Posts from March, 2014

The Classic Upside Down Cake gets a Creative Spin

Not many desserts bring out a warm sense of old fashioned home cooking as much as an upside down cake. Think classic with those rings of pineapple, bright red cherries and oozy buttery brown sugar.

Upside down cakes are pretty straight forward: gooey sugary business on the bottom, topped with fruit then cake batter. Bake, flip and serve!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Here’s the Classic
! But we are going to get creative!

From peaches to pears to pineapple, almost any fruit can get the upside down treatment with this cake. And you can get creative with the cake batter too, like with my Spiced Pear Ginger Bread & Hazelnut Upside Down Cake, it’s unusual in several ways. For one thing, the cake layer is a gingerbread batter. For another, it’s baked in a Bundt pan. And it’s highly spiced and aromatic — ginger along with cloves, nutmeg and lots of cinnamon. And did I mention the cake’s enriched with hazelnuts?

Or for a morning treat how about a Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake. This moist cake is not too sweet and is a real treat for a weekend brunch. My testing and tasting team even liked it topped with a pouf of yogurt.

If sweets aren’t your thing, try my Savory Onion Upside Down Cake made with caramelized onions, fresh thyme, baked up with an olive oil and herb studded quick bread topping. Perfect along with a green salad or a hearty bowl of homemade soup!

So, consider upside down cakes for your next breakfast, supper or dessert. –Kathy

Spiced Pear Gingerbread Hazelnut Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake, serving 10 to 12

Pears
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups 1/2-inch-diced, firm, ripe pear with skin, cored (about 2 pears or one very large pear)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Batter
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp very finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the pears: In a 10-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add the diced pears, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the pan. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the pears are slightly caramelized and somewhat soft. Spoon mixture into the bottom of a 10-cup, non-stick Bundt pan.

To make the cake batter: In a medium bowl combine the boiling water, molasses, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, dry spices, salt and baking powder, and mix well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and fresh ginger, and mix well. Add molasses mixture and reserved dry ingredients, alternately, beginning and ending with the liquid, and mixing after each addition. Finally, add the chopped hazelnuts.

Spoon batter gently into Bundt pan over the pears and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. (When done, cake may not entirely fill the Bundt pan. Don’t worry; this is normal for this recipe.)

Cool to room temperature before inverting.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Savory Caramelized Onion Upside Down Quick Bread
Makes 1 10-inch savory cake, about 8 servings

Onion layer
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
2 large white onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup garlic cloves, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Batter
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the onions: In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil and butter together over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, wine and vinegar, and continue cooking, covered, for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and very soft. Set aside in pan and cool to room temperature. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf. (You will be adding the cake batter to this pan.)

To make the batter: In a large bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add remaining ingredients, and mix till just combined.

Spoon batter over onion mixture in the pan and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until quick bread layer tests done.

Remove from oven. Run a knife around edge, carefully invert hot skillet onto a large serving plate, and remove skillet. Any onion mixture remaining in pan can be scraped out with a spatula and spread on quick bread.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 28th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, dessert, sides

Captivating Cauliflower Creations

Often tossed up with the obligatory broccoli and carrot medley, cauliflower is coming into its own!

It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, pickled or eaten raw! Although tasty topped with a cheese sauce, there are lots of healthy and amazingly d’lish ways to cook up a head of cauliflower.

Oven-roasting gives cauliflower a nice sweetness and a little bit of a nutty flavor. Perfect when paired with cherry tomatoes and salty Kalamata olives.

A great new trend that I’m seeing are “Cauliflower Steaks” – yep, you heard right! Cut a couple inch-thick slices across the middle of the head and grill until tender. You can cut up the rest of the florets, cook in milk with spices like red curry, ginger and garlic, then process in a blender to make a tasty puree to serve with your “cauliflower steaks!” Try my recipe for Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree, its healthy and delicious … and very low calorie!

I know the cheddar and cauliflower combo is hard to beat… so for those that like to splurge I also whipped up a recipe for a Cauliflower Cheddar Custard – I cook the cauliflower in milk, then mix with egg and cheese and bake in small custard dishes. Serve this rich and delicious savory custard next to a delicious steak or a lovely crisp green salad.

And look for tiny baby heads of cauliflower at your farmers market this summer – very tasty to roast or grill whole.

And one of my most favorite phrases is the cauliflower inspired “my little chou chou” (”my little cauliflower”) – a French term of endearment. –Kathy


Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.


Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree
Makes 3 entrée servings or 6 as a side dish

1 large head cauliflower
1 Tbsp. olive oil for grill
kosher salt and pepper to taste
——————————————
1/2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 cup non-fat milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
kosher salt and pepper for cauliflower

Garnish: fresh chopped mint and cilantro, lime wedges and sliced cucumber if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut 3 large 1-inch steaks out of the center of the cauliflower. Cut each one in half. Set aside.
Cut remaining cauliflower into florets to produce about 3 cups.

In a medium saucepan, heat the 1/2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until just tender but not browned. Stir in the curry paste and then add the milk, salt, lime juice, and the 3 cups of florets. Increase heat to medium high, cover tightly and simmer cauliflower until cooked tender – about 10–12 minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully transfer the cauliflower and liquid to a blender or food processor. Cover the lid with a towel and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and keep warm.

Meanwhile heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush cauliflower steaks lightly with olive oil.
Place cauliflower steaks in pre-heated pan, season with salt and pepper and cook on each side until nicely grill marked (about 5 min on each side) and then move pan to the oven and continue cooking steaks until just tender (about 7-10 minutes). Or you can cook the cauliflower on an outdoor grill all the way, with the lid down to assist with cooking.

To serve, spoon some of the cauliflower puree on plates. Top with grilled cauliflower, and garnish with chopped herbs, lime wedges for squeezing and cucumber if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Cauliflower Cheddar Custard
This makes an excellent light supper served with a salad, or an accompaniment to a big juicy grilled steak.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp salt
tiny pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp. sherry wine
4 eggs
1 cup (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cauliflower, garlic, salt and cayenne. Heat over medium heat until simmering, then cook for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender. (Do not let it boil.)

In a small cup or bowl, mix the cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Whisk this slurry into the hot mixture and let cook for about 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until well combined, and then stir in 1/3 of the hot cauliflower mixture. Then add the remaining hot cauliflower mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the cheese.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide mixture between 4 well-buttered 6-ounce custard cups. (Use a ladle to do this and be sure to stir up mixture well when portioning.) Set custard cups on a rimmed baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out just barely clean. The centers should still be just slightly wiggly as the custards will continue cooking for a bit after they come out of the oven.

Serve in the baking cups, or let cool for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn out into plates to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 20th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, other, sides

Always Crunchably Delicious: Potato Chips

Potato Chip Day is this week and there is nothing that can satisfy a salty, crunchy craving like good old potato chips!

They’re great on their own, but also great with dips such as retro French onion, clam or ranch. Tim’s is our local beloved brand, which is of course so good washed down with a local brew.

But have you had them in a cookie yet is the real question!? One of my favorite sweet and salty potato chip ideas is to add them to cookies. That’s right, I said cookies! Just crunch them up and fold into your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Or add them to a shortbread cookie such as Nutty Potato Chip Sparkle Shortbread. Yum!

And if you are a die-hard potato chip fan, there are so many varieties to try. In my travels, I have seen and tasted lots! In New Orleans, I had Spicy Cajun Crawtator Potato Chips and overseas, I had Fried Chicken flavored in the Philippines!

Next time you’re traveling see what crazy chips you find and let me know! –Kathy


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

Nutty Potato Chip Sparkle Shortbread
Makes about 22 cookies

Cookie Topping
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. edible glitter (available online)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Cookie Dough
8 ounces (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup crushed potato chips

Garnish: small pieces of potato chip

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the topping: combine the sugar, edible glitter and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the cookies: place the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl, and cream together for about 2 minutes. Once combined, add vanilla and almond extracts and mix until incorporated.

Add the flour, and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down bowl to mix in any ingredients on the bottom of bowl. Add pecans and potato chips and slowly mix together until just combined.

Line a baking sheet tray with parchment paper. Divide dough into about 22 pieces – scooping up heaping Tablespoons. Roll into balls and then dip/press the top of each ball into the Cookie Topping. Place the dipped balls, glitter side up onto pan, leaving at least 2-inches between cookies.

Using a flat bottom glass press each ball to about 1/4-inch thick – cookies should press out to about 2-inches wide. Poke a small piece of potato chip into the top of each cookie for garnish. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 18-20 minutes. Cool directly on tray.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 13th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

The Northwest eCookbooks

Great friend, award winning writer, and long time Pacific Northwest native Cynthia Nims has written a wonderful series of e-cookbooks covering The Northwest! Whether you’re looking to cook up up Crabs and Wild Mushrooms or looking for a new combo of Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches, Cynthia has you covered and more! The ebooks are priced at $3.50 each (what a steal!) and are available to download through the Kindle and most mobile/tablet devices with the free Kindle app.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 12th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recipes, appetizers, breakfast, meats, seafood, sides

Braising

Looking to make a meal to impress, but don’t want to break the bank? Braising can make even the toughest meats a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Braising is a loooooonnnng, slow cooking method that can be done on the stove top, in the oven, or in a crock pot!

What a great treatment for less tender, more flavorful cuts of meat, such as beef chuck, lamb shanks, chicken legs, or short ribs. Generally, these cuts are less expensive, but really taste like a million bucks if they’re cooked low and slow.

First, season up your meat then give it a good sear in a hot pan with a touch of oil. Then add tasty ingredients like wine, herbs and veggies. Cover tightly and pop the pan in a low oven (around 300 – 325 degrees) and forget about it for a few hours!

The hardest part: be patient! Don’t try to rush the process. This will take time and your patience (and taste buds) will be greatly rewarded.

And of course, don’t forget about all that juicy braising liquid. It’s perfect to use in a tasty sauce.

One of my favorite dishes to make is my Slow Cooked Roasted Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic. Perfect for a lazy weekend comfort food dinner and polishing off the rest of that bottle of wine! – Kathy


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic
If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.

Makes 6 to 8 generous servings
1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
3 Tbsp flour
20 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, optional

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.

Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter. Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.

Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.

Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender.

Stir the basil into the sauce.

Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 7th, 2014  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, meats
Untitled