It takes just a quick scan on Pinterest to fall into the rabbit hole of food blogs. But, Brandon Matzek's Kitchen Konfidence is one we'll gladly get lost in. Ahead, the San Diego-based chef and photographer shares everything from his killer bacon jam hand pies (!) to a braised beef taco recipe that's to-die.
A simple yet versatile recipe that can be made time and time again, without much thought or consideration? That’s how I define an “essential recipe.” I love testing out new ideas, cooking seasonally, and taking on delicious DIY projects (jam, pickles, ferments, etc.), but underneath it all, I’ve got a core group of staple recipes that I know I can conjure up at any time. They are my go-tos. My fallbacks. My weeknight saviors.
If you’re just learning to cook or you want to improve your skills, go through the list and practice these simple recipes and techniques. Start to memorize the ingredients and cooking times. Try not to make substitutions until you’ve mastered the originals. Take note of tastes, smells, and textures. Practice seasoning with salt and pepper (and, sometimes, acid like lemon or vinegar). Most of all, have fun with it, and you will eat well.
Continue reading for six essential recipes and a link to 16 others.