I’ve read to the end of Nigella Express now, and have marked 129 recipes! There are 4 drinks and a couple of salad dressings but the rest are all full recipes. I was thinking can I seriously blog so much from one book? So I’ve thought and thought some more, and what I’ve come up with is to blog the 129 recipes as a kind of project, these are not ALL the recipes in the book, just the ones I’ve chosen.
I’ll still do other things, you can’t have a cook book habit like me and only cook from one book - and of course there has to be space for cakes and also the escapades of the lovely Daring Bakers too =) I hope you all think this sounds like a good idea! What do you think?
So I’ve numbered the recipes in my previous Express post and will number them from here on in as I post pictures and blog my Express ventures casually, two or three recipes at a time. I feel a bit bemused / amused with myself going down the fast food avenue. Mind you Nigella herself draws the distinction of Nigella Express being real food fast for people who love food. I begin my journey in earnest. Please come and join me =)
So here is the next instalment, Quick Chilli, Chef’s Salad and Instant Chocolate Mousse.
4. Quick Chilli brought to things to my kitchen that have never made their way in before – bought tomato and vegetable pasta sauce from a jar and spicy beans from a tin! What these did along with minced beef, chorizo sausage and spices was make a chilli in 20-30 minutes, on the table and ready to warm you up. Now don’t get me wrong I love real slow simmered chilli and chilli con carne, but when I want comfort food on a weeknight it’s this type of dish I crave or lasagne that’s the other one, oh and Shepherd’s pie… but I’m drifting away here. You get the picture a slow cooked nurturing and feeding savoury dish, but no real time to cook it in. This quick version didn’t have the depth of a long simmered one, but it did have a good flavour and a comforting and somehow less heavy feeling to it, which was really what I was asking of it. I think Hubby was pretty surprised that he got chilli for his supper, on a night when I was really just about beyond making supper of any kind! One thing I will change though is to halve the cinnamon in the spices from ½ teaspoon to a quarter as it was a little strong for me, but tinkering of this sort is what makes a recipe your own.
5. Chef’s Salad is an iceberg lettuce salad with cheese, ham, avocado and sweetcorn kernels, dressed with a red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. I thought it was good, but I shaved the cheese instead of grating it and I do think this was a mistake, every forkful would have had cheese if I’d have grated it as Nigella suggested. I’m not sure about the iceberg lettuce here, I like iceberg, but I wasn’t so keen on it with the red wine dressing, I’ll do this again, and maybe try white balsamic vinegar instead. I forgot to defrost ham to cube, so I just piled up some slices deli ham and sort of cubed it but it seemed to work quite well, I guess it all tastes the same anyhow…
6. Instant Chocolate Mousse. I am a girl for chocolate mousse, and when I saw Nigella make this on TV it looked so luscious that I had to try it. Now the will I won’t I factor came about because what makes this ‘ instant’ is some marshmallows melted with the butter and chocolate. I mean marshmallows in a 70% chocolate mousse? Well it does seem to work, it seems to give the mousse more substance, and indeed it does only need a few minutes in the fridge. If it’s left in the fridge over night it’s too solid for my tastes, but left out to have the chill taken off it again and it was fine again. I’m not saying I’ll abandon all my other mousses that I like, but if someone turns up for supper unexpectedly this could easily be whipped up in 10 minutes for a deeply chocolate-y dessert. Or maybe just if the craving for a full on chocolate pudding strikes! Nigella says 4-6 servings, I would go 6-8 as it was really intense, and no-one would suspect the marshmallows!