Get Saucy

Often the trick to a d’lish dish is the sauce, but sometimes making one can be a bit daunting.

Seattle author Susan Volland’s new book Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors will help take the mystery out of making a great sauce. So you can easily splash, slather, drizzle or douse!

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

From basic recipes for stock (the building block of sauces) to creative and unique takes on classic recipes, this book has sauces covered from A to Z.

From quick and easy Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce to her recipe for a Vegan Corn “Hollandaise” – there are a lot of ideas to finish off your favorite dish.

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

  • How to fancy up a white sauce: think sweet curry or caramelized onion and roasted garlic
  • Not your everyday cheese sauce: with cheddar and ale or tomato and goat cheese
  • Even chocolate gets a tasty saucy twist with ancho chili and fresh mint
  • Susan is an amazing chef and has wanted to write this book for years. It is one of the most comprehensive sauce books of all times and destined to become an eternal classic. Her recipes are always well written and precision tested.

    So crack open a copy of Mastering Sauces and get saucy!

    P.S. – And It’s never too early to think about holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. –Kathy

    Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce
    Susan says: “This sauce is nutty, sweet, and slightly exotic, and, it can be whipped up in less time than the quick-cooking dishes I like to dunk in it: grilled chicken skewers, Vietnamese spring rolls, or pot stickers. Double or triple the recipe, and you can use it to simmer chicken or as a sauce for chewy stir-fried noodles. It keeps well.”

    Yield: 1/2 cup

    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup water, coconut water, or Really Good Chicken Stock
    2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or substitute 2 tsp. light soy sauce or tamari)
    2 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
    1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, Tamarind Water, or rice vinegar

    Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the sauce at room temperature or lightly warmed.

    If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

    Susan says: “The friends and I have introduced this sauce to—even die-hard carnivores and butter lovers—claim to prefer this vegan version to classic hollandaise. The creamy yellow sauce mimics the texture of hollandaise without relying on eggs and butter. It is not as cloying, it’s heat stable, it’s tasty enough to be slurped up by the spoonful, and there is little or no guilt afterward. You will need a few specialty ingredients: miso, nutritional yeast flakes, and arrowroot. These are available at some supermarkets and at natural foods markets. Arrowroot is added for stability and gentle thickening; kudzu root (available at health foods markets) can also be used.”

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1 1/2 cups water, Corn Stock, or Corncob Mock Stock
    1 cup fresh or thawed frozen yellow corn kernels
    1/3 cup whole raw cashews
    1 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
    1 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    1 – 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of Tabasco

    Combine the water, corn kernels, and cashews in a saucepan, cover, and simmer until the cashews are tender and the corn is very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

    Transfer the cashew mixture to a blender, add the miso, yeast, and arrowroot, and puree until very smooth. Strain back into the saucepan, pressing the solids against the sides of the strainer to extract as much smooth pupl and liquid as possible. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is just simmering and has thickened. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve warm.

    Unlike hollandaise, this sauce can be refrigerated and reheated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Posted by Kathy on November 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Fairmont’s Global Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen in Cheers Magazine

    Earlier this summer the Fairmont Global mixology team visited Liquid Kitchen for a drink development workshop to create a new global cocktail menu – launching later this November. Check out Cheers Magazine for full coverage of the R&D session the Classics, Perfected menu, meet the Fairmont Tastemakers, and recipes for the Right Word and Pomegranate Paloma.

    Posted by Kathy on November 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts

    Fairmont’s New Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen on Lux Worldwide

    Libatious article in Lux Worldwide on the Fairmont Hotels’ new global cocktail menu – Classics, Perfected developed at the Liquid Kitchen with the Fairmont Global mixology team. Check out the full article here and learn about the Fairmont Tastemakers’ creative process.

    Posted by Kathy on November 9th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Press, Recent Posts

    Oatmeal Any Time of Day

    Oatmeal. We know that it makes for a hearty breakfast. The reason is that it contains soluble fiber (that stays in the stomach) helping you feel fuller, longer. This can keep you from overeating!

    Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap its many health benefits, such as supporting weight loss and boosting heart health to name a few.

    There are a lot of varieties of oatmeal on the shelves today. Let me break it down for you. Steel-cut oats are the whole oat grain and bran, and are chopped with steel blades. Rolled oats are de-hulled then steamed and flattened between two rollers. Instant oats are steamed longer and completely cooked before dried. The less processed the oats are, the more fiber they will contain, and the more health benefits can be gained from eating them.

    On the weekend, I like to cook a big batch of steel cut oats, let them cool, then layer it in 1/2 pint jars with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Screw on the jar lids and refrigerate for the week. In the morning just remove the lid and then heat with a little fat free coconut milk in the microwave for a quick and healthy breakfast on the go!

    Citrus Upside Down Cake 2
    Who’s ready for a slice of Sunkist Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake?

    And don’t forget about baking with oatmeal! My favorite is Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake! Great for a special brunch topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt. D’lish! –Kathy

    Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake
    Great for a hearty dessert or even as a breakfast cake, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Read all the way through recipe before starting. It is important to use a nonstick pan and to turn the cake out of the pan 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

    Makes 1 (9-inch) round cake, serving 8 to 10

    Oats
    2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 Tbsp. Sunkist Orange zest
    3/4 cup boiling water

    Orange Layer
    3 Tbsp. butter
    3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 large Sunkist Navel Orange, peel on, ends cut off and sliced into 8 to 10 thin slices

    Batter
    2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

    Meanwhile, prepare the pan and orange layer: put the butter in a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan and place in the oven until the butter is just melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and then lay out the orange slices in a pretty pattern.

    To make the batter: In a mixer (or large bowl), combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, soda and salt, and then add this mixture to the sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and pecans, and mix until well combined.

    Without disturbing the orange layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake is golden and tests done.

    Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate. Let cool before serving.

    Chef Notes:

  • Try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom to the oat mixture for a different spice-flavor profile.
  • Great to serve for brunch; this cake is very moist, so you can make it a couple of days ahead.
  • Photo and Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

    Posted by Kathy on November 6th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes

    The Fairmont’s Global Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen on London-Olios

    Great write-up on the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ new cocktail program launching later in November. Here’s a sneak peak of the cocktails – developed at the Liquid Kitchen with the Fairmont Tastemakers team – (at last month’s media event at The Savoy). Check out London-Olios for the full post.

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    Posted by Kathy on November 3rd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Press, Recent Posts

    Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

    Most people have had hand at cooking spaghetti squash, and there are a lot of ways to prepare this tasty vegetable.

    This winter squash starts getting popular at the farmers market and grocery store in early fall. The cooked stringy flesh is delicious, but there are a few cooking tricks to know.

    (Photo from Elizabeth Norris’ blog)

    Cut the squash in half length-wise. Make sure to use a good knife and a little muscle – this is a sturdy squash! Once you have the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp the same way you would with any other winter squash.

    Turn the halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a little water and roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in and out of the flesh easily. If you’re in a hurry you can quick cook it the same way in the microwave in a glass dish – just blast on high until fork tender.

    Now to get those noodle-like strands out of the shell. Turn the squash up and gently scrape the flesh with a fork along the grain and loosen it up. Then scoop the squash into a bowl and finish how you like.

    It’s a great low-calorie and gluten-free option to traditional pasta for topping with marinara. Or toss it with maple syrup or honey, a little butter or olive oil, some minced fresh herbs and some sea salt for a great side dish to any entrée. –Kathy

    Posted by Kathy Casey on October 29th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

    Liquid Kitchen and the Fairmont Hotels in Bar Magazine

    Earlier this summer Liquid Kitchen hosted the Fairmont Global and mixology team in developing and creating a new global cocktail menu. Check out Bar Magazine’s post on the recent media event announcing the soon-to-be launched menu, including a team photo of the Fairmont Tastemakers.

    Posted by Kathy on October 28th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Press, Recent Posts

    Chia Seeds: the SUPER Food

    Cha-cha-cha-CHIA! Yes, that is what we think of when we say chia. Those funny terra cotta heads sprouting green hair. Until now! Chia seeds are everywhere these days and have been sweeping the nation as an up-and-coming nutritional ingredient.


    Who remembers these commercials?

    Chock full of fiber and omega-3’s, these little seeds can be added to almost anything from juices, baked into muffins or even toasted and sprinkled on a salad! They digest quickly, hydrate your body better than sports drinks, and provide long-lasting energy. Athletes love them!

    When soaked in a liquid, they become gel-like and are virtually tasteless. In Mexico, they are added in a drink called Chia Fresca made with fruit juice and chia seeds which have been plumped in water – sounds so refreshing!  I love a plumped spoonful spooned over a margarita for fun texture!

    I have also used them plumped then blended in a low-fat salad dressing – they work as a natural thickener so you can use less oil, and who doesn’t love that!? If you’re looking to add chia seeds to your diet, check out stores like Whole Foods, PCC, and in the “Natural Foods section” of most grocers to buy them or try them in a fun chia beverage.

    And check out this chia seed post from Wellness Mama for more tricks and tips on what to do with them, including her recipe for healthy homemade pudding.

    So try something new and get your Cha-cha-cha-CHIA on! – Kathy

    To plump chia seeds: Soak 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds with 1 1/2 cups HOT water. Let sit for 1 hour then store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on October 22nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts
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