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.                                                                                                                         

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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.                                                        

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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.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2019

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Living in Northeast Pa. affords us the opportunity to travel to some great places for short trips.   This summer we traveled to Maryland when my husband had a craving for crab.   

81XHd2D7WuL._SL1500_Upon arriving  at Baltimore Harborplace, which we used to frequent years ago, we were dismayed at changes which have taken place since the riots.  In the past, we would go to the aquarium, watch the dolphin show (actually I dragged him), sit on the top deck of the harbor place watching the boats on the Chesapeake and  eat tapas from one of the many eateries in the harbor place.  

Gone are the many bars and eateries.  So, we got back in the car and headed to Annapolis. Annapolis has been one of our favorite destinations for years. Annapolis is alive day and night, loaded with tourists and military from the Naval Academy.  

We dined that evening at Ram’s Head Tavern and  before our trip home the next day we lunched at Middleton Tavern on the waterfront.  We wanted to make sure we had our fill of Maryland crab. 

 So I’ve collected some of the very best crab recipes for you to enjoy:  

Very Best Crab Cakes

Cheryl's crabcake1 large can (16  oz.) lump crab meat
3 slices white bread (process in food processor)
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
Butter

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix all ingredients together folding in crab meat so as to not break up lumps.  Spray glass baking dish with Pam. Put mounds of crab meat mixture (makes 8 large ones) onto baking dish.  Sprinkle with Old Bay and top each with a pat of butter. Bake 20 minutes.

Note:  I serve this with homemade Tartar Sauce.  PLEASE make your own. It takes only a few minutes, and it’s well worth it.  Here’s my recipe:

Tartar Sauce

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve with crabcakes or other seafood.

***

Chafing Dish Crab Dip

1 lb. fresh backfin crab meat, picked 
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. horseradish
Dash hot pepper sauce
Salt and white pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Dash paprika
3 Tbsp. sherry
Pinch of Old Bay seasoning
Crackers

Combine all ingredients except crackers and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers. Serves 10-12.

***

Crabmeat soupSouth River Club Crab Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper
1 lb. crab meat
1 cup cream
2 hard-boiled eggs
Sherry (a wine-glass full) or to taste

Melt butter and stir in flour. Add milk, salt, black and red pepper.  Stir until well heated and thickened. Add crab meat and cream. Heat well. Add eggs which have been either pressed through a sieve or processed finely in food processor.  Then add sherry. Serves 4.

***

Crab Meat Au Gratin

1/4 cup butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup milk
1 cup light cream
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
16 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 Tbsp. grated onion
1 1/2 lbs. crab meat, picked over
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
Puff pastry shells or rice

Melt butter and stir in flour to make a white sauce.  When smooth, add milk, cream and wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.  Add cheese, seasonings, mushrooms and onion. Stir until cheese melts. Fold in crab meat; then pour into greased baking dish.  Top with bread crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve over puff pastry shells or rice. Serves 6-8.

***

South River Crab Casserole

1 lb. crab meat, shell and cartilage removed
6 slices white bread, crusts removed
4 hard boiled eggs, grated or finely processed
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1-2 oz. jar chopped pimentos, drained
1/2 tsp. Old Bay/seafood seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 cloves pressed garlic
2 Tbsp. sherry
1/2 lb. grated Cheddar Cheese

Break bread into small pieces and put into a bowl.  Add eggs, milk, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, pimento, seasoning and sherry; mix well.  Fold crab meat into mixture and pour into a 13x9x2″ casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake in 350 oven for 40 minutes. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight prior to cooking.  Serves 6.

***

Crab Roma

3 oz. cooked, cooled fettuccine or other pasta
1/2 cucumber
6 medium mushrooms
2 scallions, including greens
1/2 medium red or green pepper
1 medium tomato
2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup lump crab meat, picked over
Vinaigrette Dressing

Cook fettuccine or other pasta according to directions.  Rinse well in cold water and refrigerate or let it stand out , making sure it is well drained before serving.  Peel cucumber and slice. Slice mushrooms. Chop scallions, green pepper, tomato and eggs; place in large bowl along with pasta.  Mix well and add dressing. Fold in crab meat. Serves 2-4.

Vinaigrette Dressing

1 pint olive oil
1 pint red wine vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients well and put in jar.  Make at least one day ahead. Shake well before serving.  Makes 4 cups.