Archive for March, 2008
Lizz Brooks wrote in recently ” I recently returned from Maui and while I was there I had a fabulous drink and would love to know how you’d replicate it. It was a Pineapple-Lemongrass Mojito at Tommy Bahamas. I’m guessing there was fresh pineapple juice,simple syrup,and white rum. It was garnished with fresh mint and a stalk of lemongrass. But, would it be as simple as that? It was so yummy, refreshing but not too sweet”.
Lizz, this sounds like a fantastic drink and should be easy to duplicate at home. First I would infuse the rum with fresh lemongrass:
In a glass jar add 1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 a 750 ml bottle) of white rum. Then rinse 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, remove the outside layer and discard. Cut off the top 2″ and the hard end, and discard.Then cut the lemongrass through lengthwise and cut into 2-3″ pieces. Add to the rum. Cover and let sit for 2-3 days to infuse. Then strain out lemongrass and discard.
To make a cocktail:
2-3 large sprigs of fresh mint
1 1/2 – 2 ounces of Lemongrass infused Rum
1/2 ounce simple syrup*
3/4 oz pineapple juice
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
splash of soda water
garnish: fresh mint and a long piece of lemongrass if desired
In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint to press out the flavors with a muddler or end of a wooden spoon. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in rum, simple syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice. Cap and shake well. Then add a splash of soda (about 3/4 -1 oz) into shaker. Pour drink into tall glass. Garnish and enjoy!
Note: adjust simple syrup amount down if you like it less sweet.
*Simple Syrup – bring 2 cups water + 2 cups sugar to a quick boil, immediately remove from heat. Cool and store at room temp for up to 2 weeks.
March 29th, 2008
A cavewoman, a rural Texan, a nursing home aide, and a snake oil salesman. What do they have in common? Nutrition and Abil Bradshaw.
A couple of nights ago some gal pals and I went to a press screening of Abil’s one woman act, the Food Folly Follies. This captivating actress with a masters in nutrition took us on a humurous and touching ride through what we eat and what it does to our bodies. She covers diabeties, stroke, and other nutrition related diseases causing us to think more about processed food and what we put into our bodies.
Abil is not your old-school nutritionist — she is on a “Good Food” mission! Her raw passionate one-woman show takes you on a moving journey that will have you thinking twice about what you’re eating, where your food comes from and how it affects your life.
Abil’s show is a one night only run, so go to brown paper tickets to order yours, and reserve Thursday, April 17 for a date with a cavewoman, a rural Texan, a nursing home aide, and a snake oil salesman. This is a must see show!
March 28th, 2008
Busy days calls for quick and easy, but healthful meals. One of my favorite sauces for fresh fish is what I call a “splash”. Splashes can be made with lemon, fresh herbs and olive oil.One of my favorite sauces for fresh fish is what I call a “splash”. Splashes can be made with lemon, fresh herbs and olive oil. My recipe for Chelada Splash – echoes the fresh bright ingredients in a chelada cocktail — fresh lime and beer, a bit of heat, and of course a splash of beer! Try this recipe out on your favorite grilled fish or shellfish as the days get warmer for great patio dining.
Grilled Fish with Pacifico Chelada Lime Splash
If a light type of fish such as halibut is not available, any type of grilled firm fish or shellfish is great with the Chelada Lime Splash!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
4 Tbls olive oil
3 Tbls fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Pacifico Beer
2 tsp minced lime zest
1 Tbls thinly sliced chives
2 Tbls chopped cilantro
1 Tbls minced parsley
2 – 3 tsp Tabasco, depending upon how spicy you like it
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
4 (6-oz) fresh fish steaks or fillets, such as halibut or cod
Salt and black pepper
Garnish:lime wedges and cilantro sprigs
To make the splash: Mix all ingredients together well and refrigerate until needed.
To cook the fish: Preheat the grill until hot. Lightly rub the fish on each side with a little oil and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Grill the fish for 2 – 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish should be nicely grill-marked and cooked through, but still juicy.
Place the fish on plates, and splash each piece of fish with 1 Tbls or more of the Pacifico Chelada Lime Splash. Pass the remaining splash on the side.
Chef’s Tips: To add a light smoky flavor, soak a few wood chips, such as apple, mesquite or pecan (depending upon where you live) in water, and throw on the coals just before placing fish on grill. If grilling is not your thing, you can pan-sear or bake the fish. Recipe © 2008 Kathy Casey
March 25th, 2008
Almost everybody I know loves pork, what to me is the most versatile meat in the world. Many cultures cook up this tasty porcine protein in a multitude of ways.
In the last few years, there has been a pork resurgence—almost cult-like—with special pig dinners, books, charcuterie classes … the list goes on and on. One of my friends even told me her daughter has declared herself a “baco-tarian”: she doesn’t eat any meat, poultry, fish or other animal products EXCEPT bacon. Vegetarians, stand back—this is not my idea! I am only reporting the facts.
Recently, when working on a cruise line menu in the Southeast, our first stop was New Orleans, where we dined at Cochon. Opened by owner and chef Donald Link, who consistently received accolades for his Herbsaint Restaurant, and co-owner and chef Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon features a totally modern, inspired Southern menu. The name, which means pig in French, forecasts the bill of fare; this menu is full of pigs—pigs were flying! And it was fantastic.
We had spicy grilled pork ribs with homemade watermelon pickle; and smoked ham hocks with grits and brown gravy; and—the pièce de résistance-Louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage and cracklin’s. We were in pig heaven! If you get a chance to visit New Orleans and are a pork-lover, you must try Cochon.
Cruising up the big river, we stopped in Natchez, Mississippi, where the ship’s kitchen crew insisted that we venture into town to try the Pig Out Inn. There we had sauced and sloppy, pulled-pork sandwiches—made from slow-cooked pork shoulder—and tender, finger-licking ribs. Since these towns were really hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, I felt it my duty to add back into the local economy by ordering mass bags of sandwiches to take back to the fellas on the ship, where the goodies were exuberantly devoured. When I inquired about a cab in this tiny city, the restaurant manager insisted on personally driving us back to the ship. Southern hospitality and barbecue at their best! Here’s one of my favorite pork recipes:
Slow-Braised Pork Pot Roast with Apples & Onions”
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Gala apples, each cut in 8 chunks
1 large onion, cut in 16 chunks
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
1/3 cup raspberry or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Pat dry the pork roast and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place apples, onion, thyme, and garlic in a small roasting pan and set the pork roast on top. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds.
Mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then pour it around the pork.
Place the pork in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and continue roasting for about 1 1/2 hours more, until the pork is fork-tender. The total roasting time will be about 2 1/2 hours.
Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey: Sasquatch Books, Copyright © 2002 by Kathy Casey
March 22nd, 2008
I have been working diligantly for the past few months on a new book – Sips & Apps , a cocktail book with appetizer recipes. Cocktails have been part of my passion for years and I am so excited to finally be putting out a book featuring my favorite recipes. Today I am at Angie Norwood Browne’s photography studio.
Charlotte Omnes, my old chef at the Food Studios and now fabulous food stylist, is styling the shots. Gretchen Scobel the books designer is also here with us working on photo styling. Today is a rainy and grey day in Seatle – so Angie is shooting with natural light.
When laying out the books shots we basically make a big map on the walls with all the chapters and then tape up the different shots. This enables us to see the overall “big picticture” and how the book is laid out – what color themes are happening etc. This crude looking wall of photos will soon morf into a cohesive design.
Here at Angies tables are laden with a zillion different types of glassware, the kitchen is overflowing with plates, props, and bottles of liquor. Back at the Food Studios office Ann Manly our in-house editor is working furiously copy editing the book and removing my “multiple uses” of the words Great, Refreshing, Falvor and Fun– not an easy job! Stay tuned for more book …….
March 20th, 2008
Baby “choys” are delicious also simply stir-fried with ginger and soy sauce and served room temperature or chilled for hot weather meals. I’m pairing baby bok choy with beef and shiitake mushrooms in a spicy sweet stir-fry—an easy healthy meal when served up with simple, fragrant steamed jasmine rice. You can also make this recipe with sliced chicken breast, large shrimp or tofu.
Sweet & Spicy Baby Bok Choy & Beef Stir-Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms
Makes about 4 servings
8 medium heads baby bok choy
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound thinly sliced beef stir-fry meat, such as top sirloin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cut bok choy lengthwise into quarters. Rinse well and pat dry. Set aside. Have all remaining ingredients prepared and measured out, and within reach of the stove.
Heat oils in a very large nonstick sauté pan or wok over high heat. When pan is very hot, add the meat. Season with salt and quickly stir-fry the meat for about 30 seconds, spreading it out in the pan to get some good browning. Then add the mushrooms, garlic and bok choy. Stir-fry till bok choy is tender-crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Quickly stir together the soy sauce and cornstarch and add to the pan along with the sweet chili sauce. Mix in and stir-fry for a few more seconds. Remove food from pan to a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. ©2006 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
March 20th, 2008
Asparagus is springing up! And though a lot of people have the perception that the skinny asparagus is preferable — wrong! The fatties are much better in flavor. The first is coming on the market right now from California.
Tasty asparagus has been a mainstay at fine restaurants forever. You see it on almost every grand steakhouse’s menu as a side dish — slathered in hollandaise. And, really, who doesn’t love that little splurge!
An equally delicious way to serve up this local short-season wonder is in a scrumptious A.M. dish just perfect for Easter morning brunch — Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble. This medley of flavors melds beautifully — the garlicky herby Boursin giving it its final yum factor.
Another popular way to prepare fresh asparagus is grilled on a BBQ and served with a great dip. Hot off the grill, warm or even chilled, the grill adds a nice smoky character to the “grass.
But alas, no hollandaise or boursin cheese for me. I have been on a low fat eating plan for the last 6 months –so last night I made a very flavorful and low cal saute. First I cooked sliced sweet onion with shitake mushrooms for a few minutes in a non-stick pan and then added fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and broken in half. I added some fresh garlic and about 1/2 a cup of some brewed red chai tea and a splash of tamari. Then covered the pan for about a minute to get the asparagus steaming. I then removed the lid and continued to cook till the asparagus was tender and the tea was reduced. Yum!
So get your spring on with some fresh asparagus!
Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble
Makes about 4 servings
2 tablespoons water
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup bias-cut fresh asparagus
4 oz. wt. (1/2 cup) bay shrimp, drained well (you can also use crab meat)
1/2 cup Boursin cheese (garlic and herb)
chopped parsley for garnish if desiredIn a large bowl whisk together the eggs and water until very foamy; season as desired with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large, non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring often, until barely tender, about 2 minutes.Add in the egg mixture and move the eggs around the pan with a spoon or spatula, turning them as necessary until they are three-quarters cooked, about 1 – 2 minutes, and have just started to thicken.
At this point add the shrimp. Fold into eggs, heat through and serve immediately. Dollop 2 tablespoons of Boursin on top of each serving and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
Copyright 2000 by Kathy Casey
March 17th, 2008
I love herbs in cocktails! Fresh rosemary adds an herbalicious flavor to this citrusy cocktail. See my method below for making the rosemary sugar and creating a deep sugar rim on the glass.
Rosemary Grapefruit Drop
Makes 1 drink
Rosemary Sugar (recipe follows)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 ounces grapefruit vodka
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup*
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig
Rim a large martini glass (see procedure below) with rosemary sugar, and set aside.
Bend 1 rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into the sugar-rimmed glass. Float a rosemary sprig in the drink for garnish.
*boil 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water for 1 minute; then cool.
Makes 1 cup
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup superfine or baker’s sugar
Mix the rosemary and sugar together, and spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet. Set in a warm dry place, until the rosemary is completely dried – about 3-4 days. Process in a food processor until finely ground. Store in a tightly sealed container.
To make deep rosemary sugar rim: Set out a wide bowl filled with superfine rosemary sugar. Holding a martini glass by the stem, press a lemon or orange wedge against the top 1 to 1 1/2 inches of the outside rim of the glass and rotate the glass to coat the rim lightly with juice. Then push the rim into the bowl of sugar at a 45-degree angle. Spin the glass until the outside moistened area is completely and evenly coated with sugar. Holding the glass upside down, tap lightly to remove excess sugar. Do not get sugar inside the glass.
March 16th, 2008