Posts filed under 'meats'

Best Burgers for Summer

Everyone loves a great, fresh-off-the-grill burger. That smoky smell wafting from the barbecue just screams summer.

And there’s a lot of room to get creative. From the burger patties to the buns and of course the toppings… it’s easy to make it your own!

Love the classic beef burger? Snazz it up by stuffing the center with some blue cheese then serve it on toasted buns spread with garlic butter, tuck in some thick slices of vine ripe summer tomatoes, sweet Walla Walla onions and some tangy pickles. Don’t forget to use a signature spread! For this burger I love a mixture of A-1 steak sauce and mayo with a touch of horseradish for some kick. My Favorite Blue Cheese Burger Recipe follows.

Blue Cheese burger
Who’s ready to take a bite out of My Favorite Blue Cheese Burger?
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

And if you’re thinking seafood, then how about barbecued Salmon Burgers on Homemade Lemon Dill Buns. The buns are d’lish and this moist salmon burger is the perfect lighter option for an outdoor dinner party!

Just remember to always pre-heat your grill and get it nice and hot for any burger adventure. –Kathy

My Favorite Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers
Makes 6 half-pound burgers

Burger
3 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. A-1 sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
4 oz. blue cheese

Spread
1/2 cup high quality mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. creamed horseradish
3 Tbsp A-1 Sauce
2 tsp. grainy mustard

thick-sliced, vine-ripened tomatoes
sweet Walla Walla onion slices
fresh arugula or lettuce
slices of your favorite pickles – “I love to get mine at the farmers market”
6 high quality hamburger buns spread with garlic butter

Mix meat, salt, pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire and garlic until thoroughly combined. Shape beef into 6 equal balls.

Divide cheese into 6 pieces/balls and press into the center of the meat. Press out into 5 inch patties – – being sure that the meat is surrounding the cheese in the middle.

To grill and serve: Heat charcoal or gas grill until very hot. Set patties apart on grill, turning when first side is browned. Cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side depending on your heat.

Meanwhile toast buns. Assemble burgers with spread tomato slices, onion, pickles, arugula or lettuce leaves and dollop with the Horseradish Spread as desired.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Cooks: Favorites.

Barbecued Salmon Burgers on Homemade Lemon Dill Buns
Makes 4 servings

Grilling doesn’t have to be about the obligatory hamburgers. Try something new – like salmon burgers. You can serve them with different condiments, too, such as cucumber Greek yogurt sauce, or tangy vegetable slaw. The bun recipe makes 8 buns, so you can easily double the burger mixture or use the extra buns for your favorite sandwich.

Burger Mixture
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. dried bread crumbs

Lemon Dill Buns (recipe follows) or high-quality store-bought buns
Mayonnaise, aioli or tarter sauce
Any combination of burger goodies that you like, such as tomato, lettuce, onion, or thinly sliced cucumbers for garnishing

To make the burgers, chop the salmon well. Mix it thoroughly with the remaining burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into 4 1/2- to 5-inch-diameter well-compacted round patties. Refrigerate the patties, covered for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to firm.

Prepare a very hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. The patties are somewhat fragile, so handle carefully. Oil the grill, and set the patties apart on the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until nicely marked and just done. Split the buns and toast lightly. (You can also cook these on a stove top grill or in a non-stick pan).

Spread the buns with mayonnaise or tartar sauce, add the burgers, and pile high with garnishes of your choice.

Lemon Dill Buns
Makes 8 buns

1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 package active dry yeast
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
1 Tbsp. very finely minced lemon zest
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. water

In a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a simmer, remove from the heat, and stir in the butter and sugar. Cool, stirring until lukewarm. Add the warm water and yeast, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

Whisk in 1 egg along with the salt, dill, lemon zest, and garlic. Then mix in as much of the flour as needed to make a smooth, moist dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Put the dough into a greased large bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 pieces. Form the pieces into balls and let rest for 10 minutes, covered with a towel. Then press out the balls, flattening into 4-inch-diameter rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet, spaced apart, cover lightly with a towel, and let rise until almost doubled.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the 1 tablespoon water. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Add comment August 1st, 2014

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®

    Add comment June 5th, 2014

    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.

    Add comment March 12th, 2014

    Braising

    Looking to make a meal to impress, but don’t want to break the bank? Braising can make even the toughest meats a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Braising is a loooooonnnng, slow cooking method that can be done on the stove top, in the oven, or in a crock pot!

    What a great treatment for less tender, more flavorful cuts of meat, such as beef chuck, lamb shanks, chicken legs, or short ribs. Generally, these cuts are less expensive, but really taste like a million bucks if they’re cooked low and slow.

    First, season up your meat then give it a good sear in a hot pan with a touch of oil. Then add tasty ingredients like wine, herbs and veggies. Cover tightly and pop the pan in a low oven (around 300 – 325 degrees) and forget about it for a few hours!

    The hardest part: be patient! Don’t try to rush the process. This will take time and your patience (and taste buds) will be greatly rewarded.

    And of course, don’t forget about all that juicy braising liquid. It’s perfect to use in a tasty sauce.

    One of my favorite dishes to make is my Slow Cooked Roasted Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic. Perfect for a lazy weekend comfort food dinner and polishing off the rest of that bottle of wine! – Kathy


    Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

    Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic
    If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.

    Makes 6 to 8 generous servings
    1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 Tbsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
    1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
    1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
    3 Tbsp flour
    20 cloves garlic, peeled
    5 sprigs fresh thyme
    4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, optional

    Preheat an oven to 325°F.

    With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.

    Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter. Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.

    Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.

    Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender.

    Stir the basil into the sauce.

    Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.

    Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

    1 comment March 7th, 2014

    Zingy Grapefruit

    We all enjoy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast and in classic cocktails like a Salty Dog (or a Greyhound depending if salt is used) or a Paloma. All for good reasons, too.

    Grapefruits contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and they are rich in vitamins A and C. Peeled and eaten like an orange, they have a ton of good-for-you fiber and are known to help with weight loss.

    KC065

    Juicy grapefruits!
    Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
    ®.

    I love pink and ruby grapefruit for their balance of sweetness and tang. They are perfect paired with avocado, like in my Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Honey Shallot Vinaigrette.

    Are you a Chicken Picatta fan? Try it with grapefruit instead of the traditional lemon! I love to serve this with orzo tossed with a little butter and lots of fresh herbs. Or even better if you have fresh chanterelle mushrooms available – sauté them up and fold into cooked wild rice. Yum!

    And for a refreshing and bright beverage, try my recipe for Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz. Oh! And it is also great as a cocktail with a little shot of something added…. vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon……they all work!

    Enjoy grapefruits in all their zesty glory any way you like! – Kathy

    Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Ginger Honey Vinaigrette
    Makes about 6 servings

    Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
    1 Tbsp minced shallots
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp honey
    1/3 cup canola or olive oil
    1/4 tsp salt
    pinch cayenne pepper

    ——————————————————–
    2 large pink or ruby grapefruit
    2 ripe but firm avocados
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    1 1/2 cups cooked bay shrimp or cooked prawns
    1 very large head butter lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry

    Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

    Cut ends off grapefruit, then cut skin off the sides of grapefruit, carefully removing all the white pith. Section out grapefruit into a bowl. (Cut grapefruit out with a knife to get sections with no pith. If there is lots of juice, do not add it to salad—drink it!) Toss grapefruit with red onion. Slice avocado over grapefruit and add shrimp and half of the dressing. Fold dressing in—be very gentle.

    Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Divide among small serving plates or place on a large platter.

    Top dressed greens with grapefruit mixture. Serve immediately.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts and Capers
    Makes 4 servings

    2 Tbsp milk
    1 large egg, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
    4 Tbsp salted butter
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    3/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    2 tsp finely minced grapefruit zest
    2 Tbsp capers, drained
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
    1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
    4 grapefruit wedges for garnish, and squeezing

    In a small, flat bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. In another flat dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

    Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Coat each piece well, then shake off the excess.

    Meanwhile, in a large, shallow, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the olive oil. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot skillet, and cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain chicken on paper towels. Keep warm. (Keep the pan to make the sauce—don’t wash it.)

    In the chicken cooking pan, add the garlic and stir around for a few seconds, being careful not to burn. Add the grapefruit juice and white wine. Increase heat to high, bring sauce to a boil, and let reduce by half. Immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the grapefruit zest, remaining butter, capers and parsley.

    Transfer chicken to a warm platter and spoon sauce over each breast, then sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve with grapefruit wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serve immediately.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz
    Try substituting ginger ale for the soda water in this refreshing drink for and extra ginger kick. To make it libatious, add a shot of your favorite spirit!

    Makes 1 drink

    3 oz fresh squeezed Sunkist Pink Grapefruit juice
    1 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
    1 oz soda water, chilled
    Garnish: Sunkist Grapefruit wedge

    Fill a tall glass with ice. Measure in the Sunkist Grapefruit juice, Honey Ginger Syrup and soda water. Stir to combine and garnish.

    Honey Ginger Syrup
    Makes 10 ounces

    1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
    3/4 cup honey
    3/4 cup water

    Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

    Add comment October 18th, 2013

    Hooray for Fall Apples!

    Washington State and apples – they go hand-in-hand AND there is so much you can do with them. How about dessert? There is nothing more classic than warm apple pie, but even this beloved recipe can stand a new twist. Try adding in grated cheddar cheese to the crust and tossing some local cranberries into the filling for my Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust. A match made for the fall as apples and cranberries are both in peak season.


    Who’s ready for pie? I know that I am!
    Photo from
    Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    And apples aren’t just for desserts, try adding diced apples into a chili!  My Stadium Apple Chili recipe combines diced Fuji apples with chilis, pork sausage and beans. The Fujis are nice because they keep their shape and add a touch of sweetness – perfect for tailgating and definitely oh-so northwest!

    For an easy appetizer I like to make a Spicy Apple Onion Compote. Sauté diced apples with a little onion until just barely tender, then add in some red pepper jelly – YUM! Serve this on top of crostini or rustic crackers with a smear of goat cheese or a slice of brie and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Perfect for your fall party entertaining!

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, apples are a great addition to any meal! – Kathy

    Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust
    Makes 1 9-inch pie.

    Cheddar Cheese Crust
    2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
    1/3 cup shortening or lard
    6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
    4 tablespoons cold water

    Pie Filling
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    3 tablespoons flour
    7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
    2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
    milk and sugar for topping

    To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

    Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

    On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

    Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

    Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Stadium Apple Chili
    Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

    Makes 7 cups.

    2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
    4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
    12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
    1 cup diced onion
    1/2 cup diced green pepper
    1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 tablespoon dry whole oregano
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, (optional)
    1 cup beef broth
    1 cup beer
    1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
    2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
    1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
    1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

    Chili Toppers
    grated apple
    grated cheddar cheese
    sour cream
    thinly sliced green onion

    Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

    Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

    Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

    Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

    (Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

    Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

    Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Spicy Apple Onion Compote
    Makes enough for 6 servings.

    1 large green apple with peel, cored and cut in chunks
    1/4 medium white onion, cut in chunks
    1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
    3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
    1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/3 cup red pepper jam (medium spiciness)
    1 tablespoon dried currants

    In a food processor pulse the apple and onion until they are chopped into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.

    In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes until apples and onions are just tender.

    Add the lemon zest, vinegar, pepper jam and currants and bring to a boil. Let boil about 2 minutes until loose and chutney-like. If compote gets too dry while cooking, add a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat and cool.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    1 comment October 3rd, 2013

    Taco Party

    DIY hands-on dinner parties are always fun, interactive and convenient when it comes to dietary restrictions and preferences. It’s also a great way to answer that age old party question, “What can I do to help?”

    One of my fave kinds of food parties is a taco fiesta! You can offer a variety of meat and vegetarian options, such as slow cooked chili-pork to ginger-lime marinated chicken and cumin grilled squash. Or go coastal and grill up some shrimp or Alaska cod filets! For your veggie friends, be sure to have slow simmered garlicky black beans or cilantro studded quinoa.

    Set out a variety of cheeses like queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese and lots of fresh salsas from red to green to tropical (think diced mango & pineapples, etc.). Offer up soft flour tortillas and corn tortillas for the gluten free gang.

    Pickly or crunchy add ins like my Red Onion Escabeche Veggies or shaved green cabbage are a must and are great to top my Chili & Lime Slow Cooked Pork tacos.

    And don’t forget to serve it all up with a cool pitcher of margaritas, chilled beers and Sparkling Limeade!

    So get your fiesta on with friends and make your next get together a DIY taco party! –Kathy

    KC tacos

    Yum!
    Photo from
    Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    Chili & Lime Slow-Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche and Warm Tortillas
    Makes 6 hearty servings

    Pork
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 boneless pork butt (shoulder), about 3 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
    2 large tomatoes, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, sliced
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice

    Escabeche
    2 large carrots, julienned
    1 large red onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
    1 teaspoon salt

    Accompaniments
    Warm corn tortillas
    Sour cream
    Salsa or freshly made pico de gallo
    Queso fresco (Mexican-style fresh cheese)
    Fresh cilantro sprigs
    Lime wedges

    To prepare the pork, mix the chili powder, coriander seed, and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Roll the pork in the mixture, taking up all the seasoning.

    Put the pork in a slow-cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and set the cooker on high. Let cook for 8 hours—or up to 10 hours if you’re still at work!

    When ready to serve, mix the escabeche ingredients well, then place in a serving dish. Shred the pork and place in a large serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid.

    Serve the pork with the escabeche and accompaniments. Diners build their own “soft tacos,” then squeeze lime juice over the filling before folding.

    Chef’s Note: To heat tortillas, place them, one by one, on a dry skillet over medium-high heat and turn frequently. As they are heated, slip them between the folds of a clean dish towel or cloth napkin. Wrap the towel in foil (or put into a small casserole dish and cover) to steam in their own heat and moisture. Or, microwave the tortillas very briefly and put into a napkin as above. Or, wrap several tortillas in a foil packet and steam them in a steamer until just heated through; use directly from the foil or wrap in a towel as described above.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    Sparkling Limeade

    Sparkling Limeade

    3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    ——————————————————
    1 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
    3 cups chilled sparkling water
    Garnish: long fresh lemon and lime zest twists

    Combine the zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool.

    In a large pitcher combine the cooled sugar syrup, lime juice and the sparkling water.
    Serve over ice and garnish with citrus twists.

    Photo and recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

    Add comment July 18th, 2013

    Cooking With Wine

    Everyone has heard the age-old advice that when cooking with wine, “If you wouldn’t drink it, then don’t cook with it;” but that does not mean you can’t find fabulous wines, that are also inexpensive, to cook with. Personally, if you’re cooking with it – then you should have a glass too!

    There are ways to incorporate wine into almost any dish. My Bolognese Meat Sauce with Chianti, for example, is soo rich and delicious after a good long simmer that I almost want to forget the pasta and just eat the sauce right out of the pan! Yum!

    Merlot Double Red Wine Vinaigrette

    Tasty ingredients for my “Double Red Wine” Vinaigrette!
    Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
    ®

    Adding a dash of wine to a dish adds an extra dimension of flavor especially when reduced down – further enhancing the flavor of the wine. My recipe for “Double Red Wine” Vinaigrette calls for reduced red wine which is then whisked into red wine vinaigrette – now that’s a flavor POW! Its gorgeously delicious taste is the perfect accent to fresh organic greens.

    Leftover white wine from the weekend is a great addition to anything from sautéed onions for a vegetable soup, to pan-seared shrimp with garlic.

    So pour a little in your glass, add some in your pan, and cook up something d’lish! -Kathy

    Bolognese Meat Sauce with Chianti
    Makes 12 cups sauce

    2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 pound pork butt, cut in 1 “ chunks
    1 pound beef chuck, cut in 1” chunks
    1 cup small diced onion
    3/4 cup small diced celery
    1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
    3/4 cup small diced carrot
    1/2 cup small diced green peppers
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1/4 teaspoon crush red chili flakes
    1/4 teaspoon dry “whole leaf” rosemary, crushed
    1 teaspoon dry “whole leaf” oregano
    1 teaspoon dry “whole leaf” basil
    1/2 teaspoon dry “whole leaf” thyme
    1 1/2 cups Chianti red wine
    2 cups beef broth ( I used Swanson’s)
    2 (6oz. each) cans tomato paste
    2 (1# 12oz each) cans pear tomatoes in juice
    3/4 cup whole milk
    salt as needed

    In a large heavy bottom Dutch oven or soup pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meat chunks and cook – browning on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pot to a plate and set aside.

    Then add to pot the onion and cook – stirring often for 1 minute, Then add the celery, mushroom, carrot and green peppers, cook stirring often for 1 minute.

    Add the garlic and chili flakes ad stir in for 30 seconds. Add the dry herbs and wine and bring to a boil and reduce for 2 minutes.

    Add the reserved browned meat, beef broth and tomato paste. Pour the juice from the canned tomato in and with clean hands add the pear tomatoes to the pot while “hand squishing” them.

    Bring to a slow boil and then reduce heat to medium-low – low to keep at a consistent slow simmer. Cook, stirring often for about 2 hours, until meat is very very tender and is falling apart and sauce is very thick.

    Add milk and stir in and then remove sauce from heat and stir up sauce well, breaking apart meat and incorporating into sauce. Taste sauce for salt and season as needed.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    “Double Red Wine” Vinaigrette
    Makes 1 1/2 cups vinaigrette

    Vinaigrette:
    1/2 cup Merlot red wine
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
    1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 cup extra virgin olive oil

    In a small non-corrosive saucepan combine the wine and wine vinegar, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until liquid is reduced (by half) to ½ cup. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

    Place the cooled red wine reduction into a medium bowl. Add the mustard, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisk together, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. Mixture should be nicely emulsified. Refrigerate until needed, whisking well again before serving.

    To serve: In a large bowl place about 1 tablespoon vinaigrette for every super-packed, heaping cup of greens. This dressing is big flavored, so not much is needed per serving. With clean hands toss well, being sure to coat each leaf with dressing. Add more dressing or greens to taste.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Add comment January 25th, 2013

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