Books to Cook

Money Saving Braising

Looking to make a meal to impress, but don’t want to break the bank? Braising can make even the toughest cuts of meat, an inexpensive, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Braising is a loooooong, slow-cooking method that can be done on the stove-top, in the oven, or in a crock pot. What a great treatment for less tender, more flavorful cuts of meat. Think beef chuck, lamb shanks, chicken legs, or short ribs. These tough cuts are less expensive, but really taste like a million bucks if they’re cooked low and slow. Perfect for a lazy Sunday supper.

First, season up your meat, then give it a good sear in a hot pan with a little oil. Add in tasty ingredients like wine, herbs, and veggies. Cover tightly and pop the pan in an oven on LOW HEAT (around 300 – 325 degrees) and forget about it for a few hours! Now the hard part: be patient. Don’t try to rush the process; this takes time.

Once it’s finished, don’t forget about all that juicy braising liquid. It’s perfect to make a tasty sauce with!

One of my favorite dishes to make is my Slow Cooked Roasted Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic. Perfect for a comfort food Sunday night snuggled up with some fluffy mashed potatoes – yum!

Here’s to slow cooking! –Kathy

Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic

If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.

Makes 6 to 8 generous servings

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
3 Tbsp flour
20 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, optional

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.

Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter. Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.

Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.

Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender.

Stir the basil into the sauce.

Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

 

Posted by Kathy on February 18th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Money Saving Braising |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, Amazon, KOMO Radio, meats

Holiday Desserts We Love

We all have our dessert traditions: those sweet treats that have been passed down the generations, shared from friends and family.

Maybe its Mom’s Ice Box Sugar Cookies, rolled out with love and cut from Great-Great Grandma’s cutters. You know: the reindeer, Christmas tree, festive snowman, and star. Then decorated with lots of icing, silver balls, and sprinkles. Or boxes of homemade fudge wrapped in wax paper and delivered in that special holiday tin.

How cool that these days you can just hop online and see what other’s sweet traditions are. Blogs, newsletters, Facebook pages, Pinterest, and Instagram – all bring us new and d’lish inspiration these days. It’s like having a recipe file at your fingertips!

And there is something to be said of that. Mom’s tattered and stained recipe card, with hand-written notes has that special love on it that is sure to come through in the final dish. So it’s important that these holiday traditions be passed on. Here’s a link to my Mom’s Gumdrop Cookies that I grew up with!

I like to preserve these well-worn recipes. Why not create a little digital book with your most cherished family and friends recipes to pass to those you love this holiday season.

Kathy Casey's "Over 21" Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker's Mark
Who wants a slice of my Over 21 “Real Fruit” Cakes made with Maker’s Mark?

My Grandma always baked amazing fruitcake – I took her recipe and have now given it my own spin by soaking dried fruits in Maker’s Mark bourbon, then mixing it with spiced batter and lots of toasted nuts. You can get my Over 21 “Real Fruit” Cakes while supplies last (available online or at my Food Studios in Ballard).

My tradition is to have a slice toasted on Christmas morning with a big cup of coffee! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 17th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Holiday Desserts We Love |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Books to Cook, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio

Gluten-Free Wish List-the perfect gift for those on your Nice List!

My dear friend, genius gluten-free guru Jeanne Sauvage, has released an inspiring new cookbook – the Gluten-Free Wish List, filled with delicious and craveable sweet and savory dishes for celiacs and the health conscious alike.

Living a gluten-free lifestyle can sometimes lead to feeling like you’re missing out on your favorite comfort foods, but Jeanne, who is gluten-intolerant herself, refuses to let this notion dictate her life and her diet. Jeanne’s book will fulfill all your cravings! After much trial and error, she has built a delicious and diverse collection of recipes that even I, as a non-celiac, have been drooling over.

From Challah to crispy Fried Chicken to chewy Bagels, Jeanne has managed to transform seemingly unattainable wheat staples into scrumptious celiac-friendly treats. Standout recipes include Potato Gnocchi with Tomato-Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Chicken and Dumpling Soup, Old-Fashioned Doughnuts, and her helpful and informative instructions for Laminated Doughs – hello Croissants! And if the idea of Pop Tarts brings back fond memories from your childhood, then check out her sophisticated and delightful take on Toaster Tarts.

Personally, I can’t resist a good tiramisu and her version is as luscious and satisfying as any recipe out there. It’s safe to say that the recipes in Gluten-Free Wish List don’t just ‘taste good for gluten-free’, they taste d’lish period!

Gluten-Free Wish List
Jeanne’s book is available locally in Seattle at Book Larder – stop on by to support Small Independent Book Stores.

Posted by Kathy on December 2nd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Gluten-Free Wish List-the perfect gift for those on your Nice List! |  Posted in Foodie News, Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes

Get Saucy

Often the trick to a d’lish dish is the sauce, but sometimes making one can be a bit daunting.

Seattle author Susan Volland’s new book Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors will help take the mystery out of making a great sauce. So you can easily splash, slather, drizzle or douse!

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

From basic recipes for stock (the building block of sauces) to creative and unique takes on classic recipes, this book has sauces covered from A to Z.

From quick and easy Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce to her recipe for a Vegan Corn “Hollandaise” – there are a lot of ideas to finish off your favorite dish.

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

  • How to fancy up a white sauce: think sweet curry or caramelized onion and roasted garlic
  • Not your everyday cheese sauce: with cheddar and ale or tomato and goat cheese
  • Even chocolate gets a tasty saucy twist with ancho chili and fresh mint
  • Susan is an amazing chef and has wanted to write this book for years. It is one of the most comprehensive sauce books of all times and destined to become an eternal classic. Her recipes are always well written and precision tested.

    So crack open a copy of Mastering Sauces and get saucy!

    P.S. – And It’s never too early to think about holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. –Kathy

    Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce
    Susan says: “This sauce is nutty, sweet, and slightly exotic, and, it can be whipped up in less time than the quick-cooking dishes I like to dunk in it: grilled chicken skewers, Vietnamese spring rolls, or pot stickers. Double or triple the recipe, and you can use it to simmer chicken or as a sauce for chewy stir-fried noodles. It keeps well.”

    Yield: 1/2 cup

    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup water, coconut water, or Really Good Chicken Stock
    2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or substitute 2 tsp. light soy sauce or tamari)
    2 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
    1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, Tamarind Water, or rice vinegar

    Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the sauce at room temperature or lightly warmed.

    If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

    Susan says: “The friends and I have introduced this sauce to—even die-hard carnivores and butter lovers—claim to prefer this vegan version to classic hollandaise. The creamy yellow sauce mimics the texture of hollandaise without relying on eggs and butter. It is not as cloying, it’s heat stable, it’s tasty enough to be slurped up by the spoonful, and there is little or no guilt afterward. You will need a few specialty ingredients: miso, nutritional yeast flakes, and arrowroot. These are available at some supermarkets and at natural foods markets. Arrowroot is added for stability and gentle thickening; kudzu root (available at health foods markets) can also be used.”

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1 1/2 cups water, Corn Stock, or Corncob Mock Stock
    1 cup fresh or thawed frozen yellow corn kernels
    1/3 cup whole raw cashews
    1 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
    1 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    1 – 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of Tabasco

    Combine the water, corn kernels, and cashews in a saucepan, cover, and simmer until the cashews are tender and the corn is very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

    Transfer the cashew mixture to a blender, add the miso, yeast, and arrowroot, and puree until very smooth. Strain back into the saucepan, pressing the solids against the sides of the strainer to extract as much smooth pupl and liquid as possible. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is just simmering and has thickened. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve warm.

    Unlike hollandaise, this sauce can be refrigerated and reheated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Posted by Kathy on November 12th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Get Saucy |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, other

    Fig-a-licious Fruit!

    Although I love them, figs are so much more than the iconic Fig Newton, which by the way was first sold dried in a commercially manufactured cookie in 1892. Who knew?

    Figs: they’re unusual, versatile, and even grow well here in Seattle. I have a fig tree in my backyard!

    Fig edited
    A plump fig growing in my back Urban Garden – ready to be picked!

    It’s best to pick figs when fully ripened. The fig is ready for harvest when it drops on the stem from its own weight. Pick with the stems attached, but always plan to use within a few days.

    Although in the kitchen we consider it a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. There are no blossoms on the tree’s branches; the blossom is inside the fig. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little seeds that give figs their unusual taste and texture.

    Figs are of course fabulous fresh, but you can also cook up some creative dishes with them too.

    One of my favorite apps is quick and easy: Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. So easy to make. I love them paired with a delicious Manhattan made with House Spiced Vermouth – YUM!–Kathy

    Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
    Makes about 24 to 30 pieces

    4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1 pint fresh figs, halved lengthwise

    Preheat an oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, mix the Gorgonzola and walnuts. Arrange the figs, cut side up, on an ungreased baking sheet, and top each piece with 1 generous teaspoon of the Gorgonzola mixture.

    Roast the figs for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is hot. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

    Recipe © from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook.

    Posted by Kathy on September 18th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Fig-a-licious Fruit! |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recipes, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Small Screen Network, videos

    Potato Salads

    Potato Salad is the go-to summer side dish. It’s perfect when cozied up with grilled chicken, or a plate of BBQ goodness.

    Everyone seems to love their Mom or Grandma’s versions. Is yours creamy, eggy, pickley? A lot of times it’s what you grew up with that becomes your gold standard.

    But why not mix it up a little with some creative takes on this perennial favorite. 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. Still warm steamed potatoes are tossed with soy and seasoned rice wine vinegar – cooled then mixed with a wasabi spiked mayo, celery and green onions. Yum!


    Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.
    Or whip up a batch of All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs from my book D’Lish Deviled Eggs

    So whatever potato salad you’re setting your table with this weekend I know it will be D’Lish! – Kathy

    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® – www.KathyCasey.com

    Posted by Kathy on July 9th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Potato Salads |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, sides

    Delicious Walla Walla Onions!

    I look forward to our local NW Walla Walla Onions every year. When these sweet onions pile up at the farmers market, I know anything I make with them is going to be SWEEET!

    Sweeter than a regular yellow onion, it’s said that biting into a Walla Walla is similar to biting into an apple. I don’t know, but I’ll try it if you do!

    I DO know that they are mild and sweet enough to serve raw, thick slices with garden fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, some bright green basil and just a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and good olive oil. One of my favorite summer dinners.

    Another fave is to put a little olive oil and white wine vinegar in a large zip lock bag with thick cut Walla Walla rings and marinate for a few hours. Just before serving, toss in some chopped herbs like basil, tarragon, fresh chives, and Italian parsley. Perfect to serve atop grilled salmon or a steak – or add to a sliced tomato salad.

    PS: If you’re an onion crier like me be sure to refrigerate your onions before slicing OR have a pair of onion goggles ready – it helps! –Kathy

    >Walla Walla Onions
    Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table

    Herb Marinated Walla Walla Sweet Onions
    For a summer buffet table, grill a whole side of salmon and serve it on a large platter, festooned with the herbed onions and fresh herb sprigs. This is also great served with steak.

    Makes 4 servings – and enough to top 4 salads, pieces of fish or grilled meats.

    1 large Walla Walla Sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    3 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil or cilantro
    1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
    1 Tbsp. 1/2-inch-long pieces fresh chives
    2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    To make the onions, carefully separate the rings and place in a resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and oil. Pour the marinade over the onions and close the bag, expelling excess air. Turn the bag to coat the onion evenly, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Just serving, gently toss the onions and marinade in a large bowl with the chopped herbs.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

    Posted by Kathy on June 25th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Delicious Walla Walla Onions! |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio

    Strawberry Days

    Strawberries really signal the beginning of summer. I can’t wait for the first big, juicy red berry of the season.

    Probably the most popular way to enjoy strawberries (other than eaten from hand) is strawberry shortcake. Here’s a quick tip for my favorite take on the classic: Start with Fisher Fair Scone Mix, add in some chocolate chips, form them, and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    Bake and serve with sliced fresh strawberries tossed with a touch of local honey, and a dollop of whip cream. For a truly decadent experience, add a splash of local berry liqueur to the whip cream! Yum!

    On the non-dessert side, too, strawberries have multiple possibilities. In my Strawberry & Spinach Salad, I like to top them with thin slivers of sweet Walla Walla onion and glazed almonds, then dressed it all with a Lowfat Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette thickened with pureed strawberries – a light and refreshing summer salad.

    If you don’t have strawberries of your own to pick, there are many choices around the Northwest for “U-Pick” strawberries. And if you have had a big day of picking but still haven’t eaten your fill while in the field, sit down and relax with a big, glistening bowl of just-picked juicy berries. -Kathy

    Strawberry & Spinach Salad
    Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette
    You can substitute toasted hazelnuts for the almonds. This salad is also excellent as an entrée salad, topped with grilled chicken cut into strips.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    Vinaigrette
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    3 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/3 cup light olive oil or other salad oil
    2 teaspoons poppy seed

    Salad
    3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered, or another local berry, such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
    2 bunches spinach, stemmed, washed well, and spun dry (8 to 10 cups)
    1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onion, such as a Walla Walla Sweet
    1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

    To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, ginger, mustard, honey, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Stir in the poppy seed. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

    To make the salad, toss the berries, spinach, and onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with almonds.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Strawberry Days |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, Fruit, KOMO Radio, salads
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