Dumpling-Flavored Sausage Rolls

Dumpling-style Sausage Rolls
Dumpling-style Sausage Rolls

Here’s the story behind these dumpling-flavored sausage rolls. We had friends over at Christmas, and while serving up a plate of pigs-in-a-blanket, my friend pointed to them and said “Hey, what do you British call those? Isn’t there a crazy, funny name you have for those?” I was momentarily nonplussed as, a) we usually DO have a crazy, funny name for things, but b) I had no idea what else we might call them, having been out of the country, and therefore the loop, for about twenty years. (“Her Majesty’s Tiniest Corgis”? “Cheeky Blinders”? Answers on a postcard, please.)

A brief research session reminded me that Brits traditionally reserve the term “pigs in blankets” for small, un-cased sausages (which we call chipolatas) wrapped in bacon, not puff pastry, and that they’re a Christmas staple. (I then asked both my siblings to confirm this and they went straight for the sausage-in-pastry option instead, which, honestly, helps NOBODY.)

But while this post is about sausages in puff pastry, we’re not making pigs in blankets. We’re making sausage rolls. And we’re making them dumpling-flavored – seasoned with ginger, garlic, scallions and chili. Buckle up! 

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Gingery Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup with Crispy Garlic

Chicken Ginger Noodle Soup

Chicken Ginger Noodle SoupHappy New Year, pals! Whoo! Last year did fly by, didn’t it? No, I’m kidding of course, it didn’t fly by, it was grim and interminable and everyone hated it, but at least we’re spinning away from the winter solstice. January 2021 is now upon us, and we can fall back on tried and tested aphorisms such as “it’s darkest before the dawn” and “soup is the best thing to get you through January”. (Sometimes we change that to “whisky is the best way to get through Tuesday” but a lot of you are doing dry January and we don’t want to put you off your game.)

Soup is so essential to maintaining our sanity through the short, cold winter days that we always cook up a big batch of stock from the roast turkeys and rotisserie chickens that we’ve made since November, and then freeze it in large ice cube trays or plastic containers, so we have a store of rich, versatile broth for any soup recipe we need. Often, too, we’ll make a large pot of soup from the broth, and then freeze that so it’ll last several weeks. We’ve already blogged some of our favorites: a thick Nettle (or Spinach) and Potato soup, a Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice, which quickly became a favorite, a classic Tomato Soup (with cheesy toasts that will blow your mind) and a Chicken and Potato Chowder (which we made a batch of last month and thawed this week). There’s a reason why “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a trademark, and there’s a reason why chicken soup works so well to raise the spirits. We’d like to introduce you to our new favorite variation on the theme: Gingery Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup with Crispy Garlic.

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Spicy Cheddar Cornbread Pudding

Cheddar Corn Pudding CABOT

Cheddar Corn PuddingA little spicy, a little sweet and a lot delicious, this Spicy Cheddar Cornbread Pudding is our most-requested side dish ever. We use two kinds of cheeses — extra-sharp cheddar and pepper jack — to give it loads of flavor. Make it with fresh summer corn when it’s in season, but it’s just as good with frozen corn the rest of the year. 

As a Brit, I get a lot of questions about pudding, most often along the lines of “Why do you have so many of them?”. It’s true. Puddings of all sorts — whether sweet or savory — are practically part of our DNA. There are gelatin or custard puddings (such as blancmange), steamed puddings (sticky toffee or Christmas pudding), baked puddings (you’ve probably heard of the Yorkshire), and even sausages (black pudding).

But corn pudding is American through and through, and this week we cooked up our favorite version: a spicy cheddar cornbread pudding, flavored with fresh sweet corn, scallions, and our two favorite cheeses from Cabot Creamery: Seriously Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack (though you can also use the Habanero Cheddar if you like things extra spicy!) 

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Cabot Creamery.

Cheddar Corn Pudding
Our farmer’s market haul from the weekend, and our favorite Cabot cheeses!

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Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

Chocolate Frangelico Mousse
Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve decided to publish one of our favorite recipes, Chocolate Frangelico Mousse, from our new cookbook, Cork and Knife

It’s around this time of year that we load up at the grocery stores on cartloads of high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cream, Frangelico hazelnut liquor and shelled hazelnuts. And that’s just our normal shopping list, it’s nothing to do with Christmas. But seriously though, this year we really are stocking up, because  Cork and Knife was published this summer, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive responses to it! We’ve seen your wonderful Instagram posts and stories about recipes you’ve made from the book, and you’ve sent us so many wonderful emails. Thank you so much!

If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, now is the perfect time. Are you searching for a Christmas gift for that special foodie in your life? Is there a family member whose sock drawer is STILL bursting with all the socks you’ve bought them as gifts over the years? Are you looking for an unusual cookbook that combines the best of the food world AND the liquor cabinet? Well, here you go! Click on the book cover below to hurry over to Amazon and order your copy while you still have Christmas mailing days left!

Cork and Knife cookbook

(If you prefer to get your books elsewhere, no problem! Just head over to our cookbook page to find other places you can buy it! Or ask your local bookstore.)

As a holiday treat and a sneak peek at the book, we’re sharing just one of the recipes you’ll find in the book: Chocolate Frangelico Mousse. Think of it as an amuse bouche to get you in the holiday mood.

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Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Stuffing with Apples

Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Our Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel is so good, we make it for (our friends and family demand it for) Thanksgiving every year. Like a savory bread pudding, it’s moist and flavorful in the middle, with crispy brown sides and top. The flavor combination of rich breakfast sausages, sweet apples and fennel make this the Thanksgiving side dish we just can’t do without. 

Yes, we call this Thanksgiving “stuffing”, but several years ago we realized that actually stuffing a turkey is a losing battle. First, it causes the turkey to take longer to cook. This means the white meat will definitely dry out before the stuffing reaches a safe temperature. Not only that, but all the delicious drippings that we want to go into the gravy get soaked up by the bread (which just gets soggy). But don’t fret, you lovely Nerdlings, we’ll show you how to make stuffing so moist and flavor-packed, it doesn’t even need gravy. (You should drizzle gravy on the stuffing anyway because gravy is delicious and you deserve it.) 

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Ultimate English Toffee

We couldn’t let Christmas come and go without reposting this. It’s one of our earliest posts, but one of our very favorite recipes and something we make every single year for family parties. It just may be the toffee of your (my) dreams and while I may be indulging in a tiny bit of hyperbole, once you try it, you’ll know that I might be dramatic, but I am not a liar. In the past, I proclaimed this Salted Caramel Sauce the best thing ever and I stand by that. It’s just that there’s room on the pedestal for that sauce’s cousin from across the pond, real English toffee.  

FACT: This toffee is so good, it caused this face from Loki, this one from Arya, and best of all, this one from Matt. Okay, nerd business done.

While other toffee types are available, this toffee is hard and brittle, and thin enough that you won’t need a tiny hammer to break it up.

Why This Toffee Works

I’ve made a lot of toffee recipes over the years and this one is by far the tastiest and the easiest. It not only has a really nice balance of sweet and salty but a clever secret. The addition of a very small amount of corn syrup pretty much eliminates the danger of the sugar crystallizing (this has happened to us a few times, and can be a real bummer). This problem is caused when the sugar crystals start a chain reaction of crystallization (the process of sugar particles clinging together) which makes the mixture grainy. Once it happens there’s not much you can do about it, but there are a few things that will help prevent it from starting.

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