Better With Bacon

Everything’s better with bacon, right?  Even this cocktail.

Better With Bacon Cocktail Better With Bacon, a cocktail from Greg Henry’s Savory Cocktails, starts by steeping sliced bacon in a mixture of peppery rye, lime juice, simple syrup, and liquid smoke.  After a 10-minute infusion, the bacon-rye mixture is strained over ice, and shaken until well-chilled.  Finished with a simple slice of cooked bacon, this savory cocktail is crisp, bright and full of intrigue.  The liquid smoke amps up the smokiness of the rye and bacon, while the lime juice cuts through the rich, heavy flavors.  Simple syrup is added for balance.  In addition to my Bacon Bloody, this Better With Bacon cocktail is one of my favorite ways to consume bacon in liquid form.  If you are a bacon-lover (like me), I’d highly recommend that you give this cocktail a try.  The ingredient list is fairly simple, and you could even use bourbon here if you didn’t have rye on hand.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Jorge’s Bacon Cheeseburgers

Ok so I have a fun little treat for you all today.

Jorge's Bacon Cheeseburger If you weren’t already aware, my sweet, adorable boyfriend is Jorge.  One might think that because I am a food blogger, I do all the cooking in the relationship; however, that is not the case here.  Jorge loves to cook as well, and today, I’m sharing one of his best recipes for Bacon Cheeseburgers.

His burgers start with a mix of freshly ground beef chuck, short rib and bacon.  Sharp cheddar cheese is then worked directly into the burger blend, allowing the cheesy tang to permeate the burger.  These handcrafted patties are then thrown on a hot charcoal grill where they get wonderfully charred.  As the burgers cook, the bits of cheese throughout get all melty and gooey.  Stacked between a toasted brioche bun, this bacon cheeseburger is finished with our favorite toppings: butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  Let.  me.  tell.  you.  This burger is ridiculously delicious.  Each bite is incredibly juicy with big, bold flavors that can easily stand up to all of the toppings.  This is your burger for summer 2014.  Continue reading for the recipe plus some comments from Jorge!

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Top 10 Recipes from 2013

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Before I dive into a fresh batch of recipes for 2014, I wanted to take a moment to share the most popular Kitchen Konfidence posts in 2013.  The list below is ranked based on view counts from Google Analytics.  I always love taking these delicious trips down memory lane :)  So many tasty moments.  Did your favorites make the Top 10?

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Kale and Bacon Frittata

Kale and Bacon Frittata

It’s around this time each year that I’m usually super busy with my full time job.  It’s event season and I’ve got a major one coming up next Saturday.  Amidst extensive planning and preparations, I find myself yearning for a lazy Sunday morning with the boyfriend.  The type of morning where we brew an extra-large pot of coffee.  The Food Network is on in the background, and I’m puttering around in the kitchen cooking up some waffles, pancakes, or scones (Instagramming along the way of course).  A morning with no commitments, and a shower is my most ambitious plan.

Unfortunately, this Sunday morning looks nothing like that.  Even though my schedule is packed, I still try to make time for a delicious, home-cooked breakfast.  Today, I’ve made this Kale and Bacon Frittata.  Rich and smokey, this egg-based dish is make with thin shreds of kale sautéed in bacon fat with shallot and crushed red pepper flake.  A golden-hued mix of egg, smoked gouda and parsley is then poured over the tangle of spicy bitter greens.  Crispy bits of bacon are tossed in at the end.  The finished frittata is luscious and hearty.  With each bite you’ll enjoy a satisfying balance of spicy, salty, fatty, fresh and bitter.  And the crisp bacon provides savory pops of smoke and salt.  I may not be able to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning right now, but at least I can get a small bite of it before diving into my next project.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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4th of July Recipes

Beer Marinated Tri Tip The 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays growing up.  Each year, my parents would take me and a few of my close friends to Philadelphia for an afternoon of eating, sightseeing and celebrity spotting.  One year, we saw Rosa Parks!!  She was actually getting on a bus.  I was always so enthralled with the energy coursing through that city on the 4th of July.  You could feel the excitement.

Later in the evening, my friends and I would watch our hometown fireworks from someone’s backyard.  Fireflies blinking in the warm, dark summer air.  The back patio wet with pool water.  Hot dogs sizzling on the grill.  Tradition.  That’s what the 4th of July means to me.  I love the sense of tradition with friends and family.

Since moving to San Diego (far far away from my hometown and Philadelphia), I have had to establish some different traditions.  Summer flavors, backyard grilling, afternoon cocktails and bayside fireworks.  Cooking for friends and loved ones.  I do miss those old traditions, but I am also excited for the new ones.  Below is a collection of recipes perfect for a 4th of July bash.  Some of these recipes are from Independence Day celebrations of years past.  Some are recipes I’ll be making again in a few days.  I hope you enjoy :)

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Paleo Recipes: Week of May 13

Coconut Yogurt With posts like this and this and this, you may have thought I was off the Paleo Diet.  But that’s totally not the case.  I’m still going strong :)  I did put on several pounds after my trip to NYC though.  With dining destinations like Le Bernadin, The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Eataly, Baked and the Momofuku Noodle Bar, it was close to impossible for me to follow Paleo guidelines.  But I don’t go on many vacations throughout the year, so I was totally fine with breaking the rules.  I’ve got three recipes below that have helped me get back on track.  They’re easy to prepare and packed with flavor.  Each recipe also has a richness that makes you forget the fact that you are eating diet food.  Citrus Avocado Dip, Coconut Yogurt, and Chorizo Meatloaf recipes below.

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Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa

Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa Several days ago, temperatures in San Diego shot up to the mid 80′s and 90′s, causing an almost instantaneous craving for summer flavors.  Fresh berries, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, grilled meats and gloriously green herbs.  I immediately got in my car to do some grocery shopping.  Windows down.  A warm breeze blowing.  Spotify on full blast.  Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa in mind.

This recipe captures the essence of summer.  Smoky, succulent pulled pork is encased in corn masa, then steamed until light and tender.  Accompanying the tamal is a corn salsa spiked with red onion, serrano chile and chopped cilantro.  This salsa is fresh, fresh, fresh.  A perfect counter to the richness of the tamal.  Summer, I am ready for you.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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How to Grind Meat in a Food Processor

Ground Chicken

With all of the diet changes happening in my life right now, I’ve become very aware of what I am putting into my body.  A month ago, I came down with a bad stomach bug after eating some homemade turkey burgers.  While I can’t exactly pinpoint the problem food, I am certain it was the ground turkey I got at the supermarket.  Since then, I’ve been grinding my own meat at home.  Now I did happen to experience a fair amount of weight loss from the stomach bug, so perhaps I should continue on eating the supermarket ground meat?  Really, I’m just two stomach bugs away from my target weight.  But, I’d rather not use up any more sick days at work for the same issue.  Also, it always seems like ground meat products are in the news wrapped up in some sort of scandal: recalls, salmonella, E. coli, and even horse meat!  So I’m going to stick with grinding my meat at home.  And let me tell you, the process couldn’t be easier.  Continue reading for the method.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork has been in my recipe repertoire for over 4 years now.  Consistently delicious, this pulled pork is succulent, smokey and unbelievably tender.  The best part?  It’s so easy.  Marbled chunks of pork are showered in a fragrant flurry of spices, then cooked for hours in a bath of liquid smoke.  Usually, you should use liquid smoke sparingly; however, this recipe calls for an unabashed 1/2 cup.  As the pork cooks throughout the day, you’re entire house will be enveloped by an drool-inducing fragrance.  The finished pork is packed with a smoky savoriness that one would think came from hours of cooking in a traditional smoker.

Years ago, I served this pulled pork with a cool, crunchy slaw on top.  Recently, I’ve been substituting in tart pickled red onions.  I love the contrast of the rich meat and the spicy, acidic pickles.  Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is perfect for a crowd, and would certainly fit in at any testosterone-charged Super Bowl party.  You need to make this.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Brussels Spouts with Bacon and Miso-Mustard

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Miso-Mustard

This recipe is a beefed up (or porked up) version of my favorite Golden Brussels Sprouts. Halved sprouts are sauteed in bacon fat until tender and deeply caramelized. Finished with Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon, these flavorful little nuggets are served with a bright miso-mustard. The combination of the sprouts, bacon and miso-mustard is big, bold and perfect with an ice cold beer. I’ll have to say that miso is quickly becoming one of my new obsessions. Several weeks ago I prepared this Miso Butter Roasted Chicken, and I was really surprised at how tasty it was. Miso, a fermented rice, barley or soy bean paste, provides a salty depth of flavor. Not just for soup anymore, this umami powerhouse works well with meat, fish, vegetables and even dessert (see Bittman article below)! Continue reading for the recipe.

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