"A chatty, sometimes cheeky,celebration of home-cooked meals."
— USA Today
Through her wildly popular television shows, her five bestselling cookbooks, her line of kitchenware, and her frequent media appearances, Nigella Lawson has emerged as one of the food world's most seductive personalities. How to Eat is the book that started it all—Nigella's signature, all-purpose cookbook, brimming with easygoing mealtime strategies and 350 mouthwatering recipes, from a truly sublime Tarragon French Roast Chicken to a totally decadent Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake. Here is Nigella's total (and totally irresistible) approach to food—the book that lays bare her secrets for finding pleasure in the simple things that we cook and eat every day.
"[Nigella] brings you into her life and tells you how she thinks about food, how meals come together in her head . . . and how she cooks for family and friends . . . A breakthrough . . . with hundreds of appealing and accessible recipes."
—Amanda Hesser, The New York Times
"Nigella Lawson serves up irony and sensuality with her comforting recipes . . . the Queen of Come-On Cooking."
—Los Angeles Times
"Nigella Lawson is, whisks down, Britain's funniest and sexiest food writer, a raconteur who is delicious whether detailing every step on the way towards a heavenly roast chicken and root vegetable couscous or explaining why 'cooking is not just about joining the dots.'"
—Richard Story, Vogue magazine
"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next," says British food writer Nigella Lawson. "It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat." Lawson is not a chef, but "an eater." She writes as if she's conversing with you while beating eggs or mincing garlic in your kitchen. She explains how to make the basics, such as roast chicken, soup stock, various sauces, cake, and ice cream. She teaches you to cook more esoteric dishes, such as grouse, white truffles (mushrooms, not chocolate), and "ham in Coca-Cola." She gives advice for entertaining over the holidays, quick cooking ("the real way to make life easier for yourself: cooking in advance"), cooking for yourself ("you don't have to belong to the drearily narcissistic learn-to-love-yourself school of thought to grasp that it might be a good thing to consider yourself worth cooking for"), and weekend lunches for six to eight people. Don't expect any concessions to health recommendations in the recipes here--Lawson makes liberal and unapologetic use of egg yolks, cream, and butter. There are plenty of recipes, but the best parts of How to Eat
are the well-crafted tidbits of wisdom, such as the following:
- "Cook in advance and, if the worse comes to the worst, you can ditch it. No one but you will know that it tasted disgusting, or failed to set, or curdled or whatever."
- On the proper English trifle: "When I say proper I mean proper: lots of sponge, lots of jam, lots of custard and lots of cream. This is not a timid construction ... you don't want to end up with a trifle so upmarket it's inappropriately, posturingly elegant. A degree of vulgarity is requisite."
- "Too many people cook only when they're giving a dinner party. And it's very hard to go from zero to a hundred miles an hour. How can you learn to feel at ease around food, relaxed about cooking, if every time you go into the kitchen it's to cook at competition level?"
"The great British Culinary Renaissance has done many things?given us extra virgin oil, better restaurants and gastroporn?but it hasn't taught us how to cook."?Nigella Lawson
How To Eat is a book that does. Firmly rooted in home cooking, part culinary manifesto and part evocation of the pleasures of eating, it has over three hundred and fifty recipes. More than that, it encourages us to see cooking in context and to acquire our own individual sense of what food is about. It covers kitchen basics, fast food, feeding small children, cooking for one and two, weekend lunches, low-fat food and both everyday and more demanding dinners. To counteract the chaos of modern life, it helps us plot menus, and gives kitchen survival strategies and tactical advice on cooking in advance and last-minute eating.At its heart, How To Eat is about a feeling for food, a book to be read as well as from which to cook. Unique, invaluable, comprehensive, this is a celebration of good food and an engagingly conversational vade-mecum for the kitchen.
From the Inside Flap