Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.

simplyrecipes-chili
This Yummy Chili Photo is from SimplyRecipes.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

Stadium Apple Chili

Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 18th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Falling for Chili |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, pork, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

Coffee Lovers

Ahh, coffee! That first cup o’ joe can usually set the tone for the rest of the day. And certainly the Pacific Northwest is known as THE mecca for coffee drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

We definitely love our coffee just as much as our wine with many local independent coffee shops offering coffee “cuppings” – imagine a wine tasting, but for coffee!

We all know coffee is so d’lish paired with dark chocolate, but why not get a bit savory and cook with it? Take for example my Rain City Seasoning: ground Caffe Umbria espresso and Theo Chocolate’s cocoa nibs adds a deep rich flavor to spice rubs. Great on steaks or Alaskan salmon!


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Or how about adding a cup of coffee to your next slow cooked beef stew or chili recipe, it will add a super-rich flavor to the dish.

Have you ever heard of Red Eye Gravy – this was what cowboys made by tossing a cup of cold coffee into their pan gravy. I’ve given it a comfort food spin in my recipe below Red Eye BBQ Sauce – great on everything!

On the sweeter side of things, try a little ground espresso added to chocolate cupcake batter for a mocha-licious twist.

And for your next brunch try working in a little strong brewed coffee or espresso into your next “Coffee Cake” – for a true COFFEE cake experience! –Kathy

Red Eye Barbecue Sauce
This BBQ has a lot of ingredients, but that’s what gives it a rich and layered flavor. Double or triple the recipe and store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 1/4 cups

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup 1/4-inch-chopped yellow onion
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. celery seed (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup Worcestershire
3 Tbsp. molasses
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3/4 tsp. Tabasco
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. salt

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sprinkle the black pepper and other dry spices on top. Stir and sauté until the onions are glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté about 1 more minute.

When the onions are translucent, whisk in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 20 – 30 minutes or until thickened nicely, stir frequently to prevent scorching. If not using the sauce right away, cool and store, refrigerated.

Recipe Copyright © 2017 by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

 

Most people have had a hand at cooking spaghetti squash, and there are a lot of ways to prepare this tasty vegetable.

This winter squash starts getting popular at the farmers market and grocery store in early fall. The cooked stringy flesh is delicious, but there are a few cooking tricks to know.

 

Cut the squash in half length-wise. Make sure to use a good knife and a little muscle – this is a sturdy squash! Once you have the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp the same way you would with any other winter squash.

Turn the halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a little water and roast in a 350 degree oven

for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in and out of the flesh easily. If you’re in a hurry you can quick cook it the same way in the microwave in a glass dish – just blast on high until fork tender.

 

Now to get those noodle-like strands out of the shell. Turn the squash up and gently scrape the flesh with a fork along the grain and loosen it up. Then scoop the squash into a bowl and finish how you like.

 

 

 

It’s a great low-calorie and gluten-free option to traditional pasta for topping with marinara. Or toss it with maple syrup or honey, a little butter or olive oil, some minced fresh herbs and some sea salt for a great side dish to any entrée. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 4th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Money Saving Braising

Looking to make a meal to impress, but don’t want to break the bank? Braising can make even the toughest cuts of meat, an inexpensive, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Braising is a loooooong, slow-cooking method that can be done on the stove-top, in the oven, or in a crock pot. What a great treatment for less tender, more flavorful cuts of meat. Think beef chuck, lamb shanks, chicken legs, or short ribs. These tough cuts are less expensive, but really taste like a million bucks if they’re cooked low and slow. Perfect for a lazy Sunday supper.

First, season up your meat, then give it a good sear in a hot pan with a little oil. Add in tasty ingredients like wine, herbs, and veggies. Cover tightly and pop the pan in an oven on LOW HEAT (around 300 – 325 degrees) and forget about it for a few hours! Now the hard part: be patient. Don’t try to rush the process; this takes time.

Once it’s finished, don’t forget about all that juicy braising liquid. It’s perfect to make a tasty sauce with!

One of my favorite dishes to make is my Slow Cooked Roasted Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic. Perfect for a comfort food Sunday night snuggled up with some fluffy mashed potatoes – yum!

Here’s to slow cooking! –Kathy

Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic

If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.

Makes 6 to 8 generous servings

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
3 Tbsp flour
20 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, optional

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.

Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter. Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.

Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.

Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender.

Stir the basil into the sauce.

Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

 

Posted by Kathy on September 27th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Money Saving Braising |  Posted in Amazon, Books to Cook, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes

Quick Pickles

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? I certainly do! The briny, bold flavor is the perfect addition to any summer meal, but who says you have to buy them? Making your own may seem daunting, but I’m here to set the record straight. Pickling your summer garden veggies is fast, easy, and so much fun.

All you need is my Refrigerated Quick Pickle recipe! First clean a quart-sized jar, then pack it full with a mixture of vegetables. Baby cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower- have fun with it! Next boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jar. Screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about an hour- then pop in the refrigerator! In just two days you’ll have delicious pickled vegetables to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies – for something a little different, try one of my favorites –pickled peaches! Awesome to serve with your favorite cheeses, charcuterie platter or grilled meats.

-Kathy

Refrigerated Quick Pickles
Makes about 4 quarts

The following is a mixture of veggies that I like to use, but feel free to switch it up with what’s fresh from your garden or the market.

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled white vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on September 20th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Quick Pickles |  Posted in appetizers, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, seasonings, sides, Snacks, spices, vegetables

Apples

A true sign of fall: apples appear everywhere. From thick caramel-coated and dipped in nuts to sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market to grand glass bowls filled with elegant red apples simply used as a table centerpiece.

The Northwest has always been the hub for amazing apples. Glorious Galas with their perfume-y sweet flavor, firm Fujis that hold their texture amazingly well when cooked, deep-blushed Braeburns, and the list goes on.

What most of us (at least us pie-lovers) think about when thinking of apples is pie, I love to make my apple pie with a little cheddar in the crust – yum!


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunkist

But in addition to desserts there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try whipping up a Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette. It’s really quick and delicious.

Looking for a new side dish? How about a toothsome Apple Barley Risotto – a twist on the classic using pearl barley instead of Arborio rice?

Just remember, one of the best apple tips to observe is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees, apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. Many a Northwesterner accomplished this in the olden days by stashing the winter’s apples under the bed, back when winter bedrooms were quite chilly. I bet those rooms smelled appley great!

Cheers crisp fall apples – crunch! -Kathy

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette
This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

6 cups baby spinach
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion

Vinaigrette
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
———————————————
1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

Place spinach, apple and onion in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt
and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, but do not brown garlic. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey for Sunkist®

Apple Barley Risotto
Allow about 50 – 60 minutes total cooking time for this recipe.

Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Braeburn or Fuji apple, unpeeled, cored and diced 1/4-inch
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup shredded, high-quality Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/8 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste (If using canned broth, less salt will be needed.)

In a large heavy-bottom saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and red onions. Sauté till mushrooms are limp. Add the garlic and stir around for about half a minute. Then immediately add the wine, increase heat to high and reduce wine till syrupy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in the diced apple and barley. In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together the broth and water. Add 1 cup to the barley and simmer till almost all the liquid is absorbed about 6 – 8 minutes.

Stir in another cup of the broth-water mixture and continue cooking, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process again until all the liquid has been used and the barley is tender.

Remove from heat and fold in cheese, nuts and pepper. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on September 13th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes, salads, sides

Handful of Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are grown right here in the Pacific Northwest! Did you know that 99% of hazelnuts grown in the United States are grown in Oregon alone?

Eating them raw is d’lish but have you tried roasting them? Many recipes call for roasted hazelnuts – don’t let that stop you. It’s pretty easy; you just have to know the tricks!

Place them on a baking sheet in a 350o F degree oven and toaste for about 6-8 minutes. Make sure to keep your eye on them and set a timer! As soon as you can smell their nutty aroma, they’re done! They’ll keep cooking once they’re off the heat, so it’s easy to overdo it.

When the nuts are cool enough to handle, put them in a clean dishtowel, and rub as much of the skin off as you can.

They not only add a great flavor to recipes, but also add texture and a great crunch. Both those things come through in my recipe for Cheddar Ale Spread. Made with lots of other NW ingredients like Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and local beer – it’s perfect for parties!

Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in baked goods, or just eaten out of hands, hazelnuts are d’lish any way you enjoy them. –Kathy


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Cheddar Ale Spread
The spread can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring it to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

8 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, such as Tillamook
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flavorful Northwest beer
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped (optional)
crackers, or crostini
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnishing

Combine the cream cheese, mustard, Cheddar, half-and-half, Tabasco, and salt in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth. Pulse in the parsley and hazelnuts until just dispersed.

Serve in a nice-looking container with the flat bread attractively broken up around it. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy on September 6th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Handful of Hazelnuts |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Super Quinoa

There’s been lots of talk about “wonder foods” and quinoa is certainly one! Nicknamed “gold of the Incas,” quinoa is considered an ancient grain and has become a menu darling – seen on menus across the city.


Photo from www.EatingWell.com

What makes it a super food is that it’s known for lots of health benefits. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is high in fiber, vegetarian-friendly protein-source, and gluten-free. This makes it perfect for vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.

Easy to cook, this little seed (yep, it’s a seed) gets light and fluffy after cooking and has a subtle nutty taste that pairs well with other flavors.

Sprinkle it on salad or feature it in a protein bowl: mixed greens, avocado, colorful veggies, and garbanzo beans drizzled with a citrusy vinaigrette.

I also love it as a side dish like in a Quinoa Jumble, studded with diced cucumber, fresh dill, curry, and golden raisins.

So give this might little seed a try – it’s d’lish and great for you! -Kathy

Quinoa Jumble
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 -2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (or substitute chopped raw almonds)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper or a pinch of red chili flakes if you like it spicy

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water and curry powder and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve immediately or store refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on August 29th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Super Quinoa |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes
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