Posts from June, 2013

Grilling

It’s time to get outdoors and grill up some summertime goodness. Think juicy burgers to crowd pleasing hot dogs and of course mouth-watering steaks! But don’t forget to get creative – grilling isn’t just for meat!

FF_SummerGrilling_PRINTCOPY
Don’t forget your Grilling ABC’s either (Always Be Careful)!
(Infographic courtesy of Foster Farms)

I love to grill pita bread to toss in Greek Grilled Pita Salad. It’s chock full of vine-ripened tomatoes, Walla Walla sweet onions, crunchy cucumbers, crumbled feta, and tasty black olives. Yum!

Greek Grilled Pita Salad
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Asparagus, zucchini and thick sliced eggplant cook up perfectly over an open flame and portabella mushrooms are all great to soak up that d’lish smoky hit only a grill can provide. (And I love my grilled veggies drizzled with a garlicky herb balsamic vinaigrette.)

Then there’s the Classic Bruschetta mmmmmmm … Thick slices of local rustic bread are so good rubbed with cloves of fragrant garlic then topped with a mixture of chopped peak of the season tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Grilled Bruschetta
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Don’t forget about dessert! While your grill is still hot, and you’re enjoying dinner with your guests, toss some fruit skewers on the grill. Skewer up hearty fruits like peaches, pears, apricots, pineapple and bananas. Grill’em till warm and give them nice grill marks then serve over ice cream drizzled with salted caramel – yum!

So get outside and grill up what you can! -Kathy

Greek Grilled Pita Salad
Makes 8 cups — serves 4 as an entrée or 6 – 8 as a starter or accompaniment

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 large, 7-inch-diameter, pitas — the kind that don’t have pockets
2 large, vine-ripe tomatos, cut in wedges (about 2 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced, Walla Walla Sweet or red onion
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

Pre-heat grill.

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, pepper flakes, garlic, salt, cheese and oregano. Set aside.

Place whole pitas on hot grill and cook on each side for about 1 1/2 minutes or until nice grill marks are made and pitas are toasty. Remove and cut each pita in half and then into 1-inch strips.

Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, parsley and grilled pita strips to bowl of vinaigrette and toss together well. Serve immediately.

Note: This salad is best served right after tossing. You can also add grilled shrimp or chicken to it for a nice summer entrée salad.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Classic Bruschetta
Use ripe summer tomatoes in this tasty appetizer.

Serves 8 – 10

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped vine-ripe tomatoes (about 2 – 3 medium tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 loaf of rustic artisan bread
1peeled garlic clove
fresh ground black pepper

Heat up your grill or barbecue to a medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl toss together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic and salt, and set aside.

If using a large “fat” loaf, cut with a serrated knife into six 1/2-inch slices and then slice each piece in half crosswise, to make 12 pieces. If using a baguette-style loaf, cut 12 1/2-inch slices from the loaf. (Serve any remaining bread with dinner). Brush both sides of bread with remaining olive oil, and grill on each side until lightly marked or toasted. Rub each piece with a garlic clove.
Place on a platter and immediately top with reserved tomato mixture. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 27th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, salads

Onions

Onions. You either love’em or hate’em. As a member of the Allium family (alongside garlic and leeks), there are tons of varieties to choose from depending on your flavor preferences from local Walla Walla sweet onions to common white and yellow varieties; red onions, green onions, chives, and shallots. They’re great roasted, pickled, grilled and raw – ask any onion lover!


Walla Walla sweet onion!
(Photo from www.SweetOnions.org)

Maybe you don’t like onions because they invariably end up making you cry. Fair enough, but I have a secret for no-tears chopping – onion goggles! They look a little silly when wearing and chopping away, but they have always kept me tear-free while dicing onions for my next tasty dish!

Also, another easy tip is to chill the onions before cutting and breathe through your mouth while cutting – it kinda helps to avoid the waterworks.

Ready to chop away? Perfect! Try making my tasty 5-Onion Soup! It’s jam-packed with its namesake 5 onions or how about a batch of my Blushing Pickled Red Onions. They are as pretty as they are tasty, and make an excellent topping for burgers, sandwiches, or on an antipasto plate – yum!

So no more tears – pick up some versatile and delicious onions! –Kathy

5-Onion Soup
This recipe is very decadent. It is a lovely starter for an elegant dinner party.

Makes about 10 servings.

2 large leeks
1 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium white onion, cut into large chunks
4 shallots
6 cloves fresh garlic
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (or substitute olive oil)
1 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt
Thinly sliced fresh chives for garnishing

Coarsely chop the leeks, discarding the tough green parts, and rinse them well to remove sand.

In two batches, process the leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped but not mushy. (Do not overprocess.)

Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Slowly sauté the onions for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until they just turn a bit golden. Stir in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, or until golden in color and rich in flavor. Add the cream and simmer the soup another 30 minutes.

Mix the brandy and cornstarch and whisk into the simmering soup. Add the white pepper, then season with salt to taste. (The amount of salt needed will vary, depending on whether you used homemade stock or canned broth.) Simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with chives.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Blushing Pickled Red Onions
These are great on sandwiches, served with grilled meats or alongside an antipasto platter.

Makes about 1 quart.

2 large (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb.) red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch rings
1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Place onions in a deep, heat-proof, non-aluminum container, such as a glass quart canning jar.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve all sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds to 1 minute, then immediately pour vinegar mixture over onions.

Gently press onions down into liquid. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Store onions tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 20th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, other, sides, soups

Celebrating Summer Strawberries!

One of the surefire signs of summer is sweet, juicy strawberries appearing at the market! They’re the perfect sweet treats whether eaten out of hand or piled high on shortcake topped with whipped cream or dipped in warm chocolate. Yum! How about getting a little savory with your strawberries this year?

Local berries drizzled with balsamic glaze and a few twists of fresh-cracked black pepper make for a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Ever tried that combo as an ice cream? Check out Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop for their inspired balsamic strawberry ice cream!

They’re also perfect in salads – my Strawberry & Spinach Salad with sweet Walla Walla onions, goat cheese and my Poppyseed–Ginger Vinaigrette is one of my favorite summer recipes.

And don’t forget to muddle some in a summer- sipper like in my d’lish Strawberry Shag. It teams lightly-sugared strawberries with fresh basil! Shaken with vodka and lemon juice, this refreshing cooler is perfect to start any patio party!

Get creative and enjoy some “first of summer” strawberries! -Kathy

Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Glazed Almonds & Lowfat PoppyseedGinger Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Glazed Almonds:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar

Salad:
8 cups baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved or quartered, depending upon size
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onions, such as Walla Walla sweets, if in season

To make vinaigrette: In a blender combine the white wine vinegar, strawberries and ginger. Process until it is a smooth puree. Then add the remaining ingredients (except for poppyseed) and blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the glazed almonds: Lightly pan spray a baking sheet and set aside.
Place almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet on high heat. Start stirring with a wooden spoon. Sugar will start to dissolve and then caramelize. Stir continuously to lightly toast almonds and coat with the sugar. When almonds and sugar are the color of dark amber and golden brown, quickly remove from the pan onto sprayed baking sheet.

Spread out with spoon and let cool totally before using. Break up before serving. NOTE: Do not touch sugar or almonds with fingers when cooking or immediately after cooking. It is molten sugar and very hot!

To make and assemble the salad: Place the spinach leaves in a large salad/serving bowl. Toss with the strawberries, onions and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle almonds on the top of salad. Reserve extra vinaigrette for another use or serve extra on the side for those that desire more.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne)

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle.

Makes 1 drink

1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice (recipe follows)
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water

For garnishing: fresh strawberry, small basil leaf

In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.

Sugared Strawberries
Makes enough for about 6 drinks

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 13th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, salads

Training the Mini-Chefs aka Cooking with Kids!

Getting in the kitchen with kids is always fun; they make the best little sous chefs! I started cooking early with my mom and grandma – peeling fuzzy peaches and kneading breads (into fun shapes and characters). My all-time favorite task: adding lots of sprinkles on the cookies! Letting kids help prepare meals is also a great way to get around picky-eating habits, and get them interested in fun, healthy food too!

Are you throwing a kids’ party? A variety of interactive nibbles is terrific to serve. Try my Garden Ranch ‘n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs. These eggs are easy to whip up with ranch dressing. Kids will love to help peel and fill the eggs and sprinkle on the colorful, crunchy carrot and celery garnish.

Growing up, I always loved a classic Shirley Temple. My sweet twist on this recipe makes for a perfect treat or dessert! My Shirley Temple Cupcakes incorporates lemon-lime soda and maraschino cherries folded into no-fuss white cake! The kids will love to frost and garnish these deliciously adorable treats!

So put an apron on the kids and cook up some fun together! –Kathy

Garden Egg
D’lish!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Garden Ranch ’n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs
Whether its after-school snack time or a backyard birthday party, these tasty little eggs are easy to make with the kids. The veggie topping adds a fun crunch.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
1/2 cup pre-made ranch dressing
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Topping
1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp minced celery
2 Tbsp minced carrot
2 Tbsp pre-made ranch dressing

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the ranch dressing and parsley, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.)

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix the bell pepper, celery, and carrot together. Top each egg half with 1/4 teaspoon of the ranch dressing and a sprinkle of the veggie mixture.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s D’Lish Deviled Eggs, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Shirley Temple Cupcakes 2
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box (18.25 oz) super-moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda*
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)
—————————————
1 container (12 oz) white frosting
Garnish: 36 maraschino cherries, halved

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set aside.

Place the cake mix, soda, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped cherries.

Fill each lined cupcake cup 3/4 full with batter. Place pans in oven on a lower rack. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake and decorate each cupcake with 3 cherry halves.

Cook’s Note: This recipe uses a 10–12 oz jar of maraschino cherries.
* Such as 7-UP, Sprite or Sierra Mist.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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