How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

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Earthy, witty, and totally passionate about eating, British food phenomenon Nigella Lawson has taken North American kitchens by storm with the huge success of her television show, Nigella Bites. How to Eat is the book that started it all -- her signature, all-purpose cookbook that became a blockbuster bestseller on its publication in England and has now sold hundreds of thousands of copies on both sides of the Atlantic. How to Eat is Nigella at her best and most complete. Here is her total (and totally ...
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Overview

Earthy, witty, and totally passionate about eating, British food phenomenon Nigella Lawson has taken North American kitchens by storm with the huge success of her television show, Nigella Bites. How to Eat is the book that started it all -- her signature, all-purpose cookbook that became a blockbuster bestseller on its publication in England and has now sold hundreds of thousands of copies on both sides of the Atlantic. How to Eat is Nigella at her best and most complete. Here is her total (and totally irresistible) approach to food, in which she lays bare her secrets for finding pleasure in simple things that we cook and eat every day: no fussy instructions or overachieving recipes, just a joyous celebration of home-cooked dishes that are easy to make and serve -- and deliciously satisfying to eat. Best of all, Nigella knows that the kitchen isn't always an oasis of tranquility. Her world is the real world: where children are waiting to be fed, where unexpected guests arrive on the doorstep at dinnertime, where you run out of that key ingredient just after the stores close. That's why How to Eat has chapters for different needs and situations, including meals for one and two people, low-fat cooking, weekend dining, and cooking for babies and small children. With her easy, conversational style, Nigella makes you feel as if she's right there in the kitchen with you as she shares 350 mouthwatering recipes that range from the truly sublime Tarragon French Roast Chicken to a totally seductive Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake. She eases you through every preparation detail -- from coordinating the oven settings and timing for dishes that must be served together to suggesting the perfect wine for the meal at your next dinner party. All of the recipes are accessible and, with short lists of ingredients, easy to adjust to suit different tastes and occasions. With advance preparation tips and great leftover ideas, Nigella shows how to get the most from the pantry and th
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780701165765
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/25/2000
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.83 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigella Lawson

NIGELLA LAWSON is the host of Nigella Bites and Nigella Feasts, which are both broadcast on the Food Network. A former food columnist for the New York Times, she is the author of four other cookbooks: Feast, Forever Summer, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and Nigella Bites.

Biography

Nigella Lawson is perhaps the most marketable TV chef yet: She's model-gorgeous but not skinny, reverent without being ceremonious, a mom with some personal tragedy in her past, and a woman who takes obvious pleasure in her own recipes. Men like her because she's easy on the eyes; women identify with her pragmatism and lack of pretension.

Lawson, who is the first to point out that she is not a professional chef, favors the hands-on approach to food, literally -- if there's a point where plunging one's hands in the dish will work just as well as anything else in the preparing, she's not going to get food-safetyish about it. Her tactics are not just about ease. She wants people to appreciate food's sensual and pleasure-giving qualities more than to achieve culinary greatness. Her stated motto: "To achieve maximum pleasure through minimum effort." Her carefree demeanor comes through most in her show, where she can be seen snacking and finger-licking her way through a recipe. Here's a pertinent citation from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: "Perhaps the greatest joy of pastry-making is that it's mud-pie time; you get floury, sticky, wholly involved. I don't mean by this that you shouldn't use any equipment.... But you still need to use your hands for that last crucial combining, the rolling, and draping into the pan, and the piecing together of your pie. Just do it."

And while Lawson isn't exactly topping her BBC predecessors Two Fat Ladies on butter and lard consumption, save for a single chapter in How to Eat, she does generally ignore calorie counts, low-fat substitutions, and other concessions to the fitness establishment. If this philosophy means venturing forth on ham baked in Coca-Cola, lamb shank stew, or chocolate fudge cake, then so be it. "If it's something I don't want to carry on eating once I'm full, then I don't want the recipe," the famously voluptuous Lawson said in a Guardian interview in 2000. "I'm quite ruthless. I have to feel that I want to cook the thing again, and more than once. I need to feel that I have to stop myself from cooking it all the time."

The table of contents of Nigella Bites -- named for the BBC-TV/Style Network show she films at her West London home -- shows that Lawson is more concerned with the everyday than with stunning parties and dinners. Categories in the book include "TV Dinners," "Trashy," and "Family Food." She is not administering advice that is going to keep you running to specialty stores or trapped in your kitchen. She does not turn up her nose at frozen peas or other store-bought ingredients. She also acknowledges that mistakes can be made and tells you how to fix them (even if that just means throwing the whole thing out). For those who just want to make something delicious without a lot of fuss, Lawson's kamikaze approach is refreshing and should keep her in our kitchens for quite some time.

Good To Know

Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, who served as Margaret Thatcher's chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lawson's husband, journalist John Diamond, passed away in 2001 after the couple had been married nearly ten years. They have two children, Cosima and Bruno. In 2002, Lawson became linked with Diamond's friend, advertising tycoon Charles Saatchi.

Lawson began her career writing the restaurant review column for Britain's The Spectator. She has also been food editor of British Vogue and had a makeup column for the U.K.'s Times magazine. She is also a staple on ABC's Good Morning America.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 6, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, Oxford University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Fried Prawn Cakes

250 g fresh raw prawns
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2 spring onions, chopped finely
12 teaspoon salt
60 g plain flour
4 teaspoons sherry
olive oil

Shell and mince the prawns. Mix or blend them with the garlic, spring onions, salt, flour, sherry and enough water to make a batter. Let stand, covered with clingfilm, for 1 hour. Then fry, in drops of 1 teaspoon, in olive oil (though not extra virgin) poured to a depth of 5cm in a pan, for about a minute each side.

To serve, add some lime juice and chopped coriander to a bowlful of Hellman's. (Normally I can't see why everyone is so keen on the stuff, but it lends itself well to this kind of adulteration; anyway, fried fish cakes of this sort seem to be able to handle the peculiar emulsification of factory-made mayo.) Or just squeeze the prawn patties with fresh lime as you eat them.

Copyright 2000 by Nigella Lawson
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Table of Contents

Preface XV
Charts and Measures XVIII
Basics, Etc. 3
Cooking in Advance 75
One and Two 119
Fast Food 159
Weekend Lunch 193
Dinner 297
Low Fat 365
Feeding Babies and Small Children 405
Glossary 457
Sources 461
Bibliography 463
Acknowledgments 465
Index 466
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Customer Reviews

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( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2002

    Temperatures are way off

    I just bought HOW TO EAT after being a big fan of the show. I made the lamb shoulder (425 degrees for 30mins/lb???) - After about 20 mins my house was filled with smoke and I ruined the meat. Browsing the other recipes, I realized most of the oven temps seem really high - 400 degrees, for long periods of time. My advice, use common sense when cooking and don't go by the temps given here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2002

    Absolutely pleasurable

    I could not wait to buy and read this book, and I was not disappointed. I have already made a few recipes and they turned out wonderfully. I Love they way she talks about food, and just really appreciates food. She did a fabulous job with this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2000

    Food for food lovers

    This is, without doubt, one of the best cookbooks I've ever used. It's like cooking with a friend in the kitchen: one who knows the best way to produce the most voluptous, finger-licking flavours with a minimum of fuss. It's not a super-lowfat book, but's got a great section on eating to lose weight (probably one of the most honest and endearing examinations of the subject ever) as well as recipes for cooking for two, in advance, for children and for having loads of friends over. And on top of everything, it's so fun to read I sometimes do it in my spare time. Brilliant - when's the next one, Nigella?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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