The Nerds With Knives Wrote a Cookbook!

Nine recipes to celebrate the release of Cork and Knife, Emily and Matt Clifton's flavor-packed new cookbook.

Overhead view of bowl of cherry tomatoes on a
Photographs: Emily and Matt Clifton

Longtime Serious Eats readers are likely familiar with the names Emily and Matt Clifton. The married duo have been contributing wonderful recipes (and beautiful photographs of said recipes) to the site since 2016. And even though they both have day jobs—Emily is a video editor and Matt works in IT—they also manage to find the time to run a wonderful blog of their own, Nerds With Knives.

And now, they can also add "cookbook authors" to their ever-growing list of professional titles.

On August 6, Emily and Matt's book Cork and Knife: Build Complex Flavors with Bourbon, Wine, Beer and More was published, and all of us here at Serious Eats are immensely excited about it.

The book focuses on how different kinds of alcohol can enhance and add layers of flavors to any given dish, whether it's the port they add to a rosemary- and thyme-spiked pan sauce for loin lamb chops, or the sake they use to offset the slight bitterness of Swiss chard. In keeping with their blog's name, they also highlight the ways in which booze can alter the chemistry of what you're cooking, as in their batter for fish, which relies on the volatility of vodka, the carbonation in beer, and the lack of gluten in rice flour in the batter to create an incredibly crispy crust.

In short, we can't recommend the book enough; if you like Serious Eats, if you've got yourself a copy of The Food Lab, and you've got a dog-eared copy of BraveTart on your bookshelf, you'll definitely want to pick up Cork and Knife. And to mark the occasion of their book birthday, we've rounded up some of the recipes they've contributed to the site.

Congratulations, Emily and Matt!