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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.