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.

patrice-benson
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  |  Comments Off on Chasing Wild Mushrooms |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

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 dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, salads, Snacks, vegetables
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