Fruit

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 Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, dessert, sides

New Year Resolution Foods

The holiday feast is over, and the New Year’s resolutions have begun!  For those who vow every year to eat healthy – the trick to keeping those promises is to make it easy and delicious. Don’t worry; I have some great tips to keep you going!

Eating breakfast gets your metabolism boosted so start the day off right with a healthful smoothie. Try incorporating a few power packed ingredients like Greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond butter, kale or even goji berries!

Next, quinoa is a fantastic food! It’s high in protein, amino acids, and fiber. I love it sprinkled over salads or served as a side dish. This gluten free seed is a powerhouse! Try my recipe for Big Protein Quinoa Salad – perfect to pack and take to work.


And if you’re traveling from Sea-Tac Airport,
my Dish D’Lish has a great new, healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in to-go cups!

Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Another great motto for healthy eating is “eat with the rainbow”. The vividness of the plant pigments is a good guide to the nutritional value of fruits and veggies. Bright orange sweet potatoes, deep purple wild blueberries and, dark kale and chard are all loaded with vitamins and antioxidants!

And my best tip is to stock your fridge with healthful foods. When you come home from work you won’t be tempted to order out! –Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

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

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

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 2nd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, salads

Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle

This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen®, I shake up a Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle! For this festive cocktail, fresh rosemary adds an herbal note while playing well with the vodka, mandarin, housemade honey syrup (3/4 cup honey to 1/2 cup hot water), and champagne bubbles. This cocktail can easily be pre-batched before your next holiday party, too!

Enjoy! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 27th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Easy Holiday Entertaining with Sunkist

When the skies turn grey and the days are shorter, it’s easy to add a bit more sunshine to your winter with zesty Sunkist citrus. Tangy ruby grapefruits, zesty lemons, oranges from juicy navel and sweet cranberry-esque Cara Cara to deep pinkish-red Moro … these cheerful seasonal fruits add bright color and flavor to all things culinary, from batch-ahead cocktails to easy entertaining appetizers.

sunkist_logo_lrgTis the Season

My Tis the Season cocktail is perfect for those big holiday parties when you don’t want to be behind the bar the whole time. The pre-mix is a refreshing combo of fresh squeezed grapefruit and lemon juice, balanced with homemade simple syrup, white cranberry and vodka. Place it in a pretty bottle then just shake to order with a sprig of fresh rosemary and garnish with a beautiful cranberry for a seasonal sip that is sure to please.

For an easy and elegant entertaining appetizer try my Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese. Traditional tomato and basil bruschetta topping gets zesty with the addition of tart-sweet Cara Cara oranges, brilliant green Castelvetrano olives, and tangy goat cheese on crunchy crostini – d’lish!

Looking for a savory nibble to pair with cocktails? Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies are the perfect size for teaming up with a holiday sip. Chock-full of lemon zest, fragrant rosemary, delicious feta cheese, and chopped pistachios, these bite-sized delights are finished with a light sprinkle of sea salt before they go in the oven. The dough can be made up to a week in advance and frozen until you’re ready to slice them up – perfect for unexpected visitors!

Round out your menu with a sweet ending; Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges is a breeze to prepare ahead, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests’ company – it can be made up to 5 days in advance! This light custard stars finely chopped lemon zest and poppy seeds sprinkled throughout, and gets a beautiful garnish of segmented blood oranges. Serve them up in mini martini glasses for a fun little something sweet or mini “apps style” dessert.

So make your holiday season extra merry and bright with sunny winter citrus, and visit Sunkist.com for more fun citrus ideas. -Kathy

Tis the Season
Who wants to be tied to the bar during their party? Making a pre-mix for your signature holiday cocktail gives you more time to mingle with your guests and enjoy the festivities! Try shaking in fresh rosemary to add an herbal note.

Makes 1 drink

1/2 cup (4 ounces) Cocktail Pre-Mix (recipe follows)
Garnish: small sprig of rosemary and fresh or frozen cranberry

Measure the pre-mix into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a large martini glass. Garnish with rosemary and float cranberry in drink.

Cocktail Pre-Mix
Mixture can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept refrigerated.

Makes 4 cups – enough for about 8 drinks

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
————————-
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup white cranberry juice
3/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist 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

Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
Switch up traditional tomato bruschetta with the addition of sunny citrus and brilliant Castelvetrano Olives . Sunkist Cara Cara Orange’s distinctive pinkish-red hue and sweet and tangy cranberry-like zing pair perfectly with the creamy goat cheese in this easy entertaining appetizer.

Makes 20 pieces

1 artisanal baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt, as needed
————————————————–
2 Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges (or substitute Sunkist Navel Oranges)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped vine-ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped pitted Castelvetrano Olives* (or substitute calamata)
Pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt
—————————————————–
4 oz chèvre-style fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut baguette into 1/4-inch slices — you want about 20 nice-sized pieces. Lay out on a baking sheet. Lightly brush or drizzle bread with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until toasty. Let crostini cool.

To make the Bruschetta mix: Cut the top and bottom off of the oranges then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off of the sides of the oranges. Cut each orange in half lengthwise and then dice 1/4 to 1/3-inch. In a medium bowl, toss the diced orange, olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olives, and season with a pinch of pepper flakes and sea salt. Set aside.

To assemble the crostini: Smear each piece of crostini with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese. Place on a platter and immediately divide the orange mixture between the crostini (drain off any excess juice). Top crostini right before serving so they don’t get soft.

*Available at most grocer’s olive bars.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies
Studded with colorful pistachios and zesty lemon these savory bites are a great nibble with a cocktail. You can make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for impromptu guests.

Makes 24 to 30

1 cup (4 ounces) raw shelled pistachios (or purchase shelled, toasted and salted pistachios)
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
Kosher or coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the nuts (if not already toasted) on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cheese, sugar, lemon zest, rosemary and nuts with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and corn meal. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the lemon juice and mix until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and shape into logs, 9 -10 inches long and 1- 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends, to help firm the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for about 30 minutes to further firm the dough. (The dough can be kept frozen for up to 1 month; remove from the freezer to temper overnight in the refrigerator before slicing.)

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F at least 20 minutes before baking. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Let cool.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges
This lush custard can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. Top with beautiful blood orange segments right before serving. For a fun mini dessert try serving in small martini glasses.

Makes 6 servings or 12 mini desserts

2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
———————————–
2 blood oranges, segmented**

To make the custards: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Soak until the gelatin is soft. Place bowl in microwave on high power for about 3 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and warm. Add the liquefied gelatin, and whisk in to incorporate.

Divide the mixture evenly into 6 small, glass custard dishes, pretty glasses, or 12 small mini martini glasses. Place the custards on rimmed baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Be sure the wrap does not touch the tops of the custards. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.

To serve: Top each custard right before serving with blood orange segments.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

** To segment oranges: Cut the peel and all the white pith from the oranges, exposing the flesh. With a small paring knife, cut out the orange segments over a bowl, saving any juice.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 16th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Lifestyle, Recipes, appetizers, dessert, sides

Autumn Pears

We are so lucky here in the Pacific Northwest to have such a delicious variety of sumptuous pears! Bartlett, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde – each one different, yet they’re all oh-so-delicious!

The months of October through December are the prime time for pears.

One of my favorite preparations for pears is roasting them: just cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning. Roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until they are just tender.

They’re great tossed in a fall salad, served with roast chicken or on a crostini with some gorgonzola for an easy appetizer like in my Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola! Or maybe even serve them with your Thanksgiving roast turkey as a tasty accompaniment!

Another idea is to make a pear wasabi puree: sauté diced pears till tender, then puree them mixed with a little wasabi for a tasty sauce for grilled fish of scallops.

And don’t forget about the drinks! Try infusing a bottle of vodka with a sliced pear. Let sit for 2 – 3 days then strain! Delicious in cocktails like my Pear Thyme Fizz or put it in bottles and give it as a great fall hostess gift! –Kathy

Roasted Pear Crostini (2)
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne

Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola
These are extra-delicious topped with chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Balsamic glaze can be purchased at gourmet and well-stocked grocery stores.

Makes 24

Pears
2 firm red Bartlett or other red-skinned pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

24 pieces Herbed Crostini (recipe follows)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese or thinly sliced Cambozola
2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

For garnishing
Tiny sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

To roast the pears: Quarter the pears lengthwise, then core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 6 slices (you should have 24 slices, total). In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme. Add the pears and toss to coat.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out the pears, not touching, on the baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to caramelize on the edges. Pears can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

When ready to serve, lay out the crostini on a baking sheet and top each piece with about 1 heaping teaspoon of gorgonzola or a slice of Cambozola, then a slice of pear. Bake until just warmed, about 4 minutes.

Drizzle each piece with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic glaze, then garnish with thyme.

Herbed Crostini
Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

Makes 32 to 40 pieces

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 long, skinny French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, dried herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil or, in a large bowl, drizzle the bread with the oil and toss well. Lay out the bread in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just crispy.

Crostini can be made in advance, cooled thoroughly, and stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days. If necessary, recrisp them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.liquidkitchen.com

Pear Thyme Fizz
Fresh thyme’s savoriness is wonderful against the crisp dryness of pear.

Makes 1 drink

1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 oz Pear Infused Vodka (recipe follows)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
Splash of chilled brut Champagne, dry sparkling wine, or soda water

For garnishing
Thin slice of fresh pear
Small sprig of fresh thyme

Bend the large thyme sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Top with a splash of Champagne. Float a pear slice and thyme sprig in the drink for garnish.

Pear Infused Vodka
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 large ripe pear
1 1/2 cups vodka

Core pear and cut into thin slices (leave skin on) and place in a mason jar with vodka. Cap and shake. Leave to infuse for at least 2 days (up to 5 days) and then strain. (Discard pears.) Refrigerate until ready to use.

Simple Syrup
This is a bar staple and the most commonly used sweetener. Though you can purchase simple syrup, it is ordinarily sweeter than I prefer, so I highly recommend making your own. Proportions vary but it is easy.

Makes 3 cups

2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Mix the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil 1 minute then immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a clean glass bottle or container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks or, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.liquidkitchen.com

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 14th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers

Zingy Grapefruit

We all enjoy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast and in classic cocktails like a Salty Dog (or a Greyhound depending if salt is used) or a Paloma. All for good reasons, too.

Grapefruits contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and they are rich in vitamins A and C. Peeled and eaten like an orange, they have a ton of good-for-you fiber and are known to help with weight loss.

KC065

Juicy grapefruits!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

I love pink and ruby grapefruit for their balance of sweetness and tang. They are perfect paired with avocado, like in my Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Honey Shallot Vinaigrette.

Are you a Chicken Picatta fan? Try it with grapefruit instead of the traditional lemon! I love to serve this with orzo tossed with a little butter and lots of fresh herbs. Or even better if you have fresh chanterelle mushrooms available – sauté them up and fold into cooked wild rice. Yum!

And for a refreshing and bright beverage, try my recipe for Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz. Oh! And it is also great as a cocktail with a little shot of something added…. vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon……they all work!

Enjoy grapefruits in all their zesty glory any way you like! – Kathy

Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Ginger Honey Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup canola or olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

——————————————————–
2 large pink or ruby grapefruit
2 ripe but firm avocados
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups cooked bay shrimp or cooked prawns
1 very large head butter lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off grapefruit, then cut skin off the sides of grapefruit, carefully removing all the white pith. Section out grapefruit into a bowl. (Cut grapefruit out with a knife to get sections with no pith. If there is lots of juice, do not add it to salad—drink it!) Toss grapefruit with red onion. Slice avocado over grapefruit and add shrimp and half of the dressing. Fold dressing in—be very gentle.

Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Divide among small serving plates or place on a large platter.

Top dressed greens with grapefruit mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts and Capers
Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
4 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely minced grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 grapefruit wedges for garnish, and squeezing

In a small, flat bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. In another flat dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Coat each piece well, then shake off the excess.

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the olive oil. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot skillet, and cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain chicken on paper towels. Keep warm. (Keep the pan to make the sauce—don’t wash it.)

In the chicken cooking pan, add the garlic and stir around for a few seconds, being careful not to burn. Add the grapefruit juice and white wine. Increase heat to high, bring sauce to a boil, and let reduce by half. Immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the grapefruit zest, remaining butter, capers and parsley.

Transfer chicken to a warm platter and spoon sauce over each breast, then sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve with grapefruit wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz
Try substituting ginger ale for the soda water in this refreshing drink for and extra ginger kick. To make it libatious, add a shot of your favorite spirit!

Makes 1 drink

3 oz fresh squeezed Sunkist Pink Grapefruit juice
1 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
1 oz soda water, chilled
Garnish: Sunkist Grapefruit wedge

Fill a tall glass with ice. Measure in the Sunkist Grapefruit juice, Honey Ginger Syrup and soda water. Stir to combine and garnish.

Honey Ginger Syrup
Makes 10 ounces

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 18th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, meats, salads

Hooray for Fall Apples!

Washington State and apples – they go hand-in-hand AND there is so much you can do with them. How about dessert? There is nothing more classic than warm apple pie, but even this beloved recipe can stand a new twist. Try adding in grated cheddar cheese to the crust and tossing some local cranberries into the filling for my Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust. A match made for the fall as apples and cranberries are both in peak season.


Who’s ready for pie? I know that I am!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

And apples aren’t just for desserts, try adding diced apples into a chili!  My Stadium Apple Chili recipe combines diced Fuji apples with chilis, pork sausage and beans. The Fujis are nice because they keep their shape and add a touch of sweetness – perfect for tailgating and definitely oh-so northwest!

For an easy appetizer I like to make a Spicy Apple Onion Compote. Sauté diced apples with a little onion until just barely tender, then add in some red pepper jelly – YUM! Serve this on top of crostini or rustic crackers with a smear of goat cheese or a slice of brie and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Perfect for your fall party entertaining!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, apples are a great addition to any meal! – Kathy

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and 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 a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes 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®.

Stadium Apple Chili
Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon dry whole oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Spicy Apple Onion Compote
Makes enough for 6 servings.

1 large green apple with peel, cored and cut in chunks
1/4 medium white onion, cut in chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup red pepper jam (medium spiciness)
1 tablespoon dried currants

In a food processor pulse the apple and onion until they are chopped into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.

In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes until apples and onions are just tender.

Add the lemon zest, vinegar, pepper jam and currants and bring to a boil. Let boil about 2 minutes until loose and chutney-like. If compote gets too dry while cooking, add a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat and cool.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 3rd, 2013  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, dessert, meats, sides

Juicy Tomatoes

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

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

Caprese Picks

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

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

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

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

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

Makes 24

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

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

24 short bamboo or other fun picks

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

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

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

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

Makes 1 1/2 cups

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

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

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

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

Makes 4 half-pint jars

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

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