive Chef at Emeril’s Chop House at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem.   

lvfoodwine-logoHis path began when he was chosen with two other graduates to be invited to New Orleans to cook with renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse in 2012. Upon returning to Pennsylvania, he went on to become the Executive Chef at Cosmopolitan, The Bayou and Grain.   Last year he was named Executive Chef of the upscale steakhouse.  

Emeril’s Chop House, located in the Casino, is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.  and offers some of the most delectable dishes.


During the recent  Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival, Baxter prepared the following specialty, which brought raves from everyone in the audience:

Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Crisp Yucca, Chimmichurri and Jalapeno:

Beef Tenderloin:

6 oz. center cut beef tenderloin

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Heat a large saute’ pan with the vegetable oil, and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Season beef with salt and pepper on both sides. Add beef to the pan and sear on all sides until the internal temperature reaches  approximately 125-130 degrees. Let beef rest 5 minutes before serving.


1 Yucca

1 cup vegetable oil

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Peel yucca and slice thinly with a mandolin slicer.  Heat vegetable oil in a large pot with plenty of clearance for the hot oil to displace.  

Add yucca to the oil once the temperature reaches 325 degrees.  

Fry until the yucca starts to turn golden brown and transfer to a plate with a paper towel to drain.   Season with salt and pepper while still hot, and let cool completely.  Transfer to a container with a lid until ready to use.


1 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 bunch cilantro

2 medium shallots

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Finely mince parsley, cilantro, shallots and garlic, and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add red wine vinegar and olive oil and whisk until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

TO SERVE: Place a small amount of Chimmichurri on the plate, top with the seared beef tenderloin, add a few pieces of crisp yucca to the top of the steak and scattered around the plate.  Top with a few slices of jalapeno and a spoonful of Chimmichurri.


Other chefs featured during the festival  included  Sean Doyle, Executive Chef of the Savory Grille, who is also an active member of the community and sits on the board of the Culinary Advisory Team at Northhampton Community College and Lehigh Career and Technical Institute.

During his presentation, Doyle prepared  some of his favorites:

Gulf Shrimp with Quinoa Tabbouleh and Lemonade Cloud:

Panned Gulf Shrimp:

12 Large White Gulf Shrimp, cleaned, peeled and deveined

3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Plain-quinoa-fslSalt and pepper shrimp.  In a hot saute’ pan pour the oil and place the shrimp in the pan. Cook on each side for approximately 90 seconds.  Turn and cook for an additional 90 seconds.

Quinoa Tabbouleh:

1 bunch parsley, coarse chopped, stems discarded

2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

1 medium onion, small dice

6 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced

1 cup quinoa, cooked

6 tsp. fresh lemon juice

6 tsp. olive oil

Salt  and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

Lemon Cloud:

4 oz. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. honey

Salt, to taste

1 tsp. soy lecithin

Place all ingredients in a 1 quart measuring device and whip with an immersion blender until light and fluffy.


Panned Jail Island Salmon with Red Beet Risotto, Arugula Pesto and Beer Blanc:

Panned Jail Island Salmon Fillet:

4 Jail Island Salmon Fillet, 6-8 oz. portions

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon fillet.  In a hot saute’ pan, pour oil and place the flesh side of the fish in the pan.  Reduce heat and cook until salmon is amber in color. Turn salmon filet onto the skin side and cook until desired doneness.

arugula-pestoArugula Pesto:

1 bunch fresh arugula

2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. Gran Podano cheese

6 Tbsp. olive oil

Place all ingredients in an emulsion blender and puree’ until smooth.

Beer Blanc:

1/2 cup  pale ale beer

1/2 cup minced shallots

1 lemon, juiced

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1/4 cup salted butter, chilled and cut in small cubes

In small saucepan add pale ale beer, shallot and lemon juice.  Reduce on low heat until almost dry.  Add heavy cream and reduce by half.  Add butter several chilled cubes at a time until all incorporated.  Strain and serve.

Red Beet Risotto:

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup red beet juice

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, minced

1 cup Carnaroli rice

4 Tbsp. butter, small cubes

1/4 cup Grana Podano cheese

In a hot saute’ pan place the olive oil and onion, cook until tender.  Add the rice and 1 cup of the chicken stock at a time.  Stir occasionally until chicken stock is absorbed and then add another cup of chicken stock.  

Continue cooking until all the chicken stock has been  used and then add red beet juice and continue cooking until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and incorporate the Grana Podano and butter.  Adjust the salt.

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.