Anna: This was as advertised: fast, easy and tasted, well, kind of like a chilli. I say that because it was hot (“It has some tickle”, said Peter) though the spice combination isn’t what I’d usually choose for a chilli. Interestingly the recipe calls for curry powder. I was doubtful. Frankly it reads like something out of the 70s. Like a chilli recipe written by someone who has just discovered the concept and decides to sexy up their usual mince recipe. But I went with it. That’s what I’m here for. And do you know what? The spicing wasn’t the issue in the end. It was the sauce, or lack of it. I was so convinced there was a typo in the recipe that I searched online but could find no correction. How you can be expected to ‘simmer’ something that is made up of fried-off mince and drained beans I don’t know. So I added chicken stock. Which is what I would recommend you do too. Served with a baked sweet potato it was a decent mid-week meal. Just don’t forget the chicken stock.
The photo may be rubbish, but the dish is anything but.
I made this for Meat Free Monday. It is far from healthy– there’s double cream, gorgonzola and the gnocchi– but it is delicious. It’s also easy, which is helpful when you’re trying to get back into the swing of things following the Christmas break. In this house, we are doing neither Dry January NOR a detox month, so this was just the ticket for a cold January night.
The original recipe calls for spinach, but Nigel helpfully offers up alternatives of purple sprouting broccoli or lightly cooked brussels sprouts. I used tenderstem broccoli, which isn’t purple, but it’s close enough. Three-quarters of this family like spinach, but the remaining one-quarter is a very vocal dissenter in fondness for spinach, and it’s not worth the fight sometimes.
The broccoli went a long way to breaking up the richness of the cheese, double cream and pasta. However, after a few bites the younger set found this dish too rich. But the adults loved it regardless.
Would I make it again? Most definitely.
If you’d like to make this yourself, click through on this sentence to find the original recipe in The Guardian.
Anna: We are Bircher muesli converts. On a weekly basis, on a day of his choosing, Peter constructs his Bircher and the next morning, like a little surprise, there’s a bowl of oaty, chia-seedy goodness waiting for me to take to work. So I had to try Nigella’s take for comparison, it would have been remiss of me not to. Cobbling together the ingredients was painless. Pomegranate seeds in a tub, and scissor-snipped dried apricots helped. You can always rely on Nigella for shortcuts. The verdict? A bit milky, but good. It filled me up. I’ll take that. Peter’s verdict? Incredulous despair at the seemingly small portion. He required a marmalade and toast chaser. Next time I’ll double the recipe.
Kirstin: I’m a recent convert to the wonders of avocado toast and I have to admit I’ve been trying all sorts of variations on a theme, so I was particularly up for trying this. And even more so after watching Nigella make it as part of her new series! I also have to admit that I cheated; I didn’t make the breakfast radishes as she suggested. In fact, I couldn’t even find any breakfast radishes, so I just sliced some normal radishes onto the top. Yes, this was super quick. And very delicious and Asian with the coriander and lime. But I still prefer my own version. So Nigella, if you’re reading this, you might want to give my version a go… lime juice, salt, sriracha sauce, preserved lemon and a fried egg on the top.
Tom: Is this called chicken with added carbon?
Kirstin: Yes. The temperatures were all wrong.
Tom: I’m loving this!
Kirstin: It’s not supposed to be carbon! So I will fix the temperatures.
Tom: Crispy chicken with burnt potatoes and leeks is just heaven.
Kirstin: No. See, 220 for an hour ten. That’s not working for me. And I turned the temperature down in the middle too as I was worried about the leeks. Also, there’s no gravy.
Tom: Ah. That’s the only possible objection.
Kirstin: NO! And the carbonised everything else.
Tom: But I love the carbon!
Ella: How many milliseconds in a second?
Tom: Think about it!
Kirstin: Wait, you do Latin, right?
Ella: I know. But if there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. But suddenly it goes to thousands.
Tom: Blame the Mesopotamians!
Kirstin: I saw this recipe on Anna’s Insta stream and knew I needed to try it out.
Tom: Was it easy as it looked on her video?
Kirstin: It really is a super little recipe. One that you could take all over the world and cook for lunch or dinner.
Miles: I liked the spinach!
Kirstin: Definitely making this one again. And possibly adapting it too, which is always a good sign.
Maureen: Did this take you long to make, Kirstin?
Kirstin: No, not really. And it was a very lovely half an hour because everything smelt so wonderful as I prepared it. I love the smell of coriander and lime. Of course I’ll be paying for this tomorrow as black beans and I have a bit of an on-going feud.
Maureen: But that’s not true for everybody.
Kirstin: And it’s always worth it!
Maureen: The salad was delicious!
Kirstin: Her salads are always good. I shall definitely make this salad again.