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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Bacon Caramel Corn

Bacon Caramel Corn This is what happens when you buy bacon in bulk.  Freshly popped corn is tossed with marcona almonds, crispy bacon, smoked sea salt and cayenne pepper, then drowned in a rich, deeply-hued caramel.  Bacon Caramel Corn is both super tasty and super addicting with the most satisfying crunch.  To be honest, I’m usually not the biggest fan of caramel corn.  I often find that it is too cloyingly sweet.  Luckily, this version of caramel corn isn’t too sweet.  It’s quite savory actually with just a hint of sweetness.

Bacon Caramel Corn can be made up to two days in advance.  Be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If you’ve never made caramel before, I’d recommend doing a practice run.  This caramel is simply a mixture of sugar, water and corn syrup, so if you mess it up, throw out the batch and try again!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Paleo Recipes: Week of March 4

Banana Smoothie with Nuts and Seeds

Well several weeks have gone by and I am still on the Paleo Diet.  Yay!  It really hasn’t been too bad.  I’m enjoying the structured eating throughout the week.  It keeps me from consuming garbage like the tray of generic sugar cookies sitting in the office kitchen.  Something I would have previously snacked on throughout the day while taking a break from my computer.  Even though I am able to cheat over the weekends, I still eat 75% Paleo on Saturdays and Sundays.  Not including the glorious mound of carne asada nachos I had this past weekend.  But enough about me.  Let’s talk food.  I’ve got three Paleo recipes for you below:  Open-Faced Frittata, Banana Smoothie with Nuts and Seeds, and Date and Almond Balls (*giggle*).  Continue reading for more details.

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Brandon’s 2012 Top Picks

Frozen Seared Steak

Here’s a brief roundup of my top recipes from 2012.  I’ve really grown to enjoy writing this type of article each year.  Skimming through my archives, I get flooded with all sorts of fond memories.  During the month of February, I posted a number of Mexican recipes that I had prepared for Valentine’s Day.  I had led my boyfriend to believe that he was getting steak and salad for dinner, then surprised him with an entirely Mexican feast (he’s Mexican by the way).  In June, I moved from a beautiful house to a new apartment.  I find it interesting to see how my photography has changed since transitioning into the new space.  In September, I started experimenting with fermentation after enjoying an afternoon with a group of lovely San Diego Food Bloggers.

I’ve found that many of my good memories throughout the year have food associated with them.  I still remember the pickled quince served to a gathering of close friends for Thanksgiving.  The corned beef my mother prepared my first evening back in New Jersey (after 4 years!).  The citrusy walktails consumed during the Coachella Music Festival (a walktail is a cocktail you drink while walking from your car to the venue).  My first bite of caramelized onion and jalapeno-topped, cream cheese-slathered, sriracha-drizzled hot dog enjoyed with an old friend on his porch in Poughkeepsie.  A glorious sip of intensely flavored shrimp broth at a taco spot in Tijuana with my boyfriend.  Like I said above… flooded.  Continue reading for my top picks of 2012.  Also, please share some of your favorite 2012 food memories.

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Blackened Salsa

Blackened Salsa

Flecks of charred chile, shallot and tomato dot the surface of this vibrant, full-flavored sauce.  Sweet.  Spicy.  So aromatic.  The star attraction of my Blackened Salsa?  Hatch chiles.  Hailing from Hatch, New Mexico, these chiles are one of my favorite seasonal ingredients.  Available from mid August to late September, hatch chiles are a spicy-sweet capsicum that truly have a distinct flavor.  It’s similar to an Anaheim chile, but with the volume turned up.  Hatch chiles benefit from a good fire-roasting as the smoke rounds out the chile’s sweet heat.  Plus, your kitchen will be filled with the most intoxicating aroma while the chiles blister and blacken under the broiler.  It’s soooooo good.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Granola Bars with Coconut, Currants and Almonds

Granola Bars with Coconut, Currants and Almonds

After several long days of packing, organizing, cleaning and moving, I am officially living in my new home in San Diego.  I’ll have to say the the most difficult part of this move was not having access to my cookware and kitchen gadgets.  I was condemned to eat fast food many days in a row.  Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy a good Doritos Taco every now and then, but after a while, I just need a home cooked meal.

On Friday evening, I was unpacking a sizable mound of boxes when I finally unearthed my pots, pans, knives and utensils.  Amidst tufts of crumpled newspaper, broken down boxes and bit and pieces of my life strewn about, I began cooking dinner.  First, I cleaned up two fat chicken breasts and seasoned them with kosher salt, garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper.  After turning the oven to 350, I set a small cast-iron pot filled with homemade vegetable stock, butter and gray salt over a medium flame.  I finely chopped an orphaned leek and several cloves of garlic, then prepped a beautiful collection of wild mushrooms.  King trumpet, shiitake and oyster mushrooms reduced to bite-sizes chunks. Continue reading for the rest of my story plus a recipe for super tasty granola bars.

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Pickled Carrots with Dill and Serrano

Picked Carrots with Dill and Serrano

Every time I make homemade pickles, I find myself pondering the same question after taking that first spiced, sour bite: “Why don’t I make pickles more often?”  The process is SO darn easy.  All you have to do is warm up a mixture of common pantry ingredients, pour over fresh vegetables and let the flavors marry for a little bit.  Done!  These Pickled Carrots with Dill and Serrano are made with garlic, dill seed, fennel seed, sliced serrano chile and fresh, fragrant dill.  Bold and spicy, these pickles have a wonderfully complex flavor and an oh so satisfying crunch.  You can also easily adapt this recipe to your own taste.  Don’t like heat?  Trade in the serrano chile for a anaheim or poblano.  Can’t find dill seed?  Omit and add some extra fresh dill.  Basic pickling liquid consists of water, vinegar, salt and sugar.  Where you go from there is completely up to you!  Enjoy these pickles as an afternoon snack or as an accompaniment to a piled high burger.  They are also super tasty with Mexican food!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Kale Chips

Smokey Spiced Kale Chips

So let me start by saying that I’m officially obsessed with Kale Chips.  Light, crispy and nutty, this salty snack is made with just three ingredients and minimal effort.  Kale is also a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals and many other beneficial bonuses (like fighting cancer and mental illness!).  I mean seriously, who knew that something this healthy could also be so delicious and satisfying?  Standing in my kitchen across from a sheet of freshly baked Kale Chips, I eagerly eyed the leafy morsels waiting for the moment when they would be cool enough to taste.  One bite.  Yum.  Another bite.  Mmm.  Shortly after, I snapped out of Kale Chip euphoria to realize that I had eaten half of the chips scattered across the baking sheet.  I can almost guarantee you will experience something similar.  Continue reading for more pictures of Kale Chips plus a link to the recipe (including a spicy variation).

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Homemade Graham Crackers

Homemade Graham Crackers

These buttery beauties are flavored with cinnamon, dark brown sugar, and honey then topped with turbinado and smoked sea salt.  With each salty-sweet bite, a feeling of nostalgia is almost guaranteed, whisking you back to those adolescent times when graham crackers were consumed frequently and in great quantities.  Homemade Graham Crackers are simple to make and much tastier than their store-bought counterpart.  Enjoy as an afternoon snack or pair with toasted marshmallows and chocolate, elevating your s’more experience to the next level.  These Homemade Graham Crackers go particularly well with my recipe for Maple Bacon S’mores.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Brandon’s 2011 Top Picks

The Salted Tarragon Greyhound

As I am sitting here sipping a warm mug of peppermint mocha (homemade, of course) and browsing through each month’s recipes, I can’t help but to smile at all of the yummy things I cooked, ate and drank over the past year from entrees to appetizers, desserts to drinks, and everything in between.  Before I kick off another year of delicious recipes, I’m going to recap some of my favorites from 2011.  Trends that I am noticing throughout my archives include seasonal recipes, signature cocktails, alcohol infusions, balanced bites and Mexican influences.  Below you’ll find 14 of my favorite Kitchen Konfidence recipes from last year.

What can you expect to see on Kitchen Konfidence in 2012?  I will continue to explore both seasonal and Mexican recipes.  In addition to alcohol infusions, I will also be diving into the world of shrubs, bitters and tinctures (that means MOAR cocktails).  And desserts, as always, will be very prominent.  Joining the recipe articles each week will be some new content types including reviews, giveaways, technique videos and roundups.  What would you like to see me post into 2012?  Please share your thoughts below.  Now… on to the picks.

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