Archive for July, 2009

Succulent Summer Stone Fruit

Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia all produce peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, and cherries in brilliant hues. For many, the stone fruit harvest might conjure up childhood memories of summer canning: sterilizing dozens of jars, then blanching, peeling, pitting, and packing the season’s bounty. Rows and rows of colorful, artfully packed jars filled with pepper-pickled peaches—freestone Elbertas or juicy clings—rosy Tilton apricots, and brandied Bing cherries lined the pantry and cellar shelves of Northwest homes.

 
With all the great weather we have been having here in the Northwest, the fruits are plentiful and perfectly ripe this time of year, so I know you all have been enjoying the fruits already! And for those of you who have never peeled a peach the quicky way, here is another chefy trick I’ve learned over the years: just boil a big pot of water and immerse your peaches a few at a time for 30 seconds or more, depending on the peach, and when the skin starts to get loose, immediately run the peaches under cold water and slip the skin off.

There are so many different ways to enjoy all types of stone fruits. Eat them fresh from the tree, sliced in a salad, baked in a pie or preserved in a jar. Not many people have time to can these days and fewer and fewer people know how. So how about trying a Zippy Nectarine Salsa; it’s a quick, 15-minute throw-together for a busy day’s backyard barbecue.

Eating fruit just picked off the tree with the sun shining in your face and juice dribbling down your chin is the best way to enjoy it, but I hope you will sample these recipes for a little summer deliciousness. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey.

 
Zippy Nectarine Salsa

An easy-to-prepare,  zippy & refreshing salsa to serve with grilled chicken breast or halibut.

Makes about 2 cups

2 large nectarines, diced 1/4-inch, about 2 cups
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced, more or less to taste
   or use a dash of Asian chili paste for spice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of fruit)

In a small bowl mix all ingredients together not more than 20 minutes before serving.
Serve well chilled.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Casey

 

Stone-Fruit Almond Shortcake with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

Makes 6 servings

6 cups mixed sliced ripe stone fruits, such as apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, and nectarines
1 cup sugar, or to taste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (optional)
6 Almond Scones (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, sprinkle the fruit with sugar. Mix gently, then let sit for about 30 minutes to “juice up.”

Meanwhile, in a chilled bowl, whip the cream and brown sugar together with a whisk or an electric mixer until the cream forms soft peaks. Be careful not to overwhip. Fold in the amaretto. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, split the scones and place the bottoms on plates. Divide the fruit mixture among the scones and top with the whipped cream. Place the scone tops back on, slightly askew.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey.
Almond Scones
Makes 8 scones

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon water

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives until the mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs (just like making a pie crust). Stir in the almonds.

In a separate bowl, whisk the whole egg with the 3/4 cup buttermilk until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. The dough should form a ball and all the flour should be incorporated. (If the dough is way too dry, add 1 tablespoon more buttermilk.) Do not overmix.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round. Carefully place on an ungreased baking sheet, then cut into 8 wedges, leaving the sides still touching.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and water until mixed, then brush the dough lightly with the egg white glaze.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the scones are cooked through and golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Chef’s Note: Serve 6 scones for dessert and then you’ll have 2 extra for breakfast or seconds!
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey.

1 comment July 30th, 2009

Gin is In

Check out this fun blog from the Daily Bartender about Tales of the Cocktail and Gin as the new “it” spirit!

Add comment July 28th, 2009

Smitten- a refreshing summer cocktail

Smitten

The perfect summer drink…made with fresh juicy watermelon, Sauza Hornitos Plata Tequila, agave, fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce for a little spice!
Makes 1 cocktail

1/3 cup fresh ripe watermelon (large 1” cubes)
2 oz Sauza Hornitos Plata Tequila
3/4 oz Monin Organic Agave Syrup or other agave nectar
(or sub simple syrup)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes Tapatìo hot sauce
Garnish: half rim :“one” scallop of kosher salt

Muddle/press watermelon in pint glass with a muddler being sure to press the melon well to release the juices.
Measure in Hornitos Plata Tequila, Organic Agave Syrup, lime juice.
Shake in hot sauce – do not over do it! Fill with ice.
Cap and shake vigorously.Strain into a martini glass with a partial salt rim (scalloped).

Add comment July 27th, 2009

Wild Hibiscus

My prediction is that in the near future, you will be seeing hibiscus flavor popping up everywhere. Let’s just say: Hibiscus is the new black! Until recently, hibiscus has most commonly been used in the culinary field as a tea. However, there are a lot of fun ways to use this elegant flavor in drinks, desserts and entrees as well. Available in most latin markets, you can buy it dried and make some fantastic infusions. Or to make some fun drinks, I recommend Monin’s Hibiscus flavored syrup; try a new twist on a flavored lemonade or Italian soda! Hibiscus flavor can also be a great accompaniment to savory dishes as well, check out my recipe below for a great crostini with brie and hibiscus flowers in syrup and chicken skewers.

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hibiscus flavor, when boiled down into a syrup it gives a sweet, rhubarb-raspberry flavor. The color is an inviting magenta that adds that chicness to any drink or dish.

 

One product I really like is Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup. They are 100% natural from Australia and are super fun as a garnish to a drink or atop a cheesecake to make an elegant dessert, or even in a salad. Check out the Wild Hibiscus website for some more information about these beautiful and tasty treats. Telephone 800-499-8490 or email bubbles@wildhibiscus.com

 

Hibiscus is popping up in all kinds of products too, even in tequila! We just received a hot new product called Gran Centinario Roseangel. It is a respesado tequila aged in port barrels that are rubbed with hibiscus. This is only available in certain states at this time so be on the look out for it!

 

Hibiscus Rum Punch

 

Makes about 10 cups, enough for 12 to 14 servings

 

6 cups boiling water

1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers

1 cup honey

2 cups white or spiced rum

1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters (optional)

 

For garnishing

Lime wheels or edible flowers

 

In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the hibiscus flowers. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the hibiscus tea into a large heat-proof container or pitcher and discard the solids. Stir in the honey. Place in refrigerator to chill. When mixture is cold, stir in the rum, lime juice, and bitters, if using. The punch keeps, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

 

To serve, fill tall or old-fashioned glasses to the top with ice. Pour in about 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) of punch. Garnish as desired.

 

Recipe from Sips & Apps, © 2009 by Kathy Casey, reprinted by permission of Chronicle Book

 

 

 

crostini

Hibiscus, Warm Brie & Almond Crostini

Makes 20 to 24 pieces

 

1 jar (250g) Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup

1 small (8-oz) wheel brie cheese

20 to 24 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices baguette (about 1 baguette)

3/4 cup sliced almonds, with skin

Garnish: fresh thyme or snipped chives

 

Preheat oven to 450° F. Drain hibiscus flowers and reserve syrup. Cut each flower in half.

 

Cut the brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices sized to cover about three quarters of a baguette slice. Spread the almonds in a flat dish. Press the brie firmly onto the bread slices then, facedown, into the almonds. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until the brie is soft, bread is crispy, and nuts are lightly toasted, about 4 to 6 minutes. Top each one with a piece of hibiscus and drizzle lightly with the reserved syrup* as desired. Garnish with herbs. Serve immediately.

 

*To thicken the syrup, put it in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook until syrup is reduced by 1/3 or coats the back of a spoon. Syrup will thicken more as it cools.

 

Note: for a tasty variation try this recipe with Cambozola – a mild brie-like blue cheese.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey for Wild Hibiscus ©2009

 

Chicken skewers 

 

Grilled Chicken & Hibiscus Skewers with Sassy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Makes 4 skewers

 

1 jar (250g) Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup

1 Tbsp. finely minced or grated fresh ginger

1/2 to 1 tsp. hot sauce

3 green onions (scallions)

1 to1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 32 pieces

vegetable oil as needed

salt and pepper

4 metal skewers or 10″ heavy wood skewers soaked in water

 

Drain hibiscus flowers, reserving syrup in a small bowl.

 

To make the dipping sauce: Mix ginger and hot sauce into the reserved syrup.

 

Trim and cut each green onion into 4 pieces. Thread each skewer as follows: 2 pieces of chicken, 1 piece of green onion, then 1 hibiscus flower*; repeat twice; then finish with 2 pieces of chicken. Lightly brush skewers with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Preheat grill to medium-high. Cook skewers until chicken is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Drizzle skewers with dipping sauce and serve extra on the side.

 

*Cut one flower in half if needed; jars contain approximately 11–12 flowers.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey for Wild Hibiscus ©2009

 

 

 

2 comments July 23rd, 2009

Jan’s Journal

My childhood friend wrote this super fun article about my most recent book, Sips & Apps for her column in the Federal Way Mirror. Click here to check it out.

Add comment July 22nd, 2009

The Winners Are In!

Here are the winners from the 2009 Tales of the Cocktail!

NEW ORLEANS, LAJuly 20, 2009 – Through the Spirit Awards, Tales of the Cocktail provides recognition to those individuals and establishments that have shown an outstanding talent for advancing the craft of the cocktail. To embody the ideals with which Tales of the Cocktail was originally founded, these awards will provide recognition to both national, as well as to local New Orleanians. Pernod Ricard and Beverage Media group sponsored this year’s second awards show.

The 2009 Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards Winners were:
World’s Best Drinks Selection
WINNER – Merchant Hotel, Belfast
 Best American Cocktail Bar
WINNER – Pegu Club, NYC
World’s Best Cocktail Bar
WINNER – PDT, NYC
 World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
WINNER – Clover Club, Brooklyn
World’s Best Hotel Bar
WINNER – Merchant Hotel, Belfast
American Bartender of the Year
WINNER – James Meehan, PDT
International Bartender of the Year
WINNER – Tony Conigliaro
 Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
WINNER – The Essential Cocktail – Dale DeGroff
Best Cocktail Writing
WINNER – Dave Wondrich
 Best New Product
WINNER – Bols Genever
World’s Best Cocktail Menu
WINNER – Merchant Hotel, Belfast
Best American Brand Ambassador
WINNER – Simon Ford, Plymouth Gin and Pernod Ricard
Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award
WINNER – Peter Dorelli

About Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail is an internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture held annually in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community–award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers–for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of making drinks. Each year offers a spirited series of dinners, demos, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours and parties all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made.
For more information, go to www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.

Add comment July 21st, 2009

Columbia and Covey Run Wines and Washington Wine Month

 I have recently teamed up with Columbia and Covey Run wines to create some great recipes to pair with their wines for Washington Wine Month. Check out this article for more information and also visit the Columbia Winery website  for some delish recipes I created for the occasion!

Add comment July 20th, 2009

National Seafood Cook-Off – the winnners are in!

Ok – I’ve eaten 15 seafood dishes now and must say all the chefs did a great job! The National Seafood Cook off was a delicious job today. Here’s the hot off the presses winning chefs:
1st place: Louisiana- Tory McPhail from Commander’s Palace (He grew up in washington – so we have a little NW connection to the winner!)
2nd place: New Jersy – Peter Fischba
3rd place: Alaska – Patrick Hooger
Congrats to all!

Add comment July 18th, 2009

Previous Posts


Calendar

July 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category