Posts from August, 2009

Refreshing Summer Melons

With their crisp, cool and refreshing qualities, melons evoke the essence of summer pleasure. We enjoy them in a multitude of ways, from simply chilled and eaten as hand-to-mouth wedges, to colorful melon-ball skewers for utensil-free eating at outdoor barbecues, to tequila-, vodka- or rum-injected watermelon for libationary delight.

In the past few years we have been seeing several exciting and sexy melon varieties at the markets. One kind I tried recently was a small lemony-yellow oval variety called a Korean melon (dua gan); it has a very fragrant smell and mild sweet flavor. And the French Charentais has to be one of the most aromatic and flavorful melons I have ever had.

Ripe, juicy and cold melons are of course delicious when eaten “as is”—but they perform well when starring in recipes, too. My new favorite way to enjoy melon is in Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and fragrant herbs. Smooth and rich-tasting with the addition of coconut milk, slightly spicy and bold-spiked from Thai red curry paste, and flagrantly flavored with ginger and lemongrass, this cold soup is topped with a pouf of sweet bay shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts seasoned up with lime juice, basil and mint.

My other all-time favorite watermelon recipe is chef Todd English’s. He embellishes a melon salad with the distinctive flavors of fennel, feta and kalamata olives contrasted against the cool red-glistening fruit.

And then there’s always melon enjoyed ALMOST naked … except for a sprinkling of sea salt, my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt or Dish D’Lish Cha Cha Chipotle Lime Seasoning … Yum!

Enjoy them while you can; there’s nothing like summer’s fresh melons to cool you off on a hot day. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp

Makes about 4 cups (6 starter servings)

Soup

3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe or other orange-fleshed melon

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp minced fresh lemongrass

1 tsp Thai red curry paste (we used Mae Ploy), or sub Asian chili paste

1 can (13 – 14 ounces) coconut milk (you can always sub light coconut milk)

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

 

Topping

1/4 pound bay shrimp or chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup tiny-diced water chestnuts (Fresh ones are great if you can find them!)

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

In a food processor or blender, process the cantaloupe, sugar, ginger, lemongrass and curry paste until evenly pureed. Mix in the coconut milk, salt and lime juice.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together. Ladle soup into small bowls and spoon a pouf of topping into each serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass lime wedges on the side. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

Todd English’s Watermelon, Fennel and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese

Makes 8 servings

4 cups seeded watermelon chunks

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a Japanese mandoline (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives

1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Put the watermelon, fennel, olives, red onion, green onion, basil leaves, and feta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Divide among salad plates and serve immediately. Adapted from Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure, by Tami Agassi and Kathy Casey.

Posted by Kathy on August 13th, 2009  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, soups

Preserving the Flavor with Kathy Casey

 Thursday August 20th from 3:00 – 5:30/6:00 PM

 

What you always wanted to know about preserving … but no one will tell you! Kathy Casey will show you how you can apply the premises and practices of commercial preserving to home use. The how’s, whys and more — that aren’t in your canning books. Kathy and her can’tastic team will cover the following:

Jams, Preserves, Conserves and Chutneys- using unique combinations

Flavored Sugars and Salts

Fruiting Vinegars and Booze

Fresh Style Pickling

Freezing the bounty/garden booty for later preserving

 

This will be a demo style class with some hands-on. Each attendee will take home at least 1 jar/container of preserved goodness. The class will be based upon what is in season that week. Also, Kathy will have commercial canning jars available for purchase, info on where you can get PH meters and some of her “put-up” creations made this summer.

 

Location:     Kathy Casey Food Studios

5130 Ballard Ave. NW Seattle, 98107

Contact:       206-784-7840, info@kathycasey.com

Class Fee:    $55 to cover costs

Class is limited to 30 people. Sign up through Brown Paper Bag Tickets.

Posted by Kathy on August 8th, 2009  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Homemade Ice Cream

 

Mint Ice cream

 

 

 

Frozen treats have long been a favorite for all ages. The first musical jingle of the Popsicle truck sends children running to the streets to buy their favorite frozen delight. From Popsicles to big bowls of creamy ice cream to refreshing fruity sorbets and gelatos to icy granités … they all are refreshing on a hot summer day.

 

I just used to love that chocolate chip mint ice cream when I was younger, but its gaudy green color and fakey mint flavor just don’t cut it anymore. With the fresh mint takeover going on in one of my flower beds, I decided to try mixing up some fresh mint ice cream. Yum! I infused the cream with a ton of the fresh mint leaves and added a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh mint, too. Delicious, naturally minty ice cream — a childhood favorite updated. Great topped with a drizzle of homemade, bittersweet chocolate sauce, or MY favorite, homemade chocolate mint candies (see recipe below).

 

It’s really fun to concoct your own crazy ice cream flavors, too. Read through some old cook books and gather some fun and interesting flavor combinations to try out! Go crazy and add any kind of fun berries and herbs, whatever this summer has brought to your own back yard garden!

 

Now I could carry on about texture and grain and the discernible differences and nuances between sorbet, sherbet, gelato and ice cream, but summer is too short for all that. So I suggest you use what you like best to make your ice cream, whether it is a newfangled, top-of-the-line, refrigerated ice cream maker or an ever-so-charming hand-crank machine. If you’ve gotten a bunch of juicy fruit and have a little time to spend cranking that churn with your friends and family, try inventing your own signature ice cream flavor … we’ll have our spoons ready.

 

 

Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies

 

Makes about 4 cups

 

4 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

6 egg yolks

1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies

 

Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.

 

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

 

Chef’s Note: I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.

 

 

Chocolate Mint Candies

 

Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy

 

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.

 

Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.

 

To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

 

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey. 

Posted by Kathy on August 6th, 2009  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Preserving the Flavor

Check out this fun class I will be teaching on August 20th from 3-6pm about all things canning, jamming and preserving! Click here for more info and how to buy tickets!

Posted by Kathy on August 4th, 2009  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

Summer fun keeps going—travel, travel, travel and lots of tasty projects!

It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, with tons of travel … and a lot of fun, too. First off this month, I headed to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans for the biggest cocktail-and-spirit event of the year. Attending were world-famous experts, mixologists, liquor companies, writers, bloggers, filmers and cocktail geeks. The week-long event featured lots of exciting seminars—from trends and innovation to the art of shaking and a multitude of spirit tastings—all day long. There were even “carnivorous” cocktails—these are meat-inspired, such as fat-washed liquors: bacon bourbon and Serrano ham bone infused reposado tequila (for an excellent account of this, check out “Waiter? There’s a Pig in My Cocktail!”) In between and after all the learning was lots more drinking and dining … laissez les bon temps rouler!

Eating highlights included a “spirited dinner” at GW Fins, where industry tiki gods Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Martin Cate paired fantastic “Miehana” and “Pupule” cocktails with a very tasty menu. See my whole account of the dinner on my Amazon blog. We just felt sorry for whoever had to core out all those pineapples!

Other dining highlights included muffulettas and Pimm’s Cups at the Plymouth House and then dinner at Cochon, one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans. Chef Link and partners, by the way, have now opened Cochon Butcher, which my Seattle compatriots stopped by for giant tasty sandwiches on the way to catch their flights … Darn! I missed that one! But before Cameo, my “partner in crime” and chef at the Food Studios, and I headed out for our flight, we joined friends at Stanley’s by Jackson Square for super-yummy Eggs Benedict. I had the Eggs Stanley with fried oysters; others had theirs with soft-shelled crabs and boudin sausage—all topped off with Cajun hollandaise. D’lish!

Saturated and satiated, I headed back home—just to turn around 4 days later and head back to NOLA to judge the Great American Seafood Cook-off! Another day of flying, running to my room at the Royal Sonesta (which by the way is a fantastic hotel located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter—check out the concierge level for the ultimate royal treatment), then jumping in a cab to go dine some more! The dine-around that the Cook-off organizers planned started with a parade (or “second line” as they call it in the Crescent City) down the street with a dancing chef on stilts, horns playing good old New Orleans jazz and glittery gals dressed up in crawfish and crab suits. First, we marched to Cochon, where we snacked on boudin balls and fried oysters that were superb! Then we hopped a bus to our remaining destinations; chefs, judges and sponsors were all aboard, including celebrity judge Sig Hansen from the Deadliest Catch. Our bus MC was Ewell Smith, who entertained us and started the “state singing competition”—he challenged each participating state to sing, karaoke-style. Oddly enough there was no entrant from Washington State; California, Oregon and Alaska represented the West Coast. (Entrants were sent by governors—so what’s up with this, Christine Gregoire??? Kind of embarrassing that we had no Washington State chef in the competition!) And by the way, the entire dine-around trip was escorted by New Orleans’ finest police bike brigade! Hey, where else will the cops let you pose on their bikes with them??? Then back on the bus, where I was bullied and peer-pressured to sing for Washington State. So out popped the song that longtime associate Ann Manly and I wrote years ago for an “oyster fashion show,” “In Your Oyster Bonnet”; it’s even been published! Okay, I sang on the microphone and, I am sure, made a total fool of myself—but it’s the Big Easy, right?

kathyneworleans cop bike 

Our police escort and I … watch out, New Orleans!

 

The big Cook-off finals were the next day, with glitterati judges such as chef Michel Richard and Chicago Tribune food editor Carol Haddix. Thirteen chefs from 13 different states were setting up; the tension was mounting as they competed for the bragging rights to be Great American Seafood Cook-off winner. For the next few hours, we tasted and nibbled a new dish every 10 minutes!! I tried to just take tiny bites of each—but it was hard to do! New Orleans PBS was there filming our every move, bite and comment … so look for the special on your local PBS station over the next few months.

So, after hours of eating, the scores were tallied and the big moment had arrived! 1st place went to Louisiana—Tory McPhail from Commander’s Palace was crowned King of American Seafood. (He grew up in Washington State, so we have a little NW connection to the winner!) 2nd place went to New Jersey—Peter Fischbach, from New Jersey Institute of Technology; and 3rd place to Alaska—Patrick Hoogerhyde from WildFin Seagrill. Congrats to all!

 

But enough with the touring—I’m a bit traveled out. On to the home front …

My book Sips & Apps is doing really well, so, thank you, everyone, for your support! It has been getting super-great coverage on blogs and websites galore. One of my favorite interviews was actually for a piece on lemon meringue pies—my favorite! How does this tie into the cocktail book? For Sips & Apps I created a dessert cocktail called the Lemon Meringue Puff, which truly does taste like a real lemon meringue pie. So now you can have your pie and drink it, too! Check out the fun article on Love To Know.com. Also the sassy Strawberry Shag seems to have struck a chord out there somewhere because even one of my friend’s mothers called me to say she saw it featured in their local newspaper. It just goes to show you America loves its strawberries! The recipe features sliced fresh strawberries lightly macerated in a touch of powdered sugar and then shaken with fresh basil, vodka and fresh lemon juice with a splash of soda for a refreshing fizz. Check out the recipe on my Amazon “Al Dente” blog while local strawberries are still in the summer markets.

            If you would like receive an autographed copy of Sips & Apps for yourself or for a gift, just order it from our website and let us know who you want it made out to. You can also call us at the Studios to arrange to come by and pick up a copy.

 

Also, it’s never to early to start thinking about fall and holiday parties. We have a couple of fun events you can book for company team building—or just for fun—centered around Sips & Apps—because that’s really the way we all like to eat and drink these days, right?

Our Sips & Apps event packages are:

  • A cocktail-and-appetizer party for from 25–125 guests, featuring the tastiest sips matched with the perfect apps. Themed for a fall or a holiday event, this package includes a copy of Sip & Apps, signed by Kathy, for each guest; you can use the books as an invitation or give them as a party favor.
  • An interactive cocktail class for up to 30 guests, where Kathy will demonstrate the how-to’s of the perfect cocktail party and get you shaking like a pro!

For more information or to schedule your next event, contact Jill Benson at info@kathycasey.com or call (206) 784-7840.

 

What’s happening at Dish D’Lish? I’ve been stopping by my SeaTac airport shops a lot lately what with all this crazy travel! Here’s one of my favorites that will make your in-flight neighbor passengers totally jealous. I call it the “D’Lish Happy Hour Snack Combo”: pick up … a fresh pear (be sure to get a plastic knife to cut it up), hummus, goat cheese and chive spread, sexy olives, and a package of sidekick crackers—a tasty snack with a glass of on-board red wine.

            At our Ballard Dish D’Lish, we’ve been stirring up lots of tasty summer jams, including Strawberry Lavender and Strawberry Hibiscus (made with chef pal Brian Scheehser’s organic strawberries). Last but not least, our newest concoction is a preserve made with local dark and tart cherries, fresh ginger, lemon peel and yuzu—super-yummy over ice cream, on toast or with local cheeses! These confections will be available at the Dish D’Lish Ballard Café along with some other creative preserves to come as the season inspires us! And be sure to check out sous chef Travis Childers’ seasonal salads—featuring organic fruits from our urban garden in the back. And if you’re looking for a relaxing spot for lunch, our back garden patio is the perfect place to have a bite, sip a housemade soda and just chill.

Don’t forget our party t’go-go offerings either! We can whip them up for your next party—Mom’s Potato Salad, Ballard Baked Beans and Summer Greek Salad!

Also this summer, as the spokesperson for Columbia Winery and Covey Run wines, I’m continuing to cook up wonderful recipes to pair with their award winning Washington wines. Be sure to check out my recipes on Columbia Winery and Covey Run sites! On August 22nd I’ll be at Columbia Winery serving up some great appetizers that I have paired with my favorite wines and signing copies of my book! And be sure to check out more info on how to win a private cooking class with me! (Hear more about this on the radio air waves!)

 

Social media are alive and booming … yes, I have a Blackberry now!

If you’re a tweeter on Twitter, you can now follow me at kathycaseychef for all the latest foodie news and cocktail buzz. If you have sworn off tweeting, you can always check out my Sips & Apps Facebook fan page.

And for more recipes check out my companion blog to my KOMO radio spot, Dishing with Kathy Casey. Catch me every Thursday on Seattle’s KOMO Radio AM 1000 or 97.7 FM—or hear it streaming live—at 4:15 and 6:15 PM Pacific Time.

I’ve been hearing from a lot of you, too, that you miss my Seattle Times “Dishing” column. Well, get on over to the Dishing blog—my fun stories and recipes are just a click away ;-)

 

And last but not least I want to welcome Keith Waldbauer, our new associate mixologist at the Liquid Kitchen, the beverage arm of my business. Keith is a talented barman and we’re thrilled to have him working with us as a consultant. He is also vice president of the Washington Bartenders Guild. You can find him stirring it up at Seattle’s Vessel bar on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights—unless he is with me shaking up drinks for clients in other parts of the world. (In September, we’re off to Dubai and Abu Dhabi!)

 

Wishing you a d’lish summer – Kathy

 

©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on August 4th, 2009  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Newsletter, Recent Posts
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