This months Cook Book Review is Nigella Lawson
At My Table- A celebration of home cooking
Nigella Lawson is a London based, Food Writer, Journalist and Broadcaster and author of over 8 best selling cookery books. Nigella’s food writing to me is always so eloquent and uncomplicated and always seems to ease readers into the recipes from the start. At My Table, Nigella’s latest book is in her words “A celebration of Home Cooking in over a hundred recipes, Inspiring, Achievable and Always Delicious”.
My first page flick and my eyes landed on Whipped Feta Toasts, nothing that will set the culinary world on fire and I can see some of the hardened foodies rolling their eyes at this sort of recipe…. But, this is a book bought and read by home cooks and bakers, it should have recipes like this in it. Having looked at the simplest of easy reachable ingredients, the opening line on the recipe intro guides you in, almost immediately to what else you can create, “drizzled with a little extra honey and topped with roasted pine nuts, these make a wonderful, gently exotic breakfast”. Yes it would.
The next recipe to catch my eye was the Garlic and Parmesan Mash, dreamy, creamy garlicy mashed potato, this would be such an addition to any Sunday roast beef lunch. To my delight the next recipe is a waffle recipe, suggesting that any left over mash can be turned into these golden delights and served with streaky bacon and eggs. This I had to try, I made to amount in the recipe and it greedily served the 6-8 suggested, but sadly none left to turn into the waffles the next day. Note to self to make more next time.
Lastly on this review is the Vanilla Layer Cake. This cake recipe caught my eye, not for the delicious sounding lemon milk soured vanilla cake, but the frosting that covers this. Nigella revels over first finding this style of buttercream on a foodie website. It uses a roux method that creates a light mousse like whipped buttercream. This I am so happy to say is a method that I have been using for quite a few years, I first came across it in a book I had back in the late 80’s. It makes the best whipped chocolate or toffee flavoured covering for a cake or piped into choux buns.. Bravo Nigella.
The photography and the book itself.
Jonathan Lovekin has created mostly overhead shots, clear, simply but effectively styled. The book itself has a beautiful embossed side panel with a tones of grey photograph of Nigella on the front. The inside is in keeping with the outer cover with a muted almost pale duck egg blue inner leaf…. what I really do like is in the acknowledgements at the back, Nigella thanks her greengrocer. Why not.
Who Should buy this
Anybody who is looking for home cooking recipes at their best. I would be buying this for people who maybe just starting their culinary journey. Some un assuming advise is given throughout the book so it should appeal to all.
This I think is one of this years best, I did think it was a little “side dishy” with its content at first glance, but when you read the book there are suggestions of how these can be used or changed. Will sit happily on my shelf.