Plum Glazed Salmon + Fish Brine

Similar to last week’s post, today’s article is a double feature.

Plum Glazed Salmon

Recipe #1 is Plum Glazed Salmon, a simple dinner recipe that comes together in a snap. Recipe #2 is a Fish Brine recipe that may just vastly improve your fish-making skills (it definitely improved mine!).  Let’s dive into #1.

Over the past several years, I’ve found that I really enjoy cooking salmon fillets during the week. They’re simple to prepare, healthy and cook up in a matter of minutes. Just what I need when I come home tired from work. But, I recently realized that I’ve yet to share a single salmon recipe here on Kitchen Konfidence! That’s all about to change.

The glaze for this salmon is a simple mix of pantry/fridge staples: plum jam, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The salmon then gets cooked under the broiler until firm, glossy and golden. A final scattering of sliced scallions provides contrast in color and flavor. So simple, but so incredibly delicious. PS. If you can’t find plum jam, apricot would work well here too. Continue reading for the recipes plus more on #2.

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Chorizo Cheddar Burger Recipe

This recipe was born out of necessity.

Chorizo Cheddar Burger

Several weeks ago, I made the unwise amazing decision to buy 6 pounds of Mexican chorizo at our Mexican Costco.  Mexican chorizo is the fresh kind, not cured (that’s Spanish chorizo).  Pork impulse buys are a common occurrence when I’m strolling through the refrigerated aisles of Costco, and somehow I just couldn’t help myself when I spotted the bundle of red-orange-hued chorizo.  After several batches of chorizo eggsmeatloaf and queso fundido, I found myself craving something different.  Given that it’s summer and we’ve been doing a lot of our cooking outdoors, I landed on these Chorizo Cheddar Burgers.

The ingredient list is simple:  ground beef, Mexican pork chorizo, Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Mix all that up in a bowl, divide into four patties, then grill, fry, broil or press into a sizzling round of golden brown perfection.  The combination of chorizo and aged cheddar is a major flavor bomb.  One that will surely induce a yum face.  Since this burger patty is quite bold, I like to serve it simply with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mayo.  No fancy toppings needed here!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Crispy Fish Taco Recipe + The Best Fish Taco in San Diego

You guys are in for a treat today!  Two treats really.

Crispy Fish Tacos

A few months ago, Jorge and I went on a hunt for the best battered fish taco in San Diego.  Given the massive amount of fish taco options available, we decided to start our search by polling friends, family and fellow foodies about their favorite spots for fish tacos.  This poll resulted in these top 3 restaurants/trucks (also vetted on Yelp): Mariscos Alex, TJ Oyster Bar and Oscar’s Mexican Seafood.  After we found a favorite fish taco, I then made my own Crispy Fish Taco recipe paired with a spicy Chipotle Crema.  This week, I’m sharing my pick for the best fish taco in SD plus my fish taco recipe over on Salt & Wind, a food and travel blog by Aida Mollenkamp.  Continue reading for photos from the hunt plus links to the winner and recipe.

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Hard-Boiled Egg Toast with Harissa Butter

I’m keeping things real simple today.

Hard Boiled Egg Toast Harissa Butter

My love for healthy, flavor-packed toast isn’t limited to just avocado variations.  No, my friends, I am equally enthusiastic about the beautiful open-faced sandwich above. Meet: Hard-Boiled Egg Toast.

Now I know the combination of eggs and toast isn’t a novel one, but the addition of Harissa Butter takes these breakfast staples to the next level.  Let me explain.

Harissa Butter is a simple mixture of softened butter, Harissa (a North-African chile paste), lemon juice and salt.  This infused butter gets schmeared on a crusty slice of hot toast then topped with sliced hard-boiled egg, picked parsley leaves, salt and pepper.  The combination of flavors is incredibly satisfying.  I’ve been known to eat a slice or two for lunch or dinner, and sometimes I’ll even throw a fresh salad into the mix.

Not familiar with Harissa?  Check out my recipe here.  I also have a tube of Harissa in my fridge as a backup.  Both are tasty options.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Porchetta Pork Tenderloin

I have been dying to share this recipe for Porchetta Pork Tenderloin with you guys.

Porchetta Pork Tenderloin

Why?  Because it’s quickly become my new favorite weeknight meal.  With just 10 minutes of prep work and 30 – 40 minutes cook time, this show-stopper entree can turn a boring weeknight dinner into a dazzling pork on pork extravaganza.  And I mean, how bad could that be?

Before we get to this pork-tastic recipe, let’s talk about porchetta in general.  Porchetta, Italian in origin, is traditionally made by stuffing an entire de-boned pig with ground pork (usually offal), and seasonings.  Garlic, rosemary, fennel, salt and pepper are most common.  The pig gets tied up around a spit, and then roasted until the skin is crispy and crackly and the insides are moist and tender.  This Italian specialty has been all the rage here in America over the past several years.  Here’s the porchetta sandwich I had from the People’s Pig in Portland.  And last year, I made a whole porchetta roast for Valentine’s Day (here’s a slice photo)!  Both were seriously tasty.

Traditional porchetta is super labor-intensive, and even the roast I linked to above took some time to prepare.  This Porchetta Pork Tenderloin recipe captures the flavors and textures of it’s traditional counterpart without the hours and hours of prep and cooking.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pasta Puttanesca with Roasted Cauliflower

Pasta Puttanesca aka pasta in the style of the ladies of the night aka slut’s spaghetti is on the menu today.

Pasta Puttanesca with Roasted Cauliflower

If you are unfamiliar with this dish, you may be scratching your head at all this whore talk so early on a Tuesday morning, but let me explain.  Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian dish where pasta (spaghetti pictured above) is dressed in a sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers and red chile flakes.  Rumor has it that the ladies of the night would simmer this sauce, and let the aroma waft out of their open windows with the intent of luring men into their establishment for the evening.  Others say that this sauce was popular amongst these ladies, because all the ingredients can be stored in the pantry.  No need to go to the market to get fresh ingredients between clients!

Whores aside, let’s talk about this version of Pasta Puttanesca.  There are many aspects of the traditional dish that are very enticing.  Pasta Puttanesca is easy (no pun intended), quick-to-prepare, and can be made with a handful of pantry staples.  Here, I’ve added freshness and substance by way of Roasted Cauliflower, freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges to finish.  Cauliflower gets wonderfully nutty when roasted, and this flavor pairs nicely with the olives, capers and tomatoes.  Parsley and lemon add fresh hits of green and acid for balance.  Each bite is incredibly satisfying.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Top 14 Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year everyone!!

Meyer Lemon Chia Pudding 2014 was a taaaaasty year.  While compiling the roundup below, I noticed some similar themes and ingredients amongst my most popular recipes.  Particularly:

  • Chia pudding
  • Cocktails
  • Brown butter
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Grilling

YUM!!  Continue reading for 14 of my best recipes on KK.  What was your favorite recipe from 2014?  Did you make any of the recipes below?

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Smoked Turkey + Garlic-Herb Dry Brine

I should start by saying that turkey isn’t really my thing.

Smoked Turkey Year after year, I’ve failed miserably at making that perfect, picturesque Thanksgiving turkey.  The first Thanksgiving I hosted in 2009 (pre-Kitchen Konfidence) was the worst.  The night before Thanksgiving, I was fumbling around trying to wet brine a 22 pound turkey, salt water and turkey contamination splashing all about my kitchen.  The next day, I got the turkey out of the brine (hands burning from the salt), dried, and on to the roasting pan.  A roasting pan that I later realized was too big to fit in the oven.  At the time, I didn’t own a meat thermometer, so I kept the turkey (which was sitting cramped in a 9 x 13 baking dish) in the oven until it “looked good.”  I remember the smile on my face as I brought the glorious golden turkey to the table, and the disappointment that quickly followed as I started to carve.  The turkey was bone dry with the texture of powdery saw dust.

In 2010, I surveyed all my friends and family for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe.  Results and processes were widely varied.  Bake the turkey in a bag.  Roast the turkey covered in cheese cloth and baste in butter every 15 minutes.  Deep fry the turkey.  Start in a high oven.  Start in a low oven.  Cook the turkey in parts.  Somehow, everyone was cooking their turkey perfectly except for me!  Overwhelmed by the options, I chose what I thought was the easiest suggestion, “cook the turkey in parts.”  After a significant struggle to actually get the turkey in parts, the finished bird was blasé at best.

The next  year, I cooked 2 smaller turkeys side-by-side, slathered in truffle butter and fresh herbs.  Results were juicy, but underwhelming.  I was expecting a WOW moment given the white truffle butter.  And in 2012, I reverted back to turkey in parts.  Uninspired, and a bit dry.

In 2013, everything changed.  Last year, I put Jorge in charge of making the turkey.  He prepared this Smoked Turkey, and the finished bird was incredible.  Juicy insides with a mouthwatering, smoky flavor.  Our Thanksgiving guests couldn’t stop raving about it.  Preparing the turkey on the grill also freed up some much-needed oven space.  We had such an awesome turkey experience last year, that I just had to share it with you all this year!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pumpkin Chicken Chili [Giveaway]

Today I’m giving away a gorgeous KitchenAid 4 Quart Cast Iron Pot PLUS I’m sharing an easy (and healthy!) recipe for Pumpkin Chicken Chili.

Pumpkin Chicken Chili Let’s start with the chili. Freshly ground chicken thighs, skin and all, are sautéed with onions, bell pepper and garlic until fragrant and brown. Flavor and body are added by way of chile powder, red pepper flake, cumin, pumpkin beer, pumpkin purée, red beans and fire-roasted tomatoes. The chili is finished with a dollop of rich sour cream, cilantro, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Made in just one pot, this comforting fall soup comes together in under an hour!  Rich, bold flavors.  Hearty, satisfying texture.  So.  Yum.  Continue reading for the recipe, and giveaway details.

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Beer Can Chicken

I’m not a big sports fan, but I sure do love game day/tailgating eats.

Half Beer Can Chicken Like this Beer Can Chicken.  Kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and black pepper get rubbed on first.  Then, the chicken takes a seat on a can filled with light beer, onion, garlic, lemon zest and thyme.  Cooked upright on the grill, this brazen bird gets infused with flavor from the inside out.  I like to serve simply with  lemon wedges.  And beer of course 😉

If you’d like to take this recipe on the go (to your next tailgating party), prep everything in advance for easy game day execution.  The bulk dry rub can be made a week in advance, and stored at room temperature.  Give your bird a rubdown at least one hour in advance, allowing the flavors to get into the meat.  The thyme, onion and garlic can be prepped and stored together; however, don’t zest the lemon in advance.  If not used immediately, the flavor of the lemon oils will diminish quickly after zesting.  Finally, when transporting chicken, make sure it’s well-wrapped in plastic and well-chilled on ice.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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