dessert

Cooking with Bitters

Oh bitters! In the beverage world, we like to call them the “salt & pepper” of drinks. They can add an extra oomph! to a cocktail – oftentimes, enhancing the overall drink and adding an extra layer of flavor. But did you know that you can also cook with bitters too?

From appetizers to main dishes – and yes, even sweets! – a dash of bitters goes a long way. Take for example, my “Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball – 4 different cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, brandy, and Angostura Bitters come together for a party pleaser.


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Or how about whipping up a batch of Bitter Orange Garlic Butter? Sauté with shrimp and add in a handful of fresh basil leaves, and serve on pasta – yum!

Bitters are oh-s- tasty in sweets too, like in my favorite new cookie – Bittersnaps. A generous helping of aromatic bitters adds an amazing layer of flavor to this classic cookie! Goes great with coffee or a glass of milk!

So next time you’re cooking, add a dash of bitters to your dish – is not just for cocktails anymore. -Kathy

“Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball
This boozy and bold flavored cheeseball will be the centerpiece of any appetizer spread. Serve with artisan crackers, crostini or veggies. Add in a big handful of cooked minced bacon or minced salami to switch things up. You can also divide this recipe into 4 smaller balls and package up in glassine for tasty holiday party gift-giving. Bring out to room-temp for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Makes: 1 large cheese ball, 12 – 16 servings

8 oz. wt. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fontina cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fresh parmesan or grana cheese, grated
1 (8 oz. wt.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. brandy or Cognac
——————————————-
1 cup (3 1/2 oz. wt.) sliced almonds, toasted*

Grate the cheeses into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixer mix with paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and grated cheeses on medium speed for about 6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and then add the remaining ingredients (except the nuts). Mix starting on low speed. Increase speed to high for about another 6 – 8 minutes, or until mixture is well blended (scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of time in this process). Cover and refrigerate mixture in bowl for about 1 hour to firm up.

Once cheese mixture is well chilled, form into a well-compacted ball. Then place toasted nuts in a bowl and roll cheeseball in nuts, pressing them in with your hands to coat well.

Transfer your cheese ball to the center of a large piece of plastic wrap, and bring the sides of the plastic up to the center – firmly twisting it to help the ball stay in a round shape. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks tightly wrapped.

*Toast nuts in a pre-heated 350°F oven for about 6 – 8 minutes. Cool before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Shrimp Scampi with Bitter Orange Garlic Butter
Serve this bold flavored shrimp as a main course or over your favorite pasta. Make extra butter for tossing with steamed veggies or slather over grilled steak or fish.

Makes: 4 servings

Bitter Orange Garlic Butter
8 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Orange Bitters
2 Tbsp. finely minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. chili flakes

Shrimp
2 tsp. olive oil
16 to 20 large raw peeled shrimp, (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 small lemon cut in half
12 large fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
1 large ripe roma tomato, peeled, seeds removed cut into 1/2-inch dice
salt and black pepper to taste

To make the butter: whip together all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before using.

To cook the shrimp: heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and start turning after 30 seconds. Cook for about 1 minute or until just starting to turn pink. After an additional 30 seconds deglaze the pan with white wine, and squeeze in the lemon. Let reduce for about 30 seconds and then add the basil, tomato and dollops of Bitter Orange Garlic Butter – swirling pan to emulsify the butter into sauce. Once combined, remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Bittersnaps
Switch up your cookie repertoire with these Angostura Aromatic Bitters infused ginger snaps. Try using coarse sugar on top of the cookies for an extra sparkly effect!

Makes: about 36 cookies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup fine chopped candied ginger
Sugar for dipping

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 3 sheet-pans with parchment paper.

In a mixer, whip the sugar, shortening, and molasses together on medium-high speed until creamy. Then add the Angostura Aromatic Bitters and egg and mix again until well combined.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Add the dry mixture into the mixer on low speed, mix until well combined. Stir in the candied ginger.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 36 balls. Roll and then dip the tops into the sugar. Place 12 cookies evenly spaced, sugar side up, on each sheet-pan. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Posted by Kathy on January 10th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Cooking with Bitters |  Posted in appetizers, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, seasonings, Snacks, spices

D’Lish Cookies

Why is it store-bought cookies just never taste as good as homemade? Could it be that, all that hands-on love adds a secret ingredient? I think so!

Now everyone has a favorite. For me, it’s hands down Chocolate Chip, but I like to switch it up a bit and add bits of salted pretzels or crushed potato chips. Yep, that’s right – the salty goodness adds a great layer of flavor and crunch!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Betty Crocker

Love cookies, but are short on time to whip up a batch? Try this baker’s trick. Make some of your favorite cookie doughs ahead of time, then roll them into logs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, label, and freeze – that’s it! Then whenever the cookie craving hits you, just pull out a roll, slice off a few cookies then bake – WHA LA! Instant cookies will be ready for that after school snack, or random cookie craving.

Need some new ideas – how about a sassy nutty twist – like adding spicy peanuts to your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. Or try mixing in a touch of lavender and lemon zest to shortbread. Make your gingersnaps extra gingery with an addition of chopped candied ginger!

So whip out that cookie jar, and get baking! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on November 29th, 2018  |  Comments Off on D’Lish Cookies |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Maple Syrup

When I think of Maple Syrup, I can’t help but think of warm and fuzzy memories – especially about breakfast.

So where does this d’lish treat come from? The mighty sugar maple tree! Quebec is by far the largest producer of this sticky syrup – producing 70 percent of the world’s supply. Thanks Canada!

There are several grades of syrup – ranging from extra light to extra dark – each with their own flavor profile and characteristics.

But this sugary delight isn’t just for sweet breakfasts or desserts. That’s right – maple syrup is delicious in savory dishes too! Added to a pot of slow-roasting baked beans; in a salad vinaigrette; or even a pork marinade.

Or how about some maple roasted veggies, finished with sea salt and topped over a piping hot bowl of creamy polenta – yum!

So branch out – and discover all that maple syrup has to offer.
-Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Maple Syrup |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, sides

Upside Down Cakes

Sometimes things are just better upside down. Bust out the baking dish – I’m talking about delicious Upside Down Cakes!

Light and fluffy cake batter encased by a sugary-butter topping and jeweled with chopped fruits – baked until ooey gooey and caramelized. What could be better than that?

So versatile and decadent – these cakes are a total crowd pleaser and often seen during the holidays. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is by far the most popular – but there are plenty of variations that are just as scrumptious! Apples, peaches, cherries, or plums – it’s the perfect vehicle for your favorite fruit.

This d’lish dessert is sometimes considered a little retro – but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Throw in some chopped nuts or layer on a boozy caramel glaze for a fun twist. Or throw that rule book out the window and try my Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake for breakfast!

You can even make mini versions using your trusty cupcake tin as the baking vessel!
-Kathy

Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Upside Down Cakes |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Snacks

Bananas

Bananas, the ultimate all-natural portable snack! Perfect for throwing into your purse or bag when you’re on the go.

Besides being deliciously handy, bananas are a great source of potassium and are low in sodium. They are a good source of Vitamin B as well as Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Plus they are naturally fat free!

If you’re thinking of a late-season campfire, then consider this s’mores alternative:

Take an unpeeled banana and make a split lengthwise – just not all the way through. Carve a trough from end to end, keeping the peel. Munch on the removed banana to tie you over, while filling the trough with bits of marshmallow and chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers. Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and stick it in the embers like a potato, or over a hot grill. After a few minutes, take it out and carefully unwrap. Yum!

And believe it or not, bananas are delicious in savory dishes too. My recipe for Banana Pineapple Chutney is flavored with warm spices like ginger and allspice. It’s a fantastic way to spice up a grilled chicken breast or pork chop.

So let’s face it – any way you slice them (or even if you don’t), bananas are d’lish!
–Kathy

Banana Pineapple Chutney
Great served with basmati rice and vegetable curries as well as grilled scallops, chicken, pork chops or ham.

Makes 3 cups

1/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
———————————–
2 Tbsp. currants
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced ripe fresh pineapple
2 cups (about 2 large) firm underripe bananas, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then in 1/2-inch chunks

In a heavy, wide, shallow, nonreactive pot, place all ingredients except the fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 4 minutes until mixture is syrupy and slightly reduced.

Add currants and pineapple, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute. Gently fold in bananas and cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes more. Occasionally stir the mixture gently; do not stir roughly—you want to keep the fruit pieces’ integrity. Chutney should be thickened but still slightly juicy. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away. Chutney should be slightly warm for serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 8th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Bananas |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, sides

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, this zesty citrus is typically available December through April.

So what makes these cuties different from a standard lemon? Meyer’s have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and have a sweeter taste than standard lemons. Their delicate flavor works great in cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes too!

I like to thinly slice them and roast alongside chicken or pork. The slices are so tasty when eaten with the dish – like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.

The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious too – especially when added to shortbread cookies or an Herbed Orzo Salad.

So wake up your taste buds with this citrusy delight – and hurry before they’re gone!
-Kathy

Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios ®

Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Makes 6 servings

12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 22nd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Meyer Lemons |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, herbs, meats, salads, seafood, sides, Snacks

Smooth Sipping Chocolate

When I think of my childhood favorite after school treat, hot chocolate always comes to mind. But cocoa isn’t just for kids – that’s right adults! Jazz up the flavors with savory and spice add in’s – like infusing cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks into the base. You can even add in a chili pod for some heat!

You can switch it up in other ways too – for those avoiding dairy, there are lots of options these days. Coconut or almond milk make great alternatives.

Turn your cocoa into a cozy night-cap by stirring in a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you’ve got to try my luscious Red Wine Sipping Chocolate.

This rich and creamy version combines sultry dark chocolate, a bold lush red wine and a touch of honey for sweetness. For even more decadence, top it off with a big fat toasted gourmet marshmallow (get the blow torch out!) and finish it with a sprinkle of red wine salt. That’s not your mama’s cocoa!

Now get to sipping! -Kathy

Red Wine Honey Sipping Chocolate
This hot chocolate combines three beloved ingredients: honey, chocolate and red wine – yes wine! It’s rich, delicious and meant to be sipped and savored. For even more decadence, top with toasted hand-made Honey Marshmallows, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with red wine salt.

Makes about 4 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Wildflower Blossom Honey
Garnish: 4 Honey Marshmallows (see recipe) or substitute gourmet purchased marshmallows, red wine salt*, honey for drizzling

Combine the chocolate and wine in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the milk and honey, increase heat to med-low and continue to heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour into small cups for serving. Garnish with toasted marshmallows sprinkled lightly with red wine salt if desired.

*Red wine salt is available online.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Honey Board

Posted by Kathy on February 15th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Smooth Sipping Chocolate |  Posted in chocolate, cocoa nibs, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Snacks

Go Nuts for Almonds!

Hail the mighty almond! The crunchy nut that’s packed with flavor and healthy goodness.

Available in many forms – raw, slivered, flour, milk, butter, and oil – this nutty ingredient can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

And talk about versatile! It’s so easy to integrate them into your diet. That’s a good thing too – because this superfood is SUPER healthy! Packed with Vitamin E and rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats. Plus they are a super protein source and easy to have a little snack baggie around for when you’re feeling hangry!

Chopped up and added to salads, grain bowls, or your morning yogurt, they’ll keep you feeling full and keep your body’s metabolism on track. My Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw is the perfect healthy snack or side dish.

So go nuts! Nuts for Almonds, that is.
-Kathy

Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw
Makes about 8 servings

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and Sriracha. Add green onions, cabbage, cranberries and cilantro and toss until well coated.

The salad should sit for 30 minutes before serving. If making way ahead, refrigerate dressing and salad ingredients separately, then toss together 30 minutes before ready to serve. Toss the almonds into the salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 1st, 2018  |  Comments Off on Go Nuts for Almonds! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, Snacks
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