Nadiya Hussain’s Time to Eat is a great addition to my cookbook collection. I love the premise, that we can find ways to cook smarter and save time. My favorite thing about the food is the creativity and the great balancing of flavors. Nadiya really stretches sometimes and does unusual things, and she usually pulls it off. Her sense of taste and balance is very clear. She also uses spices that aren’t my everyday go-to spices, which is fun and interesting for me. There is a LOT of spice when she says spicy, though, so this is not a book for a delicate palate.
Nadiya, before winning The Great British Baking Show and becoming this incredible food writer and television star, was a stay-at-home parent. After reading an interview she gave where she talked about her anxiety attacks, I had to go back and re-watch her series of GBBO. I just wanted to see her from the beginning of this public life she has, to see her growing in confidence. It did not disappoint! She was down to earth, kind and a little scared, all of which makes her so relatable. And she kicked butt!
I made: Tatty cakes (p. 49), Fried bread with raspberry honey (p. 52), Beef and kimchi instant noodles (p. 78), Teriyaki salmon with mango salsa (p. 128), Thai red pepper soup (p. 130), Shortcut beef pasties (p. 150), Grandmama’s Curry (p. 158), Chorizo fish stew with garlic bread (p. 168), “Tandoori” oven chicken with browned butter rice (p. 178), Banana tarte tatin with malai ice cream (p. 217), Chocolate and orange blossom baklava (p. 220), Cereal milk ice cream (p. 224), Chocolate rose panna cotta tart (p. 225).
Would make again: Fried bread with raspberry honey (p. 52), Beef and kimchi instant noodles (p. 78), Teriyaki salmon with mango salsa (p. 128), Shortcut beef pasties (p. 150), Grandmama’s Curry (p. 158), Chorizo fish stew with garlic bread (p. 168), “Tandoori” oven chicken with browned butter rice (p. 178), Chocolate and orange blossom baklava (p. 220).
Standout Star Recipe: Beef and kimchi instant noodles (p. 78). The huge amount is great. Once you have this paste (that keeps for two months in the fridge), you can throw a tablespoon in a jar with a handful of instant noodles or leftover cooked noodles or cooked rice, frozen peas and/or corn, cooked chicken or sliced beef jerky. Five minutes later, you have a meal! It’s really good, you know all the ingredients, and it’s as easy as can be! Be warned, though, the spice paste is spicy as heck.
Runner up: Chorizo fish stew with garlic bread (p. 168). I’m very excited when I find recipes for fish that aren’t too fishy. This is a delicious spicy tomato broth, with chorizo and also smoked salmon in addition to white fish. Fantastic.
I also do just wanna call out Grandmama’s Curry (p. 158). I am so happy to have this in my fridge (and freezer). The paste keeps for 6 months, and it makes it crazy easy to make a really healthy and delicious meal with whatever I have on hand. It makes a LOT, though, so I recommend halving the recipe.
Tips and Tricks:
- The Shortcut beef pasties (p. 150) are great. But, it’s also a great reminder that you can take almost anything and wrap it in puff pastry and bake it and it will be amazing.
- I really liked Grandmama’s Curry (p.158) in some ways, BUT the shredded coconut in the soup was off-putting to me texturally. I’d skip that and the baby corn. Also, keep in mind that it makes a lot of curry paste! Enough for about 12 pots of curry.
- For a great weeknight curry: sauté a chopped yellow onion in a bit of canola oil until translucent, add diced chicken and brown if desired, add diced sweet potato and/or other vegetables, add 1/3 cup curry paste, 1 can coconut milk, salt and pepper, simmer until everything is cooked, then squeeze in half a lime and check seasoning. Add drained chickpeas 5 min before finished if desired. Serve over rice.
- If you make the Fried bread, turn on your hood fan! The whole house smelled like walking through a carnival food tent. A good smell, but not one I want in my bedroom. Also, though Nadiya says you can freeze it, it wasn’t as good. I’d make half if that’s as much as you want and just eat it that day.
- For me, the browned butter rice that goes with the “Tandoori” oven chicken (p.178) was just way too much fat and unnecessary. Feel free to halve the butter or just to make plain rice to go with the dish. The green apple and red onion salad on the side was amazing and fresh and delicious.
- The Chocolate and orange blossom baklava (p. 220) was even better on the second day. It will stay good for 1-2 weeks at room temperature.
- Personally, I’d skip no churn ice cream. I just don’t think it’s as good as what you can buy, and definitely not as good as what you can make at home using an ice cream maker.
Find Time to Eat, published in the U.S. by Clarkson Potter Publishers, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, wherever you buy books, order it from Amazon, or support independent bookstores and buy it on Bookshop!
Watch The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, Collection 3!
Seeing Nadiya win GBBO, yes, it had me crying. You’d have to be some kind of monster not to—it was so cute and sweet. What a journey.
A quick, fun watch to get to know her:
Nadiya has two shows on Netflix, Nadiya’s Time to Eat, and Nadiya Bakes. They’re so much fun. I highly recommend both, especially if you like old school cooking shows, where you actually watch someone explain how to make things.
If you love this book and want MORE Nadiya Hussain in your life, here are some of her other books to check out: