Asparagus – Amazing Asparagus

All around us, green things are poking up through the ground this time of year, especially asparagus!

One of the best things about early summer is this tasty green wonder! Now, I know a lot of people have the perception that skinny “pencil” asparagus is preferable, but the fat finger-sized ones are much more flavorful.

Peeling asparagus used to be a popular prep step, but really there’s no need. Just snap the ends off at their natural break point and you’re good to go.

And here’s a little tip; save those snapped off ends, they’re great to use for a cream of asparagus soup – or toss into veggie stock!

Roasted, steamed, pickled, or grilled… this short-season superstar is totally versatile.

Grilling adds a nice smoky character to the “grass” whether it’s straight off the grill, warm, or even chilled.

Give it a quick steam, and drizzle with orange balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with tangy goat cheese, or go all fancy and whip up a batch of my Quick and Easy Orange Hollandaise (recipe follows) that has a delicious secret ingredient in it! 😊 – Kathy

Quick and Easy Orange Hollandaise
It’s important to use the entire amount of the butter and be sure it is really hot when adding it to the blender. Serve this tasty sauce over steamed fresh asparagus!

Makes: about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 Tbsp. Angostura Orange Bitters
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
2 egg yolks or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg yolks
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt (more or less to taste depending on if you use salted butter or not)
Dash of hot sauce
1 Tbsp. minced chives (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until bubbling and hot (but not brown). Or heat to bubbling in microwave.

While butter is heating, combine the orange bitters, cream cheese, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and hot sauce in a blender. Process for a few seconds to combine ingredients.

When butter is hot, with blender motor running on high speed, remove lid top – and add butter in a slow, so it emulsifies nicely. Turn off and stir in the chives.

Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 30 minutes by placing sauce in a covered mason jar, set in a small bowl of hot water.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Asparagus – Amazing Asparagus |  Posted in Uncategorized

Modern Sides – Add New Life To Your Weekday Dinner!

The side dishes of today should bring variety and spice to our meals. Baked potatoes and rice are still great standbys, but with so many interesting new options it’s time to get creative!

Speaking of potatoes, I’ve got a super-fast and easy recipe for Lemon & Herb Tossed Roasted Potatoes (recipe follows).

How about trying some different varieties of rice… such as fragrant Basmati. So tasty jazzed up with chili paste, fresh ginger, some chopped roasted peanuts, and a sprinkle of scallions. Or try Jasmine rice simply steamed with lemongrass, ginger, and garlic.

Couscous is super-fast and easy to make – as is bulgur wheat. Add in fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, dried fruits, and some toasted nuts – and maybe a dash of ground coriander – yum!

So get out of your side dish rut and try something new — you never know, you may invent the next beloved “green bean casserole”! -Kathy

Lemon & Herb Tossed Roasted Potatoes
These potatoes are delicious with the addition of fresh herbs, choose a mixture from your summer garden!

Makes: 6-8 side dish servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. large yellow potatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, whole, zested and juiced (about 1/2 cup juice), zest reserved separately
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 – 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs such as: chives, basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, tarragon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, HALF the lemon juice, salt, and pepper; toss to coat potatoes evenly.

Spread potatoes out in a baking dish and drizzle with any oil and seasonings left in the bowl.
Roast in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and golden.
Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining lemon juice and sprinkle with zest. Sprinkle with herbs and toss. Serve immediately.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 7th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Modern Sides – Add New Life To Your Weekday Dinner! |  Posted in Uncategorized

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita! With Cinco de Mayo coming soon I thought I would share some ideas and my favorite recipe for pre-mixing a big batch.

A classic margarita is typically made with: tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave, and triple sec or orange liqueur.  But who wants to be doing all that individual drink measuring when you can just whip up a pre-batch in advance and then have it ready for whenever your ready to shake one up! Another plus when you pre-batch is that each margarita is consistent.

The recipe I am sharing with you is made with a little mezcal. I love that little smokiness that it adds to the drink, but if you’re not a mezcal fan then just substitute with more tequila.

The choice of tequila brand and style is up to you, whether you prefer a blanco or a reposado. Sometimes I mix 2 styles together for added layers of flavor.

Cointreau is my preference for an orange liqueur but you can also substitute a good quality triple sec as well.

But most important is that you use fresh squeezed lime juice, and be sure to bring your limes to room temp before squeezing. (Limes can be super expensive at the grocery store so I recommend going to a “Cash & Carry or Smart & Final” restaurant wholesaler and picking up a few bags of limes there). Speaking of squeezing, if you don’t have a hand squeezer then get one, they are inexpensive and totally worth it.

Next is the sweetener. I like to use a combination of house-made simple syrup and Monin Agave Nectar. But you can use all simple syrup, too.

And last but not least, let’s talk about salt rims, some people like them and some don’t.

I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt, my preference being kosher salt. One of my favorite rimmers is made with 1 part Fresh Origins Fine Hibiscus Crystals and 1 part Diamond Kosher Salt… tasty and pretty too!  Or you can just add a tiny sprinkle to the top of your drink.

So starting shaking and cheers to a great margarita! –Kathy

Smoky Margarita Pre-Batch
Makes about 25.5  oz – or 1 750 ml bottle, about 6 cocktails

8 oz (1 cup) Tequila
4 oz (1/2 cup) Mezcal
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
6 oz (3/4 cup) simple syrup (or use 1/2 cup simple syrup + 1/4 cup Monin Organic Agave Nectar)
6 oz (3/4  cup) fresh squeezed lime juice

To make the pre-batch: Combine all ingredients into a pitcher and stir. Funnel into a 750 ml glass bottle. Cap and store refrigerated until ready to use. Store refrigerated up to 10 days.

When ready to serve: Measure 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Smoky Margarita Mix into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice, cap and shake. Pour into a glass. Twist a fat orange peel over the top if desired and garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipe and Photo © Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen.

Posted by Kathy on April 27th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Margaritas |  Posted in Uncategorized

Veggie Mash-Up

What’s old is new again – what with the uber popularity of kale, brussel sprouts and rutabagas.  In years past Mom could not bribe the kids to eat these veggies. But these days being green… is good!

A good example of an old but new veggie is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale, so beloved in Italy in slow cooked soups, now often branded at the grocery store as Dinosaur Kale – the kids will love it.

Also new on the veggie hipster list are vegetable mash ups. Kalettes (KALE-etts) which is a cross between Brussel sprouts and Kale. Or Broccolini which is a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli).

And the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower: a lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower, and marries them together in a blissful union.

Eating in color is more important than ever these days and so many veggies are going back to their roots with small farmers growing awesome heirloom varieties that are also so vibrant in color, like purple kohlrabi and hot pink centered watermelon radishes!

And with spring on its way our local markets will be brimming with amazing veggies in no time. Don’t have time to get to your local market  – check out Barn2Door. This UN-Grocery online store gives you 24/7 access and a direct line of communication between the grower and access to an ever changing fresh sheet of local products. You can message the farmers directly! How cool is that? I also love local Salmonberry Goods, a wonderful organic farm delivery service that always tucks in something unusual into their weekly produce bags, such as that awesome purple daikon or giant celery roots! So get your veggie on and try something new. –Kathy

Farro with Lacinato Kale, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup whole farro grain
2 quarts water
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced wild mushrooms (or substitute oyster, shitake or cremini)
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
pinch red chili flakes
1 large bunch Lacinato Kale** or other hearty green, torn
1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt or salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon
2 to 3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre), or shaved/grated aged hard cheese

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in kale. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated nice aged cheese.

**Also often called dinosaur or black kale.

Recipe and Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy on April 13th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Veggie Mash-Up |  Posted in Uncategorized

Spice It Up!

When I say spice I bet you automatically think of something spicy and chili-like, right?    Well today I’m talking about warm spices …think aromatic cloves, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and of course cinnamon. And they’re not just for apple pie, cookies, and cinnamon rolls.

In the Middle East, you will commonly find these flavors used for rubs on meats like lamb, and in curries and stews. In India cinnamon often subtly flavors rice.

These warm spices have been used from Morocco to China for hundreds of years, and in ancient times, spices were used as currency to do all types of trade.

And they are not only delicious but research shows that a blend of these spices has been linked to reduced blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and lowered heart disease risks.

Great grandma may have told you to chew on a clove for a tooth ache; well today we know that they are great as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.  And did you know allspice has amazing detoxifying benefits?

So if you’re a juicer add a pinch to your favorite blend or try adding a cinnamon stick and a few cloves to your next batch of steamed rice or vegetables stew.

For this weeks Dishing recipe I have included a Spiced Vinaigrette that is quite unique. It has a load of warm spices as well as a smidge of vanilla. It is really delicious tossed into a cous cous, or quinoa salad, or with your favorite greens. You can basically drizzle it over anything including roasted veggies and chicken. –Kathy

Spiced Vinaigrette
You can get creative with the spices and if you don’t have them all it’s ok! I also like to add a little ground turmeric and Dijon to this recipe and shake it in a jar to combine. It’s best if you let it sit overnight to let the flavors bloom. If you’re watching your carbs and sugars then try with monk fruit sweetener.

Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons light brown sugar (or substitute honey)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup olive oil

Combing the vinegar, brown sugar, extract, spices, salt and ginger in a small bowl and whisking together well.

Gradually whisk in olive oil, emulsifying the dressing.  Let sit 8 hours or longer before using.

Store dressing refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe and Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy on April 6th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Spice It Up! |  Posted in Uncategorized

Hop To It – Easter is on its way!

So Easter is coming up, so what will you do with all that leftover booty? You know – the eggs, the candies, the marshmallowy Peeps?

Of course there will be egg salad sandwiches for days BUT let’s get creative with it! How about adding in chopped bacon or some sassy curry. Try mixing salsa in your favorite egg salad recipe then rolling it up with some avocados in tortillas for a quick breakfast on the go.

For a beautiful spring presentation, you can do a quick beet pickle. Soak shelled-hard cooked eggs in a sweet & tart beet juice marinade. Then cut and fill. Beautiful and d’lish!

beeteggs
Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs!
Now, what do you do with that candy after the hunt? Well I’ve got you covered with my recipe for Peep & Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps – a fun and festive twist on the beloved rice crispy treats. And yes you can garnish with the peep heads…

Tweeps
Save the Peep Heads for Garnish
So hop to it and have a Happy Easter! –Kathy

Peep & Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6 packages yellow Peeps® – 30 peeps (you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

peeps
In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in cereal and jellybeans until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

Recipe and Photos © Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Posted by Kathy on March 30th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Hop To It – Easter is on its way! |  Posted in Uncategorized

Snackable Videos

Have you seen all the crazy food videos on Facebook from Tasty, Tastemade, and Buzzfeed Food? These are Snack Sized Videos featuring recipes that are not only visually appealing, but are quick to make and delicious to eat. I like to call this “Speed Scratch Cooking.”

We are all busy these days, running from one appointment to the next. Now throw in a few kids– a dog, and let’s not forget the friends and family. All of the sudden you are swamped and it is time for dinner!!

What to cook?  Have you seen all the fun things you can put on a waffle iron! Take chilled Mac & Cheese, mix in bacon, green onions, more cheese, then press it in to a waffle iron until it’s crispy delicious – then top it with all kinds of fun toppings like sour cream, pulled pork.. Yum!

MacnCheeseWaffles

Buzzfeed also has its share of waffle iron goodies like these All Day Breakfast BurgersCinnamon Roll Waffles with Nutella, or Ham and Cheese Waffles, and more.

The best thing about many of these recipe videos is they only have 3 or 4 ingredients that you may already have in your pantry which is great for a last minute meal or appetizer, just type in your ingredients and see what pops up! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on March 23rd, 2021  |  Comments Off on Snackable Videos |  Posted in Uncategorized

Oysters- A Taste of the Sea

Did you know that NW Oysters are considered some of the best in the world? The reason our oysters taste so great  is our clean waters. Different locations give the oysters different flavor characteristics.

Oyster aficionado and great friend, Cynthia Nims author of Oysters, Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea -says, “Oysters are so cool,  they are filter feeders, filtering gallons and gallons of water – up to 30 to 50 gallons a day!”

Oysters from our pristine waters range in size from the tiny Olympia to large Pacifics. Mid-size Kumamoto oysters have a delicate texture and a deep fluted shell. This petite oyster has a crisp, sweet snap pea finish and is perfect for slurping.

Oyster purists say there is never a better way to eat raw oysters than unadorned, maybe with a squirt of lemon.  But for the uninitiated oyster-slurper, this can be a bit scary.  Nims suggests “If it’s your very first oyster then having a big glob of cocktail sauce is your training wheels –then go for it.” BUT once the training wheels are off,  try some naked or with fresh and light toppings like her Kimchi-Cucumber Relish – crisp cucumbers, finely chopped kim chi, rice wine vinegar and a touch of soy sauce.

Cynthia says that “Oysters have a richness that are complimented by things that are fresh, peppery and a touch acidic”, her book celebrates the different techniques and preparations that not only compliment these characteristics but enhance the flavor too.

So If all this oyster talk has made you hungry, check out our friends at Taylor Shellfish Farms, they have  great delivery options to get your shucking! –Kathy

 Photo by Jim Henkens.

Kimchi-Cucumber Relish
Enjoy on freshly shucked oysters.

Makes 1 cup, enough for about 4 dozen half-shell oysters

3/4 cup peeled and seeded finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi
1 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. soy sauce, plus more to taste (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together the cucumber, kimchi, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding a bit more vinegar or soy sauce to taste. Let the relish sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend.

Transfer the relish to small ramekin or other small serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 hour.

Photo and Recipe from Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea by Cynthia Nims, Sasquatch Books.

Follow Cynthia on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by Kathy on March 16th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Oysters- A Taste of the Sea |  Posted in Uncategorized
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