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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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  • Chickpeas With Rocket And Sherry

    The hero in Nigella's recipe for Chickpeas With Rocket And Sherry seems to be the "cream sherry". However, if you do not have any at home what would make a good substitute? Or is this recipe just not the same without the cream sherry? Many Thanks!

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Chickpeas With Rocket (arugula) And Sherry (from Nigella Express) is a quick side dish and the sherry forms a slightly thickened sauce around the chickpeas and wilted greens. So the sherry is an important flavour component of the dish, along with the cumin. Cream sherry is a dark, sweet sherry that is usually made from blending a dry sherry (such as Oloroso) with a very sweet sherry (such as Pedro Ximenez).

    If you have other sherries around the you could use a dry sherry and add a pinch or two of soft dark brown sugar instead. You may need to taste the dish a couple of times and adjust the sweetness to your own taste. For preference we would suggest using a dry Oloroso or Amontillado sherry. Otherwise another sweet fortified wine such as a sweet Marsala or a sweet Madiera would be the closest substitutes. Again if you only have the dry versions of Marsala or Madiera then use one of these with a pinch of sugar, as above. All fortified wines keep well in the storecupboard and so it is useful to have a bottle around for cooking.

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