appetizers

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!

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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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, breakfast, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes, seafood

Carrot Craze

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Burbee.com Carrot Varieties 
 

Who would have thought that carrots would be the next “it” veggie?

Nowadays, the quintessential orange carrot we have come to love has close competition with some unexpectedly colorful varieties. Typically found at your local farmer’s market, these beautiful heirlooms come in wonderful shades of purple, ruby, yellow and white.

 

harrisa-carrot
Harissa Roasted Carrots
 

I like to pick-up a bundle of fresh heirloom carrots, rub them with some olive oil and flavorful seasoning like Duqqa; an aromatic Egyptian mixture of toasted nuts and seeds like hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin, or Harissa then roast them in a hot oven and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro. The roasting brings out the sweetness and the spices really compliment the carrot flavor. Oh and don’t be afraid to char the carrots a little – they can handle it – yum!

Of course we all enjoy carrots as the perfect snack too, sweet and satisfyingly crunchy – they are filled with antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, minerals, fiber and so much more yet are still a low calorie treat. For a great appetizer, try roasting and pureeing carrots with garlic and lemon for a simple carrot hummus or blending them into a gingery salad dressing!

carrot-collins2
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
The fresh pressed carrot juice makes the color of this cocktail amazing!
 

Besides baking into a sweet carrot cake, or roasting with warm spices, I also love drinking carrot juice too! Because of their bright color and sweet flavor, I love adding fresh carrot juice to citrusy drinks like lemon – or limeades, sparkling water, and of course, cocktails.

Whether you are roasting, baking, juicing, or snacking – carrots are one veggie that won’t ever let you down. – Kathy

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots

Serves 4

12 heirloom carrots peeled and split in half, leaving about an inch of stem.
3 – 4 Tbsp Moroccan Harissa Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
6 – 8 oz of Greek Yogurt
Finishing Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Combine the Harissa paste with the olive oil in a small bowl and mix together until well combined. Toss the carrots in the harissa mixture until nicely coated then add to a roasting pan, being sure carrots are evenly separated and not overlapping. Roast the carrots for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and have a nice char to your liking.

Once you are ready to serve, plate the carrots and dollop with Greek yogurt. I like serving this with warm couscous, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of finishing salt.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Honey Mint Carrot Collins

Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Honey Mint Syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh pressed carrot juice
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
————————————
1 ounce chilled Perrier
Garnish: Fresh Origins Micro Carrot and Micro Mint

Measure gin, Honey Mint Syrup and juices into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously. Pour drink into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish.

Honey Mint Syrup
Makes about 10 ounces
8 sprigs fresh mint
3/4 cup clover honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while siring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 45 minutes. Strain and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kathy on October 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, vegetables

Labor Day Picnic Foods

Labor Day is coming up – a holiday that commemorates the workers who have helped make this country great. To many, it also heralds the end of summer and the last 3-day weekend before school starts.

So why not enjoy the last blast of summer with a great picnic potluck among friends and family? Try twisting up your menu with some new drinks and dishes too. Start out with a refreshing drink such as a house-made sparkling blackberry lemon soda – perfect for using up the last of those wild picked blackberries! Serve it dry or add a splash of your favorite local vodka or gin.

For the food – set out an array of apps to make a meal of it. Try giving a sassy twist to some old favorites like Sriracha Deviled Eggs, or something new in the dip department like Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary topped with chopped up fresh summer tomatoes and served up with fresh cucumbers, and grilled pita for dipping.

The possibilities are endless and delicious! –Kathy

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Sriracha Deviled Eggs – Yum!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Crunchy Cucumber & Shrimp
Sriracha adds a spicy kick and a beautiful color to these festive eggs. The shrimp and cucumber topping adds a fresh note and fun texture. Be sure to use eggs that are at least 10 days old or the shells will not peel off easily.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

Filling
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. finely minced celery

Topping
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, well drained
2 Tbsp. finely minced English cucumber
1 Tbsp. finely minced red pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Garnish: extra Sriracha sauce and cilantro leaves (if desired)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, Sriracha and salt, and mix until smooth (you can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment). Stir in the green onion and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, stir the vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl, until dissolved. Add the shrimp, cucumber, pepper and cilantro, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about one heaping teaspoon of the mixture. For extra flavor and spice top each egg with a dot of Sriracha and garnish with a tiny cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.

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

Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary
I like to serve this dip with crostini, grilled flat breads or fresh veggies, such as pieces of fennel, red peppers, blanched green beans or grilled vegetables. For a variation, top with diced fresh tomatoes, cucumber and your favorite olives.

Makes 3 cups

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well (I used S&W White Beans in Light Seasoning)
6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely minced lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

Drain beans well, then combine in a food processor with the garlic cloves. Process for about 1 minute, then scrape down sides of food processor work bowl, and add the chili flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. This dip will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve in a bowl; drizzle dip with a tiny bit of olive oil and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig if desired.

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

Posted by Kathy on September 1st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

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

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

Super Bowl Sunday Snackin’

Need some new d’lish ideas for the big game? I have some tasty recipes for your next big party!
Everyone loves the classics: crab dip, wings, deviled eggs, but how about some new variations?

crab dip

Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip is my play on Hot Crab Dip is made with Alaskan King Crab, sherry-sautéed mushrooms, and brie – ooo la la! It can be made the night before and heated up before guests arrive. Just serve with some artisan crackers or slices of baguette. Touchdown!

deviled eggs

And it’s not a party without some deviled eggs – you know how much I love these! The 12th Egg – AKA – Chipotle Deviled Eggs – features spicy chipotle for some KICK BUTT flavor.

Sticky Pomegranate Wings
Photos by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

And for a new twist on wings try my recipe for Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings! A d’lish sweet and zesty finger food, sure to impress the fans.

And the best thing is that all these apps can be prepped ahead so you’re not stuck in the kitchen and have more game time. Now go enjoy the game! -Kathy

Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip
Dungeness crab meat is tasty but also pricy. Try purchasing Alaska King Crab legs and picking the meat out. It’s easy to do by using a pair of clean scissors to open up the legs. Then just give the meat a very coarse chop to cut it into 1/2 inch pieces.

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!

Makes about 6 cups — serves about 12 – 24 people

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 crab meat, drained well (about 2 1/2 cups drained), see note above
Garnish: Minced fresh parsley

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 7×11 baking dish, or 2 quart 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°F preheated oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until dip just starts to bubble around the edges, heated through and the cheese is melted (be careful not to overcook). If desired, garnish dip with minced fresh parsley. Serve immediately with Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini, or rustic flat bread or crackers.

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

Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings
These chicken wings get a big-flavored, lacquer-y glaze in this low-and-slow method. You can make the sauce a few days ahead of time, but be sure to allow a full hour for cooking the wings.

Makes 24 pieces

3/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsps very finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp of lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsps cornstarch
1 dozen whole chicken wings or 2 dozen drummettes, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds

Garnish: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils* and thinly sliced green onion tops

In a small saucepan, whisk together the pomegranate juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, pepper flakes, vinegar, cornstarch, and water. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, to thicken. Mixture will be very thick. Let cool. If not using immediately, store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

If using whole wings, disjoint the wings and remove and discard tips; you should have 24 pieces. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the sauce mixture to the chicken and mix well to coat evenly. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or lightly oil it. Arrange the drummettes and sauce in a single layer in the dish.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and turn the chicken pieces over and bake for 20 minutes more. Stir and turn the chickens pieces again and bake for 10 minutes more, or until chicken is tender and sauce is thick and glazed. Total cooking time should be about 1-hour.

Stir the drummettes in the sauce once more, and then transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and green onions.

*Pomegranate seeds, called “arils”, can be purchased or you can easily remove them from a fresh pomegranate with this trick: cut it across cross-wise and hold over a bowl, smack the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon – the seeds will fall out with ease.

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

Posted by Kathy on February 4th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Super Bowl Sunday Snackin’ |  Posted in appetizers, events, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, Snacks

Delicious and Versatile Northwest Pears

We are so lucky here in the Northwest to have SO MANY delicious varieties of sumptuous pears! Bartlett, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde … each one different and oh so delicious!

My fave pear preparation? I like to cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning, then roast on a sheet pan in a HOT oven until they are tender. Great tossed in a salad, served with roast chicken or in my Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola appetizer!

Pears make for some quick and easy sauces too – try sautéing iced pears till tender, puree then mix with a little wasabi for a tasty sauce for grilled fish. Or make a quick fresh relish with diced fresh pears, shallot, a touch of honey and a splash of red wine vinegar, toss it with fresh mint and you have an amazing accompaniment to lamb!

Fresh Northwest pears are also great to include in your favorite smoothie recipe for natural added sweetness and in entrees like one of my favorite easy entertaining recipes – Spiced Baked Chicken with Pears and Port – yum! –Kathy


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne

Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola
These are extra-delicious topped with chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Balsamic glaze can be purchased at gourmet and well-stocked grocery stores.

Makes 24

Pears
2 firm NW red Bartlett or other red-skinned pears
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme

24 pieces Herbed Crostini (recipe follows)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese or thinly sliced Cambozola
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

For garnishing
Tiny sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

To roast the pears: Quarter the pears lengthwise, then core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 6 slices (you should have 24 slices, total). In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme. Add the pears and toss to coat.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out the pears, not touching, on the baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to caramelize on the edges. Pears can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

When ready to serve, lay out the crostini on a baking sheet and top each piece with about 1 heaping teaspoon of gorgonzola or a slice of Cambozola,then a slice of pear. Bake until just warmed, about 4 minutes.

Drizzle each piece with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic glaze, then garnish with thyme.

Herbed Crostini
Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

Makes 32 to 40 pieces

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 long, skinny French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, dried herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil or, in a large bowl, drizzle the bread with the oil and toss well. Lay out the bread in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just crispy.

Crostini can be made in advance, cooled thoroughly, and stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days. If necessary, recrisp them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.LiquidKitchen.com

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 NW 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.

Adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table cookbook, Chronicle Books – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on August 20th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Delicious and Versatile Northwest Pears |  Posted in appetizers, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

The Mighty Peanut

Peanuts! In addition to being the core ingredient in a classic PB&J sandwich, they pack a serious nutritional punch and are really, quite healthy – when eaten in moderation.

Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated (MONO-Un-Saturated) fat, the type emphasized in heart-healthy diet. They are also a good source of vitamin E, protein and antioxidants. When roasted, peanuts’ antioxidant content are boosted and are similar to those found in blackberries and strawberries!

Did you know that they are not actually in the nut family? They’re grain-type legumes, related to beans, lentils, and peas, and grow underground!

Speaking of growing, did you know that peanuts grow here in the northwest? That’s right! Farms like Alvarez located in Mabton and CB’s Nuts in Hansville have grown peanuts for years. You may have bought their delicious peanuts at a farmers market or in your local grocery store! Check out Agrilicious (agg-ree-LISH-us) – a great site for finding who’s growing what locally…. like peanuts.

alvarezhilariofreshpeanuts
A bounty of peanuts perfect for snacking!

Peanuts are great in sweet and savory dishes from classic peanut butter cookies to scattering on phad thai noodles. One of my favorite snacks to make is my Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts great to much on while sipping a cocktail.

Here’s to the mighty peanut! -Kathy

Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts
If the nuts lose their crispness after cooking, re-toast them in a 350-degree oven for a couple of minutes before serving.

Makes about 4 cups

1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water
1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) salted, dry-roasted, skinless peanuts
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
2 tsp. five-spice powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white with water until foamy. Add the peanuts and toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a strainer, shake, and let drain for at least 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, sesame seeds, five-spice, cayenne and salt. Add the drained peanuts and toss to coat thoroughly.

On a large baking sheet with sides, spread the nuts out in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the nuts with a spatula and spread them out again. REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE to 200 degrees and bake for 45 to 55 minutes longer, or until dry.

Loosen the nuts from the baking sheet but do not remove them from the sheet. Cool to room temperature. Be sure to let the nuts cool completely and become crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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

Posted by Kathy on July 29th, 2015  |  Comments Off on The Mighty Peanut |  Posted in appetizers, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks
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