As with many restaurant owners, chef-proprietor Jen Lindsay of Cherry Street Kitchen has relied heavily on curbside takeout during the coronavirus pandemic. She also used the time to add an extra dimension to the business.
“I bought a new cooler for grab-and-go items,” she said. “Right now, I am stocking it with such things as baked pot pies, unbaked pot pies, cookie dough balls, country chicken noodle, chicken salad, tuna salad and lemon chicken with orzo pasta. I also have drinks to go there.”
The cooler is augmenting Cherry Street Kitchen’s line of baked goodies, sandwiches, panini, burgers, special entrees and salads.
The new cooler currently sits between the order area and the cozy dining room, which was scheduled to reopen to dine-in customers Wednesday, June 3.
“It’s not the best look for people in the dining room, so I’m still figuring out exactly where it will be, but I’m for sure going to keep it after the pandemic is over,” she said. “It has been popular.”
We had the lemon chicken with orzo pasta ($35), and it was delicious. It featured four plump, marinated chicken thighs over moist and tender orzo pasta dotted with veggies. The dish had a lemony flavor that complemented the chicken and orzo.
Lindsay chose the country chicken noodle recipe to share with World readers, along with bacon beef and barbecue stuffed portobello mushrooms and asparagus Caprese salad.
“My mom used to make the chicken noodle,” Lindsay said “It’s made with a creamy broth, egg noodles and shredded chicken. What can I say? It’s the comfort food of all comfort foods, simple and delicious. The noodles are a meal by themselves.”
Prior to opening Cherry Street Kitchen, Lindsay had worked for years as a personal family chef.
“I’ve been making the stuffed portobellos for people for years,” she said. “It’s very filling and low in carbs. If you want, you can toast up a beautiful brioche bun, add some Hellman’s (mayo), lettuce and tomato, and booyah, a great sandwich.
“Fresh asparagus and heirloom tomatoes in the salad makes a beautiful and tasty side dish with just about anything.”
Lindsay said you can purchase an herbed vinaigrette dressing or make your own with a mix of vinegar, parsley, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Lindsay said the events of this year have been challenging, but she is grateful for the business she has.
“Last year, I catered the Designer Showcase at Harwelden (Mansion), and I’ve never been busier,” she said. “It’s a little different this year, but I’ve been getting a little catering back and hopefully things will get better for everyone.”
COUNTRY CHICKEN NOODLE
Serves about 6
8 cups cooked egg noodles
1 stick butter
1 yellow onion, small dice
½ cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1½ teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
4 cups cooked shredded chicken
1. In a medium sauce pan, melt one stick butter; add yellow onion and let cook 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Whisk in flour; let cook 3 to 4 minutes, whisking frequently.
3. Pour in half the broth; whisk well. Add other half and continue whisking until roux begins to thicken.
4. Whisk in heavy cream, salt, pepper and parsley.
5. Allow to cook and thicken 5 to 6 minutes over medium-low heat. Sauce should be getting nice and thick.
6. Toss in shredded chicken and noodles. Stir and serve.
BACON, BEEF AND BBQ STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
4 large portobello mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
½ onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic herb seasoning
⅓ cup barbecue sauce (I used Burn Co Bold)
1⅓ cups shredded cheddar, or whatever cheese you like; reserve the ⅓
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove stems and gills from mushrooms; season caps with olive oil, salt and pepper (not listed in ingredients).
3. In medium-size bowl, combine ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, garlic herb seasoning, barbecue sauce and 1 cup shredded cheddar.
4. Divide mixture into four equal parts; pat each ball into each mushroom cap.
5. Crisscross the tops with 1 slice of each piece of bacon.
6. Brush tops with barbecue sauce; top with reserved ⅓ cup cheddar.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or to preferred doneness.
ASPARAGUS CAPRESE SALAD
2 bunches fresh asparagus
8 to 10 fresh mozzarella balls, sliced in half
10 to 15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup fresh basil
⅓ cup fresh parsley
2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Herbed vinaigrette dressing
1. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil.
2. While water is coming to a boil, cut 2 to 3 inches off the woody ends of the asparagus.
3. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic; whisk all ingredients together.
4. Add soft ends of asparagus to boiling water and cook 3 minutes; remove and immediately add to an ice bath to stop the cooking. You don’t want to overcook the asparagus; drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
5. Mix asparagus with bowl of seasonings.
6. Drizzle dressing over salad and top with tomatoes and mozzarella halves; sprinkle a little coarse black pepper and kosher salt to taste.