Nigella Express

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Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson drops by with recipes for tasty fast food in her latest cookbook. Nigella Express is full of ideas for preparing quick and delicious meals from a well-stocked pantry.

Caramel Croissant Pudding
(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
Serves two

2 stale croissants
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons bourbon
2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

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 2 cups for this.

3. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the burner over medium to high heat.

4. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns into a deep amber color; this will take 3-5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.

5. Turn heat down to low and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – and, whisking, the milk and bourbon. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over 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 preheated over for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.

Maple Chicken ‘n’ Ribs
(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
Serves 6-8

12 pork spareribs
12 chicken thighs, skin and bone still on
1 cup apple juice, as sharp as possible
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, halved
6 unpeeled cloves garlic

1. Put the ribs and chicken pieces in a couple of large freezer bags or into a dish.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients, squelching or tossing everything together well before sealing the bags or covering the dish.

3. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight or up to two days.

4. Take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 400°F.

5. Pour the contents of the freezer bag into 1 or 2 large roasting pans (making sure the chicken is skin side up), place in the preheated oven, and cook for about 1 ¼ hours, by which time everything should be sticky and glossed chestnut brown.

(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
Serves 4-6

1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint Agur blue cheese
¼ cup sour cream
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup sliced pickled green jalapenos from a jar
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
¼ teaspoon paprika
Large bag of blue corn tortilla chips

1. Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl.

2. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.

3. Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions.

4. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in.

Music break: Tema de Oscar by Berto Pisano