Savor local flavors of the NE

Enjoy these recipes submitted by Northeast Times readers.

Reader recipes: These submitted recipes really are winners, culinarily speaking.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

In June… “Roses are red,

Violets are blue;

But they don’t get around

Like the dandelions do.”

— Slim Acres

I haven’t seen any June bugs, or lightning bugs (fireflies) this year as yet. But in the spirit of June, if you catch the cooking bug, send in one of your favorite recipes to be eligible to win a $100 ShopRite gift card, or to see your recipe published here in the NE Times.

There’s a lot of cooking taking place in and around Philly, judging from the recipes sent into the NE Times food column. The following recipe submissions were not randomly drawn in the ongoing gift-card contest. However, so many of the submitted recipes really are winners, culinarily speaking, that I plan to share more of them with you in future columns. If you entered a recipe, it could be published, so please check back in the months ahead.

Make the following recipes for a treat any time of the year, not just in June.

BRENDA FINEBERG’S LEMON BARS

Crust:

2 cups flour

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ lb. butter

Mix together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter.

Lightly grease or spray a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Press mixture into the pan, making a ridge around the edge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Filling:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

6 Tbsp. lemon juice

4 Tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. baking powder

Beat the eggs and add the sugar and then the lemon juice.

Fold in the flour and baking powder.

Pour over baked crust.

Bake an additional 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cut into bars when cool.

DAN HUNSINGER’S BEEF & BLUE CHEESE PENNE WITH PESTO

2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

2 beef tenderloin steaks (6 oz. each)

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

5 oz. fresh baby spinach (about 6 cups), coarsely chopped

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup prepared pesto

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Cook penne pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sprinkle beef tenderloin steaks with salt and pepper.

Grill steaks, covered, over medium heat.

Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Add spinach, tomatoes, pesto and walnuts. Toss to coat.

Cut steak into thick slices.

Serve pasta mixture with beef. Sprinkle with cheese.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings.

DIANA PALAMONE’S SICILIAN RICOTTA CHEESECAKE

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and set rack in the middle of the oven.

Butter and flour a 9½-inch springform pan and tap out excess flour

2 lbs. ricotta cheese

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

6 eggs

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. orange zest

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl, stirring as smooth as possible.

Stir the sugar and flour together thoroughly into the ricotta.

Stir in the eggs one at a time.

Blend in the vanilla, orange zest and salt.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake on center rack for 1¼ hours to 1½ hours until light golden color.

Let cool. It will sink a little as it cools, then cover and chill until serving time.

RONA PROKOFF’S QUICHE

Two 9-inch frozen pie crusts (Let defrost at room temperature before baking.)

Put pies on cookie sheet.

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

4 eggs

1¾ cup light cream

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together, adding any of the suggested ingredients below, and divide equally between the pie crusts.

Suggestions: Broccoli & Tomatoes, Bacon (cooked well done), Ham, Crab Meat (If making broccoli quiche, steam the broccoli first, if you so desire.)

Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Reduce temperature to 300 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes more.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.