Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Peach Preserves Glaze

The mild, juicy meat of the pork tenderloin makes a great base for a variety of sauces and glazes, from herbal and savory to sweet and fruity. Here, I put together a very simple glaze based on peach preserves and maple syrup that comes together in about 5 minutes. Roasting the pork in cast iron imparts its own smoky flavor, and the sweet, gooey glaze adds that extra touch of richness to the finished dish. Easy, fast, tender, loaded with flavor—need more?

Serves 4

  • 1-1/3-lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup peach preserves
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

Trimmed Tenderloin
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Heat a large, cast-iron (or other ovenproof) skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and sear, turning until browned on all sides, 9-10 minutes total.
  3. Place the skillet in the oven and roast until just cooked through but still pink in the middle, 18-20 minutes, depending on size.

Pork Beginning to Sear

Glazed Tenderloin
  1. Meanwhile, heat a small, nonstick saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the peach preserves, maple syrup, and vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooked Glaze
  1. About 5 minutes before the tenderloin is done, brush with half the glaze and continue roasting. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
  2. Brush with the remaining glaze, cut into 12 slices, and serve.

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Peach Preserves Glaze

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Southern Fried Cod with Garlicky Kale


When I’m cooking for myself, I keep it super simple—and fix something my husband isn’t crazy about. In this case, it’s kale. I love kale, raw or cooked, but Christopher, not so much. Here, I sautéed it with garlic for a deeply green and earthy taste. Mmmm.

And if I’m frying fish, what better way to go than southern? Spicy and golden brown, crispy outside and flaky inside—just simple cod served up good ol’ southern style. That deserves another mmmm.

Serves 1 (easily doubled)

  • 1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk, for thicker texture)
  • 2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules (or powder)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5-oz skinless cod filet (about 3/4-inch-thick portion)
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cups lightly packed torn or coarsely chopped kale
  • 1/8 tsp dried red chile flakes

Cod Portion

Kale, Garlic, and Chile Flakes
  1. Pour the milk into a shallow bowl.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, and next 4 ingredients (through cayenne) in a sturdy, sealable plastic bag.
  3. Dip the fish in the milk, letting excess drip off. Place the fish in the bag with the cornmeal mixture and shake to coat all over.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the peanut oil. Season the cod with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Fry until dark golden brown and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  5. Meanwhile, heat another skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. 
  6. Add the kale and chile flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, until wilted and softened, about 5 minutes.

Coated Cod

Beginning to Fry

After Turning

Garlic in Oil

Kale Beginning to Cook

Cooked Kale
Plate the kale and top with the fried cod. Serve hot.

Southern Fried Cod with Garlicky Kale

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Rotini with Sausage, Basil, and Pecorino Cheese

This simple pasta dish is loaded with flavor and so easy to put together. Savory Italian sausage (spicy or mild), salty pecorino cheese, and fragrant fresh basil combine with plum tomatoes to create a rich, scrumptious sauce for whole-grain pasta. Dinner is ready in about half an hour.

Note: When you use canned tomatoes, try to buy the best quality you can, without any added ingredients, such as herbs, garlic, or onions. Add those items fresh yourself, and look for canned tomatoes that include…well, tomatoes. And a little sea salt. For this recipe, I used peeled plum tomatoes, but other varieties will work fine.

Serves 4

  • 1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, drained
  • 8 oz whole-grain rotini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 hot (or mild) Italian sausage links (about 3/4 lb), casings removed and sausage pinched into small pieces
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, divided

Hot Italian Sausages

Pinched Sausage Pieces
  1. Place the drained tomatoes in a bowl and roughly crush them with your fingers. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente, 9-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  3. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned, 6-7 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and reserved pasta water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick, 14-15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the basil, cooked pasta, and half the pecorino cheese, stirring well to combine.

Crushed Tomatoes

Cooked Onion and Garlic

Sausage Mixture

Tomatoes Added

Cooked Sausage and Tomatoes

Cheese and Basil Added

Pasta Added
Divide the pasta and sauce among 4 shallow bowls and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino before serving.

Rotini with Sausage, Basil, and Pecorino Cheese