Celebrity chef and culinary personality Casey Thompson spearheads a number of endeavors: three-time Bravo Top Chef competitor, culinary consultant for California wineries, international wine ambassador, food-centric world traveler, and, of course, chef, for upcoming concepts in the Southwest and on the West Coast. Her focus is on market-fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers. In support of ethical animal treatment, Thompson places priority on sourcing sustainably raised and butchered meat and seafood. She is now at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe as executive chef, presenting a contemporary locavore menu. Here are some of her tried and tested favorites for your culinary pursuits! ChefCaseyThompson.com
(Makes 12-15 biscuits)
2 2/3 cup or 335 grams AP flour ¾ cup or 75 grams cake flour 2 tsp or 10 grams baking soda 1 tsp or 4 grams baking powder 2 tsp or 6 grams sea salt 1 ½ T or 15 grams sugar 1 cup or 2 sticks salted, cultured butter, chilled and cubed 1 ½ cups chilled buttermilk 1 large egg, 1 T milk
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. All ingredients, bowl should be cold.
Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into flour mixture until you get pea-sized crumbs and it is uniformly mixed. Make a well in center of mixture and pour in buttermilk. Stir together until it just forms a moist, slightly tacky dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 or 3 times, then pat out into a ¾” thick rectangle. Using a knife, cut the biscuits. Also can be cut into mini biscuits. To prevent sticking, dip the knife lightly in flour between biscuits. Do not reroll scraps. Pat them together and cut into rounds. Transfer to a baking sheet.
Whisk together egg and milk. Generously brush egg wash on top of each biscuit. Sprinkle with large flake salt such as Maldon. Bake until brown 12-15 minutes.
Southern Potato Casserole
Feeds 12 or more
1- 32 ounce package of frozen all natural shredded potatoes
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 T Dijon mustard
4 T melted butter
4 scallions, sliced
2 ½ cups shredded Tillamook cheddar, seperated
cream of chicken soup (recipe below)
¼ cup additional butter, melted
2 cups Cornflakes, crushed up
For the “condensed” soup:
1 ½ cups chicken stock
¾ cups milk
½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup cubed chicken breast (if desired)
In a saucepot, bring the chicken stock to a low boil.
Mix the milk and flour together in a bowl whisking until smooth. Add seasonings and chicken if using. Boil, whisking constantly for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Will thicken as it cools. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13” casserole dish with canola oil spray to aid in cleanup! In a large bowl, mix thawed hash browns, yogurt, mustard, butter, scallions, cheddar, and cooled soup recipe together. Spread loosely into the pan. Top with cornflakes, remaining ¼ cup butter and ½ cup of cheddar. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Swiss Chard Pesto
Makes 2 cups
3 cups Swiss Chard, stems removed, leaves washed
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil, plus 2 T if necessary
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup toasted walnuts
Place ingredients in a blender except for the oil. Turn the blender on low and process the ingredients, speed up the blender and start to add the olive oil a little at a time. Turn the blender on high and blend smooth. Turn the blender off. Add a little warm water if it begins to separate.