Archive for February, 2014
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are grown right here in the Pacific Northwest! Did you know that 99% of the hazelnuts grown in the United States are grown in Oregon alone!
Hazelnuts are a pretty healthy nut as well! They have very low saturated fat and a ton of protein, fiber, iron and complex carbohydrates. Also, just like all tree nuts, they do not contain any cholesterol.
Many recipes call for roasted hazelnuts – don’t let that stop you, it’s pretty easy. You just have to know the tricks!
Place them on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven and toast for about six to eight minutes – Keep your eye on them and set a timer! As soon as you can smell their nutty aroma, they’re done! They’ll keep cooking once they’re off the heat, so it’s easy to overdo it.
When the nuts are cool enough to handle, put them in a clean dish towel, and rub as much of the skin off as can.
They not only add great flavor to recipes but also texture and crunch. Both those things come through in my recipe for Cheddar Ale Spread. Made with lots of other NW ingredients like Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and local beer – it’s perfect for parties!
Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in baked goods or just eaten out of hand – Hazelnuts are d’lish any way you enjoy them. -Kathy
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.
Cheddar Ale Spread
The spread can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring it to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
8 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, such as Tillamook
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flavorful Northwest beer
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped (optional)
Overnight Semolina Flat Bread (recipe follows), crackers, or crostini
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnishing
Combine the cream cheese, mustard, Cheddar, half-and-half, Tabasco, and salt in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth. Pulse in the parsley and hazelnuts until just dispersed.
Serve in a nice-looking container with the flat bread attractively broken up around it. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Overnight Rosemary Semolina Flat Bread
For even baking, rotate the pans in the oven and switch them from upper to lower racks midway through baking.
Makes 8 large pieces before being broken up
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (110°F), plus more if needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup semolina
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for topping
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of water. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a medium bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups of flour, the rosemary, semolina, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring with a large spoon to combine. Then, using clean hands and working in the bowl, mix until the dough comes together. If needed, add another 2 tablespoons warm water and continue mixing dough into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Drizzle the bowl with 1/2 teaspoon oil and return the dough ball to the bowl, turning the dough to coat well with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat an oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, cut the dough into 8 wedges, then cover with a damp towel and let sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each wedge into a 5-by-10-inch rectangle. Brush or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and crispy but not overbrowned.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.
February 27th, 2014
Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange–or mandarin, this zesty citrus fruit was named for Frank N. Meyer who first brought it to the United States from China in 1908.
Typically available December through April, Meyer lemons are different from standard lemons. They have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and offer a bit of a sweeter taste than standard lemons. They’re great in cocktails or desserts, but are also d’lish in savory dishes!
(Photo courtesy of Girl Versus Dough.)
I like to thinly slice them and roast them along a chicken or pork roast. The slices are so tasty when cooked and eaten with the dish like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.
The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious — in dishes like Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo – or added to shortbread cookies for a great citrus-y zing!
So cook up some new dishes this winter with Meyer Lemons while they are in season! –Kathy
Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.
Makes 6 servings
3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.
In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.
In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.
Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).
Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.
Adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table cookbook.
Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Makes 6 servings
12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
February 20th, 2014
On those days when you have time for more than a banana for breakfast, pancakes can be a morning luxury. And… it’s National Pancake Week (Feb 9th – 15th)! So why not whip up a great breakfast and try out some new pancake ideas and recipes!
I always start my pancake batch out with a “sacrificial” pancake. A tiny flapjack to get the griddle going to be sure it’s not too cold or too hot. When is it time to flip? Look for bubbles starting to dot the top – then you know it’s time to get your spatula ready.
There are many types of pancakes from good old fashioned buttermilk to corn flapjacks. Mini/silver dollar sized to ones that fill up the whole plate.
Try switching up what gets sprinkled onto your pancakes from blueberries to slices of fresh banana, lemon zest for a touch of zing or chocolate chips for those with a sweet tooth. The possibilities are limitless!
Try my Pan Sized Lemon Blackberry Pancakes with Zesty Lemon Syrup; combining fun add-ins and a citrus syrup. This one’s big in size and in flavor! –Kathy
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Pan-Sized Berry Pancakes with Zesty Lemon Syrup
Folding whipped egg whites into the batter makes these pancakes fluffy good.
Makes 5 to 6 pan-sized pancakes
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 cups mixed fresh blueberries and blackberries, or substitute frozen berries
Zesty Lemon Syrup, warmed (recipe follows)
Mix the milk and lemon juice together in small bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
Whisk the egg yolks into the milk and lemon juice mixture.
Add the liquid mixture all at once to the flour mixture, along with the melted butter, and stir until just incorporated. Do not overmix—some small lumps will remain.
Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold half of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining half. Gently fold in the berries.
Preheat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. To test the pan, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If they “skittle around,” the heat should be just about right.
Ladle 1 cup batter into pan, being sure to get an even amount of berries for each pancake. If necessary, move berries around quickly with your fingers to distribute evenly in pancake. Pancake should be pan-sized.
Turn pancake when it is puffed and golden brown and multiple bubbles have appeared. Be sure that the pancake has had enough time to set before turning, since larger pancakes take longer to cook through in the center. Cook on the other side until pancake is golden and done all the way through. Serve immediately with a drizzle of warmed Citrus Syrup.
Zesty Lemon Syrup
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
In a heavy saucepan, combine the water and sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved, turn the heat to high. When the syrup comes to a boil, cover the pan and start timing immediately. Boil the syrup for about 3 minutes.
Uncover and add the lemon juice and zest. Continue boiling, uncovered, for about 3 more minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature or warm slightly before serving.
-Adjust the heat as needed. When cooking pancakes this large, you need good but slow browning to get the pancakes cooked all the way through in the centers.
-If you have an older, more worn nonstick skillet, you may need to oil the pan lightly before using it.
-If the Citrus Syrup is too thick when reheating, thin it with a little water. If syrup is a little too thin, boil for a minute or so to reduce it.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
February 13th, 2014
Make sure to mark your calendars and buy your tickets for this hot event on Sunday, February 9th from 2:00pm – 5:00pm in Seattle’s Columbia Tower Club – featuring the Northwest’s best tastemakers: chefs, winemakers, and sommeliers! Proceeds of this event will go on to support the Women’s Funding Alliance.
I’m looking forward to shaking up the signature cocktail for the event…my libacious Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle! Hope to see you there! -Kathy
Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle
Fresh rosemary adds an herbal note to this festive cocktail. You can also make a cocktail pre-mix with the vodka, lemon and Honey Syrup then just shake 3 oz with the rosemary and mandarin, strain and top with champagne bubbles. For a demo on how to make this drink and more imbibing recipes and ideas, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!
Makes 1 drink
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 – 1/4 mandarin or clementine depending upon size
1 1/2 oz Crater Lake Vodka
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup*
1 oz Michelle Brut Champagne
Garnish: small sprig of rosemary
Bend rosemary sprig and drop into mixer glass. Squeeze and drop in Mandarin.
Measure in the vodka, lemon and honey syrup. Fill with ice, then cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a splash of champagne. Garnish with rosemary.
*To make Honey Syrup: combine 3/4 cup local honey with 1/2 cup hot water. Stir to dissolve. Store refrigerated.
Sparkling Cocktail Pre-Mix
Makes 20 ounces or about 6 – 7 cocktails
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Honey Syrup*
Combine and store refrigerated until needed.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.
February 7th, 2014
Brussels sprouts – these maligned little cabbages of yesteryear… well, not anymore! These bite size morsels are popping up all over the place from bar menus to bacon and bourbon lathered side dishes. They are definitely on the total hip list these days and are chock full of vitamins K and C, as well as iron, fiber and vitamin A.
(Photo from www.Nutritioulicious.com)
There are lots of great ways to prepare Brussels sprouts from quick sautéed to oven roasted, even shaved and raw in a slaw or salad.
You can also separate the “leaves” and give those a quick toss in a hot pan for a d’lish top to mac and cheese or grilled pork. To do this, cut the core of the Brussels sprout out with a small paring knife. Then “peel” all the leaves off – super easy to do!
My associate chef Cameon loves these little leaves tossed in a sauté pan with some brown butter! Cook them until they are bright green but not too wilted. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon. YUM!
For a healthy preparation, cut the sprouts in half and toss with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil – and roast them in a 400 degree oven until tender. Perfect with any hearty dinner.
Or just head to your local gastropub, favorite restaurant or bar.. they’re sure to be on the menu in some fashion! –Kathy
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Walnut Butter
Makes about 12 servings
3/4 cup walnut pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
6 cups (about 3 pounds) trimmed and halved fresh Brussels sprouts
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Spread the walnuts on a baking pan and place in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the nuts are lightly toasted and golden. Let cool.
Place the butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, zest, and maple syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cooled walnuts, and pulse until the butter mixture is almost smooth but small pieces of walnut are still visible.
Steam the Brussels sprouts in a steaming basket over boiling water until just tender but not overcooked. Immediately toss with the softened walnut butter and serve.
• If making the walnut butter ahead of time, it can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. Be sure to bring to room temperature before using.
• Another way to serve the Brussels sprouts is to peel each “leaf” off and sauté the leaves in the walnut butter.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
February 6th, 2014