5 Recipes for Holiday Cheer
The Food Network’s Nigella Lawson serves up a few crowd pleasers just in time for party season.
Known for her intimate, relaxed cooking style, Nigella Lawson is also the author of the bestselling cookbooks How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, Nigella Express, and Feast. How to Eat, which sold 300,000 copies, became an instant bestseller. And in 2000, How to Be a Domestic Goddess won the British Book Award for Author of the Year. Her most recent book, Nigella Christmas, was released last month.
In addition to being an accomplished author, Nigella has hosted the Food Network’s Nigella Bites and Nigella Feasts. In 2001, the Nigella Bites television series won a Guild of Food Writers Award, and in 2002, she was named Tastemaker of the Year at Bon Appétit’s American Food & Entertaining Awards.
In the holiday spirit of sharing, Hungry Beast asked Nigella to choose five of her favorite recipes from her books. Her picks are just the right amount of indulgence (Ham in Coca-Cola!) for a long, cold winter.
1. Mulled Cider Much as I love the holiday tradition of warm wine that’s savored across Europe—the vin chaud, glühwein, or gløgg—I have developed a taste for mulled cider as well. There is something about the aromatic waft of apple, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves that evokes a warming Dickensian Christmas scene. This is a great heart- (and hand-) warming punch.
2. Spaghetti alle Vongole If I had to choose my last supper on earth, this clam-and-pasta dish would be top of the list. I like it the Northern Italian way: bianco—simply spaghetti dressed with sweet-fleshed clams cooked with chili, parsley, garlic, and white wine. Do not even consider committing the solecism of serving it with parmigiano.
3. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins Breakfast isn’t normally a decadent meal, but these deep, dark, gorgeous muffins really ensure you start the day in full, festive holiday mood. Of course it doesn't hurt that they are a cinch to make. You can measure out dry and wet ingredients the night before and simply combine both, using nothing more than a bowl and a wooden spoon in the morning.
4. Parma Ham Bundles At this time of year, it really pays to have a simple canapé-style recipe up your sleeve. This one doesn't even require cooking: Simply get a slice of cured ham, add a dollop of soft goat cheese and a bit of soft dried fig and roll up to form a plump, delicious (but still elegant!) bundle.
5. Ham in Coca-Cola I'm afraid I caused consternation among my compatriots when I came up with this recipe. The Southerners among you, however, will find nothing odd about it. The brilliance of this is that the ham (you need a cured but not cooked farmer's ham to start with) takes on the spicy sweetness of barbecue as it simmers in the Coke. This is an effortless show-stopper and the leftovers make for fabulous sandwiches, too.
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