Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cookbook Review - Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home by Nigella Lawson

This review was previously published on the food blog I used to write, Plated & Sated. Since Kitchen is one of my favorite cookbooks and that blog has since been closed, it seemed only appropriate to publish a shortened version of my review here. Enjoy!

Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home is the first Nigella Lawson cookbook I bought and I love it. Since purchasing it last year, I recently completed my collection - I now own all of Nigella's books. The way Lawson writes about food is infectious - it makes you want to go to the kitchen and make something yummy! I primarily bought this book when I did because I was looking for two things at the time - main courses and desserts and this book is chock full of both. Kitchen is not your typical cookbook though. It doesn't start with soups & sauces and work through several different chapters each outlining different courses or types of meat. Kitchen is broken down into chapters about what certain meals or dishes mean to Nigella and there are even whole chapters dedicated to chicken or bones. From pickings to full-blown roast dinners, there's so much to cook, eat and love in Kitchen!

Every recipe in this book is introduced in a rather personal way with Nigella sharing her feelings about a certain dish or stories about what inspired her to include it. These are great insight into how cooks are inspired to create and why some foods are more enjoyable for sentimental reasons than others. While these intros can be a bit lengthy, they are a delight to read - in several instances I found myself getting excited about foods I don't even like!

The introduction of Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home is required reading for anyone who's new to the kitchen or needs a bit of brushing up after a long hiatus away from the stove. Nigella gives great tips for organizing a kitchen - they're so great that immediately after reading it, I did some reorganizing of my own kitchen to make things more hospitable in there for my cooking. If you're a new cook, she gives great recommendations for what to include in the kitchen. If you're a seasoned cook, you might find a new way of doing things that's a bit easier than you're used to - Nigella is nothing if not someone to learn from when you're looking for an easier albeit less fancy way of doing things in the kitchen. From cutting chicken bones with scissors to using a Mezza Luna instead of a knife to save your fingers, she is a wealth of resourceful information!

I haven't even come close to making every recipe in this book, but I've made a few that I loved! The Spanish Chicken With Chorizo & Potatoes is a favorite, the Crustless Pizza is a great, quick recipe that I often use as an alternative to ordering junk food or fast food takeout when I'm tired and the Cheesy Chilli is a revelation!

One of the great things I've gotten from this book is my love of chorizo! I'm never without this beautiful red Spanish sausage in my fridge now. It gives a vibrant color to lots of dishes, tastes delicious and cooks quickly if you're having it on its own with a bit of rice and sweetcorn!

I also would've never thought to use fresh mozzarella in chilli as Nigella does with her Cheesy Chilli - it's delicious!

Nigella's Cheesy Chilli

I can't wait to make more of the lovely recipes in Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home. The kitchen truly is the center of any great home - a place where the family, whether it's your husband and kids or your friends & flatmates, come together to talk about their day and share tidbits of their lives. Eating together is truly one of the greatest pleasures and I loved this book for reminding me of that! I know that this book is going to be a great reference that I come back to again and again!


  1. Spanish Chicken With Chorizo & Potatoes is a firm favourite in my house too, I love how decadent her books are and I'm always satisfied after one of her meals x

    1. Same here darling! Chorizo never goes off so it's in constant rotation in my fridge! Her books are decadent, but there are also quite a few healthy recipes in them too… What I particularly love is that she doesn't label them healthy… Just delicious! Hope you're well! xxx


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