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Burgers

When summer time finally hits the Pacific Northwest, burgers are the first thing on my mind. To me, the smell of a burger sizzling on an outdoor grill is simply intoxicating.

I’ll always love a classic beef patty piled high with condiments and spreads, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. Burgers are a blank canvas to get creative and try new combinations. Your local farmers market is a great place to find inspiration.


Photo from Clean Eating

Outdoor BBQ in your weekend plans? Create a burger bar and make it interactive with a DIY set-up! Simply pre-heat your grill and have it hot and ready. Pick up some artisan buns and set out a variety of cheeses and spreadables like spicy sriracha mayo, fun mustards, local pickles, and grilled sweet onions. Offer unique patty options to please the whole crowd- like local grass fed beef, veggie black bean burgers, or seasoned turkey patties.

Or why not try my Barbequed Salmon Burgers on Lemon Dill Buns! The smoky grilled salmon patty paired with fresh condiments like lettuce, cucumbers, or a tangy vegetable slaw is knock-your-socks-off delicious. If baking your own buns seems daunting, not to worry! Just pick up your favorite from a local bakery and get to grillin’.

Make sure to have your guests bring some tasty sides, ice cold brews, and wine. And while the grill is still hot – throw on a few bananas for making up some grilled banana splits for a sweet ending – yum!
-Kathy

Barbequed Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 servings

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs minced onion
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS dried bread crumbs
¾ tsp kosher salt

Lemon Dill Buns, or local bakery bun
Mayonnaise or Tartar Sauce
Any combination of burger goodies you like, such as tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumbers, vegetable slaw, etc.

To make the burgers, chop the salmon well. Mix it thoroughly with the remaining burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into 4 ½-5 in diameter well-compacted round patties. Refrigerate the patties, tented, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to firm.

Pre-heat a grill to high and oil. Carefully place patties on grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Split buns in half and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise or tartar sauce onto buns, add the cooked patties, and pile high with garnishes of your choice.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Kathy Casey, salmon

Walla Walla Onions

Fresh Walla Walla Onions are hitting the market soon and I can’t wait! Sweeter than a regular yellow onion, it has been said that biting into a fresh Walla Walla and biting into an apple are just about the same. I’ve never tried but I will if you do!

I DO know that they are mild and sweet enough to serve thick raw slices cozied up with garden fresh tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of fresh basil. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and EVOO, then finish it with coarse salt and a fresh grind of pepper. Simplicity at its best.

I also love them in a quick pickle preparation. Put equal parts vinegar, sugar and water in a zip lock bag. Add in a pinch of salt then toss in some slices of Walla Walla onions. Shake that around until the sugar is dissolved then refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. D’lish on grilled salmon, tossed with some fresh herbs like tarragon, chives, dill and Italian parsley.

If you’ve got the grill fired up then toss on some slices. Get some nice charred marks, then chop and add to your favorite guacamole or fresh salsa recipe for some SWEET summer dipping– Yum!

P.S.: If you’re an onion crier like me be sure to refrigerate your onions before slicing OR have a pair of onion goggles ready– it helps! –Kathy

 


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table

Herb Marinated Walla Walla Sweet Onions
For a summer buffet table, grill a whole side of salmon and serve it on a large platter, festooned with the herbed onions and fresh herb sprigs. This is also great served with steak.

Makes 4 servings – and enough to top 4 salads, pieces of fish or grilled meats.

1 large Walla Walla Sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp. 1/2-inch-long pieces fresh chives
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

To make the onions, carefully separate the rings and place in a resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and oil. Pour the marinade over the onions and close the bag, expelling excess air. Turn the bag to coat the onion evenly, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Just serving, gently toss the onions and marinade in a large bowl with the chopped herbs.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy on June 8th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, other, sides

Garden Herbs

If you have a tiny strip of garden space, planters, or pots- you can grow fresh herbs. What’s not to love about fresh herbs anytime you want! The most popular and easy to grow herbs – in my experience – are rosemary, thyme, and mint. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they fill your garden.

But these aren’t the only common herbs that flourish in the NW. Some of my favorite plants are the unusual varieties like lemon verbena, pineapple sage, and the prolific lemon balm…the list goes on and on!

Now what to do with your bounty once you harvest? Add them to all of your favorite dishes, of course! You can also try drying heartier herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary. Tie them in small bundles with twine and hang them upside down for about a week in a cool dry spot. Once they are fully dry, crumble the herbs and put into jars- a fun gift for foodies!

An alternative to hang drying is quick freezing your herbal bounty. To do this, chop the herbs and spread onto a sheet pan in the freezer for a quick freeze (5-10 minutes). Transfer to zip lock bags and store frozen until ready to use for a delicious, herbalicious add-in anytime of the year.

–Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 25th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Garden Herbs |  Posted in Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Lavender

When thinking about lavender- soaps, spa treatments, and perfumes often come to mind. It’s certainly well-known for its calming and relaxing properties, but lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the world of food and beverage.

Close-up of lavender growing in my urban garden!

Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike use it to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails. Lavender is best when used sparingly to let its fragrant flavor subtly shine. A little goes a long way!

Try a sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe. If you enjoy preserving, add a pinch or two into your next batch of homemade strawberry jam – yum! I also love it infused in a local honey and drizzled over cheese.

If you’ve got a yard full of lavender and need some ideas to use it up, try this easy to make DIY lavender simple syrup. Bottle it up and enjoy anytime!

To make Lavender Syrup: Combine 2 tablespoons dried lavender (or 3-4 fresh flowers) with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a quick boil and then remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes, then strain and store refrigerated.

For a fun Summer gift basket idea- tuck in a bottle of homemade lavender syrup with a half dozen lemons, 2 pretty glasses, a bottle of sparkling water, and a recipe for Lavender Lemon Soda. You could also add a bottle of vodka for a spirited basket. And don’t forget to include a little bouquet of fresh lavender! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 18th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Lavender |  Posted in Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, herbs

Minty Mint

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint? Whether it’s in a cocktail, mixed into a fruit salsa, or growing in the garden, that fresh scent of mint can just brighten your day!

Have you ever tried growing mint? If you have, you know it is amazingly easy and will actually take over your garden if you’re not careful. And what’s better than a fresh handful of mint leaves whenever you want?

There are sooooo many varieties to choose! From peppermint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, lemon mint, orange mint and even lime mint – which is super amazing muddled into mojitos!

Speaking of cocktails – mint is of course the star in the classic mint julep.

If you’ve got a lot of mint in the yard, here’s a quick recipe for Fresh Mint Syrup:
-Combine a big bunch of fresh mint (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups) – stems and all
-2 cups of water
-2 cups of sugar

-Bring to a quick simmer then let steep for 1 hour. Strain and refrigerate.

Great for cocktails or add in lemon or lime and sparkling water for a tasty refreshing beverage.

And speaking of Juleps: with the Kentucky Derby this weekend you’ll want to have plenty of mint on hand – two of my favorite recipes follow.

So get minty with it in your garden this year! –Kathy

Classic Mint Julep
Makes 1 cocktail

2 mint sprigs
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/4 oz simple syrup or Fresh Mint Syrup

For garnishing: mint sprig

Add mint sprigs into a julep cup. Lightly muddle to release flavor.

Measure in spirit and simple syrup. Fill 1/2 way with crushed ice. Stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Brown-Forman

Georgia Julep
Makes 1 cocktail

2 mint sprigs
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 oz peach puree
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters

For garnishing: mint sprig and peach/nectarine wedge if in season

Add mint sprigs into a julep cup or mixing glass. Lightly muddle to release flavor.

Measure in spirit, puree, simple syrup, and bitters. Fill 1/2 way with crushed ice. Stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Top with more crushed ice if needed . Garnish.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Brown-Forman

Posted by Kathy on May 4th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Minty Mint |  Posted in Cocktails, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

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 27th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring! |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, sides, vegetables

Dip In!

From party staples like gooey, cheese fondue to classic French onion or 7-layer fiesta dip, we all have our favorites.

These days dips are getting lighter and healthier. We’re whipping up our favorites not with full fat sour cream and mayo but with Greek yogurt as well as lite sour creams and mayos. Even this party staple can’t escape the better-for-you revolution!

Hummus is all the rage lately – made with protein-rich garbanzo beans. It’s quick-and-easy to make from scratch, but also available in a wide variety of flavors like roasted pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Cruise the hummus isle these days and you’ll find brilliant beet hummus and emerald green edamame varieties!


D’lish hummus!
(Photo from Epicurious)

Creamy white bean dips are also popular and fall into the better-for-you category, too. It’s tasty paired with bold flavors like in my Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade.

Now, we all love our dips with potato and tortilla chips but you can also lighten up your dippables. Try something new, like pita chips and rice crackers, OR go the veggie route with endive leaves, slices of crunchy fennel, or colorful bell pepper.

So whatever the occasion, get out of your DIP RUT, lighten up –and try something new! –Kathy

Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade
I love to make the tapenade with those brilliant green Castelvetrano olives available at olive bars. If you want to take some extra time and pit them rather than buying pitted jarred olives, it is worth it! I like to serve this dip with pita chips or rustic crackers.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

Dip
1 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. very finely minced lemon zest
1 tsp. very finely minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. very finely minced lemon zest
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary sprig

To make the dip: In a food processor, combine the drained beans, cheese, if using, and garlic, and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. Store the dip, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

To make the tapenade: In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and oil, and pulse till the ingredients are thoroughly chopped, but still have some coarseness to them. Add the parsley and sundried tomatoes and pulse until just integrated. The tapenade can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

To serve: Put the dip in a pretty bowl, smooth out the surface, then layer the tapenade on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and garnish with the rosemary.

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

Posted by Kathy on April 20th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Dip In! |  Posted in Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

Mustard is a Must!

I love mustard—zesty Dijon, zingy classic yellow, bitey coarse country-style. It is a universal condiment. From the seeds cooked in Indian fruit chutneys, to the sinus-clearing fiery paste served with Chinese barbecued pork.

Take Dijon for example. It’s a staple in the American kitchen and a must ingredient in many of my recipes from classic vinaigrettes to deviled eggs. I often use it to build an extra “layer” of flavor like in my Whipped Cauliflower with Dijon Mustard. It really rounds out the flavors in the dish.

Rub whole-grain mustard on steaks and roasts or stir it into a garlic alfredo pasta sauce. It’s good on or in just about anything! I like to roast shallots and then blend with whole- grain mustard for a d’lish accompaniment to charcuterie.

And last but not least, we can’t forget the American yellow mustard… Shh! It really is my fave! Zig-zagged across a hot dog of course and the classic ingredient in a home-style eggy potato salad! If you’ve never tried a Southern-style, yellow barbecue sauce (alias “Mop”), you should!

If you’re ever interested in making your own mustard, it’s pretty easy. My No. 1 tip would be to remember that the longer your fresh mustard sits, the mellower it gets. It can be pretty spicy when first made!

Yellow Mustard
Yellow Mustard Flower
Photo from Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission

And if you want to learn more about mustard check out the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission’s site – this is a cool commission that represents mustard growers and helps raise awareness about all things mustard! How cool is that! –Kathy

Whipped Cauliflower with Dijon Mustard
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 large head cauliflower, about 6 cups florets
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart gratin baking dish with cooking spray, and reserve.

Break cauliflower into florets, and boil until totally tender, about 5 minutes. Florets should be “mashable” but not mushy. Drain well, transfer to a food processor with the cream, sour cream, butter, Dijon, salt and pepper.

Process until mixture is a smooth, thick puree. Pulse in 1/2 cup of the grated gruyere.

Transfer mixture into gratin baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until heated through, and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Sprinkle with chives to garnish.

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

Posted by Kathy on April 13th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Mustard is a Must! |  Posted in Foodie News, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, sides
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