breakfast

Upside Down Cakes

Sometimes things are just better upside down. Bust out the baking dish – I’m talking about delicious Upside Down Cakes!

Light and fluffy cake batter encased by a sugary-butter topping and jeweled with chopped fruits – baked until ooey gooey and caramelized. What could be better than that?

So versatile and decadent – these cakes are a total crowd pleaser and often seen during the holidays. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is by far the most popular – but there are plenty of variations that are just as scrumptious! Apples, peaches, cherries, or plums – it’s the perfect vehicle for your favorite fruit.

This d’lish dessert is sometimes considered a little retro – but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Throw in some chopped nuts or layer on a boozy caramel glaze for a fun twist. Or throw that rule book out the window and try my Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake for breakfast!

You can even make mini versions using your trusty cupcake tin as the baking vessel!
-Kathy

Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Upside Down Cakes |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Snacks

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, this zesty citrus is typically available December through April.

So what makes these cuties different from a standard lemon? Meyer’s have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and have a sweeter taste than standard lemons. Their delicate flavor works great in cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes too!

I like to thinly slice them and roast alongside chicken or pork. The slices are so tasty when eaten with the dish – like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.

The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious too – especially when added to shortbread cookies or an Herbed Orzo Salad.

So wake up your taste buds with this citrusy delight – and hurry before they’re gone!
-Kathy

Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios ®

Herbed Meyer Lemon 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 mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, 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.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 22nd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Meyer Lemons |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, herbs, meats, salads, seafood, sides, Snacks

Brunch for Mom

It’s Mother’s Day weekend! And what better way to treat Mom than with a delicious brunch, complete with a bubbly cocktail.

Start the night before and whip up my Spring Wild Mushroom, Asparagus ‘n’ Sausage Strata – rustic bread, seasoned egg mixture, sautéed asparagus and mushrooms. Add in some turkey sausage or bacon, and grated cheese. Refrigerate overnight then pop in the oven first thing in the morning. Perfect served with some fresh fruit or a few tossed greens.

Mimosas are a spirited way to start the day especially while the strata bakes. Make it with fresh squeezed orange juice, or get creative and try adding a little fresh raspberry or mango puree.

And for “extra mom points” listen closely to this fun idea: freeze edible flowers in ice cubes. Place a couple flower cubes in a large wine glass, add in a jigger of vodka, with a splash of Grand Marnier or Chambord, pour over the ice and top with a big splash of sparkling pink champagne bubbles. Fun & fabulous!


“Flower Cubes”

Cheers to all the wonderful Moms out there! – Kathy

Spring Wild Mushroom, Asparagus ‘n’ Sausage Strata
Good bread is the foundation ingredient for any strata. With so many great breads available today, it isn’t a chore to find one to add to these breakfast bakes. The challenge now is in deciding which one to use — be it Como bread from Grand Central, a delicious La Brea Bakery loaf or any other sturdy, handcrafted bread.

And if the bread is just a little bit stale, that’s okay. In fact, breakfast bakes are a great way to use up day-old artisan breads. Fold in a cup of fresh baby spinach for added greenery.

Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage or turkey sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups sliced wild or domestic mushrooms (morels, hedgehogs, cremini, portobello, button mushrooms, shiitake, chanterelles, reconstituted dried porcini, etc.)
2 cups 1/2 inch bias cut-sliced, fat, fresh asparagus pieces
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
8 eggs
3 cups half & half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced hearty bread, such as a rustic sourdough
2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large sauté pan heated over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until halfway cooked, about 3 minutes. Then add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes. When veggies are tender, add asparagus and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper until well combined. Add the bread, Fontina cheese, half the Parmesan cheese and the cooked sausage mixture.

Place in an 11 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.

When ready to serve, bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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

Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Brunch for Mom |  Posted in breakfast, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

Crab Talk

It’s time for crab talk! This versatile shellfish is d’lish all around, and here in the Northwest, we love our Dungeness Crab! 

Now you’ve probably noticed that some crab eaters are pickers and some are pilers. The former pick and eat as they go – while the latter make a pile of shelled crab, not even tasting a single morsel until they have a good-sized mound. So which one are you: a picker or a piler? 

Fresh, right out of the shell is still my favorite way to eat this prized catch but it is also amazing made into a big crab louie salad, oooooh and don’t forget how amazing crab cakes or the ever popular artichoke and crab dips are too.  

If you’re looking for new ways to cook up this crustacean, look no further than local author and seafood guru ‘ new book Crab: 50 Recipes with the Fresh Taste of the SeaCynthia Nims! It is chock-full of tips like how to buy and store crab, what to drink with crab, and local history and lore. Plus, it has delicious recipes to try like her savory Sourdough Bread Pudding with Crab (recipe below); now that sounds like a perfect holiday brunch dish to me! Want to learn more about crab? Then be sure to check out Cynthia’s website for crab filled events, including book signings and crab cooking classes!

img_7217
Photo by Cynthia Nims.

For a d’lish appetizer for any holiday entertaining, try my Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip with Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini, rich and d’lish! So get cracking and enjoy some delicious crab this season! -Kathy  

Sourdough Bread Pudding with Crab
Bread pudding shows up in a lot of guises these days, making an appearance here at the breakfast table with tangy sourdough bread holding sweet crabmeat in an herby custard. Feel free to use a non-sourdough bread if you prefer. – Cynthia Nims

Makes 8 Servings

Crab: any cooked crabmeat
Unsalted butter, for buttering
1 small loaf day-old rustic sourdough bread (about 1 pound), cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, divided
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces), divided
1⁄2 cup minced onion
8 to 12 ounces crabmeat
8 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. minced fresh at-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Scatter about half of the bread cubes evenly in the baking dish, and sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the cheese over the bread, followed by the onion. Pick over the crab meat to remove any bits of shell or cartilage. If using king or snow crab leg meat, cut it into small dice. Scatter the crab over the onion, then top the crab with the remaining bread cubes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs to blend, then whisk in the milk, parsley, and chives with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let sit for about 10 minutes, pressing the cubes down so they evenly soak up the custard.

Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top and bake the bread pudding until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center of the dish comes out clean, about 45 minutes. If the top is well browned before the eggy custard is cooked, loosely cover the dish with a piece of foil. Let the bread pudding sit for a few minutes before cutting it into pieces to serve.

Recipe ©2016 By Cynthia Nims. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Crab: 50 Recipes with the Fresh Taste of the Sea by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip with Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini
Makes about 6 cups — serves about 12 – 24 people

Dip can be prepared up to 2 days in advance if using very fresh crab and baked when your guests are just starting to arrive. Easy to make Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini bake at the same oven temperature to make things easy!

1 small (8 oz wt.) wheel brie cheese
——————————————
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry
——————————————-
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (Note: do not use reduced-fat or fat-free, I like to use Best Foods in this recipe)
3 cups (about 10 oz. wt.) shredded, high-quality parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup minced sweet red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 pound shelled crab meat, (such as Dungeness or try Alaska King) drained well (about 2 1/2 cups drained), see note above

Garnish: Minced fresh parsley
Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini (recipe follows)

Cut the brie cheese into 1/2” pieces, set aside and then let come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook stirring often till half cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the onions are very soft and the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes.

Then add the garlic and sherry and continue cooking until the sherry is completely reduced about 8 minutes. (There should not be any liquid left.) Set aside to cool.

Place the room temperature brie in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed for about 1 minute or until the cheese softened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add half of the mayonnaise. Mix for 3 more minutes on medium-high speed. Add the remaining mayonnaise, parmesan, Tabasco and lemon juice. Mix together on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold-in the cooled mushroom mixture, green onion, pepper, celery and crab meat – being careful not to break up the crab meat. Do not over mix.

Place dip in a 7-inch x 11-inch baking dish, or 2 quart or ovenproof serving dish. Smooth out but do not compact it. (Dip can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day at this point.)

When ready to serve dip, place in a 400-degree F. pre-heated oven. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until dip just starts to bubble around the edges, is heated through and the cheese is melted. (Be careful not to overcook) If desired, sprinkle with minced fresh parsley. Serve immediately with Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini, or rustic flat bread or crackers.

Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini
Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

Makes 24 – 32 pieces

1 baguette
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the baguette with a serrated knife into 1/4-inch diagonal slices. Lay out on a baking sheet pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil, thyme and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil, then sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until just crispy.

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

Posted by Kathy on November 10th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Crab Talk |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, breakfast, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes, seafood

Summer Blackberries

Ahh blackberries… the glorious summer berry growing in backyards, parks, and all along our northwest trails. These delicious juicy little fruits are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes that they grow on – and your patience will be rewarded!

Not only are blackberries delicious, but they’re good for you! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit – these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Truth be told, I think blackberries really are a taste of summer, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail. Add them into a shaker tin with some fresh mint, lime juice, simple syrup and rum, and you have a wonderful (and easy to make) Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some d’lish Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup.


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Or how about a summer salad tossed with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette – a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese – a great start to any summer meal.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a fresh bowl of blackberries! –Kathy

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
Toss with summer garden greens, and fat blackberries. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and a crumbling of blue cheese or chevre. Dressing recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 generous cup of dressing.

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Liquid Kitchen® No. 5130 honey or local honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 8th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Summer Blackberries |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Snackable Videos

Have you seen all the crazy food videos on Facebook from Tasty, Tastemade, and Buzzfeed Food? These are Snack Sized Videos featuring recipes that are not only visually appealing, but are quick to make and delicious to eat. I like to call this “Speed Scratch Cooking” and they are blowing up right now on social media, offering creative twists on classic comfort foods.

We are all busy these days, running from one appointment to the next. When you throw in a few kids, a dog, and let’s not forget the friends and family, who has time for a home cooked meal? These videos offer lots of variety and endless ideas so there is something for everyone.

For example – have you seen all the fun things you can put on a waffle iron? This Waffle Iron Mac & Cheese from Hungry takes waffles to the next level with chilled Mac & Cheese, bacon, green onions, and MORE CHEESE, pressed into a waffle iron until crispy and delicious then topped with all kinds of fun toppings. Who can say no to that? Yum!

 

MacnCheeseWaffles
 

Buzzfeed also has its share of waffle iron goodies like these All Day Breakfast BurgersCinnamon Roll Waffles with Nutella, or Ham and Cheese Waffles, and more.

Beyond the quick fixes, these videos also have unique and crafty ways to use up left overs or re-imagine a kitchen staple in new and exciting ways. Like this Ice Cream Bread! Start with melted vanilla ice cream, mix in flour, and all kinds of colorful sprinkles and jimmies, bake it, and voila! Super colorful and tasty dessert bread that will have everyone asking for more.

Ice Cream Bread on Cosmopolitan.com
 

The best thing about many of these recipe videos is they only have 3 or 4 ingredients that you may already have in your pantry which is great for a last minute meal or appetizer, just type in your ingredients and see what pops up! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on March 24th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Snackable Videos |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, sides, Snacks, videos

Hop To It – Easter is on its way!

Easter Sunday is coming up, so what will you do with all that leftover booty? You know – the eggs, the candies, the marshmallowy Peeps?

Of course there will be egg salad sandwiches for days BUT let’s get creative with it! How about adding in chopped bacon or some sassy curry. Try mixing salsa in your favorite egg salad recipe then rolling it up with some avocados in tortillas for a quick breakfast on the go.

D'Lish Deviled Eggs
And you know how much I love deviled eggs!

For a beautiful spring presentation, you can do a quick beet pickle. Soak shelled-hard cooked eggs in a sweet & tart beet juice marinade. Then cut and fill. Beautiful and d’lish!

beeteggs
Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs!

Now, what do you do with that candy after the hunt? Well I’ve got you covered with my recipe for Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps – a fun and festive twist on the beloved rice crispy treats. And yes you can garnish with the peep heads…

Tweeps
Save the Peep Heads for Garnish

And for the adults, steal a few of the kids chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Boozy Chocolate Sauce using a splash of your favorite liqueur (take out the liqueur for a kid friendly version, but hey, they have already had their treats!). Serve it over ice cream with a few peeps for garnish!

So hop to it and have a Happy Easter! –Kathy

Jelly Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6 packages yellow Peeps® – 30 peeps (you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

peeps

In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in cereal and jellybeans until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

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

Bunny’licious Boozy Chocolate Sauce
Makes 4 servings

6 oz of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 Tbsp. liquor such as: Grand Marnier, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)

For drizzling over or dipping in: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges, pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps®

Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size) into a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.

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

Posted by Kathy on March 17th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Hop To It – Easter is on its way! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chocolate, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Snacks

Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring

Asparagus is a sure sign of spring. Looking for new ways to cook it? Well, I love it steamed, grilled, roasted, or sautéed. Just give it a quick rinse and then snap off the fibrous ends at their “natural break.” The ends can be saved for veggie stock or added to your compost.

Asparagus is also great to incorporate into a weekend brunch, in an easy egg scramble with shrimp and herby boursin garlic cheese – Yum!

If you’ve got the grill fired up, just toss asparagus spears in a little olive oil and seasoning, lightly grill and serve with oh-so-Northwest, homemade, toasted Hazelnut Aioli. Perfect for smearing, slathering, or dipping grilled asparagus into.

And don’t think you must go through a huge ordeal to make pickled asparagus! I’ve got a great recipe for Quick Overnight Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus – it’s a snap!

So pick up some asparagus while the season is prime! -Kathy


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Aioli
Makes 4 – 6 servings of asparagus and 1 1/2 cups of aioli

2 bunches of fat asparagus – about 2 pounds
olive oil, as needed
salt, as desired

Hazelnut Aioli
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks*
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1 Tbsp. water

Wash asparagus and with a paring knife trim off the bottom 3 inches (the woody tough part) and discard. Meanwhile, get coals going in grill — you want to grill the asparagus over pretty hot coals.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To toast hazelnuts for the aioli:
Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 6 – 8 minutes, or until golden. When cool enough to handle, put hazelnuts in a clean, non-fuzzy dishtowel and rub as much skin off hazelnuts as comes off easily. Set aside until needed.

To make aioli:
In a food processor add the hazelnuts, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, egg yolks and salt. Process until smooth. In a measuring cup mix together the olive and hazelnut oils. With food processor running, SLOWLY drizzle in the oils; the drizzle should be about the width of a spaghetti strand. The mixture will slowly begin to emulsify, forming a mayonnaise-like consistency. (Don’t add the oil too fast, or the mixture will break!) When all the oil has been added, pulse in the water. Store refrigerated until ready to use. May be made up to 3 days in advance.

To grill the asparagus:
Place asparagus on a large plate and lightly brush with a little olive oil. Place asparagus over very hot coals and grill for about 1 minute on each side to mark asparagus nicely and cook until just done. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.

Great served hot or warm dipped into or smeared with aioli — I like it served cold, too!

* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble
Makes about 4 servings

8 eggs
2 Tbsps. water
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup bias-cut fresh asparagus
4 oz. wt. (1/2 cup) bay shrimp, or cooked shrimp, chopped
1/2 cup Boursin cheese (garlic and herb)
chopped parsley or snipped chives for garnish if desired

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and water until very foamy; season as desired with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large, non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring often, until barely tender, about 2 minutes.

Add in the egg mixture and move the eggs around the pan with a spoon or spatula, turning them as necessary until they are three-quarters cooked, about 1 – 2 minutes, and have just started to thicken.

At this point add the shrimp. Fold into eggs, heat through and serve immediately. Dollop 2 tablespoons of Boursin on top of each serving and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

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

Overnight Pickled Asparagus
Makes 1 large jar or about 20 pieces.

1 bunch (about 1 1/4 pounds untrimmed) fresh fat asparagus

Pickling Brine
1 1/2 cups distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 garlic cloves, sliced in half
2 Tbsps. pickling spice
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Wash asparagus and with a paring knife trim off the bottom 3 inches (the woody tough part) and discard.

Place asparagus in a canning jar standing up or in a glass bread pan or other non-corrosive container. The asparagus should fit tightly in. Set jar or container on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan over high heat. Bring to a hard rolling boil and then immediately ladle brine with the spices over asparagus, being sure to cover the asparagus and poking down the spears if needed. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least overnight before eating. Pickled asparagus will last refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

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

Posted by Kathy on April 10th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring |  Posted in breakfast, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides
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