Archive for March, 2008
This past week the RCA (Research Chef’s Association) held their annual conference in Seattle and as a part of their pre-conference festivities, held a luncheon at the Food Studios.
Let me explain a bit about the RCA, these are the hard working folks in food science, research and development, and manufacturing and the likes. All those behind the scenes of your favorite foods and beverages. Personally I find this field totally fascinating. And it is a lot of what I do at the Food Studios. I bet I’ve had my hand in something that is in your pantry right now!
For the luncheon I really wanted to highlight the flavors of the northwest.
Here’s the menu:
Chinook Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Local Oysters with Mignonette Ice
Geoduck Two Ways: Sashimi & Picatta Style
Winter Greens and Northwest Pear Salad
with Yuzu Cranberry Vinaigrette and Toasted Hazelnuts
Pacific Rim Style Coconut and Lemon Grass Braised Black Cod
with Local Mussels and Colorful Veggies
Latte Land Mocha Panna Cotta SHot with Cotton Candy Steam
We kicked off the event with a hands on shellfish demonstration with my pal Oyster Bill from Taylor Shellfish. Not only is Bill great, but he is an absolute treasure and oyster resource. You can usually catch him on Sundays at the Ballard Farmers Market.
The highlight of the afternoon, however, was my geoduck demonstration. (I’ve had a little expereince with this also on an episode of Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo – as seen on the Travel Channel). I showed the group how to, blanch the live geoduck and ..um, remove the skin. (Warning. Explicit Food Photos To Follow). My executive sous chef Matthew, wowed our guest with a fantastic geoduck sashimi with a yuzu soy dipping sauce, and I really knocked their socks off with my Geoduck Steak Piccata- YUM!
So if an occasion to cook up some geoduck -Click here to find the recipes from the Travel Channel Show, inlcuding the picatta recipe!
March 14th, 2008
It signals the beginning of spring when vibrant stalks of rhubarb poke their heads out of the ground and wait for the sun to shine upon them—brush stroking them to brilliant pink or ruby red, all ready to show up at grocers and local farmers markets.
When I was a kid, there was a neighbor’s garden right up against the playground’s cyclone fence, with openings just big enough for small hands. We dared each other to reach through the fence, pull up a super-tart, under ripe rhubarb stalk and take a big bite. Ooooew! It is still one of my favorite prankster jokes to play on the non-rhubarb-savvy. “Hey, have you tried this cool new red celery? Isn’t it beautiful—here, try a bite!” Hee-hee.
Rhubarb stalks range in color from pale green, sometimes speckled with pink, to pink and bright red—coloring depends on the variety, and is not a guide to quality or degree of sourness. Hot house rhubarb is the first to come into the grocery stores, but it doesn’t have as big a flavor as local crops or that grown in backyards
The one thing to be cautious of if using home-grown, is to be sure that only the stems are eaten and that any leaf is trimmed off as the leaf portion is poisonous.
Rhubarb has lent its tangy flavor to pies and applesauce over the years and is most commonly used in desserts. Try baking up my Apple Rhubarb Sour Cream Tart with Walnut Crust. The sweet apple, tart rhubarb and delicate custard are wonderfully set off by the nutty flavors of the crust and crunchy topping. You can either make this pie before dinner and pop it out of the oven about 30 to 60 minutes before you plan on serving it, or bake it early in the morning then refrigerate it until dinnertime.
Apple Rhubarb Sour Cream Tart with Walnut Crust
Makes 1 (9-inch) tart
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons walnut pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cold, cut in pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
Topping2 tablespoons butter, cold
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnutsFilling
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 cups peeled, 1/2-inch-diced Gala apple
2 cups of 1/2-inch-sliced rhubarbTo make the crust: In work bowl of food processor, combine flour, cinnamon, walnuts and salt. Process until nuts are very finely chopped. Add butter and pulse in until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
With processor running, add ice water, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, and process only until dough starts to form a ball. Do not over-process dough. Remove dough from processor. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl make the topping: Cut the butter into small pieces, and add the remaining topping ingredients. Combine with fingers until crumbly. Set aside.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, stir sugar, flour and salt together. Add the egg and sour cream and whisk till smooth. Add the diced apple and rhubarb and mix in gently. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a bit bigger than a 9-inch pie pan. Brush excess flour off crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and fit crust into pan. Roll excess crust over to make a thick edge, then crimp decoratively.Spoon filling into crust. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and sprinkle with topping, distributing evenly. Return pie to oven for about 30 minutes more, until topping appears to be slightly crispy and lightly browned.Cool thoroughly before cutting. Store refrigerated. ©2006 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
March 13th, 2008
Whole grains are all the rage now, what with their healthful benefits and high fiber content. And they can be incorporated into both old favorite recipes and new preparations that will add some excitement and goodness to any meal.
How many people have not eaten tabbouleh salad? This easy-to-make salad is a staple at most deli departments for just this reason: all you have to do is cover bulgur with boiling water, let it sit, and then stir in some lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes and parsley … and you have a great salad.
When I asked my co-worker Trixie Rombouts when she first had it, she exclaimed, “In the ’60s!” Wow, now that was a bit ahead of the times. Both of Trixie’s parents were European, so she was sent off to school with lunch in a “recycled” sack (not the Barbie lunch box she coveted) fitted out with a recycled yogurt cup filled with freshly made tabbouleh salad adorned with fresh mint from their yard, and a hunk of kasseri cheese. Nowadays, that would be the ultimate sustainable, organic lunch, but those days there weren’t many takers at lunchtime trading—no Twinkies for tabbouleh then! When we tested my recipe for Turkish Tabbouleh Salad with Dried Apricots and Pistachios, of course I had to have Trixie be my taster. It passed with an exclamation of, “Wow, this is fantastic!”
Turkish Tabbouleh Salad with Dried Apricots & Pistachios
Makes 8 cups
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup tiny-diced sweet white onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil, then immediately stir in the bulgur wheat and remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for 1 hour or until all the water has been soaked up. Uncover and let cool.In a large bowl, mix together remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil. Then add remaining ingredients and cooled bulgur. Mix together well, until all ingredients are coated with dressing.
Recipe ©2007 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
March 13th, 2008
Have I mentioned my trip to Vegas yet? No? Well this past February, my executive sous chef Matthew and I escaped the wet of Seattle for a few fabulous days in Las Vagas for the Annual Nightclub and Bar Magazine Convention. During the day Matthew and I went about our business delivering lectures, and shaking up some cocktail magic. But at night, we had some fun!
Tao is a fantastic restaurant/night club/lounge/and beach lounge rolled into one, and for my second time visiting, I loved it as much as the first. The pan-Asian bistro is super sexy, low lights, great people watching and a 20 foot Buddha make for a va va voom atmosphere. Celebrity sightings are one reason to come, but we couldn’t resist dining at the top grossing restaurant in the country. No joke. Tao brought in $55.2 million smackers in 2007. H-O-L-Y C-OW! Mathew and I shared a fab dinner with such tasty dishes as Yuzu Roasted Shishito Peppers, Lacquered Roast Fillet of Pork for starters and Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Wok Vegetables and Sake Braised Shiitake Mushrooms-yum! If you haven’t been and are planning a trip to Vegas in the near future be sure to check Tao out.
March 10th, 2008
My friend Cynthia Nims and I go way, way, way back. She hired me for some of my first writing assignments when she was the editor at Simply Seafood way back when. And in 2001, together, we wrote the Best Places Seattle Cookbook.” Cynthia is always, and I mean always cooking. As a contributor to magazines like Sunset and Cooking Light, as well as writing cookbooks of her own, she is constantly throwing dinner parties to test her recipes. Most recently however, was the 2nd annual “Open the Bottle Night,” Inspired by the Wall Street Journal article, by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, Cynthia and husband Bob asked the 12 guests to bring a reserved bottle of wine waiting in the wings for their time to shine. Some of these things were really old! I’m talking from the 60’s!
With that, Cynthia set a fantastic 8 course meal, including a delectable carrot thyme soufflé, and elegant duxelles egg custard in egg cups. My husband John and I made the salad course – it was a warm salad with duck confit, from my mushroom stash: tiny morel mushrooms that I had sautéed and frozen last spring, green lentils, red cabbage, goat cheese and hazelnuts with a sherry vinaigrette and oh so good with a 92,93 and 94 flight of Chinook Merlots.
But the piece de resistance was an incredibly delicious lamb that I am still thinking about today accompanied with a 1966 Chateau De Pez, St Estephe and 1962 Chateau De Camensac Grand Cru Classé, Haut Medoc- wow, what a fantastic pairing! Here’s the evenings menu:
Cynthia Nims and Bob Burns
2nd Annual Open That Bottle Night
February 23rd 2008
Juana Palo Cortoda Jerez Xeres Sherry
1996 Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvee Palmes D’or Brut
Carrot-Thyme SouffléDuxelles Egg Custard In Egg Cups
Frisee with Truffle Oil
Dom Perignon 1999Sole & Salmon Packets
with Shaved Celery, Chive & Lemon Salad – Classic Beurre Blanc
2006 Robert Hall Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles
Smuggled from Paris! Goose Foie Gras on Crostini
with Dried Cherry & Cocoa Nib Compote
1999 Weingut Gunderloch Nachenheirn Rothenberg Riesling
Warm Duck Confit Salad
Local Morels, French Green Lentils, Red Cabbage & Arugula
Toasted Hazelnuts, Sherry Vinaigrette, Marinated Goat Cheese
Vertical of Chinook Merlot: 1992, 1993, 1994Herb Marinated Lamb Loin with Grain Mustard & Mushroom Demi
Potate Galette – Bacon Braised Savoy Cabbage
1966 Chateau De Pez, St Estephe
1962 Chateau De Camensac Grand Cru Classé, Haut Medoc Herb Marinated Lamb Loin with Grain Mustard & Mushroom DemiPotate Galette – Bacon Braised Savoy Cabbage
Herb Marinated Lamb Loin with Grain Mustard & Mushroom DemiPotate Galette – Bacon Braised Savoy Cabbage
Artisinal Cheeses with Homemade Walnut Bread
2002 Weingut Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese
1996 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon, Bin 707, Australia
Coffee Madeleines Almond Gateau
Clear Creek Pear-In-The-Bottle Eau de Vie
Vin Santo Toscano Vendemmia 1988
Then came dessert . As to not let any of my 1988 Toscano Vendemmia Vin Santo go to waste, I speared my coffee Madeline with my fork and dipped it into my glass to sop all that heavenly nectar. D’lish!
March 9th, 2008
I love Seattle, my home for most all my life, but wow, sometimes the rain can drive you crazy. Thankfully, I had a mid winter escape to Miami. I’d never visited Miami before, but wow, what a place. The art deco hotels, the people, the food, the beach, and the sun! I loved it.
My reason for visiting Florida’s most popular city was that I was a speaker at the annual Cheers conference. Where I spoke on creative cocktails and bar trends. (Though my background is as a chef – I have been creating cocktails and signature drink menus for NW restaurants as well as many national restaurants, bars and hotels for the last 15 years. To me it’s the same as cooking – but just with liquid.)
While in Miami I got to dine around at some fantastic restaurants. My dinner favorite being Prime 112 . Delicious but pricey! On their bar they serve footed glasses filled with crunchy strips of bacon for bar snacks – pretty fun. Appetizers all range in the $25 arena. Four pieces of truffle deviled eggs with a tiny touch of caviar on top – yes a whopping $26.
China Grill’s Thai Shrimp Cake with Cactus Mango Salsa and Black Mole Vinaigrette
Miami is definitely someplace that I want to visit again – I’ll just need to fatten my wallet before going!
March 7th, 2008
My dearest friend Michelle threw a birthday for her adorable maltese, Coco Chanel, a couple of weekends ago and let me tell you, it was div-a-rific.
I’m serious; it was a party both foodies and dog would drool for. And they did! First of all it was held in Michelle and husband Don’s new event space next to their restaurant Volterra, here in Ballard known as the Drawing Room. Old brick combines with beautiful art and giant chandeliers making for a fantastic and beautiful space- I adore it.
Though there was great food for the 2 legged guests – the pups had quite the spread catered by Dining Dog Café– it included mini quiches and personalized cakes all served up on paper plate lined gold chargers. And for the doggie treat table I helped decorate individual to- go doggie bags that guests then could fill with the most adorable quiches, cannoli, cupcakes, and doggie biscuits made by Kool Dog Kafe.
March 6th, 2008
Today is the start of my new blog Dishing with Kathy Casey and also my farewell Dishing Column for the Seattle Times. I have been dishing up stories and recipes for the Seattle Times for over 12 years and loved every minute of it, but, it’s time to move on to new culinary adventures. Here, in my new venue to dish, you can expect a daily dose of new and exciting recipes, restaurant reviews, cookbook reviews, food trends, tasty travel and kitchen gadgets. Today I’m starting you out with one of my favorite recipes, Chardonnay Braised Chicken. I love to serve this dish with buttered noodles or lush mashed potatoes. Come back tomorrow for more hot dish. And please, telll me what you think. I love feedback, so leave a comment!
Chardonnay Braised Chicken
Makes 4 – 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large chicken (about 4 pounds), cut in pieces (standard 8 pieces: 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
3/4 cup large-diced onion
3/4 cup large-diced celery
3/4 cup large-diced carrot
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup large-diced red bell peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 3/4 cups Chardonnay wine
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a braising pan, large Dutch oven or wide soup pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Meanwhile, lay chicken pieces out on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In hot oil brown the chicken well, about 4 minutes on each side, doing it in 2 batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding pan. Remove browned chicken to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high, add the fennel seed and onion and cook for about 10 seconds. Add celery, carrot, mushrooms and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Then add the garlic and stir in, cooking 30 seconds more. Place the chicken back in the pan, tucking it between the vegetables. Add the fresh thyme and the wine. Bring to a boil, then cover pan. Place in preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid from chicken and cook for another 30 minutes or until chicken is very tender and cooked through.
5. Remove chicken and vegetables to a platter and keep warm. Measure liquid; it should be about 2 cups. Return liquid to pan and place pan back over medium-high heat. (If liquid is more than 2 cups, boil for a minute or so to reduce.)
6. In a small cup mix together the water and cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the sauce mixture in the pan, then add the cream. Cook, whisking continuously, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes or until saucy.
7. Remove pan from heat, stir in chives and parsley and spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables.
Copyright 2000, Kathy Casey Food Studios
March 5th, 2008