Fruit

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

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(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.

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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

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 26th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

It’s Pomegranate Season!

Some foods just have a way to remind us of the season and pomegranates do just that. I always know winter has arrived when I start seeing those lovely garnet fruits piled high in the produce section.

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Juicy pomegranate seeds!

I remember eating my very first pomegranate as a kid, sitting in a chair with a TV tray. It occupied my little hands for hours…turning them bright pink but only for a day! Take note moms & dads!

Pomegranates’ tart-sweet seeds are prized for their distinctive flavor and are high in antioxidants. Whether muddled into a cocktail or sprinkled on salads, they are d’lish!  And I have a great tip to make de-seeding simple!

Cut the pomegranate in half, then holding a half firmly over a large bowl hit it with a heavy wooden spoon and watch the seeds come tumbling out. Repeat – then eat!  Side note: this is also a great stress reliever!

For a quick and easy appetizer, add pomegranate seeds to hummus. It adds great texture to the already creamy hummus and helps the flavor jump at you with it’s tartness.

In my Tender Greens with Tangerine Vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds add a very colorful and tart addition to this healthy, citrusy salad and plays well with the sweetness of the tangerine.

So pick up some pomegranates and enjoy their tangy addition to a very delicious winter! -Kathy

Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Tender Greens with Tangerine Vinaigrette & Pomegranate Seeds
Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 tsp very finely minced tangerine zest *
3 Tbsps fresh tangerine juice
3 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsps very light olive oil

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4 cups gourmet greens mix
1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce
1/2 cup (about 3 medium) diced or segmented tangerines (peeled and seeded)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

To prepare the vinaigrette:
* To make the tangerine zest, peel the tangerine with a potato peeler then mince zest until very fine.

In a small bowl whisk together the tangerine zest, tangerine and lemon juices, dijon mustard, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Whisking continuously, drizzle in olive oil slowly to emulsify the dressing. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

To prepare the salad:
Wash gourmet greens, if necessary, and spin dry. Tear the Bibb lettuce into bite-sized pieces; rinse, if necessary, and spin dry. Toss greens together in a bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate until needed.

Right before serving, in a large bowl toss the greens with the dressing until well coated. Divide salad between 4 – 6 chilled salad plates. Garnish each one with some of the diced tangerines and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 23rd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, 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

Summer Blackberries

Ahh blackberries… the glorious summer berry growing in backyards, parks, and all along our northwest trails. These delicious juicy little fruits are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes that they grow on – and your patience will be rewarded!

Not only are blackberries delicious, but they’re good for you! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit – these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Truth be told, I think blackberries really are a taste of summer, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail. Add them into a shaker tin with some fresh mint, lime juice, simple syrup and rum, and you have a wonderful (and easy to make) Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some d’lish Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup.


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Or how about a summer salad tossed with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette – a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese – a great start to any summer meal.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a fresh bowl of blackberries! –Kathy

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
Toss with summer garden greens, and fat blackberries. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and a crumbling of blue cheese or chevre. Dressing recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 generous cup of dressing.

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Liquid Kitchen® No. 5130 honey or local honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 4th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Juicy, Summer Stone Fruits

One of my favorite things about summer is juicy stone fruits! What’s a stone fruit? Well, it’s anything with a pit in the center – think plums, juicy peaches, nectarines and apricots.

For some of you, visions of apricots and peaches may conjure up memories of canning with grandma. For others, they were the summer treat to enjoy under a shady tree with friends. Fresh-picked, sliced in a salad, baked in a pie, or shaken in a cocktail… the possibilities are endless.

And who does not like homemade Ginger Peach Sorbet! It’s easy to make. I like those freezable crank ice cream machines. Just keep the bowl part in the freezer so you’ll be ready to whip up a batch anytime.


My Blended Peach Whiskey Sour

For the adults try my recipe for a blended Peach Whiskey Sour, great to serve a crowd at a patio party.

And for those of you that live in the Northwest – Metropolitan Markets is celebrating Peach-O-Rama with juicy ripe super sweet peaches with a Brix level (sweetness) that is around 15 – sweet!

So enjoy the summer days with succulent stone fruits!–Kathy

Ginger Peach Sorbet
Makes about 4 cups.

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. very finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup water
about 2 lb. fresh peaches (or enough to make 3 cups of puree)
2 Tbsps. fresh lime juice

Place sugar, ginger and water in a small sauce pan, stir and bring to a boil. Let cook about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, peel and pit peaches. If peaches don’t peel easily, then plunge them into a pot of rapidly boiling water for about 30 seconds and then into cold water to loosen skins before peeling.

Place peaches and lime juice in blender and puree until smooth. Combine peach puree with cooled ginger mixture. Chill mixture at least 30 minutes.

Place mixture in an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 21st, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Sweet & Summery Honey Cocktails

Cocktails sweetened with honey are perfect to sip on during these warm, summery evenings. And honey syrup is an easy way to that touch of sweetness instead of traditional simple syrup. Just combine 1 part warm water with 1 1/2 parts honey, stir till dissolved, and keep refrigerated for up to a week.


My Liquid Kitchen 5130 Honey!

Use it in any of your favorite recipes that call for simple syrup, such as a margarita. Or whip up a pitcher of Summer Honey Lemon Collins that you can get creative with.

Just combine in a pitcher:
1 1/2 cups vodka or gin – use a local one if you like
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup Honey Syrup (recipe above)

Then add:
Some fun local fruits and herbs (think strawberries and basil) and squish around with a wooden spoon to meld the flavors.

Then add:
1 cup soda water

Fill with ice, stir and enjoy!

I also love honey in a summery sangria as well made with crisp white wine, sliced peaches and a splash of liquor. Yum! (See my recipe below)

So get your buzzzz on with a honey cocktail. PS – honey syrup is of course great in non-alcoholic drinks too! –Kathy

Summertime White Sangria
1 bottle (750 ml) local white wine
1/4 cup liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or St. Germain
2 – 3 Tbsp. of my 5130 Liquid Kitchen® Honey or your favorite honey
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup cut up local fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums

In a large pitcher, stir the wine, liqueur and honey together until honey is dissolved. Add the fruits and stir, crushing some of the fruit. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, to let the flavors marry. Serve over ice, including some of the fruit in each serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 15th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes
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