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Head Start on Thanksgiving

It’s always fun to see friends and family at Thanksgiving and have a big get together, but sometimes the meal prep can be overwhelming! I’m here to help with a few tricks and tips to give you a head start on your holiday feast.

First, plan your menu in advance. This way you’ll be able to shop for ingredients, pick out cooking dishes, and delegate tasks before it is the last minute. Write out your menu and a game plan. And for those looking to REALLY get ahead, try making a few dishes in advance, then finish them off on the big day.

Turkey Feast 2
Check out my blog from last year on Turkey Sins

I like to get a head start on the gravy, because you can never have enough gravy! Purchase some turkey legs, make a stock, and then make my recipe for my Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy THAT MAKES A LOT. Then on Thanksgiving day you can just finish it off the turkey roasting pan. All those pan drippings will add great flavor! Stuffing can also be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated until its ready to bake.

And how about an alternative to pumpkin pie? Try making my d’lish individual Pumpkin Panna Cottas topped with some Ale Spiked Salted Caramel. I like to serve them in mini martini glasses so everyone can have a taste! Make these ahead for an easy d’lish crowd pleaser.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta
Mini Pumpkin Panna Cottas with Ale Spiked Caramel

For those looking to plan a signature cocktail for the get together, make a batch of my Holiday Cheers for a Crowd. Fresh citrus juices, vodka, and cranberry combine for an easy to make ahead party cocktail – cheers!

So de-stress the big feast and get cooking in advance! Gobble Gobble! –Kathy

Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy THAT MAKES A LOT!
You can make this a few days ahead and then re-heat in your turkey roasting pan for extra turkey flavor goodness! Read through the entire recipe before starting.

Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings

12 Tbsps. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary – or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms, or chopped wild mushrooms (optional)
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the rosemary and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

You can make the gravy a couple of days ahead to save yourself some precious holiday time!

Then right before serving- and while your turkey is set aside to rest – ready your turkey roasting pan full of turkey goodness: remove excess fat from your turkey roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner – add a big splash of white wine, champagne, potato cooking water, chicken broth or water. Using a metal spatula – scrape up all the goodies in the bottom of the pan… this is the turkey goodness. Then add your prepared Turkey Mushroom gravy – whisk well and heat till hot. Serve up and enjoy – you’ll have lots of gravy for all!

Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups

2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)

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

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel & Sea Salt
You can make the panna cotta up to 5 days in advance—just keep tightly wrapped with plastic. The caramel sauce can also be prepared up to a week beforehand, making it the perfect dessert for a busy holiday schedule.

Makes 8 regular (4-oz) servings or 16 mini (2-oz) servings

1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsps. water
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mascarpone
1 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pre-seasoned pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
————————————————-
1 cup Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Sea salt for sprinkling (sea salt)

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Soak until the gelatin is soft, then microwave on high power for only about 2 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, sour cream, mascarpone, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Add the gelatin and whisk together well.

Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth and hot (150 to 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove from the heat and divide the mixture evenly among 8 regular or 16 mini martini glasses (or 8 custard or 16 espresso cups). Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the panna cotta. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours to set.

To serve: Drizzle each panna cotta with ale caramel sauce (1 tablespoon for the minis or 2 for the larger portions), and then sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Chef’s note: If making the ale caramel sauce is too much for your schedule, then substitute with a speed scratch sea salt caramel sauce; mix 1/2 cup purchased high-quality caramel sauce with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, depending upon how salty you like it.

Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
If made ahead, cool completely and store refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to serve. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for the panna cotta; extra sauce can be drizzled on ice cream, pound cake or other desserts.

Makes 2 cups

1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin ale or other seasonal beer, such as Pike Brewing Co. Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsps. salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-large saucepan, bring the ale to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.

Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring (stir or swirl the pan only if necessary to prevent boiling over) for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thick and syrupy (about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream and butter (it may splatter!), and then cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. If serving right away, cool until just warm; it will thicken up more as it cools. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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

Holiday Cheers for a Crowd
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 grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh 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

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 20th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

BBQ Sauces – Which Is Right For You?

Everyone loves a good BBQ! Cooks, grill masters, and weekend pit masters can be very passionate about their craft. We all know that a great sauce can be that final flavor oomph for your favorite Q.

Living in Seattle, I make mine slow simmered with loads of spices. But the best part and my little secret is the addition of some strong brewed coffee added in for a “Red Eye” BBQ Sauce (red eye is a term for adding coffee to pan drippings gravy).


Photo from Food Network.

But BBQ sauces come in lots of regional variations. There is white sauce, red sauce, and one of my favorites is a yellow one – South Carolina Mustard Spiked BBQ Sauce – based on yellow mustard, sugar and vinegar. This tangy, sweet and sour sauce is perfect to paint on ribs or chicken.

Whether you make it or buy it, there are a lot of tasty options out there. You may even find BBQ mixed in a Bloody Mary these days – yes it came with a rib garnish! –Kathy

“Red Eye” BBQ Sauce
Makes 2 1/4 cups

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup 1/4-inch-chopped yellow onion
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brewed coffee
5 Tbsps Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsps molasses
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3/4 tsp Tabasco Hot Sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sprinkle the black pepper and other dry spices on top. Stir and sauté until the onions are glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté about 1 more minute.

When the onions are translucent, whisk in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. If not using the sauce right away, cool and store, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

South Carolina Mustard Spiked BBQ Sauce
Makes 1 3/4 cups
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup beer
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp liquid smoke

Whisk all ingredients together. Store refrigerated.

To use: Paint sauce on ribs or chicken frequently (about every 10 minutes) during cooking or pre-marinate pork roasts overnight before roasting.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 10th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, other, Recipes

Tart Spring Rhubarb!

You know that the spring season is here when you see the vibrant rhubarb stalks show up at grocers and farmers markets.

The color of rhubarb depends primarily on the variety and is not an indicator of sweetness or sourness. It can range from pale green, speckled with pink, to bright red. When using rhubarb, be careful and make sure to discard the leaves right away as they are poisonous.

Did you know that another name for rhubarb is “pie plant?” We all love it in a classic strawberry rhubarb pie. Make sure to check out my fave at Phinney Ridges’ A La Mode Pies or as I like to call it pie heaven. Seriously go for a slice!

A La Mode Pie
A d’lish slice from A La Mode Pies!

For something a little different to whip up at home, try my recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse – a unique spring dessert. Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a tender syrupy goodness then chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream.

And rhubarb is not just for desserts. I love it in my pucker sweet and tart Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette – perfect to drizzle over fresh halibut. Yum!

Let’s not forget spring sips! Try whipping up a batch of my refreshingly tart
Rhubarb Meyer Lemonade. And for a libatious version, add a shot of vodka or gin. Perfect for your next spring party. Celebrate spring in a tart and tasty way with delicious rhubarb! –Kathy

Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse
Makes 6 servings

1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup sugar
———————
3 oz wt cream cheese
5 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together rhubarb and sugar and place in a 9- x 13-inch glass baking pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until completely cooled.

Whip cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with remaining tablespoon honey until firmly peaked. Stir about 1/3 of the whipping cream into the rhubarb-cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipping cream.

Dish up into 6, pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little plain whipped cream if desired and an edible, spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear or plum tree blossoms.

Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This tart and tangy vinaigrette is great drizzled over fresh halibut, grilled scallops or other white fish.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sambal oelek
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil

In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the canola oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Rhubarb Meyer Lemonade
“Bee” sure to use local honey whenever you can to add some delicious local flavor! For a sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktail, shake about 4 ounces in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve strained in a large martini glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.

Makes about 6 cups or 8 servings

2 large Sunkist Meyer lemons (or substitute Sunkist regular lemons)
1 cup local honey
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
———————
water as needed
lemon wedge for garnishing

With a potato peeler remove only the yellow skin of the lemon, then with a sharp knife slice the zest into fine strips.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a 4-cup or 8-cup measure. Do not strain juice — you want to keep all the pulp — just pick out any seeds. Add the lemon peel strips, cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place honey, 4 cups of water, rhubarb and minced rosemary in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 – 5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, letting the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not press. (You can let this strain overnight, refrigerated, if you wish.)

Then add the juice to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and peel. Stir, and add water to make 6 cups total. Pour into a decorative pitcher.

Serve about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) over ice in tall glasses with a lemon wedge.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 10th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

Captivating Cauliflower Creations

Often tossed up with the obligatory broccoli and carrot medley, cauliflower is coming into its own!

It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, pickled or eaten raw! Although tasty topped with a cheese sauce, there are lots of healthy and amazingly d’lish ways to cook up a head of cauliflower.

Oven-roasting gives cauliflower a nice sweetness and a little bit of a nutty flavor. Perfect when paired with cherry tomatoes and salty Kalamata olives.

A great new trend that I’m seeing are “Cauliflower Steaks” – yep, you heard right! Cut a couple inch-thick slices across the middle of the head and grill until tender. You can cut up the rest of the florets, cook in milk with spices like red curry, ginger and garlic, then process in a blender to make a tasty puree to serve with your “cauliflower steaks!” Try my recipe for Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree, its healthy and delicious … and very low calorie!

I know the cheddar and cauliflower combo is hard to beat… so for those that like to splurge I also whipped up a recipe for a Cauliflower Cheddar Custard – I cook the cauliflower in milk, then mix with egg and cheese and bake in small custard dishes. Serve this rich and delicious savory custard next to a delicious steak or a lovely crisp green salad.

And look for tiny baby heads of cauliflower at your farmers market this summer – very tasty to roast or grill whole.

And one of my most favorite phrases is the cauliflower inspired “my little chou chou” (“my little cauliflower”) – a French term of endearment. –Kathy


Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.


Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree
Makes 3 entrée servings or 6 as a side dish

1 large head cauliflower
1 Tbsp. olive oil for grill
kosher salt and pepper to taste
——————————————
1/2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 cup non-fat milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
kosher salt and pepper for cauliflower

Garnish: fresh chopped mint and cilantro, lime wedges and sliced cucumber if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut 3 large 1-inch steaks out of the center of the cauliflower. Cut each one in half. Set aside.
Cut remaining cauliflower into florets to produce about 3 cups.

In a medium saucepan, heat the 1/2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until just tender but not browned. Stir in the curry paste and then add the milk, salt, lime juice, and the 3 cups of florets. Increase heat to medium high, cover tightly and simmer cauliflower until cooked tender – about 10–12 minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully transfer the cauliflower and liquid to a blender or food processor. Cover the lid with a towel and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and keep warm.

Meanwhile heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush cauliflower steaks lightly with olive oil.
Place cauliflower steaks in pre-heated pan, season with salt and pepper and cook on each side until nicely grill marked (about 5 min on each side) and then move pan to the oven and continue cooking steaks until just tender (about 7-10 minutes). Or you can cook the cauliflower on an outdoor grill all the way, with the lid down to assist with cooking.

To serve, spoon some of the cauliflower puree on plates. Top with grilled cauliflower, and garnish with chopped herbs, lime wedges for squeezing and cucumber if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Cauliflower Cheddar Custard
This makes an excellent light supper served with a salad, or an accompaniment to a big juicy grilled steak.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp salt
tiny pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp. sherry wine
4 eggs
1 cup (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cauliflower, garlic, salt and cayenne. Heat over medium heat until simmering, then cook for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender. (Do not let it boil.)

In a small cup or bowl, mix the cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Whisk this slurry into the hot mixture and let cook for about 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until well combined, and then stir in 1/3 of the hot cauliflower mixture. Then add the remaining hot cauliflower mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the cheese.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide mixture between 4 well-buttered 6-ounce custard cups. (Use a ladle to do this and be sure to stir up mixture well when portioning.) Set custard cups on a rimmed baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out just barely clean. The centers should still be just slightly wiggly as the custards will continue cooking for a bit after they come out of the oven.

Serve in the baking cups, or let cool for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn out into plates to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 20th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, sides

What to do with all your Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey day has come and gone and you just may have a few leftovers in your fridge. Now there is nothing better in my mind than a Thanksgiving sandwich; turkey, white bread, mayo, salt and pepper, some stuffing and a smear of cranberry sauce! We all have our favorites! Need some more tasty ideas? Don’t worry; I’m here to help!

Turkey Feast
A Turkey Feast!
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Ever considered Thanksgiving for breakfast? Yes please – why not! Thanksgiving Benedict is my new favorite idea that Chef friend John Koch shared this with me. Form leftover stuffing into a patty then pan sear it. Top with some sliced turkey, a poached egg and a dollop of gravy – voila … a hearty breakfast that will have you saying YUM!

And there never seems to be enough gravy left over, right? Why not make some more? Pick that turkey clean (save the meat for soup and sandwiches) and make a Rich Turkey Stock with the carcass.

Get out the stock pot! Add in the bones, some chopped carrots, celery, onion, and cover with cold water (and sometimes I like to add in a carton of chicken broth to give it a flavor boost). Bring to a simmer for 2 hours then strain. Voilà – now you have a great stock for making more gravy or a tasty soup.

Take that extra turkey and stock and make a soup… or make gravy and add some veggies and turkey meat and serve over biscuits for a d’lish open face hot turkey sandwich.

Don’t forget about cocktails while things are cooking! Check out this post in the Chicagoist for my easy to make holiday party cocktails like my Snow Drift (flash blended Martin Miller’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, homemade cranberry ginger syrup, egg whites, and ice) and Holiday Manhattan with DIY Spiced Vermouth. And for more great cocktail ideas and recipes, check out www.LiquidKitchen.com.

Need a great gravy recipe for a crowd? Here’s my favorite – it incorporates homemade do ahead stock (recipe below) or you can make the stock from the tip above.  – Gobble Gobble!!

Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy – THAT MAKES A LOT!
Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings

(Feel free to cut this recipe in half for a smaller crowd!)

You can make this a few days ahead and then re-heat in your turkey roasting pan for extra turkey flavor goodness! Read through the entire recipe before starting.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary – or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows or make from tip above with leftover turkey carcuss)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the rosemary and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Now you can serve it as is OR if you are pre making this and want to deglaze your turkey pan for the ultimate gravy use the following method to add your gravy to the pan method…

Then right before serving and while your turkey is set aside to rest – ready your turkey roasting pan full of turkey goodness: remove excess fat from your turkey roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner – add a big splash of white wine, champagne, potato cooking water, chicken broth or water. Using a metal spatula – scrape up all the goodies in the bottom of the pan… this is the turkey goodness. Then add your prepared Turkey Mushroom gravy – whisk well and heat till hot. Serve up and enjoy – you’ll have lots of gravy for all!

Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups

2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

For more great leftover ideas check out this fun post:
19 Reasons Leftovers Are The Best Part Of Thanksgiving

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 28th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

Juicy Tomatoes

The varieties of tomatoes available this time of year makes me want to add them to every dish that I make. And here in the Northwest with the sun actually shining this summer, local gardens should be teaming with vine ripe tomatoes.

A quick and super easy appetizer from my book “Sips and Apps” is my Caprese Picks – just skewer up some cherry tomatoes, baby mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves and serve with my Quick Basil Aioli for dipping.

Caprese Picks

Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne.

Looking for a twist on a traditional salsa? Try my Orange Ginger Salsa. Combine some orange segments and fresh ginger with diced tomatoes then stir in some Thai sweet chili sauce, a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro – zing! It’s perfect to serve over grilled chicken or salmon.

Have you ever tried a savory tomato jam? It is SO good to serve alongside roasted meats, prosciutto and cheeses like gorgonzola or aged gouda! If you have lots of tomatoes in your garden, try putting up my savory Tomato Basil Jam.

So get your tomato on and cook up some vine ripen recipes! – Kathy

Piccolo Caprese Picks with Quick Basil Aioli
The beloved Italian salad goes mini-on-a-pick. Be sure to purchase ciliegine mozzarella balls—these are the tiny cherry-sized ones.

Makes 24

Aioli
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup high-quality mayonnaise, such as Best Foods or Hellmann’s
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Caprese
24 cherry tomatoes (about 1 pint)
24 small fresh basil leaves
24 ciliegine mozzarella balls (these are the tiny 1/3-ounce balls), drained well
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

24 short bamboo or other fun picks

To make the aioli: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, and basil. Whisk in the mayonnaise until smooth. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Cover and refrigerate until needed. The aioli can be made up to 3 days in advance.

To assemble the caprese: With a paring knife, halve each cherry tomato horizontally, being careful to keep the halves together. Then thread onto a pick in this order: a tomato top, a basil leaf, a mozzarella ball, and the tomato bottom. Be sure the cut sides of the tomato face toward the cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place on a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with the aioli in a bowl for dipping or drizzling.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Orange Ginger Salsa
Great over grilled seafood, chicken or pork, I especially love it with Alaska salmon.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced orange (peeled and seeded)
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced ripe tomato (seeds lightly squeezed out)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons 1/4-inch-diced Walla Walla or other sweet white onion
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce

Mix all ingredients together well. Let flavors marry for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Tomato Basil Jam
Try making this savory tomato jam to serve with sexy cheeses or for breakfast or brunch on toasted rustic bread with whipped cream cheese or soft goat cheese.

Makes 4 half-pint jars

3 cups peeled (see Chef’s Notes) and chopped tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lb.
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. finely minced lemon zest
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 box MCP pectin
3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Place tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, shallots, chili flakes and salt in a 6- to 8-quart, heavy-bottom saucepot. Add the pectin and stir in.

Place over high heat and bring to a FULL ROLLING BOIL (a boil you can’t stir down), stirring constantly to prevent scorching. (If mixture starts to scorch, turn down heat a bit.) Stir in the sugar and, as soon as the full rolling boil takes place again, start timing and cook jam for 7 minutes.

Then remove from heat, skim the jam, stir in basil and fill jars per manufacturer’s instructions. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (with this method, the jam will keep for up to 1 year stored at room temperature).

Or, to make a refrigerated jam – fill jars with hot jam, cool , then cover and keep refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Chef’s Notes: Wash tomatoes in cool running water. Remove skins by dipping in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds, or until skins split. Dip in ice water, then slip off skins and remove cores.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 12th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Fruit, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

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®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 9th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

Onions

Onions. You either love’em or hate’em. As a member of the Allium family (alongside garlic and leeks), there are tons of varieties to choose from depending on your flavor preferences from local Walla Walla sweet onions to common white and yellow varieties; red onions, green onions, chives, and shallots. They’re great roasted, pickled, grilled and raw – ask any onion lover!


Walla Walla sweet onion!
(Photo from www.SweetOnions.org)

Maybe you don’t like onions because they invariably end up making you cry. Fair enough, but I have a secret for no-tears chopping – onion goggles! They look a little silly when wearing and chopping away, but they have always kept me tear-free while dicing onions for my next tasty dish!

Also, another easy tip is to chill the onions before cutting and breathe through your mouth while cutting – it kinda helps to avoid the waterworks.

Ready to chop away? Perfect! Try making my tasty 5-Onion Soup! It’s jam-packed with its namesake 5 onions or how about a batch of my Blushing Pickled Red Onions. They are as pretty as they are tasty, and make an excellent topping for burgers, sandwiches, or on an antipasto plate – yum!

So no more tears – pick up some versatile and delicious onions! –Kathy

5-Onion Soup
This recipe is very decadent. It is a lovely starter for an elegant dinner party.

Makes about 10 servings.

2 large leeks
1 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium white onion, cut into large chunks
4 shallots
6 cloves fresh garlic
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (or substitute olive oil)
1 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt
Thinly sliced fresh chives for garnishing

Coarsely chop the leeks, discarding the tough green parts, and rinse them well to remove sand.

In two batches, process the leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped but not mushy. (Do not overprocess.)

Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Slowly sauté the onions for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until they just turn a bit golden. Stir in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, or until golden in color and rich in flavor. Add the cream and simmer the soup another 30 minutes.

Mix the brandy and cornstarch and whisk into the simmering soup. Add the white pepper, then season with salt to taste. (The amount of salt needed will vary, depending on whether you used homemade stock or canned broth.) Simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with chives.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Blushing Pickled Red Onions
These are great on sandwiches, served with grilled meats or alongside an antipasto platter.

Makes about 1 quart.

2 large (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb.) red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch rings
1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Place onions in a deep, heat-proof, non-aluminum container, such as a glass quart canning jar.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve all sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds to 1 minute, then immediately pour vinegar mixture over onions.

Gently press onions down into liquid. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Store onions tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 20th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, soups
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