Nigella: not so scarily chic, delish domestic goddess
This chick is a real foodie. She's more than an inspiration. She's so friendly. Really. Nigella gets her fingers in the food, and she licks them too. She sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night for an illicit snack. Every word she writes zings my taste buds. And I have to give her book back today, borrowed from a friend, so I am posting my two *must try pre-Christmas (or all summer long)* recipes here:
So I remember:
Enjoying food, enjoying eating, isn't about graduating with honours from the Good Taste university. I'm not interested in pleasing food snobs or purists, or in eating just one type of food. Yes, I want whatever I eat to be good, but there surely is a place - and in my heart a fond one - for a bit of kitsch in the kitchen.
The trashy cook should not be stoveside too long without a drink in hand. And preferably this drink. You don't have to go overboard with the postmodern, anxiously ironic bit: this is ambrosia even for the good-taste gods.
The watermelon doesn't come frozen, by the way, engaging thought though that is: just buy it, slice it, chunk it, stuff it into suitable bags and stash them vibrantly in the freezer.
100ml (or to taste) Bacardi
juice of one good-sized lime
1 heaped tablespoon icing sugar
approx. ten 5cm cubes of watermelon
Put all ingredients in a blender and blitz to a pinkly foamy puree. Pour into two waiting marguerita glasses- and tip back, bangles jangling.
and Petits Pots aux Chocolats
(Renee has been raving about these. She makes them to indulge in a spoonful of rich, satiny sweetness after her divine Friday night curries, which I *know* we will sample again one weekend soon...)
Nigella explains: The method used to make them is ludicrously simple and done, necessarily, in advance. You just process the lot, pour them into small containers (coffee cups would be fine: there's no need to make a production out of it) and sit them in the fridge to set. This recipe makes 500 ml altogether.
175g best quality chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
150ml double cream
100ml full-fat milk
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp allspice
8 x 60ml pots (I'm thinking four cappuccino cups. Adults only. Or maybe the kids won't let me get away with that..)
Crush the chocolate to smithereens in the food processor. Heat the cream and milk until just about boiling, add the vanilla and allspice and pour through the funnel over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Process for 30 seconds, then crack the egg down the funnel and process for 45 seconds.
Pour into whatever little cups you're serving in, and sit them in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. But remember to take them out of the fridge a good 20 minutes before you want them to be eaten; the chill interferes with their luscious, silky richness.