dessert

Toast the Season with Cranberries

Whether you like them as a side sauce cozied to turkey or made into a holiday garland with popcorn, nothing is as perfect for the holidays than cranberries!

Seasonal foods just naturally go together. The apple, for example, is the perfect foil for its seasonal cousin the cranberry. They’re great together in my Apple Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust and Cranberry Semifreddo. How about a salad of winter greens with slices of crisp galas and spicy toasted walnuts tossed with my favorite holiday dressing, Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette.

But hey you can get crafty with them, too! For an impressive DIY holiday gift, try whipping up a batch of Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar to give out this year. Thread cranberries on a skewer and slip into a decorative clear bottle. Poke in a few sprigs of fresh sage, then add a pinch of sugar and salt to champagne vinegar – whisk together then pour into the bottles, covering the cranberries and sage. Cap and let sit at least one week before using. This vinegar makes a splendid and  colorful gift.

So grab a few extra bags of fresh cranberries while they are in season and freeze a few bags for enjoying later. -Kathy

Cranberries 2
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table)

Washington Apple-Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust & Cranberry Semifreddo
Makes 10 servings

Filling
1 tablespoon butter
4 pounds Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (6 cups)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Crust
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sanding or coarse sugar

Cranberry Semifreddo (recipe follows)
10 fresh or frozen cranberries for garnishing

To make the filling, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the apples and cranberries. Stir in the brandy and lemon juice, then add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook until the apples are just wilted but still firm, and the juices have evaporated and cooked out; the mixture should be almost dry, not wet. Transfer to a shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator while making the crust.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with a parchment round. Lightly butter the sides of the pan and the parchment, or spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Set aside.

To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugars on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla and the 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating a few seconds after each. Beat until smooth and light, about 1 minute. (Reserve the egg white.)

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and walnuts, then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 2 parts, mixing on low until just combined.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Put a piece of the dough into the prepared pan and press it out evenly on the bottom and up 1 1/2 inches on the sides. (If the dough is too soft to work with, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to slightly firm up.) Pile the cooled filling into the dough-lined pan.

On a lightly floured surface such as a cardboard disk or big piece of plastic wrap, press the remaining piece of dough into a round 9 or 10 inches in diameter, depending on the size of your springform pan. Slide the dough onto the filling and press it into place. This top crust should fit just inside the dough that extends up the sides of the pan and come all the way to its edges. Carefully seal the seam where the top joins the side dough, making sure the edges are straight and even.

Whip the reserved egg white in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Brush the top crust lightly with the egg white and poke the top with a fork in 5 places. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling out a bit. Cool to just slightly warm or room temperature before removing the pan sides. You might want to run a knife along the sides before unmolding. (When serving, be sure that the parchment paper is not stuck to the tart.)

To serve, slice the tart into 10 wedges. Place each wedge on a dessert plate. Top with a nice scoop of the semifreddo and garnish with a cranberry.

Cranberry Semifreddo
Makes about 10 servings

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Let the eggs come to room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.

Combine the cranberries, juice, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the cranberries pop, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, then purée until smooth.

In a medium stainless-steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and cranberry purée. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, taking care that the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the mixture is thickened and hot—but be careful not to overcook (scramble) the egg mixture; this takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone. Keep whisking until the mixture cools down, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Meanwhile, in a thoroughly clean and grease-free mediuim mixer bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until they just start to get frothy. Start sprinkling in the superfine sugar and whip until the whites are peaking. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chilled cranberry mixture.

Whip the cream until stiff, then gently fold it into the cranberry mixture, taking care not to lose volume.

Spoon the mixture into a 4-cup plastic container with a lid. Tap the container on a counter to release any bubbles, then smooth the top. Close the container, then place in a freezer for at least 8 hours, or until frozen.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

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

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cranberries 1

Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar
Makes 6 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Fresh Sage
1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
6 cups white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Arrange the cranberries and shallot attractively in 2 clear glass wine bottles (you can skewer the cranberries, if you like, on long wooden skewers).

In a non-aluminum pan, bring the vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Immediately pour the liquid into the bottles, filling them 1 1/2 inches from the top. Let cool to room temperature, then cork. Let sit a minimum of 2 days before using. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 – 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 18th, 2014  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in dessert, Fruit, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

It’s Time for Fruit Cakes!

Fruit Cake (or fruitcake) sometimes gets a bad rap. Those doorstopper hard as rocks cakes with bright, florescent cherries that gets re-gifted every year passed around at every while elephant party…

Fruit Cake Monster
A Fruitcake monster!

But there is great fruit cake, too! Like my holiday favorite “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark! I love a slice in the morning with a great cup of coffee.

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These REAL fruit cakes are fully loaded with Maker’s Mark-soaked dried fruits, including apricots, cranberries, tart cherries, and golden raisins, as well as loads of nuts from toasted hazelnuts to rich pecans – all bound with a signature spiced batter recipe. Baked till golden then brushed over and over with a bourbon-brown sugar glaze. Now this is fruitcake – a REAL FRUIT cake.

So if you have a fruit cake fan on your Holiday Gift List or want to be a fruit cake convert, I have you covered. You can order them online for delivery or pick them up at the Food Studios in Ballard.

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Quantities are limited so be sure to place your orders soon because they sell out FAST!

Wishing you all a real fruit cake filled holiday season! -Kathy

“Over 21” Bourbon Fruit Cake
Makes 6 mini-loaves

1 cup chopped dried pineapple
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups tart dried cherries
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup currants
1 1/4 cups chopped dried mango
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened (very important!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. lemon zest
6 eggs
1/4 cup bourbon
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup whole almonds

Bourbon Glaze
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon

In a large bowl toss together the dried fruits then pour the boiling water over the fruit and toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl whip the butter (be sure it’s super-softened!) on medium-high speed with the white and brown sugars for about 4 minutes or until fluffy. Add the molasses and then the vanilla and zests. On medium speed add 1 egg at a time, beating 1 minute between each addition. Mix in bourbon. Mixture should be whipped until it is smooth and silky.

In a sifter combine flour and spices. Remove bowl from mixer and sift in dry ingredients, folding into egg mixture until well incorporated.

Separately, in a very large bowl mix together plumped fruits and nuts. Add cake batter and fold into the fruit and nuts until well coated.

Divide mixture (about 1 1/2 cups each) among 6 buttered, nonstick mini-loaf pans (6-inch x 3-inch x 2-inch) or disposable aluminum mini-loaf pans. Smooth out batter, then bang each pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Place pans on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until set and cooked through.

Meanwhile make the Bourbon Glaze: In a very small saucepan combine the water and brown sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature. Then whisk in the bourbon.

When cakes come out of the oven, remove from pan and place bottom up on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush the Bourbon Glaze liberally on the bottom and sides of cakes while still warm. Do this quite a few times. Then turn cakes top side up and brush with more of the glaze. Keep brushing with glaze on all surfaces every 20 minutes or so until all of the glaze is used up. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

To wrap cakes: Wrap each cake individually with plastic wrap, then wrap in parchment paper. Seal with Christmas stickers and ribbon or raffia and baubles. If desired, write recipe name, baker and date on outside wrapper with a fine permanent marker or metallic pen.

Store cake at room temperature until ready to give.

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

Posted by Kathy on December 5th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

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
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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
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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

Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer

It’s time to talk about huckleberries. This native Pacific Northwest berry is delicious in drinks, desserts, incorporated into dinners, or straight off the bush!

There are lots of places you can pick huckleberries and often you can get some great hiking in, too. Find a trail in the mountains that takes you roughly above 2,000 feet; huckleberries grow fine at sea-level, but really go wild in higher elevations. Look for bushes in meadows or along lakes. The Washington Trails Association has a great list of “huckleberry hikes.”

Just remember these 2 key pointers:

  1. Lots of berries grow in our neck of the woods, and not all of them are edible. Make sure to take a guidebook along to make sure you’re picking the right ones.
  2. Keep your eyes open for roaming animals. Our wildlife loves huckleberries as much as we do; you might even spot a bear so be careful!

And they’re not just for pie although I love them studded into an apple pie like in my Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust.

One of my favorites is a savory Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce. Or how about roasted with slices of sweet potato – yum!

And if you’re headed to Portland anytime soon – drop into the Heathman Restaurant & Bar and try our Huckleberry Mule On-Tap. Made with ABSOLUT Vodka, fresh lime, and handcrafted ginger beer then topped with Liquid Kitchen Wild Huckleberry Preserves – yum! And Chef Michael Stanton is sure to have some tasty huckleberry menu items as well!

Huckleberry Mule
Huckleberry Mule on-tap!

These wild fall berries are delicious in almost anything! –Kathy

Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp round nutmeg
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 Tbsps ice water

Filling
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsps flour
2 Tbsps cornstarch
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced, peeled and cored apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup fresh wild huckleberries
milk and sugar for topping (optional)

To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs and mix evenly. Cut in butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces and press gently into disks. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch, apples and huckleberries. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into 2 rounds, each about 12 inches in diameter. Brush excess flour from one crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit bottom crust into pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2″.

Mound the fruit mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Brush edges of bottom crust lightly with water and then cover pie with top crust. Trim top crust overhang to 1 inch, then fold overhanging top-crust dough under edge of bottom crust overhang and tuck excess dough under, even with edge of pan. Seal and flute edges with fingertips to make a pretty crimp. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top, brush top crust lightly with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more, or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp clarified butter or olive oil plus more if needed
1 shallot, minced
2 large fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup port
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled Oregon blue cheese or other full-flavored blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh wild huckleberries

Garnishes:
fresh sage leaves
crumbled blue cheese
fresh wild huckleberries

Read through the entire recipe before beginning, and have all ingredients ready within reach of the range.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken liberally on each side with salt and pepper. (If chicken breasts are really large, then lightly pound out a bit between sheets of plastic wrap.)

In a large, heavy, ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat until hot. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chicken for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Place the chicken-cooking pan over high heat and add the shallot and sage leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the port and mustard and scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to get all that good flavor into the sauce. Continuing cooking on high heat to reduce the port to 1/4 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce until saucy and almost glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and whisk in for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove the sauce from heat and stir in the huckleberries.

Discard the sage leaves. Whisk in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken breasts, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, plate the chicken breasts on dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of cheese and huckleberries.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 18th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Travels to India – Part 1

Guest blogger and KCFS Intern Jenn Chong shares her recent travel stories while exploring India. Here’s Part 1 of her 3 part series.

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Hello all! I’m Jenn and I’m pleased to share some of my culinary experiences from my travels to India. The idea of Indian food probably conjures up images of super spicy food that can be too hot to handle. And while that may be true to a certain degree, India is a vast and varied country with regional cuisines appropriate for any palate.

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Today, I bring you to Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) where the food tends to be sweeter, milder in spice, and with slight tinges of sour. Located in the northeastern part of India, food from this area is often referred to as Bengali cuisine.

Bengali cuisine is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, cooked as curries or steamed in banana leaves. Sweet flavors come from the use of unrefined cane sugar called ‘jaggery’, and the sour flavors come from heavier use of tamarind paste. My favorite dish by far was the jumbo prawn curry, which was absolutely delish (see below)!

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Chingri Malai

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Basanti Pulao (seasoned rice), naan, Echor-er Dalna (jackfruit curry)
Dak Bangla Chicken Curry, Hilsa Fish Mustard Curry, Chingri Malai

Sweets are an important part of Bengali cuisine and choices for desserts are limitless. From mishti doi (sweet yogurt) to kheer (rice pudding) to smaller confections like rasgulla, ladoo, and cham-chams, there is no such thing as a bad decision! The food in this region was so delicious it was hard to leave, but I knew there was still much more to explore and eat.

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Small selection of sweet treats!

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Mishti doi with fresh fruit

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Stay tuned for Part 2!

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 7th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, poultry, Recent Posts, seafood, Tasty Travels

What to do with those Easter Leftovers – I’ve got lots of ideas for you!

It’s Easter weekend! Soon, all the candy will be unwrapped and the eggs will all have been found – hopefully! Now, what do you do with all those chocolate bunnies, candies, Peeps and colorful hard boiled eggs after the hunt?

Didn’t eat all those marshmallow Peeps? Don’t fret about any leftovers – they are just the thing to melt into my Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps. The Peeps stand in for the traditional marshmallows folded with Rice Krispies cereal. Rip the peeps tiny heads off and save for “garnish!”

Tweeps
Peep heads for garnish

For the adults, grab a few of the kids chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue using a splash of your favorite liqueur – I like to use Grand Marnier. Serve with an assortment of fruits for dipping or any other leftover Peeps.

Easter Fondue
Peeps lined up for a chocolate dip

As for the extra eggs? Make deviled eggs of course! And get creative with the fillings, from brunchy Bacon Cheddar to Retro Shrimp Cocktail variations. You can find over 50 more inspiring ideas in my D’lish Deviled Eggs cookbook – any of which would be great to use up those Easter Eggs. For more deviled eggs ideas, check out www.DLishDeviledEggs.com and follow @ChickysTweets on Twitter.

Happy Easter everyone! –Kathy

Jelly Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6 packages yellow Peeps® – 30 peeps(you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat melt the butter until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in rice crispies and jelly beans. Stir until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a pan sprayed 8”x8” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Bunny’licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue
Makes 4 servings

6 ounces of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon liquor such as: Grand Marnier, amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)
For dipping: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges
Other fun things for dipping are: pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps® …..

Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size) into a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs
(Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)

Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Eggs, bacon, cheese … they go hand in hand. These all-American eggs are great to serve as an app or a fun salad garnish—or grab a couple for breakfast on the go.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Topping
1/4 cup finely chopped crisp-cooked bacon
2 Tbsp very thinly sliced green onion
Freshly ground black pepper

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, if using, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the cheddar until evenly mixed in.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix the bacon and green onion. Top each egg half with about 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture, and then sprinkle with black pepper.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 17th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, appetizers, Books to Cook, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

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

The Classic Upside Down Cake gets a Creative Spin

Not many desserts bring out a warm sense of old fashioned home cooking as much as an upside down cake. Think classic with those rings of pineapple, bright red cherries and oozy buttery brown sugar.

Upside down cakes are pretty straight forward: gooey sugary business on the bottom, topped with fruit then cake batter. Bake, flip and serve!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Here’s the Classic
! But we are going to get creative!

From peaches to pears to pineapple, almost any fruit can get the upside down treatment with this cake. And you can get creative with the cake batter too, like with my Spiced Pear Ginger Bread & Hazelnut Upside Down Cake, it’s unusual in several ways. For one thing, the cake layer is a gingerbread batter. For another, it’s baked in a Bundt pan. And it’s highly spiced and aromatic — ginger along with cloves, nutmeg and lots of cinnamon. And did I mention the cake’s enriched with hazelnuts?

Or for a morning treat how about a Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake. This moist cake is not too sweet and is a real treat for a weekend brunch. My testing and tasting team even liked it topped with a pouf of yogurt.

If sweets aren’t your thing, try my Savory Onion Upside Down Cake made with caramelized onions, fresh thyme, baked up with an olive oil and herb studded quick bread topping. Perfect along with a green salad or a hearty bowl of homemade soup!

So, consider upside down cakes for your next breakfast, supper or dessert. –Kathy

Spiced Pear Gingerbread Hazelnut Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake, serving 10 to 12

Pears
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups 1/2-inch-diced, firm, ripe pear with skin, cored (about 2 pears or one very large pear)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Batter
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp very finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the pears: In a 10-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add the diced pears, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the pan. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the pears are slightly caramelized and somewhat soft. Spoon mixture into the bottom of a 10-cup, non-stick Bundt pan.

To make the cake batter: In a medium bowl combine the boiling water, molasses, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, dry spices, salt and baking powder, and mix well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and fresh ginger, and mix well. Add molasses mixture and reserved dry ingredients, alternately, beginning and ending with the liquid, and mixing after each addition. Finally, add the chopped hazelnuts.

Spoon batter gently into Bundt pan over the pears and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. (When done, cake may not entirely fill the Bundt pan. Don’t worry; this is normal for this recipe.)

Cool to room temperature before inverting.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Breakfast 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®.

Savory Caramelized Onion Upside Down Quick Bread
Makes 1 10-inch savory cake, about 8 servings

Onion layer
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
2 large white onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup garlic cloves, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Batter
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the onions: In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil and butter together over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, wine and vinegar, and continue cooking, covered, for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and very soft. Set aside in pan and cool to room temperature. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf. (You will be adding the cake batter to this pan.)

To make the batter: In a large bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add remaining ingredients, and mix till just combined.

Spoon batter over onion mixture in the pan and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until quick bread layer tests done.

Remove from oven. Run a knife around edge, carefully invert hot skillet onto a large serving plate, and remove skillet. Any onion mixture remaining in pan can be scraped out with a spatula and spread on quick bread.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 28th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides
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