Mac & Cheese….Yes, Please!!!

When I think of comfort food, one of the first things that come to mind is mac & cheese. Gooey, warm, and of course, cheesy delicious!

One of my favorite recipes is a 4 Cheese Penne Bake – penne pasta, garlic and parmesan white sauce – tossed with loads of shredded cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, jack and parmesan. Cover the whole thing with some fresh, herby bread crumbs for a nice crunch.


Gooey, melted cheese bake – yum!

Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Mac & Cheese is perfect to customize. You can add so many flavorful sauce additions like salsa, roasted garlic, fresh herbs, or switch up the cheese combinations with your favorites.

For a fun party idea how about serving a pan of house made mac & cheese. Then set out a variety of toppings for guests to build their own bowl. Think pulled pork, crab or shrimp, BBQ chicken, roasted red peppers, green onions, corn salsa, roasted artichokes, sautéed mushrooms, sausage, green chilies… Nothing is off limits!

So get creative and dish up some cheesy goodness! –Kathy

4 Cheese Penne Bake With Herb Bread Crumbs
Generously serves 6 – 8

Herb Bread Crumbs (recipe follows)
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 1/2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups milk*
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
1 pound dry penne pasta
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated four-cheese blend**
2 cups (8 oz. wt.) grated Tillamook Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the Herb Bread Crumbs and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottom sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir around for about 20 seconds — do not let garlic brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

While stirring vigorously with a whisk, add the milk. Whisk well. Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until sauce is thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook penne pasta per package directions until done. Drain well.

In a very large bowl mix together the pasta and sauce, then fold in the grated cheeses until well combined. Place mixture into a lightly buttered, 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.

Sprinkle with Herb Bread Crumbs and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until pasta is heated through, sides are slightly bubbling and top is golden brown.

Chef’s Notes:
*For an even richer macaroni and cheese substitute half & half for the milk.

**Four-, five- and six-cheese blends are available in most grocers’ dairy sections. If you wish to make your own grated cheese blend, try using a mixture of any of the following: Jack, mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti.

Herb Bread Crumbs
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

3 cups packed, 1-inch French bread chunks
4 Tbsp. butter
pinch salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dry basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dry thyme leaves

Place bread crumb ingredients in a food processor, and pulse processor on and off until the bread becomes chopped into a fine crumb and is well mixed with the other ingredients.

Bread crumbs should be refrigerated until used and can be kept frozen for up to 1 month.

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

Posted by Kathy on October 27th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Mac & Cheese….Yes, Please!!! |  Posted in Uncategorized

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.

*Chef Note: It’s also great to shake ingredients together in a jar.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 20th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Maple Syrup |  Posted in Uncategorized

Zingy Grapefruit

We all enjoy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast and in classic cocktails like a Salty Dog (or a Greyhound depending if salt is used) or a Paloma. All for good reasons, too.

Grapefruits contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and they are rich in vitamins A and C. Peeled and eaten like an orange, they have a ton of good-for-you fiber and are known to help with weight loss.

Citrus Panzanella Salad
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

I love pink and ruby grapefruit for their balance of sweetness and tang, and are d’lish in my Citrus Panzanella Salad. They are also perfect paired with avocado, like in my Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Honey Shallot Vinaigrette.

Are you a Chicken Picatta fan? Try it with grapefruit instead of the traditional lemon! I love to serve this with orzo tossed with a little butter and lots of fresh herbs. Or even better if you have fresh chanterelle mushrooms available – sauté them up and fold into cooked wild rice. Yum!

And for a refreshing and bright beverage, try my recipe for Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz. Oh! And it is also great as a cocktail with a little shot of something added…. vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon……they all work!

Enjoy grapefruits in all their zesty glory any way you like! – Kathy

Citrus Panzanella Salad
With everyone baking at home these days, this is a great salad to use up any extra rustic bread. Featuring tangy grapefruit it’s excellent to serve as a starter or alongside grilled steak or roasted chicken. For a vegetarian entrée topped with sliced avocado and toasted nuts.

Makes 6 – 8 servings

Toasted Bread
4 cups 1-inch-cubed rustic style bread
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
3 Tbsp. grated high-quality parmesan cheese

Salad and Dressing
1 Sunkist Grapefruit
—————————————
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
——————————————
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 large tomato, diced
1 large fresh mozzarella ball, diced
2 cups arugula or baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

To make the toasted bread: In a large bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 6-8 minutes or until lightly crisped and golden. Let cool.

To serve the salad: Cut the top and bottom off of the grapefruit, then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off of the sides of the grapefruit. Slice the grapefruit and then dice. Set aside.

Right before serving, in a very large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add the grapefruit, veggies, cheese, greens, basil, and (cooled) toasted bread. Toss together to coat ingredients well. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Ginger Honey Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup canola or olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

——————————————————–
2 large pink or ruby grapefruit
2 ripe but firm avocados
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups cooked bay shrimp or cooked prawns
1 very large head butter lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off grapefruit, then cut skin off the sides of grapefruit, carefully removing all the white pith. Section out grapefruit into a bowl. (Cut grapefruit out with a knife to get sections with no pith. If there is lots of juice, do not add it to salad—drink it!) Toss grapefruit with red onion. Slice avocado over grapefruit and add shrimp and half of the dressing. Fold dressing in—be very gentle.

Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Divide among small serving plates or place on a large platter.

Top dressed greens with grapefruit mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts and Capers
Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
4 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely minced grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 grapefruit wedges for garnish, and squeezing

In a small, flat bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. In another flat dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Coat each piece well, then shake off the excess.

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the olive oil. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot skillet, and cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain chicken on paper towels. Keep warm. (Keep the pan to make the sauce—don’t wash it.)

In the chicken cooking pan, add the garlic and stir around for a few seconds, being careful not to burn. Add the grapefruit juice and white wine. Increase heat to high, bring sauce to a boil, and let reduce by half. Immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the grapefruit zest, remaining butter, capers and parsley.

Transfer chicken to a warm platter and spoon sauce over each breast, then sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve with grapefruit wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz
Try substituting ginger ale for the soda water in this refreshing drink for and extra ginger kick. To make it libatious, add a shot of your favorite spirit!

Makes 1 drink

3 oz fresh squeezed Sunkist Pink Grapefruit juice
1 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
1 oz soda water, chilled
Garnish: Sunkist Grapefruit wedge

Fill a tall glass with ice. Measure in the Sunkist Grapefruit juice, Honey Ginger Syrup and soda water. Stir to combine and garnish.

Honey Ginger Syrup
Makes 10 ounces

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 13th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Zingy Grapefruit |  Posted in Uncategorized

Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.


Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

Stadium Apple Chili

Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
 Serve with a variety of toppings like fresh salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro. For a vegetarian version substitute the pork and sausage with a plant based ground meat alternative and boost up the spices.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 hours
Makes: about 8 – 10 servings

1 pound ground chorizo sausage (or substitute ground beef or pork and add in some red chili flakes for heat)
1 pound boneless pork butt cut in 3/4-inch – 1-inch cubes
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (depending upon the spiciness you like)
1 tablespoon dry oregano leaves
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (12 oz) bottle of lager style beer (or substitute 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth)
1 (4 oz.) small can diced green chilies
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
3 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and pork, cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Quickly transfer meats to crockpot – saving the pan for the next step.

To the pan add the onion and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Then add the garlic, chili powders, oregano, and cumin. Stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Then add the beer, stir and immediately transfer to the crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot, gently stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on October 6th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Falling for Chili |  Posted in Uncategorized

Honey Varieties

Did you know a bee will only produce about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime?

In just the United States alone, there are over 300 varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have one of my all-time favorites – blackberry honey!


Photo from the National Honey Board

If you are like me and love to whip up creative beverages and cocktails, try making Honey Water. Mix 1 part honey and 1 part warm water until well combined. Mix it with fresh lemon or lime juice, and a little sparkling water for a refreshing sparkling citrus’ade. And for the adults, a splash of vodka, gin, or silver tequila if you are so inclined.

Honey water can be made any variety of honey. So check out your farmers markets to see all the possibilities!

Honey water will last about 1 week refrigerated – giving you plenty of time to shake up something new.

For a d’lish salad, try my Local Greens with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts & Chevre recipe. And for more honey-inspired recipes, check out the National Honey Board.

Cheers! – Kathy

Local Greens with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts & Chevre
Makes 4 servings

8 cups local, mixed baby greens
Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 ounces chevre-style goat cheese, crumbled

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey such as wildflower or blackberry
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. canola oil or light olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

To serve salad: Toss greens with dressing and divide among 4 plates. Scatter with berries, hazelnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

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

Posted by Kathy on September 29th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Honey Varieties |  Posted in Uncategorized

Pears

Here in the Northwest, we are lucky to have so many varieties of scrumptious pears! Red Bartlett’s, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde…each one different and oh-so-delicious!

Pears are known to be sweet and juicy, but did you know they can shine in savory dishes too? I love to cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning. Then roast on a sheet pan in a HOT oven until they are golden delicious. The smoky, sweet flavor pairs perfectly with roast chicken or in my Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola for an easy appetizer.

But my favorite way to use roasted pears is in my Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette! It’s always a crowd pleaser at my dinner table.

I also love to use them in a quick and easy fresh relish. Simply mix together diced pears, shallot, a touch of honey and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss it with fresh mint and just like that- you have an amazing addition to curry dishes or grilled lamb.

Grilled pears are also tasty as a base to a sophisticated sundae- topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of salted caramel, red wine syrup and some toasted hazelnuts. Yum- that’s my kind of dessert!

So next time you’re at the grocery store, grab some pears and get creative in your kitchen!
–Kathy

Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne

Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola
These are extra-delicious topped with chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Balsamic glaze can be purchased at gourmet and well-stocked grocery stores.

Makes 24

Pears
2 firm red Bartlett or other red-skinned pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

24 pieces Herbed Crostini (recipe follows)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese or thinly sliced Cambozola
2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

For garnishing
Tiny sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

To roast the pears: Quarter the pears lengthwise, then core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 6 slices (you should have 24 slices, total). In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme. Add the pears and toss to coat.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out the pears, not touching, on the baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to caramelize on the edges. Pears can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

When ready to serve, lay out the crostini on a baking sheet and top each piece with about 1 heaping teaspoon of gorgonzola or a slice of Cambozola, then a slice of pear. Bake until just warmed, about 4 minutes.

Drizzle each piece with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic glaze, then garnish with thyme.

Herbed Crostini
Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

Makes 32 to 40 pieces

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 long, skinny French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, dried herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil or, in a large bowl, drizzle the bread with the oil and toss well. Lay out the bread in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just crispy.

Crostini can be made in advance, cooled thoroughly, and stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days. If necessary, recrisp them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.liquidkitchen.com

Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Pears
2 unpeeled ripe but firm pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head baby frisée
2 heads Belgian endive
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cups baby arugula
D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped

To roast the pears, preheat an oven to 500°F. Cut the pears into eighths lengthwise. Core, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then gently toss the pears in the mixture.

Spread the pears on a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprayed with vegetable-oil cooking spray and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. You can make the pears up to 1 day in advance. If you do, cool them thoroughly before refrigerating, then bring to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

To finish the salad, cut the root end and about 1 inch of the top off the frisée. Rinse the frisée thoroughly, separate the head into leaves, and spin dry. Cut the stem ends off the endive, halve the heads lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into thin strips. Toss the frisée and endive in a large, deep bowl with the remaining greens and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.

Divide the greens among large dinner plates. Top each salad with pears, cheese, cranberries, and hazelnuts, dividing evenly. Pass additional dressing.

D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil or very light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

Chef’s Note: If you are having a big dinner party during the holidays, the entire recipe can easily be doubled. And, if you are tight on time, you can substitute sliced fresh pears or apples for the roasted pears.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Posted by Kathy on September 22nd, 2020  |  Comments Off on Pears |  Posted in Uncategorized

Upside Down Cakes

Sometimes things are just better upside down. Bust out the baking dish – I’m talking about delicious Upside Down Cakes!

Light and fluffy cake batter encased by a sugary-butter topping and jeweled with chopped fruits – baked until ooey gooey and caramelized. What could be better than that?

So versatile and decadent – these cakes are a total crowd pleaser and often seen during the holidays. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is by far the most popular – but there are plenty of variations that are just as scrumptious! Apples, peaches, cherries, or plums – it’s the perfect vehicle for your favorite fruit.

This d’lish dessert is sometimes considered a little retro – but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Throw in some chopped nuts or layer on a boozy caramel glaze for a fun twist. Or throw that rule book out the window and try my Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake for breakfast!

You can even make mini versions using your trusty cupcake tin as the baking vessel!
-Kathy

Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on September 15th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Upside Down Cakes |  Posted in Uncategorized

Cauliflower Creations

Often tossed up with the obligatory broccoli and carrot medley, cauliflower is coming into its own!

It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, pickled, or eaten raw! Although tasty topped with a cheese sauce, there are lots of healthy and amazingly d’lish ways to cook up a head of cauliflower. Take for instance the ever popular cauliflower rice and gluten free friendly cauliflower pizza crust.

Oven-roasting gives cauliflower a nice sweetness and a little bit of a nutty flavor. Quick and easy like in my recipe for Lemony Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto.

Another great preparation is “Cauliflower Steaks.” Cut a couple inch-thick slices across the middle of the head and grill until tender. You can cut up the rest of the florets, cook in milk with spices like red curry, ginger and garlic, then process in a blender to make a tasty puree to serve with your “cauliflower steaks!” Try my recipe for Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree, its healthy and delicious.

And one of my most favorite phrases is the cauliflower inspired “my little chou chou” (“my little cauliflower”) – a French term of endearment. –Kathy


Lemony Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Lemony Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto
Great served as a side dish or as a component of a power bowl. Delicious hot or cold!

Serves: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Roast Time: 12 – 15 minutes

1 Sunkist® Lemon
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 – 1/2 cup purchased basil pesto

Garnish: lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Juice and zest the lemon and set aside.

Cut the core out of the cauliflower, and then break or cut into medium size florets, place in a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to coat well and season with salt and pepper.

Lay out cauliflower in a single layer, on a non-stick baking sheet pan (reserve the bowl).

Roast for about 12- 15 minutes or until just tender.

Meanwhile whisk the lemon zest and the pesto together in the reserved bowl.

Remove the cauliflower from the baking pan with a spatula and add it to the pesto bowl. Toss gently. Serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Red Curry Puree
Makes 3 entrée servings or 6 as a side dish

1 large head cauliflower 1 Tbsp. olive oil for grill
kosher salt and pepper to taste
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1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste 1 cup non-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice kosher salt and pepper for cauliflower

Garnish: fresh chopped mint and cilantro, lime wedges and sliced cucumber if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut 3 large 1-inch steaks out of the center of the cauliflower. Cut each one in half. Set aside.

Cut remaining cauliflower into florets to produce about 3 cups.

In a medium saucepan, heat the 1/2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until just tender but not browned. Stir in the curry paste and then add the milk, salt, lime juice, and the 3 cups of florets. Increase heat to medium high, cover tightly and simmer cauliflower until cooked tender – about 10–12 minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully transfer the cauliflower and liquid to a blender or food processor. Cover the lid with a towel and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and keep warm.

Meanwhile heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush cauliflower steaks lightly with olive oil.

Place cauliflower steaks in pre-heated pan, season with salt and pepper and cook on each side until nicely grill marked (about 5 min on each side) and then move pan to the oven and continue cooking steaks until just tender (about 7-10 minutes). Or you can cook the cauliflower on an outdoor grill all the way, with the lid down to assist with cooking.

To serve, spoon some of the cauliflower puree on plates. Top with grilled cauliflower, and garnish with chopped herbs, lime wedges for squeezing and cucumber if desired.

Recipes by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on September 8th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Cauliflower Creations |  Posted in Uncategorized
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