Cheryl’s Cuisine: July 2019

cheryl's Cuisine pic 1

Chef Chris Wilson, Chef Emeril Lagasse and Chef Victor Bock work together during the recent 10th Anniversary Food and Wine Event. Wilson is Lagasse’s Culinary Director and Bock is the Executive Chef at the Sands (now Wind Creek Hospitality).

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

The Sands Casino in Bethlehem recently celebrated its 10th Annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival with three days of celebrity appearances by renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse amid news that the Casino has been sold and will undergo a massive expansion including hotels and adventure and water parks making it the Number One Resort Destination in the Northeast.  

The sale from Las Vegas Sands Corporation to an affiliate of Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians was finalized the day before the event and will be renamed Wind Creek Bethlehem. This news added to the celebration for not only Sands employees, but also to the “over capacity” crowd which packed the Event Center for the  Mardi Gras -themed celebration.

Festival Chairs lauded Chef Emeril Lagasse for his talent and generosity in working with the Sands, where he owns three restaurants,  (Emeril’s Chop House, Emeril’s Fish House, and Burgers by Emeril) and supporting students from the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program of Northampton County Community College.  Thus far, the festival has raised over $1.75 million to support the NCC Foundation. Scholarship winners each year are afforded the opportunity to do their externships at Emeril’s New Orleans’ restaurants, Emeril’s, NOLA, Emeril’s Delmonico and Meril.  

Chef Emeril held a cooking demonstration to a standing-room only crowd with some of his new favorite dishes.  Having never tried Vietnamese cuisine, it was my first and a delightful one, at that. If you’re ever offered the opportunity, don’t pass it up…you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Even though all were absolutely delicious, rave reviews were offered for the Fettucine Nero and Chayote Soup.  

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Spring Rolls:

1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc nam)

cheryl's cuisine pic 2

Shown are Vietnamese Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls, Vermicelli Noodles, Charred Chayote Soup with Adobe Shrimp, and Fettuccine Nero, three dishes demonstrated by Chef Emeril’s Lagasse at the 10th Anniversary Leigh Valley Food and Wine Festival in Bethlehem.

1 Tbsp. sugars 
Black pepper
8 cups water
1 lemon, halved
1 Tbsp. fine salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. concentrated crab boil
1 lb. large shrimp
3.75 oz. (1 pkg. fine rice vermicelli (bun)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
2 cups romaine lettuce, chiffonade
24 mint leaves
24 cilantro leaves
24 Thai basil leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
Spring Roll wrappers
Nuoc Leo (Vietnamese Peanut Sauce) for serving

Place pork tenderloin in bowl with shallot, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and black pepper.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, turning occasionally, at least 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.  Preheat grill to high. Grill tenderloin, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes (145 degrees internal temperature on thermometer).  Transfer tenderloin to plate and set aside to cool to room temperature before proceeding. Once cooled, slice tenderloin into 1/8″ thick slices and set aside, covered and refrigerated, until you are ready to assemble the spring rolls.  

 In medium saucepan over high heat add the 8 cups water, squeeze the lemon and add it to the pot.  Season with salt and cayenne pepper and the crab boil. Bring liquid to a boil. Add shrimp to the water and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer shrimp to an ice water bath until cool. Peel shrimp and slice in half horizontally.  

Prepare rice vermicelli according to package directions and strain in colander.  Run under cold running water until cool and set aside to drain.

Assemble rolls 1 at a time: Dip 1 spring roll rapper into lukewarm water and quickly transfer to a clean kitchen towel.  Wrapper will soften within seconds. Lay 4 shrimp halves in a horizontal line across the center of each wrapper and top with a few tablespoons of cooked (well-drained) vermicelli.  Top vermicelli with a handful of cucumber, 2 Tbsp. of the shredded romaine, 4 mint leaves, 2 sprigs cilantro, and 4 basil leaves. Place a few sticks of julienned carrots along the top of the filling ingredients and top with 2 slices of pork.   Spread 1/4 tsp. Hoisin on top of pork.

Carefully pull lower edge of the wrapper up and over the filling.  Fold the 2 sides inward over the filling and press to seal. Work carefully so as not to tear the wrapper.  Once both sides are folded inward over the filling, roll the spring roll upwards so that the filling is tightly contained and roll up to seal.  Set the spring roll aside on a plate lined with lettuce leaves, covered with a damp paper towel or damp clean kitchen towel, as they dry out very quickly.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Once you have assembled all spring rolls, serve immediately either at room temperature or slightly chilled, with Nuoc Leo (Peanut Sauce) for dipping.  Yield: 12 spring rolls, 4-6 servings.


Nuoc Leo (Vietnamese Peanut Sauce)

1 Tbsp. peanut oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 tsp. sambal olek (chile garlic sauce)
1 tsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup chicken stock or water
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
1 fresh red Thai chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
Sriracha sauce for serving (optional)

Heat oil in small saucepan and when hot, add garlic, shallots, chile garlic sauce,  and tomato paste and cook until garlic and shallots are golden brown, about 30 seconds.  Add chicken stock, hoisin sauce, peanut butter and sugar and whisk to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving. Garnish sauce with peanuts, chile pepper and Sriracha sauce, if desired. Yield: 1 1/4 cups, enough for about 6 servings.  


Fettuccine Nero:

8 oz. fresh squid ink fettucine
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp.  thinly sliced garlic
2 tsp. thinly sliced Calabrian peppers (can substitute jalapenos)
1/4 cup pasta water
1 cup baby arugula, stems trimmed
8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over of shells and cartilage
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring medium-size saucepan of water to rolling boil and season with sea salt.  Add pasta to water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until pasta is just tender. Drain and set aside.  In medium-size saute’ pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, sliced garlic, and peppers and gently cook garlic until it turns a pale or golden brown.  As soon as garlic begins to brown, add pasta water and bring to simmer. Add pasta to pan and toss to coat.

Add arugula, crabmeat and lemon juice and toss with pasta being careful not to break up the lumps of crab.  Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Transfer pasta to serving platter or individual dishes and garnish with toasted almonds.  Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.


Charred Chayote Soup with Adobo Shrimp:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs. chayote squash (2-3 squash), peeled, halved and seeded
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup diced yellow onions
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 qt. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sour cream, for garnish, optional

Preheat grill or grill-pan to medium-high heat.  In large bowl, toss chayote with vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the black pepper.  Place chayote on the grill and cook, in batches, if necessary, until slightly charred on both sides, 8-10 minutes per side.  Remove from heat, cut into 1/2″ dice and set aside.

Toss shrimp with 1/4 tsp. salt and the adobo sauce and let stand for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.  Heat butter over medium-high heat in medium stockpot or soup pot. Add onions and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add reserved chayotes, cumin and crushed red pepper to the stockpot. Stir in chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until chayote is tender, about 8 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.  Remove soup from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve soup immediately, garnished with sour cream,  if desired. Yield: 4 servings, about 2 quarts.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2018

Cheryl's Cuisine

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits Vice President and General Manager Kim Scarpone, Jason Lonigro, general manager of Emeril’s Chop House, and Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock, pose for a photo during the recent Food and Wine Festival at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Thousands of guests packed the 9th Annual Food and Wine Festival at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem over the three-day event. The Grand Tasting offered signature dishes from the Lehigh Valley’s best restaurants in addition to wines from around the globe.     

Menu items and restaurants included:  Beef Carpaccio , 1774 Grille & Tap; Chicken Makhani, Cumin Basmati Rice and Chana Masala , Aman’s Bistro; Cake, Truffle and Cookies, Amy’s Creative Cakes;  Cheesecakes and assorted Kiffles, Aunt Wendy’s Kiffles; Mini Cheese Ravioli and Limoncello Cream Puff, Buddy V’s Ristorante; Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Banh Mi, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry Milkshake, Burgers by Emeril;  Chocolate Fountain and Truffles, Chocolate Works; Seared Duck and House-Made Olive Oil Gelato, The Dime.

One of the event’s presentation featured Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock  along with Kim Scarpone, Vice President of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Pennsylvania, and Jason Lonigro, general manager of Emeril’s Chophouse.    Lonigro, a native of Louisiana, offered a history of “Punch”, noting that at one time it was a drink of the “upper crust” and included something strong (rum), sweet (sugar), weak (water), sour (citrus) and spices (nutmeg, etc. from the East India Company).

Do you know what the Number One Alcohol consumed in the world is?   Sake’, according to Ms. Scarpone, due to its pure spirit and refinement. Both Scarpone and Lonigro addressed pairing alcohol with dishes.  

Let’s start with Lonigro’s recipe for Mississippi Punch, a favorite among restaurant-goers:

Mississippi Punch:

oleo-saccharum3/4 cup superfine sugar
Peels of 7 lemons
16 oz. black tea
16 oz. bourbon
1 cup dark rum
1 cup cognac
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
24 oz. water

Prepare an oleo saccharum by combining the sugar and lemon peels in a large bowl. After being tossed, place into a mason jar or vacuum seal and let sit for 24 hours.

Combine this oleo saccharum and black tea, and make sure that any remaining sugar is fully dissolved reserving the lemon peels as garnish. To the bowl, add the tea mixture, lemon juice, cognac, bourbon, rum and water and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or so. Add a block of ice to chill, and continue to add smaller pieces of ice for desired dilution.

Garnish with lemon wheels or reserved lemon peels and freshly grated nutmeg. Ladle into cups and lightly top each glass with champagne.


Chef Victor Bock’s Lamb Shoulder Ragout: 

1 lb. lamb shoulder, boneless, cut to 3/4″ cubes
Kosher salt/pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. rosemary, minced
1/2  cup red wine
4 cups diced tomatoes, (San Marzano with juice)
Chicken Stock  (add as needed to allow lamb to become tender
1 1/2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
1 Tbsp. mint, minced
Cornstarch (to thicken, if needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a thick bottom sauce pot, heat oil.  Add seasoned lamb cubes. Sear on all sides until golden brown and caramelized.  Add shallots, garlic. Saute’ until tender. Add rosemary, red wine. Reduce by half and add tomatoes with juice.  Reduce heat ad simmer until tender. Remove from heat and stir in mint and parsley.


ricottaHomemade Ricotta Cheese:

2 gallons whole milk
1 quart heavy cream
2 tsp. salt
6 oz. fresh lemon juice

  Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine mesh) cheesecloth and place over a large bowl.  

Slowly bring milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.   Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour.  After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered. It will keep in refrigerator 2 days.


Duck Fat Fries:

3-4 quarts duck fat
3-4 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ sticks
Sea salt
Black Pepper
Truffle oil (optional)

Melt and heat duck fat in  fryer to 325 degrees. Cook potato sticks in small batches for 5-7 minutes. Remove to napkin to drain. Increase heat on fryer to 375 degrees. Return par-cooked potatoes to fryer. Cook for approximately 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove on to napkin and immediately sprinkle with sea salt, milled black pepper and perhaps truffle oil.  Serve immediately.


Steak and Foie Gras Empanadas:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. sirloin steak (small dice)
1/4 cup onion, minced
classic-terrine-of-foie-gras2 tsp. garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. green chilis (canned, minced)
1/2 lime, zested
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
3 oz. foie gras (medium dice)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 puff pastry sheets
Egg wash, to seal

In saute’ pan over high heat, heat oil and sear steak pieces. Add onions, garlic and cook until tender. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Lay out puff pastry (4×4″ squares) take large spoon and scoop meat/foie gras mixture into puff pastry. Brush with egg wash and seal. Trim edges. Fry in duck fat fryer until golden brown. Serve with Corn-Chorizo-Avocado Salsa.


Corn Avocado Chorizo Salsa:

2 sweet corn (cooked and cut off cob)
6 oz. chorizo (small dice)
1 jalapeno pepper, optional
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Adjust seasoning. Serve with Crema.

1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: Aug. 2016

Cheryl with chefs pic

Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock displays finished presentation during recent Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival. Bock is shown with Cheryl Sempa Radkiewicz, Food Editor of The Dunmorean, and Stacy Calles, Casino Executive Souschef. Calles is a graduate of Pocono Mountain School District and former Executive Chef of Emeril’s Chop House.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Continuing with great food events at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, each year the site features the Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  Thousands of people participate in the three-day event.  This year was no exception highlighted by over 30 restaurants serving favorite dishes and the grand opening of Emeril’s Fish House.

Some of the restaurants featured included:  187 Rue Principale, Aunt Wendy’s Kiffles, The Bayou, Bell Hall, Blue Grillhouse, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Buddy V’s Ristorante,  Burgers by Emeril, Carnegie Deli, Centro, The Dime,  Emeril’s Chop House, Emeril’s Fish House, Fiesta Ole’, Grain, Hamilton Kitchen and Bar, Hampton Winds, Kome Fine Japanese Cuisine, Kupkake Kandi, Maxim’s 22, McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn, Melt, The Melting Pot, Mitzi’s Table, Momento, Sagra Bistro and Bar, Sette Luna, Sodexo, Steelworks, Torre, Twisted Olive, Two Rivers Brewing, The Villa, and Yianni’s Taverna.

Wine listings offered were Sparkling, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Red Blends and St Supery from wineries around the world.

Sands Executive Chef Victor Bock, who oversees all 9 restaurants at the casino in addition to the banquet and conference centers,  wooed audiences with his cooking demonstration featuring  dishes from the new Emeril’s Fish House.


Crisp Florida Red Snapper:

2 each  Red Snapper fillet (approx. 6 oz., skin on)
2 Tbsp. whole butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup mushrooms (morels, chanterelles or similar, based on seasonality)
6 each asparagus spears, peeled, blanched to garnish

Clean the filet removing all scales. Score the skin side with 2-3 cuts.  Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat.  Season filets with salt and pepper.  Sear, skin down,  for 5-8 minutes, until skin is crisp.  Turn and cook, flesh side, 3-5 minutes until firm.  Saute’ mushrooms and add.


Lobster-Potato Hash:

lobster2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups medium-diced potatoes, peeled and blanched
4 oz. Lobster meat (mixture of tail and claw meat)
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 tsp. garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. bacon, small dice, house cured
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
3 oz. chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter in saute’ pan.  Add bacon and cook until crisp.  Add potatoes.  Saute’ lightly to carmelize.  Add garlic, shallots.  Add lobster meat and stock.  Cook until stock has reduced and meat is cooked.  Add remaining ingredients, adjust seasoning.


Roasted Carrot Nage’:

1 oz. olive oil
3 carrots, large dice, peeled
1/2 onion, large dice
1 leek, large dice
1 celery rib, large dice
2 tsp. garlic, crushed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 bay leaves
Fresh thyme and parsley (in sachet)
4 oz. white wine
56 oz. vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Saute’ vegetables (carrots, leeks, celery, garlic, onion) lightly in olive oil, but do not carmelize, about 8-10 minutes.  Add liquid, sachet, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove from heat, remove sachet.  Allow to cool slightly and puree’ in blender.  Strain through a fine sieve. Adjust seasoning and add minced fresh dill.


Pickled Red Onion Salad:

Red-Onions.jpg1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 lime, zested, juiced
1 Tbsp toasted, sliced almonds
1 Tbsp. red bell pepper, julienned
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 oz. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.  Allow to marinate for 10 minutes, adjust seasoning and serve.

To Plate:  Place Lobster-Potato Hash into a ring mold in the center of the plate.  Pour warm carrot nage’ around the hash timbale.  Top with crispy- skinned snapper, asparagus and pickled onion salad.  Garnish with micro-lettuces, if desired.


Sea Scallop Ceviche:

1 tsp. shallots, minced
1 tsp. red bell pepper brunoise
Seafood pic for cheryl1 tsp. jalapeno, finely diced
1 tsp. green scallions, shaved
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
3 tsp. olive oil
4 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tsp. parsley, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
8 oz. Sea Scallops
1 seedless watermelon, cut into planks
Lime, to zest

In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, citrus juices, ketchup.  Add shallots, garlic, peppers, scallions, cilantro, parsley.   Pour this mixture over scallops and toss lightly.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes.  Serve over watermelon, garnish with lime zest.


Tuna Poke:

6 oz. Sushi-grade Ahi Tuna
3 Tbsp. scallions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 lime, juiced, zested
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds
Sea salt, to taste
1 English cucumber, cut into long julienne
Micro cilantro, to garnish

Dice tuna to 1/4 inch dice.  In mixing bowl, combine soy, sesame oil, lime juice, zest, sesame seeds.  Allow to marinate for 8-10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning.  Remove some marinade and tightly dress the cucumber noodles.  Place cucumber noodles on plate.  Top with tuna poke, garnish with cilantro.


Mustard Glazed Shrimp:

8 (13/15) Shrimp, peeled, deveined,  tail off
1 Tbsp. whole butter
4 oz. Fox Hollow Mustard
2 oz. maple syrup
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a saute’ pan, melt butter until just browned.  Add shrimp and saute’ until firm.  Add garlic, saute’ until tender.  Add maple syrup and mustard.  Allow to reduce slightly, then add rosemary.  Sauce should glaze the shrimp.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve with a goat cheese grit cake, if desired.   Note:  Try Chef’s Kitchen. Com for Fox Hollow Mustard.