Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Chill Out with Cold Soups

Gazpacho is the most widely known cold soup. Originally from Southern Spain, this fresh tomato based soup is a summertime staple… and such a refreshing and delicious way to get your vegetables!

I like to add lots of veggies into my gazpacho like cucumbers and pepper and top it with some Alaska King Crab for a real splurge! Just think you won’t even have to turn on the stove for an elegant meal on a hot summer night.

Tomatoes aren’t the only celebrities when it comes to this genre of soup – there are lots of cold summer fruit soup recipes too!

Juicy, ripe melons can also be the star – like in my recipe for Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs.

This soup combines creamy coconut milk, bold Thai red curry paste and zesty ginger and lemongrass, then gets topped with a pouf of sweet bay shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts. Season it up with a hit lime juice, basil and mint – it’s the meal to cool off with!

Fresh Bing Cherries also make for a tasty cold soup when cooked with spices and wine, chilled then swirled with sour cream. Savory, sweet and lush –mmmmm!

Chilling out has never tasted so good!
-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®

Posted by Kathy on June 14th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Chill Out with Cold Soups |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Fruit Salad

Quick: name 3 perfect side dishes for your next barbeque. I bet fruit salad was on that list! It’s the perfect way to celebrate Summer produce – and stay cool!

One of my favorite d’lish tricks is to mix fresh lemon juice with a little local honey then add in some chopped fresh mint from the garden. Toss this with juicy peach wedges or halved apricots – yum!

Or how about grilling thick slices of pineapple and then sprinkling them with a touch of ground chipotle chili, a squeeze of lime, and a quick scatter of chopped cilantro. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Icy cold watermelon chunks are terrific when tossed with feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, Kalamata olives and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil! Now that’s a NEW salad everyone will love!

Really WOW the crowd with my Succulent Summer Stone Fruit Salad with Lavender Lemon Honey Syrup. The name is a tongue twister – but the flavors will truly blow you away.
-Kathy

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender Lemon Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings

Lavender Lemon Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high quality local honey
1/2 cup water
8 ea fresh lavender flowers, unsprayed and rinsed (or 1 tablespoon dry)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Fruit:
an assortment such as the following of fresh ripe stone fruits to make about 4 cups after cutting:
-peaches, peeled, pitted and cut in wedges
-large apricots, pitted and cut in wedges
-plums, pitted and cut in wedges
-nectarines, pitted and cut in wedges
-pitted fresh cherries
Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, if desired.

To make the lavender lemon honey syrup: In a small heavy bottom sauce pan combine the honey, water and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over medium heat – being careful that it does not foam up. Slowly simmer for about 10 minutes or until like thin pancake syrup.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Then add lemon juice and strain. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

To serve: In a large bowl toss with the lavender lemon honey syrup. Garnish with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on June 7th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Fruit Salad |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Summer Lemonades

Nothing says summer like a tall, refreshing glass of lemonade. This delightful sipper isn’t just for kids. Sweet yet tart – this American staple is a blank canvas for creative flavor pairings.

Why not add some fizz to your lemonade by adding a big splash of sparkling berry water. Or instead of using traditional sugar in the base mix, add a touch of sweetness with organic agave or local honey.

Add a sprig of rosemary or a dash of rosewater or orange blossom water to your lemonade – it adds a lovely unique essence!

Or how about utilizing something totally unexpected….beets! My Beeting Heart Lemonade is the perfect combo of tart, sweet and citrus – a true flavor explosion! It’s also great with a splash of vodka or gin! The gorgeous pink hue is an added bonus.

Stay cool this summer!
-Kathy

Beeting Heart Lemonade
Makes about 8 cups

6 cups warm water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup small-diced fresh beets
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed Sunkist® Lemon juice

Place the water, sugar, and beets into a sauce pan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. As soon as mixture comes to a boil remove from heat. Let cool, then blend in a blender.

Strain beet syrup into a large pitcher, add the lemon juice, stir. Serve over ice. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Rosemary Lemonade Cooler
Zesty lemon syrup and fresh rosemary make for a refreshing drink, perfect for outdoor entertaining. It’s also make a great summer cocktail by adding 1 – 1 /2 ounces of vodka per serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes

3 Tbsp lemon zest
4 -6 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
————————————
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups water or sparkling water

Garnish: lemon wheel or wedges and small fresh rosemary sprigs

Combine the zest, rosemary, sugar, and the 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mint to steep and the syrup to cool.

Remove and discard rosemary from syrup. In a large pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lemon juice, and the 3 cups of water (or sparkling water if serving right away). Serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lemon wheels and rosemary.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 31st, 2018  |  Comments Off on Summer Lemonades |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Breakfast Bakes

Starting the morning off with a d’lish breakfast can set the tone for the rest of the day, but sleeping in can be an important weekend must – so quick and easy breakfast bakes to the rescue!

Stratas are a great make-ahead dish! Torn pieces of bread are tossed with a savory egg mixture then mixed with cheese, herbs and other goodies. Just soak overnight in the refrigerator and pop it in the oven when you wake up — poof! A flavorful and hearty breakfast in no-time.

Now we all know oatmeal is a breakfast staple – but how about
baked oatmeal! Think of it like a bread pudding… but with oats instead. You can mix in your favorite dried or fresh fruits and some nuts for an added crunch.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth in the morning? Then how about an indulgent Cherry-Cinnamon-Roll Bake, finished with a drizzle of zesty lemon glaze. Oh yea…. It’s speed scratch fast…. And d’lish!
-Kathy

Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata
Strata makes for a lovely mid-day dinner, brunch or breakfast dish for a crowd. You can prep it the day or evening before your party and then just pop the strata in the oven 45 minutes before your guests arrive.

Makes about 6 – 8 servings

3 Red, Yellow or Orange Sweet Bell Peppers, or a combination
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
8 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced French or Italian rustic bread, such as a baguette
2 cups (8 oz) grated Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Seed the peppers, dice them into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until half done, about 3 minutes. Add onion and reserved peppers, and sauté for about 8 –10 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper until well combined. Add bread, Italian cheese blend, half the Parmesan cheese and the cooked sausage-pepper mixture.

Transfer mixture to an 11×13″ baking pan and lightly press into pan to fill evenly. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and bake strata for about 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chef’s Notes: 1 baguette averages about 8 cups diced bread. Be sure to use a somewhat hearty bread for making this dish. Strata is also excellent as a simple supper dish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 24th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Breakfast Bakes |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Zesty Citrus

Ahhh…the smell of citrus. Is there anything better? Oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruits – all prized for their juice – but don’t forget about that zesty exterior!

The colorful peel of citrus is jam packed with flavor, nutrients, and can be used for so many things.

Why not make candied zest as a garnish in your next dessert or cocktail! Before squeezing – use a vegetable peeler to remove the colored zest then cut into thin strips (watch out for the white pith which can be bitter).

Bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil in a shallow pan – add the citrus strips and simmer until it starts to resemble candy but is still pliable. Remove with tongs and set on a plate to cool – yum!

Or how about zesting some orange and lemon into a d’lish compound butter whipped up with some Thai sweet chili sauce and fresh ginger – perfect to top on chicken or grilled veggies when you’re looking for some extra flavor.

So go on, get zesty with it!
-Kathy

Triple Citrus Pepper Jelly Butter

This recipe makes a generous amount of butter, so try rolling it into a log, wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing. Then it’s ready to slice a piece off at a moment’s notice to top grilled chicken or fish or toss into sautéed veggies.

Makes: 2 cups, about 16 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 Meyer Lemon, zested and juiced
1 Blood Orange, zested and juiced
1 Lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer or food processor and process until well mixed, about 10-15 minutes. If not completely combined, just keep mixing/processing; it will come together with time.
2. Store, tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 3 months.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®

Posted by Kathy on May 17th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Zesty Citrus |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Honey Desserts

Oh honey!  I’ve got some honey buzz for you….

The United States alone has more than 300 varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. From clover, to orange blossom – to the intense flavored buckwheat – there are a lot of sweet honey profiles to try.

In the northwest, we have one of my all-time favs: blackberry honey! So tasty whipped in some cream and dolloped on a bowl of fresh NW berries.

You can also infuse honey with bold spices like chili – or herbs like rosemary and thyme. Looking for ways to use up that lavender in your garden? Honey to the rescue! Simply grab a few sprigs of the aromatic herb and place into your honey jar. The floral flavor will soon marry with the honey to create the ultimate WOW to drizzle on your next dish – like my Honey Lavender Strawberry Shortcakes.

So next time you see a happy buzzing bee around, thank them for that sweet honey you get to enjoy!
-Kathy

Honey Lavender Strawberry Shortcake
Mix the honey and lavender together a few days ahead if time – the longer it infuses, the more delicious the flavor.
Makes 6 servings

Honey Lemon Buttermilk Scones
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced lemon zest
1/2 cup (4 oz wt.) butter, cut in small pieces, cold
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
———————————————————
Honey for brushing

Honey Lavender Strawberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender, crushed
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
———————————————————
Whipped Cream
To make the scones: Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or rub together with your hands until the texture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. Dough should form a ball and all flour should be incorporated. Do not overmix.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round (about 7-inches across). Carefully place on an ungreased baking sheet and cut into 6 wedges, leaving the sides still touching.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until cooked through and scones are golden. Brush with honey after removing from oven. Cool before serving.

To serve shortcake: mix the honey with the lavender and then gently toss with the strawberries. Allow the berries to macerate for 10–30 minutes to become more juicy.
Split scones, top with berries, and finish with whipped cream.

Sweet Tip: This is a great basic scone recipe that is also excellent served as a breakfast item. Switch it up by using orange zest and adding dried currants, cherries, cranberries, or blueberries.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 10th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Honey Desserts |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita! It’s been popular in the U.S. since the early 50’s, and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita.

A classic ‘rita is typically made with tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave nectar, and triple sec or orange liqueur. Let’s review our options.

The Tequila choices are vast:
• Silver is ideal for a fresh, bright margarita or made with fresh fruits.
• Reposado is aged a minimum of 2 months – 12 months in wooden casks. This light aging process rounds out a few of the rough edges found in many unaged tequilas.
• Añejo is aged more than 1 year and wonderfully smooth. It’s best for sipping on their own, but use it in a margarita if you like or add it as a float for depth of flavor.

Margarita MUSTS include starting with a good tequila, using FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau) or a squeeze of orange works great too. Now sweeten to taste with a touch simple syrup or agave nectar.

Some like salt rims; some do not. I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt (my preference being kosher). And of course, there are the “add-ins,” a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate, fresh berries … the possibilities are endless!

Here is a basic margarita recipe you can get creative with:

Basic Margarita Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 – 2 oz tequila of your choice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar (thinned out a bit)
1/4 oz orange liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

Build drink in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cap and shake.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

Looking to try something new? Shake up my recipe for Poppy’s Margarita – found in my Sips & Apps cookbook. Spicy cocktails are hot! The counterbalance of sweet, sour, spice, and salt achieves a mouthwatering result.

Cheers to a great margarita!
–Kathy

Poppy’s Margarita
Makes 1 drink

Kosher salt for rimming glass (optional)
Lime wedge
1 1/2 ounces Sauza gold tequila
1 1/2 ounces Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour
1/4 ounce triple sec or other orange-flavored liqueur (optional)

For garnishing
Lime wheel with a straw inserted through the middle

If desired, rim an old-fashioned glass with kosher salt, and set aside.

Squeeze the lime wedge into a cocktail shaker and drop in. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the tequila, sour, and triple sec, if using. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into an old-fashioned or tall glass. Garnish as desired.

Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour

Makes 3 cups, enough for about 16 drinks

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice

In a small saucepan, combine the chile powder, sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Mix in the lime juice.

Transfer to a pretty bottle. Chill before using. The sour will keep for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps

Posted by Kathy on May 3rd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Margaritas |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Jars

When you first think of jars – the kitchen might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But think again!

We all know good old fashion mason jars are ideal for canning jam or pickling vegetables – but did you know they can be used for so much more? Next time you whip up a big batch of your favorite morning smoothie, portion it into a few mason jars and keep in the fridge. My Jump Start Smoothie is so simple to make! You can also layer in yogurt, granola, and fruit for an easy parfait.

Or how about some d’lish overnight oats – portioned into jars and easy to grab when you’re on the go. Now that’s a weekday breakfast – done simple!

Next time you want to make a salad dressing – forget the whisk and let the jar do all the work for you! You’ll get quite the arm workout shakin’ it up.

You can even bake directly inside jars – that’s right! Banana bread, custards, cakes – these days there are tons of recipes perfectly portioned for the mighty mason jar.

So think outside of the box and put those trusty jars to good use!
-Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on April 26th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Jars |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog
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