Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast
What can I say about Nigella Lawson other than she’s quite amazing. She is famous for her velvety voice, her beauty enhanced by her curve-hugging outfits, and her ability to write. She is the author of many cookbooks, with Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast, being the one most used in my kitchen.
My husband started watching her cooking show before I did. He told me she was worth watching because, of course, her “food always looks so good.” I just couldn’t imagine my husband watching a cooking show. He’s the best grill master I know, but actually watching a cooking show? Hmm…I was definitely curious. And after watching the show the first time, I quickly understood why many referred to Nigella Lawson as the “Queen of Food Porn.” She’s looks amazing and er recipes are spot on!
My husband has reminded me of the many times of how after suggesting I prepare some of the recipes from her program, the results were pure deliciousness. Well he’d be right about the recipe suggestion part and about the deliciousness part, too. But he did leave out the part about what a talented writer Nigella is, but he doesn’t read cookbooks cover to cover the way I do. If he did, I’m certain he’d say she was great at that, too.
From My Collection
I own a few of Nigella Lawson’s books and have probably read them all (thank you to my local library). For baking, even thought this is not something I do much of, a favorite has to be How To Be A Domestic Goddess. With all the beautiful photos and accompanying stories, all written with great Nigella style and personality, I feel like I’ve enjoyed dessert without consuming all those calories I don’t need. Can’t beat it.
Then there’s my Kindle version of How to Eat. This is Nigella talking the basics and then some. Once again, her conversational writing style is spot on, and it’s a great read for us cookbook readers. The book covers the basics, but even more experienced cooks can find something new to learn. Pages of glossy photos of food won’t be found in this book as it is heavy on the text (perfect for me). So, you’ll have to use a little imagination to envision each dish when using How to Eat.
Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast
But the one I use most is Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast, This one came out about the time everyone was looking for a way to prepare meals easy and fast. Nigella met that need with this cookbook.
My favorite recipe by far and the one I use ALL THE TIME is her Home Made Instant Pancake Mix tweaked just a little by yours truly. Once I realized how easy this “master” mix was to prepare, Aunt Jemima needed to find a new residence as there’s no longer any room for her on my pantry shelf. A few other good ones is her simple Grilled Cheese and Slaw. I love he idea of adding apples to the slaw, and the mild nappa cabbage is perfect here. Her recipe for Mirin-Glazed Salmon is also quick and delicious. Mirin can be found at most any store in the International or Asian food section. Delicious!
My Favorite Quote from Nigella
Going back a few years, I remember reading an interview appearing in The Guardian around the time I received the cookbook, Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast. I loved what Nigella had to say about cooking and how it relates to life. There’s no way I could have said it any better.
“I have always believed that what is true in the kitchen is also true out of the kitchen (and, indeed vice versa). In other words, cooking is a metaphor for life. When you cook, you need structure and an understanding and acceptance of the rules that actually matter, but just as importantly you need to be able to loosen up and go with the flow.
If you want to cook well, you must not strive for perfection but, rather, acknowledge your mistakes and work out how you can rectify them: it is in rectifying your mistakes that you actually go on to make something you’re happy with, that is really your own. I firmly believe that although the “point” of cooking lies in the end result, its meaning resides in the process.
So, in life, you have to concentrate in the present, rather than fretting about the past or worrying about the future. Easier said than done (believe me) but cooking helps you learn that.
I know this is not true for everyone, but I feel that cooking is a way of strengthening oneself: not being able to feed oneself to me feels like a state of victimhood; being able to sustain oneself is the skill of the survivor. And I am no victim, but very much a survivor! Everyone should be, or make sure they become one.
I Remain a Loyal Fan
So maybe calling Nigella Lawson the “Queen of Food Porn” is appropriate. But I really liked her shows and I liked her recipes. I will always think of her as the quintessential Domestic Goddess. She never claimed to be a “real” chef, giving credit to those professionals who have studied the culinary arts, and I appreciate that. So with her recipes being simple to prepare (for the most part) with easy to obtain ingredients, what more do we need?