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!

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, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, poultry

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 Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, salads

Be a Tourist in your Town with Savor Seattle Tours!

Having lived in Seattle for years and years, I sometimes forget what a cool city I live in!

So every few years, I play “tourist” in my own city and learn to see Seattle through the eyes of someone new. It lets me discover things that I sometimes miss in my everyday life.

Recently I took a group of visiting chefs on a Savor Seattle Food Tour through Pike Place Market. It was amazing!


Our first stop was Ellenos Greek Yogurt and their absolutely over the top, creamy flavors. Try a fun new flavor like Lemon Curd or Passion Fruit. Don’t forget to take some home!

If you’re a pickle fan (I am!), Britt’s Pickles is a “pickle haven.” Think old-school deli-style pickles, and a rainbow of krauts (I love their curry one!) to amazing kimchis! Britt’s makes everything by hand and they do their fermentation in old school oak barrels.

Other Savor Seattle stops include indi chocolate, where you can Taste a fresh-roasted coco bean. BB Ranch for amazing cuts of steaks and whose motto is “GOOD SOIL. BETTER FEED. BEST BEEF.” MarketSpice – home to a variety of spices, blends, teas, and coffees – essential to anyone looking to add a little flavor POW to their next dish.

Another fun spot to check out is Mt. Townsend Creamery for their fresh local cheeses like Truffle Stack – one of my faves!

And there’s always riding the Seattle Ducks – who’s in?

So get out and rediscover your Seattle and be a tourist for a day! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 28th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

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

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Treats

When I was a kid, summer was full of freedom, adventures, and of course ICE CREAM! I can still hear the catchy jingle of the ice cream truck slowly turning the corner to go down my street.

Today, the market is full of classic and snazzy ice creams, gelatos, custards, and frozen yogurt treats. But the classics are always a favorite.

Take the ice cream sandwich as an example. Creamy, soft ice cream sandwiched between a pair of homemade cookies… now, that’s what I call heaven! With so many great ice creams on the market it’s easy to “sandwich” your own. How about Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia – with chunks of chocolate and cherries folded into rich vanilla bean ice cream. Sandwich between Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies with dried cherries and almonds – yes, please! Or Gingersnaps with Summery Local Peach Ice Cream – mmmm!

And we can’t forget the ice cream float! The classic vanilla ice cream and root beer is always a favorite, but how about something different? Use locally made soda and ice cream with new flavors to take this to a whole new level! I like not-too sweet Vanilla Bean DRY Soda so d’lish when poured atop a big scoop of Molly Moon’s Honey Lavender ice cream. Now that’s a local float!

A Boozy Shake: Spirited Chocolate Covered Cherry Milkshakes!

For those looking for a more “adult” treat, check out my recipe for a Salted Caramel Coffee Spiked Milkshake in the latest issue of Sip Northwest Magazine. Made with vanilla ice cream, Hot Cakes Pacific Coast Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, and Rain City Spirits Drip Coffee Liqueur, this creamy deliciousness is then topped with whipped cream and my Liquid Kitchen Edible Cocktail Gold.

Enjoy the rest of summer with these ice cream ideas! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 7th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, My Seattle, Recent Posts, Small Screen Network

Taste America comes to Seattle

The James Beard Foundation will be coming to Seattle as part of their Taste America: Local Flavor from Coast to Coast on Friday, September 26th and Saturday, September 27th! As part of their epicurean tour, Seattle has been chosen to host a weekend long tour celebrating America’s cultural diversity.

The kick-off event starts on Friday at the Four Seasons Hotel with A Night of Culinary Star, an exclusive dinner created by All-Star Marc Murphy from New York City’s Benchmarc Restaurants, Tom Douglas, and Host Chef Kerry Sear. The night will start off with bites and sips from Seattle chefs, including Maria Hines, Jason Wilson, Rachel Yang, Renee Erikson, and Jason Stratton then lead to the amazing dinner.

On Saturday, there will be a series of free events at Sur La Table in Kirkland including demos and tastings, book signings, and more.

For dinner ticket prices and more information, check out the Taste America website.

Taste America

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 4th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, events

Celebrating NW Spirits

Looking for lots of great drink recipes using NW spirits? Check out Sip Northwest Magazine – it’s chock full of great libatious articles and recipes by yours truly. Try my Summer Punches – great for this weekend’s 4th of July celebrations!

Hoppy Melon sm
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Are you a fan of locally made spirits? I sure am! Washington has some of the fastest growing craft distilleries in the country! Come try a whole new selection at PROOF – The Washington Distillers Festival next Saturday July 12 at Seattle’s Fremont Studios.

Proof

This second annual festival will include tastings of locally made whiskey, gin, bourbon, vodka and lots more craft spirits. You will be able to discover your new favorite cocktail, shaken, or stirred – by local restaurants and bars.

Find something you like? Tons of bottles will be for sale so you can take home your new favorite local spirit!

And if this sounds good to you, but mixing drinks at home sounds a little daunting, then have no fear – local bartenders will provide tips to mixing drinks and upgrading your home bar!

–Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 3rd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Tasty Travels

Picnic Staple: Potato Salad

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, which means outdoor picnics, and parties. And nothing says sunny weather menu must have better than potato salad.

To me, my Grandma Mimi’s potato salad will always be the gold standard, but I also love to try creative twists and new variations.

Greek or Asian potato salad? Why not? My Greek Potato Salad incorporates red potatoes with fresh oregano, calamata olives, bell peppers and cucumbers with a d’lish Feta Vinaigrette. And one of my new faves is Wasabi Potato Salad. Just toss still warm steamed potatoes with soy and a little seasoned rice wine vinegar – cooled then mixed with a wasabi spiked mayo, celery and green onions. Yum!

Or really think outside the box and try my All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs! Combining two party staples, these deviled eggs feature classic potato salad ingredients like mayo, mustard, celery, and are topped with a tiny diced potato salad!

So get out there and enjoy the weekend with a tasty potato salad as part of your picnic table. –Kathy

All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs

(Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)

All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs
Nothing says 4th of July or sunny summer picnic quite like potato salad! These eggs definitely do the original justice, and they’re the perfect finger food accompaniment to a fun day outdoors.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
6 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp minced dill pickles
2 Tbsp minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced celery

Topping
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cooked tiny-diced potato
3 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickle
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the pickles, onion, and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and sugar. Add the potato, pickle, and parsley, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Greek Potato Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Makes 8 cups

2 lbs red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup halved pitted calamata olives
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 cup tiny-diced red onion
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup crumbled cheese)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Steam potatoes until very tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, oregano, salt and pepper.

When potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing and set aside until cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 22nd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads
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