A 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.
Our annual Thanksgiving recipe round-up has a little twist of something special this year. We published our first cookbook, Cork and Knife, earlier in the year, and it celebrates cooking with alcohol. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, now’s the perfect time — and it’ll make a great holiday (or Thanksgiving host) gift. We’ll soon post an exclusive recipe from the book, but in the meantime, in the summaries below, we’ve marked recipes which contain booze in bold.
If one thing on this green earth is certain, it’s that in about a week and a half, 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 “Turkhuman” (unless you’re actually stuffing yourselves with a stuffed Turducken, in which case I don’t know what to call you. Answers on a postcard please.)
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.)
Swedish Cucumber with Dill is fresh, light and full of sweet, tart flavor. We added quick pickled red onions to ours for color and flavor. Make it alongside Swedish meatballs, or anytime you need a quick, delicious salad.
Cucumbers are one of our favorite vegetables and we make some form of quick pickles at least once a week, if not more. I love them Asian-style, with rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil, especially along with Vietnamese-style Baked Chicken or any roasted meat.
When we decided to make Swedish Meatballs, I knew we had to also make the traditional side dish, a sweet and sour quick-pickled Swedish cucumber salad flavored with dill. We added red onions, because they add great flavor and color to the dish. If onions are not your thing, feel free to leave them out and just serve the cucumbers on their own.
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!
A deceptively simple and delicious teriyaki brown rice salad that can be paired with meat, fish, tofu, or enjoyed by itself.
This has been the type of week when I’m so overwhelmed that eating frozen peas straight out of the bag seems like a sensible dinner plan. See, it’s efficient because they thaw as you chew them! Unfortunately Matt thinks this is disgusting and that I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself (pops frozen pea into mouth like a badass).
I won’t bore you with the details but I’ll just say this: beginning to edit a new documentary film is a Herculean task and I forget each and every time how overwhelming it is. I’m sure whatever your job is, even if you’re a chef, you have days (months? years?) when having to cook a healthy dinner seems like just too much damn work. I’m here to tell you I get it (I’d point and wink, but I’m just too tired. Please just assume I’ve done it, and I’ll owe you two next time I see you).
That’s when you want to have recipes like this Teriyaki brown rice bowl in your back pocket. It’s easy enough to do with half a brain, but delicious and healthy enough to feel proud of yourself.