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Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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The many fans of Lawson’s television shows will welcome this newest entry in the ever-growing series of cookbooks the ingenious and pneumatic kitchen diva has produced. Lawson is at home with any number of different cuisines, including Japanese, Italian, South African, Mexican, Australian, Thai, Korean, and her own native British cookery. In the last category she presents a spatchcocked Cornish game hen and intense gingerbread enriched with Guinness stout. She favors hearty meats such as lamb shanks and ham hocks. And she has special affection for dishes that one can easily serve at parties, ennobling even humble “pigs in blankets” with some decidedly sophisticated puff pastry. Recipes emphasize meticulous preparation and freshness of ingredients. The book includes a series of useful kitchen tips that Lawson has collected over the years. They range from tea-stain removal to easy pasta measuring. Occasional Briticisms may puzzle American readers, but they are far from insurmountable. --Mark Knoblauch
About the Author
Nigella Lawson is the author of How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess (for which she won the British Author of the Year Award), Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, Feast, Nigella Express, and Nigella Christmas. She has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and in many other publications. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
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Not Nigella's. The moment I saw this book was on sale, I pre-ordered it. Doing so was the right decision.
Unlike some of her recent cookbooks, about Feasts or Christmas or Cooking Good Food, Fast, this has less of a specific theme except maybe "comfort food meets your real-life frenetic schedule." The first half of the book, called Kitchen Quandaries, leans toward serving your "dinner in 30 minutes" needs, with chapters like "Hurry up, I'm hungry" and "Off the cuff" (pantry suppers). The second, Kitchen Comforts, is full of recipes for when you're in the mood to chop and stir, segmented into chapters including "The solace of stirring" and "the bone collection."
Her recipes do not disappoint. (Well, they almost never DO disappoint, which is why I could order this book with such confidence.) So far, I've made two meals, both from the fast-food side of the book. "Lemony salmon with cherry tomato couscous" was quick to throw together but sure didn't taste that way; it was good as a cold salad, too, when I wanted lunch the next day. Her "speedy seafood supper" won't make me throw out my recipes for the putter-worthy cioppino, but it was 30 minutes from "What's for dinner?" to pouring the fish stew into a bowl and grabbing a hunk of bread. Even better, that recipe started with a pound of frozen mixed seafood from Trader Joe's; I didn't have to remember to defrost anything (a common "oh drat!" moment in this household). I'm making this week's shopping list now, and am trying to decide if I'll make her "spatchcocked Cornish hen" (with sultanas and pine nuts) or "pork and apple hotpot." It might be both.
Nigella includes a few extra features in this cookbook that I really appreciate. One is a chapter devoted to shortcuts and other things that make life a little easier. In many cases these are obvious tips, at least for someone who's been cooking for 30 years, but in this case I had a few, "Oh, I'll try that!" moments. (I had already learned from her TV shows how handy it is to use kitchen shears to cut up bacon or scallions directly into the pan; if that's all you need to cut up, why dirty a knife and cutting board?) Plus, she has a very good balance between recipes that feed 6-8 and those that serve one or two.
Another thing I like is that she has a postscript to many recipes that tell you what you can do with the leftovers. Some leftovers are intentional, of course, such as poaching chicken with the goal of turning leftovers into one of the chicken salads she suggests. Others, though, answer my "What the heck do I do with THIS?" questions, such as her suggestion to turn leftover Risotto Bolognese into "risotto burgers" with cheese melted on top, served with peas. I wish more cookbooks did this.
This cookbook has already earned its spot on the cookbook shelves, and I've had it for only a week. I expect you'll feel the same way. Highly recommended.
Nigella starts with her kitchen caboodle--what is needed and what is not. Included also is "My kitchen Gadget Hall of Shame."
In "Kitchen Confidential," she lists her own shortcuts and practices. She enjoys good food, simply prepared-- because after a day of working, her family wants dinner fast.
"A kitchen should never look decorated; it just needs to feel lived in." Her chatty style is engaging and the lovely photos draw the reader/cook in.
Recipes are indexed and there is a special "Express Index." Recipes that take 30 minutes or under from first move to plate!
Nigella Kitchen belongs in every kitchen, no matter the expertise of the reader. Great book for newlyweds, seasoned cooks and cook book collectors. This is one volume that will not sit on the shelf. PS I was so excited when my package arrived from Amazon--I got an autographed copy!
perceive it as a recipe book - duh!!
I don't know why.
I passed it over thinking it was suggestions on
what to have in your kitchen, like some kind of
promo for her products. No idea where I got that.
So glad it came across my path again.
I've never, ever been one to collect anything,
but I've GOT TO have all the Nigella books.
I love the stories connected to the recipes.
I look at them as a 'good read' and love, love,
love the photography. I sure wish she would
re-do How To Eat and add photos.
This book has a recipe for Grasshopper Pie
- if you've not had it, give it a try
even just for the sake of nostalgia.
I think the pictures should appear bigger, taking advantage of the display's quality. Instead they appear very small, which is a shame, especially when it comes to food pictures.