Foodie News

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!

huckleberries
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

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 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!

best3

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.

Raspberries
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

Spring in to Summer Gardening

The days are longer and the sun is shining. It’s time to think about a summer vegetable garden and what to plant. So what grows best here in the Pacific Northwest?

Well, now is the time to plant those pole beans. Have you ever made a pole bean tee pee? It’s a great way to keep the growing beans contained. Be sure to plant in full sun for optimal harvesting and pick them when they are small and tender! And if you have some picky kiddos then try planting bushing “purple beans” that magically turn green when you cook them – that’s pretty fun!


Learn to make a great pole bean tent and more from Garden Therapy!

Next on my best of list is zucchini – it’s easy to grow! My mom used to make these tasty little zucchini cakes topped with a fresh tomato sauce and a dollop of sour cream. Or these days try it with Greek yogurt. Have you ever had a Chocolate Zucchini Cake? I’ve got a recipe for you!

Next on the must to-plant list are sweet 100 tomatoes – this variety loves our NW weather. And there is nothing like going out to the garden and popping them right of the vine into your mouth. I also love them skewered, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned and then grilled till lightly charred and served as a side dish or served atop a grilled steak.

My last bit of advice is to be sure plant to a few greens. Arugula is a great addition to any garden. And rainbow chard, in hues of pink, yellow, red and white will grow bountifully, keep trimming it to the base and it grows all season!

So time to get down and dirty in the garden! –Kathy

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Makes 1 bunt cake – about 10 – 12 servings

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

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

Posted by Kathy on May 20th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, vegetables

Pucker Up Rhubarb is Here!

Spring is definitely here when you see the vibrant stalks of rhubarb piled up at grocers and farmers markets.

Rhubarb stalks range in various colors from pale green, sometimes speckled with pink, to fully pink and bright red. The color depends on the variety and is not a guide to quality or degree of sourness. Be careful and make sure to discard rhubarb leaves right away as they are poisonous.

Rhubarb
Rhubarb ready to be made into a d’lish dish!
(Photo courtesy of
SteadyHealth.com)

Rhubarb is of course wonderful in classic pies. But for a little something different, try my recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse for a unique, spring dessert. Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a tender syrupy goodness then chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream.

And though we love rhubarb in all things sweet – it’s not just for desserts. Try it in a new savory preparation such as in my Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette, it’s so tastydrizzled over spring’s other food star – fresh halibut. Yum!

Don’t forget about the drinks! Quench your thirst and whip up a batch of my Rhubarb Myer Lemon Ade. This pretty, pink-hued beverage is a great party sipper or add a shot of vodka or gin for a refreshing spring cocktail.

So celebrate spring in a tart and tasty way with delicious rhubarb! -Kathy

Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse
Makes 6 servings

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 cup sugar
———————
3 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together rhubarb and sugar and place in a 9- x 13-inch glass baking pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until completely cooled.

Whip cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with remaining tablespoon honey until firmly peaked. Stir about 1/3 of the whipping cream into the rhubarb-cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipping cream.

Dish up into 6, pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little plain whipped cream if desired and an edible, spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear or plum tree blossoms.

Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This tart and tangy vinaigrette is great drizzled over fresh halibut, grilled scallops or other white fish.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil

In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the canola oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Ade
“Bee” sure to use regional honey whenever you can to add some delicious local flavor! For a sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktail, shake about 4 ounces in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve strained in a large martini glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.

Makes about 6 cups or 8 servings

2 large Meyer lemons (or substitute regular lemons)
1 cup local honey
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
———————
water as needed
lemon wedge for garnishing

With a potato peeler remove only the yellow skin of the lemon, then with a sharp knife slice the zest into fine strips.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a 4-cup or 8-cup measure. Do not strain juice — you want to keep all the pulp — just pick out any seeds. Add the lemon peel strips, cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place honey, 4 cups of water, rhubarb and minced rosemary in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 – 5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, letting the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not press. (You can let this strain overnight, refrigerated, if you wish.)

Then add the juice to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and peel. Stir, and add water to make 6 cups total. Pour into a decorative pitcher.

Serve about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) over ice in tall glasses with a lemon wedge.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 28th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes
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