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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

  • Ham For Christmas

    Hi, can I cook the Ham In Coca Cola with cinimmon, apples and onion christmas eve, and then coat/ glaze the ham the day after? if so what would you recommend?  

    I'd like to make Nigella's Gammon In Cola, but they don't sell gammon here in Portugal. The closest I can think of is the lower, uncured half of a pork's leg. Will this do? Anything else we can get here is a sort of heavily pressed unpleasant thing they calll 'ham' (fiambre).

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  • Nigella's Christmas Utensils

    In Nigella's Christmas book there is a lovely jug which is cream with holly on it and a brown handle. I would really like one and wondered where it came from or is it, maybe, a family heirloom? Thank you anyway for a brilliant website.  

    In Nigella's Christmas book on page 47 there are 3 cake stands. I am would love to purchase some, can you help?  

    Hi, in Nigella's Christmas on page 152 there is a picture of 3 Scandinavian/Nordic red star shaped candles, can you tell me what brand they are and where can I buy them from please? Many thanks, Kym121

    I would like to find the wire strainer Nigella uses in her TV series. It looks like it is made from chicken wire.

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  • Pies In Advance

    Hello, I would very much like to make the Egg And Bacon pie for Boxing Day, but am wanting to make it in advance by at least a few days. How long will it keep in the fridge once made? Also, would I be able to freeze it, before or after cooking? Or would this impare the taste? If it were frozen after being cooked, would I need to reheat it after thawing or not? Finally, as a cheat, would it be possible to use ready made pastry from the supermarket? Thanks.

    I made the Nigella Apple Pie last year on Christmas Day and it was very popular, however as time is tight this year I was wondering if it is possible to make the pie early and freeze it? Pam4

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  • Brining Whole Turkey and Crowns

    Hi, I'm planning a double roast for Christmas Lunch this year; turkey and a gammon joint. For practicality, a turkey crown would be better, leaving enough room in the oven for other things. Nigella's Spiced and Superjuicy Turkey brining recipe is a favourite of mine, but can I do the same thing with a turkey crown? Thanks very much for your help. Gilly, Truro.   

    Hello, I am making the Spiced and Superjuicy Turkey for Christmas dinner. I made it 2 weeks ago and it was delicious with no leftovers! For a big Chrismas dinner I will be making it the day before. How do I store it in the fridge and heat it up so it is still super juicy and moist? Thanks!

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  • Pan Sizes for Yule Log/Holiday Hot Cake

    What size Swiss roll tin should I use for Nigella's Buche de Noel/Yule Log recipe?

    Could you suggest a baking dish for the Holiday Hot Cake recipe, not really sure what to use. Many thanks.

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  • Nut Substitutes In Christmas Cake

    I am making a Christmas cake but need to omit any nuts. Will it wreck the recipe to leave nuts out altogether? Or will it alter the baking time and eventual consistency of cake if I substitute more dried fruits in place of the nuts? Thanks, Anne.

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  • Too Late To Make Christmas Cake

    Is it too late to cook the Easy Action Christmas Cake for this Christmas (2013)? I fear I may have left it too late. If it is too late, what about the Gloriously Golden Cake; is it too late for that also? And can the latter be iced or is a nut 'top' the better option? Thanks

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  • Heating Christmas Pudding

    We're making Nigella's Christmas pudding this year but we will be taking it to my new daughter-in-law's parents for Christmas Day. There will be a crowd so the hostess doesn't want a pudding steaming away for the final stage of cooking when she's got so much else to do. Should we do the final stage of steaming beforehand and re-heat with microwave on the day? If so, for how long and at what temperature? Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated. Molly,Mid-Wales  

    On Christmas Day could I microwave the pudding rather than steaming for 3 hours? Laurence 1.

    I've always wondered why Christmas pudding has to be steamed again on Christmas day. Why can't it be gently reheated in the oven while we're all eating the turkey? I've just made the ultimate Christmas Pudding, which smells wonderful with the lovely sherry, and it's now steaming for five hours. Can I steam it for eight hours and then reheat in the oven? (I realise this email won't be answered while my pudding is steaming now, but I would be interested in knowing. I will follow the instructions as given.) Thank you, Christine.  

    For Christmas lunch I do not have a spare hob to further steam the pud. If after previously steaming for 8 hourat what setting can I microwave the pudding for, and how many minutes. Thanks.   

    I have made the CHristmas Pudding and am slightly nervous. The pudding rose during the first five hour steaming to make contact with the lid of the pudding basin: virtually no room left in the bowl for further expansion. Now, when cooled, the pudding has receded into the basin once more and has sucked the lid down with it. Should I release the vacuum that has formed, or leave it? Will the pudding regain its rather spectacular dimensions on Christmas day when it is due a further three hours of steaming? I'm slightly concerned that it looked really light and fluffy during initial steaming (for a Christmas pudding) and that now it has shrunk, it looks a lot heavier. Any expertise greatly appreciated. Dornfield.

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