Posts from July, 2020

Tasty (Green) Tomatoes!

Well, I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we haven’t had much sun this summer… but there’s a silver lining – I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of green tomatoes! Of course, they are much-loved and celebrated in the South, but with such a short growing season that often results in more green tomatoes than we know what to do with, we should have festivals dedicated to them, too!

Photo Credit: Kathy Casey Food Studios®

No matter where you live, though, there are some surefire ways to ripen green tomatoes. For smaller and cherry varieties, you can cut the vine and hang it up in your kitchen window. They’ll ripen slowly (and look pretty!).

For bigger tomatoes, one of my favorite tricks is to individually wrap unblemished green tomatoes with their stem still on. Store them in a box in a dark place and check them often for any molders and to see how the ripening is going. Using this method, I have enjoyed fresh garden tomatoes as far along as Thanksgiving!

If you’re ready to try your hand at cooking up some of those green tomatoes, they make a wonderful addition to chow chow relish or homemade green tomato mincemeat. You can even pickle the smaller ones for a really fab martini or Bloody Mary garnish! And who can resist them in the most famous preparation – Fried Green Tomatoes! I love serving them fresh out of them pan with a d’lish remoulade dipping sauce – the perfect late summer appetizer or a fun afternoon snack!

So don’t worry if your tomatoes are green – there’s lots of ways to enjoy them just as they are! – Kathy

Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce
Makes about 4-6 servings

1 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika or smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón)
4 – 5 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick crosswise slices (about 16 slices)
Vegetable oil or a mixture of oil and bacon drippings for frying
Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 165° to 200°F. In a plate or shallow bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and paprika with a fork.

Dredge the tomato slices, a few at a time, in the seasoned flour to coat well. Set the tomatoes aside on a lightly floured baking sheet. Reserve the flour mixture.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 to 1/3 inch oil over medium heat. Fry the tomato slices in batches for about 2 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown on each side, turning as necessary. As the tomatoes are done, transfer them to a cake rack set on a baking pan to keep warm in the low oven.

Divide the tomatoes among individual plates and serve immediately, accompanied with the remoulade.

Remoulade Sauce
I also like to add a touch of horseradish to this for some extra kick!

Makes 1 cup

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsps finely chopped dill pickle
1 Tbsp drained capers, chopped
1/2 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/8 tsp celery seed
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Chef’s Note: The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated until needed.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey.

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 28th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Tasty (Green) Tomatoes! |  Posted in Uncategorized

Fruit Salads

Quick: name 3 side dishes for your next barbeque. I bet fruit salad was on that list! Put down that recipe for Waldorf salad and get creative with new fruit salad ideas.

A fave d’lish trick is to mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with a local honey; then add in some chopped freshly picked mint from the garden. Toss this with juicy peach wedges or halved apricots – yum!

Try grilling thick slices of pineapple and then sprinkling them with a touch of ground chipotle chili, a touch of lime juice, and a quick scatter in some chopped cilantro. My mouth is watering just thinking about this one.

Icy cold watermelon chunks are terrific when tossed with feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, kalamata olives and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil! Now that’s a NEW salad everyone will love!

So think outside of the box and try a new spin on fruit salad…and don’t forget to tell me how you like your refreshing summer side! – Kathy

Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Tipsy Fruit Salad
Sprinkle with chopped nuts, pomegranate seeds or granola for added crunch. For a non-spiked creamy-style dressing, combine Greek yogurt, Angostura Aromatic Bitters and honey. Also try making this recipe with fruit skewers.

Makes: about 6 servings

Tipsy Dressing
1 lime
1 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® aged rum
1 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 – 3 Tbsp. honey, depending on how sweet you like it
—————————————
6 cups cut-up fresh fruit such as: mango, pineapple, bananas, berries and melon

To make the dressing: zest the lime into a small bowl then juice it. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Toss with fruit and let marinate for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Fruit + Lavender
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender- Lemon Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings

Lavander Lemon Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high quality local honey
1/2 cup water
8 ea fresh lavander flowers, unsprayed and rinsed (or 1 tablespoon dry)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Fruit
an assortment such as the following of fresh ripe stone fruits to make about 4 cups after cutting:
-peaches, peeled, pitted and  cut in wedges
-large apricots, pitted and cut in wedges
-plums, pitted and cut in wedges
-nectarines, pitted and cut in wedges
-pitted fresh cherries

Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, if desired.

To make the lavender lemon honey syrup : In a small heavy bottom sauce pan combine the honey, water and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over med  heat – being careful that ist does not foam up. Slowly simmer for about  10  minutes or until like thin pancake syrup.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Then add lemon juice and strain. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

To serve: In a large bowl toss with the lavender lemon honey syrup. Garnish with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Todd English’s Watermelon, Fennel and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese
One of my all-time favorite watermelon recipes is chef Todd English’s. He embellishes a melon salad with the distinctive flavors of fennel, feta and kalamata olives contrasted against the cool red-glistening fruit. The recipe was originally featured in the Star Palate cookbook, whose proceeds benefited the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Makes 8 servings

4 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a Japanese mandoline (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put the watermelon, fennel, olives, red onion, green onion, basil leaves, and feta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Divide among salad plates and serve immediately.

Adapted from “Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure” by Tami Agassi and Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 21st, 2020  |  Comments Off on Fruit Salads |  Posted in Uncategorized

Sweet, Sweet Corn

There is nothing better than sweet, succulent corn. Boiled, steamed, grilled or even raw, corn is the perfect addition to any meal.

Want to grill your corn? Let it soak for in water for 30 minutes. Peel back the husks, tying them to make a fun handle. Then remove all the silk. The extra water helps the corn steam a bit on the grill before charring. Fun tip: you can also do this with beer!

Sweet summer corn sometimes needs nothing. Maybe a little sea salt. But if you like it more indulgent, a smear of delicious honey butter can be downright delicious!

Or go Mexican-style like in my Grilled Street Corn and spread a little mayo on it when it’s hot off the grill. Sprinkle chili salt, and roll in cotija cheese. Serve with fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

Photo Credit: Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Not a fan of eating corn right off the cob? No problem! Simply use a knife to cut down each side of the cob – the kernels will fall right off. There’s even a handy gadget you can get to do this. Perfect for mixing into freshly made salsa or in my Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini recipe!

Photo from Simply Recipes

So go enjoy one of the best tastes of summer before it’s gone! -Kathy

Grilled Street Corn
Appetizer-size, these make for a great starter. You can also make this recipe with whole ears of corn to serve as a side. Serve with an assortment of hot sauces on the side to spice things up!

Makes: 12 – 16 pieces

4 ears of fresh corn
1 lime
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or use a combination of both)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
12 – 16 short sturdy wooden picks

Pre-heat a grill on medium-high heat. Soak skewers in water.

Husk the corn then using a serrated knife, cut each ear into 3 – 4 pieces depending on size. Meanwhile zest the lime into a small bowl, then cut the lime in wedges and set aside. Whisk in the chili powder, mayonnaise, and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese and cilantro.

Grill corn, turning as needed until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 – 6 minutes depending on your grill. Remove from the grill and insert a wooden pick into each piece of corn. Spread each piece of corn with some of the mayo mixture to lightly coat – then roll in the cheese mixture, placing finished corn on a platter as you go. Squeeze the reserved lime over the corn and serve immediately.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini
Makes 6 servings

3 mixed colorful bell peppers
3 ears fresh corn, husked
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
12 thin slices (1/4-inch) of French bread baguette, lightly toasted
6 ounces soft chevre goat cheese
4 to 6 cups tightly packed, washed and torn arugula or baby arugula

Roast peppers over a hot grill or coals or under the broiler, turning often until skin is totally blistered. Peel, seed and thinly slice peppers. Set aside.

Grill corn, turning when each side is marked and lightly roasted. Cut corn from cob, and add to peppers.

In a large bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice together. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in basil, roasted peppers, and corn. Set aside.

Meanwhile, spread toasted French bread slices with goat cheese, and place under a broiler for one minute or pop into a hot, 400-degree oven until cheese is warm.

Add arugula to roasted pepper mixture. Toss well. Divide among individual salad plates and garnish with the warm goat cheese crostini.

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

Posted by Kathy on July 14th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Sweet, Sweet Corn |  Posted in Uncategorized

Chill Out With Summer Cold Soups

Gazpacho is traditionally known as a cold-style soup. Originating in the southern regions of Spain and Portugal, this fresh tomato-based soup is a summer staple and a refreshing to get your vegetables!

I like to add lots of veggies into my gazpacho like cucumbers and bell peppers, then top it with some Alaska King Crab for a real splurge like my recipe I did with Sunset Tomatoes. Just think you won’t even have to turn on the stove for an elegant meal – that is definitely a plus on a hot summer’s night!

Gazpacho
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Tomatoes aren’t the only celebrities when it comes to “cold” soups …… there are lots of chilled summer fruit soup recipes too!

Juicy, ripe melons are the star in my Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs.

Creamy coconut milk, bold Thai red curry paste, and zesty ginger and lemongrass come together to make this soup d’lish. Top it off with a pouf of sweet bay shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts. Then season it up with a hit lime juice, basil and mint – it’s the meal to cool off with! Yum!

Chilled Bing Cherry Soup is a summertime classic in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe; mostly served as an opener. I’ve dug out the old recipe I used to make every summer at Fullers. Lush ruby cherries are cooked with spices and white wine then chilled, pureed and topped with a swirl of crème fraiche or sour cream. Savory, sweet and lush –mmmmm!

So beat the heat and cool off with a chilled summer soup! –Kathy

Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs
Makes about 4 cups (6 starter servings)

Soup
3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (we used Mae Ploy)
1 can (13 – 14 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Topping
1/4 pound bay shrimp or chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup tiny-diced water chestnuts (Fresh ones are great if you can find them!)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

In a food processor or blender, process the cantaloupe, sugar, ginger, lemon grass and curry paste until evenly pureed. Mix in the coconut milk, salt and lime juice.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together.

Ladle soup into small bowls and spoon a pouf of topping into each serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass lime wedges on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chilled Bing Cherry Soup
I also like this soup topped with a few coarse chopped toasted hazelnuts for a touch of crunch.

Makes 6 – 8 servings as a starter

2 cups crisp white wine, such as Fume Blanc
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod, crushed
4 black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups pitted Bing cherries (about 3 pounds)
1 cup crème fraîche, or substitute sour cream

Garnishes:
thinned crème fraîche or sour cream for swirling on top of soup
unsprayed, edible flowers, such as violas, pansies, rose petals or nasturtiums

In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar lemon zest, spices, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 5 cups of the cherries (reserve remainder) and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand till mixture reaches room temperature.

When cooked cherry mixture is cool, remove and discard cardamom pod and cinnamon stick. Place cherry mixture in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Then add crème Fraiche, and process until smooth.

Chill soup till very cold, at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.

Serve well chilled in cold bowls. Garnish each serving with the reserved, pitted cherries divided evenly among servings. Swirl the top of soup with thinned crème fraîche or sour cream drizzled from a spoon or squirted from a squeeze bottle. Garnish with edible flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 7th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Chill Out With Summer Cold Soups |  Posted in Uncategorized
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