Crispy Pork Belly Taco Recipe: Elevate Your Taco Tuesday

Crispy Pork Belly Taco Recipe: Elevate Your Taco Tuesday

Diving into the world of tacos, there’s one variation that stands out for its bold flavours and irresistible crunch: the crispy pork belly taco recipe. This dish is a game-changer for anyone looking to elevate their taco night. It marries the deep, savoury notes of crispy pork belly with the vibrant zing of pickled red onions and fresh cilantro, all tucked into a soft tortilla embrace. It’s not just a meal; it’s a sensory journey that balances richness with freshness, creating a taste profile that’s hard to forget.

The Star Ingredient: Crispy Pork Belly

Pork belly, with its perfect ratio of meat to fat, is the heart of this recipe. Seasoning it with a mix of sea salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika not only enhances its flavour but also sets the stage for that ultimate crispy finish we’re all after. The secret lies in slow-roasting it first to tender perfection, then giving it a high-heat blast to crisp up the skin. This process might test your patience, but the result is succulent pork with a crackling exterior that’s totally worth the wait.

The Fresh Twist: Pickled Red Onions

What really brings these tacos to life is the pickled red onions. Their sharpness and slight sweetness cut through the richness of the pork belly, adding a layer of complexity to each bite. Making them is simple. Combine apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and warm water. Letting the onions sit in this pickling solution, whether for an hour or overnight, transforms them into a tangy condiment that you’ll want to add to everything.

Assembly: The Final Touch

With the pork belly perfectly roasted and the onions pickled, assembling the tacos is where the fun really begins. Lay down a warm tortilla, add a generous helping of pork belly cubes, and top them with vibrant onions and fresh cilantro leaves. A squeeze of lime juice over the top brings a bright pop of acidity that ties everything together beautifully.

Why It Works

This crispy pork belly taco recipe isn’t just about combining ingredients; it’s about creating a balance. The richness of the pork is offset by the acidity of the pickled onions, while the cilantro adds a burst of freshness that elevates the entire dish. The contrast of textures—from the crunch of the pork skin to the softness of the tortilla—makes every bite a delight.

In summary, crispy pork belly tacos are more than just a meal; they’re an experience. They bring together the best of what tacos have to offer: bold flavours, contrasting textures, and the joy of customization. Whether it’s a casual dinner or a special occasion, these tacos promise to be a hit, proving that with the right ingredients and a bit of patience, taco night can be nothing short of extraordinary.

Pork Taco Recipe

Pork Belly Tacos

These tacos combine the rich, savory flavor of crispy pork belly with the fresh punch of pickled red onions and cilantro, all nestled in a soft tortilla. It's a fusion of textures and tastes that'll give your taste buds a real fiesta.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Pork Tacos
Servings: 4 servings
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly skin scored
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 8 small tortillas warmed
  • 1/2 cup pickled red onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes cut into wedges for serving

For the Pickled Red Onions:

  • 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions

  • Start by pickling the onions: In a jar, combine apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and warm water. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the red onions, ensuring they are fully submerged. Let sit for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight for best results.
  • Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Season the pork belly on all sides with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet and cook for 2-3 hours until tender.
  • Increase oven temperature to 400°F (205°C) and roast the pork belly for an additional 20-30 minutes until the skin is crispy.
  • Remove the pork belly from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting into bite-sized cubes.
  • To assemble the tacos, place a few pieces of crispy pork belly on each warmed tortilla.
  • Top with pickled red onions, fresh cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Serve immediately with extra lime wedges on the side.
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Like this recipe? You may also enjoy Turkey Tacos. These tacos would be great topped with this Mexican Hot Sauce Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy

Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy

Sourdough baking has witnessed a remarkable resurgence, captivating the hearts of culinary enthusiasts worldwide. Amid the nurturing and feeding of sourdough starters, a common question arises: what to do with the discard? Fortunately, the versatility of sourdough discard opens up a world of culinary possibilities, especially for breakfast, transforming what might seem like waste into gastronomic treasures. Let’s dive into the sustainable and flavourful world of sourdough discard recipes, answering key questions along the way.

What to Make with Discarded Sourdough Starter?

The beauty of sourdough discard lies in its flexibility. Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, incorporating sourdough discard into your recipes can add depth, flavour, and texture. From the tangy richness of English Muffins and the crisp, savoury delight of Crackers to the fluffy, comforting Pancakes, sourdough discard can be the star ingredient in a variety of dishes, proving its worth beyond traditional bread baking.

How to Add Sourdough Discard to Any Recipe

Incorporating sourdough discard into recipes is simpler than one might think. It can often be used as a substitute for some of the flour and water in a recipe, thanks to its composition. The key is to balance the liquid and dry ingredients. For every cup of discard used, reduce the recipe’s flour by half a cup and the liquid by a quarter cup. This guideline can help maintain the recipe’s original texture and consistency while imbuing it with the unique characteristics of sourdough.

Are Sourdough Discard Recipes Healthy?

Sourdough discard recipes not only reduce waste but also offer health benefits, making them a wonderful addition to a balanced diet. The fermentation process of the sourdough starter increases the availability of certain nutrients and can help improve digestion. Using the discard in various recipes can add a nutritional boost, especially when combined with whole grains and other healthful ingredients.

What Does Sourdough Discard Do in Recipes?

Sourdough discard introduces a mild tanginess and depth of flavour to recipes, distinguishing them from their non-sourdough counterparts. Its natural fermentation process can also contribute to a lighter, more tender texture in baked goods. Moreover, the lactic acid bacteria present in the discard act as a natural preservative, extending the shelf-life of the final product.

Sourdough Pancakes with melted butter and syrup

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

This recipe is a fantastic way to use up that extra sourdough starter discard. The pancakes come out incredibly fluffy and have a slight tang from the sourdough, making them irresistibly delicious.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pancakes, Sourdough Discard Recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter unfed/discard
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter plus more for cooking

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; let the batter sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush with melted butter.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown.
  • Serve hot with your choice of toppings.
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Sourdough Discard Crackers

These sourdough discard crackers are thin, crispy, and full of flavor. They are perfect for snacking, serving with cheese, or as a base for canapés. This recipe is an excellent way to put your discarded sourdough starter to good use.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crackers
Servings: 8 servings
Cost: $3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unfed/discard sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, melted butter, whole wheat flour, salt, garlic powder, and dried rosemary until a dough forms.
  • Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Cut the dough into squares or rectangles with a knife or pizza cutter. Poke each cracker with a fork a few times.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crackers are crisp and lightly browned.
  • Let them cool before breaking them apart and serving.
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A stack of three homemade sourdough english muffins

Sourdough Discard English Muffins

These sourdough discard English muffins are wonderfully tangy and have that perfect nook-and-cranny texture. They're ideal for breakfast sandwiches or simply toasted with butter and jam.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: African
Keyword: English Muffins, Sourdoug discard
Servings: 8 servings
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unfed/discard sourdough starter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  • Gradually add the milk to the dry ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.
  • Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a round cutter.
  • Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and transfer the cut dough onto it. Let them rise for about an hour.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the muffins for about 5-6 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  • Split with a fork to enjoy the perfect texture inside.
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Conclusion

In conclusion, sourdough discard is a versatile, flavourful, and healthy ingredient that can enhance a wide range of recipes. By incorporating it into your cooking, you not only reduce food waste but also elevate the taste and nutritional value of your meals. Whether you’re whipping up breakfast or snacks, sourdough discard recipes are a testament to the creativity and sustainability possible in modern baking and cooking.

Never made sourdough before? Check out this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe: Perfect Simplicity

Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe: Perfect Simplicity

In the world of appetizers, where complexity often reigns supreme, there exists a timeless classic that champions the beauty of simplicity without compromising on flavour. The Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe is a testament to the culinary principle that sometimes, less truly is more. With its straightforward list of ingredients and minimal cooking requirements, this dip has secured its place as a go-to choice for hosts and hostesses aiming to impress without the stress.

The Magic in the Mix

At the heart of this spinach dip recipe, Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix, a blend of seasonings and dried vegetables that when combined with the right ingredients, transforms into something truly special. The mix serves as the backbone of the dip, providing depth and a burst of flavour that is both unique and comforting.

The Ensemble of Ingredients

The beauty of the Knorr Spinach Dip lies in its harmonious blend of ingredients. Frozen chopped spinach, once thawed and drained, brings a fresh and slightly earthy base to the dish. Sour cream and mayonnaise together create a rich, creamy texture that is irresistible, serving as the perfect canvas for the flavours to meld together. Water chestnuts add a delightful crunch, offering a contrast in texture that elevates the dip to new heights. Finally, chopped green onions sprinkle in a touch of sharpness and colour, rounding off the dish with a fresh burst.

Ease and Versatility

One of the best things about this dip is its quick and easy preparation. With no need for extensive cooking or complicated steps, it’s a recipe that invites even the most kitchen-shy individuals to try their hand at creating a delicious appetizer. This ease of preparation does not come at the cost of versatility. The Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe is a chameleon of sorts, pairing beautifully with an array of dippers. From the traditional crackers and bread chunks to a healthier array of veggie sticks, this dip accommodates all preferences, making it a perfect addition to any gathering.

A Crowd-Pleaser for All Occasions

There’s a reason why the Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe remains a favourite among hosts and guests alike. Its appeal lies not just in its flavour and simplicity but also in its ability to bring people together. It’s a dish that feels at home in a casual family gathering, a sophisticated cocktail party, or a festive holiday event. The dip’s versatility extends beyond its pairing options, adapting effortlessly to the mood and theme of any occasion.

In Conclusion

The Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe is more than just an appetizer; it’s a culinary experience that celebrates the joys of simple cooking. It reminds us that in the world of food, simplicity does not equate to blandness or monotony but opens the door to elegance and flavourful delights. As we gather around tables filled with conversation and laughter, this dip serves as a reminder of the beauty of sharing good food with good company. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, the Knorr Spinach Dip is a recipe that promises satisfaction in every bite, proving that sometimes, the simplest dishes leave the longest-lasting impressions.

Knorr Spinach Dip with crackers

Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe

This is identical to the Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Course: Dip
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Knorr Spinach Dip, Spinach
Servings: 16 people
Cost: $20

Ingredients

  • 285 g Frozen spinach 10 oz
  • 473 ml Sour cream 16 oz
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix
  • 1 sm can water chestnuts, drained and chopped optional
  • 3 green onions, chopped optional

Instructions

  • Defrost, drain, dry, and chop the spinach.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  • Transfer the dip to a serving dish, cover it, and chill it in the fridge for two hours.
  • Serve the dip chilled with your favourite crakers or vegetables.
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A Twist on Tradition: Crafting the Perfect Caesar Rimmer Recipe

A Twist on Tradition: Crafting the Perfect Caesar Rimmer Recipe

“Let’s get cooking!” Today, we’re taking a delightful detour from our usual fare to celebrate a Canadian classic – the Caesar cocktail. Similar to a Bloody Mary but with a unique twist, the Caesar is a beloved beverage across Canada, known for its rich and savoury flavour profile. The secret to an outstanding Caesar often lies in the rimmer – that delightful blend of spices that coats the rim of your glass, tantalizing your taste buds even before the first sip. Let’s dive into the world of Caesar rimmers and craft a recipe that will elevate your cocktail experience.

The Caesar: Canada’s Cherished Cocktail

The Caesar, a cocktail as Canadian as maple syrup and hockey, was invented in 1969 by Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta. Its distinctive flavour comes from Clamato juice – a blend of clam and tomato juices – seasoned with hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other spices. The rimmer, a critical element, provides an extra layer of taste and texture.

Crafting Your Caesar Rimmer

Caesar Rimmer Recipe

Crafting Your Caesar Rimmer

A great Caesar rimmer is more than just salt – it's a mix of savoury, spicy, and tangy elements that complement the drink. Our recipe is a symphony of flavors designed to make your Caesar truly memorable.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: caesar rimmer

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill or dried parsley

Instructions

  • Combine the Ingredients: In a shallow bowl, mix together sea salt, celery salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried dill or parsley. Stir well to ensure an even blend.
  • Prepare Your Glass: To rim your glass, first wet the edge with a lemon or lime wedge, then dip it into the spice mixture. Make sure the rim is evenly coated.
  • Assemble Your Caesar: Fill your rimmed glass with ice, add your choice of vodka (optional), pour in Clamato juice, and add dashes of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Stir well.
  • Garnish Galore: The Caesar is famous for its creative garnishes. Go traditional with a celery stalk and lime wedge, or get inventive with pickled vegetables, crispy bacon, or even a shrimp!
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The Art of the Perfect Caesar

Creating the perfect Caesar is about balance. The key is to complement the drink’s savoury depth without overpowering it. Our rimmer recipe achieves this with its blend of smoky, spicy, and herby notes.

Tips for a Standout Caesar:

  • Experiment with Spices: Feel free to adjust the spice levels to suit your taste. Love heat? Add more cayenne pepper. Adore garlic? Throw in an extra pinch.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality spices for the best flavour. Freshly ground pepper and high-grade sea salt can make a significant difference.
  • Creative Garnishes: The Caesar is as much about the presentation as it is about the taste. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your garnishes.
  • Chill Your Glass: For an extra refreshing drink, chill your glass before rimming and assembling your Caesar.

A Celebration in Every Sip

The Caesar is more than just a cocktail; it’s a celebration of flavours and textures. Whether you’re hosting a brunch, enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon, or just looking for a special drink, this Caesar Rimmer recipe will surely add a zesty twist to your beverage. So, gather your ingredients, ready your glasses, and prepare to indulge in a Canadian classic that’s sure to impress.

“Deliciously yours!” Here’s to crafting the perfect Caesar, a drink that’s not just a cocktail but an experience. Cheers!

Pasta Con Broccoli

Pasta Con Broccoli

Pasta Con Broccoli is a simple pasta dish made with broccoli, lemon, crushed red pepper, garlic, and parmesan. As with most pasta dishes, it’s the simple ones, the ones with a handful of ingredients, that are the best. And this recipe for Pasta Con Broccoli is no exception. The pop of flavour from the lemon and red pepper brings the broccoli to life and makes this the kind of dish you’ll return to. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!


Preparing The Broccoli

In total, you want four cups of broccoli florets. I’m sure you could use frozen broccoli for this, but I opted for fresh as it is the middle of summer, and this stuff is everywhere. When cutting broccoli or cauliflower, cut from the bottom. Only cut through the stem to prevent a big mess and keep your florets intact. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli and cook for four minutes. Scoop the broccoli out of the water and set it aside. Save the water and use it for cooking your pasta for a little extra flavour.


Additional Pasta Con Broccoli Ingredients

Other than the broccoli and pasta, the ingredients for this recipe are crushed red pepper flakes, thinly sliced garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, butter, and olive oil. See the recipe at the end of this post for the measurements. Organize the ingredients before making the pasta because things will happen quickly once you get going.


Cooking The Pasta Con Broccoli

Bring the large pot of water back to a boil and set a timer according to the instructions on the package. Once the timer hits five minutes, put a large skillet on medium-high heat. Let it heat up, then add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter starts to foam, add the garlic. Cook for one minute, add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for another thirty seconds. Put the broccoli in the pan, and sauté for two minutes. Add a cup of the pasta water and the lemon zest to the pan, put it back on the heat and bring it to a boil and reduce it by half its volume. Drain the pasta, and add it to the pan. Toss in the parmesan cheese and salt. Mix well. Take the pan off the heat again, add the lemon juice, toss, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.


Wrap-Up

Pasta Con Broccoli should be a little creamy, a little lemony, a little spicy, and a lot flavourful. This is the perfect weeknight pasta dish because it comes together so quickly. You can also add some shredded chicken, cooked salmon, or tuna to the dish to bulk it up. This is definitely worth a try. Broccoli done in a similar fashion to this pasta dish makes a great side dish. You can find my recipe for Roasted Lemon & Parmesan Broccoli here.

Thank you for coming to Chef’s Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. The mission of Chef’s Notes is to share over twenty years of professional cooking experience. If you’d like to be a part of that mission, you can share this post on Facebook or Pinterest or leave a comment below and rate the recipe. You can also subscribe to the Chef’s Notes Patreon by clicking here. You’ll get access to exclusive content, including live streams, monthly cooking videos and more. And remember to subscribe to the Chef’s Notes newsletter.

Pasta Con Broccoli

Pasta Con Broccoli

Pasta Con Broccoli is a perfect weeknight pasta dish. Serve it as it is, or add cooked chicken, salmon or tuna.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian, Italian
Keyword: broccoli, pasta recipes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli
  • 2 tbsp garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 410 g box rotini pasta
  • 1 cup pasta water

Instructions

  • Cut the broccoli into florets.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pot reserving the water.
  • Add the pasta to the water and set a timer according to the package instructions.
  • Once the pasta timer reaches five minutes, put a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to the skillet. Once the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for thirty seconds. Add the broccoli to the pan and sauté for two minutes.
  • Add one cup of pasta water to the skillet along with the zest of one lemon. Bring the pasta water to a boil and cook until it has reduced by half its volume.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the parmesan cheese and salt. Toss the pasta to mix. Add the lemon juice, toss the pasta again and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve.
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Best Chicken Salad Sandwich

Best Chicken Salad Sandwich

It’s bold to claim that this is the Best Chicken Salad Sandwich. But, in my opinion, it is. This chicken salad sandwich is uncomplicated, only having a few ingredients. It is that simplicity that really makes it so great. Making chicken salad with minimal ingredients is all well and good, but if it doesn’t taste great, it’s all pointless. Luckily, this sandwich does tick all the taste boxes. It has a little bite, a pop of sweetness, a touch of celery-ness, and of course, it’s a little creamy. I think you’ll love this Chicken Salad Sandwich, and I am so excited to share it with you.


Chicken Salad Vegetables

The real secret to making this chicken salad is the garnish that goes in the chicken salad mix. I’ve had chicken salad with various ingredients like avocado, grapes, apple, bacon, pickles, and so on. And honestly, I’ve loved them all. However, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, I like simple, uncomplicated food. So, for me, the best chicken salad has onion for sharpness, carrot for sweetness, and celery for celery-ness. (If you can think of a better way to describe the flavour of celery, please tell me in the comments below.) The key is to cut the vegetables into the smallest pieces you can. You can grate the vegetables on a cheese grater if you’d like, as I demonstrated in my Deviled Egg Salad Sandwich post a few weeks ago. In total, you need three tablespoons of onion and two tablespoons of both carrot and celery.


Chicken For Chicken Salad

I think that the best chicken salad sandwiches are those that are made with leftover whole roasted chicken. Chickens that are roasted whole have more flavour and moisture than boneless, skinless chicken breast. So, I took the breast off a roasted chicken and cut it up with the skin. You can leave the skin out if you’d prefer, but it does add a lot of flavour. As with the vegetables, cut the chicken as small as you can. You’ll need one cup of cut chicken in total.


Making The Best Chicken Salad

Put the chicken and vegetables in a medium mixing bowl. Add three tablespoons of mayonnaise, a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Mix the chicken salad, taste it and season with a little more salt and pepper as needed. The finished mixture should be creamy but not wet.


Assembling The Sandwiches

This amount of chicken salad should yield between two and four sandwiches depending on how much you load them up. To make the sandwiches lay out your bread and butter it making sure to push the butter right to the edge of the bread all the way around. Top the buttered bread with a quarter to a half cup of the chicken salad mixture. Top with the second slice of buttered bread, slice and serve. If you’d like, you can also add some lettuce to the sandwich.


Wrap-Up

For me, the best chicken salad sandwich is simple, and I think this recipe hammers that point home. Of course, you can take this recipe, change it and make it your own. However, I recommend you try it as written once because I think you’ll be amazed at just how good something with so few ingredients can truly be. Enjoy!

Thank you for coming to Chef’s Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. The mission of Chef’s Notes is to share over twenty years of professional cooking experience. If you’d like to be a part of that mission, you can share this post on Facebook or Pinterest or leave a comment below and rate the recipe. You can also subscribe to the Chef’s Notes Patreon by clicking here. You’ll get access to exclusive content, including live streams, monthly cooking videos and more. And remember to subscribe to the Chef’s Notes newsletter.

Best Chicken Salad Ever

The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich is made with a few quality ingredients that balance each other to create a simplistic yet delicious sandwich.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Lunch, Sandwiches
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Chicken, Sandwich
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
  • 3 tbsp onion
  • 2 tbsp celery
  • 2 tbsp carrot
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4 tbsp softened butter

Instructions

  • Mince or grate the onion, carrot and celery and add them to a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the diced chicken, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the butter out onto eight slices of bread. Top four slices of bread with between a quarter and a half cup of the chicken salad. Top with the other pieces of bread, cut in half and serve.

Notes

Lettuce makes a great addition to this sandwich. 
Leftover chicken salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. 
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Homemade Teriyaki Beef Jerky: A Step-by-Step Guide

Homemade Teriyaki Beef Jerky: A Step-by-Step Guide

Looking for the ultimate snack to fuel your next adventure? Look no further than homemade teriyaki beef jerky! Not only is this savoury treat low in fat and high in protein, but it’s also free of preservatives and nitrates, making it a healthier choice than store-bought jerky. And the best part? It’s easy to make! Follow the step-by-step recipe for a mouthwatering, protein-packed snack that will satisfy your cravings and keep you going strong. This is my go-to recipe for homemade teriyaki beef jerky, and I’m sure it will be yours too.


How To Make Teriyaki Beef Jerky Marinade

The first step in this Teriyaki Beef Jerky recipe is to make the Teriyaki marinade. Start with soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (that’s what I used), add some sugar, rice or white wine vinegar, and a bit of water. Bring all of that to a boil, and cook it for about two and a half minutes. Next, take the Teriyaki marinade off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. If you’d like, you can add one teaspoon each of puréed ginger and garlic to the marinade as it is cooking. The measurements are in the recipe at the bottom of the page.


Preparing Beef For Jerky

In total, you want about one pound or 454g of beef. You can use sirloin or inside round. You want a lean cut of meat for jerky because the fat won’t dehydrate and will potentially go rancid. Slice the beef into thin strips (1/4 to 1/2 mm) across the grain to shorten the muscle fibres making the meat less tough. Once the beef is all sliced, put it in a medium bowl.


Marinating the Beef for Jerky

Pour the cooled Teriyaki Marinade over the beef and add about half a teaspoon of black pepper. Mix the meat and pepper into the marinade to ensure all the meat is coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. The meat should marinate for a minimum of two hours, but it can go as long as twenty-four hours.


Dehydrating The Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Once the meat has had time to marinate, remove it from the marinade shaking off the excess. Place the marinated beef in a single layer onto the racks of a dehydrator. Turn the dehydrator to 150°f – 160°f. Assemble the dehydrator and dehydrate the beef for two to three hours or until the meat is dry and chewy but not brittle. Store the beef in the fridge in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to a month. I’m sure you can dehydrate the jerky in your oven though I’ve never done that. But, I would imagine that if you turn your oven to the lowest possible setting, lay the jerky on wire racks and cook it for an hour or two, it should be fine. You can also dehydrate the Teriyaki Beef Jerky in a smoker, as I demonstrate in this post.


Wrap-Up

After trying this homemade teriyaki beef jerky, you may find it hard to resist the sweet, salty, and savoury flavours that make it so addictive. In fact, you may find yourself finishing the entire batch in just a few days! But if you can resist temptation, this jerky will last in the fridge for about a month. Not only is this recipe a delicious snack, but the teriyaki marinade is also perfect for grilling up salmon, pork, or chicken. And if you’re looking to make your own jerky at home, be sure to check out the dehydrator that I use and recommend. It’s a reliable and easy-to-use appliance that will help you create the perfect homemade teriyaki beef jerky every time.

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Are you going for a hike in the woods? A long car ride? What's better for a trip like that than some homemade Teriyaki Beef Jerky? This recipe is easy to follow, and gives you a delicious treat at the end.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Marinade: 2 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Course: Marinade, Snack
Cuisine: Canadian, Japanese
Keyword: Beef Jerky, Beef Recipes, Jerky, Teriyaki
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly
Cost: $10

Equipment

Ingredients

Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water

Beef

  • 1 lb inside round steak or sirloin steak
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Teriyaki Marinade

  • Combine the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and water in a medium pot.
  • Bring the ingredients to a boil on high heat. Boil for two and a half minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Jerky

  • Slice the beef across the grain into thin strips about a quarter to half a centimetre thick.
  • Put the sliced beef in a medium bowl, and add the room temperature teriyaki marinade and the black pepper. Mix well.
  • Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for two to twenty-four hours.
  • Remove the jerky from the bowl shaking off any excess marinade. Place the beef in an even layer on the racks of a dehydrator.
  • Assemble the dehydrator and turn the heat on to 150°f to 160°f.
  • Dehydrate the jerky for two to three hours or until it is dry and chewy but not brittle.
  • Store the jerky in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge for up to a month.

Notes

If you’d like you can add a teaspoon each of puréed garlic and ginger to the marinade while it’s cooking. 
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Devilled Egg Salad Sandwiches

Devilled Egg Salad Sandwiches

Imagine everything you love about Deviled Eggs but in an Egg Salad Sandwich. Is there a better way to up your egg salad sandwich game? If there is, I haven’t found it. This Deviled Egg Salad is creamy, a little spicy, and packed with flavour. It’s perfect for sharing with your friends and family, or if you want something special for yourself. If you, like me, love Deviled Eggs and Egg Salad Sandwiches, then keep reading for the recipe. Also, below you will find a fantastic tip for perfectly cooking and peeling hard-boiled eggs.


Best Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are often overcooked, giving the yolks a greenish colour and sulphurous smell. Unfortunately, this is a surprisingly common problem. So, before we get into the recipe for the Deviled Egg Salad, I think we should look at how to cook and peel hard-boiled eggs perfectly every time.

How To Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs

It doesn’t matter how many eggs you are cooking the process and timing are the same. However, the size of the eggs does matter. The cooking method I’m about to describe is for standard large store-bought eggs. First, put the eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water. Next, place the pot on the stove on high heat and bring it to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, set a five-minute timer.

Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs

As soon as the five-minute timer goes off, drain the hot water out of the pot. Using the back of a spoon, gently tap the eggs a few times to crack the shells in a few different places. Put the pot in the sink and fill it with cold running water. Let the cold water run over the eggs for about five minutes or until the water in the pot is cold. Peel and rinse the eggs. You now have perfectly cooked and peeled hard-boiled eggs.

Why crack the egg shells?

Cracking the egg shells while the eggs are still hot allows the cold water to get between the shell and the egg, making the eggs much easier to peel. Cracking the eggs while they’re cold doesn’t have the same effect. So, you must crack the shells while the eggs are still hot. Also, running the eggs under cold water cools them quickly, so they don’t overcook and get that green colour and off smell.



Grating The Ingredients

While the eggs are cooking, you can set up and prepare the other Deviled Egg Salad ingredients. You need a medium mixing bowl, a cheese grater, and a spatula. First, grate the celery and onion on the largest setting of the cheese grater. In total, you want about two tablespoons of each. If you end up with a little more or a little less, it won’t hurt anything. Then, once the eggs are cooled and peeled, grate those on the cheese grater.


Seasonings and Spices

Next, measure the cayenne, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise, then mix well with a spatula. Once everything is mixed, taste the Deviled Egg Salad, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. You can also add a few drops of hot sauce if you’d like.


Making Sandwiches

Now that the Deviled Egg Salad is ready, it’s time to make some sandwiches. You can get four sandwiches out of this amount of egg salad. To make the sandwiches, take eight slices of bread, and butter them with softened butter. When making sandwiches, it’s vital that any spread or filling be pushed right to the edges of the bread. You don’t want any bites of the sandwich to be dry or plain. So, take your time when spreading the butter and the filling to cover the bread completely. Next, take a quarter cup of the Deviled Egg Salad and put it on each sandwich. Again, spread it out to evenly coat the bread. Add a bit of lettuce to the sandwich. Top each with a second slice of buttered bread. Slice and serve.


Wrap-Up

I developed this Deviled Egg Salad Sandwich recipe thinking it would be good, but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. It’s my new favourite egg salad sandwich recipe, and that’s saying a lot because I love egg salad sandwiches. I’m excited for you to try this. When you make it, remember to come back and leave a rating on the recipe.

Thank you for coming to Chef’s Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. The mission of Chef’s Notes is to share over twenty years of professional cooking experience. If you’d like to be a part of that mission, you can share this post on Facebook or Pinterest or leave a comment below and rate the recipe. You can also subscribe to the Chef’s Notes Patreon by clicking here. You’ll get access to exclusive content, including live streams, monthly cooking videos and more. And remember to subscribe to the Chef’s Notes newsletter.

Deviled Egg Salad

Everything you love about a classic Deviled Egg but in a sandwich filling. It's creamy, a little spicy, and packed with flavour. The perfect way to take your egg sandwiches to the next level.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Egg Salad, Eggs, Sandwich
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • 2 tbsp grated, celery
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 8 slices bread
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 4 slices Iceberg Lettuce

Instructions

  • Put the eggs in a medium pot and cover with cold water.
  • Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Once the eggs start to boil, set a five-minute timer.
  • When the egg timer goes off, remove the pot from the heat, drain the hot water, and crack the egg shells with the back of a spoon. Put the pot under cold running water for five minutes or until the eggs are cool.
  • Peel and rinse the eggs. Pat the eggs dry and grate them on a cheese grater into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the grated onion and celery to the eggs. Mix in the mayo, cayenne, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.
  • To assemble the sandwiches, spread the butter on the eight slices of bread. Top four slices of bread with the egg salad mixture. Put the lettuce on the egg salad, then add the second piece of bread, slice and serve.
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Curried Cucumber and Salad

Curried Cucumber and Salad

If you are looking for a delicious and refreshing summer salad that you’ll want to share with your friends, this Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad is just the thing. Its bright flavours and pops of sweetness make it the perfect accompaniment to grilled or roasted meat, chicken or fish. You can serve it as a side or bulk it up with some protein for a meal. Either way, this is a recipe worth trying.


Curry Sauce

The curry sauce for this Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad combines yogurt, garam masala, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. You can switch the yogurt for mayonnaise and the garam masala for madras or yellow curry powder if you’d like. The mayonnaise-based version of this sauce makes an excellent dip for sweet potato fries. Combine the yogurt, garam masala, honey, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl to make the curry sauce. Once mixed, taste the sauce and season it as needed with salt. You can use the sauce right away or cover it and put it in the fridge for an hour to let the flavours blend a little more.


Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad

The salad ingredients are cucumber, apple, dried cranberries or raisins, cilantro, green onion, and slivered almonds. I made this salad with shaved cucumber, but I found that the cucumber became very soggy, and the salad was watery. So, I suggest dicing the cucumber. This salad is best when served right away, but you can make it ahead of time if you leave the cucumber out until the last minute. If you must make this Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad ahead of time with the cucumbers, remove the seeds from the cucumbers. The seeds contain a significant amount of the cucumber’s water content, so removing them will help prevent a watery salad. However, it removing the seeds will eliminate this problem entirely.

Making The Salad

To make the salad, dice half a cucumber and one apple and add them to the curry sauce. Next, add the dried cranberries, then slice the cilantro and green onions and put those in the bowl too. Finally, add the almonds and mix. Serve immediately.


Wrap-Up

This Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad makes a great sidedish with kabobs or grilled meat. You can make it a meal by adding cooked chicken breast or even tuna. Other ingredients that would go well in this salad include bell pepper, pecans, chickpeas, red onion, mint, and tomato. So take this recipe, and make it your own.

Thank you so much for coming to my blog and reading this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and taken something useful from it. This blog aims to share the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned over my 20-plus year cooking career to help make cooking more enjoyable and more accessible for those who don’t find it easy and enjoyable. If you’d like to be a part of that mission, there are a few ways that you can help. The easiest way to help is to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest or even just leave a comment below and give the recipe a good rating. If you’d like to help financially, join my Patreon by clicking here. Patrons get access to exclusive content, including live streams, monthly cooking videos and more. And, if you want to always know what’s going on with Chef’s Notes, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter below, so you never miss a post. You get all the behind-the-scenes information and lots more.

Curried Cucumber and Apple Salad

Curry Dressing, Diced Cucumber and Apple, Dried Cranberries, and Almonds make this salad something special. Enjoy it as a side dish or add cooked chicken to make it a meal.
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: creamy salad dressing, Cucumber, curried, Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

Curry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garam masala or yellow curry powder
  • kosher salt to taste

Salad

  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, Sliced
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, lemon juice, garam masala and mix. Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed.
  • Add the cucumber, apple, green onions, slivered almonds, and dried cranberries to the curry sauce. Mix. Taste, season as needed and serve.
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Quickles Recipe (Quick Pickles)

Quickles Recipe (Quick Pickles)

Quickles or quick pickles are exactly what they sound like. Pickles that are quickly made. While traditional pickles take weeks to properly pickle, quickles are made in less than an hour. You can flavour quickles with pickling spices, dill, garlic, mustard, or whatever else you’d like, just like regular pickles. Quickles are great on sandwiches, burgers, pulled pork, fried chicken, Bahn mi, or as a side with ham or charcuterie. In this post, I’ll share my Quickle recipe and discuss the main differences between regular pickles and quickles. You can find the recipe directly below but keep reading for more details.


Quickle Brine

Pickle Brine vs. Quickle Brine

Typical pickle brine is a solution of about 5 to 7% salt and anywhere from 1:1 to 1.5:1 vinegar to water. Quickles, on the other hand, typically have a higher salt and vinegar content. A quickle brine is an 8 to 10% salt solution with a 1.5:1 to 2:1 vinegar content. This higher salt and vinegar content in quickles is because the vegetables have less time to reach an equilibrium with the solution. Essentially, they need to absorb as much flavour as possible in as little time as possible.


What Types of Vinegar Can You Use?

You can make quickles with any vinegar you’d like. I prefer either cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, but red wine, rice, or balsamic vinegar will work. However, if using balsamic vinegar, remove the sugar from the recipe because the vinegar is already sweet.

What Salt Should You Use?

To make Quickles or any pickle, you want to use pickling salt or kosher salt. Both of these can be found at any grocery store. Do not use table salt because it has iodine in it, which will give the Quickles a harsh flavour.

How Long Will Quickles Last?

In a sealed container, quickles should last about two to four weeks in the fridge. If they start to smell off, or if mould forms on the surface, discard them. Ideally, you shouldn’t make more quickles than you will use in a week or so.

Making The Quickle Brine

To make the Quickle brine get a medium pot and add the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Bring the brine to a boil over high heat, stirring to ensure the salt and sugar dissolve. Once the brine comes to a boil, pour it over your vegetables. For crunchy Quickles, cool the brine in the fridge before adding the vegetables. The trade-off for this method is that the vegetables will have a less briny flavour.

Prepping Quickle Vegetables

Vegetables for Quickles should be cut thin. Otherwise, they won’t absorb any flavour. 2 to 3 mm is the perfect range. If you add hot brine to the vegetables, you can cut them a bit thicker. The vegetables I used were cucumber, carrot, onion, and watermelon radish. Other vegetables you can use include cauliflower, daikon, asparagus, green beans, beets, etc. Essentially, if you can make regular pickles out of it, you can use it to make quick pickles So, slice the vegetables and put them in a clean jar or container. When making Quickles, you don’t have to worry about sterilizing the container as you would for regular pickles because the risk of contamination is low to non-existant.


Finishing The Quickles

To finish the Quickles, pour the hot or cold brine over the vegetables, cover them, and cool them to room temperature. If the brine is cold, cover the Quickles and put them in the fridge for at least an hour before use. For the hot brine method, the quickles are ready to use once the brine cools to room temperature. After they’re cool, store the quick pickles in the fridge.


The Wrap Up

I love these quick pickles for many reasons, but mainly because of how versatile they are and how quick they are to make. If I want to make a Banh Mi Sandwich, I can make a fresh batch of Quickles and have them ready in less than an hour. You can’t beat that. I suggest that you experiment with this recipe and make it your own. The world is your oyster when it comes to making Quickles.

Thank you so much for coming to my blog and reading this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that you’ve taken something useful from it. This blog aims to share the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned over my 20-plus year cooking career to help make cooking more enjoyable and more accessible for those who don’t find it easy and enjoyable. If you’d like to be a part of that mission, there are a few ways that you can help. The easiest way to help is to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest or even just leave a comment below and give the recipe a good rating. If you’d like to help financially, join my Patreon by clicking here. Patrons get access to exclusive content, including live streams, monthly cooking videos and more. And, if you want to always know what’s going on with Chef’s Notes, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter below, so you never miss a post. You get all the behind-the-scenes information and lots more.

Quickles (Quick Pickles)

Quickles or Quick Pickles are exactly what they sound like; Pickles that don't take long to make. These pickles have carrot, onion, radish, and cucumber but you can use any firm vegetable you'd like.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Pickles, Quick Pickles, Quick Recipes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup radish, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced

Instructions

  • Put all of the vegetables in a medium heat-proof dish or jar.
  • Put the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minute.
  • Pour the boiling liquid over the vegetables. Then push the vegetables down with a spoon so they are completely submerged in the pickling liquid.
  • Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The quickles (quick pickles) are now ready to use.
  • Store the pickles in the fridge for up to two weeks.
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