Posts from November, 2019

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey day is here and gone. But, what to do with all the leftovers in the fridge? Need some tasty ideas? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Turkey Feast
A d’lish Thanksgiving day feast!

Don’t throw out those bones! They’re essential for my Rich Turkey Stock. Pick that turkey carcass clean – be sure to save the meat for soup and sandwiches. Get out the stock pot – add the bones, some chopped carrots, celery and onion – cover with water (sometimes I like to add in a carton or two of chicken broth to give it a flavor boost) bring to a simmer for 2 hours – then strain and voila!

What to do with that stock? Well soup is a natural idea, but how about whipping up a big pan of gravy for hot open faced turkey sandwiches.

Thanksgiving for breakfast – why not! Thanksgiving Benedict is a delicious idea a chef friend shared with me. Form leftover stuffing into a patties, pan sear, and then top with sliced turkey, a poached egg and a dollop of homemade turkey gravy. YUM! –Kathy

Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups

2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)

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

Posted by Kathy on November 28th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Leftovers |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Let’s Talk Turkey!

The holidays are upon us and it’s time to start planning those holiday dinners for friends and family. Everyone has their favorites from old-school marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes to the classic green bean casserole. For me, it’s all about the turkey! Juicy and golden, it graces most of our holiday dinner tables. But, alas! There can be many turkey tragedies, “turkey sins” as I like to call them. From the overcooked and dried out to the not-fully-defrosted-and-then-baked-raw travesty! Zowie!

Ample planning and some good rules of thumb can ensure a low-stress turkey roasting day. Below, I’ll walk you through the 10 turkey sins, and provide tips on how to have a d’lish holiday meal.

I’m also including a recipe for my Cranberry Citrus Cooler, Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey, Old Fashioned Turkey Gravy ( a recipe that makes a lot! – see sin #7!), Overnight Wild Rice Stuffing and Egg Nog Panna Cotta for you to cook up some holiday fun!

Turkey Sin #1: Roasting a Half-Frozen Bird, or the “turkey’sicle”

If you’re buying a standard bird at the grocery store, take into consideration most of these babies are frozen or “half” frozen. I love ordering a fresh local Foster Farms bird. If you do too, keep in mind to get your order in at least 2+ weeks ahead at your favorite market or butcher/poultry shop. Remember to get to “know your turkey” – if you’re going for a fresh bird, it will cook a bit quicker (and need more seasoning) than a traditional “plumped” turkey. The rule of thumb is: you should start defrosting your bird in the refrigerator about 5 days in advance—up to 7 if it’s a biggie! Watch me season and stuff fresh herbs in my fully defrosted turkey on Q13!

Turkey Sin #2: Leaving the Bag of Giblets in the Bird

How many of you have seen these left in during baking!? Once your bird is ready for the big day, take it out of the wrapper. Remove the bag of “goodies and giblets” from inside, and also check inside the neck cavity. (NO one wants a turkey “butt” surprise). You can use the neck and giblets to make a little pan of turkey stock for adding to gravy if you like.

Turkey Sin #3: “Steaming,” Rather than Roasting, your Bird

Roasting your turkey in a big old deep roasting pan creates steam from the turkey juices and does not make for a crispy-skinned bird. To avoid this, rinse your turkey inside and out; then pat it dry. Place in a wide shallow pan, up on a roasting rack. Stick some aromatics, such as quartered onions, an orange and a few big sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage and rosemary, in the inside cavity.

Turkey Sin #4: Under Seasoning

All the gravy and cranberry sauce in Plymouth Rock can’t hide an under seasoned bird. You can carefully stuff fun things like fresh sage leaves, sprigs of thyme, fresh basil leaves and small tufts of rosemary under the turkey’s skin but watch out for tears in the skin. Herbs will add a nice flavor to the meat. Season your turkey liberally with kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper – or I love to use my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt! This means really season it well—rub it all over, under the wings, on the back of the bird—massage that baby! For a medium-sized turkey, you want to use at least 1 tablespoon of kosher salt plus about 1 teaspoon of pepper or about 2 Tbsp of my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt.

Turkey Sin #5: An Undercooked or Overcooked Bird

Undercook your bird, and put your guests at risk. Overcook your bird, and you’ll need to offer guests a LOT of wine for washing it down…which could lead to family drama! Cooking your bird just right is tricky. To start with, there are a million different methods. I’m a roasted-turkey gal, but I know there are lots of you turkey-fryers out there. And it does make a good bird (but beware of garage fires!) —but I gotta have my gravy. To keep it simple, get yourself a good instant-read thermometer and be sure to preheat your oven. See my favorite recipe and tips, below, for roasting. To avoid overcooking your bird, plan your day. When are you serving dinner? Work back from there. Unless you are cooking a 40-lb monster turkey or eating dinner at 11 AM, there is no need to get the bird in the oven at 6 AM!! Yes, I have succumbed to eating one of those roasted-for-8-hours birds, and it wasn’t pretty!

Turkey sin #5-B Note

Do not leave the thermometer in the bird when you are roasting it – see picture below.

I prefer an instant read thermometer.

Melted Thermometer

Turkey Sin #6: An Improperly Carved Turkey

After all that hard work put into creating a picture-perfect, delicious-tasting bird, do not let the knife get into inexperienced hands! It may be tradition to let the man of the house perform the ceremonious carve, but not if he’s going to hack it to death (Family Note: Seen at the in-laws frequently.  For God sakes just let me do it)! Give the bird 20 minutes to rest. This will allow you to get the rest of the dinner on the table. To start carving, take off the breast first, and slice thin. Disjoint the legs, thighs, and wings and slice the thighs if desired. My in-laws use an electric knife (it was probably a wedding gift from the 60’s!) and actually, the thing works pretty darn well. I favor my super-sharp Henkel chef’s knife. But hey! Use whatever gets you the nicest slices. (I kind of like those old school electric carving knives too!) You can watch me carve and serve up roasted turkey pieces on Q13 here!

Turkey Sin #7: Not Enough Gravy- This could be the ultimate sin!

Gravy and turkey is like milk and cookies: delightfully harmonious. To be sure you make enough, immediately transfer your roasted bird to a platter to rest, and collect all those yummy juices for making pan gravy. Or, what I like to do is make turkey stock a few days ahead using some purchased turkey legs and then make a big batch of gravy in the bird-cooking pan. There’s nothing worse than not enough gravy! I like my do ahead gravy recipe below – and it makes LOTS! Watch me make lots of turkey gravy on Q13!

Turkey Sin #8: Letting the Cooked Bird Sit Out…. All Day… and Beyond

Once you have the meat off the bird, remember to not let it sit on the counter all evening, increasing the risk of spoilage. I like to take off any extra meat and refrigerate it for soups or sandwiches. Don’t throw away that turkey carcass! Break it up, throw it in a big pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1–2 hours. Strain the stock well, then cool. Now you have yummy turkey broth to make some tasty soup later in the week.

Turkey Sin #9: No Turkey Leftovers for Sandwiches

And this brings us to the sin second only to not making enough gravy: not cooking enough turkey. Turkey sandwiches—I love them piled high with homemade cranberry compote—are absolutely de rigueur for next-day snacking … or midnight refrigerator raids, for those who cannot wait! So if you’re inviting your peeps over for dinner –encourage people to bring some their own Tupperware –  give them some leftovers …. it will make for very happy guests and less to cram in the already packed refrigerator!

Turkey Sin #10: Not Enjoying Yourself

Running around the kitchen like a turkey with its head cut off is no way to enjoy the holiday. Don’t allow the day to consume you. Why not give each person something to bring to the dinner? Maybe even send them a recipe you would like them to make. The holidays are all about gathering over a meal, so get those football-watchers off the couch and into the kitchen. Get your guests involved by setting the table, pouring drinks, warming the rolls, anything to help. You’ll relax more and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

———————————————–

One of my favorite turkey-roasting methods follows, so whether you are a first-time cooker or an old hand at the turkey game, I hope my tips and recipes will allow you to have a super-successful holiday meal!

Finished Turkey

Kathy’s Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey
Chef’s Notes:  Read recipe all the way through a few days before your dinner. A tasty do-ahead turkey gravy that makes LOTS follows.

Allow about 1 1/2 – 2 hours of roasting time for a 12-pound turkey (that is fresh and not stuffed), and add about 5 to 10 minutes for each additional pound. This will be one of the most beautiful turkeys you’ve ever roasted!  If roasting a large turkey 20 – 24 lbs, bake at 350 degrees. A 22-lb turkey should take about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to reach 175–180 degrees internal temperature (insert an instant-read thermometer in the back side of the thigh).

Makes 8 to 16 servings, with leftovers

1 12- to 16-pound turkey
4 or more large, fresh rosemary sprigs
1 large onion, skin on, quartered
1 head of garlic, broken apart
8 large sage leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt + 1/2 – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
OR 2 + tablespoons Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt

Place an oven rack low in the oven, removing extra racks if necessary. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Remove the giblets and neck from turkey cavities, checking that both cavities are empty. Rinse turkey with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry. Keep the legs tied together with the metal clip, or tie with butcher’s twine.

Place half of the rosemary sprigs and all the onion and garlic in the bird’s body cavity.

  • (If you decide to stuff your turkey with traditional stuffing there are some things you must know: When stuffing a turkey, do so just before roasting; do not stuff it the night before. Loosely stuff the turkey so that the stuffing will completely cook through. Do not pack the stuffing. You can stuff both ends of a turkey, the large inside cavity and the smaller nook under the skin flap at the neck – cooking time may need to be increased and be sure your stuffing .)

Pull the leaves off the remaining rosemary sprigs. Carefully loosen the turkey skin over the breast and legs (by running your hands under it), being careful not to tear it. Keeping them as flat as possible, tuck the sage leaves and the rosemary leaves you pulled off under the breast, thigh, and leg skin, arranging the herbs decoratively. Carefully pull the breast skin tightly down over breast bone, then, using metal closure skewers, thread them through both sides of the skin flaps to bridge the turkey body-cavity opening. Thread skewers alternately from left to right then right to left. With a 12-inch piece of butcher’s twine or white cotton string, work back and forth around the skewers to lace up the cavity, shoelace-style.

Spray a roasting rack with nonstick vegetable spray and place the turkey on the rack in an open, shallow roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, then generously sprinkle the turkey with the salt and pepper or French Seasoning Salt, seasoning it well all over.

Place the turkey on the low oven rack and roast until the inner, thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F. (Insert metal stem, instant-read thermometer in the back side of thigh by the turkey body.)

If you are cooking a larger turkey, you may need to tent the breast loosely with a piece of buttered foil to avoid over-browning of the breast. About 30 to 45 minutes before the end of cooking, remove tent to allow browning.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven. Before carving the turkey, let it stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. As the turkey stands, the turkey thigh temperature will reach 180°F. (If stuffing be sure stuffing comes to 165°F) Use the pan drippings to make your gravy – see recipe below.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy- THAT MAKES A LOT!
You can make this a few days ahead and then re-heat in your turkey roasting pan for extra turkey flavor goodness! Read through the entire recipe before starting.

Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary – or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms, or chopped wild mushrooms
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the rosemary and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

You can make the gravy a couple of days ahead to save yourself some precious holiday time!

Then right before serving- and while your turkey is set aside to rest – ready your turkey roasting pan full of turkey goodness: remove excess fat from your turkey roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner – add a big splash of white wine, champagne, potato cooking water, chicken broth or water. Using a metal spatula – scrape up all the goodies in the bottom of the pan… this is the turkey goodness. Then add your prepared Turkey Mushroom gravy – whisk well and heat till hot. Serve up and enjoy – you’ll have lots of gravy for all!

Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups

2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cuties Overnight Wild-Rice & Sourdough Stuffing
With big flavors and textures, this stuffing is great with game hens, turkey, chicken, holiday ham or pork chops.
Makes about 8 servings

6 cups water
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup wild rice
—————————
6 Cuties Mandarin Oranges
4 cups 1/2-inch-cubed rustic sourdough bread
1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds
6 Tbsp. salted butter
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced onion
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced celery
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten

In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer rice, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, peel the Cuties, cut in half crosswise, then break into half segments. Place in a large bowl with the bread and almonds, and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 7–8 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and add cranberries, broth and herbs.

Add mushroom mixture and cooled rice to bread mixture. Toss to mix evenly, then add the beaten egg and toss until bread is thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors develop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with pan spray.

Re-toss stuffing, transfer to baking pan, and let sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature while oven preheats. Bake in preheated oven for 35–45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Chef’s Note: When roasting a stuffed chicken or game hen, cook until internal temperature at the center of the stuffing is 165 degrees F.

Recipe Created for Cuties Citrus by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cranberry Citrus Cooler
Housemade Cranberry Syrup adds a flavorful twist and beautiful color to this tall cooler.
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz Housemade Cranberry Syrup including 3- 4 of the berries (recipe follows)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: long lemon twist

Measure the Moon Mountain Vodka, Cranberry Syrup including a few of the berries, lemon juice and orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and add the bitters. Cap and shake. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a long curled lemon twist.

Housemade Cranberry Syrup
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 1 minute then turn off heat. Let syrup infuse for one hour. Then refrigerate. Will keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Eggnog Panna Cotta With Spiced Cranberry Compote
Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup pecan pieces

Eggnog Panna Cotta
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup (8 oz wt) mascarpone
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water

Spiced Cranberry Compote
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350-degree oven until just golden, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

To make the Panna Cotta: Place the eggnog, sugar, nutmeg, extract, mascarpone and sour cream in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie). Whisk until smooth and warmed.

In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let bloom for a couple of minutes, then heat in microwave or over hot water until melted. Whisk into the warmed eggnog mixture.

Divide mixture between 4 small custard cups (the small Pyrex glass ones). Place on a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours until set, or overnight.

To make the Spiced Cranberry Compote: In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan place the cranberries, nutmeg, sugar, orange juice and zest. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium. Let cook until cranberries are popped and mixture is a nice compote consistency, about 5 – 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

To serve dessert: One at a time place each ramekin of panna cotta in a shallow bowl of very hot water — to 1/2-inch from the top — for about a count of 10. Remove, run a knife around the outside and unmold onto individual dessert plates. Scatter the cranberry compote over the tops of the custards. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: All the dessert components can be made up to 3 days before serving.

Recipe © Dishing with Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy on November 21st, 2019  |  Comments Off on Let’s Talk Turkey! |  Posted in dessert, Dish D'Lish, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, French Seasoning Salt, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, poultry, Products, Recent Posts, Recipes, seasonings, sides

Holiday Sides

Okay, I know that for holiday dinners it’s hard to break away from the tried and true accompaniments – the infamous green bean casserole topped with crispy fried onions, marshmallow-y brown sugar yams, and sage-y stuffing. I’m not saying to forget making your faves, but just suggesting that this year, maybe try something new!

Take for example, my Maple Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Sage: sliced sweet potatoes, drizzled with maple syrup, cream, a touch of fresh sage, and topped with a few bread crumbs for texture. Baked till bubbly good (recipe follows).

Savory Island Relish 3
All the goodies for whipping up a batch of Angostura Savory Island Relish

Forget the traditional store-bought cranberry sauce this year and go fresh! Whip up an inspired Savory Island Relish recipe combining; fresh cranberries, pecans, pineapple, orange, a touch of honey, AND a few big dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters! That’s right – a touch of bitters adds a great layer of flavor!

Savory Island Relish 2
Ready to process … be sure to leave some texture.

Just whiz it up in your food processor and voila – a tasty condiment to your holiday ham or turkey! #Yum #CookingWithBitters #QuickAndEasyEntertaining

Savory Island Relish 1
The Relish is ready!

So get out of your side dish rut, and try something new for your next holiday get-together. –Kathy

Angostura Savory Island Relish
Switch things up at your next holiday dinner and serve this island inspired fresh cranberry sauce made with fresh pineapple, toasty pecans and tangy cranberries – spiced with the aromatic flavors of Angostura bitters. Great with turkey, ham, roast chicken or even in a baked yam! For a spiced version add a dash of cinnamon, or allspice.

Makes about 3 cups

2 Tbsp. ANGOSTORA® Aromatic Bitters
2 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen cranberries, defrosted)
1 orange, rinsed, ends cut off, and cut into chunks with rind
1 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted
1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like it (or substitute 1/4 cup honey)
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse the mixture, (scraping down the sides often), until the mixture is chopped fine but still has some nice texture. Place the relish into a jar and store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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

Maple Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Sage
Serves about 10 – 12.

8 cups peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch) sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds)

Maple Cream
3 cups cream
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Topping
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. high-quality grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves

fresh sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 3-quart casserole with pan spray or lightly butter it. Then arrange sliced sweet potatoes in an even layer. In a large bowl whisk together the maple cream ingredients until well combined. Pour the maple cream over sweet potatoes and push them down a bit to be sure they are coated in liquid.

In a small bowl combine topping ingredients and set aside.
Bake casserole for 35 minutes and then sprinkle with topping and bake another 25 – 35 minutes or until topping is browned, potatoes are tender and liquid is thickened.

Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh sage leaves.

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

Posted by Kathy on November 14th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Holiday Sides |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, vegetables

Easy Entertaining

Who doesn’t love to throw a dinner party, but some just do it with a little less stress.

Here are a few of my fave entertaining tips:

    •Write out your menu and plan out your prep day by day, preparing as much as you can in advance and picking recipes that can be finished at the last minute.
    •Have each one of your guests help with a different dish when it comes time to serve it. They’ll have fun and it will take some stress off of you!

Here’s an example of my favorite fall menu:

Start with Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre and Walnut Crostini. The soup can be made ahead and then just finished off before you serve. Next, a salad of arugula and brilliant radicchio tossed simply with balsamic and olive oil sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Then move on to an entrée of oven-roasted Spiced Chicken with Pears and Port. It slow cooks while you are mingling with guests.

Then finish with Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Holiday Ale Caramel – this can be made a week before. Gotta love that!

Pumpkin Panna Cotta w Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
Mini Pumpkin Panna Cottas with Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce – d’lish to the last spoonful!

So, I’ve supplied the menu, now, all you have to do is invite a delightful group of friends! –Kathy

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre & Walnut Crostini
Makes 6 servings

4 cups 1/2-inch-sliced peeled parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth (I used packaged organic broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Croutons
6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Garnish: thinly sliced fresh chives and/or celery leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

First, toast the bread for the croutons: Lay the bread on a baking sheet, brush slices lightly with oil, and toast in the preheated oven for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before and keep croutons in a tightly closed container after they cool.)

Toss parsnips and olive oil together in a bowl to coat evenly. Spread out on a baking sheet (you can reuse the one used for the bread), and roast till golden and totally tender, about 30 minutes.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and celery until very tender, about 3 minutes; do not brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds more. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth, cream and roasted parsnips and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or low, to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and cayenne. In small batches, puree mixture in a blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Return soup to pan and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

To serve the soup and finish the crostini:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cheese on the croutons, then top each one with a half-tablespoon of nuts. Press in slightly and bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is warmed.

Meanwhile, heat the soup, stirring often, over medium heat till hot, making sure it does not stick on the bottom. Serve the hot soup in warm bowls. Top with chives or celery leaf and serve a warm goat cheese crouton on the side.

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

Spiced Chicken with Pears and Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 tsp. cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel & Sea Salt
You can make the panna cotta up to 5 days in advance—just keep tightly wrapped with plastic. The caramel sauce can also be prepared up to a week beforehand, making it the perfect dessert for a busy holiday schedule.

Makes 8 regular (4-oz) servings or 16 mini (2-oz) servings

1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mascarpone
1 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pre-seasoned pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
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1 cup Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Sea salt for sprinkling (sea salt)

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Soak until the gelatin is soft, then microwave on high power for only about 2 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, sour cream, mascarpone, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Add the gelatin and whisk together well.

Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth and hot (150 to 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove from the heat and divide the mixture evenly among 8 regular or 16 mini martini glasses (or 8 custard or 16 espresso cups). Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the panna cotta. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours to set.

To serve: Drizzle each panna cotta with ale caramel sauce (1 tablespoon for the minis or 2 for the larger portions), and then sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Chef’s note: If making the ale caramel sauce is too much for your schedule, then substitute with a speed scratch sea salt caramel sauce; mix 1/2 cup purchased high-quality caramel sauce with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, depending upon how salty you like it.

Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
If made ahead, cool completely and store refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to serve. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for the panna cotta; extra sauce can be drizzled on ice cream, pound cake or other desserts.

Makes 2 cups

1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin ale or other seasonal beer, such as Pike Brewing Co. Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-large saucepan, bring the ale to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.

Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring (stir or swirl the pan only if necessary to prevent boiling over) for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thick and syrupy (about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream and butter (it may splatter!), and then cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. If serving right away, cool until just warm; it will thicken up more as it cools. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on November 7th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Easy Entertaining |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, soups
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