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“…this book is simply the story of my love affair with the kitchen. Whatever the opposite of the currently still fashionable genre, the misery memoir, might be, this is it: a comfort chronicle."

STRAWBERRY AND ALMOND CRUMBLE If I’d had to choose one thing that cooking could not make better, I’d have put good money on its being a bad strawberry. I’d be embarrassed even to own up to trying to improve it, were it not for the fact that I read an article by Saint Simon of Hopkinson in which he advised using said strawbuggers in a pie. So I did. Well, that’s not quite true: I am lazier than he is, so I made a crumble. I don’t know what, how or why it happened, but this is a crumble of dreams.


THAI CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP: Even if you don't have much chicken left over, you should still make this. A few shreds will be plenty. (And this recipe is worth bearing in mind even when your starting point is not leftover chicken: if you were to bung in some frozen prawns at the end, making sure you cook them through, this would make for a fabulous storecupboard supper.)

THAI CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Scallops with Thai Scented Pea Purée: I love the bouncy sweetness of scallops and, although you might think the equal sweetness of the peas would be too much alongside, the deep flavour of coriander and chilli and the sharpness of lemongrass miraculously provided by the thai green curry paste, make it a zingy and yet still comforting accompaniment.


Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes: Much as I love to have a pan bubbling away on the stove, I often feel that the most stress free way to feed people is by taking the oven route. When I'm frazzled, I firmly believe that the tray-bake is the safest way to go. Enjoy the easefulness of the oven: you just bung everything in, and you're done. I

Devil's Food Cake: Forget the name, this cake is heavenly. The crumb is tender, the filling and frosting luscious. When I made it one friday, I expected my children, resident food critics much in the mould of the Grim eater, to find it too dark, too rich, not sweet enough: you get the gist. Instead, I came down on Saturday morning to find nothing but an empty, chocolate-smeared cake stand and a trail of crumbs.

DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake: This is not for the faint-hearted. Unashamed indulgence, wallowingly so, is what this recipe is all about: think Reese's Peanut Butter cup in cheesecake form. For that reason, I don't bake this in a water-bath as I do the Banoffee cheesecake. The water-bath is excellent if you want a silky texture, but for me, the peanut butter constituent demands a certain amount of pleasurable, palate-cleaving clagginess.


My Mother's Praised Chicken: This may well be - indeed is - the smell, the taste, the dish that says "family" to me and my siblings, and brings our long-absent mother back to the kitchen and the table with us. But the fact that I've cooked it more often and over more years than I've cooked anything else doesn't make writing a recipe for it any easier. If anything, it makes it harder, much harder.

MY MOTHER'S PRAISED CHICKEN | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Mexican Lasagne: I feel I am careering about like some giddy traveller with air miles to spare here. The thing is, I cook instead of travelling - a kitchen rather than armchair tourist - and it's less tiring, so it stands to reason that i can cover more ground. Still, the notion of a Mexican lasagne might seem a fantastic voyage too far; let me just say that here this is a shorthand for Mexican-inspired ingredients piled up in lasagne-like fashion.

Marmalade Pudding Cake: Now, this is a beauty. I don't mean flash or fancy - rather the opposite; there is something austerely handsome about its appearance, and yet gorgeously warming about its taste. But then, this laid-back Sunday-lunch pudding is what kitchen food is all about. I'm happy to leave the picture-perfect plate-decoration dessert to the professional chef and patissier. When I want to eat one, I'll go to a restaurant. That way, everyone's happy.

MARMALADE PUDDING CAKE | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Slow Roast Pork Belly: There are a few meals I can say I'm making that will make my children excited (or pretend to be), and this is one of them. Alongside there must be Pie insides (which is what my daughter has always called leeks in white sauce) and for ultimate gratification, roast potatoes although I usually use goose fat for roast potatoes, I feel the pork belly allows, indeed encourages, the substitution of lard.

SLOW ROAST PORK BELLY | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Slut's Spaghetti: Well, how could I resist this translation of pasta alla puttanesca, whore's pasta as it usually is described in English? The general consensus seems to be that this is the sort of dishcooked by slatterns who don't go to market to get their ingredients fresh, but are happy to use stuff out of jars and tins. I hold my hands up to that.

SLUT'S SPAGHETTI | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Lamb with Rosemary and Port: I love the sort of dinner that you cook without any special effort but without sacrificing gratification. That's the thing really: cooking is simple; you can choose to complicate it, but there's no need to. Even when you're at a low ebb, this is a manageable supper and just what's needed to pull you out of a slump. It's comfortingly retro, too: I think it's the generous amount of - well - gravy that the juices and the de-glazing-action make.

LAMB WITH ROSEMARY AND PORT | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margerita Cream:There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so damn easy to eat. This is one of my fallback favourites for pudding when I have friends over for supper.

“…this book is simply the story of my love affair with the kitchen. Whatever the opposite of the currently still fashionable genre, the misery memoir, might be, this is it: a comfort chronicle." Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home is Nigella’s first book since seasonal bestseller, Nigella Christmas, was published in 2008. In true Nigella style, Kitchen is about the food we eat now, the way we eat and live today; feel-good food from the most important room in the house.

KITCHEN | Books | Nigella Lawson