We love a good cocktail around here, but more often than not, when we’re looking for a drink to pair with our food, we choose wine. Both of us love the versatility of rich red varieties: making Grilled Steak With Blue Cheese Butter? Red wine is the perfect choice. Having friends over for cheese and charcuterie? Red wine is a must. Hosting a holiday Pork Roast? Yup, you know what to serve with it. As soon as we tasted this wonderfully fruity and spicy Mullan Road Cellars Red Blend, we knew we wanted to drink it with something grilled. We decided to take inspiration from one of our favorite classic dishes, Eggplant Parmesan, and lighten it up for summer. To bring it out into the sunshine, if you will.
We put the must in mustard, the cute in charcuterie, and the jam in …er … jam, with this spectacular picnic spread. Ham! Cheese! Pâté! Salami! Pickles! Our festive charcuterie board is topped off with fresh, tangy home-made Maple Mustard and sweet Red Onion Jam.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Les Trois Petits Cochons. Thank you for supporting Nerds with Knives’ partners!
There’s something about a picnic that pulls at the heartstrings. As a concept, it’s hard to beat – put tasty snacks into a bag? Carry the bag into a field, perhaps by a lake? Lie down on a blanket and eat the snacks and look at the view and drink wine? WHAT IS BETTER THAN THAT. (Nothing. Nothing is better than that.) And its alliterative name, like odds and sods, and bits and bobs, suggests that really, you can take any collection of tasty foods and a cold bottle of something delicious, and you can’t go too far wrong. (Just make sure you have home-made Scotch eggs on your charcuterie board. Seriously.) Then, a few years ago, we had a holiday in France, and realized that the French really have this whole picnic idea down.
It’s been a while since we blogged about a recipe with family history. We’ve been doing quite a bit of commissioned work for Serious Eats, and they’re a professional outfit you know, and you can’t just submit any old tosh on their site (ahem). Their readers are a refined, questing bunch, wanting to get to the nitty gritty of a recipe without having to weed-whack through paragraphs of us arse-ing around talking about our chickens, or what kind of expression our dog is making (bored, if you must know), or that time we tried to juggle seven lemons. As you know, we leave all the old tosh for our own site, so it is with a familiar thud that I dust off the book of Nerds Family History and tell you all about gamush.
Tender, thin-cut pork chops smothered in a rich, savory sauce, with sweet cipollini onions and grapes. This is a dinner party-worthy dish quick enough to whip up after work.
Is it just me or has 2016 been a beast? Maybe it’s only pre-election madness but lately everything seems just a wee bit more stressful than usual. I look around and all signs seem to point to YEP, TIME TO PANIC. Not that I’m turning into a crazy survivalist or anything (surreptitiously steps in front of industrial-sized case of organic ketchup). What? That was on sale at Costco.
Now that I think about it, if the apocalypse really is coming I want to have lots of condiments on hand to mask the flavor of boiled weeds and roadkill. I’d probably be the Walking Dead zombie that sprinkles fancy salt and a splash of vinegar on my victims before I chew their faces off. There’s really no excuse for bland brains, m’right?
Okay, I seem to have strayed raaaaather far off topic. What I mean to say is, even during stressful times, nay, especially during stressful times, it’s important to take an hour out every once in a while and make a nice dinner.
With a crunchy top and a creamy center, Lasagna Bolognese is the king of baked pastas. Our version adds fontina cheese to the béchamel with adds to the earthy richness.
Greetings, rebel scum!
Before we get into this week’s recipe, I want to make a clarification about last week’s post: the chocolate babka. You might remember that one of us (okay, it was me) declared it to be an excellent treat for either Easter or Passover, whichever was your preference. We were inundated with literally several letters pointing out that the babka is yeasted, and a traditional Passover, one might say, tends to skew towards the unleavened. The Hebrews fleeing Egypt weren’t, after all, told “Take what you have and scarper, there’s no time to let your bread rise, oh, unless you’re making babka or something, that would be awesome, oh, good work on the pyramids btw”. So, my apologies for that slip, and please tell Uncle Mort it won’t happen again.
This week’s dish is so much recipe – very so much recipe, wow – we actually had to enlist the help of a third Nerd, our most excellent and game friend Heather, who stayed with us this weekend and whose initial idea it was to make lasagna. Now, I made lasagna at uni – I think we all did – and it’s the easiest thing imaginable, you buy your jar of Ragu and a good cheap packet of dried lasagna, bit of cheese of some kind, Double Gloucester probably, cheddar will do at a pinch, bit of milk, nutmeg, there you have it, one lasagna, lovely.
(That sound you hear is Emily retching and then fainting).
I’m not sure why but I used to think of risotto as a big complicated project. Somehow I got it in my head that you absolutely must make your own stock and add it a thimbleful at a time and stir and stir and stir and if you stop stirring for even a second, the whole thing turns to garbage.
None of that is true.
While it is true that the better the stock is, the better your risotto will be, there are a lot of ways to impart flavor into the dish using simple, everyday ingredients.
And while I’ve never had great results from simply pouring in all the stock at once, the process is a lot less delicate and precise than you might think.
The rice itself should take less than 20 minutes to go from raw to beautifully creamy and al dente. Even including the time it takes to cook the mushrooms, that’s well within the realm of an easy weeknight dinner.