Review: Nigella Lawson - Nigella Express

Monday, 3 November 2008

I got Nigella Express (ISBN - 0701181842) for christmas last year and have found that it's my general go-to book for quick, easy recipes.

Nigella Express is all about fast food for people who love eating but may not have time to prepare a big meal every day. This book coincided with Nigella's latest BBC television series and is a chunky 390 pages long with lots of beautiful glossy photos to go along with the recipes. Each chapter and recipe is accompanied by Nigella's trademark banter in which she puts across her view as both a cook and an eater.

There are 13 chapters:
(1) Everyday Easy - speedy suppers, day in, day out
(2) Workday Winners - weekday entertaining made easy
(3) Retro Rapido - time-warp favourites given the express twist
(4) Get Up and Go - breakfast at breakneck speed
(5) Quick Quick Slow - prepare ahead to save time later
(6) Against the Clock - no time? No problem
(7) Instant Calmer - super fast soul food
(8) Razzle Dazzle - give a party pronto
(9) Speedy Gonzales - Mexican-inspired moments
(10) On the Run - food for eating on the hoof, packed lunches and picnics
(11) Hey Presto - instant Italian
(12) Holiday Snaps - Christmas quickies
(13) Storecupboard SOS - how to cope when there's no time to go shopping

While these chapters are somewhat helpful it can be a bit difficult to navigate or remember where your favourite recipes are (that's where the helpful attached ribbon bookmark comes in handy). There's a very good variety of recipes from dinner for friends, breakfast on the go and twists on retro classics. There really is something for everyone.

My personal favourite recipes in Quick Chilli (with chorizo, cardamom and cumin to add a new dimension), Quesadillas (these are a fantastic speedy lunch dish), honeycomb, potato and mushroom gratin and I even made the instant pancake mix as a "gift in a jar." My all time favourite salad dressing is also from this book and is a wasabi-lime combination that is just delicious.

Nigella Express is well worth a read for a wide range of recipes and treats. There are still recipes that I can't wait to try (caramel croissant pudding and doughnut french toast - can you tell winter's kicking in?). A very good stand-by to have for quick meals with easy to find ingredients.


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