Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Nigella Express Is Here!

Nigella Lawson’s long awaited new book has been published in the UK – Nigella Express. As a huge Nigella fan I’m so pleased to have a new book, and this one is easily as good as her others. It’s done on a different theme, being mostly fast cooking or fast action in the kitchen followed by a non-hands on spell in the oven for example. Most recipes have pictures too, so it’s very bright and colourful.

When Feast (her last book) was published it didn’t leave my cooking pile for about a year (the pile I cook from as opposed to read), and I’m expecting this new one to be no different! For this reason I’m not going to post all the recipes, as really I’m not sure how I’d stand posting half a book (indeed maybe more..) on my blog. So what I’ve decided to do is post recipes that are already out there either in magazines or online.

I think this book will fit in with my lifestyle well, because often I want something for my supper that tastes like I’ve had an afternoon in the kitchen, when in reality I can only get to cook that way once or maybe twice a week. I’m definitely not too busy too cook; but I don’t have the time to have a leisurely potter round the kitchen everyday, and really who does?

I’ve cooked three recipes from Nigella Express so far Caramel Croissant Pudding, Mustard Pork Chops with Gnocchi and Cherry Cheesecake.

1. The caramel croissant pudding was easy (as long as you are comfortable with making a caramel) and delivered in the comfort stakes with the lovely flavours of caramel and bourbon in this spin on a regular bread pudding. Nigella said it would serve 2 as supper in its entirety, but my portion was about a sixth, which was enough to feel that I’d had something very yummy for pudding. Everyone else liked it too.

2. The next one I might not have made haad I not seen Nigella cook it on the first eposide of her TV series to accompany the book. It’s pork chops flash fried then the pan deglazed with cider and mustard and cream is added to for the sauce. I tossed in optional gnocchi as after it had floated to the top of the water it had cooked in. I didn’t add any vegetables, but next time will just do a pan of green (French) beans as well, as I did miss a bit of veg! The taste was easily the best sauce of this kind that I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few. The gnocchi was also the best tasting gnocchi I’ve ever made at home, the little potato dumpling were delicious in the creamy-cider- mustard sauce, how they love that cream! It’s a revelation to realise that once you’ve done this recipe you are just 15 minutes away from a really delicious comforting supper that tastes like you’ve slaved over a hot stove for ages!

3. Finally to the cheesecake, I would admit straight off that I prefer uncooked cheesecake to cooked, it’s not that there is anything wrong with a cooked one, and I do do one cooked cheesecake that is really fabulous, but it is often a bit more dense than I want it to be. This one is a processor base, then a whisked topping with cream folder through it, left in the fridge to set, and finally spread some Dalfour black cherry fruit as the topping just before serving. It wasn’t too sweet, and I liked it, in all it’s retro beauty. In the book Nigella has it pictured on one of her LK black cake stands and very pretty it looks too. Me? I’m a pink girl!……………More Nigella Express coming soon!
Caramel Croissant Pudding
From Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson
Serves 2 greedy people
2 stale croissants
100g caster sugar
2 x 15ml tbsp water
125ml double cream
125ml full-fat milk
2 x 15ml tbsp bourbon
2 eggs, beaten
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
2 Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval one with a capacity of about 500ml.
3 Put the caster sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over a medium to high heat.
4 Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away, without stirring, until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.
5 Turn the heat down to low and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – and, whisking away, the milk and bourbon. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over a low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs. Pour the caramel bourbon custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes if the croissants are very stale.
6 Place in the oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.


Nora B. said...

Your two most recent post is an interesting contrast - cooking yourself thin, and then this post with these fabulous desserts! ;-) I like Nigella so I'll have to check if the book has been released here.

Anonymous said...

Hey KJ!!! How come??? You have had the book when, two hours ago and already these recipes??? Bless you my dear, i wish i lived near you, i could be at your table toooo often!

Brava Kelly Jane, you're a great source of inspiration...and the cheesecake is on my list for the one of the next evening cooking session!


Deborah said...

I just had to check on amazon to see if that book is available in the US - not until November 1st. Oh well - I'll be waiting anxiously until then.

Cynthia said...

You've done an excellent job recreating some of the dishes and can't wait to see the others.

Elle said...

What decadent, delicious recipes. That cheesecake in particular looks so beautiful with the dark cherries.

Lydia said...

You'll have to keep cooking from this book until we can get it here in the US and try the recipes ourselves!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

These look wonderful K-J but I must resist her book. I'm on a Cook Book Diet at the moment. No more cook books allowed for a few months.

annauk said...

KJ, you give me hope that I will grow to love 'Nigella Express' !!!



Lynn said...

Congrats on your new addition to the bookshelf. It looks like it's a winner! I love all the dishes you made here - I'd go for the croissant pudding first. Yummy!

Shaun said...

Kelly-Jane - Talk about enthusiastic! The book is barely hot off the press and you've already cooked three recipes from it?! Wow. I wonder if there is a simultaneous release of the book in New Zealand. I will check upon my return next week. A shame you didn't like 'Feast' as much; I think it is wonderful and do cook from it.

Peabody said...

Boooo...I have to wait a few months.

veron said...

I don't own a Nigella cookbook yet but i think that might change. Which one among her books will you recommend? I made one of her recipes from an F&W magazine and I loved it. It was easy to prepare for a crowd and had a lot of flavor. All the 3 recipes you have here looks amazing!

Belinda said...

Oh, wow! The whole meal looks so delicious, and I love the sound of the mustard pork chops...I've been trying to add several new pork chop recipes to my limited repertoire this year! Isn't it fun to get a much anticipated new cookbook, and then actually fall in love with lots of the recipes too?! :-)

Glossy said...

I'm buying this book on pay day - tomorrow!!! I can't wait. I love Nigella. I went to look at it in a book shop yesterday, it looks lovely. That croissant pudding looks divine.

Truffle said...

These look amazing- particularly that pudding. I made a croissant pudding a year ago and just loved it! Can't wait to try this one.

Sandy said...

Kelly-Jane, they all look great! I'm very curious about that gnocchi sauce with pork chops.
I can't wait for the book's release in Canada.

Kate said...

Hey these look wonderful.I've been waiting for her book as well n checking with her website . I'll order it online right away .
The caramel croissant pudding has got my mouth water .

Mandy said...

wow, it's great to see some reviews on the recipes in this book before it hits the shelf in US!

Valli said...

Nigella you're awesome!!I haven't seen her new book out as yet, but, then I haven't looked either. With the posts you have on your blog it seems like it is a must have for my evergrowing collection!!!

Kelly-Jane said...

Nora, Well I try to balance out what I eat, I'm not saying I always manage, but I give it a go ;)

Claudia, Great to see you :)Hope you like the cheesecake!

Deborah, Even though we have it now, the wait has been very long!

Cynthia, thank you, more coming soon!

Elle, thank you :)

Lydia, will do :)

Amanda, Cook Book Diet, I like it :)

Anna, you never know!

Lynn, it was a great 'bread' pudding.

Shaun, I hope you get it soon :) I've edited what I wrote about Feast, cooking pile means the pile I actually use! I still love Feast :)

Peabody, it won't be long...

Veron, I'm a big Nigella fan :)

Belinda, the pork chops were so good, and easily do-able on a weeknight :)

Glossy, hope you love Nigella's new book :)

Truffle, the caramel custard was an inspired addition to the croissant pudding, mmm!

Sandy, not too long now :)

Kate, it has been so long since her last book!

Hi Mandy, thank tou for stopping by :) more Express comin soon coming!

Valli, it's out in the UK now, and worldwide later...


Margaret said...

I got Nigella's book just as they were putting them onto the bookshelf in the shop! Haven't cooked anything from it yet though. All the dishes you have cooked look amazing.

Anonymous said...

hi what did nigella say when squeezing a lemon , with a gleeful look and said something like "i like a good...., i missed the programme but everyone was talking about what she said. anyone know?