Posts from November, 2020

Cooking with Bitters

Oh bitters! In the beverage world, we like to call them the “salt & pepper” of drinks. They can add an extra oomph! to a cocktail – oftentimes, enhancing the overall drink and adding an extra layer of flavor. But did you know that you can also cook with bitters too?

From appetizers to main dishes – and yes, even sweets! – a dash of bitters goes a long way. Take for example, my “Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball – 4 different cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, brandy, and Angostura Bitters come together for a party pleaser.


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Bitters are oh-s- tasty in sweets too, like in my favorite new cookie – Bittersnaps. A generous helping of aromatic bitters adds an amazing layer of flavor to this classic cookie! Goes great with coffee or a glass of milk!

So next time you’re cooking, add a dash of bitters to your dish – is not just for cocktails anymore. -Kathy

“Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball
This boozy and bold flavored cheeseball will be the centerpiece of any appetizer spread. Serve with artisan crackers, crostini or veggies. Add in a big handful of cooked minced bacon or minced salami to switch things up. You can also divide this recipe into 4 smaller balls and package up in glassine for tasty holiday party gift-giving. Bring out to room-temp for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Makes: 1 large cheese ball, 12 – 16 servings

8 oz. wt. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fontina cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fresh parmesan or grana cheese, grated
1 (8 oz. wt.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. brandy or Cognac
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1 cup (3 1/2 oz. wt.) sliced almonds, toasted*

Grate the cheeses into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixer mix with paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and grated cheeses on medium speed for about 6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and then add the remaining ingredients (except the nuts). Mix starting on low speed. Increase speed to high for about another 6 – 8 minutes, or until mixture is well blended (scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of time in this process). Cover and refrigerate mixture in bowl for about 1 hour to firm up.

Once cheese mixture is well chilled, form into a well-compacted ball. Then place toasted nuts in a bowl and roll cheeseball in nuts, pressing them in with your hands to coat well.

Transfer your cheese ball to the center of a large piece of plastic wrap, and bring the sides of the plastic up to the center – firmly twisting it to help the ball stay in a round shape. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks tightly wrapped.

*Toast nuts in a pre-heated 350°F oven for about 6 – 8 minutes. Cool before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Bittersnaps
Switch up your cookie repertoire with these Angostura Aromatic Bitters infused ginger snaps. Try using coarse sugar on top of the cookies for an extra sparkly effect!

Makes: about 36 cookies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup fine chopped candied ginger
Sugar for dipping

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 3 sheet-pans with parchment paper.

In a mixer, whip the sugar, shortening, and molasses together on medium-high speed until creamy. Then add the Angostura Aromatic Bitters and egg and mix again until well combined.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Add the dry mixture into the mixer on low speed, mix until well combined. Stir in the candied ginger.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 36 balls. Roll and then dip the tops into the sugar. Place 12 cookies evenly spaced, sugar side up, on each sheet-pan. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Posted by Kathy on November 17th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Cooking with Bitters |  Posted in appetizers, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, seasonings, Snacks, spices

Thanksgiving Desserts

We all know Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and spend time with family and friends. There is turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and goodies galore – the feast often goes all day long…but for many it’s all about the decadent desserts!

Everyone has their own special traditions and a lot of fond memories to go with them. From a spread of cookies and homemade candies, to the big buffet of pies – apple, lemon meringue, pecan and of course pumpkin – pumpkin is always a favorite!!

But if you’re looking to spice things up this year and bring something new to the table, why not switch up that pumpkin pie routine with my Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel and Sea Salt. It’s easy to make these ahead and portion in little mason jars. Yes, that’s right – you can do this a week ahead and cover with lids. Perfect for easy transporting too!

For serving, just remove the lids and drizzle with the caramel whipped up with your favorite local holiday brew (you can make this in advance too!) then top with whipped cream. Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-Kathy

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 tablespoons 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 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon 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.

Posted by Kathy on November 10th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Desserts |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts

Mixing Up Mashed Potatoes

The holiday season is all about get-togethers and potlucks. Traditional dishes are always comforting, but I think it’s time for a flavor upgrade. I’m looking at you, mashed potatoes!

Cha Cha Corn & Salsa Mashed Potatoes!
There are tons of ways to get creative and mix up your mash. Instead of the traditional butter, sour cream, or milk – stir in a healthy dollop of Greek yogurt for a tangy kick. You could fold in some caramelized onions with blue cheese. Or how about adding a little wasabi, ginger, edamame and a dash of soy to your mashed potatoes to transform them into an Asian-inspired, d’lish dish – my Wasabi Mashed Potatoes will blow you away!

But if you’re a mushroom lover like me, then I have the perfect spin on mashed ‘taters for you…my Wild Mushroom Mashed Potatoes. Packed with a variety of ‘shrooms – the earthy flavor pairs perfectly with the creamy richness of the mash. Russet potatoes are the most popular choice for making a fluffy mash, but Yukon Golds also have a creamy richness to them.

But no matter what potato you use, be sure to always whip your spuds when they are piping hot to avoid the dreaded gluey potato syndrome!
-Kathy

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
If after you make the potatoes you would like them a bit hotter, just mix a little more wasabi powder with some water to make a loose paste and then stir into potatoes. You can also use wasabi paste that comes in a tube as well – just add about 2-3 teaspoons, or to taste. If you’re watching the calories loose the butter and add in some fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt instead.

Makes about 6 1-cup servings

2 – 3 teaspoons wasabi powder (depending upon the heat you like)
1 tablespoon water
3/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half (about 3 very large potatoes)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)

In a very small bowl mix together the wasabi powder, water and salt and set aside.

Place potatoes in a very large pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on a low boil till fork tender, about 20 – 30 minutes. Test potatoes to be sure they’re tender all the way through.

Meanwhile, combine in a small pan over low heat the milk or half-and-half, butter and soy sauce. Heat till the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Remove from heat and stir in the wasabi mixture.

When potatoes are cooked, drain them well in a large colander, then return them to the pot. Shake pot over low heat about 30 seconds to dry out any remaining water. Remove from the heat and add half the hot liquid mixture. (Both the potatoes and the liquid must be hot.) With a heavy-duty whisk or masher, mash the potatoes. Then add remaining liquid and whip/mash up the potatoes till they are fluffy.

Mound potatoes in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Wild Mushroom Mashed Potatoes
Makes about 6 (1-cup) servings

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in halves or thirds, depending on size (about 3 very large potatoes)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
2 teaspoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
2 cups finely chopped assorted mushrooms (see note)
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
Minced fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Place potatoes in a very large pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook on a low boil till fork tender, about 20-30 minutes. Test potatoes to be sure they’re tender all the way through.

Meanwhile, combine in a small pan over low heat the milk, white pepper, 6 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat till the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Do not boil. Keep warm.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes until thoroughly cooked and all moisture has evaporated. Add sherry and saute 1-1 1/2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

When potatoes are cooked, drain them well in a large colander, then return them to the pot. Shake pot over low heat about 30 seconds to dry out any remaining water. Remove from the heat and add half the hot liquid mixture. (Both the potatoes and the liquid must be hot.) With a heavy duty whisk or masher, mash the potatoes. Then add remaining liquid and whip/mash up the potatoes till they are fluffy.

Mix in the mushrooms and mound potatoes in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle with minced chives or parsley.

Chef’s Notes: Wild mushrooms, such as morels, chanterelles and fresh porcini, are preferable. Or use domestic mushrooms such as button and shiitake or a mixture of domestic and wild mushrooms. If fresh wild mushrooms are not available, then substitute rehydrated, dry ones such as morels and porcini. To rehydrate them, pour boiling water over to just cover and let steep till softened. Drain before using. (Soaking liquid can be used in sauces or soups.)

This recipe is extra-delicious made with the half-and-half. However, you can make it with low-fat milk and skimp on or omit the butter if you’re really “watching it.”

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on November 3rd, 2020  |  Comments Off on Mixing Up Mashed Potatoes |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts
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