Forever Summer with Nigella – EPISODE 1 – Yellow

Forever Summer with Nigella – EPISODE 1 – Yellow


(THEME MUSIC)NIGELLA: Maybe it’s because
our summers are over all too soon that I find myself drawn to
the tastes and flavours of the sun. Forever Summer is a celebration
of food that defies the seasons and brings unclouded blue skies
and warmth into the kitchen whatever the time of year. If there’s one memory of summer I carry with me throughout
the dark days of winter it’s of this house, the doors and windows wide open,
full of light. Because for me summer is about
colour, intensity, brightness, fresh greens, hot reds, yellow,
the colour of sunshine, the colour of happiness. In some countries they believe that
eating yellow foods makes them happy. I’m going along with this, which is why with
embarrassing tweeness, I know, I’ve called my soup of yellow
courgettes and lemons Happiness Soup. I want these beautiful yellow
courgette cut into quite fine dice. I find the easiest way
is just to slice them down and then cut both ways across. I think this is possibly the simplest
soup in the world to make. Just want a little bit of oil
in a pan. In with the courgettes… Mmm! Just tumble these in. Some lemon zest. I find adding the zest
to the courgettes now when they’re about to heat up really extracts every last bit
of lemon oil out of it and I want that deep lemoniness as well as the sour sharpness
of the juice. There’s something about
intense lemoniness that reminds me of heat,
of summer holidays. So, heat on. Just going to give a little stir. I just want the courgettes to soften, which will only be
a couple of minutes. And now if I’m going for yellow,
I want real yellow. So there’s some turmeric. Turns
everything deliciously golden. And although I don’t think
the ground turmeric has a very pronounced spiciness, I love the mellow woodiness of this. Now, stock, and, you know, by stock
I mean hot water, about a litre… ..and a few golden drops
of concentrated chicken bouillon. I love this stuff. So for increased lemoniness, the juice of that lemon
I just zested earlier… ..and in this wonderful golden
courgette-studded broth, a couple of handfuls – 100g –
of fragrant basmati rice. This just takes 10 minutes
or so to cook. Plumps up with all the golden-ness
and yellowness of the soup. Little stir. Mmm! I feel I must be getting a tan. I love this. Mood enhancement
of an entirely legal kind. Mmm! Look at this.
Sunshine in a bowl. I have one almost picture-postcard
memory of summer, which is of me, years ago now,
on the Amalfi coast sitting on a terrace, overlooking a ludicrously blue sea, with in front of me
a glass of white wine rocky with ice, a bowl of pasta, and behind me
this fragrant mesh of lemon groves. I suppose I think of lemons a bit
like the salt of the fruit world because you use them without thinking and yet what they do
is utterly transformational. This sensational lemon salsa
provides instant zing alongside flash-grilled sardines. Peel and cut a couple of lemons
into chunks. Add the juice of another lemon along with a handful of chopped
red onion, parsley and mint and anoint with some
extra-virgin olive oil. Finally just griddle the sardines and you have a quick, easy,
uplifting summer lunch. Another great favourite of mine
is this lemony prawn salad. Blitz lemon, garlic,
spring onion and olive oil, pour this over some crunchy cos
lettuce and plump pink prawns and top with fresh chopped chives. Worryingly compulsive eating
and reassuringly easy cooking. And you must try my summer take
on a regular Sunday roast. Cold slices of velvety rare beef
with this spiky lemon salad. Peel then finely slice a lemon and leave to steep with chopped
chilli, parsley, salt and olive oil. Tip this onto some salad leaves,
shave over parmesan and mix together. The deep sourness of the lemon
somehow makes the beef taste both sweeter and more intensely
savoury at the same time. A lemon drop is the instant
liquid hit of summer, even when it’s pouring with rain. Chief ingredient for me –
lemon liqueur, and a bit of triple sec,
which is orangey. I have to say a serious bartender
is more likely to use vodka, not this Italian lemon liqueur, but I want as much lemon
as I can get. OK. This is not just a question
of a lemon flavoured drink. It is the lemon-made drink. So I want a whole lemon peeled, and this is the way I do it –
I think it’s the easiest. You lose a bit but it’s very easy. Curiously satisfying. Just keep turning the lemon round
as you slice downwards. Need a bit here. I’m gonna just chop it in quarters
so that I can get the pips out. Right. Lid off. Lemon bits in. And a spoonful of caster sugar. Right, so while the sugar
is dissolving into the lemon,
I’m going to get some ice. Wonders of an American fridge. On top of the lemon and sugar,
the lemon liqueur I brought back from a holiday
on the Amalfi coast. About 50ml. The same of triple sec. Now bung in the ice
and poise to blitz. Mmm. It’s like sherbet lemons
in drink form. Sort of citron presse for grown-ups. Look at that. Frosty white. Really acid strong. Mmm! Chin-chin. Mmm. Fabulous. Oh!
OK, I’m ready to work now. This slow-roast chicken
is another way of using lemon, not so much as a flavouring
but as a main event. In this instance it’s chunked up and roasted alongside the chicken
and some thyme and garlic so that the lemon in the heat tends
to scorch and almost caramelise. It’s absolutely fabulous. Use unwaxed lemons if you can because you really can eat the whole
of the lemon – pith, skin, all. Just chop them into eighths, really. Quite big chunks. Now, this is all you do. Get your roasting tin. There’s one medium to large chicken
here. Cut into 10. I prefer to have lots
of smaller portions for this. Put them in. Get that out of the way,
then the lemons on top. And look –
suddenly lifted into summer. Two whole heads of garlic. Separate the cloves.
You don’t have to peel them. The thing about leaving garlic
in the skin like this is that it braises in the heat,
steams, and its normally quite pungent taste is mellowed into
an almost honeyed puree. Now a handful of… (SNIFFS)
Oh! Wonderful ..fresh thyme. I just tend to pull the leaves off
the stalks by stripping it downwards. And I wouldn’t worry about
having a few stems. And it’s rather lovely
to keep some back for later just to strew the cooked dish with
these beautiful little stalky bits. About three tablespoonfuls
of olive oil. Just drizzle it over. 150ml of white wine. Good wine, I mean, drinkable.
In fact, drink the rest
while you’re eating this. Just mix everything so it’s covered,
leaving the chicken skin side up. Just a question now
of covering tightly with foil, and this goes into a low oven –
160, gas mark 3 – for two hours, and then you just take the foil off and maybe another 45 minutes
at number 6, and that is really
all I’m going to do to this now. And what I love to make
with a slow roast chicken are these little gem lettuces,
braising them. Now, if you thought that salad just
had texture rather than flavour then just try cooking them. I mean, this is incredibly easy in the sense that
you just bung them in a pan and cook them alongside the chicken just for the last 20 minutes
it has in the oven. Cut off the brown ends and take away any leaves that look
a bit brown or less than perfect. Lie them snugly in a dish. I love these jade bundles. The stock, about half a litre. I love the sort of golden flavour
of chicken stock. (SNIFFS) Mmm! I’m already hit by
all the smells that’s wafting up. Olive oil. About four tablespoonfuls. Oh! Green on green. Beautiful. Some thyme. I just strew whole little
straggly stems on top, kind of echo
the flavour in the chicken. Salt. And pepper. So, foil. And then stick them in the oven
for the last 25 minutes that the chicken’s cooking. And all will be done, and serenely. Meanwhile you could just sit
in the garden having a drink with your friends.(JOLLY SWING MUSIC)I am not a girl for a picnic.
I mean, why? But as much as I hate picnics, I love picnic food. For me, it contains everything
that’s best about eating – informality, lack of cutlery, lack of portion control, and really why it’s perfect for me is that it’s about as far away
as you can get from fancy restaurant cooking. Home food just eaten
out of the house. I remember travelling through Italy
by train years ago when I lived there and I was sharing a compartment
with an Italian family who were handing out their lunch and I just marvelled at that wonderful, slow,
ceremonious unwrapping, the way they took out salami
from their case, sliced it, dispensed these slices, got out a plate full of
breaded escalopes and that was, for me,
everything a picnic should be, and these crispy lamb chops
are perfect contenders. I’m going to fry some lamb chops
a la Romana, or at least dipped in egg,
breadcrumbs, and then fried in olive oil
till very, very crunchy. First of all, because there is always room for
a bit of brutality in the kitchen… ..a bit of cling film… ..some small lamb cutlets
trimmed of most of their fat. Though I have to say in Rome
they have teeny-weeny lamb cutlets. I mean, the eye of the chop
is about that big. Eating them does feel a bit like
the massacre of the innocents. And then…another layer
of cling film on top, And then you just thwack. If you’ve got a mallet, use that.
I don’t. And anyway I think hitting things
with a rolling pin is much richer in comic potential. These really only need
a couple of minutes each side just so the crispy, crunchy coating
goes golden, and for that reason they should
really be at room temperature before they go into the hot oil. Right. Now, before I start getting the egg
and the breadcrumb right, I’m just going to pour some oil in, because I want this to heat up –
ordinary not extra-virgin. You can see that it’s yellow
rather than that thick, oozy green. It’s hard to say exactly how much. It’s really easy
just to reckon on filling a pan up to about
a centimetre’s depth and obviously the dimensions
of your pan will determine how much oil that needs. OK. On with the oil. OK, time for some dipping
and dunking. First, eggs. Just a couple. These are Italian eggs. You can see
their lovely golden yolks. Salt and pepper, and season them well because you want
these to be intensely savoury. Then it’s just a question
of whisking to combine. This is really just a glue
for the breadcrumbs later. You don’t need to get it frothy
or anything. Now, into the breadcrumbs you want
to grate a good 10 grams of parmesan. That’s probably enough to fill an American quarter cupful
pretty generously. Anyway, I just go by eye. Now, breadcrumbs are not difficult
to make but it’s slightly tedious. You have to get good bread,
you have to leave it to go stale, and then you have to grate it all
or process it. And I find the easiest way
of making breadcrumbs quickly is just by getting some pita bread,
splitting it. In about 20 minutes it’s dried out. And then you just need
to process them. And I’ve really processed
three pita breads here. That comes to about 175 grams
of ordinary breadcrumbs. Right. Just mix the cheese
into the breadcrumbs… Mmm! Very therapeutic. OK, now it’s just a question
of dipping the chops first in the egg… ..and then in
the parmesan-sprinkled breadcrumbs. Just wodge it in
and heap the stuff over. I find that easier to press on. This is really wonderful
weekend cooking because children love doing this and while I might not exactly
leave them alone for bit of deep-frying now, you can leave them alone
with this stage. And I’m a great believer
in child labour in the kitchen. Have to be some compensations. So just in… And I wouldn’t do more than
about three in a pan of this size at one time, otherwise the heat will drop too much and it’s that which makes
fried food get greasy. If you cook in hot fat like this,
everything stays so crisp and light. Now, see? I’ll just turn these over…
Oh, lovely. Just a minute or two on each side until the crumbs
are a deep, deep gold. You know, this is so simple,
so quick, you could make huge batches of this and cook them all before a picnic without breaking into
the merest hint of a sweat. I mean, look at that. Isn’t that beautiful? Just want to bite straight in at the risk of taking all the skin
off the roof of my mouth. If anything could make a picnic
bearable it would be these. Just want to crunch straight in.
Listen to this.(CRUNCH!)
Mmm.Mmm!(JOLLY SWING MUSIC)For a perfect picnic hamper
partner the crispy lamb chops with my fail-safe low-effort
potato salad. Just scoop out the scorched flesh of a few baked potatoes
when they’re cold and souse them in cumin, lemon juice,
salt and olive oil and a scattering of spring onions. For a green salad that won’t wilt
or go soggy however long it sits in its tub, try fennel simply dressed
with lemon juice, oil and salt and the finely chopped fronds
that feather the top of the bulbs. It may not be suitable for picnics, but if you fancy a little
alfresco cooking, caramelised pineapple with Malibu
chocolate sauce is hard to beat. There is something so absurdly
tropical about a pineapple. I mean, you see this and –
aren’t you? – you’re on holiday. You’re under a palm tree,
got a drink in your hand. I am going to up the stakes
by adding to it for that completely holiday feel chocolate sauce with Malibu in it,
which is coconut rum. It’s just a question
of adding to the chocolate some cream here for 200g of
chocolate – that’s two bars, really – 125ml of double cream. And then the same amount of Malibu. How wonderful is that? Love this stuff. Can’t resist it. I’m going to leave that to melt down and get on with a bit of
fruit chiselling. Now, a little demonstration. Soak bamboo skewers in water, otherwise they’ll just catch fire
on the barbecue. Thread through. I mean, I call these kebabs but they’re really more like
fruit lollies. Mmm. Sprinkle with demerara sugar
for caramelising effect. And stick on the barbie. The pineapple – I mean,
not eaten this way, I’m sure – was always thought to be
a kind of instant diet food that… I can’t remember what diet it was.
I think the Beverly Hills Diet. It was thought that somehow the
enzymes in pineapple ate up your fat, a kind of liposuction from within. I’d like to believe it.
We know it’s not true, but… Mmm. Now. We’re going to give the chocolate
sauce a slight, gentle stir. Oh! I love the way the chocolate
just melts into the cream. You get a kind of Florentine swirl. But I don’t like any waste. You know when
you’ve peeled the pineapple? Just squeeze some of
the pineapple juice into the sauce for maximum tropical taste. Oh! I love it when all that golden yellow
is blitzed black and bronze. Now, it’s not often you’ll find me
unduly concerned
with matters of hygiene but I think if you are going to dip
and dunk the pineapple kebabs into the chocolate sauce,
sort of fondue style, it’s better to give people
their individual little bowls
of hot chocolate sauce. And… Look at that. A cross between a kebab and a lolly. What could be better? Born to dunk. Look at this. Mmm! Supertext Captions by Ericsson
(c) SBS Australia 2015

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