Posts filed under 'Books to Cook'
On those days when you have time for more than a banana for breakfast, pancakes can be a morning luxury. And… it’s National Pancake Week (Feb 9th – 15th)! So why not whip up a great breakfast and try out some new pancake ideas and recipes!
I always start my pancake batch out with a “sacrificial” pancake. A tiny flapjack to get the griddle going to be sure it’s not too cold or too hot. When is it time to flip? Look for bubbles starting to dot the top – then you know it’s time to get your spatula ready.
There are many types of pancakes from good old fashioned buttermilk to corn flapjacks. Mini/silver dollar sized to ones that fill up the whole plate.
Try switching up what gets sprinkled onto your pancakes from blueberries to slices of fresh banana, lemon zest for a touch of zing or chocolate chips for those with a sweet tooth. The possibilities are limitless!
Try my Pan Sized Lemon Blackberry Pancakes with Zesty Lemon Syrup; combining fun add-ins and a citrus syrup. This one’s big in size and in flavor! –Kathy
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Pan-Sized Berry Pancakes with Zesty Lemon Syrup
Folding whipped egg whites into the batter makes these pancakes fluffy good.
Makes 5 to 6 pan-sized pancakes
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 cups mixed fresh blueberries and blackberries, or substitute frozen berries
Zesty Lemon Syrup, warmed (recipe follows)
Mix the milk and lemon juice together in small bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
Whisk the egg yolks into the milk and lemon juice mixture.
Add the liquid mixture all at once to the flour mixture, along with the melted butter, and stir until just incorporated. Do not overmix—some small lumps will remain.
Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold half of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining half. Gently fold in the berries.
Preheat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. To test the pan, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If they “skittle around,” the heat should be just about right.
Ladle 1 cup batter into pan, being sure to get an even amount of berries for each pancake. If necessary, move berries around quickly with your fingers to distribute evenly in pancake. Pancake should be pan-sized.
Turn pancake when it is puffed and golden brown and multiple bubbles have appeared. Be sure that the pancake has had enough time to set before turning, since larger pancakes take longer to cook through in the center. Cook on the other side until pancake is golden and done all the way through. Serve immediately with a drizzle of warmed Citrus Syrup.
Zesty Lemon Syrup
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
In a heavy saucepan, combine the water and sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved, turn the heat to high. When the syrup comes to a boil, cover the pan and start timing immediately. Boil the syrup for about 3 minutes.
Uncover and add the lemon juice and zest. Continue boiling, uncovered, for about 3 more minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature or warm slightly before serving.
-Adjust the heat as needed. When cooking pancakes this large, you need good but slow browning to get the pancakes cooked all the way through in the centers.
-If you have an older, more worn nonstick skillet, you may need to oil the pan lightly before using it.
-If the Citrus Syrup is too thick when reheating, thin it with a little water. If syrup is a little too thin, boil for a minute or so to reduce it.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
February 13th, 2014
Eggs are the classic breakfast food, but these days eggs are showing up in every meal.
Stratas are a great dish to get ready the night before so weeknight dinners won’t feel like such a hassle. Bread, eggs and cheese are mixed with other goodies. Let it soak overnight then bake it up when you get home. Poof! Dinner will be ready in no time! I developed a Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata using Sunset Peppers – it’s a great base recipe to get creative with. Want to spice it up a bit? Try subbing chorizo for the sausage and pepper jack for the Italian cheese blend – Yum!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.
Have you ever had eggs on a pizza – it’s so good! Just break a raw egg in the center of your pizza right before you bake it and be amazed. I love it with roasted peppers, Italian sausage and spinach. If you like that idea and burgers, put an egg on it! Top your fave burger with a sunnyside up egg for a richer taste.
How about trying ‘shirred’ eggs? Bake a whole raw egg over tomato sauce, veggies and topped with cheese. Serve it with crusty bread for an easy and d’lish dinner.
And of course I can’t forget Deviled Eggs because I wrote a whole book on them – D’Lish Deviled Eggs! I could just eat them for dinner!
What an ‘egg-celent’ way to start and end the day. It’s the perfect time to try out a new egg dish because January is National Egg Month! -Kathy
Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata
Strata makes for a lovely mid-day dinner, brunch or breakfast dish for a crowd. You can prep it the day or evening before your party and then just pop the strata in the oven 45 minutes before your guests arrive.
Makes about 6 – 8 servings
3 Sunset Red, Yellow or Orange Sweet Bell Peppers, or a combination
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
3 cups half-and-half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced French or Italian rustic bread, such as a baguette
2 cups (8 oz) grated Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Seed the peppers, dice them into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until half done, about 3 minutes. Add onion and reserved peppers, and sauté for about 8 –10 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper until well combined. Add bread, Italian cheese blend, half the Parmesan cheese and the cooked sausage-pepper mixture.
Transfer mixture to an 11×13″ baking pan and lightly press into pan to fill evenly. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and bake strata for about 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Chef’s Notes: 1 baguette averages about 8 cups diced bread. Be sure to use a somewhat hearty bread for making this dish. Strata is also excellent as a simple supper dish.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunset Produce.
January 9th, 2014
My Holiday Extravaganza and “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes!
That’s right mark your calendars for:
Saturday December 14th – 11AM – 7 PM
at the Food Studios in Ballard
And come join us for a tasty Open House. We will be serving up lots of tasty sips and apps and I will be signing copies of my books Sips & Apps and my most recent D’Lish Deviled Eggs – yes, there will be lots of samples!
We will be selling all kinds of tasty treats, including our ever popular “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark (also available for purchase online), Dish D’Lish® specialty products, Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® bar goods, and all the tasty treats we have been putting up and baking like busy holiday elves!
“Over 21″ Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark
(Check our YouTube video on how we make it!)
Stop by for a chat and load up on some holiday cheer! I hope to see you there!
The New Liquid Kitchen Website is Live!
I am very excited to announce that we just launched a brand new website for the beverage arm of my business Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®! Come check out and see we’re up to, meet my team members; watch an episode of my Cocktail Show and check out the recipe section for lots of great cocktail inspiration. Visit often for great cocktail and spirit news.
Like this post on why I’m obsessed with Flash Blending – a technique used in my fave holiday cocktail, Snow Drift
Sips & Apps – D’Lish eBook Deal!!
It’s the holidays and Chronicle Books is celebrating with a special online deal! My Sips & Apps is one of their best nine holiday ebooks picked for their special “Tis the Season Sale.” For the entire month of December, ebook versions of Sips & Apps (available on Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK, Google play, and Kobo) are 75% off – $2.99!
Tasty Travels – Fundraiser – Events
Since my last Newsletter, the team and I have been non-stop from fundraisers to conferences and exciting new client projects. Here is a fun overview of our adventures:
Adventure Race for Parkinson’s
Heather, Erwin and Jason dressed up in their superhero onesies for the first ever scavenger hunt/race for Parkinson’s. That day was filled with lots of “call-ins” and computer searching!
Go Team Onesie!
The KCFS crew all dressed up for the 1st annual Adventure Race for Parkinson’s!
Wild mushroom hunting has to be one of my most favorite things to do. I became a member of the Puget Sound Micological Society over 20 years ago at the urging of dear friend and mycophagist Patrice Benson and have been hooked ever since. Patrice organized the cooking demo station at the annual show for years, and in her memory, I have been volunteering to cook up wild mushroom demos ever since.
This year the society celebrated its 50th anniversary. I’m always asking foodie friends to join and so this year my longtime friend and salon owner/hairstylist glitterati Marco joined me; he is a great cook! We had a great day of sharing mushroom dishes with the crowd!
This year’s weather was so perfect for mushrooms: rain, sun, rain sun… It was the most wild mushrooms that I have ever seen at the show – nature certainly cooperated this year! If you like foraging and fungi then check with your local wild mushrooms clubs to learn more and join in the fun! Spring morels will be here in no time!
Marco & I and a bounty of Lion’s Mane mushrooms!!
Shaking it up with Sunkist
Meanwhile KCFS team members Heather and Jason headed down to New Orleans for the annual PMA Fresh Summit Conference with Sunkist! They shook up refreshing Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizzes (fresh grapefruit juice and honey ginger syrup then topped with soda water) at the Sunkist Booth.
Heather and Jason serving a fresh Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz!
Serious Sippin’ at Portland Cocktail Week
While they were in New Orleans, I was off to Portland Cocktail Week to be on the “How to be a Consultant” panel. This industry only event had bartenders coming from all over the US to participate in a week of classes and seminars… of course followed by lots of great parties.
Karlyn Monroe and the Pernod Ricard team stop to pose for a fun photo at the industry party.
My favorite drink of the night was a Pernod & Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows!
Dame Good Fundraiser
After a little breather, I was off to emcee the annual auction for the Les Dames d’Escoffier – Seattle Chapter. This women-only international organization supports women in the food & beverage industry. The theme for this year’s auction was “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and featured my South Seas Sparkling Punch as the signature cocktail! The Seattle Chapter event raisee over $140,000 for culinary scholarships for women!
The Liquid Kitchen team synchronized shaking at the Dames Fundraiser!
Erwin – Jason – Keith
(Photo courtesy of Katherine Kehrli.)
The Evening’s Cocktail: South Seas Sparkling Punch
Shaking and Cooking it up in the Media
My Citrus Scandi featured in Food & Wine Magazine
Cocktails in NY with Martin Miller’s
In November, I headed to New York for a special media tour and paring dinner with Martin Miller’s Gin. The dinner was at the famed 11 Madison Park restaurant. I created 5 cocktails and worked with Chef Brian Lockwood on the dinner pairings, bar manager Leo Robitschek executed the drinks with his bartenders. The food was amazing and our cocktail pairing collaboration was a hit! Food, cocktails, service … It’s not often I say FLAWLESS! The guest list was pretty spectacular – CNN, Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and the list goes on – very exciting!
The whole theme on my Martin Miller’s holiday cocktails was: don’t get stuck behind the bar. Go enjoy your party and make party imbibing by pre-batching your cocktails hours (if not days before)! Check out some of the recipes in the Examiner, Chicagoist, and the UK’s Ideal Magazine!
My Ruby Spiced Martini
Holiday Sips & Apps in the Seattle Times
For those of you that remember my column Dishing with Kathy Casey in the Seattle Times – it was great to do a special feature all about easy holiday entertaining. I include some do-ahead cocktails as well as delicious appetizers like Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings; Siracha Deviled Eggs with Crunchy Cucumber and Shrimp; and Warm Crab Dip with Mushroom and Brie served with Sea Salt and Thyme Crostini. All modern twists on favorites, with lots of do-ahead components so you’re not stuck in the kitchen at your holiday party!
Need a Holiday Party Appetizer – I’ve got you covered!
Mushrooms sautéing up for Warm Crab Dip in my favorite Cuisinart Pan!
It’s All Things Peppermint at Dish D’Lish
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday air travel, make sure to stay recharged and stop by Dish D’Lish at the Sea-Tac Airport. Whether you’re traveling by yourself or meeting someone, we have a café pre- and post-security. And for some holiday cheer we are featuring Peppermint Crush Cupcake, Frosty Peppermint Latte and Candy Cane Cocoa – all topped with Hammond’s handmade candy canes.
Peppermint Crush Cupcakes
For an in-flight treat or a little something to take home grab a signature candy cane or Candy Cane Crunch Chocolate bar. Yum! And be sure to check out all our other new menu items, including lots of gluten free options.
Traveling and need to pick up a great gift? Sea-Tac Airport is full of fun places to shop; check out this special on New Day Northwest for ideas!
Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year!
I am grateful for such a wonderful year with amazing clients, wonderful co-workers and friends and family.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season with friends and family. I look forward to sharing lots of delicious new projects and travels with you in the New Year! –Kathy
Don’t forget to join me on my blog Dishing with Kathy Casey and weekends on KOMO News Radio for all things d’lish, including recipes, tips, and fun events.
Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Like on Facebook: Sips & Apps and Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.
Read: D’Lish Deviled Eggs. Watch: www.LiquidKitchen.tv.
Web: www.KathyCasey.com www.LiquidKitchen.com”
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December 10th, 2013
Have a favorite foodie or cocktail enthusiast on your holiday shopping list? Well I’ve got you covered! I’m opening the doors to my Food Studios in Ballard for the Holiday Extravaganza & Open House next Saturday, December 14th from 11 AM to 7PM.
There’ll be lots of tasty treats to help you stuff your favorite foodie’s and cocktail enthusiast’s stocking, including Housemade Preserves like Savory Tomato & Basil Jam that are great to serve with sexy cheeses, Liquid Kitchen Honey from our hives, Dish D’lish Seasonings, our Signature Boozy Cheese Balls made with Hennessy, Spiced Hot Buttered Rum Mix and lots of housemade goodies like Poppin’ Peppermint Chocolate Bark, Bacon Brittle and Gingerbread Stars.
The Holiday Extravaganza isn’t complete without our “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark. These fruitcakes are chock full of Maker’s Mark soaked dried fruits as well as loads of nuts with a little spiced batter to bind it all! Baked then brushed hot out of the oven with a bourbon- brown sugar syrup. So get there early as these fly out the door faster than Santa’s reindeer!
Watch our YouTube video to see the mayhem in making this d’lish fruitcake!
I’ll also be signing my newest cookbook D’Lish Deviled Eggs, a perfect holiday hostess gift! And of course we’ll be serving up tasty samples for you to try throughout the day.
So mark your calendars and join us:
Holiday Extravaganza & Open House
Saturday, December 14th from 11AM – 7PM
5130 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Hope to see you there! –Kathy
December 6th, 2013
Turkey day has come and gone and you just may have a few leftovers in your fridge. Now there is nothing better in my mind than a Thanksgiving sandwich; turkey, white bread, mayo, salt and pepper, some stuffing and a smear of cranberry sauce! We all have our favorites! Need some more tasty ideas? Don’t worry; I’m here to help!
A Turkey Feast!
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Ever considered Thanksgiving for breakfast? Yes please – why not! Thanksgiving Benedict is my new favorite idea that Chef friend John Koch shared this with me. Form leftover stuffing into a patty then pan sear it. Top with some sliced turkey, a poached egg and a dollop of gravy – voila … a hearty breakfast that will have you saying YUM!
And there never seems to be enough gravy left over, right? Why not make some more? Pick that turkey clean (save the meat for soup and sandwiches) and make a Rich Turkey Stock with the carcass.
Get out the stock pot! Add in the bones, some chopped carrots, celery, onion, and cover with cold water (and sometimes I like to add in a carton of chicken broth to give it a flavor boost). Bring to a simmer for 2 hours then strain. Voilà – now you have a great stock for making more gravy or a tasty soup.
Take that extra turkey and stock and make a soup… or make gravy and add some veggies and turkey meat and serve over biscuits for a d’lish open face hot turkey sandwich.
Don’t forget about cocktails while things are cooking! Check out this post in the Chicagoist for my easy to make holiday party cocktails like my Snow Drift (flash blended Martin Miller’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, homemade cranberry ginger syrup, egg whites, and ice) and Holiday Manhattan with DIY Spiced Vermouth. And for more great cocktail ideas and recipes, check out www.LiquidKitchen.com.
Need a great gravy recipe for a crowd? Here’s my favorite – it incorporates homemade do ahead stock (recipe below) or you can make the stock from the tip above. – Gobble Gobble!!
Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy – THAT MAKES A LOT!
Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings
(Feel free to cut this recipe in half for a smaller crowd!)
You can make this a few days ahead and then re-heat in your turkey roasting pan for extra turkey flavor goodness! Read through the entire recipe before starting.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary – or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows or make from tip above with leftover turkey carcuss)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the rosemary and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Now you can serve it as is OR if you are pre making this and want to deglaze your turkey pan for the ultimate gravy use the following method to add your gravy to the pan method…
Then right before serving and while your turkey is set aside to rest – ready your turkey roasting pan full of turkey goodness: remove excess fat from your turkey roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner – add a big splash of white wine, champagne, potato cooking water, chicken broth or water. Using a metal spatula – scrape up all the goodies in the bottom of the pan… this is the turkey goodness. Then add your prepared Turkey Mushroom gravy – whisk well and heat till hot. Serve up and enjoy – you’ll have lots of gravy for all!
Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups
2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.
Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
For more great leftover ideas check out this fun post:
19 Reasons Leftovers Are The Best Part Of Thanksgiving
November 28th, 2013
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
November 14th, 2013
When I think of comfort foods, one of the first things that come to mind is mac & cheese. Gooey, warm, and of course, cheesy – this d’lish dish is always a winner!
One of my favorite recipes is a 4 Cheese Penne Bake – penne pasta, garlic and parmesan white sauce – tossed with loads of shredded cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, jack and parmesan. Cover the whole thing with some fresh, herby bread crumbs for a nice crunch.
Gooey, melted cheese bake – yum!
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Mac & Cheese is perfect to customize, you can add your favorite ingredients like bacon for a cheddar bacon mac. Or try adding in things like chopped roasted red peppers, green onions, artichokes, smoked chicken, sautéed mushrooms, sausage, green chilies….. the list is endless!
Or how about changing up the sauce by mixing in some salsa or chipotle for a kick of heat? Nothing is off limits!
So get creative and bake up some cheesy goodness! -Kathy
4 Cheese Penne Bake With Herb Bread Crumbs
Generously serves 6 – 8.
Herb Bread Crumbs (recipe follows)
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
4 cups milk*
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
1 pound dry penne pasta
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated four-cheese blend**
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the Herb Bread Crumbs and set aside.
In a large heavy-bottom sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir around for about 20 seconds — do not let garlic brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
While stirring vigorously with a whisk, add the milk. Whisk well. Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook penne pasta per package directions until done. Drain well.
In a very large bowl mix together the pasta and sauce, then fold in the grated cheeses until well combined. Place mixture into a lightly buttered, 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.
Sprinkle with Herb Bread Crumbs and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until pasta is heated through, sides are slightly bubbling and top is golden brown.
*For an even richer macaroni and cheese substitute half & half for the milk.
**Four-, five- and six-cheese blends are available in most grocers’ dairy sections. If you wish to make your own grated cheese blend, try using a mixture of any of the following: Jack, mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti.
Herb Bread Crumbs
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
3 cups packed, 1-inch French bread chunks
4 Tbsp butter
pinch salt and pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dry basil leaves
1/2 tsp dry thyme leaves
Place bread crumb ingredients in a food processor, and pulse processor on and off until the bread becomes chopped into a fine crumb and is well mixed with the other ingredients.
Bread crumbs should be refrigerated until used and can be kept frozen for up to 1 month.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
November 7th, 2013
National Deviled Egg Day is this weekend! I love deviled eggs so much I wrote a whole book about them, “D’lish Deviled Eggs”, where I feature over 50 creative and classic recipes for this American appetizer icon.
Steak and Eggs? Yes, there’s an egg for that! Just mix up the yolks with a little A1 steak sauce and a touch of mayo, fill and top it all off with a small slice of grilled steak. Perfect for your next Sunday football get together.
For those who like it spicy, you’ll love my Wasabi Deviled Eggs. Wasabi paste (often served at sushi restaurants), green onion and cucumber get mixed with the yolk and I finish the whole thing off with a wasabi pea for some crunch – yum!
Or get über fancy with your next dinner party appetizer. My Lobster Deviled Eggs (oh la la!) are mixed up with wine-poached lobster and then topped with MORE lobster, and a small pouf of chives.
So think outside the box and get creative with your deviled eggs! And don’t forget to check out www.DLishDeviledEggs.com for more of my tips and tricks for this classic appetizer! – Kathy
Who’s ready to nibble on d’lish deviled eggs?
Photos from D’Lish Deviled Eggs.
Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Wasabi adds a creative kick of heat, and crisp, fresh cucumber adds textural crunch to these bold eggs. Top these little green devils with a wasabi pea for a fun finish.
1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon purchased wasabi paste (or 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
2 tablespoons finely minced English cucumber
24 wasabi peas
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 and wasabi paste, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion and cucumber.
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.
Top each egg half with a wasabi pea, whole or cracked.
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
November 1st, 2013