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Garlic and Herb Roasted Pork Loin with Crackling (and Apple Chutney)

A hearty family roast, done right, is a cause for celebration – and a great reason to know your local butcher! This pork loin is flavored with herbs and served with spiced apple chutney.

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Crispy Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Rice

Flaky, moist pan-seared salmon with perfectly crisp skin, sitting on a bed of creamy lemon rice. It might look fancy but it’s a cinch to make, even on a weeknight.

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Hoisin-Glazed Cocktail Meatballs

These sticky, sweet and savory Hoisin-glazed Cocktail Meatballs are the ultimate party snack. If the concept is retro, the execution is modern and tasty: it’s all about that glaze, baby.

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Roasted Miso-butter and Maple Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Miso-butter and Maple Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Miso-butter and Maple Sweet PotatoesWe’ve taken a classic fall sweet potato recipe and shaken it up a bit. Ginger and miso flavors add depth and spice to the baked dish, and even holiday traditionalists will be impressed.

Like many people, we have a Holiday cooking meal plan – I call it our WHAT WORKS list. The great thing about the WHAT WORKS list is that you don’t have to think about it too much – you’ve already got a dozen people to feed and a dining room to rearrange, and knowing ahead of time that Sunday is when you make stock, and Tuesday is when you make gravy, and this bowl will hold this much rutabaga, and the dog will need this many chew sticks to keep her occupied while you cook, is valuable currency in a stressful week. The trouble with the WHAT WORKS list is that, of course, you can get complacent. So it’s good to mix things up a little from time to time, and that’s where this sweet potato recipe comes in handy.

One-Pan Baked Chicken, Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

One-Pan Baked Chicken, Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

One-Pan Chicken with Sausages and Brussels SproutsWho wants to juggle three pans on the stove for a hearty fall or winter evening meal? This crispy chicken, sausage and brussels sprouts dish bakes in a bed of spiced flavors and best of all, it uses a single skillet.

Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats. You can also find the recipe and many others on their site.

If there’s one single food that universally divides childhood from adulthood, it has to be the poor old Brussels sprout. If you weren’t commanded as a kid to “eat your sprouts!” you were either very lucky, or you had good family recipes and were able to learn early on that the sprout can be one of the most delicious vegetables imaginable. Our formative years had more “ugh” moments than “mmm” when it came to sprouts, so we’ve had to rethink our approach. Fortunately, it’s not hard to come up with a recipe that highlights the strengths of the smallest brassica.

Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

Cranberry Sauce Whisky CocktailA delicious, festive cocktail that makes excellent use of leftover cranberry sauce. A shot of bourbon adds spicy depth, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a splash of ginger beer. 

We all know that one of the very best parts of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. In fact, after cooking for days, cleaning the house for guests and finding a place for sixteen people to sit in our tiny living room, I’m usually so tired that I barely eat on Thursday night (except for dessert because I’d have to be fully dead to refuse a slice of Maple Cheesecake).

Luckily we always have enough of most everything for a repeat Friday night, made even more special by the fact that we can stay in our pajamas and be as messy as we please. But even after leftover night and multiple sandwiches, we often still have at least one tupperware filled with homemade cranberry sauce left.

What to do? As is the answer to so many of life’s questions: drink it.

Red Cabbage Salad with Roasted Cipollini Onions

Red Cabbage Salad with Roasted Cipollini Onions

Red Cabbage Salad with Roasted Cipollini OnionsWhen the weather turns cold, you want a salad that brightens your table and can stand up to all those stews and roasts you’ll be serving. 

Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats. You can also find the recipe and many others on their site.

Once the weather turns cold it becomes harder and harder to keep salads interesting. Most of our favorite add-ins are a distant memory (I’m looking at you, glorious heirloom tomato).  A trip down the produce aisle, or even the farmer’s market, can feel more like a challenge than an inspiration. But this is when, with a little creative thinking, great combinations are born.

Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up!

Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up!

Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots

Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots

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!

Thanksgiving recipes: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

 

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