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Cheesy Zucchini and Corn Fritters with Herb Sour Cream

If you grow your own summer squash, or belong to a CSA, the weekly glut of produce can be overwhelming. Our solution? Shred it, squeeze it, mix into a cheesy batter and fritter it away. Literally. 

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Loaded Summer Nachos with Grilled Corn and Bourbon BBQ Chicken

We take what we love about most about nachos (crunchy chips and an unapologetic amount of cheese) and loaded them up with the best flavors of summer. Grilled corn, fresh tomatoes, avocado, pickled radishes and shredded chicken with bourbon-brown sugar BBQ sauce. 

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Crostini with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata and Chive Oil

The building blocks of a classic Caprese salad are re-imagined in these summery toasts. First, cherry tomatoes are blistered in a skillet until bursting with juice. Then creamier burrata takes the place of the more standard mozzarella. And in place of basil leaves, a quick and easy chive oil adds an herbal accent. The result makes for a great snack or light meal.

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Strawberry Lemon Tiramisu

Strawberry Lemon Tiramisu

Strawberry Lemon TiramisuLayers of lemon syrup-soaked lady fingers, silky smooth mascarpone cream, and perfectly-ripe summer strawberries. It may not be a traditional tiramisu, but it just might become your new favorite. Edible flowers optional but oh so pretty. 

We always like to do something a little special for July 4th, and true to form, this year we thought we’d celebrate America by rolling into a ball and sobbing uncontrollably. Nah, that’s not really true, the world may be broken in a number of new and interesting ways, but the sun is shining, the garden is lush, the dog’s whipworms are healing up nicely, and we can happily get behind some patriotically-colored foodstuffs.

Previously, on “Nerds with Knives Do July Fourth”, you might have caught such episodes as:

In 2016! Pulled-Pork Sandwich with Pickled Onions and Radishes

In 2015! Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

In 2014! Orzo Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Olives and Feta AND ALSO Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

In 2013! We appear not to have celebrated the birth of the nation in amusing blog form in 2013. The first of our readers to invent a time machine may feel free to go back to that era and kick the past versions of us squarely in the pants for squandering the opportunity, if you think that’s really the best use of your time machine, Nigel.

Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic and Thyme

Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic and Thyme

Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic and Thyme

For an almost effortless way to a more interesting cheese platter, marinate fresh goat cheese in olive oil with herbs and spices. Use it as a topping for crackers, a spread for sandwiches, or crumbled into salads.

Tangy and creamy, fresh goat cheese (also known as chèvre) is delicious right out of the package, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative with it. Marinating it in extra-virgin olive oil with flavorings like garlic, thyme, fennel seed, and lemon peel infuses it with flavor. It can be used the way a regular goat cheese would: crumbled in salads, spread on a warm baguette as part of a sandwich, or, our favorite, served simply with crackers.

Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic and Thyme

Garlic, lemon peel, pink peppercorns, red chili flakes, bay leaves and fennel seed

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa) with Cold Rice Noodles

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa) with Cold Rice Noodles

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa) with Cold Rice NoodlesThese Vietnamese pork chops are marinated in the perfect balance of lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce and sugar, grilled to perfection, and served with cold rice noodles, lots of herbs and pickled vegetable sides. 

Thit heo nuong xa – grilled pork chops – are a staple in Vietnamese restaurants. But they’re so easy to make that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring this classic dish home. Traditionally, they’re grilled, so we thought it was the perfect excuse to eschew the burgers and hot dogs for one weekend and kick off our summer grilling season with something a little more flavorful. 

The noodles make it the ultimate refreshing summer dish, almost a noodle salad of sorts. Between the sizzling charred chops, the chilled rice noodles, plenty of fresh and quick-pickled vegetables, and the nuoc cham, a bracing savory-tart dressing, it’s everything you want on a hot day.

How to put together a perfect charcuterie board

How to put together a perfect charcuterie board

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

Homemade Maple Mustard

Homemade Maple Mustard

Homemade Maple MustardIf you like mustard, you seriously have to try making your own. It’s so much better than the jarred kind and it couldn’t be easier. Our Homemade Maple Mustard is a little sweet, a little spicy and tastes incredibly fresh. 

Yeah, I get it. The idea of homemade mustard is just a little bit precious. Bordering on the dreaded ‘artisanal’ label that plagues lovers of real, unpretentious food … but hear me out because this stuff is awesome and I really, really want you to make it.

The truth is, I think most things taste better homemade. Sure, jarred mustard can be good and I use it most of the time but for something really special (like a crazy-beautiful charcuterie board or a holiday ham), why not serve it with a condiment as special as the main dish? We knew we wanted to make Red Onion Jam with Wine, Honey and Thyme but we also wanted something spicy that would be good with charcuterie. And besides, I think there’s something cool and homesteader-ey about making something so inherently useful. 

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