Posts from April, 2018

Marinades

The sun is finally making more than a cameo appearance and for those living in the Pacific Northwest – that means it’s time to start grilling! Nothing kicks up the flavor on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade.

Marinades are super-simple to make and give an easy flavor boost to your dinner dishes with just a few ingredients.

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

So this spring and summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling

Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lemon and Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken

Makes about 1/3 cup

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives

2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together well.

Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Marinades |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, citrus, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey

Easy Protein Snacks

These days, healthy eating has become a top trend across the country – and it’s no surprise why. Incorporating high-protein foods into your diet has so many health benefits.

It can help you maintain weight loss, boost your energy levels, and support strong muscles and bones.

And lucky for us – there are tons of protein packed, d’lish options that not only taste great, but are easy to make and totally portable.

My go-to snack are Energy Nut Balls – chock full of dates, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and nuts. No baking required! It’s the perfect grab-and-go bite that keeps you feeling full and energized. You can even customize it with your favorite ingredients – nut butter, a drizzle of honey, goji berries or oats. Get creative with it! I love to roll mine in coconut flakes for an added crunch.

Or how about roasted chickpeas – tossed in olive oil, seasonings, and baked until crunchy perfection. These healthy legumes are packed with fiber.

So get snacking! Happy cooking everyone.
-Kathy

Coconut Lime Cashew Energy Balls
These are also delicious when made with lemon – or try a combo of both lemon and lime!

Makes: 24 balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® Lime juice
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon Sunkist® Lime zest
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
———————————————
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling

Directions:
Tear the apricots and put in a small bowl and toss with the lime juice and hot water, press the apricots into the liquid with a fork. Let soak for 10 minutes.

Place the apricot mixture and liquid, zest, turmeric, ginger, oats, flax seed, and coconut oil in a food processor and process until mixture just comes together.
Add the flake coconut, cashews and pumpkin seeds and pulse until seeds are broken down and chopped into the mixture.

Portion the mixture into heaping tablespoons and roll into balls, then roll in desiccated coconut to coat.
Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®

Posted by Kathy on April 12th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Easy Protein Snacks |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Maple Syrup

When I think of Maple Syrup, I can’t help but think of warm and fuzzy memories – especially about breakfast.

So where does this d’lish treat come from? The mighty sugar maple tree! Quebec is by far the largest producer of this sticky syrup – producing 70 percent of the world’s supply. Thanks Canada!

There are several grades of syrup – ranging from extra light to extra dark – each with their own flavor profile and characteristics.

But this sugary delight isn’t just for sweet breakfasts or desserts. That’s right – maple syrup is delicious in savory dishes too! Added to a pot of slow-roasting baked beans; in a salad vinaigrette; or even a pork marinade.

Or how about some maple roasted veggies, finished with sea salt and topped over a piping hot bowl of creamy polenta – yum!

So branch out – and discover all that maple syrup has to offer.
-Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Maple Syrup |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, sides
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