Monday, 3 September 2007

Nigella Express: delayed

Nigella Express premiered tonight on BBC2 at 8:30pm, just in time for the book by the same name to be published on 6 September.

The PR surrounding Nigella, which has traditionally played up her sexy, sensuous side, is back in action:

Nigella Lawson cooks up fabulous fast food and reveals incredible short cuts and brilliant time-saving ideas, in Nigella Express. She covers every real-life cooking eventuality, from breakfast, lunch and dinner to parties and food on the go. Viewers can hit the kitchen running with these great recipe ideas.

Each episode is different, with some based around one meal and others around themes ranging from "speedy suppers" to "razzle dazzle", delivering recipes with a wow factor for when there’s no time to slave over a hot stove.

With delicious, yet simple, recipes, this is a new generation of fast food that everyone will want to cook and eat.

Delicious - yes. Her recipes are tempting - roasted poussin and sweet potatoes and a salad with wasabi dressing, fried calamari, and caramel chocolate croissants (a glorified bread and butter pudding). But is it really responsible to claim that this is 'food that everyone will want to cook and eat'?

The quick answer: no.

While it may taste nice to douse chicken in oil before roasting, it's completely unnecessary. And the salad for four called for four tablespoons of oil.

I personally love calamari, but it should not be offered as a quick night's meal.

Pork and gnocchi with a creamy mustard sauce sounds really exciting - gnocchi was an inspired choice - and quite special for a night in for one, but eating two pork chops is simply insane - why not eat more vegetables? Or save one pork chop for the next day's lunch.

The final nail - or stone, after these meals - in the coffin was the caramel croissant bread and butter pudding, touted as a main course, no less!

I'm not against indulgence - on special occasions. But these indulgences struck me as unnecessary, even gratuitous. And she took cabs everywhere she went - why not take a walk? or the tube?

I will keep the roasted poussin with a wasabi-dressing salad up my sleeve for a sunny afternoon lunch - it sounds lovely. But I won't use nearly as much oil, and I am confident it will still taste amazing.


Anonymous said...

Oh my God! You are sooo jealous!

Charles said...

Whats there to be jealous of, Nigella obviously eats too many and too much of her own creations and i must admitt i find her tones sickly not erotic!

Jen said...

Definitely not jealous of Nigella! I'm sure it's lovely to be able to afford a lot of what she cooks, but cooking should be practical and indulgent sometimes, but surely not all the time?

vic said...

I totally agree with this post. Nigella is not helping a nation of people who are already on a downwards spiral in the nutrition department - she's making it worse.

Anonymous said...

You people have no idea... it is not the food that Nigella cooks that makes all nations fat, it is the 'fish and greasies', the rich Indian, the huge slabs of pizza, and the Maccas and KFC that all countries seem to love to indulge in.

Nigella is shapely and there is nothing wrong with that at all... better than being totally obsessed with your weight and everything that goes in your mouth. Would you prefer to see a stick figure who refuses to eat what she cooks?

I love the way Nigella cooks, and she makes it an enjoyable experience. As for her tones... they are not erotic, or sickly, they are in fact quite poetic, which is more than I can say for some of the cooks and 'luvvlie jubblie' chefs on TV.

Don't like her... then don't watch her... there are many of us out there who still will no matter what you say.

Craig said...

I second the last poster. Nigella's smart and funny and sexy, and I love that she's not a food puritan. Calamari for supper is my idea of perfect.