seafood

Razor Clam Festival in Ocean Shores

Looking for a delicious and fun weekend getaway fun for the whole family? Then head to Ocean Shores’ Razor Clam Festival and Seafood Extravaganza Friday, March 20th to Sunday the 22nd.

This clam-tastic weekend features all sorts of family fun events, like clam shovel decorating, mechanical shark rides, and chowder tasting where you can cast your vote for People’s Choice!
But make sure you don’t miss the chowder cook offs – both chefs and amateurs battle it out with their best chowders for big bragging rights. Who will be best on the beach this year?

Razor clams are a definite northwest delicacy. If you want to try your hand and “shovel,” be sure to check out the Washington department of Fish and Wildlife website for dig info. Don’t forget your clam license, fishing or waterproof gloves and boots. And remember: Never ever turn your back to the surf!


The Razor Clam Dance!

Once you’ve reached your razor clam limits, check out this video that my friend Scott Surdyke and I made on how to clean them properly. And for a super tasty way of cooking this bi-valve, try our recipe for our Clam-tastic Razor Clam Fritters with my Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce below.

So cross your fingers for sunny weather, pack warm and head on over to Ocean Shores for a clam-tastic time. -Kathy

Scott & Kathy’s CLAMTASTIC Razor Clam Fritters
Makes 24 – 26 fritters

3 cups chopped/diced razor clams
3 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix with buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp minced lemon zest
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup clam nectar (or reserved clam juice)
1/4 cup Northwest amber beer, flat
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
6 scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped orange or red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
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Crisco shortening for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish/squeezing
Kathy Casey’s Ultimate Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)

Drain the clams and save any juice for use in recipe.
In a large bowl combine the Krusteaz, corn meal, baking powder, lemon pepper, zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, clam nectar/juice, beer and eggs to combine.
Then fold in the celery, corn, green onions, bell pepper and drained clams.

Heat 2-inches of Crisco in a large cast iron skilled till hot – about 375 degrees. Scoop out fritters a few at time – I use a 1/4 cup measure – they should be kind of spread out and not too thick. Fry on first side till golden and then flip over. Continue frying till golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Cook fritters in batches being sure oil stays hot. Keep fritters warm in a 300 degree oven on a rack if needed – but they are best served right away – the fritter cook will just have to keep cooking! Serve with Rock the World Tartar Sauce and fresh lemons.

Recipe by Scott Surdyke and Kathy Casey.

Kathy’s Rock-The-World Tartar Sauce
Makes 2 cups

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish
2 Tbsps drained capers, chopped
1 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsps chopped parsley
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy on March 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, Tasty Travels

Fresh Ginger

As far as trends go, fresh ginger is Hot, Hot, Hot! It’s everywhere on menus these days from signature cocktails to entrees to desserts!

And no wonder! Not only is fresh ginger spicy, aromatic, and so tasty, it is incredibly good for you. Ginger has been used for ages as an anti-inflammatory and is a well-known cure for symptoms of motion as well as morning sickness. And next time you have a cold or the flu, try some hot ginger tea. It’s an age-old remedy that helps boost your immune system.

There are a ton of great uses for ginger in drinks. I like steeping it in some simple syrup to add that special zing and spice to drinks. And of course ginger beer is the latest darling in the whole Modern Mule Cocktail Craze – and easy to make, vodka, squeeze of lime, and a great ginger beer, like Rachel’s Ginger Beer – a local fave!

Ginger
Hands of fresh ginger are easy to peel using a small spoon!

Want to know my ginger peeling trick – it’s like magic! Peeling ginger roots with the side of a spoon – the brown skin rubs right off, and you won’t waste too much of the great flavorful inside. It’s that easy.

And one of my favorite and easy Pacific Northwest-inspired meals is fresh local clams or mussels steamed with lots of ginger, garlic and lemon grass with a dash of hot chili paste and coconut milk. I’ve got a great recipe for you below!

Stay zesty with ginger! -Kathy

Mussels
A favorite mussel recipe from One of my first cookbooks: Dishing

Steamed Mussels in Gingery Thai Basil Coconut Broth
One of the many basil varieties, Thai basil is often described as having a spicier fragrance than sweet basil. I’ve combined it with ginger, lemongrass, and steamed mussels for a dish that is full of aromatic characteristics and brothy richness.

Makes 4 starter servings or 2 entrée servings

2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsps. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (or 1/2 – 1 tsp. Asian chili paste if you like it spicy)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass (optional)
1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsps. coarsely chopped fresh Thai basil
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 pounds fresh mussels in the shell, washed and debearded
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup matchstick-cut red bell pepper
1/4 cup slivered green onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemongrass and cook, stirring often, for about 30 seconds; do not let the mixture burn.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, Thai basil, lime juice, mussels, carrots, red peppers, and green onions. Bring to a boil, and cover immediately. Steam the mussels, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels just open. Immediately remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, divide the mussels (discard any that are unopened) and vegetables among bowls and pour the broth over them. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

Chef’s Tips: If Thai basil is not available, substitute any fresh basil.

Posted by Kathy on March 5th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recipes, seafood

Dungeness Crab – Picked or Piled it’s All Delicious

The Pacific Northwest loves their Dungeness crabs! Named for the Washington town on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Dungeness crab is found all the way from Alaska to lower California.

NWT_crab
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

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, prefer to make piles of shelled crab, not even tasting a single morsel till 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, or in my Classic Seattle-Style Crab Louie salad with homemade dressing. And since the Northwest’s sweet Dungeness are most bountiful during the winter, it’s a good time to enjoy crab in my second favorite form, in d’lish Crab Cakes.

Crab cakes are an American tradition. From Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound, each region has its version. Here in the northwest, we like ours snuggled up next to a sassy slaw and a dollop of aioli. No Old Bay needed here!

Renowned Seattle Chef Tom Douglas published an entire book on crab cakes, and local author Cynthia Nims wrote a whole book dedicated to crab – chock full of tips, local lore and great recipes.

So get cracking and enjoy the delectable Dungeness! –Kathy

Classic Seattle-Style Crab Louis
Makes 4 servings

4 large whole lettuce leaves
8 heaping cups sliced iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 pound Dungeness crab body and leg meat
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
12 grape tomatoes
12 cooked asparagus spears and/or raw cucumber slices
12 black ripe olives
4 lemon wedges
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
Louis Dressing (recipe follows)

Lay 1 whole lettuce leaf on each chilled individual plate. Divide the cut lettuce among the leaves and top with the crabmeat. Divide the eggs, tomatoes, asparagus, and olives attractively among the salads.

Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs. Serve about 1/3 cup of dressing in a large ramekin with each salad and pass extra dressing.

Louis Dressing
Makes 2 3/4 cups

2 hard-boiled eggs, very finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped black ripe olives
3 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup tomato-based chili sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce or to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp. minced white onion

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients well. The dressing keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Crab Cakes with Tangy Vegetable Slaw and Sherry Aioli
Prepare slaw and aioli before cooking crab cakes.

Makes 4 servings

Crab Cakes
1 pound high quality Dungeness crab meat
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. Tabasco
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
3 Tbsps. finely diced celery
3 Tbsps. finely minced green onion
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsps. finely minced carrot
2 tsp. chopped parsley
Egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 2 tsp. water)
Bread crumbs (approximately 1 1/2 cups), preferably Panko, available at Oriental grocers
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil for frying, more or less as needed
2 lemons, cut in wedges
Tangy Vegetable Slaw (recipe follows)
Sherry Aioli (recipe follows)

In a large bowl mix all crab cake ingredients together well. Divide crab mixture into 12 portions and form into 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Place egg wash and bread crumbs in separate small bowls. Dip patties first in egg wash then in bread crumbs.

In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet heat oil over medium high heat till hot but not smoking (350-375 degrees). Fry crab cakes in small batches till golden brown on each side, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately with Tangy Vegetable Slaw and dollops of Sherry Aioli. Serve extra slaw, aioli and lemon wedges on the side.

Tangy Vegetable Slaw
Dressing and vegetables can be prepared separately and refrigerated up to two days in advance. Toss together right before serving.

3 Tbsps. mayonnaise
2 Tbsps. sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsps. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. finely minced red onion
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup finely matchstick-cut carrots
1 cup finely matchstick-cut English cucumber, with skin
1 small bunch fresh chives, cut in 1-inch lengths

In a large bowl blend together mayonnaise, sour cream and sugar. Whisk in vinegars, onion, salt, pepper and parsley.

Just before serving, add remaining ingredients and toss well.

Sherry Aioli
3/4 cup high quality mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. Tabasco
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

In a medium mixing bowl or food processor place mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. While whisking vigorously or with processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until all oil is incorporated and aioli is a smooth consistency.

Season with Tabasco and salt. Mix in well. Store refrigerated till needed.

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

Posted by Kathy on February 26th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, seafood

Easy Entertaining – How To Cook A Perfect Side Of Salmon

I’m a true Northwestern-er and my love for delicious fresh salmon is definitely in my blood. Grilled, poached, baked or raw – any way you serve it is always a treat!

That being said, I have a new favorite salmon preparation: Citrus Marinated Slow-Cooked Salmon. Perfect to serve to a crowd, quick to prepare, and oh-so delicious!

Smear a side of salmon with a flavorful mixture of mustard, honey, lemon zest, fresh herbs and olive oil. Then lay out super thin slices of lemon and oranges – alternating between orange and lemon slices for a truly beautiful presentation. (I also like to slip in a bit of shaved fennel for a tasty twist too!).

The fish is baked at 250 degrees for about 40 minutes, depending on how thick your fillet is. This low-and-slow method makes for a very moist and succulent preparation and great center-piece dish for your next get-together. –Kathy

Citrus Salmon
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Sunkist® Citrus Marinated Slow-Cooked Salmon
This salmon preparation is perfect to serve to a crowd. Slices of citrus baked over the top, and the low-and-slow cooking method keep it moist.

Makes about 6 servings

Salmon
1 small side of salmon with skin, (about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds)
1 Sunkist® navel orange
1 Sunkist lemon

Marinade
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. local honey
zest of 1 Sunkist Lemon*
2 Tbsp. chopped minced fresh dill
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F°.

Bring fish out of refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking. Cut 2 pieces of heavy-duty wide foil to fit a baking sheet pan. Stack the pieces shiny side down. Spray generously with cooking spray.

Pat fish dry with paper towels. Place the salmon skin side down in the middle of the foil. If the salmon is to long for your baking sheet or if the tail end is thin, tuck the tail under.

Slice the orange and lemon each into 8 thin slices. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together marinade ingredients. Spoon the marinade over the salmon, coating well.

Lay the sliced citrus over the top of the salmon arranging in a “scale-like” pattern. Cook salmon for approximately 40 – 45 minutes, depending upon desired doneness and the thickness of your salmon.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunkist®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 26th, 2014  |  Comments Off |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

Marinades

Summer means grilling and nothing boosts the flavor goodness on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade. They are simple to make and give an easy flavor jolt to your dinner dishes with only a few ingredients.

Marinade
(Photo courtesy of Country Living)

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: Make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

I’ve included a great chart for making marinades with a basic recipe and then add-ins for you to customize. I also put together some marinating and grilling tips for your next patio party to be grilling-successful!

So this summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling
Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Marinade Customization Chart

Acid 1/4 cup Any of the following or a combination equaling 1/4 cup:

lemon juice

lime juice

cider vinegar

balsamic vinegar

red wine vinegar

white wine vinegar

rice wine vinegar

Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons
Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon (use less if adding cheese or olives)
Oil 3/4 cup Any of the following or a combination equaling 3/4 cup:

mild-tasting vegetable oil, such as canola

olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil

nut oils, such as hazelnut or walnut oil (do not use nut oils for more than half of total oil)

Flavorings as desired black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon grated lemon, lime or orange zest (colored part only—no white pith)

1 tablespoon chopped mild fresh herbs (basil, tarragon, chives, oregano, cilantro)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped strong fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram)

2 tablespoons chopped calamata olives, sun dried tomatoes or roasted peppers

2 to 3 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic

2 to 3 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon Asian-style sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon finely minced shallots

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

1 teaspoon hot chili paste or hot sauce

In a small mixing bowl, use a small wire whisk and combine together your acid component, Dijon mustard and salt. Then slowly whisk in the oil, adding it in a thin drizzle. This technique is to emulsify (make smooth and combined) your marinade. Then add your flavoring components.

You can keep the unused marinade refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Experiment with different flavorings and combinations. Discard after using the marinade.

Marinating tips:

  • The item you are marinating doesn’t have to be swimming in liquid if the marinade is made strong enough.
  • Freeze extra marinade in zip-lock freezer bags. When ready to use, just pull it out of the freezer, defrost and add in your item to be marinated.
  • Marinades with a lot of acid (vinegar, wine, citrus) should be used for a shorter time on proteins.
  • Make marinades thick with herbs and citrus zests — almost like a wet rub — for a big flavor punch. Smear on 1 tablespoon per portion.
  • Try smearing thicker marinades under the skin of whole chickens, then let them sit overnight, refrigerated, before roasting.
  • Created by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Lemon & Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken
    Makes about 1/3 cup

    2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest
    1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
    2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme
    1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
    2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Whisk all ingredients together well.

    Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

    Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Cider Marinade for Chicken or Pork
    Makes 1 cup

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
    1 teaspoon rubbed dry sage or 1 Tbsp. fresh sage finely minced
    1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves or 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme finely minced
    3/4 teaspoon celery seed
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
    1/2 cup apple cider
    4 teaspoons cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup salad oil

    Whisk all ingredients together well. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

    Marinate chicken breasts or pork chops for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours before cooking.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®


    Citrus Mojo Chili Marinade for Poultry, Pork or Seafood

    Makes 3/4 cup

    2 teaspoons finely minced orange zest
    1 orange
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
    2 tablespoons finely minced onion

    Zest the orange and then cut off the peel and white pith from it. Cut orange into large chunks. Place in a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients and process until as smooth as it will get.

    Will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

    Marinate fish, turkey breast slices, chicken, shrimp or pork for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Chermoula Marinade for Prawns, Chicken, Veggies or Steak
    Makes about 1/2 cup

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons minced fresh lemon zest
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until almost smooth.

    Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Marinate chicken breasts, shrimp, or beef steaks for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Posted by Kathy Casey on June 5th, 2014  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

    Travels to India – Part 1

    Guest blogger and KCFS Intern Jenn Chong shares her recent travel stories while exploring India. Here’s Part 1 of her 3 part series.

    —————————————————–

    Hello all! I’m Jenn and I’m pleased to share some of my culinary experiences from my travels to India. The idea of Indian food probably conjures up images of super spicy food that can be too hot to handle. And while that may be true to a certain degree, India is a vast and varied country with regional cuisines appropriate for any palate.

    1

    2

    Today, I bring you to Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) where the food tends to be sweeter, milder in spice, and with slight tinges of sour. Located in the northeastern part of India, food from this area is often referred to as Bengali cuisine.

    Bengali cuisine is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, cooked as curries or steamed in banana leaves. Sweet flavors come from the use of unrefined cane sugar called ‘jaggery’, and the sour flavors come from heavier use of tamarind paste. My favorite dish by far was the jumbo prawn curry, which was absolutely delish (see below)!

    3
    Chingri Malai

    4

    Basanti Pulao (seasoned rice), naan, Echor-er Dalna (jackfruit curry)
    Dak Bangla Chicken Curry, Hilsa Fish Mustard Curry, Chingri Malai

    Sweets are an important part of Bengali cuisine and choices for desserts are limitless. From mishti doi (sweet yogurt) to kheer (rice pudding) to smaller confections like rasgulla, ladoo, and cham-chams, there is no such thing as a bad decision! The food in this region was so delicious it was hard to leave, but I knew there was still much more to explore and eat.

    5

    6
    Small selection of sweet treats!

    7

    Mishti doi with fresh fruit

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    Stay tuned for Part 2!

    Posted by Kathy Casey on May 7th, 2014  |  Comments Off |  Posted in dessert, poultry, Recent Posts, seafood, Tasty Travels

    Tasty Garden Rocket: Arugula!

    Ah, arugula! This bold green livens up any dish it’s in. Nicknamed “Garden Rocket,” it grows fast, almost like a weed in our northwest climate.

    Well, weed or not, this tasty leaf is full of great health benefits. Just 4 ounces of this green is just 25 calories – wow! It’s also full of vital antioxidants and vitamins – 3 cups gives you 100% of your daily vitamin K needs!

    Arugla’s taste is nutty and peppery. Try it tucked into sandwiches, or tossed in a little olive oil and scattered over a sexy cheese pizza. This tasty green also complements meat and seafood beautifully. It makes a perfect bed for a piece of grilled fish or steak.

    Of course, it’s great in salads like in my Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp & White Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s also a delicious add-in to a homemade pesto recipe for a robust, peppery edge!

    So get your arugula on and dig into this peppery green that’s so good for you! – Kathy

    Baby Arugula Salad
    Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

    Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    Shrimp
    1 Tbsp undiluted orange juice concentrate
    Pinch of red pepper flakes
    2 Tbsp minced orange zest
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp minced shallots
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 Tbsp minced fennel fronds
    1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and crushed
    2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    2 lbs large raw shrimp (32 to 40)

    Salad
    1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
    6 oranges or tangerines
    6 cups baby arugula
    2 heads baby frisée, torn, rinsed and spun dry
    White Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

    To marinate the shrimp, whisk all the ingredients, except the shrimp, in a large bowl. Peel, devein, and remove tails of the shrimp then add them to the marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

    To prepare the salad, finely shave the fennel bulbs with a sharp knife or a mandoline and crisp in ice water for 10 minutes. Spin dry before using. Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away all the white pith, then cut the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Flick out any seeds. (If prepared ahead, refrigerate the fennel and orange slices separately, for up to 2 hours.)

    Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Grill the shrimp until just pink and done, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, toss the arugula, frisée, fennel, and oranges with enough of the vinaigrette to coat nicely—taste for flavor, adding more dressing if needed.

    Serve the salad on a large platter or divide among individual plates, arrange the shrimp on top, and drizzle with a little extra dressing, if desired.

    White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    The vinaigrette keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

    Makes 2 cups

    1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
    2 Tbsp minced shallots
    1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
    Pinch of red pepper flakes, or 1 Tbsp harissa paste
    2 tsp kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and ground
    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 Tbsp chopped fennel fronds

    In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and juice concentrate. Whisk in the pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste, and fennel seed. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Stir in the fennel fronds. If made ahead, refrigerate until shortly before needed, then rewhisk before using.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on April 3rd, 2014  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, seafood, sides

    The Northwest eCookbooks

    Great friend, award winning writer, and long time Pacific Northwest native Cynthia Nims has written a wonderful series of e-cookbooks covering The Northwest! Whether you’re looking to cook up up Crabs and Wild Mushrooms or looking for a new combo of Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches, Cynthia has you covered and more! The ebooks are priced at $3.50 each (what a steal!) and are available to download through the Kindle and most mobile/tablet devices with the free Kindle app.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on March 12th, 2014  |  Comments Off |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, breakfast, Foodie News, Lifestyle, meats, Recipes, seafood, sides
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