Archive for February, 2012

Sip Northwest Magazine

Here’s a sneak peek at one of my columns for the spring issue of Sip Northwest Magazine. Try out one of these beer cocktail recipes for your next party: the Cascadian CaipBEERinha and the Harvey Weissbanger.

Add comment February 28th, 2012

Hearty Root Vegetables

The cold weather months make us crave heartier foods… and root vegetables are definitely hearty. They are versatile in flavor, texture and application – as well as budget-friendly and a great source for complex-carbohydrates!

Rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets are all part of this delicious group.

Root Veggies
A great crop of root veggies!
(Photo from CookWithWhatYouHave.com)

Roasted Beets are amazing and star in my recipe with an Orange Cumin Glaze. Another option is to roast up a bunch of beets and have them ready to add into salads.

Turnips and carrots mash well together in a root vegetable side dish. And I personally love rutabagas roasted with chicken for a Sunday night supper.

The often overlooked parsnip is featured in my Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup paired up with chevre and walnut croutons. Pour yourself a glass of Washington wine and you’re all set for a cozy meal.

Fill up with some hearty root veggies! –Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Cumin Glaze
Makes about 6 servings.

5 large beets (about 2 lb.)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsps butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 Tbsp finely chopped orange zest
2 Tbsps chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the beets and leave root untrimmed. Place beets on a large sheet of foil and seal like a package. Place foil packet on a baking pan and roast in preheated oven until very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Poke beets to make sure they are tender.

As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and slice into ¼-inch slices.

In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, cumin, vinegar , honey and cornstarch. Stir until cornstarch is well incorporated.

Place liquid mixture in a large, non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking – while adding the  butter and salt. Bring to a boil and add the sliced beets. Cook, turning beets as necessary, until they are hot and nicely glazed. Place on a serving platter or in large, shallow bowl.

Mix together the walnuts, orange zest and parsley and sprinkle over the beets.

Chef’s Notes:
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: Just roast, peel and slice the beets ahead of time. This can be done up to 3 days in advance. Then finish the rest of the recipe procedure per instructions.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre & Walnut Crostini
Makes 6 servings

4 cups 1/2-inch-sliced peeled parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsps butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth (I used packaged organic broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Croutons
6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsps chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Garnish: thinly sliced fresh chives and/or celery leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

First, toast the bread for the croutons: Lay the bread on a baking sheet, brush slices lightly with oil, and toast in the preheated oven for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before and keep croutons in a tightly closed container after they cool.)

Toss parsnips and olive oil together in a bowl to coat evenly. Spread out on a baking sheet (you can reuse the one used for the bread), and roast till golden and totally tender, about 30 minutes.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and celery until very tender, about 3 minutes; do not brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds more. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth, cream and roasted parsnips and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or low, to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and cayenne. In small batches, puree mixture in a blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Return soup to pan and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

To serve the soup and finish the crostini:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cheese on the croutons, then top each one with a half-tablespoon of nuts. Press in slightly and bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is warmed.

Meanwhile, heat the soup, stirring often, over medium heat till hot, making sure it does not stick on the bottom. Serve the hot soup in warm bowls. Top with chives or celery leaf and serve a warm goat cheese crouton on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment February 23rd, 2012

Oyster Time

Clear uncontaminated waters are pivotal in growing high-quality oysters, especially in the Pacific Northwest. The mollusks filter feed gallons of water a day and gain their subtle distinctive flavors from their environment.

Another factor in raising these delectable bi-valves is the water temperature. Did you know that the meat becomes tastier and firmer as the temperature drops? Who knew!

Oysters are best eaten during the cold months when the waters are crisp. Pacific Northwest seafood “guru” Jon Rowley says, “You can tell it’s oyster time when the skies turn oyster grey.”

Pacific Northwest oysters range in size from the tiny Olympia (great for oyster virgins) to the extra-large Pacific (good for frying). Smaller oysters, like my favorite, the Kumamoto, are perfect for slurping.

Oyster_Kumo_Group
Kumamoto Oysters
(Photo from Taylor Shellfish)

Oyster purists say there is never a better way to eat raw oysters than unadorned — MAYBE with a squirt of lemon.  For the uninitiated oyster-slurper, this can be a bit scary.  Don’t worry because I have some great ideas to ease you into this.

If you’re brand new to enjoying oysters raw, I have a bevy of simple sauces that you can make that will not mask their delicious flavor. From my Fresh Cocktail Sauce to my Champagne Mignonette Ice, you will love raw oysters in no time.

Don’t fret if raw is not your thing. My Baked Oysters with Savory Mushroom Herb Crust recipe is just for you!

Whether you shuck’em at home or enjoy them cooked or raw at restaurants (such as one of my favorites, the Walrus & the Carpenter in Ballard) get your oysters while the skies are grey.

So get shuckin’ and enjoy! -Kathy

Fresh Cocktail Sauce
Set bowl of Cocktail sauce in the center of a platter of just shucked oysters. Guests can top their oysters with as little or as much as they like.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups ripe tomatoes cut in 1/4″ dice
2 Tbsps very finely minced celery
1 medium, very finely minced shallot (about 2 tablespoons)
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot prepared horseraddish
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco (or more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp celery seed

Gently mix together all ingredients.  Chill well before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Champagne Mignonette Ice
Makes about 2 cups ice, enough to top 5 to 6 dozen oysters

3/4 tsp black peppercorns
1 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp very finely minced lemon zest
2 Tbsps minced shallot
1/2 cup Brut Champagne

Prepare the mignonette ice the day before or up to 3 days in advance. Enclose the peppercorns between pieces of plastic wrap and crush well with a heavy pot or mallet (or use a mortar and pestle). In an 8-inch square freezer-proof glass casserole dish or stainless-steel bowl, combine the pepper with the remaining ice ingredients and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, remove from the freezer and stir the mixture with a fork. The mixture should start becoming slushy after about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When the mixture is icy and completely raked into tiny ice crystals, you can stop the stirring process. Let the mixture freeze overnight, then break up the ice crystals with a fork right before serving.

Serve the ice in a small bowl; guests can spoon a small spoonful over the oysters.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Baked Oysters with Savory Mushroom Herb Crust
Make sure to use a hearty-textured bread such as Italian or French style – to provide the desired crumb consistency; avoid soft, airy loaves.

Makes 2 dozen medium oysters on the half-shell

2 cups packed diced firm textured rustic bread
1 cup coarse chopped mushrooms
3 Tbsps cold butter, cut small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2  tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup (1 oz wt) high quality, shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 dozen medium oysters (3 1/2″ long) in the shell

Place bread cubes and mushrooms in food processor.  Add remaining ingredients, except oysters, and process 30 seconds, or until particles are well chopped and pea-like in texture.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Shuck oysters, cutting muscle but leaving oyster in the deep shell.  Cover each oyster loosely with 1 rounded tablespoon bread crumb-mushroom mixture, covering entire surface of the oyster.

Arrange oysters on baking sheet and place on middle shelf of oven.  Bake 6 – 8 minutes till topping is golden.  Time carefully — they can overcook and dry out quickly!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment February 16th, 2012

Chocolate on the Beach Festival

Chocolate lovers, make you mark your calendar! The 5th Annual Chocolate on the Beach Festival is set for February 24th – 26th in Seabrook, a fun beach town on the Washington coast! Lots of fun for the entire family from bake sales to specialty chocolate vendors and crafts. KOMO News Radio’s Art Sanders will even be judging a chocolate recipe contest, yum!  Filled with chocolatey goodness, this weekend event will be d’lish! For more information, check out their website.

February 10th, 2012

Delicious Kale

Kale has always been one of those polarizing foods: it hasn’t always been on the top of the shopping list.  But the versatile green is making a comeback, not just in the health-food community!

This hippy/hipster green is quickly gaining popularity. It’s loaded with nutrients, minerals and lots of fiber; is budget friendly; and is abundant at farmers markets.

Kale
On my recent grocery adventure, kale for a steal of a price!

As a side dish, kale tastes wonderful when sautéed with garlic. It can also add a rich, hearty element to soups and stews.

Kale seems to be the chef’s “new menu darling”, making appearances in a variety of forms. One of my faves is Capital Hill’s Skillet Café’s Kale Caesar – now that is some fiber for you!

One dish that I love to make is my oh-so-good-for-you Pasta with Black Kale (also know as lacinato) Garlic and Lemon (I like to make it with Tinkyáda rice pasta for a gluten-free alternative). It’s perfect to whip up for a flavorful, quick and easy weeknight meal.

Whether you’re looking to add something new to your meals or looking for a very hearty green, pick up some kale at your local grocer and get cooking! -Kathy

Wheat-Free Pasta with Black Kale, Garlic and Lemon
Makes 4 entrée or 8 side-dish servings

1 12-ounce package Tinkyáda brown rice penne pasta
3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 large bunch organic black (dinosaur) kale, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced or grated lemon zest
3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano (optional)

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until just al dente; start checking the pasta at about 4 – 5 minutes. As soon as it is al dente, drain well and place in a bowl toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the kale and cook, stirring often, for about 4-6 minutes until limp. Then add the garlic and cook about 3-4 more minutes, stirring often until the garlic is soft and the kale is well cooked, tender, and some pieces are getting a bit crispy. Add the broth, and cook, stirring, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta. Then add the lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and cheese if using. Toss the pasta well and serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment February 10th, 2012

Tales of the Cocktail on Tour: Vancouver

It’s almost here! Tales of the Cocktail is coming back up to the Pacific Northwest from February 12th – 15th! Cocktail enthusiasts, spirit brands and mixologists will be in Vancouver to celebrate the city’s emerging cocktail culture and give a small taste of what’s in store at this summer’s 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail® in New Orleans. Held at the prestigious Fairmont Pacific Rim, this will be one of the most libatious events in the Northwest!

This event is open to the public but you’ll need to get all-exclusive festival passes soon! This pass gives guests full access to all Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour events including seminars, tasting rooms, parties and more, each featuring some of the biggest names in mixology from Canada and around the world. You can buy tickets here.

If you do attend, check out this Tales of the Cocktail Survival Guide in the Seattle Weekly!

Add comment February 9th, 2012

Hearts a Flame Valentine Dessert

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I thought I’d share a few loving ideas and tips.

These days a lot of people like to make “reservations” for their dinner, which can be a great idea. Everyone wants that 7:00 pm time so remember to get your reservations sorted out early!

IMG_3464
Sweets for your sweety!

If dining out isn’t your style, you can always make a SIMPLE dinner at home for your honey. Let me stress the easy – you want to spend time with each other, not glued to the stove!

Whether you’re headed out or eating in – try wowing your sweetheart at home with an AMAZING dessert, made with all your burning love – a Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart!

Flaming Dessert
Flaming meringue!
(Photo from Living 2 Eat)

This can be made up to one day ahead and then finished off right before serving. Cut a  Devil’s Food Cake (you can buy it if you must) into a heart, top it with a dome of chocolate cherry ice cream and then cover in a fluffy meringue (special tip: you can freeze ahead at this point, if not preparing the day of).

When ready to serve, give the meringue a quick golden toasting in the oven. Once out of the oven, drizzle it with rum and carefully light it. Be sure to pay careful attention to the safety details here – AND don’t get too carried away with the flame.

Here’s to a d’lish Valentine’s Day with your honey! -Kathy

Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart
This actually makes enough for four, so when serving for two, just freeze any leftovers for later nibbling. Also, cut cake into a heart or another cute design if desired.

1 8-inch high-quality Devil’s Food chocolate cake layer, homemade (recipe follows) or purchased, trimmed to a 5-inch heart (reserve cake trimmings for later snacks)
1 pint chocolate cherry ice cream (I like Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia)
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp 151 rum
High-quality chocolate sauce (optional)

Place trimmed cake on a large freezer-to-oven plate, pie pan turned upside down, or other metal bakeable tray or plate.

Soften ice cream slightly and cut away the container. Turn out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Drape the ice cream with another large piece of plastic wrap and mold the ice cream into a dome shape, 5 inches in diameter at the base. Place ice cream on the trimmed cake and immediately place in freezer while making the meringue. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 week in advance. Thoroughly wrap the cake and ice cream with plastic and keep frozen.)

To make the meringue: In a grease-free mixer bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until just barely getting peaky. Then beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy.

Remove the cake from the freezer, remove the plastic and place on baking tray. With clean hands, pile the meringue on the frozen cake, covering all surfaces and swirling and making cute peaks in the meringue with your fingertips. Immediately place the cake back in the freezer, uncovered, and keep frozen until ready to serve. (This step can be done up to 1 day in advance.)

Note: Be sure the cake is frozen for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

Serve and flame the dessert: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place cake in the oven for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until meringue is nicely browned all over and meringue tips are golden browned.

Bring to the table immediately and place on a trivet. Flame immediately: place 151 rum in a metal ladle or large spoon and warm it over a candle. Then light the rum and carefully pour it over the cake. (Be careful not to dribble any 151; it is on fire!) When the flames go out, cut the cake in wedges and serve on plates drizzled or decorated with chocolate sauce.

Chef’s Note: The trick is to keep the whole thing really well frozen before baking the meringue in the oven. Leftover cake can be re-frozen. For serving 4 people, use the entire 8-inch cake layer and double the ice cream and meringue amounts.

Devil’s Food Cake
Makes 1 8-inch round or square cake layer

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsps (1/2 stick) salted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
6 Tbsps sour cream
2 Tbsps whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round or square cake pan. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking powder.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed, then turn mixer up to medium and mix until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick poked in cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the side of pan and turn cake out onto a rack to cool thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment February 3rd, 2012


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