Posts filed under 'sides'

Sweet Potatoes

Don’t you just love sweet potatoes? I know I love’em! They are one of those magical foods that are delicious, versatile, inexpensive, AND pretty darn good for you. They come in a variety of colors like blue, purple, orange, yellow and white, and the flesh is full of beta-carotene (great for your eyes) and vitamins A and C.

Fun fact: Did you know that potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are all unrelated? Potatoes are related to tomatoes and peppers (members of the nightshade family), sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family and yams are related to lilies – who knew!

One of my favorite ways to cook sweet potatoes is to cut them in thick slices and toss with chunks of apple, a little olive oil, and salt then roast on a shallow pan in a 375 degree oven till roasty good.

Or just roast them like you would a regular baker then split and top with brown sugar, a little butter. They are also delicious naked with just a little sprinkle of salt and pepper!

Last holiday season I had a brainstorm to try a scalloped-like sweet potato dish. I thought I’d put a little maple syrup in it and a touch of sage and top it with a few bread crumbs. Well, my experiment was a hit! So I’ve retested my concoction and included my recipe for Maple Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Sage. I love it served with ham or roasted tenderloin. It serves 10 – 12 so is great for a large party. –Kathy

Maple Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Sage
Serves about 10-12

8 cups peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch) sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds)

Maple Cream
3 cups cream
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Topping
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons high-quality grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

fresh sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 3-quart casserole with pan spray or lightly butter it. Then arrange sliced sweet potatoes in an even layer. In a large bowl whisk together the maple cream ingredients until well combined. Pour the maple cream over sweet potatoes and push them down a bit to be sure they are coated in liquid.

In a small bowl combine topping ingredients and set aside.

Bake casserole for 35 minutes and then sprinkle with topping and bake another 25 – 35 minutes or until topping is browned, potatoes are tender and liquid is thickened.

Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh sage leaves.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment January 16th, 2014

Easy Holiday Entertaining with Sunkist

When the skies turn grey and the days are shorter, it’s easy to add a bit more sunshine to your winter with zesty Sunkist citrus. Tangy ruby grapefruits, zesty lemons, oranges from juicy navel and sweet cranberry-esque Cara Cara to deep pinkish-red Moro … these cheerful seasonal fruits add bright color and flavor to all things culinary, from batch-ahead cocktails to easy entertaining appetizers.

sunkist_logo_lrgTis the Season

My Tis the Season cocktail is perfect for those big holiday parties when you don’t want to be behind the bar the whole time. The pre-mix is a refreshing combo of fresh squeezed grapefruit and lemon juice, balanced with homemade simple syrup, white cranberry and vodka. Place it in a pretty bottle then just shake to order with a sprig of fresh rosemary and garnish with a beautiful cranberry for a seasonal sip that is sure to please.

For an easy and elegant entertaining appetizer try my Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese. Traditional tomato and basil bruschetta topping gets zesty with the addition of tart-sweet Cara Cara oranges, brilliant green Castelvetrano olives, and tangy goat cheese on crunchy crostini – d’lish!

Looking for a savory nibble to pair with cocktails? Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies are the perfect size for teaming up with a holiday sip. Chock-full of lemon zest, fragrant rosemary, delicious feta cheese, and chopped pistachios, these bite-sized delights are finished with a light sprinkle of sea salt before they go in the oven. The dough can be made up to a week in advance and frozen until you’re ready to slice them up – perfect for unexpected visitors!

Round out your menu with a sweet ending; Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges is a breeze to prepare ahead, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests’ company – it can be made up to 5 days in advance! This light custard stars finely chopped lemon zest and poppy seeds sprinkled throughout, and gets a beautiful garnish of segmented blood oranges. Serve them up in mini martini glasses for a fun little something sweet or mini “apps style” dessert.

So make your holiday season extra merry and bright with sunny winter citrus, and visit Sunkist.com for more fun citrus ideas. -Kathy

Tis the Season
Who wants to be tied to the bar during their party? Making a pre-mix for your signature holiday cocktail gives you more time to mingle with your guests and enjoy the festivities! Try shaking in fresh rosemary to add an herbal note.

Makes 1 drink

1/2 cup (4 ounces) Cocktail Pre-Mix (recipe follows)
Garnish: small sprig of rosemary and fresh or frozen cranberry

Measure the pre-mix into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a large martini glass. Garnish with rosemary and float cranberry in drink.

Cocktail Pre-Mix
Mixture can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept refrigerated.

Makes 4 cups – enough for about 8 drinks

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
————————-
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup white cranberry juice
3/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice

Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a quick simmer and remove from heat. (Do not reduce.) Cool to room temperature.

Combine cooled sugar mixture and remaining ingredients in a pretty glass bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Non-Alcoholic Version: instead of the vodka increase the cranberry juice to 1 1/2 cups and the grapefruit juice to 1 3/4 cups.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen – www.liquidkitchen.com

Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
Switch up traditional tomato bruschetta with the addition of sunny citrus and brilliant Castelvetrano Olives . Sunkist Cara Cara Orange’s distinctive pinkish-red hue and sweet and tangy cranberry-like zing pair perfectly with the creamy goat cheese in this easy entertaining appetizer.

Makes 20 pieces

1 artisanal baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt, as needed
————————————————–
2 Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges (or substitute Sunkist Navel Oranges)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped vine-ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped pitted Castelvetrano Olives* (or substitute calamata)
Pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt
—————————————————–
4 oz chèvre-style fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut baguette into 1/4-inch slices — you want about 20 nice-sized pieces. Lay out on a baking sheet. Lightly brush or drizzle bread with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until toasty. Let crostini cool.

To make the Bruschetta mix: Cut the top and bottom off of the oranges then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off of the sides of the oranges. Cut each orange in half lengthwise and then dice 1/4 to 1/3-inch. In a medium bowl, toss the diced orange, olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olives, and season with a pinch of pepper flakes and sea salt. Set aside.

To assemble the crostini: Smear each piece of crostini with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese. Place on a platter and immediately divide the orange mixture between the crostini (drain off any excess juice). Top crostini right before serving so they don’t get soft.

*Available at most grocer’s olive bars.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies
Studded with colorful pistachios and zesty lemon these savory bites are a great nibble with a cocktail. You can make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for impromptu guests.

Makes 24 to 30

1 cup (4 ounces) raw shelled pistachios (or purchase shelled, toasted and salted pistachios)
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
Kosher or coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the nuts (if not already toasted) on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cheese, sugar, lemon zest, rosemary and nuts with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and corn meal. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the lemon juice and mix until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and shape into logs, 9 -10 inches long and 1- 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends, to help firm the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for about 30 minutes to further firm the dough. (The dough can be kept frozen for up to 1 month; remove from the freezer to temper overnight in the refrigerator before slicing.)

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F at least 20 minutes before baking. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Let cool.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges
This lush custard can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. Top with beautiful blood orange segments right before serving. For a fun mini dessert try serving in small martini glasses.

Makes 6 servings or 12 mini desserts

2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
———————————–
2 blood oranges, segmented**

To make the custards: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Soak until the gelatin is soft. Place bowl in microwave on high power for about 3 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and warm. Add the liquefied gelatin, and whisk in to incorporate.

Divide the mixture evenly into 6 small, glass custard dishes, pretty glasses, or 12 small mini martini glasses. Place the custards on rimmed baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Be sure the wrap does not touch the tops of the custards. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.

To serve: Top each custard right before serving with blood orange segments.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

** To segment oranges: Cut the peel and all the white pith from the oranges, exposing the flesh. With a small paring knife, cut out the orange segments over a bowl, saving any juice.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Add comment December 16th, 2013

D’lish Holiday Entertaining on New Day Northwest

On New Day Northwest, I shared my holiday entertaining tips and recipes with the always faboo host Margaret Larson. This holiday season make your menu and party planning easier, by doing as much as you can ahead of time! Keep your festive cheer intact with these d’lish appetizers and cocktail recipes.

My DIY Spiced Red Vermouth is an easy infusion to make and the longer you let it set, the more the flavors marry. It’s versatile and works well in a Manhattan or Negroni cocktail. In my Ruby Spiced Martini, the infused vermouth plays well with the gin, pomegranate liqueur, and bitters.

And what’s a party without deviled eggs? My Sriracha Deviled Eggs incorporates the spicy kick and color of Sriracha for the filling, while the cucumber and shrimp toppers balance it out with a fresh note (for a vegetarian version, leave out the shrimp). These eggs will be first to fly off the table!

Dips are always a great party staple and my White Bean Dip with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade will be an instant hit. This dip highlights Mediterranean flavors and is on the healthier side. I love serving this with artisan crackers and flat breads.

Don’t forget to stock up fun foodie finds at my Holiday Extravaganza & Open House, on Saturday, December 14th from 11:00am – 7:00pm! There’ll be plenty of samples to try and goodies to buy for all your fave food lovers and cocktail enthusiasts, including my “Jingle Bell” Cheese Balls, Dish D’Lish® Cocktailor, Liquid Kitchen Golden Era Bitters, and more. We’ll also be selling my ever popular “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark - the perfect stocking stuffer!

And for the techie, my Sips & Apps has been chosen as one of Chronicle Book’s best nine holiday ebooks for their special “Tis the Season Sale.” For the entire month of December, ebook versions of Sips & Apps (available on Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK, Google play, and Kobo) are marked 75% off – $2.99. Now that’s a bargain!

Sips & Apps cover

For more great cocktail and appetizer recipes, make sure to check out my recipes featured in the Seattle Times, including my Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings, Festive Sparkling Rum Punch, and more. Happy Holidays! -Kathy

Ruby Spiced Martini
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen.

Ruby Spiced Martini
A sassy holiday gin-play on the Manhattan crafted with Martin Miller’s Gin, pomegranate liqueur, an easy to make spiced sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. For some fun bling, dust the cocktail with Liquid Kitchen Edible Gold. For more great cocktail recipes visit www.liquidkitchen.com

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 ounces (1/4 cup) Martin Miller’s Gin
1/2 ounce PAMA pomegranate liqueur
1/2 ounce (2 Tbsp.) Spiced Vermouth (recipe follows)
1 dash Liquid Kitchen or your favorite bitters
Garnish: orange disc squeeze, an Amarena cherry on a clear pick, Liquid Kitchen Edible Gold

Measure the gin, liqueur and Spiced Vermouth into a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice and add bitters. Stir with a bar spoon until well chilled. Serve strained up in a chilled martini glass. Squeeze an
orange disc over the drink and discard. Garnish with an Amarena cherry on a pick and Liquid Kitchen gold flakes.

Spiced Vermouth
The longer you let this sit, the more the flavors marry. This is also delicious in a Martin Miller’s Gin Negroni or Martinez cocktail. For a video on how to make this, visit www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Makes 16 ounces.

2 cups sweet, red vermouth
1/4 cup spiced rum
6 strips orange peel
8 pieces clove
4 pieces allspice
2 slices fresh ginger
1/3 cup fresh OR frozen cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a pretty bottle. Let infuse at least 24 hours. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Store refrigerated for up to one month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs Crunchy Cucumber and Shrimp
Sriracha adds a spicy kick and a beautiful color to these festive eggs. The shrimp and cucumber topping adds a fresh note and fun texture. Be sure to use eggs that are at least 10 days old or the shells will not peel off easily. For more D’Lish Deviled Egg recipes visit www.dlishdeviledeggs.com or check out Kathy’s new D’Lish Deviled Eggs Cookbook.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (procedure follows)

Filling
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
2 tablespoons finely minced celery
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Topping
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, well drained
2 tablespoons finely minced English cucumber
1 tablespoon finely minced red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Garnish: extra Sriracha sauce and cilantro leaves (if desired)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise and Sriracha, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir the vinegar and sugar together until dissolved. Add the shrimp, cucumber, pepper and cilantro, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture. For extra flavor and spice top each egg with a dot of Sriracha and garnish with a tiny cilantro leaf if desired. Serve immediately.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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. Serve with tasty artisan crackers from Essential Baking Company.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

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

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons 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®

1 comment December 5th, 2013

Cheesy,Goodness: Mac and Cheese

When I think of comfort foods, one of the first things that come to mind is mac & cheese. Gooey, warm, and of course, cheesy – this d’lish dish is always a winner!

One of my favorite recipes is a 4 Cheese Penne Bake – penne pasta, garlic and parmesan white sauce – tossed with loads of shredded cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, jack and parmesan. Cover the whole thing with some fresh, herby bread crumbs for a nice crunch.

4 Cheese Penne Bake
Gooey, melted cheese bake – yum!
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Mac & Cheese is perfect to customize, you can add your favorite ingredients like bacon for a cheddar bacon mac. Or try adding in things like chopped roasted red peppers, green onions, artichokes, smoked chicken, sautéed mushrooms, sausage, green chilies….. the list is endless!

Or how about changing up the sauce by mixing in some salsa or chipotle for a kick of heat? Nothing is off limits!

So get creative and bake up some cheesy goodness! -Kathy

4 Cheese Penne Bake With Herb Bread Crumbs
Generously serves 6 – 8.

Herb Bread Crumbs (recipe follows)
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
4 cups milk*
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
1 pound dry penne pasta
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated four-cheese blend**
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the Herb Bread Crumbs and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottom sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir around for about 20 seconds — do not let garlic brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

While stirring vigorously with a whisk, add the milk. Whisk well. Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook penne pasta per package directions until done. Drain well.

In a very large bowl mix together the pasta and sauce, then fold in the grated cheeses until well combined. Place mixture into a lightly buttered, 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.

Sprinkle with Herb Bread Crumbs and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until pasta is heated through, sides are slightly bubbling and top is golden brown.

Chef’s Notes:
*For an even richer macaroni and cheese substitute half & half for the milk.

**Four-, five- and six-cheese blends are available in most grocers’ dairy sections. If you wish to make your own grated cheese blend, try using a mixture of any of the following: Jack, mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti.

Herb Bread Crumbs
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

3 cups packed, 1-inch French bread chunks
4 Tbsp butter
pinch salt and pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dry basil leaves
1/2 tsp dry thyme leaves

Place bread crumb ingredients in a food processor, and pulse processor on and off until the bread becomes chopped into a fine crumb and is well mixed with the other ingredients.

Bread crumbs should be refrigerated until used and can be kept frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment November 7th, 2013

Hooray for Fall Apples!

Washington State and apples – they go hand-in-hand AND there is so much you can do with them. How about dessert? There is nothing more classic than warm apple pie, but even this beloved recipe can stand a new twist. Try adding in grated cheddar cheese to the crust and tossing some local cranberries into the filling for my Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust. A match made for the fall as apples and cranberries are both in peak season.


Who’s ready for pie? I know that I am!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

And apples aren’t just for desserts, try adding diced apples into a chili!  My Stadium Apple Chili recipe combines diced Fuji apples with chilis, pork sausage and beans. The Fujis are nice because they keep their shape and add a touch of sweetness – perfect for tailgating and definitely oh-so northwest!

For an easy appetizer I like to make a Spicy Apple Onion Compote. Sauté diced apples with a little onion until just barely tender, then add in some red pepper jelly – YUM! Serve this on top of crostini or rustic crackers with a smear of goat cheese or a slice of brie and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Perfect for your fall party entertaining!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, apples are a great addition to any meal! – Kathy

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon dry whole oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon 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 teaspoon 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®.

Spicy Apple Onion Compote
Makes enough for 6 servings.

1 large green apple with peel, cored and cut in chunks
1/4 medium white onion, cut in chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup red pepper jam (medium spiciness)
1 tablespoon dried currants

In a food processor pulse the apple and onion until they are chopped into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.

In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes until apples and onions are just tender.

Add the lemon zest, vinegar, pepper jam and currants and bring to a boil. Let boil about 2 minutes until loose and chutney-like. If compote gets too dry while cooking, add a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat and cool.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

1 comment October 3rd, 2013

Giant Zucchini!

Zucchini are a favorite summer squash and gardeners (and neighbors of gardeners) know they can grow to at least three feet – impressive!

An incredibly versatile vegetable, zucchini flowers are edible too!  They are wonderful sautéed in a lovely summer pasta dish or stuffed with cheese, lightly battered and fried.

Zucchini is the perfect star on the grill. Try my Cumin-Marinated Grilled Zucchini topped with Tomato and Corn Summer Salsa. Just cut medium-sized zucchini in half lengthwise, rub with a little olive oil, sea salt and cumin, then pop on the grill! Top with a great quick-to-make salsa – sweet corn, diced tomatoes, some jalapeño for spice and a touch of lime. Super easy and so delicious!

Have a giant zucchinis? Get sweet with it and grate it into my Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  The zucchini keeps the cake moist and delicious. Top it off with a Chocolate Espresso Glaze – YUM!

And if you just can’t eat them all, then put on some costume wings and become the “zucchini fairy!” Share the zucchini bounty and leave one on your neighbors doorstep – your neighbors will thank you!

My intern, Emily told me her dad used to unload his over-sized zucchini on unsuspecting house guests and neighbors by leaving them on the backseat of their cars for them to find on the drive home – pretty sneaky! Emily grew a pretty decent sized one herself this year, too!

Emily's Zucchini
Emily with her Giant Zucchini !

Whether in the garden or on the grill, zucchinis really are a fantastic vegetable for the summertime! – Kathy

Cumin Grilled Zucchini With Tomato Corn Summer Salsa
Makes 6 servings.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 1/4 lb.)

Salsa
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (about 1 medium ear of corn)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Garnish
regular or non-fat sour cream

Pre-heat grill to hot — you want to grill the zucchini over hot coals.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add zucchini and rub oil mixture all over the zucchini, making sure they are covered well. Set aside.

To make salsa: In a large bowl mix together all the salsa ingredients well. Adjust jalapeños as needed for spiciness desired.

To grill zucchini: Place zucchini over very hot coals and grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side to mark zucchini nicely and cook until just done.

Serve zucchini topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Espresso Glaze
Serves 12.

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsps strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment August 22nd, 2013

Chill Out With Summer Cold Soups

Gazpacho is traditionally known as a cold-style soup. Originating in the southern regions of Spain and Portugal, this fresh tomato-based soup is a summer staple and a refreshing to get your vegetables!

I like to add lots of veggies into my gazpacho like cucumbers and bell peppers, then top it with some Alaska King Crab for a real splurge like my recipe I did with Sunset Tomatoes. Just think you won’t even have to turn on the stove for an elegant meal – that is definitely a plus on a hot summer’s night!

Gazpacho
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Tomatoes aren’t the only celebrities when it comes to “cold” soups …… there are lots of chilled summer fruit soup recipes too!

Juicy, ripe melons are the star in my Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs.

Creamy coconut milk, bold Thai red curry paste, and zesty ginger and lemongrass come together to make this soup d’lish. Top it off with a pouf of sweet bay shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts. Then season it up with a hit lime juice, basil and mint – it’s the meal to cool off with! Yum!

Chilled Bing Cherry Soup is a summertime classic in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe; mostly served as an opener. I’ve dug out the old recipe I used to make every summer at Fullers. Lush ruby cherries are cooked with spices and white wine then chilled, pureed and topped with a swirl of crème fraiche or sour cream. Savory, sweet and lush –mmmmm!

So beat the heat and cool off with a chilled summer soup! –Kathy

Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs
Makes about 4 cups (6 starter servings)

Soup
3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (we used Mae Ploy)
1 can (13 – 14 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Topping
1/4 pound bay shrimp or chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup tiny-diced water chestnuts (Fresh ones are great if you can find them!)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

In a food processor or blender, process the cantaloupe, sugar, ginger, lemon grass and curry paste until evenly pureed. Mix in the coconut milk, salt and lime juice.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together.

Ladle soup into small bowls and spoon a pouf of topping into each serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass lime wedges on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chilled Bing Cherry Soup
I also like this soup topped with a few coarse chopped toasted hazelnuts for a touch of crunch.

Makes 6 – 8 servings as a starter

2 cups crisp white wine, such as Fume Blanc
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod, crushed
4 black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups pitted Bing cherries (about 3 pounds)
1 cup crème fraîche, or substitute sour cream

Garnishes:
thinned crème fraîche or sour cream for swirling on top of soup
unsprayed, edible flowers, such as violas, pansies, rose petals or nasturtiums

In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar lemon zest, spices, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 5 cups of the cherries (reserve remainder) and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand till mixture reaches room temperature.

When cooked cherry mixture is cool, remove and discard cardamom pod and cinnamon stick. Place cherry mixture in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Then add crème Fraiche, and process until smooth.

Chill soup till very cold, at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.

Serve well chilled in cold bowls. Garnish each serving with the reserved, pitted cherries divided evenly among servings. Swirl the top of soup with thinned crème fraîche or sour cream drizzled from a spoon or squirted from a squeeze bottle. Garnish with edible flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment August 15th, 2013

Creamy and D’Lish Avocados!

Every year I can’t wait for California avocados to hit the summer markets. They are so rich, creamy and flavorful! And they’re super nutritional, too! Like olive oil, avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat (AKA “the good fat”) as well as potassium, B-vitamins, and folic acid.

Avocados
(Photo from the California Avocado Commission)

Avocados are delicious when sliced and served in sandwiches like a summer BLTA, cozied up to thick sliced summer tomatoes. We also love them in chunky guacamole scooped up with crispy corn chips, or folded in a tropical fruit salsa.

I love them in salads, especially when paired with sweet and tangy oranges like in my Orange, Avocado & Red Onion Jumble with Poppyseed Vinaigrette it’s wonderful to top bib lettuce as a starter or as an accompaniment to grilled Alaska salmon. Yum!

Speaking of salads avocados are also great blended into salad dressings, such as the classic Green Goddess or in a low fat ranch—so tasty drizzled on grilled fish tacos.

And don’t forget breakfast, I love them sliced over a pepper jack cheese omelet with a dollop of fresh salsa – d’lish!

And yes avocados are also pretty tasty and interesting in blended beverages too. In Dubai, I had a really interesting layered drink with avocado, red date and rose. A little closer to home, Portland’s Lucy Brennan of Mint Bar put the blended avocado daiquiri on the cocktail map. It’s good – really!

Just remember my 2 avocado “rules”:
1. Buy them a couple of days ahead so they get nice and ripe — but are still firm.
2. Don’t throw that pit away! Put it back in your dressings and guacamoles until ready to serve. It helps keep the avocado from turning brown.

So think green and add in fresh California avocados to your next dish! – Kathy

Orange, Avocado Jumble
Photo from Kathy Casey Cooks: Favorites.

Orange, Avocado & Red Onion “Jumble” with Poppyseed Vinaigrette
Makes 4 cups; about 6 servings.

3 large oranges
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 ripe but firm California avocados

Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off of oranges and then cut skin off the sides of orange, carefully removing all the white pith. Cut oranges in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a large bowl with onion. Cut avocados in quarters, peel and then slice into salad.

Toss with dressing and serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 2 cups

1 ripe California avocado (reserve pit)
2 egg yolks*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
1 shallot, minced fine
4 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream (or light sour cream)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor (or blender) place the avocado, egg yolks, lemon juice, herbs, shallot and anchovies. Process for about 1 minute until well combined. Then slowly drizzle in the oil, as when making a mayonnaise. Mixture should become smooth and creamy. Turn machine off and scrape down the sides. Add the sour cream and pepper. Process for about 30 seconds more or until smooth.

Place in a container; submerge the avocado pit to help dressing keep its green color. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dressing’s surface and cover well. Will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment August 9th, 2013

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