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The Cookstr Weekly: Simply Nigella

November 13, 2015
Here at Cookstr, we’re huge fans of Nigella Lawson, whether she is putting forth gorgeously impressive holiday meals or whipping up something easy for a weeknight. In her new book Simply Nigella, out now from our sister company Flatiron Books, she taps into the rhythms of our cooking lives with recipes that are uncomplicated and relaxed yet always satisfying. From quick and calm weeknight dinners to stress-free ideas when feeding a crowd to the instant joy of bowlfood for cozy nights on the sofa, here is food guaranteed to make everyone feel good.
Warmest regards,
Kara Rota
Editorial Director
I positively will everyone in the house not to eat the bananas so that they overripen and I have an excuse to make this. I love all the variants of banana bread I have ever made – much more than I do bananas – but this one is on another level. The smoky bitterness that emanates from both the cardamom and cacao nibs offers a subtle foil to the natural and rich sweetness of the bananas. As this is for breakfast, it isn’t terribly sweet, so feel free to up the sugar to 2 1/4 cups if you have a sweet tooth and want to indulge it. It is also excellent (and tastes sweeter) when toasted and spread with unsalted butter.”

I never quite feel that a house is a home until a chicken has been roasted in it (with apologies to all vegetarians and, indeed, chickens) and this, as it cooks, fills your kitchen with its gentle anise and citrus scent, working as well in midwinter with in-season Seville oranges as it does in summer with eating oranges, their sweetness soured by lemon. Apropos of this, although I normally consider not using the zest of a lemon a culinary hanging offense, here I don’t use it, as it would flagrantly, if fragrantly, overpower the essential orange.”
I like to keep the flavor of the meat to the fore, so don’t coat them in a glaze, but give them the scantest covering before they go into the oven. And while it might seem unnecessary to use oil, it does help the spices to stick and the ribs to crisp; anyway, so much of the fat drips off into the pan under the rack. Even so, they are, without question, a fatty cut, but for those of us who love the flavor and the lipsmacking stickiness that this gives, it’s a bonus, not a warning. If you’re a lean-cut kind of a person, these are not for you. Commiserations.”

This is one of my favorite suppers, although there’s nothing that says you can’t serve this as a vegetable side as part of a more conventional meal. And you could also bolster it further by crumbling in some feta. But for me, it is perfect just as it is: the tomatoes almost ooze into a dressing in the oven, and the cauliflower softens, but not soggily.
“I love matcha ice cream, and this version gives me particular pleasure. Yes, it’s ridiculously easy to make, which is gratifying, but more glorious – and important – is the perfect balance between the sophisticated bitterness of the matcha powder and the uncompromisingly childish sweetness of the condensed milk. You would never imagine such an uncouth ingredient could be a factor in the exquisite outcome here.

with Richard Betts

Richard Betts’ books take intimidating subjects (wine and whiskey) and make them fun, accessible, and informative, through an inventive scratch & sniff formula. Here’s Richard’s cheat sheet for learning what you like in a whiskey.

One Comment leave one →
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