When I stumbled across Hatchery, a subscription box for artisan pantry goods, a couple of months ago, I thought... this is like Birchbox, but for people like me! People who run out of mascara for weeks at at time, but definitely have at least three different types of salts in their pantry.
Maybe I need Birchbox after all... But, I am so happy to have discovered Hatchery for a couple of reasons. First, the quality and variety of artisan items in each box is impressive for $20 (organic honey from bees that pollenate on a rare flower only found in Hawaii. What!). It's a simple way to discover small purveyors of higher-end pantry items without the commitment of buying full-sized (and priced!) items. Find one you can't live without, and you can keep ordering it from that small purveyor through Hatchery.
Second, and what I really love, is the opportunity to cook and play with 5-6 ingredients you wouldn't normally have on hand—unique jams, flavored oils, salts, etc. So much of what I love about cooking is making something delicious and nutrient-dense out of what is already around... the final scraps of a CSA box, a random assortment of grains from my pantry jars, a couple eggs, voila... dinner! Adding a handful of hand-picked, artisan goods to this way of cooking mixes things up, offers a culinary challenge (hello strawberry chipotle jam), and delights the cook who fancies offbeat, artisan ingredients.
This month when I pulled the tiny jar of strawberry chipotle jam out of my tasting box, my mind immediately went to tacos while Chase's mind went to sausage biscuits... the ultimate His and Hers. My idea won out because I'm the kitchen boss, but a sweet and savory biscuit smothered with this jam sounds just as wonderful.
What do you think? Are you into subscription boxes? To be honest, none of them have been all that appealing to me until Hatchery.
And if I didn't have you at rare, organic Hawaiian honey, you can enter to win next month's sample box! I have a few samples left in my tasting box, and I'd love your input on what I should do with them: fancy raw honey, a Louisiana spice rub (any vegetarian-ish ideas here?), and jalapeño-garlic olive oil.
Leave a comment listing what you would do with a sample, and I'll pick a random winner next week. Garner a few extra entries by sharing this post and joining Hatchery's mailing list. Be sure to enter your entries in that fancy Rafflecopter so everything counts. Then make these salmon tacos and go eat them on your front porch because hallelujah, spring is here!
P.S. The Hatchery folks are so kind and offering $10 off your first tasting box. Just use the code SAVE10 when you check out.
strawberry + chipotle jam glazed salmon tacos
Serves 2, two tacos per person
I love salmon tacos, and this sweet, spicy, smoky reduction glaze is something I'm adding to regular rotation. If you find yourself without a personal-sized sample of strawberry chipotle jam, you can easily replicate the flavors, as you'll see noted in the recipe. Or if you want to spring for the real deal, you can order a jar from Hatchery.
What you'll need:
For the salmon:
1 6-8oz filet of salmon, wild-caught if possible
1/4 tsp corn starch, organic + GMO free if possible
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping tablespoon strawberry chipotle jam
OR 1 heaping tablespoon strawberry jam plus 1/2 minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
Scant 1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pat salmon filet dry with paper towels. Combine corn starch, salt and sugar and rub into the dry salmon filet. Corn starch and sugar encourage browning and create a sticky surface for your glaze to adhere to. While this step isn't critical, it will help things turn out nicely.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk jam, minced chipotle pepper if using and soy sauce until the jam is loosened up. Reduce to low heat and whisk regularly until the sauce is fragrant and reduced, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will thicken up considerably and this is a good thing.
Heat butter over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet (avoid cast-iron here... salmony smells will seep in and nobody wants that). Once butter is melted and just begins to brown, send salmon to the skillet, fleshy side down. Cook until the filet is nicely browned, about 5 minutes, then flip. Pour half the glaze overtop, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Send your fish the preheated oven, transferring to an ovenproof pan if your skillet isn't oven safe. Cook for 10 minutes.
After removing salmon from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes. This is perfect taco assembly time. Line up your tacos however you fancy. I prefer a smear of lime crema on the bottom of my tortilla, then black beans, then lettuce, then fish, then avocado, but let your personal taco intuition lead you.
Flake salmon apart with a fork, then gently toss the pieces with the remaining glaze. Distribute between tacos and eat!
Life-hack: use kabob sticks to hold your tacos in upright positions! One of dinner's biggest challenges, solved.