Posts from May, 2016

Local Salmon The Big Kings Are Coming In!

Nothing says Pacific Northwest like salmon, and it’s that time of year again when this rich, delicious local gem is readily available. Bring on the summer sun, its salmon-cooking season!


D’lish Salmon!
(Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing)

There are several varieties of salmon available locally that can fit any budget and taste, from sockeye to King. Salmon’s natural oil and fat content help keep it moist and tender, even when grilling, but you can help it stay that way with a flavorful brine.

Brining possibilities are endless: white wine and savory spices, brown sugar and soy, or simply sugar and salt brine – just dunk your pieces for 15 minutes or so before cooking.

Salmon makes the perfect platform for glazes, marinades and other tasty toppings. How does roasted king salmon with a Chipotle Honey Glaze or an Orange Ginger Butter sound? Or contrast salmon’s rich meatiness with a fresh and zesty Zesty Lemon Basil Vinaigrette. Makes me want to fire up the BBQ right now!

So whether you’re smoking, grilling, or oven-roasting it, get your wild salmon on while it’s in season.
–Kathy

Chipotle Honey Glaze
Make a generous 1/2 cup

1/2 cup local honey
3 Tbsp. puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*

Stir together in a small bowl until well combined. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

*To make chipotle purée: Purée a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with a hand blender, blender or food processor until smooth. Freeze any remaining purée for another use.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Orange Ginger Butter
Switch this basic recipe up with different combinations of citrus and herbs. Change out the ginger for garlic and try using a different mustard as well. Roll up different variations into logs in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 4 months. Just slice off a few pieces for a salmon topping anytime.

Makes 1 cup

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) salted butter, softened, cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate
1 Tbsp. finely minced orange zest
1 Tbsp. finely minced ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
2 green onions, very thinly sliced

Place all ingredients except the green onion in a food processor. Process until smooth and emulsified, scraping down the sides of the work bowl often. (If the butter doesn’t come together right away, be patient and continue processing.) When the mixture is well blended, add the green onion and pulse until mixed. Keep refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 7 days.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Zesty Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
This quick and easy homemade dressing is delicious drizzled over salmon. You can switch up this basic vinaigrette recipe by changing out the basil for cilantro and the lemon for lime, and/or adding a dash of hot sauce for some zing. You can also double the recipe and add all the ingredients at once to a blender to make a more creamy dressing.

Makes 1 cup

2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. local honey
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper

Place the lemon juice, honey, mustard and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking and drizzle in the oil to incorporate. Then stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Recipe created for Alaska Seafood Marketing by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 26th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Local Salmon The Big Kings Are Coming In! |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, salmon, seafood

Spring in to Summer Gardening

The days are longer and the sun is shining. It’s time to think about a summer vegetable garden and what to plant. So what grows best here in the Pacific Northwest?

Well, now is the time to plant those pole beans. Have you ever made a pole bean tee pee? It’s a great way to keep the growing beans contained. Be sure to plant in full sun for optimal harvesting and pick them when they are small and tender! And if you have some picky kiddos then try planting bushing “purple beans” that magically turn green when you cook them – that’s pretty fun!


Learn to make a great pole bean tent and more from Garden Therapy!

Next on my best of list is zucchini – it’s easy to grow! My mom used to make these tasty little zucchini cakes topped with a fresh tomato sauce and a dollop of sour cream. Or these days try it with Greek yogurt. Have you ever had a Chocolate Zucchini Cake? I’ve got a recipe for you!

Next on the must to-plant list are sweet 100 tomatoes – this variety loves our NW weather. And there is nothing like going out to the garden and popping them right of the vine into your mouth. I also love them skewered, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned and then grilled till lightly charred and served as a side dish or served atop a grilled steak.

My last bit of advice is to be sure plant to a few greens. Arugula is a great addition to any garden. And rainbow chard, in hues of pink, yellow, red and white will grow bountifully, keep trimming it to the base and it grows all season!

So time to get down and dirty in the garden! –Kathy

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Makes 1 bunt cake – about 10 – 12 servings

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on May 20th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Spring in to Summer Gardening |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, vegetables

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita! It’s been popular in the U.S. since the early 50’s, and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita.

Margarita
Poppy’s Margarita from my book Sips & Apps that features a housemade Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour

A classic ‘rita is typically made with tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave nectar, and triple sec or orange liqueur. Let’s review our options.

The Tequila choices are vast:

    Silver is ideal for a fresh, bright margarita or made with fresh fruits.
    Reposado is aged a minimum of 2 months – 12 months in wooden casks. This light aging process rounds out a few of the rough edges found in many unaged tequilas.
    Añejo is aged more than 1 year and wonderfully smooth. It’s best for sipping on their own, but use it in a margarita if you like or add it as a float for depth of flavor.

Margarita MUSTS include starting with a good tequila, using FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau) or a squeeze of orange works great too. Now sweeten to taste with a touch simple syrup or agave nectar.

Some like salt rims; some do not. I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt (my preference being kosher). Or there are tasty salt rimmers:check out my video for Sweet Citrus Salt. And of course, there are the “add-ins,” a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate, fresh berries … the possibilities are endless!

Here is a basic margarita recipe you can get creative with:

Basic Margarita Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 – 2 oz tequila of your choice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar (thinned out a bit)
1/4 oz orange liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

Build drink in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cap and shake.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

So starting shaking and cheers to a great margarita! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 13th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Margaritas |  Posted in Cocktails, Recipes

Punch Up the Flavor

I love adding a touch of zing to dishes, punching up the flavor. Like a squeeze of lime, and a sprinkling of cumin and chili flakes on grilled fish or a fresh zesting of lemon over steamed asparagus.

Now you probably have your own favorite seasoning or rub, or maybe you’re a big fan of just lots of garlic and some fabulous sea salt.

A great signature seasoning is easy to make. Start with some kosher salt, then add in some granulated garlic and onion – this is your base. Then add in some of your favorite spices, like chili powder and cumin for something Latin-inspired. Or go Mediterranean with dried thyme, smoked paprika and toasted fennel seeds.

To make a Citrus Infused Salt: zest an orange, lemon, and lime. Mix with a cup of kosher salt then toss well. Spread on a sheet pan to dry out for a couple of days. Once all the moisture is gone, then rub it together with your fingers to break up the zest. Use this sassy salt over EVERYTHING!

My newest favorite seasoning combo and add-ins are coffee and cocoa nibs. Yes, it’s a bit unconventional, but oh so amazing! I’ve included it in my newest seasoning blend, my Dish D’Lish Rain City Seasoning. In this new seasoning, we are mixing it up with Caffe Umbria Coffee and ground Theo Chocolate fair trade cocoa nibs, along with some sea salt, citrus and spice. D’lish on northwest salmon, a big juice steak, or on Savory Roasted Squash.

So whether you’re making your own secret seasoning recipe or going with a local favorite, add some wow to your next dish and punch up the flavor! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 6th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Punch Up the Flavor |  Posted in Caffe Umbria Coffee Roasters, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Rain City Seasoning, Theo Chocoolate, seasonings
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