Archive for September, 2011
Northwest cuisine is full of iconic flavors, and mussels are an integral part of the profile. I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to my love for these delicious bivalves, but I have a special soft spot for Puget Sound–grown Mediterranean mussels. This sweet plump variety is characterized by shiny black shells and easily removable beards. The mussels are super-quick to cook for an easy appetizer or dinner on the fly. Their season peaks in late summer to early fall—around the same time as tomatoes, says Jon Rowley, seafood guru to Taylor Shellfish.
Now, we know mussels are d’lish steamed in white wine, garlic and butter, but Mediterraneans in particular are extremely versatile. Showcase their big, bold flavor with a dish of Pale Ale Oven-Roasted Mussels. Toss them into a big cast-iron skillet with some local beer, garlic and rosemary, then pop the whole shebang in a very hot oven—instant one-bite apps with their own built-in spoons! Don’t forget some bread to soak up that tasty broth!
“Meds” are at their best right now. If you happen to be in Seattle, pick up some of these yummy Northwest favorites at Taylor Shellfish’s new store on Capitol Hill. Or plan a day trip and head out to beautiful Chuckanut Drive to their farm where they have a store on site and learn all there is to know about raising/harvesting mussels and other local treats straight from the Pacific.
Cook up some of these delicious mussels before their season is over! – Kathy
Pale Ale Oven-Roasted Mussels
Makes 4 servings as a shared appetizer, or 2 as a light entrée
2 pounds Mediterranean mussels, rinsed and debearded
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup NW beer, such as a pale ale
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small chunks, or olive oil
1 large rosemary sprig (optional)
Preheat an oven to 500°F. Toss the mussels, garlic, pepper flakes, tomatoes, and minced rosemary in a large bowl. Transfer to a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet with an ovenproof handle. Squeeze the lemon pieces over the mussels, then drop the pieces into the pan. Pour the beer over the mussels and scatter with the butter. Place the rosemary sprig in the center.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mussels are all open. Remove from the oven, and stir gently with a large spoon. Discard any mussels that do not open. Serve in the skillet, set on a hot pad or trivet—being sure to wrap the skillet handle with a cloth napkin or pot holder.
Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco
September 29th, 2011
Creative cocktails can come from all methods of inspiration. I made this particular cocktail for my dear friends who had their wedding in Tuscany. Rosemary and citrus play well together in both taste and aroma.
This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™ I make a Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop! Fresh rosemary pairs well with Moon Mountain Vodka and housemade limoncello as well as other ingredients. Before serving, rim your cocktail glass with rosemary sugar, made by drying fresh rosemary and sugar together then combining together in a food processor or great blender.
September 28th, 2011
From their long and storied history as snake oils and
medical panacea to their modern-day indispensability behind the bar of any good cocktail program, bitters have been there through the cocktail’s rise in popularity, fall during Prohibition and re-emergence as a key part of today’s thoughtfully-crafted cocktail. Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All by accomplished author Brad Thomas Parsons ushers the reader through the ups and downs of this flavorful favorite. This ultimate guide to the emerging, versatile world of bitters as a cocktail staple is sure to be an enduring resource for bartenders for years to come.
Continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.
September 27th, 2011
Join Seattle Magazine, Northwest Home Magazine and I for a faboo event this Wednesday, September 28th from 6:00pm – 7:30pm at the beautiful SieMatic Seattle Kitchen Studio. There will be a cocktail demo, a Signature Cocktail and tasty bites from my Sips & Apps. Stop by for a quick chat or get your book signed; make sure to buy your tickets today! Hope to see you there!
September 26th, 2011
Let’s face it. The tail end of summertime is upon us and the last thing you want to worry about is spending a lot of time inside cooking dinner. Firing up the grill is a great way to get outdoors; enjoy these last few days sunshine.
A great steak salad is the perfect, quick and easy weeknight meal; a delicious Washington Flat Iron Steak with hot off the grill, sweet onions and rich blue cheese atop a bed of crisp salad greens gets a tasty meal to the table in no time flat. Pair this up with a great glass of Washington wine, like Goose Ridge Winery’s StoneCap Merlot, to jazz dinner up.
And don’t turn off the grill just because dinner is done – desserts are that much sweeter when you add a little heat! Pineapples, pears… lots of fruit can benefit from a nice set of grill marks! Local, last of the season peaches lightly grilled, make a warm, decadent topping for angel food cake with a dollop of fresh whipped cream sweetened with a touch of local honey.
Bananas are especially d’lish prepared this way – skewer and grill until they’re nice and caramely, then serve over a couple of scoops of toasted coconut ice cream (dulce de leche is great too!) and drizzle with salted caramel for the perfect sweet treat!
So if you’re looking for something still-summery to serve up, keep the grill hot for just a few more days and grill up some back yard fun … accompanied by a glass of StoneCap wine! Cheers! – Kathy
To purchase StoneCap wines, visit StoneCap Wines or a well-stocked grocery store.
Grilled Washington Flat Iron Steak Salad with Sweet Onions & Blue Cheese
Makes 4 – 6 servings
1 1/2 lb flat iron steak
2 large sweet onions, sliced 1″ thick
salt & pepper
6 cups mixed greens
3 cups (about 1 small head) cut romaine lettuce
1 cup assorted cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
Make the vinaigrette first: In a small bowl mix together the mustard, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then stir in the herbs. Refrigerate until needed.
To grill the meat: Preheat a grill to high.
Drizzle the steak and onions with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the steak to desired doneness. Remove to a plate to rest. Meanwhile, grill the onions till tender and nicely grill marked.
To make and serve the salad: In a large bowl, toss the greens with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and place on a platter or divide between individual plates. Scatter with the tomatoes and grilled onions. Slice the steak thinly on a bias against the grain of the meat. Lay the steak slices over the salad, drizzle with the remaining dressing and scatter with blue cheese.
Recipe ©2011 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Grilled Banana Sundaes with Toasted Coconut Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 4 servings
4 bamboo chopsticks or 10-inch bamboo skewers
2 large ripe but firm bananas
vegetable oil, as needed
1 pint coconut ice cream
1/2 cup high quality purchased caramel sauce mixed with a big pinch of sea salt
sweetened whipped cream (optional)
sundae goodies and garnishes: chopped fresh pineapple, chopped toffee, edible flowers or toasted coconut
Soak chopsticks or skewers in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel bananas and cut each crosswise into 2 pieces. Carefully thread each piece lengthwise onto a skewer. Lightly brush bananas with vegetable oil on each side.
On a preheated, medium-high to high grill, cook bananas for about 10 – 12 minutes total, turning with a spatula every 4 minutes or so, to get caramelized grill marks on them. Bananas should be nice and soft when cooked.
Serve atop scoops of ice cream in large bowls. Let guests finish topping their sundaes with sauce, whipped cream, fruit, toffee and garnishes.
Recipe ©2011 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
September 22nd, 2011
Homemade syrups are easy to make and a great way to include fresh ingredients in tasty treats like ice cream or in a fantastic cocktail, like the pre-prohibition Clover Club cocktail.
This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™ I make a Clover Thyme Club using a DIY Raspbery Syrup! Using the Vitamix Barboss Advance, I blend fresh raspberries, sugar and water then reduce it down ’til its nice and syruppy. For the cocktail, the fresh syrup plays well with gin, lemon juice, fresh thyme and egg whites for this frothy and herbalacious libation!
September 22nd, 2011
Seattle is always right on beat with the latest trends in the food world and one of the greatest examples of that is our flourishing food truck culture. These mobile feasts are popping up all over the city, offering up everything from Cuban (Snout & Co.) to donuts (Street Donuts) for the discerning foodie on the go. Food trucks have become so popular that there are websites and mobile apps specifically dedicated to tracking your favorite truck!
If the prospect of finding one that appeals to you seems daunting, don’t worry! The Mobile Food Rodeo is this Saturday, September 17th from 12PM – 7PM at 1600 Armory Way, behind Whole Foods – Interbay! This event will gather food trucks, including some of my favorites like Maximus Minimus, Skillet, Molly Moon and more, from all over the city (and a few from our neighbors in Portland) in one spot… a foodie’s dream. There are tons of different varieties of food represented from Indian, Mexican and everything in between to sweeter treats like ice cream and cupcakes – there is literally something for everyone!
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will be in attendance to show his support for recent legislations passed that will benefit the food truck community. I’ll be there as a Food Sheriff (complete with a badge and a cowboy hat!) to help judge the Wagon Awards Showdown! Participating food trucks will be competing for top honors – The Wagon Wheel (Best in Show), Most Creative Dish, Best New Dish (Rodeo Exclusive)… just a few of the categories my fellow sheriffs and I will have the pleasure of awarding!
Tickets are for sale online at www.strangertickets.com, or at the door with a portion of all proceeds going directly to Solid Ground, a local organization dedicated to building a strong community.
I hope to see you there! And let me know what some of your favorite food trucks are, too!
September 15th, 2011
Ice cream and milkshakes are delicious all year round. Same can be said with a fantastic bourbon. Why not combine both into decadent cold treat?
This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™ I make a Spirited Chocolate Covered Cherry Milkshake! Using the Vitamix Barboss Advance, I blend in chocolate cherry ice cream, brownie bites, Bulleit Bourbon and cherries and top it off with a chocolate sauce, chocolate whipped cream and a bourbon soaked maraschino cherry. Remember, adults only for this treat!
September 14th, 2011