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?
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you know what I really hate? Dry pork. And dry chicken. I always find it so disappointing when I slice into a beautifully golden piece of meat to find an abrasive assault of coarse saw dust. I’m sure we’ve all been there. So the question is, what’s a fool-proof way to prepare tender pork or chicken? The answer… this brine 🙂 A brine is essentially a solution made of salt and water. Meat is soaked in the brine for several hours allowing salt to penetrate throughout. Brining both seasons the meat and causes it to absorb water, ensuring that the final result is both flavorful and juicy.
Made with kosher salt, onion, garlic, thyme, bay, lemon and black pepper, this Brine Recipe infuses some major flavor and moisture into any cut of pork, chicken or turkey. Also, the process really couldn’t be easier. Prepare the brine in under 15 minutes, let the meat soak for 2 to 3 hours, dry, rest, then cook any way you like (roast, fry, grill, saute). Seriously give this a try. It’s life changing. Continue reading for the recipe. Also, I’ve announced the winners of the Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomato prize packs giveaway.
Up until this year, my method for making Bolognese Sauce called for adding cooked, seasoned beef to my Homemade Tomato Sauce, simmering for a bit, then finishing with fresh herbs. It wasn’t until I saw this video that I realized I wasn’t really making Bolognese Sauce at all! After experimenting a bit with Mario’s recipe, I found a method that I really love. This slow cooked Bolognese Sauce pairs a number of classic aromatics with ground beef, pork and bacon. The mixture is then simmered in tomato paste, whole milk and wine. Thick, rich and luscious, the finished sauce has the most amazing depth of flavor. The recipe below definitely takes some time to make. But I urge you to give it a try. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading for the recipe.