I love classic buttered and salted popcorn. It’s the perfect snack to munch on at the movies, during family game night, or as a healthy alternative to chips. And if those little 100-calorie microwave bags leave you craving something a bit more gourmet, try my ideas on how to spice up your snacking!
-Brown some butter before drizzling it on top, and then toss with cinnamon sugar to satisfy that sweet tooth craving – yum!
-If savory is more your style, add a dash of fresh chopped herbs in with some olive oil.
-How about spicing it up with a zesty hit of lime zest, cilantro and Tabasco?
-For the taste adventurer, try this: shake on some curry powder or furikake seasoning to add a truly unique and inspired flavor. Wow!
I’m always a fan of kicking classics up a notch and I love to grate sharp cheddar over my popcorn – but why not take it up a level by grating Manchego cheese over it and then seasoning it with sea salt and Spanish smoked paprika or experiment with different flavored seasonings like bacon salt. Just remember to be conservative with liquids like hot sauce when seasoning… no one is a fan of mushy popcorn.
So however you like it, pop up some tasty fun on National Popcorn Day! -Kathy
Maple Syrup! Doesn’t the mere mention of it just conjure up warm food memories? Griddled tall stacks of pancakes drizzled with sweet syrup. Hot, crispy strips of maple-cured bacon… Yum!
But it’s not just for breakfast foods! Maple’s unique flavor is great in all kinds of recipes and different grades of syrup are preferred for different uses. Dark to medium amber grades are perfect for use in cooking and baking; their stronger flavor holds up great. Light and “Fancy” grades are best used where the syrup’s subtle flavor can be appreciated, such as drizzled over yogurt.
The Different Maple Syrup Grades
(Photo courtesy of TheNibble.com)
On the savory side of things, maple syrup is perfect in a marinade for pork; added to a pot of baked beans; or even in a dressing, such as in my recipe for Maple Vinaigrette. It is great tossed with your favorite greens, fresh sliced pears and toasted pecans. It works wonderfully on chicken breasts, too!
For those with a sweet tooth, try my Maple Panna Cotta—a no-bake custard-style dessert! It is simple to make and truly is delectable; and pretty with a pouf of whipped cream and garnished with a maple sugar candy leaf!
So make a resolution to branch out and try this sweet syrup “in” instead of “on” something different this year! -Kathy
Makes about 1 cup
6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Maple Panna Cotta
Makes 6 servings
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (this will be less than 1 envelope)
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup real maple syrup, preferably grade B
For garnishing: lightly sweetened whipped cream and maple sugar candy leaves if desired
To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a large heatproof bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Whisk in the cream, mascarpone, and maple syrup and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth and warmed.
Divide the mixture evenly among 6 martini glasses. Cover each one with plastic wrap. Be sure that the wrap does not touch the tops of the panna cotta. Refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.
Top with a tiny pouf of whipped cream and a maple candy if desired.
Being green is so easy these days! The grocers are teeming with hearty seasonal greens from collard to mustard to Swiss chard … as well as my favorite, Tuscan Lacinato Kale, the one that’s sometimes called dinosaur kale or black kale.
This winter crop is packed with vitamins and minerals. Just eating a half cup will stock you up with calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron and loads of fiber.
I especially like to use this kale in my recipe for Farro with Hearty Greens, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese. This is a great cold-weather side dish, which works well with other greens, too.
In fact, here’s a tip if you want to make it with Swiss chard. Remove the stems and slice them separately, and slice up the greens thin. Sauté the stems in the olive oil along with the mushrooms, and then proceed with the recipe.
Incorporating greens in a robust homemade soup is another delicious and very satisfying way to enjoy them. My recipe for the classic Tuscan Ribollita Soup is easy to make and perfect for busy schedules. The name of this favorite Italian soup, which is thickened with stale bread, means “twice-boiled”—the soup is traditionally cooked, then reheated the next day. The flavorful olive oil, which is always drizzled on top right before eating, acts like a seasoning, giving the soup a special little kick.
Or how about adding a small handful of kale into your next smoothie? Its vibrant color is sure to get the kids interested!
Eat your greens daily—they’re tasty and good for you! -Kathy
Farro with Hearty Greens, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/2 cup whole farro grains
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced wild or domestic mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
pinch red chili flakes
1 large bunch black kale (lacinato) or other hearty green, torn
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 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 the dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated sexy local cheese.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons chopped bacon or pancetta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red potatoes
1/8 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
2 cups, packed, torn, dark green kale
4 cups rich chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes with juice
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans with liquid
2 cups, packed, rustic Italian bread, preferably stale, torn into bite-size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Heat a large soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon or pancetta and olive oil and cook until 3/4 done. Add onions and potatoes, and cook, stirring often, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the chili flakes, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring, for about 1 to 2 more minutes.
Add the thyme, kale, chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for about 12 minutes.
Then add the beans and bean liquid and bread. Stir in, and cook for about 2 more minutes or until thickened with the bread. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: Ladle into bowls and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
If making a day ahead, soup will be thicker the next day, almost stew-like, but this is the traditional way. If too thick for your liking, thin out with a little chicken stock when reheating.
This year has flown by so quickly! It’s been a whirlwind of a year with lots of d’lish experiences, client trips and new friends. I’m looking forward to the New Year and know it’s going to be great! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been up to since my last Newsletter.
Tasty Travels – I LOVE the Philippines!
Maraming salamat po, Philippines! (A very formal way of saying “thank you” in Tagalog)
I recently got back from opening the new Fairmont and Raffles hotels in Makati, Philippines with my Liquid Kitchen associate Dänny Ronen. What a great trip! Lots and lots of hard work but it all pays off to see these amazing hotels open with such a bang. I can’t even describe how amazing the crew was from the fabulous management team to the enthusiastic bar staff.
We trained over 35 people and did the menus for 7 different venues, created d’lish drinks such as the Panutsa Old Fashioned, made with housemade syrup that we crafted from local sugar—dark, rich and formed into coconut halves. Another great favorite was the Pineda Mojito, inspired from Journey’s Arnel Pineda and made with local mandarin, Thai basil, fresh mint and rum. The bars all opened with a bang and were really busy. The Pacquiao Punch is of course very popular, honoring the famous Filipino boxer and using the delicious local Don Papa Makati Rum then topped off at the table with a grating of locally-grown cinnamon sticks. They are HUGE!
The Pineda Mojito and the Pacquiao Punch… I told you the cinnamon sticks were huge!
A quick photo during my meeting with the amazing Food & Beverage team:
Anna Derygo & Joern Schwaiger of Fairmont Makati – Raffles!
The Fresh Bar Display at the Fairmont Lounge
The lemongrass was pretty big and very flavorful;
big enough for Dänny to hide and peek through!
Our eager students at the Raffles Long Bar
Between developing all the beverage menus and setting up the bars for both hotels, we tried to squeeze in some fun… from $8 massages (Yes! Spa junkies take note … and they were open till 4 AM!!) to the most amazing shopping ever at the big market, to attending Savoroso Inc.’s (local Monin Importers) family party—we had a blast! The Filipino people are so hospitable and love to party as well as make new friends!
We even had enough time for a quick stop at the mall for an old fashioned shave and haircut for Dänny while I was off to cruise around and check out the local sips and nibbles. My fave was Happy Lemon—a little drink
kiosk that is found in most of the local malls. They had the weirdest things on
the menu, so of course I had to order the strangest thing I saw…
…Green Tea topped with “Cheese” and Rock Salt and then sprinkled with Matcha powder!
It was really good – I swear!!
Then it was back to work. During my stay, I met some great chefs like the BBQ Chef at the Fairmont. Check out his amazing pre- and post- work:
The BBQ Chef (before and after): a master at suckling pig and crispy duck!
We did squeeze in some visits to local bars too! Here are our new local friends Tina and Brady with us at the Ice Bar. Yes, we had a couple of shots while wearing our parkas in the ice room.
Me, Tina, Brady and Dänny doing ice shots in our fur coats… while it was 85 degrees outside… (with 100% humidity) so, the chill felt great!
The Savoroso team were amazing hosts on our days off; Mel & Sheila Macatulad and their daughter Danica made us feel like family. They invited us over to a family party (which they have every Sunday) and family members all made traditional Filipino foods from a ceviche-like dish made with white fish and coconut milk to lots of pork dishes, and one of my favorites: local ferns lightly sautéed with shrimp! Oh and did I mention the fresh guyabano juice? Yum! They made us feel right at home.
Local ferns with shrimp and fresh squeezed guyabano juice!
Dinner with the Macatulad family and Anna from the Fairmont!
Then it was back to the US…
…to a bit more travel then to finish out the holidays back at home. Stay tuned for my next newsletter all about my delicious holiday trip to Portland!
During the holiday season and in the spirit of giving, my team and I love to give back to the community when we can. During my far-off travels, my team helped shake up a signature Liquid Kitchen cocktail for the annual Silver Bells Luncheon in November! Proceeds from this event went to help the Providence Senior and Community Services, supporting those in need through healthcare, housing and hospice. It was a fun event, which included a hip fashion show and great prizes!
If you are a cocktail enthusiast then make sure you try my winter-themed cocktails using PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur! The Blinker #3 is a rift on the Golden Era drink: rye whisky, fresh grapefruit juice and traditionally made with grenadine (originally made from pomegranate juice), but I made it with PAMA, a sophisticated full-flavored liqueur. Or how about a Sparkling PAMA’Rita, with a splash of bubbly—it’s a great cocktail for all kinds of celebrations.
My Sparkling PAMA’Rita!
Need some extra help with winter entertaining for 2013? Check out my drink recipes in the Kroger Family of Stores’ My Magazine Extras! It’s free to download and works great on most tablet devices (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire). It’s full of easy entertaining ideas, homemade gift tips and of course lots of cocktail recipes. You can also view the online version here.
Here’s a sneak peak of my Manhattan
with Spiced & Spiked Cherries cocktail on the Kroger app!
D’Lish Deviled Eggs – My New Cookbook will be on Shelves Soon!
I’m so excited about my new cookbook D’Lish Deviled Eggs due out in February 2013. This is my 10th cookbook, and it’s all about the time-honored classic appetizer and my d’lish takes on it. I have wanted to write this book for years and am thrilled to finally put my love of deviled eggs into print. Pre-orders can now be made on Amazon. With over 50 recipes, there is sure to be a favorite for everyone in this book!
Top Chef: Seattle!
This season’s episodes of Bravo’s Top Chef are well underway! We were lucky enough to have the Top Chef production team meet with us and scout my Food Studios… but alas their cast and crew are a lot bigger than my space could fit! So we were thrilled when the show producers invited John and I to be guests of the Canlis episode, where John had a fun cameo appearance! For the show premier episode at the EMP, my crew and I had a blast seeing the chef contestants earn their spots to Seattle and it’s been exciting over the weeks to watch farmer friends to chefs show up in the different episodes. I can’t wait to see who the winner will be!
Erwin, John, me, and Jess at the Top Chef: Seattle season premier event!
If you love eating and drinking as well as fun dining hot spots and all things D’Lish, be sure to join me at Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO News Radio then check my companion blog with all the corresponding recipes and tips.
And if you live in or plan on visiting the Pacific Northwest, make sure to check out Sip Northwest Magazine (available at my Dish D’Lish airport locations).
I hope you enjoyed my quick recap of the last few months. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful new year filled with joy and delicious adventures! –Kathy
Whether it’s a Sunday brunch spent with family and friends or on game day, anytime is perfect for a Bloody Mary!
There are definitely two schools of thought when it comes to this savory cocktail. Some people like to stick to tradition (”If it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it.”) while others love to step outside of the box and mix-it-up with their Mary’s. I personally think there’s always room for both!
Spice up your Mary experience with some new flavors and combinations! Try adding in some zingy flavors like wasabi or Sriracha. Change up the spirit to tequila, gin or aquavit for a new taste twist.
Take my Bloody Good Vodka: Infuse vodka at home with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic then let it sit for 2 days before stirring with my Balsamic Mary Mix (made with fresh tomato, cucumber and peppers and the flavor pow of horseradish)!
And don’t forget to get creative with the garnishes! For an easy entertaining set-up, a Bloody Mary DIY garnish bar for your guests is a great way to get the party started. Put out some picks and an assortment of lemon wedges, stuffed olives, crispy bacon, celery, pickled veggies, cherry tomatoes, chunks of salami, cheese and pickled onions – now that could almost be brunch itself!
It can be easy to let the stress of holiday entertaining get to you. Here are a few ideas to help you get through the parties and preparations. Follow my lead and spend more time enjoying the company of your friends and loved ones — and less in the kitchen!
First of all, a little pre-planning goes a long, long way. Write out your menu, pull recipes and create a shopping list. This will help keep you focused (and on budget!) at the grocery store. Next, start a prep list – note everything that you will be making and what day you’ll make it. The more things done in advance, the better!
A few days ahead, you can pull out your serving and plate ware. If you’re having a sit down dinner, you can even set the table in advance; it will take a big job off your list of things to do on the day and give you time to rearrange the settings if needed. Polish the silver, make sure your glasses are sparkly-clean… all the little jobs that add up to a great party seem way less daunting when they’re done ahead.
Another way to keep things easy is to stick to things that you feel comfortable making. Unless you have loads of prep time and a few reliable taste-testers, this isn’t the time to try out a bunch of new recipes all at once. If thinking about preparing all that food yourself makes you stressed out, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask friends and family to bring things and feel free to be specific on the item – you can even send them a recipe if you like!
Start off with a few cold appetizers and some bubbly or red wine. If you’re having a cocktail, make sure you stick with one so that you’re not glued to the bar.
Still feel like the to-do list is a little long? Then do as my friend and super party host JJ McKay does — give everyone a job! Someone helps serve the soup, someone lights the candles… just feel free to boss everyone around. People really do love to help this time of year!
Don’t forget to check out my stress-free, do-ahead appetizers and desserts recipes in the Seattle Times for more tasty ideas.
(Photos by Kathy Casey Food Studios®)
So get out those invitations and start planning — entertaining this holiday season is going to be a breeze!
Sunny winter citrus is just the perfect way to help brighten the season when it gets chilly and the skies turn grey. With cold weather, comes cold and flu season. What a wonderful coincidence, then, that clementines are in season at the same time!
Clementines happen to be an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps support your immune system. Did you also know that they act as an antihistamine? It’s true! Battle those stuffed-up sinuses with as many clementines as you can grab, peel and eat —which might be a lot, considering how small and easy to peel they are!
They make a perfect any-time snack, but can also be incorporated into a stuffing, blended into a breakfast smoothie, or for a quick and easy appetizer. Just combine diced clementines with tomatoes, kalamata olives, minced red onion and fresh basil to top my d’lish Cuties Bruschetta with Goat Cheese. Great for on-the-fly entertaining!
(Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®)
Or how about jazzing up that holiday stuffing? Flavorful clementies are tossed in my Overnight Wild-Rice & Sourdough Stuffing— made with cooked wild rice, sourdough bread, toasted almonds, drained cranberries, mushrooms and fresh herbs. Yum!
(Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®)
So whether you’re whipping up a delicious snack or trying something new for the holiday table – pick up some clementines. They’re sure to brighten up any dish! -Kathy
Cuties Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
The flavors of mandarin, calamata olives and fresh basil and the creaminess of goat cheese all play off each other nicely in this easy entertaining appetizer.
Makes 20 pieces
1 artisanal baguette
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
kosher salt as needed
4 Cuties clementinese
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped vine-ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. minced red onion
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped pitted calamata olives
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 oz. chèvre-style fresh goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut baguette into 1/4-inch slices—you want about 20 nice-sized pieces. Lay out on a baking sheet. Lightly brush or drizzle bread with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake for about 5–7 minutes, or until toasty. Let crostini cool.
Meanwhile, peel Cuties and dice 1/4 to 1/3-inch. In a medium bowl, toss Cuties with 2 tablespoons olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olives, and pepper flakes. Set aside.
To serve: Smear each piece of crostini with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese. Place on a platter and immediately divide the Cuties mixture between the crostini (drain off any excess juice).
Note: Top crostini right before serving so they do not get soft.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
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 clementines
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.
There’s no better time than right now to start enjoying some “winter warmers” – spirited drinks that warm you up during these cooler months. These are perfect after a day of shopping or zipping down the slopes…or just hanging out with friends and family.
What comes to mind? How about some hot toddies, spiced wines and spiked cocoas? Don’t forget about Irish coffees and hot buttered rums; yes please!
Instead of the traditional eggnog, try my silky oh-so-smooth Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum – or maybe even cognac! It combines two great holiday favorites in one drink.
I like to set out a Hot Buttered “DIY Drink Station”—some hot buttered mix, a kettle of water, a selection of rums, whisky and brandies. Stack up some mugs and have some fresh nutmeg for grating over the top. Great for holiday entertaining!
My Winter-Spiced White Wine is another fun drink to make, incorporating seasonal spices and fruits (and will make your home smell lovely!). This steamy white wine infusion is flavored with pears, apples, oranges, cloves, allspice and cinnamon and slightly sweetened with brown sugar.
So now that I’ve given you a few ideas – go on and enjoy the chilly weather and spice things up with some winter warmers. -Kathy
Be sure butter is softened. With an electric mixer; cream butter, orange zest and sugars together in a mixing bowl until totally smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Recipe by Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™
Winter Spiced White Wine
This recipe can easily be pre-made and made into large batches before parties. Just make sure to gently keep the mixture warm in a crock pot on low heat or in a deep, pretty chaffing dish. For a kid friendly version, replace the white wine with apple cider and omit the brown sugar and liqueur.
Makes 7 cups, or about 8 servings
2 (750 ml) bottles light, dry white wine, such as chenin blanc
1 pear, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
1 apple, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
1 orange, poked with 12 whole cloves, then cut in 1/4-inch slices
5 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Grand Marnier
Orange peel twists for garnish
Place all the ingredients in a stainless steel or flameproof glass pan and stir well to incorporate the brown sugar. Place over low heat and warm. Do not boil! Let the flavors steep for at least 30 minutes before serving.
At this point you can keep warm and serve, or chill it for later. To reheat, warm each portion in a microwave until just hot but not boiling. Garnish each serving with a twist of orange peel.