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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

  • Cut Of Beef For Asian Ribs

    I have had a problem with the Asian-Flavoured Short Ribs recipe in 'Simply Nigella. I live in France and sourced 'short ribs' as 'plat de cotes'. This cut is what is most often used in France to make a pot au feu. A problem though came when the butcher refused to cut the ribs to the smaller size required by the recipe. He said it was too dangerous to cut on his machine - and I could see his point when I looked at the cutting machine - so the pieces were maybe twice the size mentioned in the recipe. The recipe called for 4 - 4 and a half hours at 150C, but at the end of the cooking time, the meat on the ribs was not cooked. So I gave them a further four hours at the end of which the meat was cooked, but not all the fat had dissolved into the sauce. So, in future, I think I will cook this recipe in the slow cooker overnight rather than in the oven. What I want to know is whether the problem I experienced is because I may have purchased the wrong ribs, or is it the timings in the recipe that need to be flexible?

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  • Glitzy Chocolate Puddings

    I hadthe Glitzy Chocolate Puddings in the oven for 25 mins as per the recipe ,but it turned to a cake instead of having a chocolate sauce inside. Why is that? I tried one at 15mins it seem better but the inside edges around the ramekin had started to cook to a cake.

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  • Vermouth Substitute

    I want to try Nigella's Tarragon Salmon recipe but don't want to use alcohol. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for vermouth? I notice also that Nigella uses vermouth in many of her recipes and wondered if I could leave it out altogether or increase the stock element. Many thanks.

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  • Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters

    I tried the steamed chocolate pudding for Christmas and while it tasted absolutely divine, it didn't hold together at all (was a really fluffy sort of pudding and I thought it would be dense). Did I do something wrong? Would have liked to serve it like the photo but just had to scoop it straight into bowls as it collapsed.

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  • Panettone Desserts

    Hello, I made the Italian Christmas Pudding Cake (with panettone) a few times and it's amazing! thank you for inventing it! Truly life enhancing. Would it be ok to freeze slices of it? Thank you, Kerry.  

    On New Zealand tv, prior to Xmas 2015, Nigella made a dessert where she started by slicing up a panetonne and lining a tin. She then added other ingredients and baked it in oven. I didn't get the name of the recipe so would you be able to help me find it? 

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  • Chargrilled Peppers In Merguez Meatballs

    I want to make the Merguez Meatball recipe but do not have chargrilled peppers. Would a jar of sun dried peppers work or would this ruin the recipe please? Thanks. Barbara

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  • Hot Chile Ginger And Garlic Sauce

    Hi there, I just got Simply Nigella for Christmas and I love it! It is my 7th Nigella cookbook and I use them all frequently with excellent results. I have already made several successful dishes from this cookbook but the Chile, Ginger And Garlic Sauce was painfully hot and spicy! I wonder if the amounts might be incorrect? Living in Canada, I had to change the 4 ounces given into 100 grams of chiles, but I believe that is correct and that is what I used: 2 packets of 50 grams each of fresh Thai red chiles. Thank you very much. Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year! Deborah.

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  • Making Vanilla Fudge

    I've made the Vanilla Fudge recipe twice, the first time it was absolutely perfect! Lovely crumbly melt in the mouth fudge just the way I like it. Second time not so great. It's definitely fudge but it' the creamy bendy kind, not at all crumbly, I'm so disappointed! I did everything the same as the first time, can anyone tell me why this batch didn't get that crumbly texture?

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