BY NIGELLA LAWSON
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Nigella Christmas - Food, Family, Friends, Festivities
(Alfred A. Knopf) ISBN 978-0307397744 0307397742
Just reading this Christmas cookbook puts you in a festive spirit. Nigella Lawson provides 150 recipes for traditional Christmas dinners, brunches, edible tree decorations and homemade Christmas gifts.
Besides Christmas recipes, she offers tips to reduce the stress of cooking with a to-do list. Nigella Christmas addresses questions like: How long do you cook a turkey? and What can you make with turkey leftovers?
A 277-page coffee table book, Nigella Christmas features easy Christmas recipes and ideas for decorating dishes and tables.
In the introduction to each recipe and chapter, Nigella Lawson gives personal anecdotes such as tips for stress-free holidays. Make Ahead Tips and Freeze Ahead Tips for many recipes reduce preparation time and make entertaining more enjoyable. Menus include a holiday lunch and a Christmas Eve supper for 10 to 12 people. A timetable organizes meal preparation for a Christmas feast for 10 to 16 guests.
Recipe measurements are British and some ingredients are unique to Britain. Cooking temperatures are specified as degrees Celsius/gas mark number.
Mouth-watering photos by Lis Parsons, many full page, depict Christmas dishes, with holiday decorations, like peppermint sticks, rosemary sprigs and candles. A series of smaller images show step-by-step cooking techniques, such as how to make a rolled stuffed loin of pork.
Vegetarian Christmas dishes
Nigella Lawson gives readers a menu for a vegetarian Christmas dinner: seasonally-spiced nuts, roast stuffed pumpkin with gingery tomato sauce, red cabbage with pomegranate juice and Christmas pudding with hot chocolate chestnut sauce. She also provides Christmas dinner alternatives to turkey, like roast goose with pear and cranberry stuffing and roast rib of beef with port and Stilton gravy.
Homemade Christmas presents include marinated feta, pomegranate vodka, beetroot and ginger chutney, chilli jam and Christmas ketchup. Nigella Lawson adds tips for wrapping and decorating edible Christmas gifts.
The drink section offers suggestions for Christmas mocktails like Mistletoe, made from ginger beer, lime cordial and lime juice.
Nigella Lawson's recipes
Besides recipes for a Yule log, panforte, mince pies and other holiday sweets, the dessert chapter includes Christmas cake decorations, a fruit and nut topping and icing recipes.
Pomegranate martini. Chilli cheese crostini. Pumpkin and goat's cheese lasagne. Chestnut soup with bacon crumbles. Spiced and super juicy roast turkey with allspice gravy. Aromatic Christmas ham. Roast goose with pear and cranberry stuffing. Maple roast parsnips. Rum and brandy butters. Christmas cornflake wreaths. Steeped Christmas fruits. Christmas chutney. Boozy British trifle. Gleaming maple cheesecake.
- The more the merrier
Cocktails, canapés and manageable mass catering
- Seasonal support
Soups, salads, sauces and serve-later sides
- Come on over...
- The main event
Christmas baking and sweet treats
- Joy to the world
- All wrapped up
Edible presents and party preserves
- A Christmas brunch for 6-8
- A bevy of hot drinks
- Dr. Lawson prescribes...
Nigella Lawson is the author of six other cookbooks and a hostess of TV cooking shows.