Nigella is back with a brand new cookbook to inspire our cooking and enrich our minds. From the captivating prose to the equally divine recipes, here's 10 things you'll love about Cook, Eat, Repeat.
1. Soul-soothing food writing
Sumptuous food writing seamlessly combined with practical recipes is a well-established Nigella trademark, but this union finds its ultimate expression in Nigella's brand new cookbook, Cook, Eat, Repeat. Nestled in between the book's 150 practical recipes, you'll find absorbing essays exploring everything from the oomph-giving power of anchovies to the fundamentals of modern day recipe writing, and all delivered with her signature complexity, wit and warmth. This is as much a cookbook to inspire your dinner as it is to entertain you in your reading spot of choice with a pen in hand, ready to underline your favourite quotes. Trust us, there will be many.
2. A celebration of, and practical guide to, solo dining
It will come as no surprise to learn that Cook, Eat, Repeat is brimming with guaranteed family favourites and the kind of recipes you'll want to bookmark for the next time you are able to gather with friends. Perhaps less expected is its contribution to the often-neglected category of recipes for one, and as anyone who has ever been frustrated by the lack of solo cooking inspiration out there will soon testify, there are few cookbooks better suited to the lone diner. With recipes that can be easily scaled up or down and plenty designed for one, it is both a quiet championing of the joys of eating alone as well as a rare offering of recipes to help you maximise said joy (see: Crème Caramel for One, Mine All Mine Cookies, and many more).
"I relish eating alone and cooking for myself and, on those occasions, frankly never miss a fellow diner; indeed I positively and luxuriantly revel in this solo ceremony of the senses."
3. Tips for minimising food waste
If we weren't already increasingly aware of food waste before the pandemic, many of us are now more conscious than ever before of getting the most out of every ingredient in our cupboards. Cook, Eat, Repeat is brimming with Nigella's wisdom on the subject, offering a fascinating insight into the running of her kitchen alongside practical storing and freezing advice for the majority of the book's recipes. Nigella also gives plenty of inspired tips for turning leftovers into a second, totally different incarnation of a recipe, from Brown Butter Colcannon leftovers transformed into potato patties and topped with a fried egg, to rum-soaked French toast made using leftover slices of the book's No-knead Sourdough Loaf.
"Thriftiness is the habit of cooks, however extravagant: I could no more throw a butter wrapper away before using it to grease cake tins than I could allow chicken bones to go in the bin. And if this sounds to many like drab penitential asceticism, I have to tell you that these old ways give me as much joy in the kitchen as the heady, luxuriant flourishes of newfound enthusiasms."
4. The ease of cooking from Cook, Eat, Repeat with dietary requirements
Catering for a particular dietary requirement? Cook, Eat, Repeat has been thoughtfully designed with the vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free cook and diner in mind, with plenty of inspiring recipes to choose from. Head to the recipe index where you will find a handy colour-coded key to help you swiftly identify recipes that fit the bill (Luscious Vegan Gingerbread, anyone?) or that can be easily adapted to suit to your needs.
5. The call to embrace the joys of good food without guilt
A whole chapter in Cook, Eat, Repeat is dedicated to the food eaten with the caveat 'I shouldn't be eating this but..." and its opening essay an invitation to reject the self-punishment that often comes hand-in-hand with the enjoyment of good food and to embrace the unique pleasure it can bring. The same chapter also, perhaps unsurprisingly, gives us some of the book's most mouth-watering offerings. Think Crab Mac and Cheese, a Fried Chicken Sandwich, and many more dishes that have been unfairly banished to the culinary naughty step for far too long.
"[...] no one should feel guilty about what they eat, or the pleasure they get from eating; the only thing to feel guilty about (and even then I don't recommend it) is the failure to be grateful for that pleasure."
6. Chicken, chicken and more chicken
Give a Happy Foodie team member a copy of Nigella's latest cookbook and they'll head straight to the index to look for all of her new prescriptions for one ingredient in particular: chicken. Nigella's evident enthusiasm for the humble bird has given the world endless brilliant chicken recipes and we are pleased to report that Cook, Eat, Repeat contains many more. From a whole chicken poached until it is melting off the bone, to a bronzed roast chicken finished with a garlic cream sauce, chicken in all its glory is very much on the menu.
"If I start with chicken, it's because when I ask myself what I'm going to cook for dinner, it is the answer I most often come up with and the bedrock of my cooking life."
7. All the bakes, puddings and desserts you crave
For many of us, Nigella is also synonymous with failsafe bakes and desserts, so if you're here to find out what Cook, Eat, Repeat promises in the sweet department, you won't be disappointed. There's a rice pudding cake finished with a drizzle of glistening jam sauce, linzer cookies with a snowy dusting of icing sugar, and a chocolate and tahini twist on the bake of the year. A crumble that beckons, a gooey chocolate pudding that'll make your soul smile, and a pavlova piled high with late winter fruits. A quadruple layer chocolate and peanut butter layer cake requiring no further introduction, a trifle with a layer of fluorescent forced rhubarb, and a festive bread and butter pudding made for those formless days between Christmas and New Year, and plenty more besides. Whatever your sweet tooth desires, you'll find a recipe for it in Cook, Eat, Repeat.
8. The celebration of brown food
When it comes to brown food, if you know, you know and you'll want to head swiftly for Cook, Eat, Repeat's chapter in its defence. There you'll be rewarded with glistening mahogany-toned stews, hearty bowls of rice and earthy dips to satisfy the soul as much as the stomach.
"[Brown food] gently beckons us with a whisper rather than a shout. And the truth is, we need the calm that it bestows."
9. Fresh festive feasting
Just when we are all crying out for a little extra help to plan this year's Christmas meal, Cook, Eat, Repeat brings us a chapter of fresh festive inspiration to maximise joy and minimise stress. Centred around the perfect food for a necessarily smaller-scale gathering, these are recipes that take you travelling while you remain safely and cosily at home, from Norwegian Pork Ribs to a Parmesan twist on Jansson's Temptation. Special mention also goes to the Fermented Hot Sauce, perfect both for livening up any leftovers and gifting to loved ones.
10. All of your future favourites from the upcoming BBC series
Finally, if you love to tune into Nigella's cookery shows and cook along to each episode, get your copy of Cook, Eat, Repeat in time for the start of the accompanying BBC series on 9th November. You'll find all of your favourite recipes from the series contained in its pages, taking you from on-screen inspiration to at-the-table deliciousness.