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: 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.

Cheryl’s Cuisine

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

It isn’t often that one gets the opportunity to enjoy a presentation by an executive chef of a non-stop booming casino.

Such was the case during the recent Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, which was held May 29 through 31 at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem. Executive Chef Victor Bock, director of food and beverage services at the Sands, delighted the audience with a fabulous summer menu.

Bock has been with the Sands since 2009 and is a 1987 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He also earned a degree in Business Administration and Management from Penn State University.  Bock oversees all the restaurants and food services for the entire casino and hotel. As I ponder on this, I can’t imagine having this overwhelming responsibility.

His menu for the afternoon featured “Tastes of Summer,” and I would be remiss if I didn’t share these with you as we still have some (not much) summer weather remaining.


Watermelon Gazpacho:

1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 Medium Watermelon, seedless and diced in 1/4 inch cubes
2 Red Peppers, toasted, peeled, seeded and diced
4 Scallions, minced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced
6 Vine Golden Tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 qt. V-8 Juice/Tomato Juice
3 ribs Celery, diced
2 Cucumbers, seedless, peeled and diced
1 Lime, zested and juiced
3 oz. Rice wine vinegar
4 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, minced
Salt and White Pepper to taste
Sugar to taste

Combine all ingredients in stainless steel pot or bowl and refrigerate overnight.  For a spicy finish, add or delete the jalapeno peppers or use ground cayenne pepper.  Makes one gallon.


Wasabi-Soy Maple Glazed Shrimp:

6 Shrimp (U-10 count), jumbo
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
1 tsp. Garlic, mince
1 Lime, zested and juiced
2 Scallions, thin, bias cut
1/2 Tbsp. Wasabi paste
1 1/2 oz. Soy Sauce
2 oz. Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Cilantro
1/4 cup Frisee
Salt and Pepper to taste
Plantain Chips to garnish

Season shrimp with salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute’ shrimp in olive oil, cooking on each side approximately for three to four minutes. Remove from pan. Add garlic and ginger to the pan and lightly saute’ until tender. Add lime juice, wasabi paste, maple syrup and soy sauce. Allow this to reduce for approximately five minutes or until it becomes syrup-like. Return shrimp to pan. Add scallions and lime zest and adjust seasoning. Serve garnished with frisee and chopped cilantro. Serve with Butternut Squash-Potato Fufu.

Butternut Squash-Potato Fufu:

1 Butternut Squash, large dice, blanched in salted water until tender
1/2 White Onion, minced
1 tsp. Ginger, minced
1 oz. Olive Oil
1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, medium diced, blanched in salted water until tender
Pinch of Cardamon
Pinch of Curry Powder
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp. Whole Butter, softened
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute’ ginger and onions in olive oil until tender. Add potatoes and butternut squash. Add chicken or vegetable stock, continuing to cook squash until nearly dry and just past fork-tender. Add remaining spices and ingredients and adjust seasoning.


Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin and, Scallion-Shitake Mushroom Slaw:

1 Pork Tenderloin
1 oz. Olive Oil
2 cups Shitake Mushrooms
1 tsp. Ginger
2 oz. Maple Syrup
1 oz. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 oz. Hoisin Sauce
1 Scallion
1 cup Cilantro
1 tsp. Garlic
1 Lime
Sesame Seeds, garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste

Season and sear the pork tenderloin in olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Finish cooking in the pan, usually eight to 10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 135 degrees is reached. Remove and let rest. In sauté’ pan add mushrooms, ginger, and garlic and sauté until tender. Add maple syrup, soy, sesame oil and hoisin. Reduce heat and allow mixture to reduce in volume. Adjust seasoning. Add remaining items and serve over sliced tenderloin.


Crisp Pork Belly with Smoked Corn Salsa and Goat Cheese:

Pork Belly:
Pork Belly (slab bacon)
1 qt. Soy Sauce
2 cups Hoisin Sauce
1 qt. Sake
Bay Leaf
3 Tbsp. sliced Ginger
8 cloves Garlic
2 cups Cilantro
1 Star Anise

Brine pork belly/slab bacon for 24 hours.  Braise, covered at 225 degrees for four to five hours until fork tender.  Allow to cool.  Slice as needed.

Smoked Corn Salsa:
2 cup Sweet Corn, silver queen/white peg, lightly smoked
2 oz. Goat Cheese
2 Tbsp. Red Onion
1 Vine Tomato
1 Tbsp. Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil
Sherry Vinegar

Combine all ingredients and serve.


Pulled Pork Potstickers:

2 cups Pulled Pork
1 Scallion
1 tsp. Fresh Mint
1/2 tsp. Sambal
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. Cilantro
4 Wonton Wrappers
1 oz. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

After braising pork shoulder, allow to cool and pull the meat. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Lightly egg wash egg roll or wonton wrappers. Fill each with approximately one ounce of pulled pork mixture.