Swedish (ish) Meatballs with Cream Gravy

Swedish Meatballs

Real, hømemåde Swedish meatballs in a rich, cream gravy is as comforting as dinner gets. Serve it with boiled potatoes, lingonberry preserves and cucumber salad.

Have you ever dragged your a$$ all the way to Ikea supposedly because you desperately need a new Lillnaggen for your bathroom (but really it’s because you can’t live another day without a Swedish meatball). Do you crave meatballs the way a theater kid craves a spotlight? Do you power-walk straight past all those cozy-looking beds and then say, “Oh look, the cafe. Totes forgot they had one. Hmmm, it does happen to be meatballtime, er I mean lunchtime.”

(Five orders of meatballs later…) “What?”

Yeah, I’d have no idea about that (wipes nutmeg-scented gravy off lips with a Guldlök napkin).

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Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up!

Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots
Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots

It may seem as though there’s even less certainty than usual in the world at the moment. If one thing is certain, though, it’s that this time next week, most of the US will be engaged in stuffing a turkey and then stuffing themselves, with the turkey, like some kind of human Turducken – let’s call it a “Turstuffan” (unless you’re actually stuffing yourselves with a stuffed Turducken, in which case I don’t know what to call you).

It’s also the biggest cooking occasion at Nerds HQ  – generally we cook for ourselves and then say “hey look internet, we made a thing, ok thx bai” – but this day, of all days, we’re committed to cooking for a large group who aren’t afraid to give their instant feedback. It’s intimidating! We couldn’t do it without a set of tried-and-tested Thanksgiving recipes that we have tweaked over the years to make them really tasty and, just as importantly, to keep preparation and cooking as stress-free as possible. (We’ll never forget the year we accidentally brined the kitchen floor with about 10 gallons of spiced saltwater.)

So here are our dishes. Appetizers, entree and sides, the all-important gravy (you don’t have to make your own stock, but if you can swing it, it adds amazing flavor), sides that’ll knock your socks off, desserts, and some great ways to use up the inevitable leftovers. We hope you find these Thanksgiving recipes as enjoyable to make and eat as we do.

Finally, and most importantly, this holiday is about gratitude, so we want to take the opportunity to say thank you. Specifically, thank you, you reader there, you. We started this blog as a way to get our recipes down in writing where we’d be able to find them again. It has grown in ways we never expected, and it has become a springboard for our cooking, writing and food photography.

Your encouragement, positive comments, ideas and adaptations are what keep us coming back week after week to make something new that you might like. Most of all, seeing you cook, enjoy, adapt, and document your own versions means more to us than we can say. Please keep letting us know how the recipes worked for you, and send us your pictures! You can always tag us on Instagram (@nerdswithknives) or just comment under a recipe post. We always appreciate it.

From us, Matt and Emily, to you, your families, your kitchen and table, we wish you the very best and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned next! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving recipes: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)


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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.

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Miso-Butter Chicken with Garlic Pan Sauce

Miso Garlic Butter Chicken
Miso Butter Chicken with Garlic Pan Sauce

If you’ve never cooked with miso before, this is the perfect recipe to start with. If you love it and cook with it all the time, this is probably going to end up on your monthly recipe rotation. It definitely has for us.

There’s very little work involved so when you pull it out of the oven and find perfect, crispy bronzed chicken skin, tender meat and a delicious sauce, it almost feels like cheating. “Did I really do that,” you might be tempted to ask yourself. Yes, you did. Now go eat your dinner before any goblins attracted by the glorious smell of chicken, miso and garlic steal it from you.

Miso Garlic Butter Chicken
Miso. ginger, garlic, butter, maple syrup and scallions.

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Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers and Roasted Tomatoes

We served it over linguini, but grilled bread would also be a good option.

Fresh tomatoes, fried capers and butter-lemon flavors combine with chicken cutlets to create this perfect zingy summery piccata recipe. We served it over linguine, but grilled bread would also be a good option.

Very early summer can be frustrating for a cook. The garden beds are filled with all our favorite vegetables. We planted six different kinds of tomatoes, chard and kale, loads of garlic, eggplants, tomatillos, jalapeños, broccoli rabe.But nothing is even close to ready yet. They’re all just beginning to sprout and bloom, so it will be at least a month before anything can be harvested, except for the herbs which are happily taking over the back deck. So while our bounty is bounty-ing, it’s back to the grocery store to see what looks good.

We found pretty, if not very sweet, tomatoes, still on the vine and perfect for a quick roasting. Just 15 minutes in a hot oven concentrated the flavor and turns them jammy and soft. A perfect accompaniment to bright, zingy Chicken Piccata.

Tomatoes on the vine
Tomatoes on the vine

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Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)

Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)

Chicken dinner, meet pizza night. Chicken sautéed until golden brown and baked with marinara sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, spicy pepperoni and fresh basil.

For the sake of clarity and because I really, really like you guys, I want to acknowledge that this title might be a little misleading.

Say you were googling “chicken pizza,” this post might show up (probably on page 35, but whatevs) and I wouldn’t want you to get halfway through reading it before you realized that this recipe is not, in fact, for pizza with chicken on top of it.

This recipe is for chicken cooked in the style of a pizza. And it’s frigging delicious. It’s cheesy and salty and tangy. Exactly the flavors your tongue expects when your brain has told it you’re having pizza for dinner. It also happens to be gluten free and ready in about 20 minutes.

Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)
The flavors that make pizza so delicious

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