Kathy Casey

Pears

Here in the Northwest, we are lucky to have so many varieties of scrumptious pears! Red Bartlett’s, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde…each one different and oh-so-delicious!

Pears are known to be sweet and juicy, but did you know they can shine in savory dishes too? I love to cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning. Then roast on a sheet pan in a HOT oven until they are golden delicious. The smoky, sweet flavor pairs perfectly with roast chicken or on a crostini with some gorgonzola for an easy appetizer.

But my favorite way to use roasted pears is in my Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette! It’s always a crowd pleaser at my dinner table.

I also love to use them in a quick and easy fresh relish. Simply mix together diced pears, shallot, a touch of honey and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss it with fresh mint and just like that- you have an amazing addition to curry dishes or grilled lamb.

Grilled pears are also tasty as a base to a sophisticated sundae- topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of salted caramel, red wine syrup and some toasted hazelnuts. Yum- that’s my kind of dessert!

So next time you’re at the grocery store, grab some pears and get creative in your kitchen!
–Kathy

Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Pears
2 unpeeled ripe but firm pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head baby frisée
2 heads Belgian endive
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cups baby arugula
D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped

To roast the pears, preheat an oven to 500°F. Cut the pears into eighths lengthwise. Core, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then gently toss the pears in the mixture.

Spread the pears on a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprayed with vegetable-oil cooking spray and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. You can make the pears up to 1 day in advance. If you do, cool them thoroughly before refrigerating, then bring to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

To finish the salad, cut the root end and about 1 inch of the top off the frisée. Rinse the frisée thoroughly, separate the head into leaves, and spin dry. Cut the stem ends off the endive, halve the heads lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into thin strips. Toss the frisée and endive in a large, deep bowl with the remaining greens and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.

Divide the greens among large dinner plates. Top each salad with pears, cheese, cranberries, and hazelnuts, dividing evenly. Pass additional dressing.

D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil or very light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

Chef’s Note: If you are having a big dinner party during the holidays, the entire recipe can easily be doubled. And, if you are tight on time, you can substitute sliced fresh pears or apples for the roasted pears.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Posted by Kathy on September 7th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, appetizers, herbs, roasted, salads, seasonings, sides, vegetables

There’s Nothing Better Than Corn!

Ahhh, sweet summer corn. Is there anything better? Fresh, crunchy corn is so delicious and versatile. Personally, I love my corn with just a bit of seasoning, but a little smear of butter is the perfect complement to hot corn on the cob. You can get creative with your butter by whipping in a bit of local honey, chili powder, fresh basil, roasted garlic…the combinations are endless!


Photo courtesy of Pablo y Pablo

Traditionally boiled or steamed, corn is also amazing done on the grill. If you’ve already got your grill turned on for a sizzling summer barbeque, why not throw your corn on as well?

Leave the stem on for an easy handle and roll it along the grill to heat it through and add some great color. Serve it just like that, or cut off the kernels and add them to fresh salsa, folded into whipped potatoes, or sprinkle on a salad- like my d’lish Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad garnished with Goat Cheese Crostini!

Not a fan of eating corn right off the cob? No problem- I have a great trick to share with you! Take a bundt pan, insert the corn into the center hole and carefully cut downwards as close to the cob as you can, without cutting into the cob. The bundt pan will catch the kernels for you! If you don’t have one, just hold the corn vertically, making sure the tip is firmly in place and cut downwards.

And if you’re lucky enough to live in Seattle- I highly recommend checking out Pablo y Pablo. Located near Gas Works Park, this Mexican restaurant and bar knows how to treat corn right! Their Grilled Street Corn with chipotle aioli, cotija, green onion, cilantro, and lime is simply amazing. They even highlight corn in a totally different way with their Fried Hominy with chipotle salt. YUM!

So go enjoy one of the best tastes of summer while you can– fresh picked, local corn!

-Kathy

Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini
Makes 6 servings

3 mixed colorful bell peppers
3 ears fresh corn, husked
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
12 thin slices (1/4-inch) of French bread baguette, lightly toasted
6 ounces soft chevre goat cheese
4 to 6 cups tightly packed, washed and torn arugula or baby arugula

Roast peppers over a hot grill or coals or under the broiler, turning often until skin is totally blistered. Peel, seed and thinly slice peppers. Set aside.

Grill corn, turning when each side is marked and lightly roasted. Cut corn from cob, and add to peppers.

In a large bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice together. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in basil, roasted peppers, and corn. Set aside.

Meanwhile, spread toasted French bread slices with goat cheese, and place under a broiler for one minute or pop into a hot, 400-degree oven until cheese is warm.

Add arugula to roasted pepper mixture. Toss well. Divide among individual salad plates and garnish with the warm goat cheese crostini.

Copyright 2017© by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on August 31st, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, chipotle, garlic, herbs, peppers, spices, vegetables

Okie Dokie Poke!

It’s no secret that the poke trend is taking Seattle- and the entire country- by storm. And while it seems this hot craze is new to the scene, traditional Hawaiian poke has actually been around for centuries. Seriously- centuries!

So what makes poke so popular? Well it’s healthy, delicious, and so customizable! The raw fish salad is traditionally made with cubed ahi tuna, seaweed, onions, and an Asian inspired dressing made of soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. But these days poke shops offer much, much more- allowing YOU to tailor your experience! And living in the Northwest we also love our salmon poke. Just be sure to use Alaska Salmon that has been previously frozen for safety purposes.


Alaska Salmon Korean BBQ Poke
Here are some fun Poke recipes that we worked on!

And lucky for us- Seattle has some amazing poke restaurants that are a must-try! My go-to spot is Poke To The Max, created by the Hawaiian poke legend Chef Sam Choy. With locations in Tacoma, Hillman City, and 3 mobile food trucks that travel throughout the Seattle area- it’s easy to become a regular.

On August 21st you can really get your poke on at Chef Choy’s Seattle Poke Contest where dozens of local chefs will come together to prove that their take on the dish is the best. Expect live music, delicious food and drinks, and of course- lots and lots of POKE! And if that’s not enough to convince you- each ticket purchase benefits The Bennett Foundation, founded by Seattle Seahawk’s beloved Michael Bennett! So get out there and enjoy great food, for a great cause.

For more information and tickets to The Seattle Poke Contest, visit their facebook page! or get tickets here! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy on August 17th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, appetizers, salads, salmon, seafood, seafood, seasonings

Unicorn Trend – It’s a Rainbow Kind of Feeling

We all know the Northwest is known for its rain, but when the sun finally comes out, so do the rainbows! Legend has it there’s a pot of gold at the end…but I think there’s something else hiding under there. Unicorns!

It’s no secret that the wild unicorn trend has taken the country by storm. Restaurants all over the place are serving up unicorn inspired lattes, cakes, bagels, and more. The colorful creations are truly a sight to see.


Unicorn Sushi Photo from Chaarg


Unicorn Bagels Photo from Kirbie’s Cravings

So what does it take to be a unicorn food, you ask? Glitter, sprinkles, shimmer, and bright colors of course! The crazier, the better.

But you don’t have to go out to enjoy this whimsical trend- get creative and try it at home. Jazz up your next party with cupcakes covered in edible glitter. Or how about a glitter rimmed cocktail- now we’re talkin’!

And you don’t have to stop there – top an ice cream sundae with a heaping handful of cotton candy. Sprinkle some luster dust on fresh fruit for a fun twist. If you’re feeling extra crafty, use food coloring to make unicorn butter or whipped cream! Top it on waffles, pancakes, or muffins for a wacky breakfast treat.


Unicorn Milkshake Photo from BethCakes

And if you really want to get your Unicorn DIY on, check out the fun step by step instructions on how to make a Unicorn Bark Milkshake on BethCakes blog – if anything it will make you smile!

So whether you have kids of your own- or you’re just a big kid at heart- the unicorn food trend is the perfect way to bring a little magic to your day.

-Kathy

Posted by Kathy on July 20th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, chocolate, dessert

Tales of the Cocktail

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts! What do you get when you combine thousands of mixologists, spirit industry professionals, bar enthusiasts, and a lot of libations together? Tales of the Cocktail, of course!


Photo from Kathy Casey Food Studios

Think of it as a five day summer camp for the best and brightest in the spirits industry. Held annually in New Orleans, the week features seminars, parties, and cocktailing galore in this boozy 24-hour playground. It can be a liver workout – trust me!

Mixologists from all over the country (including local NW bartenders!) put their skills to the test by participating in crazy cool competitions. And when you need a break from all the booze- there are tons of unique bookstores and gift shops to explore.

Not only is the festival SO much fun, it’s the best way to find out the latest and greatest trends in the spirits industry. And good news- tickets are open to the public! So if you’re looking for a reason to expand your liquor knowledge and visit NOLA- Tales of the Cocktail is the perfect excuse.

Can’t make it this year? No problem! You can still get in the spirit by making my d’lish Maple Ramos Fizz cocktail at home.

For ticketing information, visit their website.

And follow along with me on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef – I’ll be tweeting everything Tales direct from New Orleans next week!

-Kathy

Maple Ramos Fizz
Makes 2 cocktails

Maple adds another layer of flavor to this classic brunch cocktail. Try Sipsmith Gin with a splash of maple syrup over ice as a sipping alternative. For a whimsical garnish, purchase sugared waffle crisps cut into small wedges and skewer onto long bamboo skewers.

3 oz Sipsmith Gin
1/2 cup Maple Ramos Pre-Mix
————————————-
soda water for topping, chilled
Garnish: lemon peel twist

Measure the gin and Maple Ramos Pre-Mix into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously to really froth the drink. Divide drink between 2 tall (Collins style) glasses, and top with a splash of soda water to fizz (about 1 ounce for each drink). Twist lemon over drink to express oils and garnish.

Maple Ramos Pre-Mix
Makes about 4 cups, or 8 servings

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup pasteurized or organic egg whites
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup simple syrup*
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp orange flower water

Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher and whisk vigorously to combine, being sure egg whites are mixed in. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir well before using.

*To make simple syrup: combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a quick boil then remove from heat. Cool. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days. Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Food Studios® and Published in Sip NW Magazine.

Posted by Kathy on July 13th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, Foodie News, Tasty Travels, Kathy Casey, Press

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 July 6th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, Snacks, appetizers, seasonings, sides, spices, vegetables

Cherries Spell Summer!

Luscious, sweet cherries just scream summer to me. Cherry pie, cherry cocktails, cherry shortcake, boozy cherries over ice cream – is there anything better? Fresh cherries are also so tasty in a cocktail like in my recipe for Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd (recipe follows) – perfect for patio sipping with friends.


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

I love cherries eaten out of hand, or in desserts, but they are also delicious incorporated into savory dishes too. Like in my Sassy Spicy Cherry Salsa – perfect for serving on a little goat cheese crostini or as a side kick to grilled chicken or salmon.

Simply half or quarter pitted cherries, toss with a little fine diced sweet onion, minced fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of honey, and a little sriracha or chili paste. Then add in chopped cilantro or fresh snipped chives, season with sea salt, and voila! A crowd-pleasing salsa delicious on almost anything.

Don’t have a cherry pitter? Not to worry! Dig out those disposable to-go chopsticks I’m sure you have piled up in the kitchen drawer, poke through the cherry, and out pops the seed. Super quick and easy!

-Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups Bacardi Limon rum or silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
1/4 cup clear cherry liqueur, such as Maraska maraschino
3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Loads of ice for serving
Two 10-ounce bottles soda water
Garnishes:
Fresh mint sprigs
Fresh cherries on the stem

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, combine the mint, rum, sugar, lime juice, liqueur, and pitted cherries. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For each serving, fill a large rocks glass or tumbler with ice and measure in 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of the rum mixture, being sure to get some of the cherries into each glass. Top with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of soda. Stir, then garnish with a mint sprig and a cherry.

Chefs Note: You can make the cherry-rum mixture up to 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated= the flavors will just get better and better.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Kathy Casey

Picture Perfect Pies

My oh my, I LOVE pie! Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, enjoying a summer time BBQ, or having a casual family dinner- pie can be the perfect dessert for any occasion. Strawberry lavender rhubarb, meyer lemon meringue, salted caramel pecan…the flavor combinations are endless!

I love a fresh berry pie with grated lemon zest added to the filling. Warm from the oven and topped with a big scoop of classic vanilla ice cream- yum!

It’s no secret that apple is crowd favorite flavor too. Choose a new variety of apples from the farmers market to switch things up, and then try adding dried cranberries or currants to the mix. If you’re really in the mood to try something different, add Tillamook cheddar to the crust- one of my personal favorites.

And you don’t have to stop there! Get creative with your crust. I like to add goodies such as sliced almonds, fine chopped walnuts, or poppy seeds. The crunchy texture pairs perfectly with a flaky, buttery pie dough.

Celebrate summer with your next pie! Picking fresh fruit at a local you-pick-farm is such fun and a great way to get the whole family involved. And once the hard work is done, treat yourself by making my Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies. Happy baking!
-Kathy

Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies
Makes 8 pies

Almond Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 large egg, beaten
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons ice water

Stone Fruit Filling
2 1/2 pounds assorted stone fruit such as: sliced fresh peaches, (peeled) nectarines, apricots, plums, or pitted cherries (about 7 1/2 – 8 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (4 ounces) marzipan or almond paste, optional
Sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

To make the Almond Crust: Mix the flour, almonds, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening and, with a pastry blender or clean hands, combine until mixture forms pea-sized particles.

In a small, separate bowl, mix together 2 TABLESPOONS of the beaten egg, the vinegar, and the ice water. (Reserve the remaining beaten egg for egg wash.) Stir this mixture into the dry mixture and mix until the liquid is just incorporated. (This dough should be fairly moist and pliable, not crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time.)

Form the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling out.

To make the Stone Fruit Filling: Place the fruit in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon together and reserve.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 2 or 3 large baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.

After the dough has chilled, cut it into 8 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Keep the other pieces covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap while you work. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, keeping the rolled-out circles separate and covered.

Sprinkle the fruit with the reserved sugar mixture and toss very gently. Coat the fruit thoroughly; no dry mixture should be left in the bowl.

If using the marzipan or almond paste, divide it into 1/2-tablespoon pieces. Flatten out each piece and tear it into several pieces. Place pieces on tart shells.

Divide the Fruit Filling among the tart shells, placing about 3/4 heaping cup in the center of each. Gather up the crust edges around the filling, bringing about 1 1/2 inches of pastry all around over the fruit to make an open-faced, rustic-looking tart or hand pie.

With a spatula, carefully transfer each tart to a baking sheet. (You will be able to fit about 3 to 4 tarts on each sheet.)

Whisk 1 teaspoon of water into the reserved beaten egg and lightly brush the exposed dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tarts lightly with sugar, if desired.

Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Chef’s Tips:
It is very important to allow 1 hour for the Almond Crust to chill before rolling out.

The fruit and dry ingredients are mixed at the last minute to avoid drawing too much liquid from the pears, which could make the crust soggy.

Recipe © 2017 Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on June 22nd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, Kathy Casey, citrus, dessert
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