Archive for July, 2008

Our Bountiful Farmers Markets

Right now is the perfect time to be shopping at Seattle’s splendid farmer’s markets. Just about anything you could want is in season, from luscious berries and cherries, to patty pan squashes, zucchini blossoms, enticing greens, and some early root vegetables.

In Ballard where my Dish D’Lish café and Food Studios are located, our farmer’s market is a weekly must for Mary, my assistant and Cameo, the chef at Dish D’Lish. Mary loves to pick up raw milk from Sea Breeze Farm for making paneer and adding to her coffee, while Cameo can’t go without taking home a bag of freshly foraged mushrooms from Found and Foraged Edibles. Matthew, our executive sous chef makes weekly pilgrimages to the University Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh shellfish from Taylor Shellfish’s Oyster Bill. And Ann, my in-house editor calls the Madrona/Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market her home, never leaving without a Tall Grass bakery baguette to smear some Blue Cottage jam on.

When I go to the farmer’s market I’m always on the hunt for something new and exciting. I highly advise picking up a few unusual items to try, you never know when you’ll discover a new favorite. My other tips include getting there early! Many people will line up at their favorite stalls to get the best pick. Always bring cloth or reusable bags, and always walk the market once to see what everyone has before settling on what to buy. And if you don’t know what to do with some of that beautiful produce – just ask the farmer – they will have lots of tasty suggestions!

So lucky are we that our Farmer’s Markets run nearly every day of the week in one neighborhood or another, and some year round! To locate your neighborhood farmer’s Market visit Seattle Farmer’s Market , and Freemont Market. For Markets on the Eastside, use this helpful guide from the Seattle Times.

Puget Sound Fresh is also a great resource for locating farms, seasonal produce, and farmer’s markets.

With lush stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums hitting the markets and fragrant lavender popping up in local gardens, I hope you’ll try my recipe for Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup.

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings

Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high-quality honey, preferably local

1/2 cup water
8 fresh lavender flowers, unsprayed, and rinsed (or use 1 tablespoon dried)

About 4 cups assorted fresh, ripe stone fruits, prepared as follows before measuring:
Peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
Large apricots, pitted and cut into wedges
Plums, pitted and cut into wedges
Nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges
Dark or light sweet cherries, pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, optional

To make the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the honey, water, and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, being careful that the mixture does not foam up. Simmer slowly for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is like thin pancake syrup. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain into a glass jar, cover, and reserve. The syrup will keep, covered, at room temperature for 2 weeks.

To assemble and serve: In a large bowl, toss the fruit first with the lemon juice, then with the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup. Serve in pretty glasses or fruit dishes, garnished with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Top with a tiny spoon of vanilla bean ice cream or a poof of whipped cream if desired.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey: Copyright © Kathy Casey.

Add comment July 31st, 2008

Foodie Fun this Weekend at Borders Southcenter

I tell you, if I wasn’t taking off for a conference this weekend I’d be down at the Southcenter Borders with Chef Ethan Stowell- Union, Chef Peter Birk- Ray’s , and Chef Keith Luce- Herbfarm for a super fun Q and A with local chefs.

Boarders is celebrating the opening of their new concept store in Southcenter and with it some fabulous foodie fun! Nu Culinary will be giving a cooking demo on rolling your own sushi, Jonnie Stroud of Sake Nomi will be lecturing on all things sake, master coffee roasters from Seattle’s Best Coffee take customers through a guided coffee tasting, and Michael Rogers owner of Taste of Pike Place, do a presentation of his walking tour of the people and food of Pike Place Market. Super fun!

And…in addition to all that, there is a chance to win a cookbook basket valued at 300.00 filled with cookbooks of every variety. Who doesn’t need more cookbooks?!

For more information on the event including times and locations click here!

Add comment July 30th, 2008

Diet Tips From China

Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories, Lorriane Clissold, Skyhorse Publishing

As the Chinese Government is busily renaming restaurant dishes in preparation for the onslaught of foreign visitors at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Lorraine Clissold’s Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories, Skyhorse Publishing, couldn’t come out at a better time.

I have to say, before this book ever landed on my desk I had little ideal of Chinese culinary culture and the daily eating habits of the most populated country in the world.

“It is is about crossing a cultural boundary to discover a different way of thinking about food and diet,” Lorraine writes.

Not just a diet manifesto, this guide to the Chinese way of eating feels more like a chat with an industry insider, Lorriane comes across well read and well informed, offering tips that appear at first common sense, but quickly cause you to reflect on your own eating habits. Her 15 secretes outlined in the book span across any eating culture and she expertly translates Chinese seasonings and dishes into familiar western preparations for those who aren’t quite ready to give up their morning coffee and bagel for congee. Yum!

 

Add comment July 28th, 2008

Summer Margaritas

Margaritas have to be the quintessential summer drink! Chilled glasses of Rose and White wine spritzers are fine and dandy for warm evenings on the deck, but for me, margaritas spell a party!

Can’t you just taste one now? The cool of the glass in your hand, the salt on your lips as the sweet tart lime and simple syrup dance with the smooth and complex notes of the tequila. Mmmmm.

While I do love the classic, I am certainly not a purist! I’ve sipped plenty, from the high end tequilas mixed with fresh squeezed lime juice to the cheap stuff mixed with a tube of limeade concentrate. My current obsession is to mix in a bit of fruit puree and some herbs.

I hope you’ll try my Sage Sunset Margarita for lovely patio sipping.

Summer Sunset Margarita

Makes 1 drink

1 fresh sage leaf (optional)
1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice + 1/2 oz simple syrup
or 1 oz Dish D’Lish Lemon Lime Sweet & Sour Cocktailor
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice, cranberry juice or mango or guava nectar
Garnish: large fresh sage leaf

Tear sage leaf and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Measure in tequila, Cointreau, lime and simple syrup (or Dish D’Lish Sweet & Sour) and juice or nectar of your choice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a large old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh sage leaf.

Add comment July 24th, 2008

Burgers tonight!

Finally summer in Seattle has arrived. And what better way to welcome stunning summer weather in than with a juicy, mouthwatering, tongue tantalizing, burger hot from the grill.

I’ve cooked up a fantastic recipe for Backyard Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers on homemade Golden Garlic Buns with juicy heirloom tomatoes and peppery fresh arugula. Making your own buns is work, I won’t lie, but they are absolutely will impress any patty connoisseur. (You can also make a large batch and freeze some for later.)

And you must check out my friend Scott’s Surdyke’s favorite recipe for his ” Rock The World Brugers”. He found this recipe on epicurious.com. His version uses organic beef from Misty Island Farms, and Andouille Sausage from Uli’s in Pike Place (3 parts beef to 1part sausage) and adds chopped pecans to the mix. Then tops them with watercress, spicy mayo and pickled okra… Yum!

I hope you try the following recipe for your next alfresco get together…..

Backyard Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers
on Garlic Buns with Heirloom Tomatoes

Makes 6 half-pound burgers

burgers
3 lbs. lean ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
4 ounces blue cheese

Horseradish Spread
1/2 cup high-quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon creamed horseradish
2 teaspoons grainy mustard

thick-sliced, heirloom tomatoes
fresh arugula or lettuce
6 each homemade Golden Garlic  Buns (recipe follows )
or substitute 6 high quality hamburger buns spread with garlic butter

Mix meat, salt, pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire and garlic until thoroughly combined. Shape beef into 12 equal patties, about 5 inches in diameter.

Divide cheese into 6 pieces and press into 2-inch diameter patties. Lay cheese pieces in centers of 6 of the beef patties. Place remaining beef patties over cheese and seal edges of beef patties together thoroughly, making sure they are well pressed together.

To grill: 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.

While burgers are gilling, mix together the horseradish ingredients together and set aside.

Split buns and toast lightly. Place burgers on buns and serve with tomato slices, arugula or lettuce leaves and a dollop of horseradish spread as desired.

Copyright 2002 Kathy Casey Cooks Favorites by Kathy Casey

Golden Garlic Buns – This recipe is easily doubled!
Makes 6 buns

1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water (90 to 110 degrees F.)
1 package dry yeast
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons garlic, minced
Kosher salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl stir together the milk olive oil, sugar warm water and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast and let sit about 10 minutes, the pour into a large mixer bowl.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add all but 1 Tbsp. to the liquid ingredients, reserving the extra for brushing the bun tops. Mix in flour, salt and garlic with paddle attachment until incorporated and then change to a dough hook on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes, as needed, top make a smooth, moist dough. Place in a large greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down and divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll into balls and let rest 10 minutes, covered with a towel. With a well floured rolling pin, roll balls into 4-inch rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until almost doubled.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl whisk remaining egg together with 1/2 Tbsp. water. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with egg wash and place in oven. When light browning begins to take place, remove buns from oven and very quickly repeat egg wash, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and place in the oven.

Bake about 15 ot 20 , minutes, or until golden brown. Cool buns on a rack.

Copyright 2002 Kathy Casey Cooks Favorites by Kathy Casey

1 comment July 17th, 2008

Delicious to do! Chocolopolis


Ok cho-o-holics, get ready. Today Chocolopolis kicks off the grand opening of their Queen Anne store where you can taste hundreds of different chocolates. Can you imagine? All that chocolate and so little time!

It isn’t quite Willy Wonka, but with three golden tickets hiding in candy bars (the lucky winners get one free bar of chocolate every week for a year) it’s hard not to draw comparisons.

During the opening week festivities you can participate in chocolate tasting- where you will learn how to truly taste chocolate (no eating it in your bathrobe in front of the TV on the couch!), or learn what single origin chocolate is and how taste the differences between them. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet chocolate makers from artisan chocolate makers Amano, Claudio Corallo and Seattle’s own Theo Chocolates!

Sounds d’lish

Add comment July 15th, 2008

Ray’s 35th Anniversary

A Seattle Classic! Ray’s is celebrating its 35th Anniversary. And for those of us that know how hard the restaurant business is – that is quite a statement!

Most recently I had dinner at Ray’s with my husband John. It was a super beautiful sunny Friday evening and the place was packed! We started with the Ray’s ultra martini – made with my friend Ryan’s Aviation Gin distilled in Portland and garnished with a delicious piece of house hard-smoked salmon –wow!

Then moving on to salads we had the Boat House Salad: a classic combination of butter lettuce, point reyes farmstead blue cheese, dried NW cranberries and almonds– drizzled with a raspberry thyme vinaigrette. Our other salad was the Dungeness Crab Salad, loaded with chunks of delicious crab and sprinkled with peanuts – a tasty and light combination.

For our entrees John had the Smoked Sable Fish with a “chowder”  of corn, potato and chef Peters housemade smokey bacon – WOW– this dish is one of the best preparations of Black Cod I have ever had – it was a knock out. I, being in a lighter eating mode, enjoyed the grilled Wild White King Salmon beautifully cooked and served with a bing cherry puree – nice and light! I asked not to be temped with the sexy potatoes that it was paired with, and instead had local pea pods and asparagus as my accompaniment – the whole dish was perfectly prepared and really d’lish!

And service too was stellar. Tiffany, our server, was fantastic. It was the kind of crisp efficient service I almost had though was a thing of the past these days. Thank you Tiffany for making our dinner even better.

And to General Manager extraordinaire “Moe” and her team – congratulations on your anniversary – Ray’s is and deserves to be a true Seattle icon!

Here’s to another 35 years and I hope to be there.

To get the most out of your summer grilling follow these tips from Ray’s Executive Chef Peter Birk

1. Hot fire, but not too hot – you should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grill for a couple of seconds
2. Clean, well oiled grill
3. Enjoy what you’re doing – don’t stress about over or undercooking – if you worry to much, your food will show it

Recipe for Teriyaki Coho Salmon courtesy of Ray’s Boat House

Note: Requires at least 4 hours marinating time

4 6-ounce wild coho salmon fillets, skin on
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar

Combine soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, ginger, green onions and brown sugar, and mix well. The marinade should be made a day in advance and refrigerated to allow flavors to blend. In a shallow glass baking dish, cover salmon fillets with marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, according to how strong a flavor you prefer.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.  Place fillets flesh side down on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook just until the center of the fillet becomes opaque, about 3 additional minutes. Total grilling time is approximately 6 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Serve with steamed rice.

This marinade is excellent for other kinds of fish, as well as chicken and meats.

Add comment July 10th, 2008

Kathy Casey is Al Dente guest blogger for July

Grilling tips, berry recipe ideas, outdoor menus and fabulous summer cocktails are what you can expect from culinary diva Kathy Casey this month on Amazon’s foodie blog, Al Dente. Kathy brings her whimsical and playful style to Amazon as Al Dente’s guest blogger for July. You can still find Kathy’s musings on her blog, Dishing with Kathy Casey, in addition to her summer stint at Al Dente.

Add comment July 9th, 2008

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