“One of the most popular dishes is the Cherry Chicken Casserole,” sad LaVonne Ballard, an organizer of the event, which attracts an estimated 200-300 diners each year. “This continues to be a very big hit with people. Some come every year and others come quite a distance.”
The Smorgasbord runs from 5-7 p.m. or until the food runs out. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-12. Children 3 and under get in free
Tickets are available at the door of the church, located at 537 Crystal Ave., Frankfort.
Cherry Basil Orzo Pasta
1 c. frozen tart cherries
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 c. dried pitted chopped dates
4 oz.feta cheese
1/2 lb.orzo pasta
1/4 c. fresh basil chiffonade
Salt to taste
Mix together cherries, dates and garlic in a small saucepan on low and heat until dates are rehydrated. Meanwhile boil orzo pasta in salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta, stir in cherry mixture and feta cheese. Season with salt and garnish with fresh basil. Serves 6-8.
Source: National Cherry Festival
Cherry BBQ Pork
3 lbs. pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper
40 oz. bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
1 c. apple cider vinegar
¾ c. Friske Tart Cherry Concentrate
5 T. hot sauce
½ t. red pepper flakes
1 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, finely sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
½ c. Friske Dried Tart Cherries, chopped
Slice tenderloin into 4 sections. Spray Crockpot with non-stick spray like Pam. Salt and pepper the tenderloin. Cover and cook 9 hours on medium (overnight works best). Drain off liquid. Shred pork and return to Crockpot.
In a medium saucepan, combine BBQ sauce, vinegar, concentrate, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Pour over shredded pork. Turn Crockpot to high heat and cook 1/2 hour.
In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the diced peppers and continue cooking an additional 3 minutes. Add dried cherries. Cook an additional 1 minute.
Warm the Kaiser rolls. Assemble the sandwiches by spooning shredded pork onto bottom of roll. Add the onion/pepper/cherry relish and top with remaining half of roll.
Source: Friske Orchards Farm Market via Betty Renner of Central Lake.