chipotle

Marinades

The sun is finally making more than a cameo appearance and for those living in the Pacific Northwest – that means it’s time to start grilling! Nothing kicks up the flavor on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade.

Marinades are super-simple to make and give an easy flavor boost to your dinner dishes with just a few ingredients.

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

So this spring and summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling

Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lemon and Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken

Makes about 1/3 cup

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives

2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together well.

Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Marinades |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, citrus, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey

Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy winter day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to slow cook up a batch of overnight oats with brown sugar, orange zest and dried fruits. Top it with some Greek yogurt, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!
-Kathy

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on January 4th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Slow Cooker Comfort |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey, meats, onion, paprika, pepper, peppers, pork, poultry, poultry, Recent Posts, roasted, seafood, seafood, seasonings, soups, spices, 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  |  Comments Off on There’s Nothing Better Than Corn! |  Posted in chipotle, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey, peppers, spices, vegetables
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