Frittata with Bacon, Corn and Gruyere

Frittata with Bacon, Corn and Gruyere

Sweet corn and smoky bacon make a delicious filling to this quick cooking frittata. Studded with cheesy nuggets of gruyere and spicy jalapeños, this is the type of quick dinner you’ll want to make all the time. 

***Note: Matt and I are thrilled to announce that we are now contributors at one of our favorite food blogs of all time, Serious Eats! I’m sure most of you are familiar with them but if you’re not, definitely check them out. I love their approach to cooking because they question everything (and just because something is always done a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s always the best way). They test and test to make sure that recipes result in the best tasting dishes, with the most efficient and fool-proof techniques.

TL;DR[note]”Too long; didn’t read”, grandpa[/note] They’re even nerdier about cooking than we are!

If the egg is the versatile gymnast of the culinary world, the star of a thousand different techniques and dishes, the frittata is probably its signature move. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can throw almost anything into it and come up with a winning recipe. You can whip one up in under 20 minutes, so it’s ideal for a quick weekday breakfast or weekend brunch, but we’re betting it will score a place in your dinner rotation, too.

Read more

Tartines with Herb Cheese and Smoked Salmon

Toasts with Herb Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon

A stellar, top notch brunch doesn’t need to take hours to prepare. These Tartines (toasts) with Herb Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon and Salmon Roe take only 15 minutes!

I’ve mentioned before that, though my mother is a fantastic cook, both my grandmothers were truly, ridiculously bad in the kitchen. Vegetables were boiled until they begged for mercy. Meats were blasted in the oven until they were unrecognizable. Even bread somehow managed to become disks of solid brick. (And I’m not talking about homemade bread. Store-bought. And this in the heyday of Wonder bread). It was grim.

So my brother and I always breathed a sigh of relief when our parents stopped at Zabar’s before the family trip to Queens (where we assumed every grandparent in America lived). Zabar’s, to those who are unfamiliar, is an Upper West Side institution. Open since 1934, it’s one of those places that’s almost impossible to describe. It’s a gourmet store but only because it sells things that are now considered “gourmet” but used to just be “food”, albeit for immigrants. Smoked fish, cheese, baked goods like bagels and babka. Items that turned my German-Austrian grandparents positively verklempt.

Herb Cream cheese with Cucumbers, Radishes and Salmon Roe
Herb Cream Cheese with Cucumbers, Radishes and Salmon Roe

So we would pick up some smoked salmon, a little sable. Some whitefish salad. Pickled herring that no one ever seemed to touch. Along with cream cheese and a dozen bagels (from the dearly departed H&H, of course), off we drove to the outer boroughs where we’d set everything out on my Nana’s dining table and eat off of styrofoam plates. Even I, a known fish-hater and infamously grumpy child, would schmear a bagel with cheese and lay on a slice of nova.

Read more

Quiche with Ramps, Bacon and Gruyere

Quiche with Ramps, Bacon and Gruyere

Ramps, a seasonal treat in the Northeast US, are in danger of being over-harvested. Since they are very slow to cultivate and difficult to farm, foraging is still the main way to find them. A wild ramp patch can be quickly overrun and destroyed. The most sustainable way to harvest ramps, if you find them yourself, is to cut only one leaf of each plant, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing. This is least impactful on the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole. You’ll find ramps in this form from sustainable vendors. If you have your own private ramp patch with bounty to spare, feel free to use the bulbs, as we did in this recipe.

Spring has finally sprung in the Hudson Valley and, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know what that means: the Cliftons have ramp breath.

In the last week we’ve made sautéed ramps with mushrooms and fried eggs (delicious), spaghetti with ramps and brown butter sauce (heavenly), and this quiche, with ramps, bacon and gruyere. So, yeah, it’s been pretty rampy up in here.

Ramps and eggs
Ramps and eggs are a delicious combination. The ramps were foraged about a mile away and the eggs are from our chickens so this is just about as local as it gets.

Read more

Stuffing Cakes with Poached Eggs and Chive Hollandaise

Stuffing Cake Benedict with Chive Hollandaise
Stuffing Cake Benedict with Chive Hollandaise

If there’s anything better than excellent Thanksgiving or Christmas side stuffing, it’s stuffing cakes made from the leftovers. Makes the perfect hangover breakfast!

This is one of those leftover Thanksgiving recipes I had been thinking about for years but just made for the first time this week. We almost always make some sort of hash with our favorite leftover stuffing and either top it with fried eggs or even bake eggs right into it but this year I wanted to try something different. Fancier, if you will.

This is now, officially, my favorite use of leftover stuffing ever. And it’s so, so simple. Add a bit of egg, form a patty, fry in a pan. Top with a poached egg.

The thing that elevates this to the stars is the unbelievably delicious chive hollandaise. If I had any idea how tasty and especially how easy it is to make this sauce, well… let me tell you that it would have been part of our Nerds brunch repertoire a long time ago.

Stuffing Cakes with Poached Eggs and Chive Hollandaise

Read more

Easy Baked French Toast

Easy Baked French Toast

Hello gang! Ready for some French toast?

I do like to think of us as a gang, by the way: we, the writers of this madcap screed, and you, our wonderful readers.

Not a particularly effectual gang, I have to admit, not a gang to strike fear in the hearts of our enemies, et cetera, I certainly wouldn’t rob a bank together, no offense, I’m sure many of you have excellent heist skills.

But just as in the best gangs, I have little nicknames for you all. There’s “Lefty”, the stalwart pastry expert we all called “Righty” before her tragic incident with the Microplane. There’s “Twitcher”, who we trust with our lives but who wouldn’t necessarily be the best pick for delicate knife work . There’s Freckles, Charlie Boy, Other Dave. Oh, and we can’t forget JoJo the Dog-Faced Girl. I think you all know who you are.

We may not ever rob a bank, or do a crime, or engage in hijinks, fol-de-rol or devilry – we may never be Ocean’s Eleven – but I do see us all, one of these days, perhaps in ten or twenty years, looking back fondly at these, the early, funny days of “Nerds with Knives”. A reunion meal, if you will, perhaps a celebratory brunch of some kind. I see us downing fine Bloody Marys, Mimosas, or French Blondes, and tucking into plates of thick, delicious french toast.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent several formative years during your childhood camping, tying knots, and fiddling with your woggle – no sniggering, now, Twitchy –  actually, you know, do check out that link, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word “woggle” used IN CAPS to such an extent on one website. They have a woggle collection made up from woggles all over the world – right, Freckles, get out, you’re just disrupting the gang, there’s nothing remotely funny about the word “woggle”. Close the door behind you please. All the way. Thank you.

Read more

Are you excited?Your FREE Dutch Oven guide is just an email away!

Get our free guide to Dutch Ovens - Five Reasons Why the Dutch Oven is the Number One Pot in Our Kitchen!

Contains expert tips, techniques and recipes to help you make the most of your Dutch oven. Written by us, Matt and Emily. 

(We promise not to share your information.)

Want more hot dishes?Get regular recipes and articles sent straight to your inbox

We'll send you regular recipes as soon as they're published!