Pork and Hominy Stew Recipe

You guys are in for a treat today!

Pork and Hominy Stew with Jorge

Red Pozole is one of my favorite Mexican soups. It’s rich, it’s spicy, it’s hearty, and it’s exactly what I want to eat as soon as the weather cools down. The only problem with Red Pozole, is that it requires many big pots to cook all of the various elements, and it can take an entire afternoon to prepare! I don’t mind the traditional preparation from time-to-time, but if I get a pozole craving on a hurried weeknight, I need a faster solution. This Pork and Hominy Stew fits the bill.

The ingredient list here is simple: pork shoulder, chicken stock, dried chiles, onion, garlic and canned hominy. Most items might already be sitting in your pantry! The preparation is also simple, and you can multitask while various things steep and sizzle (game plan below). Bold in color and flavor, this Pork and Hominy Stew tastes similar to Red Pozole, but requires just a fraction of the effort to prepare. Continue reading for the recipe.

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Italian Kale and Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Where all my stuffing lovers at??

Kale and Sausage Stuffing

I’ve been making a version of this Italian Kale and Sausage Stuffing recipe each Thanksgiving for the past five years.  It’s a staple.  Everyone loves it.  Stuffing is actually my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  I mean what’s there not to love about a savory bread casserole studded with vegetables?  Crispy on top and tender below.  It’s heaven!

Over the years, I’ve tried many other stuffing recipes, and all were good, but somehow, I always come back to this one.  It’s just so darn good.  Milk-soaked pieces of airy ciabatta are tossed with a savory mixture of cooked Italian sausage, onion, celery, garlic, parsley and Tuscan kale.  Parmesan cheese, basil, sage and rosemary are folded into the mixture, and then the entire casserole is baked until gloriously golden brown.  With each bite, you’ll get hits of rich sausage, bitter kale, fresh herbs and salty Parmesan.  For Thanksgiving this year, you must make this stuffing.  Continue reading for the recipe

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

I don’t make macaroni and cheese that often, but when I do, I go all out.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, creamy and infused with all sorts of autumn.  The base starts with onion, garlic and thyme sizzling in a pan of hot butter.  A cheese sauce is then made with the addition of flour, milk and grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar.  Before the cooked shells are folded into the mix, the sauce is flavored with butternut squash puree, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper.  Finished with a layer of fresh breadcrumbs, chopped sage and Parmesan cheese, the casserole cooks in the oven until golden and bubbly.  This mac and cheese is tangy, earthy and peppery with wonderful pops of crunch and herb from the breadcrumb topping.  This is comfort food to the max.  Like a warm blanket on a cool autumn evening.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Wild Mushroom Tomato Sauce Recipe

I’ve got some exciting news to share with all of you today!!

Wild Mushroom Tomato Sauce with Herbs

In just under one week, I’ll be heading to the Tuscany region of Italy to embark on a weeklong DaVinci Storyteller Experience sponsored by DaVinci Wine! AHHHHH, so exciting!!! Set in the picturesque town of Vinci, Italy (the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci), this immersive experience is focused on the Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, an innovative growers’ cooperative committed to producing authentic Tuscan wine, including the flagship DaVinci Chianti.

Throughout the week, I’ll be diving into all things Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, including vineyard tours, culinary experiences, delicious food and wine galore, plus meet and greets with local chefs, wine growers and other personalities in and around Vinci. Joining me on this trip are some food blogger favorites including Alana from Fix Feast Flair, Molly from my name is yeh and Rebecca from Foodie with Family. This is going to be such a fun week!

In anticipation of this trip, I’ve developed a new tomato sauce recipe infused with the flavors of Tuscany. Particularly mushroom and Chianti! Continue reading for the recipe plus more on DaVinci Wine.

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Apple Cheddar Biscuits + Updated Bacon Jam

Tender, golden biscuits infused with aged cheddar, apple and onion with sweet and smokey bacon jam on the side. To me, this is a plate of pure happiness.

Cheddar Apple Biscuits with Bacon Jam

I first made these biscuits (sans apple) two years ago while preparing a southern-inspired dinner for the boyfriend. The menu consisted of brined and breaded pork chops and collards cooked in bacon fat. To round out the plate, I decided to make buttermilk biscuits flavored with items I had in the fridge: sharp cheddar and scallions.  After some quick prep (one bowl) and brief trip to the oven, the hot, cheese-laced drop biscuits were on the table, and ready to be devoured with soft butter and runny honey.  A simple triumph!

Over the years, I’ve made this recipe countless times with various different cheeses and flavorings. It’s my go-to biscuit recipe.  And today, I’m sharing it with all of you :) Continue reading for the recipe!

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Roasted Poblano Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido, Spanish for “Melted Cheese”, is truly a thing of beauty.

Roasted Poblano Queso Fundido

In it’s most basic form, Queso Fundido is just melted stringy cheese flavored with onion and garlic, and it’s often paired with roasted poblano peppers, spicy chorizo or sautéed mushrooms.  Here, I’ve taken the classic poblano pairing to the next level.  Three fat peppers get nice and charred under the broiler, and one gets chopped and mixed into the Queso Fundido while the other two transform into a vibrant green purée flavored with garlic and lime.  The contrast of the warm, rich cheese and the bright, smokey sauce is 100% addicting.  So much so that the boyfriend and I easily consumed the entire skillet (shown above) in one sitting!! Continue reading for the recipe.

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Broccoli and Potato Soup

A simple soup that nourishes the body and soul.

Broccoli and Potato Soup During the winter months in San Diego, when the weather at night can dip into the 40’s (sometimes 30’s!), I find myself craving soup time and time again.  In the past seven days, I seriously made three different types of soup and two batches of stock.  This Broccoli and Potato Soup was my favorite of the three, and surprisingly, the healthiest as well!

The recipe starts with crisp stalks of organic broccoli.  I am making the organic distinction here, because the main flavor of this soup comes from the broccoli, so it’s got to be top notch.  That means organic and preferably local.  Two pounds of said broccoli get divided and cooked two different ways.  The first pound is tossed with olive oil and salt, then roasted until tender, caramelized and aromatic.  The second pound is simply added to the soup raw.  This split treatment results in the most wonderful depth of flavor (with minimal added effort!).  Deep savory notes from the roasted broccoli, and fresh, grassy notes from the raw broccoli.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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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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