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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.

Latest Queries

  • Brining Spiced And Superjuicy Turkey

    Hi all, I have never tried brining before so just wondered can the Spiced And Superjuicy Turkey be left to brine in the fridge? Living in New Zealand it is summer now and the weather is hot in December so would not think it was safe to brine outdoors. Is the brining time the same if it is done in the fridge?

    I am brining my turkey for the first time this year, using Nigella's recipe. My turkey is bigger than the one in the recipe (it is 8.30 kg). When I put it in the container the liquid did not cover the bird. Nigella had said to top up with water until covered but I ended up adding an extra 6 litres. I then thought I had better add more salt so added an additional 125 g (double the water & double the salt). Now I am wondering if that will make it too salty? Also when I am ready to cook do I rinse the bird in fresh water and dry it before cooking or should I just dry it? 

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  • Keeping Brandy Butter

    Hi Team, just enquiring as to how long Nigella's Brandy Butter will keep in the refrigerator please? Thanks, beris m.

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  • Christmas Hams

    I'm planning to cook a couple of smoked gammon joints to feed up to 25 people. I'm struggling to find joints with the knuckle bone intact (as per the Aromatic Christmas Ham recipe) and would therefore like to know what adjustments, if any, are required to the original recipe if I end up cooking a couple of bonless smoked gammon joints instead? Thank you for your help!  

    I'm going to be in South America for Xmas and they don't really do gammon over there - they just do pork. Is the Ham In Coca Cola recipe possible with a slab of pork or does it need to be cured first? Thanks! Whoha.

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  • Easy Action Christmas Cake

    I love the Easy Action Christmas Cake yet my family hates chestnuts. Could you please suggest a substitute for me, as I presume it has to be quite liquid to replace the chestnut puree. I had thought of using dates or apricot jam but how do I make it into a paste without adding to much sweetness? Thanking you in advance, Steph  

    Hi. I made loads of mincemeat with suet last year for my mince pies. I have seen recipes for Christmas cakes made using mincemeat but they never say whether it's mincemeat made with suet or suet-free mincemeat. So, can I make a Christmas cake with my suet mincemeat? Many thanks, jobo123.

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  • Nigella's Kitchen Items

    Hello Nigella Team, I would really like to make Nigella's Gurdlebuster Pie this Christmas, and have been trolling the internet trying to find a pie dish as beautiful as the red one Nigella uses. Please could you tell me where I can buy it, or maybe something similar?  

    Hi there I've recently been watching re-runs of Nigella's programmes in Italy and am trying to find out what make the black bowls are that she uses in them. One of the recipes was a South Indian veggie curry another was an egg and bacon salad. The bowls are black and very uneven looking. I would very much appreciate any information you could give me about them Thank you, zobo31

    Hello There, I was wondering where I could purchase the teacup shaped glass bowl and saucer from Nigella's Forever Summer series. They were wonderful, but I can't seem to find them online. Many thanks, Dawn

    Dear Nigella team. Where can I find the glass mugs with candy canes, which can be found in the book "Nigella's Christmas" Regards Armani1502

    Hi there! I love the salt pig that Nigella uses on Nigellissima and I actually was successful in finding and purchasing one for myself! However, I have not been successful in finding the small wooden spoon that she usually has in the container. Where would I be able to find this? Thanks a bunch! nt121390. 

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  • Christmas Mince Pies

    Hi Nigella team, I am about to make Nigella's Star Mince Pies with the Rhubarb Vanilla Mincemeat from her book Feast! I am planning to use puff pastry and to freeze them in readiness for Christmas. My query is, do I cook them first then freeze or do I freeze them once prepared ready to cook when I need them. I also intend to make the short crust pastry in Nigella's recipe but wanted to hear your culninary thoughts on my idea? Margaret

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  • Crumbly Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

    Hello, Recently I baked the Christmas Chocolate Biscuits, following the recipe carefully. But the biscuits turned out really crumbly. I cooled them on a wire rack as suggested in the recipe. But they were crumbling when I was lifting them from the wire rack after pouring the chocolate topping and the sprinkles. Also can you let me know the shelf life of these biscuits and how can I make them last longer?

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  • Snow Flecked Brownies As Muffins?

    I've cooked Nigella's Snow-Flecked Brownies many many times to the delight of my large family. I struggle with the right vessel to use though and if the middle is perfectly squidgy, then the brownies at the edge are overcooked. I'd like to try cupcakes or muffins for my nieces birthday party, do you think this will work ok? If so could you advise me how long to cook at what temperature. The ingredients are very precious and expensive so I don't want to ruin the batch (although I'm sure I'd scoff them myself anyway...) Many thanks.

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