How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

Overview

"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 ...

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Overview

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470173541
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (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.

Charts and Measures.

Basics, Tec.

Cooking in Advance.

One and Two.

Fast Food.

Weekend Lunch.

Dinner.

Low Fat.

Feeding Babies and Small Children.

Glossary.

Sources.

Bibliography.

Acknowledgments.

Index.

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