For TV Chefs week I decided to take a different angle… those celebrity chefs who I like and admire, well, I already make quite a bit of their food. So I decided to take a closer look at a chef who I don’t really get why she is so popular: Nigella Lawson. I have watched her cooking shows and looked at her cookbooks and always thought, “meh”. But I wondered, am I being too hasty in my judgement? The best way to test this theory out was to cook some of her recipes. So I did.
Recipe 1: One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage
This looked quite yucky. And the cooking time for the recipe (1hour and 15 mins at 220C) had me worried that it would dry the chicken out quite considerably. I was right. And that was after I lowered the temperature to 180C and cooked for an hour.
I wasn’t sure this would stand up on its own as a meal – and quite frankly I don’t count onion in my vegetable quota for the day – so I served it with roasted potato and carrot (coasted in mustard, yum!) and peas and corn.
It was OK. An average kind of meal. But I wouldn’t make it again.
Recipe 2: Chicken alla cacciatora
Ben was really excited for this one. He loved the chicken cacciatore risotto I made a while back and thought that this recipe would be of a similar nature. The recipe actually turned out really watery for me. I am not sure why because I followed it exactly! Again, it was average. It tasted OK, but didn’t have that lovely, rich tomato flavour that you expect with a cacciatore recipe.
Conclusion? I think Nigella offers up really basic recipes that are designed to be simple and for the family to make on a mid-week meal. And that is fine. I just wouldn’t buy a cookbook for that when I could just buy a food magazine for $3 and get the same suggestions.