Nigella Express is often regarded as the most iconic of Nigella Lawson’s TV series, but the accompanying book tends to be forgotten over her other tomes like “Kitchen” & “Bites”. But for us, Express is the embodiment of simple, quick cooking and the real classic Nigella. Every recipe we’ve ever tried has been excellent. We purchased the book when we were students, and the time savvy recipes coupled with simple, easy to source ingredients were the perfect alternative to endless Pot Noodles and beans on toast. The pages are well and truly stuck together and full of dried in food, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
A baking Bible for professional and amateur alike, what Dan Lepard cannot teach you about baking isn’t worth knowing. Both a fabulous recipe developer and an engaging writer, this is a cookbook to get wrapped up in with easy-to-follow recipes that really do work time and time again.
If there is ever a book that makes you wish you were transported to the French capital, it is for us without a doubt Rachel Khoo’s debut. Based around the theme of her infamous supper clubs, every recipe is restaurant-style classic French cuisine made simple, served ideally in a matching simple setting. With a fabulous mix of modern twists to traditional classics, this is the book which would introduce a novice cook into the exciting world of food and cookery from France.
We’ve got such an odd fascination with old cookbooks, the classical of the classic texts. While we’d rarely even contemplate making anything from it, this book is fascinating to see how the diets and tastes have changed over the years, as well as how ingredients once described as “exotic” are now commonplace and marvel at antiquated cooking methods and measurements. We often play around with recipes from it, to see if we can put a modern take on an almost extinct dish.
For students or those getting into cookery, this is a perfect beginning. Sam Stern grew up writing cookbooks in his teens and we believe this to be his most accomplished to date. Accessible yet expert, grown-up but still a little playful, the recipes in this are quite simple and basic but have incredible flavours and great tips on leftovers, twists and kitchen storage and management. We’ve never had a recipe from this fail.
Breakfast is one of our favourite meals, and while some can find it a very stagnant, and unimaginative time to eat, this book breaks it down. Starting by exploring the staples from a typical cooked breakfast, to brief guides of global breakfast dishes- this will inspire you to look beyond your typical bacon sandwich or bowl of cereal.
Ireland, our home country, is synonymous with incredible dairy and outstanding beef – a result of the rainy, temperate climate and lush grassland. Irish beef is widely regarded as some of the best in the world and one of Ireland’s greatest butchers is Pat Whelan, the third generation now running James Whelan Butchers from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. In this book, co-authored with Katy McGuinness, you’ll find expert ways to get the most flavour, value and joy from cooking beef alongside absolutely beautiful imagery. We’re not too big on specialist cookbooks one one subject, but this is a huge exception.
We have lots of Ottolenghi books in our collection and we adore and admire him as the authority on modern, meat-light Middle Eastern cookery, however we’ve longer adored Claudia Roden as a deity of cookery writing. The way she writes and cooks food is so much more about feeding the soul and understanding culture than satisfying appetite. In particular her exploration and recipe reporting on the Middle East is the best we’ve found; her books are rich, resplendent and enticing every time our hand runs along the cookbook shelf seeking inspiration.