Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

COVID or not, it’s time for the Farmer’s Market.  Yes, I socially distance and always wear a mask. It’s such a treat walking through the market looking at all the freshly grown produce, homemade baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables, and fresh meats.

My thoughts are always racing as to what new dishes I can make with the fresh items.   This month I’m focusing on broccoli. My family has always loved broccoli and all other members of the cabbage family.  So here are some new, fresh ideas:

Green Goddess Broccoli Salad:

1 large bunch broccoli (use only the florets)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped 
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing:
1 bottle Green Goddess Dressing
Juice of half a lemon
Garlic powder to taste.

Mix all salad ingredients together.  Combine dressing with lemon and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss.  Serves 4-6.

***

Beach Salad:

3 broccoli crowns
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Soak broccoli crowns in cold water 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Chop broccoli crowns and some of the stems.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.  Add broccoli, onion, bacon and raisins.  Toss gently to mix.  Place in serving dish and sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 6.

***

Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Picante sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I use leftover rotisserie chicken breast)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sweet red pepper
Flour tortillas, warmed

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Picante, garlic and chili powder.  Add chicken, broccoli, tomato, cheese, onion and peppers;  toss to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with tortillas. Makes 6-8 servings.

***

Broccoli Pie:

1 large onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli, cooked ( I steam mine)
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash nutmeg
1 unbaked pie pastry (9″)  I use refrigerated crust

In skillet, saute’ onion in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.  Add eggs, broccoli, cheeses, salt and nutmeg.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Let stand a few minutes before serving.  Serves 6-8.

***

These next two recipes are great served with grilled meats, especially steaks!

Broccoli Puff:

1-10 oz. pkg. broccoli cuts or fresh broccoli, cooked
1-10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. melted butter

Cook broccoli and drain well.  Put in baking dish.  Mix together soup, cheese, milk, mayonnaise and egg; pour over broccoli.  Brown bread crumbs in butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 4-6.

***

Broccoli and Bleu Cheese Casserole:

2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli, chopped,  or fresh broccoli, steamed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2-3 Tbsp. bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rich, round crackers, crushed (I use Town House)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cook broccoli and drain well.  In saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in flour, cream cheese and bleu cheese.  Add milk; cook and stir until bubbly.  Stir in broccoli and pour into 1-quart casserole.  Crush crackers and toss with 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Place on top of broccoli.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more.  Serves 6.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: January 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Holidays are winding down and even after serving dinners, parties, and making dishes “to go” for family and friends, you still have leftovers. What can you do?     

You can either freeze some of it, take it to work for lunch, or try some new “picky food” you can graze over rather than make big meals.      

The item I have leftover in quantity is cheese, probably because I make sure  I have numerous varieties for everyone’s tastes and the majority of youngsters in our family only eat cheddar.

My husband’s annual question after all of the entertaining is:  “What are you going to do with all that cheese?” So, it’s up to me to come up with some clever ideas on using the “leftover” cheese.    

Over the years I have collected some absolutely delicious ways  of making “leftover cheese” into luscious new dishes…. these can be an answer  to your prayers also.

Baked Cheese Sandwiches:

2 cups grated Sharp cheese

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup chopped pimentos

Dash Tabasco or hot sauce

12 slices sandwich bread with crusts removed

Combine cheese, butter,  mayonnaise, onion, pimentos and Tabasco.  Spread mixture on one side of bread slices.   Roll tightly and place close together on greased baking sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot. Great with salad or just as finger food.  Makes 12.

***

Chilli Rellanos:

2 cans ( 4 oz. each) mild green chilies

3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 1/2 cups ( 6 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray 9×9″ pan. Cut chilies into thin strips; remove seeds if milder flavor is desired.  Note: I usually buy the chopped chilies. Alternately layer chilies with cheeses, starting and ending with the cheeses.  Beat eggs, milk and flour together. Pour egg mixture over layered ingredients and bake for about 1 hour or until firm. Cut into small squares.  Serve warm.                                                     

***

Blue Butter Spread:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/4 cup ( 1 oz.) crumbled Blue cheese

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

2-4 tsp. horseradish (to taste)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Serve on crackers, sandwiches, steaks, baked potatoes or hamburgers.                                                                                                           ***

Rarebit Savories:

1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, cut in cubes

8 slices bacon, chopped, cooked and drained

1 onion, quartered

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tsp. dry mustard

Bread rounds

Grate cheese and chop onion and bacon.   Put cheese, then bacon, then onion in food processor fit with metal blade.  Add mayonnaise and mustard and blend well. May be refrigerated overnight or frozen.  Thaw mixture if frozen before serving. Spread mixture on bread rounds or tiny rolls, which have been halved.  Toast under broiler until brown and puffed.                                                                                                                         

***

Quiche Hors D’oeuvres:

2 pie shells 

Melted butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced

1-6 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 lb. grated Swiss Cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Dash nutmeg

Prick pie shells.  Bake 10 minutes in 375 degree preheated oven.  Cook onions until tender in melted butter and divide between the shells.  Divide mushrooms between the two shells. Toss grated cheese with flour and sprinkle over each pie.   Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over ingredients in pie shells. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let stand until cool. Cut in small wedges or squares. Serve immediately. Can be frozen. Makes 4 dozen.                                                        

***

Spinach Pizza:

2 pkgs. crescent rolls

2 pkgs. chopped spinach, cooked and well drained

6 oz. Cheddar, grated

8 oz. Swiss cheese, grated

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

2 eggs, beaten

Spread crescent roll dough on cookie sheet, pressing perforations with fingers to seal closed.  Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly over crust. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Cut into small squares. Can be frozen and reheated.

***

Welsh Rarebit:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 drops Tabasco or hot sauce

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup beer

1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; blend in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire and Tabasco; continue cooking and stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; gradually stir in milk; return to heat and stir continually until mixture comes to a boil. Slowly pour in beer; cook 1 minute more while still stirring. Melt Cheddar cheese into  mixture in small portions until completely incorporated. Remove from heat. Serve on toast or English muffins. 

Cheryl’s Cuisine: November 2019

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Now that Thanksgiving is knocking at the door, we cooks have one thing in common in preparing this feast:  Not enough room in the oven!

I have my standard stove/oven and my Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven and it’s still not enough room to prepare this gargantuan feast.  So, this month I’m looking at preparing side dishes which don’t require the oven.

After all, we have the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pies, etc.,  so here are some great ideas that can all be fixed stove-top.

Acorn Squash Soup:

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 lbs. acorn squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
2 cups water
1-13 oz. can evaporated milk

Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat.  Add squash, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.  Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.  Add water and evaporated milk. Stir, bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender.  Discard bay leaf. Process with hand blender or pour into blender and process until smooth.   Note: May be made ahead and reheated.

***

Sunshine Carrots:

1-2 lb. bag carrots
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup orange juice 
3 Tbsp. butter

Slice carrots diagonally, about 1″ thick.   Either steam or boil carrots to your likeness.  I always steam them as it preserves the color and doesn’t boil away the nutritional benefits.  Drain. Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and ginger in small saucepan. Add orange juice; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles.  Boil 1 minute. Stir in butter. Pour over hot carrots, tossing to coat evenly.   

***

Garlic Swiss Chard:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chopped Swiss chard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat olive oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add garlic. Heat and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Do not burn. Add Swiss chard. Heat and stir for 5 minutes until heated through and wilted.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated cheese before serving.  

***

Ginger Glazes Parsnips:

2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 cups sliced parsnips
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed

Combine 2/3 cup orange juice,  water, vinegar and ginger in medium frying pan.  Bring to boil on medium heat. Add parsnips. Cook, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until parsnips are tender.  Add 2 Tbsp. orange juice and brown sugar. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until parsnips are glazed.  

***

Cranberry Orange Relish:

12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
3/4  cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest

Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water and zest in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries split.  Remove from heat. May be prepared a few days in advance.

***

Of course, you’ll need a break after dinner while the men in the house are cleaning up  (Dream on). Then it’s on to dessert… Here are two luscious ideas in case you’re too full for pie:

Brandied Peaches:

2 cans (14 oz.) of peach halves in juice, drain and reserve juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream

Chop peach halves.  Combine chopped peaches, sugar, brandy, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and almond extract in saucepan on medium heat.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop about 1/2 to 1 cup ice cream into bowls.  Spoon warm Brandied Peaches over top. May be made in advance. Just reheat on low.

***

Warm Banana Kahlua:

1 oz. light brown sugar
1 oz. granulated sugar
6 large bananas
4 oz. Kahlua liqueur
2 oz. butter
Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream

Caramelize sugars in a hot, dry saute’ pan, being very careful not to burn the sugars.  Add sliced bananas, Kahlua and butter. Remove pan from burner as butter and Kahlua should not cook.  Serve over good quality Vanilla Ice Cream.