Oh how we ADORE Kitty Williams – and you do too. Remember the lockdowns scrolls that went wildly viral and had us buying up the entire country’s reserves of cream cheese? It was the moment that changed Kitty’s life – and now, a few years and many thousands of followers later, Kitty’s Kitchen has morphed from Instagram to the world of cookbooks.
“It truly feels like a lifetime ago,” she says of our last chat at the height of scroll mania (what a term). “I honestly didn’t believe this was all happening until I had the physical copy of the book in my hands haha. It is all very surreal.
“Life has changed drastically! From feeling confused about what to do in terms of work and being seriously unmotivated to then building a huge following, generating lots of work and finding my feet. It’s been a wild ride! I honestly feel like I have found my purpose in life. Everything to do with Kitty’s Kitchen does not seem like a job. I find it so fun, creative and enjoyable. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!”
Now her food philosophy ‘just a little bit naughty’, which so resonated with our lockdown selves, has found its way to Kitty’s first cookbook, aptly subtitled, you guessed it, Just a Little Bit Naughty.
“The recipes are comfort food at its finest but easy to make. The philosophy behind my book is to enjoy food, enjoy your cravings and live your life to the fullest!”
Here’s what you can expect from Kitty’s Kitchen – available on September 29 at all good booksellers
CARAMELISED ONION MAC & CHEESE WITH HERBY, GARLICKY BREADCRUMBS
Good old mac and cheese never disappoints, but let me tell you — adding caramelised onions gives it another layer of depth. It is so yum!
4 onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup flour
4 cups milk
1 cup grated mozzarella, plus extra to scatter
1 cup grated Colby cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
Herby, garlicky breadcrumbs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place a large pan over a low to medium heat. Place in the first measure of butter (50g), and once melted, add the onions and the salt (the salt helps draw moisture out of the onions). Keep stirring the onions. Once they are translucent, add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir for a further 15 minutes or until the onions have reduced by half and are caramelised. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the macaroni. Follow the packet instructions to cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, then set aside.
To make the herby, garlicky breadcrumbs, place a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the breadcrumbs, garlic, dried herbs and thyme. Keep consistently stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, then set aside.
Place a large, deep pan (big enough to hold the pasta) over a low to medium heat. Add second measure of butter (150g). Once melted, add flour slowly while whisking constantly. Slowly start adding the milk, whisking constantly. The sauce will start to thicken. Add the starchy water, then whisk until well combined. Add the mozzarella, Colby, Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until smooth then stir through the caramelised onions.
Add the pasta to the sauce, then stir through. Pour the pasta into a baking dish. Top with extra mozzarella then pop it into the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes until it is bubbling and the cheese has melted and turned a golden brown colour.
Remove from oven, sprinkle over the herby, garlicky breadcrumbs, then devour.
STICKY FRIED CHICKEN BURGERS
This burger is my absolute favourite — it’s naughty, indulgent and hits the spot every time!
1 cup cornflour
1 egg, whisked
3 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
500ml vegetable oil for frying
butter for spreading
3 sesame brioche burger buns
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons sriracha
1/8 of an iceberg lettuce, finely sliced
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon Cajun spice
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
Sticky chicken sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Place cornflour and egg into two separate bowls. In the third bowl, put the flour mix ingredients, along with seasoning, and stir.
Grab a chicken thigh and start by coating it in cornflour and shaking off any excess. Then dunk it into the egg, then coat the chicken in the flour mix.
Place a medium-sized pan over a medium to high heat with the vegetable oil. Run your fingers under the tap and flick the water into the hot oil. If it crackles, then you’re good to go! Chuck the chicken in and cook until golden brown, crispy and succulent (about 10–15 minutes).
Combine the sticky chicken sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Remove the fried chicken from the oil and set aside. Place a pan over a medium heat and add the sticky chicken sauce. Cook for 3–4 minutes. The sauce should bubble and start to caramelise. Now chuck the fried chicken into the sticky sauce and coat well.
While the chicken is cooking, butter the brioche buns and toast in a griddle pan until the buns have nice charred marks.
Put the mayo and sriracha into a small bowl, stir, then set aside.
Let’s assemble! Place a dollop of sriracha mayo on both sides of each bun. Top with sticky fried chicken, then a generous handful of crunchy lettuce. Chuck the lid on top, then devour!
NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
This cheesecake recipe is one of my favourites — it’s so creamy and delish! You can always switch up the berries, too — raspberries or blueberries both work wonderfully. You will need to start making this recipe at least five to six hours before you wish to serve it (the day before is ideal) to give it time to set in the fridge.
Makes 1 small–medium cake
300g digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
500g white chocolate
200g mascarpone cheese
250g cream cheese
pinch of salt
200g frozen strawberries
50g fresh strawberries, sliced
Line a small to medium-sized round springform baking tin with baking paper.
Put the digestive biscuits into a large snap-lock bag. Seal the bag and make sure there is no air left inside. Place the biscuit-filled bag onto a chopping board. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the biscuits until they are crumbed.
Transfer the biscuits into a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined. Pour the biscuit mix into the prepared baking tin. Press down on the biscuits using the back of a metal spoon. The biscuits should feel firm. Whack into the freezer.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, then turn the heat down so it becomes a light simmer. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot. Break up the chocolate with your hands and add to the bowl. Keep stirring consistently until the chocolate is shiny and beautifully melted.
Put the mascarpone, cream cheese and cream into another bowl. Whisk together. Remove the glass bowl from the simmering pot of water and wait for the chocolate to cool down before adding it to the cream cheese mixture, otherwise it will make the cheesecake lumpy rather than nice and smooth. Add the cheese mixture to the cooled melted chocolate. Whisk until well combined. Add a pinch of salt. This part is crucial!
Grab the baking tin from the freezer. Add a handful of frozen strawberries on top of the biscuit base. Pour half of the filling over the berries. Add more berries, then pour the remaining filling over them. Finish by arranging the fresh strawberries on top.
Whack it into the fridge for at least 5–6 hours — overnight is ideal.