Posts from October, 2016

Chasing Wild Mushrooms

Why do I wish for rain every fall? As soon as our Northwest grounds moisten up, our local wild mushrooms start to pop up!

I have been a huge mushroom foraging enthusiast for years and the Pacific Northwest is a mushroom-ers paradise. From the beloved chanterelle and the brilliant lobster mushroom to the sparassis (also known as the cauliflower mushroom), there are a LOT of edible mushrooms out there for the pickin’. Farmer’s Markets are abundant with these tasty NW gems and chef’s menus sprinkled with local finds.

But it’s so fun to pick wild mushrooms – think of it as hunting treasure in the forest! I was introduced to picking wild mushrooms years ago by an amazing group of local enthusiasts. But remember when picking wild mushrooms, you must know how to identify edible species. It’s important to learn from an experienced mushroom forager, go picking with an experienced person, or join a group such as Puget Sound Mycological Society. It’s a great place to learn all about wild mushrooms, meet great people and join in a fungi field trip.

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A beautiful photo of my dearly departed friend Patrice Benson who taught me the love of wild mushrooms.
I learned from the best!

If you live in the Seattle area, this weekend is the Puget Sound Wild Mushroom annual show at Bellevue College, where there will be hundreds of species exhibited and a cooking display for you to try something new.

So here’s to the rainy days for a d’lish mushroom bounty! –Kathy

Colorful Wheat Berry, Edamame and Matsutake Mushroom Salad
I used the fragrant matsutake mushroom in this recipe for its lovely flavor profile. But you could also use oyster mushrooms as a substitute. This recipe is also delicious made with farro instead of wheat berries.

Makes about 5 cups

3/4 cup whole wheat berries
2 quarts water
1 Tbsp. each vegetable oil and sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced matsutake mushrooms*
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame beans, defrosted
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 to 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped parsley
1 medium carrot, thinly bias cut
1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage

Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 to 1 tsp. Asian chili paste, such as sambal oelek
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic

To cook the wheat berries: In a large pot, bring the wheat berries and water to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer. Simmer until wheat berries are very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add more water if needed. Drain wheat berries and cool.

To cook the mushrooms: Heat the oils in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until soft and cooked through then let cool.

Meanwhile, mix the dressing.

When the wheat berries and mushrooms are cool, combine with remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and mix well. The salad can be served right away, or refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

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

Posted by Kathy on October 27th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, salads, sides

Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.

simplyrecipes-chili
This Yummy Chili Photo is from SimplyRecipes.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

Stadium Apple Chili

Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 21st, 2016  |  Comments Off on Falling for Chili |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, meats, pork, soups

Carrot Craze

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Burbee.com Carrot Varieties 
 

Who would have thought that carrots would be the next “it” veggie?

Nowadays, the quintessential orange carrot we have come to love has close competition with some unexpectedly colorful varieties. Typically found at your local farmer’s market, these beautiful heirlooms come in wonderful shades of purple, ruby, yellow and white.

 

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Harissa Roasted Carrots
 

I like to pick-up a bundle of fresh heirloom carrots, rub them with some olive oil and flavorful seasoning like Duqqa; an aromatic Egyptian mixture of toasted nuts and seeds like hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin, or Harissa then roast them in a hot oven and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro. The roasting brings out the sweetness and the spices really compliment the carrot flavor. Oh and don’t be afraid to char the carrots a little – they can handle it – yum!

Of course we all enjoy carrots as the perfect snack too, sweet and satisfyingly crunchy – they are filled with antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, minerals, fiber and so much more yet are still a low calorie treat. For a great appetizer, try roasting and pureeing carrots with garlic and lemon for a simple carrot hummus or blending them into a gingery salad dressing!

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Honey Mint Carrot Collins
The fresh pressed carrot juice makes the color of this cocktail amazing!
 

Besides baking into a sweet carrot cake, or roasting with warm spices, I also love drinking carrot juice too! Because of their bright color and sweet flavor, I love adding fresh carrot juice to citrusy drinks like lemon – or limeades, sparkling water, and of course, cocktails.

Whether you are roasting, baking, juicing, or snacking – carrots are one veggie that won’t ever let you down. – Kathy

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots

Serves 4

12 heirloom carrots peeled and split in half, leaving about an inch of stem.
3 – 4 Tbsp Moroccan Harissa Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
6 – 8 oz of Greek Yogurt
Finishing Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Combine the Harissa paste with the olive oil in a small bowl and mix together until well combined. Toss the carrots in the harissa mixture until nicely coated then add to a roasting pan, being sure carrots are evenly separated and not overlapping. Roast the carrots for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and have a nice char to your liking.

Once you are ready to serve, plate the carrots and dollop with Greek yogurt. I like serving this with warm couscous, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of finishing salt.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Honey Mint Carrot Collins

Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Honey Mint Syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh pressed carrot juice
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
————————————
1 ounce chilled Perrier
Garnish: Fresh Origins Micro Carrot and Micro Mint

Measure gin, Honey Mint Syrup and juices into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously. Pour drink into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish.

Honey Mint Syrup
Makes about 10 ounces
8 sprigs fresh mint
3/4 cup clover honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while siring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 45 minutes. Strain and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kathy on October 14th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Carrot Craze |  Posted in Cocktails, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, appetizers, vegetables

Apples

A true sign of fall, apples are appearing everywhere right now. Think thick-caramel-coated-and-dipped-in-nuts or those sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market.

The Northwest has always been the Mecca for amazing apples from glorious Gala Apples with their wonderful perfume and sweet flavor under a lovely red and pink striped exterior, to the sexy pink ladies! The list goes on and on.

For pie lovers, nothing is as iconic as good ol’ classic American apple pie. Some of my favorite ways to switch it up is adding grated cheddar to the crust and tossing some fall cranberries into the filling. Yum!

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Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table
Who’s ready for pie? I know I am!
 

But in addition to treats and desserts, there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try a quick sauté of sliced apples, chopped bacon, and onions then finish it off with a quick vinaigrette and tossed with baby spinach leaves for a tasty and warm supper salad.

 

apples
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
 

Just remember, one of the most important tips is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. And we all like that crisp apple crunch! –Kathy

 

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust

Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shredded Tillamook Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 Tbsp. cold water

 

Pie Filling

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

 

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

 

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

 

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

 

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

 

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

 

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

 

6 cups baby spinach

Vinaigrette

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

———————————————

1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

 

Place spinach in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt

and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

 

In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple, onion and garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 7th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Recent Posts, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Snacks, dessert, salads, vegetables
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