Domestic goddess overdoes the dishiness
WHY spend hours in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove when some sneaky short cuts combined with a dollop of slapdashery can see one through? This is the premise of Nigella Lawson’s latest series, which will have many harried home cooks breaking into a round of applause if only they had the energy. Tonight the domestic goddess makes Italy her theme as she talks us through preparing effortless yet glamorous Mediterranean meals in minutes.
‘‘ I love eating and I love cooking but find it hard to fit everything in,’’ she says at the start of the program. But not for self-confessed lazybones Lawson a dash to KFC to stave off those hunger pangs.
In this episode she prepares dishes such as linguine with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms; chicken cacciatore; amaretto syllabub and more, all without breaking a sweat.
Lawson sets to a plastic bag full of lamb chops with a rolling pin to meld the haunting brininess of the olives against the sweet meat of the lamb chops as she prepares no-fuss Calabrian lamb cutlets for an Italian friend. Later, staring coyly at the camera, she describes the glorious muskiness of the white pepper she is sprinkling over the linguine dish, before moving on to juicing a lemon, announcing, ‘‘ I always like a bit of impaling.’’
By now I am thoroughly startled and thank god she hasn’t got a recipe where one of the ingredients needs a damned good pounding with a mortar and pestle.
And I begin to wonder whether Lawson is starting to take this whole domestic goddess thing a bit too far.
It’s a shame because her food looks delicious and, true to what it says on
Effortlessly delicious: Nigella Lawson tackles a dessert in the packet, the recipes in this series are so quick and easy that even the most domestically challenged could make a fair stab at them.
It’s just that this constant sexing it up for the camera — the lascivious sideways glances, the innuendo, the overt sensuality — is, quite frankly, starting to put me off my dinner.
It’s also too much of a stretch to suggest, as Lawson does in this episode, that a simple antipasto spread can be prepared by nipping down to the local Italian gourmet grocer and selecting a range of the finest salumi, anchovies, octopus salads and the like, before presenting it to your gathered dining companions.
Nice idea, but surely it would be cheaper to take the family down to the local Thai place, avoiding even the most rudimentary preparations, not to mention all that energy wasted on trying to look like a sex kitten while boiling the spuds.