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Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

Hello Sunshine!

After a busy winter and spring we are happy to welcome some summer sunshine and have lots of exciting projects and trips on the horizon. Here is a little of what we have been up to since our last newsletter.

Kissy Face Logo

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Tasty Travels

Since my trip back from Ukraine, I had about a week to relax at home before heading out again. This time my travels lead me to Ocean Shores, Washington to host the 6th Annual Razor Clam Festival! Ocean Shores is a small beach town on the coast of Washington; about a 3-hour drive away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle. Every year they celebrate this illustrious clam with a fun and tasty festival, from Blood Mary and beer booths, to arts and crafts, and of course a clam chowder cook-off. My team and I judged both the amateur and professional chowder cook-offs and seriously tasted over 45 chowders to choose the grand prize winners. Needless to say we were stuffed to the gills with chowder by the end of the day!

Clam Chowder judges
Heather, Erwin and I tasting the first group of chowders!

Then it was off to California’s Napa Valley with teammates Heather and new sous-chef Jason for the Flavor Summit! Held at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, this industry-only event brings in the top leaders in the culinary world to discuss and taste their way through flavor-related topics. The campus is amazing and the seminars were enlightening! I attended with my client Paramount Citrus. We participated in the lunch, cooking up a Sweet Orange, Fennel and Arugula Salad with Citrus Grilled Shrimp and my Market Fresh Lime Agua Fresca with Berries (see below for the recipe). For the ending reception we crafted Liquid Kitchen Ultimate G & T’s (Gin and Tonics), topped with a Cucumber Lime Foam and a grating of lime zest.

Limes
Squeezing out some Paramount Limes for my Ultimate G & T!

Then it was off to Los Angeles again. This time for business meetings mixed in with some fun. While in LA, we checked out concepts and visited restaurants, including Bottega Louie where I was drooling over their amazing pastries and cupcakes. Check out the Macaron Tree below! The weekend was full of glitterati sightings at the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills where party goers for JJ McKay’s (Seattle party host extraordinaire) party were staying. JJ’s parties always bring in the who’s who of crowds and lead to the best networking ever. Guests flew in from all over the US, including partiers from Miami and NY to Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle.

Macaron Tree
Bottega Louie’s Macaron Tree!

JJ, Joe
The always faboo JJ McKay, myself, and producer Joe Gressis from Secret Handshake

Next stops: I’m off to Vancouver, British Columbia this week for work with the Fairmont Hotels and then New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington, D.C. Stay tuned for more tasty travel round up’s on my blog.

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Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid Kitchen

Filming for the 3rd Season of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™ just wrapped up with Small Screen Network. We filmed 18 episodes in two days! Vitamix was our main sponsor this season and so expect lots of amazing, blended summer drink episodes, like my Liquid Indulgence (vanilla ice cream, espresso and salted caramel incorporated together and topped with a float of mezcal!) and a Blended Peach Whisky Sour! A Seattle LUPEC member was the top bidder to be a guest on Liquid Kitchen at a recent breast cancer fundraising event. So in honor of the ladies who love to imbibe I created the Green Goddess for an episode – Green Chartreuse, egg whites, fresh pineapple, silver rum, a touch of lemon and Bitter Truth Celery Bitters – yum! Stay tuned for these new episodes to be posted soon!

Lynn Becker
Special Guest and LUPEC Seattle member Lynn Becker and I shaking up a Green Goddess Cocktail!

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Tasty & Libatious Reads – and Cooking up a New Cookbook

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have caught wind that I just finished the recipes and am now shooting the photography for my 10th cookbook… all on deviled eggs! Stay updated with Twitter on my book’s progress as I tweet more behind the scenes of our photo shoots.

The new Food & Wine Cocktails 2012 book is out! This year I share my creative versions of the ever classic French 75. This cocktail book covers an extensive array of classic cocktails with featured mixologists’ personal variations. How about a Salted Maple (a Pisco Sour variation) or a Lord Bullingdon’s Revenge (a Sazerac spin)? There are also non-alcoholic options too! Make sure you get your copy today!

Food and Wine 2012

If you’re a frequent flyer, check out this special promo from Amazon.com. Free Wi-Fi access to Amazon.com on most Delta flights. Click here for more info. Faboo!

And don’t forget to check out Sip Northwest magazine for all you Pacific Northwest imbibers, including bars to sip, recipes to make, and new spirits to taste. Here’s a sneak peak on one of my articles. You can also pick up a complimentary copy at my Dish D’Lish cafés at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Sip NW Logo

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New Restaurant Fave!

New restaurants are popping up everywhere, but one of my new faves is Chef Greg Atknison’s Restaurant Marché located on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Greg is one of my all-time favorite chefs and I am so happy for him and his wife Betsy. The restaurant and menu totally embodies Greg’s signature style and flair. I enjoyed my recent birthday dinner there with the hubby and friends and was swooning by the time I left from total culinary bliss. If you have a trip planned to the Pacific Northwest or are a local be sure to make reservations and check it out. It’s a quick ferry ride across the Puget Sound and is close to the ferry terminal. Marché is open for lunch and dinner on Tuesdays – Saturdays. The menu changes with the seasons, featuring northwest cuisine and island goods (think amazing wild greens, crisp oysters, smooth-as-silk-chicken liver pate you want to rub on yourself!). Take a peek at this season’s menu items.

Restaurant Marche
Bainbridge Island’s newest hot spot!

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Where to Catch Kathy Next:

Tales of the Cocktail – July 25-29, 2012 – New Orleans, Louisiana

The Flavor Experience – August 6-8, 2012 – Newport Beach, California

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Cook Up Some Fun with Paramount Citrus!

Agua Fresca

Market Fresh Lime Agua Fresca
Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed Paramount Citrus lime juice
2 oz Zesty Lime Syrup (recipe follows)
3 oz chilled soda water
1 oz Market Fruit Berry Topping (recipe follows)
Garnish: long fresh lime zest twist or lime wedge

Fill a large tall glass with ice. Add the citrus juices and the Zesty Lime Syrup. Add soda water and stir. Top with Market Fruit Topping. Garnish with lime zest.

Zesty Lime Syrup
Makes 2 1/4 cups

3 Tbsp finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Combine the zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool. Store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Market-Fruit Berry Topping
Makes 2 1/4 cups

1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup small diced strawberries
1/4 cup raspberry puree

Mix ingredients together. Store refrigerated.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid KitchenTM

I hope you enjoyed my quick recap of what’s been going on lately. Make sure you join me on the weekends at Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO News Radio and check my corresponding blog with all the corresponding recipes and tips. –Kathy

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Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey. Like on Facebook: Sips & Apps and Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen. Watch: www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

If you haven’t signed up for my Newsletter, you can sign up here.

Seattle Weekly

Don’t forget! It’s not too late to try out the special 50th Anniversary Tasting Menu being served at the revolving SkyCity restaurant at the Space Needle! If you can’t make it out anytime soon, check out this article in the Seattle Weekly for my Warm Spinach Salad and Seattle Needle Tipple cocktail recipes!

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 18th, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recipes, salads

Happy 50TH, Space Needle!

Seattle is home to many things: Starbucks and coffee, Nirvana and the grunge scene, and the Seattle Center and Space Needle!

Space Needle
(Photo courtesy of the University of Washington)

Since its unveiling at the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has been a mascot for Seattle, towering over the horizon and a constant fixture in iconic Seattle photography. This year our beloved landmark turns 50 and Seattle is hosting six months of commemorative events in honor of this milestone occasion.

SkyCity at the Needle (the revolving restaurant atop the Space Needle) asked five local luminaries to each create a dish that invokes the past decades since it first opened. I am honored to be among those chefs, representing the 80’s (minus the Aqua Net hair and shoulder pads)! These dishes will be featured on a special Tasting Menu which will be available all through the month of May.

View from the top

The view from SkyCity!

KCFS Crew

Earlier this week, my team and I stopped by at the Eye of the Needle for the special launch party for the Tasting Menu. Here’s my crew getting ready to try it out!

Kathy & Erwin></p> <p>SkyCity Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield is taking on the 60’s with a retro Dungeness Crab en Brochette, featuring housemade bacon. <a href=

Erwin and I in between tasty bites!

SkyCity Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield is taking on the 60’s with a retro Dungeness Crab en Brochette, featuring housemade bacon. Shiro Kashiba, owner of legendary Shiro’s Sushi is reppin’ the 70’s with his Poke Belltown, made with raw tuna, creamy vinaigrette, scallions and orange tobiko.

Warm Spinach Salad

I’m bringing back the 80’s with my Fullers’ Warm Spinach Salad with smoked duck, shitake and enoki mushrooms and sesame dressing – served with “oh so 80’s” triangle cut housemade crackers with wasabi goat cheese. Seattle institution Tom Douglas recreates the 90’s with his Aromatic Steamed Wild Salmon served with kimchee fried rice and grilled asparagus with hazelnuts. Crush’s Jason Wilson guides us through the present with his Painted Hills Strip Loin: slow-cooked in beef tallow, roasted veggies and a porcini bone marrow puree!

The tasting menu is $62 (in honor of 1962, of course) and is a great bargain to try all these dish. Space is limited so make sure you book your reservations!

And to whet your whistle, make sure you check out their commemorative cocktail menu. My Seattle Needle Tipple is one of the signature drinks being featured for this special occasion. Douglas Fir-infused vodka is shaken with an apple-honey tincture, fresh lemon juice and splash of champagne then garnished with a floating cranberry! D’lish!

Seattle Needle Tipple

So shoot sky high into the future and help celebrate 50 years of our iconic Space Needle! –Kathy

SkyCity Tasting Menu

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 3rd, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

The Space Needle’s 50th Year Anniversary!

Seattle’s iconic Space Needle celebrates it’s 50th year anniversary this year. To commemorate this landmark event since it’s debut at the 1962 World’s Fair, SkyCity at the Needle is offering a unique tasting menu for only $62 lasting through the entire month of May. Wow!

Featuring 5 dinner entrees from 5 restaurant icons inspired from the last 5 decades, this tasting menu is full of deliciouness. I’m thrilled to share my Fullers’ Warm Spinach Salad with Warmed Duck dish to represent the 80’s!

Come celebrate and make your reservations fast for this momentous occasion! Cheers to the Space Needle!

SkyCity Tasting Menu

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 27th, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, Recent Posts

Seattle Magazine

Congratulations to everyone who made Seattle Magazine‘s list of influential people in the Seattle food culture. Thrilled to have made the list at #38! Thank you!

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 26th, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, Lifestyle

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

More tasty travels and D’lish events!

The New Year has just been flying by, and so have I… from New Orleans, Chicago and the Ukraine, to Las Vegas most recently. I have been traveling everywhere, sharing my passion for great food and d’lish cocktails (all the while earning lots of flyer miles!). Here’s a quick recap of what my team and I have been up to!

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Tasty Travels

Congratulations to the Fairmont Hotels!
The new year started out with a trip to New Orleans, where I attended the annual Cheers Beverage Conference. Living up to its name, it was quite the libatious celebration all around – from tastings and seminars, to celebrity mixologist parties. But most exciting was the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts winning the Cheers 2012 Best Chain Hotel Beverage Program for the FAME (Fairmont Artistic Mixology Experience) Program that we manage and helped create – from individual hotel trainings to building a master recipe manual and individual bar culture, as well as producing a nine-part online training series. We are thrilled to continue to keep FAME fresh! Congrats Fairmont!!

Dobrý Deň! (It Means “Good Day” in Ukrainian!)
Speaking of Fairmont… my next stop was Kyiv, Ukraine to train the team there on all things spirited! Senior Liquid Kitchen Mixologist Keith Waldbauer and I landed in snowy and COLD Kyiv (or Kiev and pronounced kEEv) where it was straight to work.

keith_and_drinks
Keith testing Liquid Kitchen Fairmont cocktails!

We trained the new staff for all the new bars and restaurants, and created lots of new cocktail creations using local products. We made birch syrup out of birch juice, which was amazing in an Old-Fashioned cocktail. And can I say how much I’m in love with Monin’s Tarragon syrup? (Don’t get too excited, it’s only available in Europe for now.) It’s d’lish in a non-alcoholic drink I made with clementines and fresh sparkling lemon soda!

herbal_liqueur
Our beloved Green Chartreuse was not available, so I made my own herbal liquor – it turned out delicious! Those are little bottles of 97% grain alcohol, and yes, you can ignite it!

Ingredients were sometimes hard to get, but you make do with what you have. I pulled out my chef bag of tricks here and there, and we ended up with some pretty exciting cocktails! Drinks were shaken up with our house-made Black Tea and Pomegranate Elixer, house-made herbal liquor and grapefruit spice bitters.

grated_salt
Ingredients were sometimes challenging – yes, I’m grating my own salt!

kathy_and_crew
The Fairmont Kyiv bar staff taking a photo break – after learning how to make house-made bitters.

In between work sessions, we did have some time to check out the scenery, shops and of course bars! Yes, the crew took us out in local style and tried to out drink us with shots of Honey Pepper Vodka, chased with local unpasteurized beer – ‘til the wee hours of the morning – but we held our own!

honey_pepper_vodkabeercrew
Honey Pepper Vodka + Local Beer = Fun with the Crew!

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On our excursion day, we visited some beautiful churches in Kyiv. I can still hear the bells ringing.

meat_facecream_puff
They like faces on their foods too… LOL! Not sure why, but I got in a LOT of trouble at a store for taking this photo of sliced meat with funny faces! And the cream puffs were cute, too!

I found a little time to zip out to the store where it was fun to see all the local dried fish and pickled goodies. Of course, I was in heaven because I love all things pickled. The whole, pickled tomatoes were amazing!

dried_fishpickled_everything
Local dried fish and pickled everything in Kyiv.

There sure were a lot (and I mean a LOT) of potatoes, pickles beets, and cabbage… so I was inspired to create the Kyiv Martini! It featured local vodka (which, by the way, is fantastic and has a very complex character) shaken with a slice of fresh beet and served in a glass lined with a piece of fresh, shaved cucumber, then garnished with my homemade beet-pickled onions. I’d like one right now, please!

kyiv_martini
My Kyiv Martini!

We also visited a really cool local restaurant called Puzata Hata, where we had succulent dumplings and other local specialties, served to us at stations by cute Ukrainian ladies. You can eat your fill and drink local beer for under $10 a person!

ukrainian_lady

I have to say, Ukrainian people are some of the most welcoming and friendly people we have ever worked with. But after lots of hard work getting the crew ready to open all the Fairmont Bars, and eating my fill of borsch, potato, and cabbage dumplings, it was time to go home. I was really craving Asian food and some good ol’ American home cooking. Luckily for me, as soon as I landed back in Seattle, my husband John had whipped up my favorite Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic and fluffy mashed potatoes – thank you, honey! Yum! Then at work the next day, my Food Studios crew welcomed me back with pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). What a great way to come home! But stay tuned, as there might be a chance I’ll be going back this summer, when it’s sure to be a bit warmer…

Then it was off to Las Vegas…

Speed_Rack_Logo

…to be one of the celebrity judges for the Speed Rack – Las Vegas event! Founded by two faboo LUPEC – NY members Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, their event promotes female bartenders from coast-to-coast in a speedy and engaging round-robin style tournament, with proceeds going straight to fight breast cancer. It was fast-paced action and these ladies know how to shake up a storm right before the annual VIBE Conference!

charlotte_tony_kathy
Charlotte Voisey, Tony Abou-Ganim and me getting ready to judge!

speed_rack_competitorsspeed_rack_judges
Speed Rack competitors hard at work, and judges judging!

After Speed Rack, it was on to the VIBE (Very Important Beverage Executives) Conference, held in conjunction with the Nightclub and Bar Show. VIBE is an amazing event and I am thrilled to participate every year with Monin. For the opening night I showcased my Spiced Islands Rum Punch crafted with Solerno blood orange liqueur, Sailor Jerry Rum, Monin Almond and Cinnamon Syrups, fresh pineapple and lime juices, all topped with an Angostura Foam. And, of course, I love my bling, so it had a light dusting of 24K gold on top.

The next day, associate Cameo McRoberts and I presented a seminar on non-alcoholic trends, where we discussed house-made sodas like cucumber, ginger, and lemongrass – as well as small indulgent treats like mini drinking caramels, and the love of carbonation and super fizz! Account Manager Heather Jones and new Liquid Kitchen Associate Dänny Ronen shook up beverages like mad, for a packed house. It was all fun but I was ready to come home!

heather_lizard
After a long trip to Vegas, it was time to leave…before the lizards came! Heather, look out!

Next Stops: Orlando… Napa Valley at the CIA Flavor Summit and Los Angeles
Stay tuned for more tasty travels! Make sure you follow me on Twitter for all the fun pix and details!

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Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid Kitchen

ultimate_gin_tonic

Filming of the third season of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen will soon be under way this spring! Here’s a sneak peak of one of my drinks that I’ll be sharing this season: The Ultimate Gin & Tonic. Martin Miller gin, a touch of fresh lime juice, and Housemade Tonic Bitters, all topped off with DRY Blood Orange Soda and a pouf of Cucumber Foam. A light dusting of micro-planed lime finishes it off! Are you thirsty now?? Well in the meantime, check out this episode and make yourself a Citrus 75.

And if you’re looking to expand your home bar, make sure you stop by my online store for all your libatious needs, from my Liquid Kitchen 6-piece bar kit essentials, Golden Era Bitters, and 5130 Honey to Dish D’Lish® Cocktailor Mixers and more!

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Tasty & Libatious Reads – and Cooking up a New Cookbook

Wow! I think I can seriously say there may be deviled eggs coming out my ears! That’s right, I’m in the final throes of testing recipes for my 10th book – it is due out next year, and is all about deviled eggs. I am super excited about this book, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce that my cocktail and appetizer book Sips & Apps is finally available in digital form for the Amazon Kindle!

Sip_Northwest_Logo

For those of you that live in my neck of the woods, be sure to check out the beautiful new Sip Northwest Magazine – its pages are full of wonderful libations and tipples from all around the Pacific Northwest! Here’s a sneak peak of my featured column for this season’s issue, including local mixologists’ recipes for beer-inspired cocktails. You can also pick up a complimentary copy at my Dish D’Lish cafés at the Sea-Tac International Airport.

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Cook Up Some Fun!

I was thrilled when, a couple of years ago, I was asked to submit a lemonade drink for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a really cool charity. After I submitted my drink, I had a phone call with Paramount Citrus (the sponsor) which came about because they loved my drink. They probably thought I was nuts the way I was going on and on about my love of citrus. Those of you that have known me for years already know of my zesty lemon habit! From passing on birthday cake for a scrumptious lemon meringue pie to loving a pop of citrus zest in just about everything, I just adore all things citrus! With spring here, I thought I would share a delicious, bright-tasting side dish, Lemony Herbed Orzo. This sassy side is perfect as an accompaniment to grilled fish or roasted chicken, and paired with first-of-the-season fresh asparagus. Fresh lemon juice and zest add a zingy flavor pop.

zest_herb

Lemony Herbed Orzo

Makes 6 servings

12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or tarragon
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed Paramount Citrus Lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest (see my tip on how to make zest below*)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 8 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well (do not rinse), then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.

citrus_zest

*Citrus Zest adds such a lovely flavor pop to any dish.
To make lemon or other citrus zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit – with no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit with a fine zesting tool that makes long, very thin, pretty strands. Or you can peel off the zest with an ordinary potato peeler, being sure not to get any white pith, and then finely cut the zest in very, very thin long strips or mince it. You can also grate it off. For this method, I like to use a microplane.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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Where to Catch Kathy Next

6th Annual Ocean Shores’ Razor Clam Festival: Saturday, March 24th, 7:00am – 4:00pm
Ocean Shores Chamber of Commerce

It’s almost that time of year again where I head for the beach! Not for tanning…but to go clamming! My team and I will once again be heading down to Ocean Shores to host and judge the Annual Razor Clam Festival, a Saturday full of family fun and great eats! There’ll be activities all day, as well as craft booths to visit. You can also sample all the competing chowders entered in the Clam Chowder Cook-Off! It’ll be a clam-tastic day – don’t forget to get your clam licenses and gear ahead of time for the day’s clam dig. Hope to see some of my Northwest friends there!

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Contests!

Foster Farms logo

It’s a $10,000 prize, people!! Get your aprons ready, your creative juices flowing, and fire up that stove!!
The 3rd Annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Competition is well underway! Foster Farms is inviting all California, Oregon, and Washington professional and home chefs to submit their tried and true chicken recipes. Submitted recipes should include local ingredients that pair well with Foster Farms Chicken (check out the past years winners and finalists’ recipes for ideas). The ultimate grand prize is $10,000 and a year’s worth of Foster Farms chicken! Make sure you turn in your recipes soon as the deadline to submit your recipe is June 3rd!

Tales

Get the bar ready and show us how to make your version of an Old Fashioned cocktail!
Tales of the Cocktail is one of the biggest imbibing events of the year for both spirits industry professionals and cocktail lovers. This year holds no exception, as it will be their 10th year anniversary! Industry professionals can submit their winning recipe for their creative take on the Old Fashioned. First prize winner will receive $1,250 cash and be the “Official Cocktail” of Tales of the Cocktail! Get shakin’, as the deadline to submit your “aged” cocktail is March 25th!

KOMO

So, I hope you have enjoyed my travel stories, work shenanigans, and recipe testing tales. Until next time, please join me every weekend on Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO News Radio, and check out my companion blog with all the corresponding recipes and tips. Don’t forget to tweet with me @KathyCaseyChef! I’m always excited to chat about what’s new and tasty! -Kathy

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Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey. Like on Facebook: Sips & Apps and Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen. Watch: www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

If you haven’t signed up for my Newsletter, you can sign up here.

Oyster Time

Clear uncontaminated waters are pivotal in growing high-quality oysters, especially in the Pacific Northwest. The mollusks filter feed gallons of water a day and gain their subtle distinctive flavors from their environment.

Another factor in raising these delectable bi-valves is the water temperature. Did you know that the meat becomes tastier and firmer as the temperature drops? Who knew!

Oysters are best eaten during the cold months when the waters are crisp. Pacific Northwest seafood “guru” Jon Rowley says, “You can tell it’s oyster time when the skies turn oyster grey.”

Pacific Northwest oysters range in size from the tiny Olympia (great for oyster virgins) to the extra-large Pacific (good for frying). Smaller oysters, like my favorite, the Kumamoto, are perfect for slurping.

Oyster_Kumo_Group
Kumamoto Oysters
(Photo from Taylor Shellfish)

Oyster purists say there is never a better way to eat raw oysters than unadorned — MAYBE with a squirt of lemon.  For the uninitiated oyster-slurper, this can be a bit scary.  Don’t worry because I have some great ideas to ease you into this.

If you’re brand new to enjoying oysters raw, I have a bevy of simple sauces that you can make that will not mask their delicious flavor. From my Fresh Cocktail Sauce to my Champagne Mignonette Ice, you will love raw oysters in no time.

Don’t fret if raw is not your thing. My Baked Oysters with Savory Mushroom Herb Crust recipe is just for you!

Whether you shuck’em at home or enjoy them cooked or raw at restaurants (such as one of my favorites, the Walrus & the Carpenter in Ballard) get your oysters while the skies are grey.

So get shuckin’ and enjoy! -Kathy

Fresh Cocktail Sauce
Set bowl of Cocktail sauce in the center of a platter of just shucked oysters. Guests can top their oysters with as little or as much as they like.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups ripe tomatoes cut in 1/4″ dice
2 Tbsps very finely minced celery
1 medium, very finely minced shallot (about 2 tablespoons)
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot prepared horseraddish
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco (or more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp celery seed

Gently mix together all ingredients.  Chill well before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Champagne Mignonette Ice
Makes about 2 cups ice, enough to top 5 to 6 dozen oysters

3/4 tsp black peppercorns
1 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp very finely minced lemon zest
2 Tbsps minced shallot
1/2 cup Brut Champagne

Prepare the mignonette ice the day before or up to 3 days in advance. Enclose the peppercorns between pieces of plastic wrap and crush well with a heavy pot or mallet (or use a mortar and pestle). In an 8-inch square freezer-proof glass casserole dish or stainless-steel bowl, combine the pepper with the remaining ice ingredients and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, remove from the freezer and stir the mixture with a fork. The mixture should start becoming slushy after about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When the mixture is icy and completely raked into tiny ice crystals, you can stop the stirring process. Let the mixture freeze overnight, then break up the ice crystals with a fork right before serving.

Serve the ice in a small bowl; guests can spoon a small spoonful over the oysters.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Baked Oysters with Savory Mushroom Herb Crust
Make sure to use a hearty-textured bread such as Italian or French style – to provide the desired crumb consistency; avoid soft, airy loaves.

Makes 2 dozen medium oysters on the half-shell

2 cups packed diced firm textured rustic bread
1 cup coarse chopped mushrooms
3 Tbsps cold butter, cut small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2  tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup (1 oz wt) high quality, shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 dozen medium oysters (3 1/2″ long) in the shell

Place bread cubes and mushrooms in food processor.  Add remaining ingredients, except oysters, and process 30 seconds, or until particles are well chopped and pea-like in texture.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Shuck oysters, cutting muscle but leaving oyster in the deep shell.  Cover each oyster loosely with 1 rounded tablespoon bread crumb-mushroom mixture, covering entire surface of the oyster.

Arrange oysters on baking sheet and place on middle shelf of oven.  Bake 6 – 8 minutes till topping is golden.  Time carefully — they can overcook and dry out quickly!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 16th, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

Foodportunity

Seattle food lovers make sure you save the date! The next tasty Foodportunity event will be on February 6th from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom. Frantic Foodie Keren Brown has organized another great event full of tasty bites from a variety participating restaurants including Rover’s and Luc, The Coterie Room, Local 360, Volunteer Park Café, and many more.

Join me and other special panelists Lisa Dupar, CakeSpy‘s Jessie Oleson and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese‘s Kurt Beecher Dammeier where we’ll be available conversations and questions from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

This event is open to all food lovers from food journalists, bloggers, public relations professionals, restaurateurs, farmers, companies and all food-passionate people. Make sure you get your tickets in advanced as this will be a hot event. You can buy tickets here.

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 23rd, 2012  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts
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