Salt of the Earth

Ever since ancient times, salt has been a valuable ingredient for everyday life. From food preservation to food enhancer, it was even used as currency to trade amongst earlier civilizations.

Salt varieties are bountiful these days. Just take a look at your local grocery store. There are so many d-lish options to choose from fleur de sel (a French sea salt) to hickory smoked flavored and even cabernet red wine salt – so yummy on a steak!

Salt just pops the flavor of any dish. Chicken, grilled fish, roasted veggies…and even cocktails! Just remember, a little bit goes a long way.

We have a great new salt in our Dish D’Lish line up: Rain City Seasoning – inspired by Seattle’s coffee addiction. It’s a blend of Caffè Umbria Coffee Roasters coffee and Theo Chocolate cocoa nibs with two types of salt, dried orange peel, allspice, and other spices to deliver a versatile and d’lish seasoning! Rain City Seasoning is perfect on salmon or steaks or sprinkled on roasted root vegetables. And it’s D’lish as a Bloody Mary rimmer.

RainCitySeasoning 2

But why not get creative and try your hand at making your own flavored salts? It’s easy! Here is my favorite method and a great combination for a DIY Citrus Salt:

citrus_cutie_herb_salt

Place 2 cups of kosher salt in a bowl
Add in 2 tablespoons each: of lemon zest and finely minced fresh rosemary, sage or thyme
Toss together then spread on a sheet pan.
Let sit out for about a week uncovered in a cool dry place – mixing daily.
Once the lemon and herbs dried, place in a food processor and whiz it up – or go old school and use a mortar and pestle.

You can also add in orange zest, or lime zest too to switch it up! Or double the amount of zest and herbs for extra flavor.

Now you have a delicious hand crafted salt – great on almost everything! –Kathy

Bananas for Bananas

Bananas, the ultimate naturally portable snack! Perfect for throwing into your purse or bag.

Besides being deliciously handy, bananas are a great source of potassium while being low in sodium. They are a good source of Vitamin B6 as well as Vitamin C and dietary fiber, and are naturally fat free!

If you’re thinking of a campfire-inspired treat, then consider this s’more alternative:

Take an unpeeled banana and make a split lengthwise – just not all the way through. Carve a trough from end to end, keeping the peel. Munch on the removed banana to tide you over, while filling the trough with bits of marshmallow and chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers. Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and stick it in the embers like a potato, or over a hot grill. After a little while, take it out and carefully unwrap. Yum!

s'more banana
Fun Photo from Tablespoon.

And bananas are quite delicious with savory things as well. My recipe for Banana Pineapple Chutney is flavored up with warm spices such as ginger and allspice. It’s a fantastic way to zip up a grilled chicken breast, or even better with a pork chop.

Any way you slice them (or even if you don’t), bananas are d’lish! –Kathy

Banana Pineapple Chutney
Great served with basmati rice and vegetable curries as well as grilled scallops, chicken, pork chops or ham.

Makes 3 cups

1/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
———————————–
2 Tbsp. currants
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced ripe fresh pineapple
2 cups (about 2 large) firm underripe bananas, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then in 1/2-inch chunks

In a heavy, wide, shallow, nonreactive pot, place all ingredients except the fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 4 minutes until mixture is syrupy and slightly reduced.

Add currants and pineapple, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute. Gently fold in bananas and cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes more. Occasionally stir the mixture gently; do not stir roughly—you want to keep the fruit pieces’ integrity. Chutney should be thickened but still slightly juicy. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away. Chutney should be slightly warm for serving.

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

Posted by Kathy on May 16th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Bananas for Bananas |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Easy Protein Snacks

These days, healthy eating has become a top trend across the country – and it’s no surprise why. Incorporating high-protein foods into your diet has so many health benefits.

It can help you maintain weight loss, boost your energy levels, and support strong muscles and bones.

And lucky for us – there are tons of protein packed, d’lish options that not only taste great, but are easy to make and totally portable.

My go-to snack are Energy Nut Balls – chock full of dates, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and nuts. No baking required! It’s the perfect grab-and-go bite that keeps you feeling full and energized. You can even customize it with your favorite ingredients – nut butter, a drizzle of honey, goji berries or oats. Get creative with it! I love to roll mine in coconut flakes for an added crunch.

Or how about roasted chickpeas – tossed in olive oil, seasonings, and baked until crunchy perfection. These healthy legumes are packed with fiber.

So get snacking! Happy cooking everyone.
-Kathy

Coconut Lime Cashew Energy Balls
These are also delicious when made with lemon – or try a combo of both lemon and lime!

Makes: 24 balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® Lime juice
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon Sunkist® Lime zest
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
———————————————
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling

Directions:
Tear the apricots and put in a small bowl and toss with the lime juice and hot water, press the apricots into the liquid with a fork. Let soak for 10 minutes.

Place the apricot mixture and liquid, zest, turmeric, ginger, oats, flax seed, and coconut oil in a food processor and process until mixture just comes together.
Add the flake coconut, cashews and pumpkin seeds and pulse until seeds are broken down and chopped into the mixture.

Portion the mixture into heaping tablespoons and roll into balls, then roll in desiccated coconut to coat.
Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®

Posted by Kathy on May 9th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Easy Protein Snacks |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Taco Party

DIY hands-on dinner parties are always fun, interactive and convenient when it comes to dietary restrictions and preferences. It’s also a great way to answer that age old party question, “What can I do to help?”

One of my fave kinds of food parties is a taco fiesta! You can offer a variety of meat and vegetarian options, such as slow cooked chili-pork to ginger-lime marinated chicken and cumin grilled squash. Or go coastal and grill up some shrimp or Alaska cod filets! For your veggie friends, be sure to have slow simmered garlicky black beans or cilantro studded quinoa.

Set out a variety of cheeses like queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese and lots of fresh salsas from red to green to tropical (think diced mango & pineapples, etc.). Offer up soft flour tortillas and corn tortillas for the gluten free gang.

Pickly or crunchy add ins like my Red Onion Escabeche Veggies or shaved green cabbage are a must and are great to top my Chili & Lime Slow Cooked Pork tacos.

And don’t forget to serve it all up with a cool pitcher of margaritas, chilled beers and Sparkling Limeade!

So get your fiesta on with friends and make your next get together a DIY taco party! –Kathy

KC tacos

Yum!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Chili & Lime Slow-Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche and Warm Tortillas
Makes 6 hearty servings

Pork
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
1 boneless pork butt (shoulder), about 3 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Escabeche
2 large carrots, julienned
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
1 teaspoon salt

Accompaniments
Warm corn tortillas
Sour cream
Salsa or freshly made pico de gallo
Queso fresco (Mexican-style fresh cheese)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

To prepare the pork, mix the chili powder, coriander seed, and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Roll the pork in the mixture, taking up all the seasoning.

Put the pork in a slow-cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and set the cooker on high. Let cook for 8 hours—or up to 10 hours if you’re still at work!

When ready to serve, mix the escabeche ingredients well, then place in a serving dish. Shred the pork and place in a large serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid.

Serve the pork with the escabeche and accompaniments. Diners build their own “soft tacos,” then squeeze lime juice over the filling before folding.

Chef’s Note: To heat tortillas, place them, one by one, on a dry skillet over medium-high heat and turn frequently. As they are heated, slip them between the folds of a clean dish towel or cloth napkin. Wrap the towel in foil (or put into a small casserole dish and cover) to steam in their own heat and moisture. Or, microwave the tortillas very briefly and put into a napkin as above. Or, wrap several tortillas in a foil packet and steam them in a steamer until just heated through; use directly from the foil or wrap in a towel as described above.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Sparkling Limeade

Sparkling Limeade

3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
——————————————————
1 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 cups chilled sparkling water
Garnish: long fresh lemon and lime zest twists

Combine the zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool.

In a large pitcher combine the cooled sugar syrup, lime juice and the sparkling water.
Serve over ice and garnish with citrus twists.

Photo and recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 2nd, 2019  |  Comments Off on Taco Party |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on April 25th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Juicing for Joy |  Posted in breakfast, citrus, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, orange, Recent Posts, root vegetables, vegetables

Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring!

Asparagus –the veggie, springtime superstar is so versatile. We love it steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed; in soups, salads, or as a delicious side.

Although a lot of people have the perception that skinny asparagus is preferable, I don’t agree! The thicker stemmed fat ones are much better in flavor.

Just give it a rinse, and then snap off the fibrous ends at the “natural break.” You can save these for veggie stock or add to your compost bin.


Photo from Simply Recipes.

For sunny northwest days I like to coat my asparagus with a little olive oil and seasoning. Then toss it on a hot grill till just tender. Serve with a quick squeeze of lemon and a grating of fresh parmesan – yum!

Or how about the beloved combo of steamed asparagus with a rich and decadent hollandaise? Well I’ve got a Quick and Easy Blender Sauce recipe that will have you serving up this classic combo in no time.

So pick up some asparagus while the season is prime! –Kathy

Quick and Easy Blender Hollandaise
The entire amount of hot butter is key to this recipe, so be sure to make a full recipe. Serve over freshly steamed broccoli or asparagus, with fish or seafood or on steaks … and of course Eggs Benedict!

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon cream cheese
3 egg yolks or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg yolks
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist® Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until bubbling and hot (but not brown). Or heat to bubbling in microwave.

While butter is heating, combine cream cheese, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce in a blender. Process for a few seconds to combine ingredients.

When butter is hot, with blender motor running, remove lid and add butter in a slow, thin stream; go slowly so it incorporates nicely.

Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 30 minutes by placing sauce in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or mason jar with lid, set in a small bowl of hot water.
Sunkist Tips:
-Add in some lemon zest at the end for extra lemony flavor!
-Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of minced fresh tarragon or chives.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring! |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, vegetables

Morel Mushrooms – Springtime Northwest Gold

Local, wild morel mushrooms are treasured like gold and every spring fungi enthusiasts rush out to scope their secret spots, looking for the first signs of this delicacy!

Morels fruit in two types of habitat. In areas where they are naturalized, they fruit every year. It is usually a grassy area where natural composting occurs or along a stream where leaves drop to give them food.


(Photo from the Outdoor Life)

The other type of habitat is disturbed areas, such as logged or burned areas, where the morels will come up only once because there is no continuous source of food. But sometimes we get really lucky and even find morels in our backyards where new grass has been planted, thus disturbing the soil.

Predicting where and when these jewels will appear is the real art. If you’re not an experienced picker then you need to join a mushroom interest group or find an experienced picker to go with, but most fungi hunters keep their spots pretty secret.

Check out the Puget Sound Mycological Society to learn about field trips and more about our NW wild mushrooms. Or visit your local farmers markets for local forager’s finds.

And if you’ve been out foraging then you deserve a little splurge – as cream and morels are so amazing together! Try out Morels in Cream Sauce, it’s good on anything! From chicken to halibut to salmon, to crostini … yum! Happy Spring! – Kathy

Morels in Cream Sauce
I also like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon and zest to pop the flavor.

Makes about 4 – 6 servings

2 Tbsps. olive oil or butter
1/2 lb. fresh morels, cleaned and sliced
1 chopped shallot
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsps. butter (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
snipped fresh chives

Heat skillet on medium-high to high, add oil, then mushrooms and shallot. Saute for 1 minute, then add the wine. Continue cooking over high heat until the wine is reduced by half. Then add the cream and reduce by half. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened. Sprinkle with chives.

Serve as an appetizer with fresh, crusty bread for dipping, or serve atop sauteed chicken breasts or your favorite fish or seafood.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on April 11th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Morel Mushrooms – Springtime Northwest Gold |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

DIY Fried Rice

I love fried rice! Great from your favorite Chinese restaurant but also easy to make at home – a great way to turn leftover steamed rice into a fresh d’lish meal!

But Fried Rice can get fancy too — I’ve had it in NY with lobster and 24K gold on it!!


David Burke & Donatella’s “Millionaire’s Fried Rice”
with caviar, lobster, Kobe beef, and gold!

But let’s get to the basics — important fried rice tips are:
1. Use cold steamed white rice – NEVER INSTANT!
2. Almost anything is fair game: leftover cooked pork, seafood, chicken, veggies, etc. Throw those all in.

Start with a large HOT pan or wok and a little oil then add in the cold rice. Spread it out to get it cooking. Then add in the goodies (meats, veggies) and some minced garlic and ginger too, if you like.

Then make a “well” in the middle. Add in some beaten egg then scramble it up in the middle. Last, fold it all in.

I even love it for breakfast, with some bacon or sausage added!

So instead of take out tonight – STAY IN and try your hand at homemade fried rice! -Kathy

Egg and Shrimp Jasmine Fried Rice
To achieve that great “fried rice” consistency, make the rice the day before. Cook and refrigerate and then let set at room temperature for 30 minutes before frying. This recipe has cooked egg that is sliced thin and added, but you can also whisk the egg and scramble it right into the rice as well.

Makes 8 cups, serves 6 to 10

Rice
Makes 6 cups cooked rice

2 cups jasmine rice
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
1 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaf (optional)

Fried Rice Goodies
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp water
3 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup (about 8 ounces) uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut/split in half lengthwise or coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
1/4 cup small-diced (1/4-inch) carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh lemongrass (optional)
1/2 cup fresh shelled peas or thinly sliced pea pods
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 tsp soy sauce

Serve with:
additional soy sauce
sambal oelek or Asian chili condiment
lime wedges
cilantro sprigs

Cook the rice the day before, or at least 2 hours in advance, and chill.

To cook in a rice cooker:
Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. DRAIN WELL, then place in the rice cooker with all the remaining rice ingredients. Stir well, cover and steam until tender, per manufacturer’s directions.

After rice is cooked, fluff with a fork, let cool, then refrigerate.

To cook without a rice cooker:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Shake rice and DRAIN WELL.

Place rice in a large saucepan with remaining rice ingredients. Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stir. Quickly cover pan with a piece of foil AND a tight-fitting lid.

Place in preheated oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender. After rice is cooked, immediately remove the lid and foil. Fluff rice with a fork, let cool, then refrigerate.

When ready to finish the dish, have all remaining ingredients prepared and within reach of the range. Cook the eggs and let them cool while you fry the rice.

To cook the eggs:
In a small bowl, whisk eggs with the salt and water. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a wok or heavy, large, non-stick skillet until hot. Add the eggs and, with a spatula, lift eggs as they cook, letting uncooked part run underneath until set. Transfer eggs to a cutting board. Let cool, then cut eggs into 1/4-inch strips.

To fry the rice:
Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in the same wok over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and stir-fry until just turning pink, about 15 seconds. Add the ginger, carrot, garlic, lemongrass, and the cooked rice. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the peas, green onions, and the shredded eggs. Stir-fry for 1 minute, until heated through, then drizzle with soy sauce and toss well.

Serve, immediately and pass the soy, chili condiment, lime and cilantro separately for guests to “customize” and season their rice the way they like it.

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

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 4th, 2019  |  Comments Off on DIY Fried Rice |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Recipes, sides
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