Recipes

National Comfort Food Day

Comfort foods, we all have our must-haves and go-tos. And luck has it that National Comfort Food Day is this weekend!

We all have those favorites that stir up delicious memories and are well…comforting! For some, it’s fluffy mashed potatoes with a pool of delicious homemade gravy or Mom’s chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove. For others, it may be a favorite family dessert like grandma’s apple pie or dad’s buttermilk-soaked crispy fried chicken.

My husband John’s favorite comfort food is my Slow-Braised Pork Pot Roast with Apples & Onions – its delicious aroma filling the house on a lazy Sunday.

Taste is one of our strongest memories. Things that we loved in our younger years become beloved comfort foods we crave. And it’s not just about childhood. One bite of, for example, pasta carbonara can bring you back to that restaurant in Rome when you were on your first trip to Italy.

Around the holidays we all certainly have our comforting favorites, especially when it comes to the sides that cozy up to the turkey, holiday ham, or roast. Be it oyster stuffing, old-school green bean casserole or roasted Brussel sprouts.

So whether you’re whipping up an old favorite this weekend or creating something new, here’s wishing you some delicious memories. –Kathy

Pork Roast
This photo is from another blog I really liked: Sister See Sister Do with a Pressure Cooker recipe that also looks delicious!

Kathy’s Slow-Braised Pork Pot Roast with Apples & Onions
This this juicy tender pork roast makes a super winter meal, especially when served with whipped potatoes and root veggies such as turnips, parsnips or rutabagas. Serve with lots of hearty bread to sop up all the delicious juices.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Gala apples, each cut in 8 chunks
1 large onion, cut in 16 chunks
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp. caraway seeds, optional
1/3 cup raspberry or white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Pat dry the pork roast and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place apples, onion, thyme, and garlic in a small roasting pan and set the pork roast on top. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds.

Mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then pour it around the pork.

Place the pork in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and continue roasting for about 1 1/2 hours more, until the pork is fork-tender. The total roasting time will be about 2 1/2 hours.

Chef’s Tips:
Gala apples are used in this recipe for their superior, firm texture when cooking. If Gala apples are not available, try to find Fujis, which also work well.

Recipe Copyright © by Kathy Casey. – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on December 4th, 2015  |  Comments Off on National Comfort Food Day |  Posted in KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TurkeyHack: Turkey After All The Trimmings

#TurkeyHack! Okay, you roasted the beautiful bird, enjoyed all the trimmings, and stuffed yourself silly. Now what do you do with the leftover turkey? Don’t just leave it on the counter while you start playing games or watching a game on TV.

Turkey Feast

Get ready to do a #TurkeyHack Turkey Stock!
First things first: remove all the meat from the turkey. Slice up the breast and use for sandwiches – you know that you’ll want one later! Save the dark meat for soup and other yummy dishes, which we will get to in a minute. And make sure to remove any string, from the bird or leg ties – you don’t need those anymore!

Next, whack and/or break up the turkey carcass; yes, use your hands! Put it all in a big pot, and cover with water (if you have them, add in big chunks of onion, celery tops and carrots). Now put the whole thing on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours (make sure to set a timer!) while you enjoy some post-dinner fun.

Now, strain out the solids reserving the delicious turkey stock. Put stock back in the pot and reduce by half on a low simmer. (You need about 5 cups for the gravy recipe – and if your short stretch it out with a little chicken broth).

When it’s reduced and tasty delicious, cool and then refrigerate for soup. Or make a big pot of gravy using my #TurkeyHack Gravy Simple Recipe for leftovers or open-faced hot turkey sandwiches. Yum! -Kathy

#TurkeyHack Simple Gravy
Makes about 5 cups

6 Tbsps. butter
2 Tbsp minced onion AND/OR 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
5 cups homemade turkey stock (see above for method using your leftover turkey carcass)
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onions (and mushrooms if using) 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.

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

Posted by Kathy on November 25th, 2015  |  Comments Off on #TurkeyHack: Turkey After All The Trimmings |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, Recipes

Easy Entertaining

Who doesn’t love to throw a dinner party, but some just do it with a little less stress.

Here are a few of my fave entertaining tips:

    •Write out your menu and plan out your prep day by day, preparing as much as you can in advance and picking recipes that can be finished at the last minute.
    •Have each one of your guests help with a different dish when it comes time to serve it. They’ll have fun and it will take some stress off of you!

Here’s an example of my favorite fall menu:

Start with Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre and Walnut Crostini. The soup can be made ahead and then just finished off before you serve. Next, a salad of arugula and brilliant radicchio tossed simply with balsamic and olive oil sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Then move on to an entrée of oven-roasted Spiced Chicken with Pears and Port. It slow cooks while you are mingling with guests.

Then finish with Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Holiday Ale Caramel – this can be made a week before. Gotta love that!

Pumpkin Panna Cotta w Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
Mini Pumpkin Panna Cottas with Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce – d’lish to the last spoonful!

So, I’ve supplied the menu, now, all you have to do is invite a delightful group of friends! –Kathy

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre & Walnut Crostini
Makes 6 servings

4 cups 1/2-inch-sliced peeled parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth (I used packaged organic broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Croutons
6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Garnish: thinly sliced fresh chives and/or celery leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

First, toast the bread for the croutons: Lay the bread on a baking sheet, brush slices lightly with oil, and toast in the preheated oven for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before and keep croutons in a tightly closed container after they cool.)

Toss parsnips and olive oil together in a bowl to coat evenly. Spread out on a baking sheet (you can reuse the one used for the bread), and roast till golden and totally tender, about 30 minutes.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and celery until very tender, about 3 minutes; do not brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds more. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth, cream and roasted parsnips and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or low, to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and cayenne. In small batches, puree mixture in a blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Return soup to pan and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

To serve the soup and finish the crostini:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cheese on the croutons, then top each one with a half-tablespoon of nuts. Press in slightly and bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is warmed.

Meanwhile, heat the soup, stirring often, over medium heat till hot, making sure it does not stick on the bottom. Serve the hot soup in warm bowls. Top with chives or celery leaf and serve a warm goat cheese crouton on the side.

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

Spiced Chicken with Pears and 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 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 tsp. 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© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel & Sea Salt
You can make the panna cotta up to 5 days in advance—just keep tightly wrapped with plastic. The caramel sauce can also be prepared up to a week beforehand, making it the perfect dessert for a busy holiday schedule.

Makes 8 regular (4-oz) servings or 16 mini (2-oz) servings

1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mascarpone
1 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pre-seasoned pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
————————————————-
1 cup Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Sea salt for sprinkling (sea salt)

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Soak until the gelatin is soft, then microwave on high power for only about 2 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, sour cream, mascarpone, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Add the gelatin and whisk together well.

Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth and hot (150 to 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove from the heat and divide the mixture evenly among 8 regular or 16 mini martini glasses (or 8 custard or 16 espresso cups). Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the panna cotta. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours to set.

To serve: Drizzle each panna cotta with ale caramel sauce (1 tablespoon for the minis or 2 for the larger portions), and then sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Chef’s note: If making the ale caramel sauce is too much for your schedule, then substitute with a speed scratch sea salt caramel sauce; mix 1/2 cup purchased high-quality caramel sauce with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, depending upon how salty you like it.

Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
If made ahead, cool completely and store refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to serve. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for the panna cotta; extra sauce can be drizzled on ice cream, pound cake or other desserts.

Makes 2 cups

1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin ale or other seasonal beer, such as Pike Brewing Co. Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-large saucepan, bring the ale to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.

Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring (stir or swirl the pan only if necessary to prevent boiling over) for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thick and syrupy (about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream and butter (it may splatter!), and then cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. If serving right away, cool until just warm; it will thicken up more as it cools. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on November 19th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Easy Entertaining |  Posted in dessert, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, soups

Get Saucy

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

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

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

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

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

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

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

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

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

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

    Yield: 1/2 cup

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

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

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

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

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

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

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Oatmeal Any Time of Day

    Oatmeal. We know that it makes for a hearty breakfast. The reason is that it contains soluble fiber (that stays in the stomach) helping you feel fuller, longer. This can keep you from overeating!

    Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap its many health benefits, such as supporting weight loss and boosting heart health to name a few.

    There are a lot of varieties of oatmeal on the shelves today. Let me break it down for you. Steel-cut oats are the whole oat grain and bran, and are chopped with steel blades. Rolled oats are de-hulled then steamed and flattened between two rollers. Instant oats are steamed longer and completely cooked before dried. The less processed the oats are, the more fiber they will contain, and the more health benefits can be gained from eating them.

    On the weekend, I like to cook a big batch of steel cut oats, let them cool, then layer it in 1/2 pint jars with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Screw on the jar lids and refrigerate for the week. In the morning just remove the lid and then heat with a little fat free coconut milk in the microwave for a quick and healthy breakfast on the go!

    Citrus Upside Down Cake 2
    Who’s ready for a slice of Sunkist Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake?

    And don’t forget about baking with oatmeal! My favorite is Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake! Great for a special brunch topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt. D’lish! –Kathy

    Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake
    Great for a hearty dessert or even as a breakfast cake, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Read all the way through recipe before starting. It is important to use a nonstick pan and to turn the cake out of the pan 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

    Makes 1 (9-inch) round cake, serving 8 to 10

    Oats
    2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 Tbsp. Sunkist Orange zest
    3/4 cup boiling water

    Orange Layer
    3 Tbsp. butter
    3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 large Sunkist Navel Orange, peel on, ends cut off and sliced into 8 to 10 thin slices

    Batter
    2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

    Meanwhile, prepare the pan and orange layer: put the butter in a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan and place in the oven until the butter is just melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and then lay out the orange slices in a pretty pattern.

    To make the batter: In a mixer (or large bowl), combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, soda and salt, and then add this mixture to the sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and pecans, and mix until well combined.

    Without disturbing the orange layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake is golden and tests done.

    Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate. Let cool before serving.

    Chef Notes:

  • Try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom to the oat mixture for a different spice-flavor profile.
  • Great to serve for brunch; this cake is very moist, so you can make it a couple of days ahead.
  • Photo and Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

    Posted by Kathy on November 6th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Oatmeal Any Time of Day |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Apples

    A true sign of fall: apples appear everywhere. From thick caramel-coated and dipped in nuts to sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market to grand glass bowls filled with elegant red apples simply used as a table centerpiece.

    The Northwest has always been the hub for amazing apples. Glorious Galas with their perfume-y sweet flavor, firm Fujis that hold their texture amazingly well when cooked, deep-blushed Braeburns, and the list goes on.

    What most of us (at least us pie-lovers) think about when thinking of apples is pie, I love to make my apple pie with a little cheddar in the crust – yum!

    Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette
    Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunkist

    But in addition to desserts there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try whipping up a Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette. It’s really quick and delicious.

    Looking for a new side dish? How about a toothsome Apple Barley Risotto – a twist on the classic using pearl barley instead of Arborio rice?

    Just remember, one of the best apple tips to observe is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees, apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. Many a Northwesterner accomplished this in the olden days by stashing the winter’s apples under the bed, back when winter bedrooms were quite chilly. I bet those rooms smelled appley great!

    Cheers crisp fall apples – crunch! -Kathy

    Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette
    This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

    Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

    6 cups baby spinach
    1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
    1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion

    Vinaigrette
    1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice
    2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    ———————————————
    1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
    2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

    Place spinach, apple and onion in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt
    and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

    In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, but do not brown garlic. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

    Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

    Recipe created by Kathy Casey for Sunkist®

    Apple Barley Risotto
    Allow about 50 – 60 minutes total cooking time for this recipe.
    Makes 4 servings

    2 Tbsp. butter
    1 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/4 cup finely diced red onion
    1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 Braeburn or Fuji apple, unpeeled, cored and diced 1/4-inch
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup shredded, high-quality Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
    1/8 tsp. black pepper
    salt to taste (If using canned broth, less salt will be needed.)

    In a large heavy-bottom saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and red onions. Sauté till mushrooms are limp. Add the garlic and stir around for about half a minute. Then immediately add the wine, increase heat to high and reduce wine till syrupy, about 3 minutes.

    Reduce heat to medium and stir in the diced apple and barley. In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together the broth and water. Add 1 cup to the barley and simmer till almost all the liquid is absorbed about 6 – 8 minutes.

    Stir in another cup of the broth-water mixture and continue cooking, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process again until all the liquid has been used and the barley is tender.

    Remove from heat and fold in cheese, nuts and pepper. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

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

    Posted by Kathy on October 8th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, salads

    Ancient Grains are New Again

    Whole grains are all the rage, and with good reason. Their health benefits and high-fiber content make them a great addition to your regular menu!

    One of my favorites is quinoa, an ancient grain-like seed. It’s a high-quality protein with eight essential amino acids and a good source of fiber, as well as B vitamins, iron, and other minerals. You can get regular quinoa, red and tri-colored – all are tasty tasty!

    I like to toast it dry in a pan before cooking to add a bit of nutty flavor. I love it made into a salad to take for lunch such as my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad – cooked quinoa, cucumbers, carrots, garbanzos, raisins, hazelnuts and fresh herbs all dressed up with olive oil and lemon juice. The combination of textures and flavors is d’Lish and so good for you!


    Red Quinoa!
    (Photo courtesy of FitSugar)

    Another fave is farro, an ancient hulled wheat that was served as the daily ration of the Roman legions. Today it is making a huge comeback and can be seen on restaurant menus everyhwere (and also grown locally in eastern Washington). I love its toothsome bite. Most instructions say to soak it before cooking (preferably overnight). This is great to speed up the cooking, but I typically just give it a long slow boil until it is tender. I love it in a dish of Kale Lacinato, Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese. Perfect for this time of year.

    So cook up some ancient grains this fall and get your freekeh on – yes that’s another type of new grain! –Kathy

    Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
    I like to make this salad with all organic produce.
    Makes about 4 cups

    3/4 cup red or tri-color quinoa
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 tsp. minced garlic
    2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp. minced or grated lemon zest
    1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced cucumber
    1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
    1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/2cup organic golden raisins
    1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
    1/4 cup grated carrot
    3/4 to 1 tsp. sea salt
    1/4 tsp. black pepper

    Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

    In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

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

    Farro with Kale, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
    I love this dish made with fall chanterelles.
    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    1/2 cup whole farro, dry
    2 quarts water
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 cup sliced wild mushrooms
    4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
    pinch red chili flakes
    1 large bunch black kale (lacinato)* or green kale, torn
    1/4 cup chicken broth (or substitute vegetable broth)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 lemon
    3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

    To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

    Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in kale. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated sexy local cheese.

    *Also called dinosaur kale.

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

    Posted by Kathy on September 30th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Ancient Grains are New Again |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads
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