Archive for January, 2010
I loved being in the United Arab Emirates so much on my first trip that I couldn’t stay away much longer! This past December (I left on Christmas Day!), with my husband John this time, we flew into Dubai and headed to the fabulous Fairmont Abu Dhabi, where I opened their new Chameleon Bar & Night Club on New Year’s Eve! The club is amazing—all decked out in black, gold and mirrors, with an imported London DJ spinning hip tunes. This bar is FABOO! I had a great time creating the cocktail menu. From the plethora of incredible fresh fruit juices delivered daily to the fabulous selection of spirits, it was a creative playground. The menu features over 22 drinks … my favorite being the Bollywood! Tanqueray Ten gin, fresh mint, fresh pineapple and lime juices and a housemade light curry syrup—shaken and served up with a poof of coconut rose foam and a sprinkling of red edible gold flakes … Bling Bling!!
But to get there, we had to go through making a lot of drinks … and I mean a lot. Hey, it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it! The crew as always was amazing! What a wonderful group of guys to work with!
And while I was there, CNN contacted me … woo hoo! So, armed with my mini computer and SKYPE, I did a super-fun live piece on 2010 cocktail trends—straight from the hotel bar! Check out the CNN link here.
The Chameleon Bar Crew Ashwin, the Chameleon Manager
At the hotel’s Bliss Floral Studio—love the Sparkly Stools and the pink of course!
We opened with great success on New Year’s Eve and, whew, it was a long night. Bars there stay open much later than in the US.
The next day I got to relax a bit. Yes, it was New Year’s, so that called for room service breakfast (delicious Arabic breakfast!) while watching the camel races on TV—to me, probably just as boring to watch as football … but I guess it’s relaxing?
Arabic Room Service Breakfast Finally, I see a camel!
After we got the bar open and up and running, we headed into Abu Dhabi to be total tourists. We visited the Cultural Heritage Center, which covers local products such as dates and fish, crafts, and exhibits of traditional living quarters; there is a fun museum as well … all free to visitors! The view from the heritage center across the water is amazing—and, speaking of the water, it is super, super clear blue. And the local fish is absolutely delicious! I loved it—prepared just simply seared or in Indian curries. (And, yes, I ate the best Indian food I have ever had!)
John at the Cultural Center in Abu Dhabi Pedestrian Crossing Sign!
John and I packed back with us some fantastic spices, dried fruits, dates and a giant Shisha pipe (yes, they looked at this weird in Security) and some great Middle Eastern dance music … along with some hard-to-find Cuban rum! and an amazing genever gin from our stop at Amsterdam … sounds like a party to me!
From Arabic to Lebanese to Iranian, we had our fill of some fantastic cuisine this trip—and I can’t say enough about all the wonderful people there. It’s nice to know we have so many wonderful new friends on the other side of the world. Thank you, Facebook!
Ok—now moving on to the serious stuff … DANCING!
I’m in Seattle Dances! And I need your votes!
Watch out, Seattle! I’m putting on my dancing shoes and kicking up some trouble! The Plymouth Housing Group in partnership with Hallie Kuperman and the Century Ballroom is holding their own “Dancing with the Stars” Seattle version, called Seattle Dances! From now until the big event on Saturday, March 13, six other Seattle celebrities and I will each be trying to get in as many practices as we can. Winners are chosen by pledge votes as well as a People’s Choice award at the event.
You can vote for me online and help Plymouth Housing—an amazing charity I am proud to be dancing for! Or buy a seat and check out the action yourself!
Miami Here We Come!
This next weekend we’re heading to Miami for the Cheers Beverage Show. We’ll be presenting on Bitters in the Bar and Innovation in Beverage. I’ll also be featured as a celebrity bartender and shaking up a tasty Manhattan Bellini … (ri)1 rye, peach puree, red vermouth, my housemade harvest bitters—topped with a splash of Chandon Champagne and garnished with a gold gilded cherry!
Mark Your Calendars for Some Tasty Fun!
Thursday February 4th
I will be headed to the Uptown Met Market (located near the Space Needle), making a special appearance for the “bachelor” singles mixer event. The event will be featuring some of my appetizers (from my book Sips & Apps) served in the event room and I will be signing my books at the front kiosk from 6–8 pm. Come by and say hi!
Saturday February 6th
I’ll be shaking up a signature cocktail for the Seattle Hotel Association’s 13th Annual “Evening of Hope” Gala. The benefit event supports the Pike Place Market Foundation. Purchase a ticket and enjoy a fabulous dinner, a silent and live auction, a bedtime- fashion show, and some fantastic travel opportunities. I hope to see you there!
Sunday February 28th
I will be headed to the Seattle Food & Wine Event at the Seattle Exhibition Center from 1–5 pm. You can catch me at the Columbia Winery booth, where the first 300 people will get free copies of my Northwest Table cookbook! It will be a day of signing books and chatting wine! Purchase your tickets now and spread the word!
March 27th – 28th
Pencil in your calendars the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival—where my team and I will be stirring up all kinds of fun! Chowder cook-off’s, clamming—and there’s rumor of a Clam Fashion Show, too. More info to come—but mark the date for a weekend of small-town fun!
Here’s to cooking up lots of great fun in 2010!
January 23rd, 2010
I’m dancing and need your votes!
And it’s all for a great cause. Saturday, March 13, Seattle Dances! is Seattle’s own version of “Dancing with the Stars.” Put on by the Plymouth Housing Group in collaboration with Hallie Kuperman and the Century Ballroom. Proceeds from Seattle Dances! will go on to support Plymouth Housing Group’s cause and dedication to providing opportunities for the homeless and low-income people to improve their lives.
I’ll be dancing along with six other Seattle Celebs………(Joyce Taylor’s been practicing a lot I hear!). I’ll be doing the Charleston and promise to throw in a few fun suprises… you know I have to be a bit theatrical! I’ll also be shaking up the signature cocktail that evening too, to get things rolling.
You can buy tickets to see us dance live OR you can vote for me online now !
January 21st, 2010
It never seems to fail. I’ll be at a foodie event, dinner party or a swanky shindig somewhere — we will all be nibbling on the finest cuisine and patting our lips so sophisticated-like with our linen napkins — and what does the conversation turn to? a lot of the time — macaroni and cheese. And it certainly becomes quite a lively topic at that!
Here’s how the conversation goes: “Oh, yes, homemade is the best, but Stoffer’s is still pretty good sometimes — I can’t believe I’m saying that at this table!” “My mom used to make it from scratch with loads of sharp Tillamook Cheddar, but I looooooove it made with Cougar Gold… Have you had the lobster mac and cheese at so and so’s?
In fact tried-and-true old mac and cheese has come into its own. Don’t feel, that when crafting this classic that taking a lot of creative liberties is shunned. You could use almost any kind of pasta shape — bows, shells, spirals, penne. Fancy or not cheeses – but a lot of them! Then there are the add ins: bacon, sausage, fresh herbs, crab, roasted garlic, artichokes… a drizzle of truffle oil… the possibilities are endless!
My recipe is for a 4-cheese mac — penne pasta bound with a garlic and Parmesan white sauce, then tossed with loads of cheese — Jack, Cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan. It’s covered with fresh, herby, seasoned bread crumbs that get all nice and crunchy.
It’s more classic style – but jacked up a bit… it’s ooey gooey and d’lish and may be just the little bit of comfort we could all use this time of year.
Copyright © 2010 by Kathy Casey
4 Cheese “Ultra-Mac” With Herb Bread Crumbs
Generously serves 6 to 8
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 1/2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups whole milk or half-and-half*
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
1 pound dry Cavatappi or penne pasta
2 cups (1/2 lb.) grated four-cheese blend **
(available purchased or make your own blend up)
2 cups (1/2 lb.) grated cheddar cheese
Herb Bread Crumbs
3 cups packed, 1-inch French bread chunks
4 Tbsp. butter
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dry basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dry thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375°F.
To make bread crumbs: Place bread crumb ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until the bread becomes fine crumbs and is well mixed. Set aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for about 20 seconds; do not let garlic brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. While stirring vigorously with a whisk, add the milk. Whisk well. Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta per package directions until done. Drain well. In a very large bowl, mix together the pasta and sauce, then fold in the grated cheeses until well combined. Place mixture into a lightly pan-sprayed or buttered, 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with Herb Bread Crumbs and bake in a 375°F oven for about 30 -35 minutes, or until pasta is heated through, sides are slightly bubbling and top is golden brown.
* For an even richer macaroni and cheese substitute half & half for the milk.
** Four-, five- and six-cheese blends are available in most grocers’ dairy sections. If you wish to make your own grated cheese blend, try using a mixture of any of the following: Jack, mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti.
© 2010 Revised from Kathy Casey Favorites
January 15th, 2010
From Twitter friend @Lavesta who pens the blog Months of Edible Celebrations, below is a link to the most wonderful article on Pierre Franey; legendary NY Chef and great friend and collaborator with the New York Times’ Craig Claiborne. The story touts Chef Pierre Franey, as the grand father of all food bloggers, who was born on January 13, 1921.
I had the most fabulous opportunity to meet Pierre when I was invited to cook at Craig’s house in the East Hamptons for a feature article he wrote on me for the NY Times. Well it was my luck that the “assistant” was sick that day and so Craig’s neighbor Pierre came to help me that afternoon. WOW what an honor. That evening Pierre asked me to dinner with him… in the big city… to – go – to …La Cirque! What an evening for a young chef; greeted by the famed restaurant owner Sirio Maccioni, dining with Pierre Franey, and lavished with wine and delicious dishes …OMG it was an experience I will never forget. I also had the pleasure of dining with Pierre again on his birthday a few years later– so today though he is no longer with us … he is in my heart on this day he was born.
Read Lavesta’s blog on chef Pierre Franey here.
January 13th, 2010
If you missed the live show on KOMO AM 1000, you can listen to it again online.
When you haven’t seen the sun for days on end and last summer’s soft fruits are a distant memory, citrus can definitely brighten the winter blahs. Tangerines stuff our stockings at Christmas; I love the teeny tiny ones–sooo easy to peel and their segments so easy to pull apart. Orange marmalade brightens up our morning toast. I even love to adorn my dining table with a big, sunny bowl of bright lemons and tangerines.
For centuries citrus has had a medicinal role, too–fighting off winter colds, tarting up hot, brandy-laced toddies, and, combined with honey in lemon cough drops, soothing dry throats.
Citrus is so versatile, being totally edible from the juice to the flesh to the peel. Citrus is a perfect accouterment for those cutting down on sodium in their diets. A squeeze of lemon or lime can bring out the flavor of food just as salt does. The tart juice also brightens sauces or vinaigrettes, and a quick squeeze of lemon brings a bit of sunshine to a simple glass of water.
Citrus skin brings you its big-flavored zest to use in baking, marinades and dressings. Strips are twisted and swiped around the rim of martinis and Manhattans, the skin’s oils are used in extracts to flavor cakes and candies and cookies. Citrus peel is even delicious on its own; candied orange, lemon or grapefruit rinds make a nice little something to nibble on after a big dinner.
No longer just the generic “orange” to meet the lunchbox fruit obligation, a plethora of specialty citrus varieties is available during short seasons between September and mid-March or later. There are so many types nowadays that you can try a different one every week of the winter! You could even have a tasting.
I’ve included 2 recipes this week – both are tasty tasty! If you’re an oyster lover you’ll want to try my recipe for Oysters on the Half Shell with Citrus Splash- made with pink grapefruit and tangerine the splash really lets the oyster itself come through – even oyster purists will love this tangy bivalve adornment. And Orange Pound Cake with Macerated Oranges & Orange Flower Cream – incorporates everything orange in this lovely dessert … from zest to flesh to floral orange water!
And don’t forget those wonderful orange pomanders you used to make as a kid! Star with a nice thick-skinned orange – stick it with whole cloves until it is totally encased. Nothing brings back fonder scent memories than one of these hanging in my closet or sitting on a dresser. If you’ve never made one, you should. It provides a bit of aromatherapy, and sitting, poking in the cloves can be quite relaxing…
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey
Oysters On The Half Shell with Citrus Splash!
Splash makes 1 cup. It will top about 2-3 dozen oysters.
Sweet and tart bits of winter citrus are a terrific contrast to briny oysters.
When serving freshly shucked oysters on a buffet, lay them on pine or spruce boughs for a stunning presentation. Depending on your or your guests’ tastes, count from 4-5 oysters per person as a starter or 3-4 per person for a buffet.
Very fresh oysters in the shell
1 pink or ruby red grapefruit
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
tiny pinch red chili flakes (depending upon how hot you like)
To shuck and serve the oysters:
Rinse the oysters and scrub the shells with a vegetable brush to remove any debris. Refrigerate until ready to shuck. Right before serving, shuck the oysters, discarding the top shell and inspecting the oysters for any bits of broken shell, picking it out carefully. Set the oysters on a platter or individual plates spread with crushed ice and bits of pine or spruce boughs if using. Top each oyster with about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Citrus Splash and pass the remainder, or if serving buffet style set the Splash out in a small bowl so guests themselves can spoon a little over each oyster.
To make the citrus splash:
With a sharp knife peel grapefruit and tangerine just deep enough to expose the fruit, removing all white pulp. Section the citrus over a bowl to catch the juices, then finely chop fruit sections. Return fruit to the bowl and add remaining ingredients.
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Orange Pound Cake with Macerated Oranges & Orange Flower Cream
Note: remove the zest from the oranges for use in the cake before proceeding to make the macerated oranges. I like to use a microplaner for zesting the oranges or use a potato peeler and peel the orange part (zest) of the outside off /with no white pith. Then finely mince it.
Makes 6 servings
Macerated Oranges & Glaze
3 very large or 4 small oranges, (or use 2 regular oranges and 2 blood oranges for a spectacular look and taste)
2 Tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp orange flower water *
1 cup butter
2 Tbsp finely minced orange zest
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp orange flower water
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
To make the macerated oranges and the orange glaze:
Cut a thin slice off the ends of each orange, then holding the orange cut-side down on a cutting board, cut the rind off of the orange all the way around, using downwards cutting motions. After you have cut away all the rind from the oranges, slice them in 1/4-inch slices. Place the oranges in a large, shallow glass or stainless bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with the Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan combine the orange juice and sugar, bring to a boil over high heat and boil 1 minute. Let cool, then pour half of the orange syrup over the sliced oranges. Cover oranges with plastic wrap and let marinate refrigerated at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Reserve the remaining orange syrup for finishing the cake.
To make the orange cream:
In a chilled mixing bowl, mix together the cream, sugar and orange flower water. Whip the cream until it is just softly whipped and soft peaks are forming. Refrigerate until needed and rewhip slightly if needed before serving.
To make the cake:
With an electric mixer cream the butter and orange zest until very fluffy in a large bowl. Slowly add the sugar. Then continue creaming for 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at time until well beaten in, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Then add the vanilla, orange flower water and orange juice and combine. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed butter egg mixture. Mix only until just combined. Do not overmix at this point. Place the batter in a prepared (greased and floured) 1 1/2 quart (4 1/2-inch x 8 1/2-inch) loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then with a long wooden skewer poke cake at 1/2-inch intervals all over. Drizzle the cake, still in the pan, with the remaining half of the orange syrup. Let set at least 1 hour before serving.
To serve the dessert:
Slice a very thin slice of cake off both ends; eat it or save it for a snack. Then cut the cake into 12 even slices. On each of 6 large dinner plates arrange 2 of the cake slices, overlapping slightly. Divide the macerated oranges evenly over each plate of cake. Drizzle any juice around and over the cake slices. Dollop each serving with the Orange Cream.
* Orange flower water is available in Middle Eastern grocery stores and well-stocked supermarkets.
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
January 7th, 2010
Blogger and fellow foodie, Solange, writes a wonderful post about The BloggerAid Cookbook: Changing the Face of Famine. 100% of the proceeds generated from sales of this book will go to support World Food Programme’s School Meal’s project.
January 5th, 2010
Fun video for CNN about 2010 cocktail flavor trends, featuring drink recipes for my Green-Eye Daiquiri and Chameleon Club!
January 1st, 2010