Sunday, October 28, 2007
A weekend with Nigella
It's nice to be home for the weekend with a real fall nip in the air. Perfect for doing some homecooking. I've been a huge fan of Nigella Lawson ever since I saw her first television cooking show. I love her sense of humour about cooking and she has the same reverence for frozen peas and Marmite that I do. I tested out her latest book Nigella Express this weekend with four recipes - all of which turned out great. Friday night, I made her Cheddar Cheese Risotto - the perfect comfort food! Then it was on to her Cocktail Sausage recipe. Be honest with yourself - have you ever cooked chicken wings at home? Of course not - they are a pain to clean and coat and cook. Nigella goes one better. These sausages are baked in a sticky coating of honey, sesame oil and soy sauce (I threw in some chili flakes for a bit of heat) and they are SO delicious. I used regular beef sausages (you can confidentally substitute with Nigella's recipes) and depending on the time of day that you cook these, you can either mop up the excess sauce with toast, or as I did, boil up some linguine, cut up the sausages, add some green onions and pour the whole gooey mess on top of the pasta. Absolutely yummy. For Sunday brunch, I tried her Orange French Toast (delicious), and then for my Sunday afternoon treat, her Chocolate Pear Pudding. So simple. None of this cutting up and soaking pears in brandy for ten days - you just open up a can of tinned pears, mix up a chocolatey batter, pour over the pears and bake. It takes about ten minutes of prep and thirty minutes of baking while you're reading a book on the sofa. Your reward is a light spongey cake which you can serve with the chocolate sauce that Nigella provides a recipe for, or just some vanilla ice cream. There are lots of other great recipes in here to try. Her Eton Mess - a jumble of strawberries and whipped cream - and her Pea and Pesto Soup, and Potato and Mushroom Gratin all have my tastebuds watering (the photographs in this book are wonderful). Rosalyn is the real chef and baker of our group, but if you are the type of "cook" that wants quick, easy recipes that don't require a lot of ingredients, then Nigella is definately for you. Plus, how can you resist a celebrity chef who was once a Booker judge?