dessert

Cooking Up Memories of Ernie Pino

Ernie Pino – amazing chef, columnist, and most of all a dear friend, passed away earlier this month. I can’t find the words to express my sadness, so I will only say this: “Ernie I know that your table in Heaven is set with great food and drinks and that you’re surrounded with friends and love ones passed. We will miss you greatly, but you will live on in our hearts forever.”

Ernie Pino
Ernie and I in 2004 Getting Ready to Cook Paella!

Years ago, Ernie did some amazing classes for us during the early days of the Food Studios on Spanish cuisine. I found in my files an article he wrote on his beloved paella. Here is his original followed by the recipes he did for the class. Thank you, Ernie for teaching so many chefs and food enthusiasts the fine art of paella; your passion lives on with us. –Kathy

Paella—By Ernie Pino, 2003

I love teaching cooking classes. Sometimes, I focus on NW themes, like chowders, salmon and shellfish. Often, I teach tapas, gazpacho, paella or any combination thereof. My students are always attentive, sometimes passionate, and never dull. Recently, a group of students was preparing to head home after one of my summer picnic salads classes, and for whatever reason my Hispanic heritage became the subject of conversation. I suddenly found myself waning nostalgic, extolling the virtues of being raised in a bilingual and bicultural home. Soon, some of the classmates began to share their own experiences of visiting Latin countries; a few even demonstrated their Spanish-speaking prowess (keep in mind, it was a warm and lazy summer evening, rich in camaraderie, food and just a wee bit of wine). Inevitably, this sort of dialogue results in an exchange of favorite Spanish terms, cerveza (beer) ranking among the top 10, closely followed by the Spanish word for bathroom, baño. Occasionally, a naughty phrase or two is dispensed but on this particular night someone said the word “paella”. Surprisingly, even the non-Spanish speakers raised their hands when asked if they recognized this term.

So, in the midst of a course on al fresco foods, the focus shifted to the dish most closely associated with Spain, paella. Interestingly, although my students recognized the word, very few of them could tell me much about paella—a dish as rich in tradition as it is ingredients. And so today, the topic is paella. Grab your dictionaries—we’re talking Spanish.

“La paella” or “paellera” is a metal cooking utensil—a flat, wide and shallow pan with two curved handles on opposite sides. The word itself is old Valencian and it’s roots stem from the Latin “patella”, which, in Galicia, Spain, means a flat basket. Today, the word paella is synonymous with both the luscious rice dish and the vessel in which it is prepared.

Paella is traditionally cooked over firewood, which allows the smoke to permeate and add a robust flavor. The Spanish language has two different words for wood “leña”, which is firewood and “madera”, any type of wood…of which, some may become leña

On the southeastern coast of Spain, below Barcelona, an area named El Levante is known as the Region of the Rices. The Moors brought the art of rice growing to this territory more than 1000 years ago, by establishing elaborate irrigation systems throughout the fertile deltas of the land. Understandably, rice has become a traditional staple there and it’s preparation, a delicious art form. As with most legendary foods, the origin of the dish called paella is hotly contested, yet the region most closely associated with this hearty stew remains Valencia. Thus, the title “Paella Valenciana”, which appears often in recipes and on menus.

After rice became standard fare in Spain, the peasants of Valencia would prepare paella with common ingredients found in the countryside, such as onions, tomatoes and even snails. Occasionally, a rabbit or duck would be added and, when possible, a chicken or two. Eventually, the “Valencian rice” became widely known. By the end of the nineteenth century, “Paella Valenciana” had established itself.

Today, tourists and locals alike will visit Spain’s restaurants and enjoy paella in its various interpretations. Some adventurous souls might even try their hand at preparing it at home. The basic foundation for true paella requires using short grain Valencian or Arborio style rice (the west coast equivalent being California Pearl rice), infused with saffron. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. Paellas can be all vegetarian, strictly seafood, a meat lover’s smorgasbord, or any combination thereof. You can incorporate squid, langoustines, guinea hen and quail, and make it up as you go—though a tried and true Spaniard may cry foul and proclaim his to be the recipe for a traditional and authentic paella. Beware; this dish has been known to stir passions as well as appetites. Although the list of ingredients may seem exotic and somewhat daunting, ask anyone who has made a paella or two and they’ll tell you—preparing paella is a Spanish piece of cake. Think about it: paella is a one-dish meal, it’s the perfect party food and it feeds a small tribe.

Now, repeat after me, “pah-ay-ah”. It’s a Spanish word that you can say with conviction and authority. So roll up your sleeves and start practicing what you preach! – Ernie

Ernie Pino’s Spanish Paella Dinner Menu & Recipes<
Ajo Blanco con Uvas de Málaga (White Gazpacho with Málaga Grapes)
Paella Valenciana with Seafood
Torta de Manzana Cantabria (Apple Cake)/p>

Ajo Blanco con Uvas de Málaga
(White Gazpacho with Málaga Grapes)

Serves 4 to 6

This traditional, pre-Colombian, Gazpacho came from southern Spain’s Andalucía region, where almonds and grapes are grown. For centuries it was a common meal for the poor and working class, who grew most of the ingredients themselves. Then, when the rare and expensive products of the Latin American “New World” (tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers) were brought to Spain, the wealthy added these new vegetables to the dish and gave it an upscale edge. They also turned their backs on the more traditional white Gazpacho, and never looked back. This started a new wave of cooking in Western Europe, and made popular many of the foods we still enjoy today.

2 cups water
8 ounces French bread slices, crusts trimmed and torn into pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, chopped and puréed
Salt
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 1/2 cups ice water

1 1/2 cups green grapes

Pour 2 cups water over bread and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain. Squeeze bread until dry. Transfer bread to food processor. Add oil, vinegar and garlic purée. Season with salt to taste. Add almonds and ½ cup ice water, and blend until smooth. With machine running, gradually add remaining 2 cups ice water. Taste for salt.

Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (the flavors need to blend) and preferably over night.
Serve chilled, mixing well before serving. Garnish each serving with grapes.

Recipe by Ernie Pino.

Paella Valenciana with Seafood
Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp
5 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced (divided)
1 – 2 1/2 lb. rabbit (or chicken), legs, thighs and breasts separated
1 medium yellow onion, quartered, and 1 large onion, minced (divided)
3 teaspoons salt (divided)
1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sliced chorizo sausage (Spanish style)
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and cut into strips
2 large tomatoes peeled and chopped (see note)
2 cups uncooked short-grain rice, such as Arborio or pearl
8 ounces fresh, minced clams, drained, or one 6-ounce can, drained
8 ounces fresh squid tubes and tentacles
12 fresh mussels, scrubbed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup fresh green beans

Marinate prawns in their shell with 2 of the minced garlic cloves (prepare the night before and refrigerate.)

Reserve the breast, legs and upper joints of the rabbit (or chicken) Combine the remaining pieces with 3 cups of water; add 1 the quartered onion, 2 teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of saffron threads. Boil 30 minutes, strain and measure out 2½ cups of the stock. Set aside. (Can be prepared earlier and refrigerated.)

Cut the reserved pieces of rabbit (or chicken) into small pieces through the bone (or ask your butcher to do this for you).

Dust the pieces with flour and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a paella pan or large heavy skillet on medium heat, and cook until crispy-brown and tender. Set aside.

Add reserved shrimp and chorizo to the same pan, cooking until shrimp turns pink. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add minced onion, remaining 3 cloves minced garlic, pimiento and tomatoes to the pan and cook until the onion is tender.

Add the rice to the onion mixture and stir to glaze.

Bring the reserved stock to a boil and add to the rice mixture.

Add clams, squid and mussels, bringing to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the peas and green beans, and cook 5 minutes more, uncovered.

Arrange the rabbit, shrimp and chorizo atop the rice, amongst the squid and mussels. Cover the pan and place over hot coals or low heat on the stove, or in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Serve with a crusty bread and Rioja wine.

NOTE: To peel tomatoes, cut an “X” at stem end and on the bottom. Plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into iced water. Skin should slip off easily.

Recipe by Ernie Pino.

Torta de Manzana Cantabria
(Apple Cake)

This rich, rustic Cantabrian confection has a delicate spice-cake quality and somewhat of a pudding texture. It may be served warm or at room temperature.

Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 Gala or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
2 Tablespoons Applejack or brandy
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Glaze
¼ cup apricot jam
1 Tablespoon applejack or brandy

Powdered sugar (optional)

FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9” diameter spring form pan with
2 3/4” high sides. Dust pan with flour. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add apples, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer 16 apple slices to processor. Add applejack and purée. Add flour, sugar, eggs, milk, baking soda and cinnamon and just combine until blended. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Drain remaining apple slices and arrange atop batter in a circular (star-burst) pattern. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

MEANWHILE, PREPARE GLAZE: Stir jam and applejack in small pan over medium heat until jam melts, about 1 minute.

Brush some of glaze over warm cake. Cool cake 30 minutes. Release pan sides. Heat remaining glaze and brush over cake. Dust with sifted powder sugar.

Recipe by Ernie Pino.

Posted by Kathy on May 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

Minty Mint

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint? Whether it’s in a cocktail, mixed into a fruit salsa, or growing in the garden, that fresh scent and taste hits the spot.

Have you ever tried growing mint in your garden? If you have, you know it is amazingly easy and actually will take over if you’re not careful, but what’s better than a fresh handful of mint leaves whenever you want?

And there are so many varieties to choose from. Peppermint leaves are wonderful dried and steeped in hot water to make a simple, d’lish tea. And there are so many tasty varieties – Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Mint, Orange Mint… even Lime Mint that is perfect when muddled into mojitos!

Also, for you cat lovers out there, remember catnip is a mint too. So careful planting mint, unless you want to attract every kitty in a quarter mile!

As the weather gets warmer, cool off with my Fresh Mint Ice Cream. Nothing beats nibbling on fresh made ice cream under a shady tree!

Mint Ice cream
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

With the Kentucky Derby coming up mint juleps are on the horizon… oh yea! If you plan on hosting a Derby party, try making a batch of my Spiked Iced Tea Punch. Fresh mint pairs well with white whiskey, black tea, fresh juices, and brown sugar.

So get minty with it in your garden this year! –Kathy

Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies
I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.

Makes about 4 cups

4 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
6 egg yolks
1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies

Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

Chocolate Mint Candies
Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsps. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.

Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.

To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Spiked Iced Tea Punch
Punch is the perfect party cocktail! For a more-spiked interpretation, let guests add a little more whiskey to their individual drinks. For summertime sipping add in a few slices of fresh peach or nectarine. For a demo on how to make this, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Makes about 8 cups, enough for 10 to 12 servings

20 cloves
1 orange
6 very large sprigs fresh mint
3 tea bags black tea
3 cups boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Woodinville Headlong White Dog Whiskey

Poke the cloves into the orange, then cut it into 3 slices. Put the orange slices, mint, and tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or bowl. Add the boiling water, let steep for 1 hour, then remove the tea bags.

Add the ice water, juices, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, add the whisky, and chill until ready to serve. Serve in ice-filled glasses. Garnish as desired.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps.

Cozy Cocoa

Can you think of anything cozier than a roaring fire and a nice, warm mug of hot cocoa? From grown up boozy versions and beloved classics to kid-friendly fun flavors, there’s a cocoa for everyone!

It’s hard to beat My Mom’s “Old School” Cocoa – warm milk whisked until foamy with sugar and good old fashioned dark cocoa powder. A dash of vanilla or a cinnamon stick were all the variation we needed to finish off this heartwarming marshmallow-topped winter treat.

But if you’re like me (and I think you probably are), you’ll have some fun jazzing up your favorite flavors a bit.

My Bollywood Spiced Cocoa is a fun take on classic Indian flavors. Dark chocolate is melted into milk that has been infused with fresh ginger, cardamom, and cumin. Then whole thing is finished off with some unsweetened coconut milk. This is a great after-dinner sip for some more adventurous chocolate lovers.

Want to turn your before-bedtime cocoa into a late night-cap? Try stirring a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur – yum!

So get out your favorite mug and whip up some winter-warming cocoas. -Kathy


Who can say no to rainbow sprinkles?

My Mom’s “Old-School” Cocoa
Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
2 big marshmallows

Place milk in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar, then whisk into the milk to incorporate. Then add the vanilla. Heat until hot but not overheated. Do not boil.
Serve in mugs and top with marshmallows.

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

Bollywood Spiced Cocoa
Made with Theo’s Fair-Trade-certified Ghana Panama Ecuador 75% Cacao dark chocolate bar and uniquely spiced with Indian flavors and unsweetened coconut milk for a very distinctive sweet-and-savory hot chocolate.

Makes 2 servings

1 cup milk
2 cardamom pods, crushed
2 1/4-inch-thick slices, peeled fresh ginger
tiny pinch ground cumin
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 bar Theo’s 70%% Cacao bar*, grated, or use 1 1/2 ounces other high-cacao-content chocolate

In a small heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the milk, cardamom, ginger and cumin till hot but not simmering or boiling. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the cardamom pods and ginger and discard. Place the pan back on the heat and add the coconut milk and chocolate. Whisk and heat until hot—but do not overheat. Serve immediately.

*Available at markets like Metropolitan Markets, Whole Foods and PCC.

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

Posted by Kathy on January 2nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

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.

Fruit-Cake-3

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.

Fruit-Cake-4

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  |  Comments Off on Travels to India – Part 1 |  Posted in dessert, poultry, Recent Posts, seafood, Tasty Travels
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