Nigella Lawson

Week 89: Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms

So I had a bit of a panic the other night and had to find the quickest thing I could possibly cook after work, and my go-to book on occasions like this is Nigella Express.

To make this for four you will need: 225g chestnut mushrooms, 80ml extra virgin olive oil, 1tbs Maldonado salt, 1 small clove of garlic, juice and zest 1 lemon, 1tsp fresh thyme leaves, 500g linguine, fresh parsley, 2-3 tbs freshly grated Parmesan, and pepper.  As usual I halved the ingredients because I was just cooking for the two of us.

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The method for this is simplicity itself.  Mix the oil, salt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and thyme in a large bowl.  Finely slice the mushrooms and mix them up in the solution and leave to steep for a bit.

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Cook the linguine like it says on the packet, drain it but retain some of the cooking water and put the pasta and water in with the mushrooms.  When I got to this stage I wished I’d used a bigger bowl, so I lobbed mine all back in the pan to toss around.

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Toss everything together, add the parsley, Parmesan and grind in some pepper and serve.

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I really wanted to like this, but I just didn’t.  Firstly I went slightly wrong, I completely forgot the lemon and left everything steeping in salty thyme-ey oil for 10 minutes until I remembered and added it.  The main problem was that it was just far too salty.  Crazily salty.  My lover could only finish half of his and that half went straight through him, I finished it but I didn’t feel to good after.

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I wanted to try it again with even less salt, but my lover has banned me from making it again! Can’t win em all…

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

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Week 86: Naan Pizza

A really quick recipe, but I don’t know how I’ve managed without a it all my life.  I like pizza, my favourites are from pizza express, but buying ones to cook at home are a bit hit and miss, and I’ve always shied away from making my own… Until now!

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Week 81: African Drumsticks

The eagle-eyed amoungst you will notice that rather than drumsticks, these are actually thighs… lest we forget that my lover has a perculiar aversion to eating meat off the bone, so here we are with thighs! There’s quite a bizarre reason for making this.  Every time I make Nigella’s teriyaki I can never find the recipe, so I call over to my lover to ask what page it is and he always says ’46’. It’s not on page 46, African drumsticks are, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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Week 80: Rib-Sticking Stir-Fry

Wham! And the dinners cooked! It’s been a while since I stir-fried anything, despite getting my wok out all the time.  We went off to a wedding at the weekend, and needed to have one last healthy meal so I could button my jacket! And no carbs so I was bound to loose 9 stone over night.  The pictures are a bit blurry this time, I was a tiny bit drunk when I got round to cooking…

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Week 76: Scallops with Thai-scented pea puree

I have no idea what a baby leek is. I’m assuming it’s a really really young one, but I can’t seem to be able to buy one. So I cracked open half a kilo of frozen peas and cooked this instead. Take that Jamie Oliver.

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Week 74: Flash-Fried Steak with White Bean Mash

I won’t lie to you, last week was a long, hard and tiring to make.  I also had Moussaka three times.  When it came to actually getting the pans out at the end of the week for some tomato-ey pasta I realised that I needed to add something new and quick to my week-night repertoire.  Something lightning quick I could whip up before sitting in my chair and watching Geordie Shore re-runs and Netflix boxsets with a pack of biscuits until bedtime when I get in from work.

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Week 66: Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

You’re probably sick of turkey, after many many portions of it over the last month.  I think we’re far enough passed twelfth night to be done with leftovers, even if you had a bird the size of a small car on the 25th.   (more…)

Week 61: Spanish Omelette

Ole! Nothing warms a December teatime more than eating something foreign. And simple food always tastes better, right? I had made myself the Gammon and Peas from Nigella’s Express book, and was flicking through the rest and liked the picture.

I do like a good omelette, with this one containing potatoes I didn’t have to do oven chips to go with it. Another bonus is that because you’re meant to eat it cold it’ll do 2 days – I’m not sure if I’m supposed to make it last 2 days, but we didn’t die…

To make this for 4 (or 8 if you’re doing a load more Tapas to go with it) you will need: 225g baby new potatoes, 4 eggs, 75g flame-roasted jarred peppers, 3 spring onions, 75g manchego/cheddar cheese, butter, oil, salt & pepper. You’ll need to finely chop the onions, roughly chop the peppers, and halve the potatoes.

Also, you’ll need a small-ish heavy bottomed frying pan that can go in the oven/under the grill – non of your plastic handles here!

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I always think these look like tongues…

Depending on your grill you’ll need to turn it on so its hot enough to finish off the omelette.  My grill needs about a weeks notice before doing a round of toast so I have to turn it on really early – but you might be able turn your on when you start frying the omelette.  Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, then drain them.  While they’re boiling grate the cheese, then whisk the eggs together in a bowl/a big jug. Throw in the peppers, onions, cheese and free potatoes, then season to taste.

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Heat 1 tsp of oil and a splash of oil in the frying pan, when it’s hot (but not crazily hot) pour the omelette mix in. Now apparently you don’t need to stir this, so didn’t. When my lover makes omelettes there’s grunting and pushing and alsorts – I quite like this sedate form of omelettry.

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After the omelette has cooked for 5 minutes move the pan under the grill to finish off.  This is instead of turning it over, which I guess would stop it being Spanish Omelette shaped.  Leave it under the grill for a few minutes until it’s pretty much set, then take it from under the grill and turn it upside-down onto a plate. If you can do it without burning yourself that would be great.

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Nigella says that the omelette will keep cooking as it cools down so you don’t need to worry if it’s a bit wobbly in the middle – I can’t comment on this as mine came out a little charred, so there’s no way that bad boy was uncooked when I turned it out.  Leave it to cool down the. Cut it into wedges.

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I even remembered to buy some salad!  I’d definitely make this again, nice and simple and really tasty – and I’ll have a crack at some other Spanish-y bits.

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

Week 60: Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

It was definitely the week for stew, I don’t think it stopped raining, and we wanted something hearty… We had Nigella out on the side and my lover picked this, and chickpeas are kind of hearty?

To make this for four you will need: 50g vermicelli, 500g bulgar wheat, teaspoon of cinnamon, sea salt, bay leaves, 350g chorizo, amontillado sherry, 100g soft dried apricots, 2 400g tins of chickpeas, 2 400g tins cherry tomatoes, pepper, and coriander (which I missed off)

If you use the full amount of bulgar wheat you’ll be able to feed an army, I used half the amount just for me and him and there was enough left over to feed four more.

This is really quick to make, which is most unlike a stew.  Start by warming 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a thick bottomed pan, when it’s warmed to about medium throw in the pasta and fry until they look like little bits of slightly scorched straw.

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Add the bulgar wheat and stir for two minutes then add the cinnamon, 2tsp of salt, a litre of water and two bay leaves. Bring to the boil then turn it down to the lowest heat and leave (lidded) to absorb for about 15 minutes.

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Cut the chorizo into coins and then cut them in half.  Heat a second heavy bottom pan and fry the chorizo until the orange juice runs out. Add 4 tablespoons of the sherry and let it bubble for a minute or two.  Wash the chickpeas and cut up the apricots and throw them in with the canned tomatoes, half fill each tomato tin with water, swill it round then pour it in to the pan. Turn the heat up high and bubble for 5 minutes.  I completely forgot about the water, but i don’t think it affected it much.

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By now the bulgar wheat should be done, so turn the gas off and give it a fork around to loosen it up, then serve with the stew and an artistic sprinkling of corriander.

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I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with it, but it just didn’t quite work in my mouth. I don’t like baked beans (never have, I know weird right?) and the tomatoes and chickpeas tasted a bit baked-bean-y for me. Also, it was a bit sweet for my sour tooth (I think next time I’d leave out the apricots) and I had to slum it with posh chorizo from Waitrose and they went really rubbery, and I’ve decided that I don’t like cinnamon in bulgar wheat… So it wasn’t the most successful meal I’ve ever made… But I’m sure you’ll love it!

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I thought I’d pop it in for this weeks Fiesta Friday – just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not great for a cosy winter ‘do’. Chin chin!

 

Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)

Nigella Kitchen