Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cooking The Books - Nigella's Kitchen

In the continuing Cooking The Books (CTB) meetups, this time we wanted to test out one of the queens of the kitchen, Nigella Lawson's new book, Kitchen - Recipes from the Heart of the Home. Nigella's recipe are notoriously easy but as we found out, can also be perfectly delicious. Having tested out quite a few recipes in the book, I would buy it and cook from it regularly.

You can read about previous Cooking The Books meetups here
Cooking The Books - Jamie's America
Cooking The Books - Bill Granger's Holiday
Cooking The Books - David Thompson's Thai Street Food

As usual, we cooked at the The Cooking Space thanks to their generosity. The space can be hired out for use throughout the year and it has lots of great professional equipment and even a dining area.

You can read about this meetup by

Other participants were
Kat with baby

Let's start with the savoury dishes. Cherrie made the African Drumsticks/Wings. I love this dish with its caramelised soy marinade.

Agnes made Beer Braised Pork Knuckles. How can you go wrong with pork knuckles cooked to a perfect crisp. I couldn't really taste the beer but maybe it helps to crisp it up?

The dish of the day, and you won't hear this from me too often, was the Mexican Lasagna. This was a vegetarian dish and contained beans, corn and various vegetables. The flavours really worked together and was cooked perfectly by Kat.

Kat (with baby) made a Risotto Bolognese. The risotto was definitely cooked well, and the flavours were quite good.

Kat (with baby) also made Pigs in Blankets. Well, how can you go wrong with sausages wrapped in pastry.

Other savouries that we had and not pictured were
-A simple Avocado Salad by Kat
-Caraway, Garlic Apples and Potatoes by Agnes. They were a really good combination.
-Turkey Meatballs by Michele. These weren't bad, but sort of dull in flavour compared to Jamie's America meatballs that Michele made at a previous meetup.
-Rocket and Lemon Cous Cous by Michele. Simple and tasty.
-Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes by me. The chorizo really gave the chicken a good kick and the herbs in it were good.
-Chorizo and Chickpea Stew by Celeste, full of chorizo goodness.

For desserts, Celeste made a Key Lime Pie. It was sharp and sweet, and I liked it. I think Celeste used regular limes so it didn't have the taste of the usual key lime pie.

Agnes made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. As you can see from the photo, it was wickedly good but also super duper rich. One tiny slice is enough.

Other desserts we had were
-Coffee Toffee Meringues by Cherrie, which were actually my favourite dessert of the day. Light meringues were doused with a coffee toffee.
-Michele made Lemon Meringue Fool, meringues, lemon zest and cream. This was also very good.
-I-Hua made Pistachio Fudge, which were super decadent.
-Emma made a Torte Al Giandula, which techically was from Nigella's Domestic Goddess book but still totally delicious.
-Lastly, I made a Venetian Carrot Cake. With carrots and almond meal, I thought this cake would be amazing but instead was rather awful. I'm not sure what went wrong but I think it may have been that the almond meal was stale.

And that wraps us another wonderful Cooking The Books meetup, where as usual I went home so full that I didn't need dinner and needed a massive afternoon nap.


  1. I might be wrong, esp since this was quite awhile ago, but I remember that the one thing that struck me about this recipe was the fact that she had called it a key lime pie but the recipe didn't actually ask for any key limes lol.

  2. omg, the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake is to die for! T_____T

  3. Man.. this was ages ago! I'm about to put up the Momofuku round up :P But now I really want to eat Kat's mexican lasagne!

  4. Ooh I can't breathe for jealousy - good job guys, can't wait to get stuck back into it ;)

  5. Phwoarrr peanut butter chocolate cheesecake?! YUM! I made my third recipe out of Nigella's express book last week and was quite pleasantly surprised how straight forward the cooking is :)

    Such a feast though! Numnum!

  6. "I couldn't really taste the beer but maybe it helps to crisp it up?"

    Chemistry fail.

  7. Those African Drumsticks/Wings with caramelised soy marinade is making me drool. It really looks sumptuous. Oh and the Beer Braised Pork Knuckles made me hungry. It kind of reminds me of some native dish from one of my friend's home town. You also made peanut butter cheesecake? That's amazing!

    Can you share the recipe with me? Pretty please? Thanks!

  8. Celeste, that's strange to call it a key lime pie but not have it in. Oh well, it's her recipe.

    Hi Alison, you can find the recipe for Nigella's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake here at her site.

  9. Those are delicious food.