Archive for April, 2014
All around us, green things are poking up through the ground this time of year, especially asparagus!
One of the best things about spring is this tasty green wonder! A lot of people have the perception that skinny, pencil-thin asparagus is preferable, but the fat, finger-sized ones are much more flavorful.
Peeling asparagus used to be a popular prep step but you can skip the hassle altogether. Just snap the ends off at their natural break point and you’re good to go.
Here’s a quick tip: save those snapped off ends. They’re great to use for a cream of asparagus soup or for making veggie stock!
My Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Aioli
(Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey)
This short-season superstar is totally versatile, whether stirred into a sauce, steamed, pickled, or grilled. My Overnight Pickled Asparagus is super, simple to make with the right pickling ingredients and in no time, you’ll have the perfect anytime snack to munch on. (Or as a garnish for your Bloody Mary!)
Grilling adds a nice smoky character to the “grass” whether it’s straight off the grill, warm, or even chilled and it pairs great with a Hazelnut Aioli. Or give it a quick steam and drizzle with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette and sprinkle with fresh grated parm – yum!
So get your spring on with some fresh asparagus! –Kathy
Overnight Pickled Asparagus
Makes 1 large jar or about 20 pieces.
1 bunch (19-20 oz wt untrimmed) fresh fat asparagus
1 1/2 cups distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 garlic cloves, sliced in half
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Wash asparagus and then with a paring knife trim the bottom 3” (the woody tough part) off and discard.
Place asparagus in a canning jar standing up or in glass bread pan, or other non-corrosive container the asparagus will fit tightly in. Set jar or container on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.
Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a hard rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine over asparagus, being sure to cover the vegetables, poking down the asparagus if needed. cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least overnight refrigerated before eating. Pickled asparagus will last refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Aioli
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 bunches (about 2 pounds) fat asparagus
Olive oil for brushing asparagus
Hazelnut Aioli (recipe follows)
Wash the asparagus and trim off and discard the bottom 3 inches. Meanwhile, prepare a very hot grill.
Lightly brush asparagus with olive oil. Grill for about 1 minute on each side, until the spears have nice grill marks and are just barely tender. Sprinkle with a little salt.
Serve hot, warm, or even cold. Drizzle with Hazelnut Aioli or put the aioli in individual dishes for dipping.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1 tablespoon water
In a food processor, place the hazelnuts, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, egg yolks, and salt. Process until smooth. In a measuring cup, mix together the olive and hazelnut oils. With the food processor running, SLOWLY drizzle in the oils; the drizzle should be about the width of a spaghetti strand. The mixture will slowly begin to emulsify, forming a mayonnaise-like consistency. (Don’t add the oil too fast, or the mixture will break!) When all the oil has been added, pulse in the water. Store, refrigerated, until ready to use. The aioli can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey
Warm Asparagus with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 4 – 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons shredded or shaved, high-quality parmesan cheese
Wash asparagus and drain well. Snap off tough bottom ends and use in soup or compost.
Steam asparagus until just tender. Or if you have the grill on toss it on for quick cooking.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Toss in the warm asparagus, coating well in half he dressing, and season to taste with the salt and red pepper flakes.
Place asparagus on a platter and pour over the remaining dressing. Sprinkle asparagus with the parmesan. Serve immediately.
Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
April 24th, 2014
It’s Easter weekend! Soon, all the candy will be unwrapped and the eggs will all have been found – hopefully! Now, what do you do with all those chocolate bunnies, candies, Peeps and colorful hard boiled eggs after the hunt?
Didn’t eat all those marshmallow Peeps? Don’t fret about any leftovers – they are just the thing to melt into my Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps. The Peeps stand in for the traditional marshmallows folded with Rice Krispies cereal. Rip the peeps tiny heads off and save for “garnish!”
Peep heads for garnish
For the adults, grab a few of the kids chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue using a splash of your favorite liqueur – I like to use Grand Marnier. Serve with an assortment of fruits for dipping or any other leftover Peeps.
Peeps lined up for a chocolate dip
As for the extra eggs? Make deviled eggs of course! And get creative with the fillings, from brunchy Bacon Cheddar to Retro Shrimp Cocktail variations. You can find over 50 more inspiring ideas in my D’lish Deviled Eggs cookbook – any of which would be great to use up those Easter Eggs. For more deviled eggs ideas, check out www.DLishDeviledEggs.com and follow @ChickysTweets on Twitter.
Happy Easter everyone! –Kathy
Jelly Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats
3 Tbsp. butter
6 packages yellow Peeps® – 30 peeps(you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans
Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.
In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat melt the butter until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in rice crispies and jelly beans. Stir until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.
Place mixture in a pan sprayed 8”x8” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
Bunny’licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue
Makes 4 servings
6 ounces of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon liquor such as: Grand Marnier, amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)
For dipping: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges
Other fun things for dipping are: pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps® …..
Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size) into a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.
Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
(Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)
Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Eggs, bacon, cheese … they go hand in hand. These all-American eggs are great to serve as an app or a fun salad garnish—or grab a couple for breakfast on the go.
1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped crisp-cooked bacon
2 Tbsp very thinly sliced green onion
Freshly ground black pepper
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 mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, if using, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the cheddar until evenly mixed in.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain 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 bacon and green onion. Top each egg half with about 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture, and then sprinkle with black pepper.
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 D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing
April 17th, 2014
You know that the spring season is here when you see the vibrant rhubarb stalks show up at grocers and farmers markets.
The color of rhubarb depends primarily on the variety and is not an indicator of sweetness or sourness. It can range from pale green, speckled with pink, to bright red. When using rhubarb, be careful and make sure to discard the leaves right away as they are poisonous.
Did you know that another name for rhubarb is “pie plant?” We all love it in a classic strawberry rhubarb pie. Make sure to check out my fave at Phinney Ridges’ A La Mode Pies or as I like to call it pie heaven. Seriously go for a slice!
A d’lish slice from A La Mode Pies!
For something a little different to whip up at home, try my recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse – a unique spring dessert. Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a tender syrupy goodness then chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream.
And rhubarb is not just for desserts. I love it in my pucker sweet and tart Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette – perfect to drizzle over fresh halibut. Yum!
Let’s not forget spring sips! Try whipping up a batch of my refreshingly tart
Rhubarb Meyer Lemonade. And for a libatious version, add a shot of vodka or gin. Perfect for your next spring party. Celebrate spring in a tart and tasty way with delicious rhubarb! –Kathy
Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse
Makes 6 servings
1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup sugar
3 oz wt cream cheese
5 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss together rhubarb and sugar and place in a 9- x 13-inch glass baking pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.
Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until completely cooled.
Whip cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with remaining tablespoon honey until firmly peaked. Stir about 1/3 of the whipping cream into the rhubarb-cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipping cream.
Dish up into 6, pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little plain whipped cream if desired and an edible, spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear or plum tree blossoms.
Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This tart and tangy vinaigrette is great drizzled over fresh halibut, grilled scallops or other white fish.
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sambal oelek
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil
In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the canola oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
Rhubarb Meyer Lemonade
“Bee” sure to use local honey whenever you can to add some delicious local flavor! For a sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktail, shake about 4 ounces in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve strained in a large martini glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.
Makes about 6 cups or 8 servings
2 large Sunkist Meyer lemons (or substitute Sunkist regular lemons)
1 cup local honey
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
water as needed
lemon wedge for garnishing
With a potato peeler remove only the yellow skin of the lemon, then with a sharp knife slice the zest into fine strips.
Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a 4-cup or 8-cup measure. Do not strain juice — you want to keep all the pulp — just pick out any seeds. Add the lemon peel strips, cover and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, place honey, 4 cups of water, rhubarb and minced rosemary in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 – 5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, letting the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not press. (You can let this strain overnight, refrigerated, if you wish.)
Then add the juice to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and peel. Stir, and add water to make 6 cups total. Pour into a decorative pitcher.
Serve about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) over ice in tall glasses with a lemon wedge.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.
April 10th, 2014
Ah, arugula! This bold green livens up any dish it’s in. Nicknamed “Garden Rocket,” it grows fast, almost like a weed in our northwest climate.
Well, weed or not, this tasty leaf is full of great health benefits. Just 4 ounces of this green is just 25 calories – wow! It’s also full of vital antioxidants and vitamins – 3 cups gives you 100% of your daily vitamin K needs!
Arugla’s taste is nutty and peppery. Try it tucked into sandwiches, or tossed in a little olive oil and scattered over a sexy cheese pizza. This tasty green also complements meat and seafood beautifully. It makes a perfect bed for a piece of grilled fish or steak.
Of course, it’s great in salads like in my Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp & White Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s also a delicious add-in to a homemade pesto recipe for a robust, peppery edge!
So get your arugula on and dig into this peppery green that’s so good for you! – Kathy
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.
Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 Tbsp undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp minced orange zest
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fennel fronds
1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and crushed
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs large raw shrimp (32 to 40)
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
6 oranges or tangerines
6 cups baby arugula
2 heads baby frisée, torn, rinsed and spun dry
White Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
To marinate the shrimp, whisk all the ingredients, except the shrimp, in a large bowl. Peel, devein, and remove tails of the shrimp then add them to the marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To prepare the salad, finely shave the fennel bulbs with a sharp knife or a mandoline and crisp in ice water for 10 minutes. Spin dry before using. Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away all the white pith, then cut the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Flick out any seeds. (If prepared ahead, refrigerate the fennel and orange slices separately, for up to 2 hours.)
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Grill the shrimp until just pink and done, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, toss the arugula, frisée, fennel, and oranges with enough of the vinaigrette to coat nicely—taste for flavor, adding more dressing if needed.
Serve the salad on a large platter or divide among individual plates, arrange the shrimp on top, and drizzle with a little extra dressing, if desired.
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
The vinaigrette keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 2 cups
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or 1 Tbsp harissa paste
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fennel fronds
In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and juice concentrate. Whisk in the pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste, and fennel seed. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Stir in the fennel fronds. If made ahead, refrigerate until shortly before needed, then rewhisk before using.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.
April 3rd, 2014