One of my favorite ways to waste time is to browse through cookbooks at Borders. I drink a pot of Earl Grey and fondle the newest culinary releases. Most recently, I took a gander at Nigella's new book, Nigella Express...which I see as a sexy, British version of Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals. What I like about Nigella, as opposed to that mousey Rachel Ray, is her extravagance, even with her everyday "fast" food. For instance, she includes a recipe for "Christmas in a glass"...champagne with a splash of gingerbread syrup. I not only want to drink A LOT of that during the holidays; I want to bathe in it.
I made one of her recipes, Mustard Pork Chops, for dinner on Wednesday: Brown a couple of chops in a pan with olive oil (I used bone-in chops), remove them from the pan, deglaze with some hard cider, add coarse mustard & cream, put the chops back in for a few minutes, eat with your fingers.
I've also been reading Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries, which is part cookbook, part diary, and part food porn. So many of his recipes have caught my eye...chicken patties with rosemary & pancetta, lentils with sausage & salami, baked onions with parmesan & cream, and many others. He cooks a lot of seasonal foods & local foods, so during the winter months there are lots of recipes for soups, stews, curries, and roasted squashes. On Thursday, I took a cue from Slater and roasted a small pumpkin. I ate the soft chunks of squash along side a wilted spinach salad with bacon, onions, pine nuts, & feta (a recipe I adapted from Tyler's Ultimate cookbook).
Last night, I made Slater's lemon pepper chicken wings, which are coated with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, loads of cracked black pepper, & sea salt before roasted until crispy. Talk about clearing up your sinuses. Wow.