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Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast


The Domestic Goddess is back—and this time it's instant. Nigella and her style of cooking have earned a special place in our lives, symbolizing all that is best, most pleasurable, most hands-on, and least fussy about good food. But that doesn't mean she wants us to spend hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove.

Featuring fabulous fast foods, ingenious shortcuts, terrific time-saving ideas, effortless entertaining tips, and simple, scrumptious meals, Nigella Express is her...

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Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast

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The Domestic Goddess is back—and this time it's instant. Nigella and her style of cooking have earned a special place in our lives, symbolizing all that is best, most pleasurable, most hands-on, and least fussy about good food. But that doesn't mean she wants us to spend hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove.

Featuring fabulous fast foods, ingenious shortcuts, terrific time-saving ideas, effortless entertaining tips, and simple, scrumptious meals, Nigella Express is her solution to eating well when time is short. Here are mouthwatering meals, quick to prepare and easy to follow, that you can conjure up after a day in the office or on a busy weekend for family or unexpected guests. This is food you can make as you hit the kitchen running, with vital advice on how to keep your pantry stocked and your freezer and fridge stacked. When time is precious, you can't spend hours shopping, so you need to make life easier by being prepared. Not that these recipes are basic—though they are always simple—but it's important to make every ingredient earn its place, minimizing effort by maximizing taste. Here too is great food that can be prepared quickly but cooked slowly in the oven, leaving you time to have a bath, a drink, talk to friends, or help the children with their homework—minimum stress for maximum enjoyment . . .

Nigella Express features a new generation of fast food—never basic, never dull, always doable, quick, and delicious.

Featuring recipes seen on Food Network's Nigella Express series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401322434
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 133,238
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson is the author of How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess (for which she won the British Author of the Year Award), Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, and Feast. She has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, and many other publications. She lives in London with her two children.


Nigella Lawson is perhaps the most marketable TV chef yet: She's model-gorgeous but not skinny, reverent without being ceremonious, a mom with some personal tragedy in her past, and a woman who takes obvious pleasure in her own recipes. Men like her because she's easy on the eyes; women identify with her pragmatism and lack of pretension.

Lawson, who is the first to point out that she is not a professional chef, favors the hands-on approach to food, literally -- if there's a point where plunging one's hands in the dish will work just as well as anything else in the preparing, she's not going to get food-safetyish about it. Her tactics are not just about ease. She wants people to appreciate food's sensual and pleasure-giving qualities more than to achieve culinary greatness. Her stated motto: "To achieve maximum pleasure through minimum effort." Her carefree demeanor comes through most in her show, where she can be seen snacking and finger-licking her way through a recipe. Here's a pertinent citation from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: "Perhaps the greatest joy of pastry-making is that it's mud-pie time; you get floury, sticky, wholly involved. I don't mean by this that you shouldn't use any equipment.... But you still need to use your hands for that last crucial combining, the rolling, and draping into the pan, and the piecing together of your pie. Just do it."

And while Lawson isn't exactly topping her BBC predecessors Two Fat Ladies on butter and lard consumption, save for a single chapter in How to Eat, she does generally ignore calorie counts, low-fat substitutions, and other concessions to the fitness establishment. If this philosophy means venturing forth on ham baked in Coca-Cola, lamb shank stew, or chocolate fudge cake, then so be it. "If it's something I don't want to carry on eating once I'm full, then I don't want the recipe," the famously voluptuous Lawson said in a Guardian interview in 2000. "I'm quite ruthless. I have to feel that I want to cook the thing again, and more than once. I need to feel that I have to stop myself from cooking it all the time."

The table of contents of Nigella Bites -- named for the BBC-TV/Style Network show she films at her West London home -- shows that Lawson is more concerned with the everyday than with stunning parties and dinners. Categories in the book include "TV Dinners," "Trashy," and "Family Food." She is not administering advice that is going to keep you running to specialty stores or trapped in your kitchen. She does not turn up her nose at frozen peas or other store-bought ingredients. She also acknowledges that mistakes can be made and tells you how to fix them (even if that just means throwing the whole thing out). For those who just want to make something delicious without a lot of fuss, Lawson's kamikaze approach is refreshing and should keep her in our kitchens for quite some time.

Good To Know

Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, who served as Margaret Thatcher's chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lawson's husband, journalist John Diamond, passed away in 2001 after the couple had been married nearly ten years. They have two children, Cosima and Bruno. In 2002, Lawson became linked with Diamond's friend, advertising tycoon Charles Saatchi.

Lawson began her career writing the restaurant review column for Britain's The Spectator. She has also been food editor of British Vogue and had a makeup column for the U.K.'s Times magazine. She is also a staple on ABC's Good Morning America.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 6, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, Oxford University, 1979
    2. Website:

First Chapter

I have practically had to sit on my hands to stop myself writing about this before now. Now, naturally I know Roquefort does not come from Mexico, but because it melds deliciously with avocado I couldn't resist; I hope you won't be able to, either. And although I have called this incredible dip roquamole, I think it may be better made with a less illustrious bleu. Saint Agur out of a wedge-shaped package is the cheese I keep in the fridge so that I am ever-ready to make this.

You don't need to serve blue corn tortilla chips with this; you don't have to serve any kind of tortilla chip with this, though both do add to the luscious eat-me quality here. But I'm also very keen on a huge platter of dippable bits: radishes, carrot batons, sugar snaps, you name it.

For me, this can be a dip with drinks, a quick treat for lunch, or a greedy solitary dinner. The only meal I've yet to eat it at is breakfast. I think it's just a question of time …

1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
Agur blue cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup sour cream
large bag of blue corn tortilla chips
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup sliced pickled green jalapeños from a jar

1. Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl.
2. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
3. Roughly chop the sliced jalapeños and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions.
4. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in.
Serves 4-6

Chocolate Mint Cookies
This is my version of after-dinner mints: Dispense with dessert and bring out a plate of minty-breathed chocolate cookies with coffee and tisanes instead.

These don't take long to make up and bake, and I can't tell you how lovely it is to be able to open the door to people with the smell of their baking oozing welcomingly out in the evening air.

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/4 teaspoon peppermint flavoring

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cream the sugar and butter (I use a freestanding mixer for ease), then beat in the egg and vanilla.
3. Mix the flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl, and gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chips.
4. Using a rounded tablespoon measure, spoon out scoops of cookie dough and place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment or Silpat, leaving a little space in between each one.
5. Bake for 12 minutes and then let them sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack, with some newspaper on the surface underneath.
6. Put the glaze ingredients into a saucepan and heat until combined together. Let cool completely before using.
7. Using a teaspoon, zigzag the glaze over each cooling cookie.
Makes 24

Excerpted from NIGELLA EXPRESS by NIGELLA LAWSON. Copyright (c) 2007 NIGELLA LAWSON. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Express way into my tummy,

    I was actually surprised that Nigella came out with this new cooking concept, making her favorites with short cuts, suddenly being impatient and saving time while still having parties and cooking dinners ever night for her family. Honestly I never found her recipes hard, I enjoyed making everything the proper way but I have to say its fun to find way to cheat I guess, making mousses without all the fancy work, creams and cakes and stews with minimal effort, without hours of baking and slow cooking, using less ingredients ( saves tons of money) and still eating something tasty. <BR/><BR/>Basically this book is filled with recipes one can make for any occasion, best yet for dinner after a hectic day of work, using 4-5 ingredients, simple and still having something to put on the table that is not the same old saver we turn to. Too often it's easy to fall into a comfortable rut and cook the same thing; with this book it is really easy to gently shake things up. Sometimes I read it at work, photocopy pages, stop at the store on my way home and make something new that's different and doesn't require me to spend 2 hours cooking and then washing lots of pots and pans. I think to write this book requires more effort, it's easy to make a complex dish using thirty ingredients, but hard to make something simple that takes the least amounts of effort but is edible. I often pick one recipe, and then make a side of my choice even if it's steamed veggies and dinner is on the table in no time. <BR/><BR/>I have been using this book since last November and some of the my favorites are; <BR/><BR/>Mustard Pork Chops page 11- any meat can be used but pair it with white cannolini beans, simplicity ( 5 ingredients! ) at its highest, actually writing about it now made me decide to make it for dinner tonight, yet again. <BR/><BR/>Steak Slick with Lemon and Thyme - great on some toasted ciabatta bread the next day or as an elegant supper, lemon and thyme seems to be a classic combination, not I make all my steaks this way. <BR/><BR/>Cheese Fondue - Gruyere, Brie, Emmental and Camembert melt into a spectacular and easy dip for anything you can find in the fridge. Some white wine in the sauce and then in the glass to drink with completes this fun dinner. <BR/><BR/>Chocolate Croissants - more fun then I thought to make, sometimes I just make four, with this book there is no need to make thirty servings of something, I often make enough for just one day. <BR/><BR/>Moonblush tomatoes page 126- sour, tangy, roasted and great side to savory dishes, my new favorite. I find it goes great with eggs for breakfast! <BR/><BR/>Irish Cream Tiramisu - wow, interesting and make sure to reserve a nap after, packs a punch! <BR/><BR/>There are stir-fries, galettes, cakes, burgers, all sorts of meats and pastas, each page has a tiny recipe with a gorgeous picture, and this book is actually very useful and makes cooking fun especially to see how the short cuts turn out. I mean if the short list of ingredients doesn't make one want to cook out of it then the pictures will, and it's nice to have a cookbook that is always used versus having one recipe in it that I have to turn to. Nigella throws things together in a beautiful way, after reading and cooking her recipes to me they are as natural as breathing and they pretty much always turn out perfect! Now that is a feat, I haven't had to apologize for making something new to anyone and it's easy to see that her ingredient pairing choices are well through out and put together.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    My favorite cookbook!!

    I have to admit that this is my absoulte favorite cookbook. I find it easy to use, vastly entertaining, with tasty meals that I can create! I love reading her intro's into the recipies and I find the picutres to be lovely. And, the biggest plus I find is that her ingredient list is manageable! I love being able to make great dishes with only a few simple things tossed in. She makes it seem effortless and doable. Have told all of my friends and even buy it to use as gifts. I highly recommend!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love this book!

    I love this cook book. i have read this book cover to cover. The recipes are terrific, the photography makes the food so appealing. The way the book is organized is so logical for me. Organized by type of meal you would serve the food, rather than by courses or primary ingredients. I think Nigella structures some of her other books this way as well. I adore the way she writes her recipes, they are conversational rather than sterile or textbook, as though she's standing right there telling you how to make the recipe. Love her cookbooks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    True to it's word-express

    I've always enjoyed her television show so I was happy to see she had a book out. I've tried many of her recipes and all have turned out great. Her quick soups have become a big hit in our house. My husband and I love comfort soup but not the long time to make it, so her quick soups are just lovely! Also, lots of great ideas for fresh fruit for all seasons!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson is a book you will want to add to your at home cookbook library! Very impressive to say the least! Fab recipes, easy to make, and a beautiful book to boot. Get your copy today!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013


    I could only find 3 recipes in the entire book that might interest me. Carefully check it out before you buy it. I wish I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2008

    A reviewer

    I love to have this book alongside the series. This used to be done with the Frugle Gourmet series. I hope this trend continues.

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