Recipes

Old School Shrimp Melts

Growing up in the Northwest, everyone’s moms made shrimp melts as a special weekend lunch or supper! But these days it seems no one knows about this iconic NW dish – I’m gonna lay it out here for you, so you can experience some true local YUM!

Old School Shrimp Melts were made with tender Oregon Bay shrimp mixed with celery, onion, mayo, and cheddar cheese. Broiled open faced under the broiler until bubbly.

I’ve brought this NW classic back at Lucky Louie Fish Shack – my new seafood quick-serve restaurant at Sea-Tac Airport.

Old School Shrimp Melt!

We’ve jazzed it up a bit and added Louie seasoned cream cheese, loads of Tillamook cheddar, and a touch of Tabasco and green onions – served toasted on a potato bun – yes please!

But if an airport visit is not in your future, I’ve included a recipe so you can whip it up at home for a taste of nostalgic NW. -Kathy

Old School Shrimp Melt
A longtime Pacific Northwest favorite – this open face sandwich combines Oregon bay shrimp and Tillamook cheddar cheese for a true taste of the region. You can also substitute half of the shrimp for crab, just make sure it is well drained.

Makes 2 servings.

4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. minced celery
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
8 oz bay shrimp, well-drained
1/2 cup grated Tillamook Cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 French rolls, cut in half OR English muffins, split

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, celery and Dijon mustard. Mix together until well combined.

Add the shrimp, half of the grated cheese and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper if desired. Stir together until incorporated.

Divide the shrimp mixture among the rolls and top with the remaining cheese. Place under a broiler until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

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

Posted by Kathy on January 16th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Old School Shrimp Melts |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

Recharge with Green Smoothies!

Non-stop holiday parties and overindulging have you feeling a little sluggish? Recharge with Green Smoothies! They are the perfect way to detox your body and ramp up your energy.

Store-bought juices and smoothies might taste d’lish…but they can be super high in calories and sugar, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Try my favorite homemade Green Smoothie instead! Tear up 2 large leaves of organic Kale and toss in a blender. Then add 1/2 a banana and a tiny touch of honey or maple syrup, and some unsweetened coconut or almond milk. Add in a scoop of ice and blend it up until totally smooth and brilliant green! Looking for something a little creamier? Try my Jump Start Smoothie!

You can also jazz up your smoothie with matcha powder, flax seeds, goji berries, or even almond butter for an added energy and protein boost.

Try it as a meal replacement for a few days and you’ll be recharged in no time at all.
-Kathy

Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 cup spinach (a heaping handful)
Splash of almond milk, optional

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Posted by Kathy on January 2nd, 2020  |  Comments Off on Recharge with Green Smoothies! |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Holiday Cocktails for a Crowd

Planning a festive party and need some drink ideas? Don’t worry! I’m here to help, so you’ll have lots of time to be merry with your guests,

Pick 1-2 signature cocktail recipes and pre-batch them. Then supplement your signature drink(s) with red wine and champagne, or beers. And of course, have something festive for the designated drivers as well.

For example, try my Festive Sparkling Rum Punch – made with rum, brandy, fresh juices, and homemade spiced syrup. You can make this up to a week in advance and refrigerate. Then, whip out that punch bowl from the closet and serve over a fun ice ring, then finish it off with champagne. Yum!

For the non-imbiber my Rosemary POM Holiday Sparkle is a cheery combination of fresh rosemary, tangerines, pomegranate juice and sparkling apple cider!

So don’t fret this holiday season – just make sure to plan ahead! –Kathy

Festive Sparkling Rum Punch
This punch is great to make ahead and then just add bubbles right before serving. Make a festive ice-ring to chill the punch, or serve over large ice balls – there are lots of molds available on line.

Makes about 16 – 20 servings

Spiced Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
12 each whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 cinnamon sticks, broken up

Punch
3 cups gold rum
1 cup brandy or cognac
1 cup guava or passion fruit nectar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. Peychaud’s or Angostura bitters

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1 bottle brut sparkling wine or champagne, chilled

To make the syrup: combine syrup ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer slowly for about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature before proceeding with recipe. Or you can prepare the syrup up to a week in advance and store refrigerated.

To make the punch: in a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the Spiced Syrup, rum, brandy, juices and bitters. Stir to combine. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for up to 3 days in advance)

Present in a large punch bowl. Add sparkling wine/champagne right before serving. Serve punch in an old fashioned glass over ice or large ice balls.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® – www.LiquidKitchen.com

Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle
Fresh rosemary’s herbal essence complements the tangy flavor of the clementine and the sweetness of the sparkling cider. When making this in the Middle East, I substituted sparkling date cider instead of the apple cider! It was fantastic!

Makes 1 drink

1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 or 1/2 of a clementine or mandarin, depending on size
1 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz sparkling apple cider
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

Bend 1 rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the clementine then drop in. Measure in the pomegranate juice. Fill the shaker with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a tall glass. Top with the cider and stir. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. (Or, you can shake the drink in the cocktail shaker, then add the sparkling cider and strain the drink into a tall champagne flute for a more elegant look.)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® – www.LiquidKitchen.com

Posted by Kathy on December 26th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Holiday Cocktails for a Crowd |  Posted in Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes

Go Nuts for Almonds!

Hail the mighty almond! The crunchy nut that’s packed with flavor and healthy goodness.

Available in many forms – raw, toasted, milk, butter, oil, etc. – this nutty ingredient can be used in just about anything both savory and sweet dishes. Pancakes, smoothies, desserts, dips – ideas are limitless.

And talk about versatile! It’s so easy to integrate them into your diet. That’s a good thing too – because this super food is SUPER healthy! Packed with Vitamin E and rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats. Plus they are a super protein source and easy to have a little snack baggie around for when you’re feeling hangry!

Chopped up and added to salads, grain bowls, or your morning yogurt, they’ll keep you feeling full and keep your body’s metabolism on track. My Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw is the perfect healthy snack or side dish – it goes great with leftover turkey.

One of my favorite treats these days are Skinny Dipped Almonds: Dark Chocolate Raspberry. These almonds have a light coating of dark chocolate and are dipped in raspberry powder – yum!

So go nuts! Nuts for Almonds, that is.
-Kathy

Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw
Makes about 8 servings

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and Sriracha. Add green onions, cabbage, cranberries and cilantro and toss until well coated.

The salad should sit for 30 minutes before serving. If making way ahead, refrigerate dressing and salad ingredients separately, then toss together 30 minutes before ready to serve. Toss the almonds into the salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on December 19th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Go Nuts for Almonds! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, Snacks

Potatoes

Potatoes have to be one of the most popular foods in the world. They’re economical AND delicious. Potatoes are great boiled or baked, mashed, smashed, or fried.

And aren’t baked potatoes the best? Served on the side of a juicy steak and smothered with sour cream and chives. Or as a main dish stuffed with every imaginable thing from spicy chili and cheese to grilled veggies with tahini!

Easy to make Sliced Baked Potatoes!

But one of my favorite dishes to make for holiday dinners is Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes! This robust dish gets a kick from blue cheese and fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary.

Then there’s mashed potatoes…and there are SO MANY variations to get creative with. Just be sure when mashing OR whipping, that your spuds are piping HOT – you don’t want gluey potatoes. After the whipping has commenced then it’s time to fold in some fun – roasted corn, cheese, chives or fresh herbs, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions…the list goes on and on!

So get creative with your spuds! -Kathy

Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
You can also make this recipe in advance, then let cool and store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven until hot.

Makes 12 servings

Potatoes
5 pounds russet potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt

Fresh thyme sprigs for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

To prepare the potatoes, peel and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss them in a large bowl with the salt, pepper, and thyme. In a small bowl, mix the cheeses.

Layer half the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese mixture, then layer with the remaining potatoes.

To make the sauce, whisk the ingredients in a bowl and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Tap the baking dish on the counter to spread the sauce and release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until browned and completely tender all the way through when poked in the center with a knife.

Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Posted by Kathy on December 12th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Potatoes |  Posted in Books to Cook, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, root vegetables, sides

Toast the Season with Cranberries

Whether you like them as a side sauce cozied to turkey or made into a holiday garland with popcorn, nothing is as perfect for the holidays than cranberries!

Seasonal foods just naturally go together. The apple, for example, is the perfect foil for its seasonal cousin the cranberry. They’re great together in my Apple Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust and Cranberry Semifreddo. How about a salad of winter greens with slices of crisp galas and spicy toasted walnuts tossed with my favorite holiday dressing, Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette.

But hey you can get crafty with them, too! For an impressive DIY holiday gift, try whipping up a batch of Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar to give out this year. Thread cranberries on a skewer and slip into a decorative clear bottle. Poke in a few sprigs of fresh sage, then add a pinch of sugar and salt to champagne vinegar – whisk together then pour into the bottles, covering the cranberries and sage. Cap and let sit at least one week before using. This vinegar makes a splendid and  colorful gift.

So grab a few extra bags of fresh cranberries while they are in season and freeze a few bags for enjoying later. -Kathy

Cranberries 2
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table)

Washington Apple-Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust & Cranberry Semifreddo
Makes 10 servings

Filling
1 tablespoon butter
4 pounds Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (6 cups)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Crust
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sanding or coarse sugar

Cranberry Semifreddo (recipe follows)
10 fresh or frozen cranberries for garnishing

To make the filling, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the apples and cranberries. Stir in the brandy and lemon juice, then add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook until the apples are just wilted but still firm, and the juices have evaporated and cooked out; the mixture should be almost dry, not wet. Transfer to a shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator while making the crust.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with a parchment round. Lightly butter the sides of the pan and the parchment, or spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Set aside.

To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugars on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla and the 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating a few seconds after each. Beat until smooth and light, about 1 minute. (Reserve the egg white.)

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and walnuts, then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 2 parts, mixing on low until just combined.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Put a piece of the dough into the prepared pan and press it out evenly on the bottom and up 1 1/2 inches on the sides. (If the dough is too soft to work with, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to slightly firm up.) Pile the cooled filling into the dough-lined pan.

On a lightly floured surface such as a cardboard disk or big piece of plastic wrap, press the remaining piece of dough into a round 9 or 10 inches in diameter, depending on the size of your springform pan. Slide the dough onto the filling and press it into place. This top crust should fit just inside the dough that extends up the sides of the pan and come all the way to its edges. Carefully seal the seam where the top joins the side dough, making sure the edges are straight and even.

Whip the reserved egg white in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Brush the top crust lightly with the egg white and poke the top with a fork in 5 places. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling out a bit. Cool to just slightly warm or room temperature before removing the pan sides. You might want to run a knife along the sides before unmolding. (When serving, be sure that the parchment paper is not stuck to the tart.)

To serve, slice the tart into 10 wedges. Place each wedge on a dessert plate. Top with a nice scoop of the semifreddo and garnish with a cranberry.

Cranberry Semifreddo
Makes about 10 servings

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Let the eggs come to room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.

Combine the cranberries, juice, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the cranberries pop, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, then purée until smooth.

In a medium stainless-steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and cranberry purée. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, taking care that the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the mixture is thickened and hot—but be careful not to overcook (scramble) the egg mixture; this takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone. Keep whisking until the mixture cools down, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Meanwhile, in a thoroughly clean and grease-free mediuim mixer bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until they just start to get frothy. Start sprinkling in the superfine sugar and whip until the whites are peaking. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chilled cranberry mixture.

Whip the cream until stiff, then gently fold it into the cranberry mixture, taking care not to lose volume.

Spoon the mixture into a 4-cup plastic container with a lid. Tap the container on a counter to release any bubbles, then smooth the top. Close the container, then place in a freezer for at least 8 hours, or until frozen.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cranberries 1

Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar
Makes 6 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Fresh Sage
1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
6 cups white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Arrange the cranberries and shallot attractively in 2 clear glass wine bottles (you can skewer the cranberries, if you like, on long wooden skewers).

In a non-aluminum pan, bring the vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Immediately pour the liquid into the bottles, filling them 1 1/2 inches from the top. Let cool to room temperature, then cork. Let sit a minimum of 2 days before using. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 – 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 5th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Toast the Season with Cranberries |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey day is here and gone. But, what to do with all the leftovers in the fridge? Need some tasty ideas? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Turkey Feast
A d’lish Thanksgiving day feast!

Don’t throw out those bones! They’re essential for my Rich Turkey Stock. Pick that turkey carcass clean – be sure to save the meat for soup and sandwiches. Get out the stock pot – add the bones, some chopped carrots, celery and onion – cover with water (sometimes I like to add in a carton or two of chicken broth to give it a flavor boost) bring to a simmer for 2 hours – then strain and voila!

What to do with that stock? Well soup is a natural idea, but how about whipping up a big pan of gravy for hot open faced turkey sandwiches.

Thanksgiving for breakfast – why not! Thanksgiving Benedict is a delicious idea a chef friend shared with me. Form leftover stuffing into a patties, pan sear, and then top with sliced turkey, a poached egg and a dollop of homemade turkey gravy. YUM! –Kathy

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 tsp. 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® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on November 28th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Leftovers |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Let’s Talk Turkey!

The holidays are upon us and it’s time to start planning those holiday dinners for friends and family. Everyone has their favorites from old-school marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes to the classic green bean casserole. For me, it’s all about the turkey! Juicy and golden, it graces most of our holiday dinner tables. But, alas! There can be many turkey tragedies, “turkey sins” as I like to call them. From the overcooked and dried out to the not-fully-defrosted-and-then-baked-raw travesty! Zowie!

Ample planning and some good rules of thumb can ensure a low-stress turkey roasting day. Below, I’ll walk you through the 10 turkey sins, and provide tips on how to have a d’lish holiday meal.

I’m also including a recipe for my Cranberry Citrus Cooler, Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey, Old Fashioned Turkey Gravy ( a recipe that makes a lot! – see sin #7!), Overnight Wild Rice Stuffing and Egg Nog Panna Cotta for you to cook up some holiday fun!

Turkey Sin #1: Roasting a Half-Frozen Bird, or the “turkey’sicle”

If you’re buying a standard bird at the grocery store, take into consideration most of these babies are frozen or “half” frozen. I love ordering a fresh local Foster Farms bird. If you do too, keep in mind to get your order in at least 2+ weeks ahead at your favorite market or butcher/poultry shop. Remember to get to “know your turkey” – if you’re going for a fresh bird, it will cook a bit quicker (and need more seasoning) than a traditional “plumped” turkey. The rule of thumb is: you should start defrosting your bird in the refrigerator about 5 days in advance—up to 7 if it’s a biggie! Watch me season and stuff fresh herbs in my fully defrosted turkey on Q13!

Turkey Sin #2: Leaving the Bag of Giblets in the Bird

How many of you have seen these left in during baking!? Once your bird is ready for the big day, take it out of the wrapper. Remove the bag of “goodies and giblets” from inside, and also check inside the neck cavity. (NO one wants a turkey “butt” surprise). You can use the neck and giblets to make a little pan of turkey stock for adding to gravy if you like.

Turkey Sin #3: “Steaming,” Rather than Roasting, your Bird

Roasting your turkey in a big old deep roasting pan creates steam from the turkey juices and does not make for a crispy-skinned bird. To avoid this, rinse your turkey inside and out; then pat it dry. Place in a wide shallow pan, up on a roasting rack. Stick some aromatics, such as quartered onions, an orange and a few big sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage and rosemary, in the inside cavity.

Turkey Sin #4: Under Seasoning

All the gravy and cranberry sauce in Plymouth Rock can’t hide an under seasoned bird. You can carefully stuff fun things like fresh sage leaves, sprigs of thyme, fresh basil leaves and small tufts of rosemary under the turkey’s skin but watch out for tears in the skin. Herbs will add a nice flavor to the meat. Season your turkey liberally with kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper – or I love to use my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt! This means really season it well—rub it all over, under the wings, on the back of the bird—massage that baby! For a medium-sized turkey, you want to use at least 1 tablespoon of kosher salt plus about 1 teaspoon of pepper or about 2 Tbsp of my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt.

Turkey Sin #5: An Undercooked or Overcooked Bird

Undercook your bird, and put your guests at risk. Overcook your bird, and you’ll need to offer guests a LOT of wine for washing it down…which could lead to family drama! Cooking your bird just right is tricky. To start with, there are a million different methods. I’m a roasted-turkey gal, but I know there are lots of you turkey-fryers out there. And it does make a good bird (but beware of garage fires!) —but I gotta have my gravy. To keep it simple, get yourself a good instant-read thermometer and be sure to preheat your oven. See my favorite recipe and tips, below, for roasting. To avoid overcooking your bird, plan your day. When are you serving dinner? Work back from there. Unless you are cooking a 40-lb monster turkey or eating dinner at 11 AM, there is no need to get the bird in the oven at 6 AM!! Yes, I have succumbed to eating one of those roasted-for-8-hours birds, and it wasn’t pretty!

Turkey sin #5-B Note

Do not leave the thermometer in the bird when you are roasting it – see picture below.

I prefer an instant read thermometer.

Melted Thermometer

Turkey Sin #6: An Improperly Carved Turkey

After all that hard work put into creating a picture-perfect, delicious-tasting bird, do not let the knife get into inexperienced hands! It may be tradition to let the man of the house perform the ceremonious carve, but not if he’s going to hack it to death (Family Note: Seen at the in-laws frequently.  For God sakes just let me do it)! Give the bird 20 minutes to rest. This will allow you to get the rest of the dinner on the table. To start carving, take off the breast first, and slice thin. Disjoint the legs, thighs, and wings and slice the thighs if desired. My in-laws use an electric knife (it was probably a wedding gift from the 60’s!) and actually, the thing works pretty darn well. I favor my super-sharp Henkel chef’s knife. But hey! Use whatever gets you the nicest slices. (I kind of like those old school electric carving knives too!) You can watch me carve and serve up roasted turkey pieces on Q13 here!

Turkey Sin #7: Not Enough Gravy- This could be the ultimate sin!

Gravy and turkey is like milk and cookies: delightfully harmonious. To be sure you make enough, immediately transfer your roasted bird to a platter to rest, and collect all those yummy juices for making pan gravy. Or, what I like to do is make turkey stock a few days ahead using some purchased turkey legs and then make a big batch of gravy in the bird-cooking pan. There’s nothing worse than not enough gravy! I like my do ahead gravy recipe below – and it makes LOTS! Watch me make lots of turkey gravy on Q13!

Turkey Sin #8: Letting the Cooked Bird Sit Out…. All Day… and Beyond

Once you have the meat off the bird, remember to not let it sit on the counter all evening, increasing the risk of spoilage. I like to take off any extra meat and refrigerate it for soups or sandwiches. Don’t throw away that turkey carcass! Break it up, throw it in a big pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1–2 hours. Strain the stock well, then cool. Now you have yummy turkey broth to make some tasty soup later in the week.

Turkey Sin #9: No Turkey Leftovers for Sandwiches

And this brings us to the sin second only to not making enough gravy: not cooking enough turkey. Turkey sandwiches—I love them piled high with homemade cranberry compote—are absolutely de rigueur for next-day snacking … or midnight refrigerator raids, for those who cannot wait! So if you’re inviting your peeps over for dinner –encourage people to bring some their own Tupperware –  give them some leftovers …. it will make for very happy guests and less to cram in the already packed refrigerator!

Turkey Sin #10: Not Enjoying Yourself

Running around the kitchen like a turkey with its head cut off is no way to enjoy the holiday. Don’t allow the day to consume you. Why not give each person something to bring to the dinner? Maybe even send them a recipe you would like them to make. The holidays are all about gathering over a meal, so get those football-watchers off the couch and into the kitchen. Get your guests involved by setting the table, pouring drinks, warming the rolls, anything to help. You’ll relax more and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

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One of my favorite turkey-roasting methods follows, so whether you are a first-time cooker or an old hand at the turkey game, I hope my tips and recipes will allow you to have a super-successful holiday meal!

Finished Turkey

Kathy’s Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey
Chef’s Notes:  Read recipe all the way through a few days before your dinner. A tasty do-ahead turkey gravy that makes LOTS follows.

Allow about 1 1/2 – 2 hours of roasting time for a 12-pound turkey (that is fresh and not stuffed), and add about 5 to 10 minutes for each additional pound. This will be one of the most beautiful turkeys you’ve ever roasted!  If roasting a large turkey 20 – 24 lbs, bake at 350 degrees. A 22-lb turkey should take about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to reach 175–180 degrees internal temperature (insert an instant-read thermometer in the back side of the thigh).

Makes 8 to 16 servings, with leftovers

1 12- to 16-pound turkey
4 or more large, fresh rosemary sprigs
1 large onion, skin on, quartered
1 head of garlic, broken apart
8 large sage leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt + 1/2 – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
OR 2 + tablespoons Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt

Place an oven rack low in the oven, removing extra racks if necessary. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Remove the giblets and neck from turkey cavities, checking that both cavities are empty. Rinse turkey with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry. Keep the legs tied together with the metal clip, or tie with butcher’s twine.

Place half of the rosemary sprigs and all the onion and garlic in the bird’s body cavity.

  • (If you decide to stuff your turkey with traditional stuffing there are some things you must know: When stuffing a turkey, do so just before roasting; do not stuff it the night before. Loosely stuff the turkey so that the stuffing will completely cook through. Do not pack the stuffing. You can stuff both ends of a turkey, the large inside cavity and the smaller nook under the skin flap at the neck – cooking time may need to be increased and be sure your stuffing .)

Pull the leaves off the remaining rosemary sprigs. Carefully loosen the turkey skin over the breast and legs (by running your hands under it), being careful not to tear it. Keeping them as flat as possible, tuck the sage leaves and the rosemary leaves you pulled off under the breast, thigh, and leg skin, arranging the herbs decoratively. Carefully pull the breast skin tightly down over breast bone, then, using metal closure skewers, thread them through both sides of the skin flaps to bridge the turkey body-cavity opening. Thread skewers alternately from left to right then right to left. With a 12-inch piece of butcher’s twine or white cotton string, work back and forth around the skewers to lace up the cavity, shoelace-style.

Spray a roasting rack with nonstick vegetable spray and place the turkey on the rack in an open, shallow roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, then generously sprinkle the turkey with the salt and pepper or French Seasoning Salt, seasoning it well all over.

Place the turkey on the low oven rack and roast until the inner, thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F. (Insert metal stem, instant-read thermometer in the back side of thigh by the turkey body.)

If you are cooking a larger turkey, you may need to tent the breast loosely with a piece of buttered foil to avoid over-browning of the breast. About 30 to 45 minutes before the end of cooking, remove tent to allow browning.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven. Before carving the turkey, let it stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. As the turkey stands, the turkey thigh temperature will reach 180°F. (If stuffing be sure stuffing comes to 165°F) Use the pan drippings to make your gravy – see recipe below.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy- THAT MAKES A LOT!
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.

Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings

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, or chopped wild mushrooms
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows)
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 white pepper.

You can make the gravy a couple of days ahead to save yourself some precious holiday time!

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®

Cuties Overnight Wild-Rice & Sourdough Stuffing
With big flavors and textures, this stuffing is great with game hens, turkey, chicken, holiday ham or pork chops.
Makes about 8 servings

6 cups water
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup wild rice
—————————
6 Cuties Mandarin Oranges
4 cups 1/2-inch-cubed rustic sourdough bread
1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds
6 Tbsp. salted butter
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced onion
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced celery
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten

In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer rice, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, peel the Cuties, cut in half crosswise, then break into half segments. Place in a large bowl with the bread and almonds, and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 7–8 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and add cranberries, broth and herbs.

Add mushroom mixture and cooled rice to bread mixture. Toss to mix evenly, then add the beaten egg and toss until bread is thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors develop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with pan spray.

Re-toss stuffing, transfer to baking pan, and let sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature while oven preheats. Bake in preheated oven for 35–45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Chef’s Note: When roasting a stuffed chicken or game hen, cook until internal temperature at the center of the stuffing is 165 degrees F.

Recipe Created for Cuties Citrus by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cranberry Citrus Cooler
Housemade Cranberry Syrup adds a flavorful twist and beautiful color to this tall cooler.
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz Housemade Cranberry Syrup including 3- 4 of the berries (recipe follows)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: long lemon twist

Measure the Moon Mountain Vodka, Cranberry Syrup including a few of the berries, lemon juice and orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and add the bitters. Cap and shake. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a long curled lemon twist.

Housemade Cranberry Syrup
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 1 minute then turn off heat. Let syrup infuse for one hour. Then refrigerate. Will keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Eggnog Panna Cotta With Spiced Cranberry Compote
Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup pecan pieces

Eggnog Panna Cotta
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup (8 oz wt) mascarpone
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water

Spiced Cranberry Compote
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350-degree oven until just golden, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

To make the Panna Cotta: Place the eggnog, sugar, nutmeg, extract, mascarpone and sour cream in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie). Whisk until smooth and warmed.

In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let bloom for a couple of minutes, then heat in microwave or over hot water until melted. Whisk into the warmed eggnog mixture.

Divide mixture between 4 small custard cups (the small Pyrex glass ones). Place on a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours until set, or overnight.

To make the Spiced Cranberry Compote: In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan place the cranberries, nutmeg, sugar, orange juice and zest. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium. Let cook until cranberries are popped and mixture is a nice compote consistency, about 5 – 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

To serve dessert: One at a time place each ramekin of panna cotta in a shallow bowl of very hot water — to 1/2-inch from the top — for about a count of 10. Remove, run a knife around the outside and unmold onto individual dessert plates. Scatter the cranberry compote over the tops of the custards. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: All the dessert components can be made up to 3 days before serving.

Recipe © Dishing with Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy on November 21st, 2019  |  Comments Off on Let’s Talk Turkey! |  Posted in dessert, Dish D'Lish, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, French Seasoning Salt, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, poultry, Products, Recent Posts, Recipes, seasonings, sides
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