Status: Stalking Nigella Lawson

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It’s Nigella Lawson week on Masterchef Australia here in India. In ode to the goddess, I thought I should dedicate this weeks' stalking to her.

 I can’t remember when I first came across Ms. Lawson, it must have been her cooking show on TV or something. It wasn’t love at first sight, well it was, I guess I should say it wasn’t stalker status at first sight, but you can bet your left ass I went and googled her the minute the show ended.

Apparently I'm not the only one with a slight addiction to her

Fun fact I love- her dad’s name is Nigel. Love it when that happens!  Like how the Bollywood actress Raveena is named after her dad Ravi and mom Veena... aaaaawwww.

More fun facts about Nigella here

I’ve followed her (Nigella, not Raveena) consistently since then though, watching most of her shows and even buying her cookbook. (full disclosure: I lost the book. After having it around the house for years serving as a coaster for a few months, a paperweight for another year, AND before I cooked anything from it, #overenthusiastic)

Here is the book that I bought to have and to hold, but unfortunately not until death do us part. RIP.

It’s weird because now that I think of it, I never have actually cooked any of her recipes. I google them (I have a recipe for her Egyptian tomato salad open on my phone as we speak), I print them, I write them down, but cooking; nope, never. Am I the only one?

Given all the hard evidence, it is apparent that Ms. Lawson likes to dance on the periphery of my mind, my TV time, and my life. Never a direct hit, but a sort of subtle lasting hint of influence. Which is so very unlike her because we all know she is know for her bold flavors, lush and loud. You would think she hits to the mark like her food wouldn’t you? An atomic bomb rather than an AK 47 or tear gas perhaps?

Kill me now.
I surrender my Vogue subscription and my monthly MAC excursions.
 I’m talking about bombs and guns? 6 months ago, I didn’t even know what an AK 47 is. And a bomb to me was a sake bomb. Sigh.
Wait till the husband comes home.

Until then let’s go back to Lawson land. #beammeup

Ms. Lawson has most recently been in the news for being in the middle of an embittered spat with her husband that began with a domestic violence charge. I’m not going to dwell on it. Lets just say it gets worse before it gets better.

I’m happy she decided to do Masterchef, get herself out there after all that drama. It’s so nice to see her back with a bang, banging new body included. Ms. Lawson looks hot hot hawwt! (The reason why she initially lost the weight is hilarious.)

She’s on for the whole week, which includes the mystery box, the invention test, the group challenge, the masterclass and the elimination. Yay! Yay! Yay!

One thing I’ve noticed about her over the course of the week is that she’s a very smart cook. While the other chefs were commenting on flavor profiles and combinations, whether the dishes were inventive enough or not, Ms. Lawson was watching the ‘form’ and technique of the cooks.

In the group challenge when one team decides to put raw potatoes on top of the frittata mixture, she questions them about whether or not it will be cooked it time. Potatoes take longer than eggs to cook, so the potatoes will be undercooked and the eggs overcooked. Smart lady.

When one contestant wants to make pound cake at 200 degrees, she questions it, by saying pound cake should be made low and slow. Such a smart lady.

When another contestant put all his batter into one tin, she wonders if maybe he should have put it into two so that they bake faster. Such a very smart lady.

In honor of her, I decided I would finally make a recipe of hers, more specifically the one she teaches in the masterclass.

 *taken from her website : 

  • 1 medium chicken (approx. 3 pounds), preferably organic, cut into 8 pieces
  • 5 Tbsp. tequila blanco
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes, preferably unwaxed
  • 1.2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to sprinkle on at the end
  • 2tsp. sea salt flakes and kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. regular olive oil
To serve:
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

  1.  First, put the jointed chicken pieces into a resealable bag.
  2.  Mix together the tequila, zest and juice of the limes, the red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil and then tip this into the resealable bag with the chicken. Seal or tie tightly (letting out the air first) and place it (in a dish) in the refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours, or up to 2 days, or leave outside the refrigerator, but in a cool place, for 40 minutes if you're short of time.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. If the chicken is in the refrigerator, take it out and remove the chicken pieces from the bag, reserving the marinade. Sit the chicken pieces on a smallish, shallow roasting pan for about 30 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature. It's important that the chicken pieces sit on the pan without a lot of room to spare, or else the marinade will immediately evaporate in the hot oven. When you are ready to put it into the oven, pour half of the marinade over the chicken pieces and transfer to the hot oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven, pour the other half of the reserved marinade over it, then put the chicken back in for another 25-30 minutes. Check it is cooked through before removing from the oven.
  5. Put the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Then add a little boiling water to the pan to help get every last bit of flavor-sticky juice out, and pour it over the chicken on its plate. Scatter with chopped cilantro and - if you like it hot - some more crushed red pepper flakes, and serve with some lime wedges alongside.
Serves four, generously

I'm wrapping up this post but in case you have not joined the Nigella bandwagon, I have something that will help you along. 

How can you not love someone who wears a burkini in public? 
I rest my case.

PS- she loves drinking the stuff as much as she loves being in it! A little too much in fact! She's a self professed 'Aquaholic!'