Chocolate babka: a sweet bread treat made with enriched dough and layered with chocolate – a weekend project you’ll be glad you made.
Greetings, Easter (and Passover***) bunnies!
***This babka is leavened and therefore not suitable for Passover, if your family, unlike ours, cares about such things. Read Matt’s full, sincere and amusing apology at the bottom of the post.
It may have slipped out in the course of this blog that one of us is Jewish, and the other of us is English. These are not, frankly, genres that strike awe into the hearts of home chefs (although Nigella Lawson does pretty well for herself) . When our best friends in town got married, they catered the reception with dishes from Italy (his family heritage), and soul food from New Orleans (hers). It was awesome. A Jewish-British catered wedding? Maybe not so much.
An Easter/(not)Passover*** dessert option, though? Now you’re talking.
In our ongoing quest to resurrect interest in under-appreciated vegetables, I present this week’s subject: the leek.
We don’t get too excited about leeks in the U.S. but we should. They’re healthy, easy to grow*, cheap to buy, and best of all, really tasty.
* Theoretically, and according to rumors I read on the internet. Matt and I, conversely, have zero luck growing leeks. Nada. Zilch. They sprout beautifully but then … nothing. They turn spindly and never really get very big. They end up more like thick scallions. It’s quite rude of them if you think about it, because here I am telling the world (our 5 readers, anyway, hello there *waves*) how great leeks are and they can’t even be bothered to make an effort in the garden. Oh well. It’s broccoli rabe this year, I’m telling you.
There are very few foods that deliver as much bang for your buck as fresh steamed mussels. They are crazy cheap and when cooked well, one of the most delicious proteins that can be plucked from the sea.
They have a mild, sweet flavor that can win over even the fish-ambivalent. Seriously, if you’re kind of on the fence about seafood, or are intimidated about cooking it, mussels are your friend. I mean, not your literal friend, that would be weird. And sad because you’re going to steam them in a delicious buttery broth which would be awkward if you’ve named them. (Sorry, Algernon.)
I’m totally the type of person who, if it were socially acceptable, would outfit everything in my house with ‘the clapper’. In fact, if someone invented one that cooked dinner and made cocktails, I’d be flamenco-ing myself silly.
What I’m saying is, I don’t really like to make extra work for myself.
Even though I obviously enjoy cooking, I’ve never been tempted to make my own ketchup. Heinz already rocks that market. Make my own Worcestershire sauce? Um… no thanks. Mayonnaise? That’s another story.
These coconut key lime cupcakes titillate your tastebuds with light, tropical flavors and look pretty dang party, too.
It’s hard for me to believe but it’s true; today is the 3-year anniversary of Nerds with Knives. I know we act immature, but we are, in fact, toddler-aged. *Throws a cupcake at your head and licks frosting off the floor*
Who would have thought that a blog whose scintillating early posts had titles like “My Kettle” and “In Case You’re Wondering If You Can Boil A Pre-Sliced Ham In Coca Cola. Answer; You Can’t,” would make it 3 whole years. We’re as shocked as you are but somehow we’ve managed to keep this sputtering, mildly out-of-control train on the tracks. Yeah, us!
But really all thanks go to you, our readers, who we love and adore. If it wasn’t for your positive feedback, I’m sure we would have given up ages ago and would most likely have picked up some other, less respectable hobby. Like knitting. Or taxidermy.