Foodie News

Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.

This Yummy Chili Photo is from SimplyRecipes.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

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 Tbsp. 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 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. 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 tsp. 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®

Posted by Kathy on October 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, pork, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

Most people have had hand at cooking spaghetti squash, and there are a lot of ways to prepare this tasty vegetable.

This winter squash starts getting popular at the farmers market and grocery store in early fall. The cooked stringy flesh is delicious, but there are a few cooking tricks to know.

(Photo from Elizabeth Norris’ blog)

Cut the squash in half length-wise. Make sure to use a good knife and a little muscle – this is a sturdy squash! Once you have the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp the same way you would with any other winter squash.

Turn the halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a little water and roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in and out of the flesh easily. If you’re in a hurry you can quick cook it the same way in the microwave in a glass dish – just blast on high until fork tender.

Now to get those noodle-like strands out of the shell. Turn the squash up and gently scrape the flesh with a fork along the grain and loosen it up. Then scoop the squash into a bowl and finish how you like.

It’s a great low-calorie and gluten-free option to traditional pasta for topping with marinara. Or toss it with maple syrup or honey, a little butter or olive oil, some minced fresh herbs and some sea salt for a great side dish to any entrée. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 29th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

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!

Photo from The Daily Apple

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!

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

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

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

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

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 21st, 2016  |  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 8th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Grillin’ Up Some Pizzas

Oh summertime! The grill is hot; the drinks are cold. But sometimes we need some other options of the same old, same old. The obligatory hot dogs, kabobs, burgers can get tired – so let’s switch it up a bit and grill up some pizza!

Grilled Pizza
Love this photo of Grilled Pizza from King Arthur Flour

It’s easy to make savory or even sweet pizzas right on your grill. Start with your favorite pizza dough recipe OR pick up some fresh dough at the store, like Trader Joe’s.

Roll out the dough into individual oval-shaped pies, put parchment in between them and store in the fridge until you are ready to fire up. Get your sauces together, like garlicy herb oil or sassy tomato basil. And of course, get all your toppings out: cheeses, roasted veggies, meats, and more.

Now get your DIY pizza party going! Preheat the grill! Throw on a dough disk (bring it to room temperature) on and grill on the first side for about a minute, or more. You’ll want to be sure that it’s nice and crispy and has tasty grill marks. Then turn over and top with sauce, cheese and goodies, then cook until done – fun, right?

Hosting a Brunch Patio Party? Try grilling up a breakfast pizza: garlicky olive oil, mascarpone, shredded gouda, and crispy smoked bacon. Crack an egg on it and close the lid till just done.

For a sweet tooth, dish up and serve a s’mores pie. Cook up the pie crust until it is just bubbling, Turn it over, then top with marshmallows, crushed up salted chocolate bars, and crumbled graham crackers. For added decadence, drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauce – yum!

So get your imagination cap on, turn on the grill, roll up your sleeves and make a party out of grilling your next pizza pie. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on July 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

Chef Trevis at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Congratulations to chef friend and author Trevis Gleason for winning the Prestige Award by the International Jury at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards! Held in China last month, this is the world’s only international culinary publishing awards ceremony. Trevis’ award winning book Chef Interrupted shares stories about living with multiple sclerosis, some of his favorite recipes, and his travel adventures in moving to Ireland. Yay Trevis!


Posted by Kathy on June 23rd, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News

Q’ed up for Barbecue!

Everyone loves a good “Q.” Grill masters gather round to stoke the coals and debate when to flip the food, and everyone shares their recipes for amazing barbecue. From hot dogs to burgers to sides of salmon during summer nights in the Northwest, everything tastes better cooked on the grill. And that grill is not just for meat, anything can be grillable!

Start your evening off with some rustic bread, crusted over the coals. Served with a selection of tasty toppings, such as an artichoke and lemon tapenade paired with creamy chive studded goat cheese and a fresh tomato Mediterranean salsa.

Grilled Bread

Then it is time to move on to the main course. Pick your favorite grillable and get that going, but let’s serve up some charred corn as a side. Serve this with the “every so tasty” Mexican Corn Spread – a mixture of mayo, Cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro, and garlic. Spread this all over and serve with a lime wedge. Yum!

Here is a great photo from the Domestic Curator’s Blog.
Check it out for the recipe and step by step instructions.

And while the coals are still hot, how about a “grilled” dessert? Skewer a few bananas and slice up some pineapple. Get some good caramelization going. Now serve these up with some good old fashioned vanilla ice cream, some sexy caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of toasted pistachios. Now that’s grilling!

So get the grill warmed up, it’s time for Q! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

Berry Bounty

People are always asking me, “What’s your favorite food?” and give me that puzzled look when I tell them, “Berries, love them all!” Obviously this response isn’t as exotic or avant-garde, but I really, truly do love berries!

The season starts with our super sweet strawberries, and boy are they sweet with our high temperatures already this summer. The season is early so if you’re looking for a fun family or friend outing head this weekend to a local U-Pick field. If you like to preserve and are a jam maker like me, then try adding a few dried lavender flowers to your favorite strawberry jam recipe – super yummy!

As soon as our strawberry season passes by, then we move on to “caneberries:” raspberries and blackberries, and their cousins – tayberry, marionberry, boysenberry, and loganberry.

My favorite way to eat raspberries!

I have to say that raspberries are my absolute favorite and I am lucky to have an heirloom variety growing in my backyard. Juicy, dark red, and full of flavor, they may not look as perfect as some of the new “hybrids” but they exude flavor like you’ve never had before. A handful of these will make you fall over swooning with berry-delicious goodness, especially when piled up “shortcake fashion” over chocolate chip scones.

It’s easy. Grab a box of Fisher Scone Mix, stir it up, and add in some mini chocolate chips, dollop it out in rounds, sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake it up. Then toss fresh berries with some local honey or a sprinkle of sugar, or just naked is just fine too. Whip up some heavy cream with vanilla or a splash of liqueur like Grand Marnier or try some bourbon with brown sugar. Dollop it up your shortcake and you’re in for some serious berry yum!

So whether you comb the side streets in search of big, fat, wild blackberries, grow marionberries in your backyard or buy raspberries from your local farmers market – I hope you cook up some berry-licious dishes this summer. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on June 9th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts