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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WCC No. 25 - Nigella! Plus! Petites Bouchées!

One of my very favorite events that I try hard not to miss often - although I do miss quite a few. :( - is Sara's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. This month is hosted by Ani of Foodie Chickie and she came up with the theme of Nigella Lawson.

I loves me my Nigella. I have lurved her for many years. Ever since I had trouble sleeping one night and was flipping channels.. I hit the Style! network and saw this drop dead gorgeous woman cooking up something fantastic. I didn't know what she was cooking when I flipped to her show and I don't think I ever found out during the show.. all I know is that she made it look delicious, whatever it was. There isn't another cooking show shot the way Nigella's shows are shot. The graceful way she stirs a pot.. the sexy sizzle when the Extra Virgin hits the smokin' hot pan.. the way she can make a straight women, like myself, simply swoon while watching her shove a very large spoonful of something creamy in her mouth making it look like a delicate nibble..

Ahhhh yes.. I do loves me my Nigella.

I think Brilynn will agree with my next statement. Many of Nigella's recipes suck. Yes, Yes, I know.. in some circles that could be construed as blasphemy, and for that I do apologize.. but it is a true statement for some of us! I've just not had much luck with some of her recipes.

Bechemel sauce for pot pie Chicken & Ham (and last night's washed dishes) for pot pie
Nigella's Chicken Pot Pie Rolling pastry for pot pie
Bechemel sauce - chicken & ham dice (and last night's washed dishes) - filling ready to go - Hubbs and his master rolling skillz (nevermind his tattered old sweatshirt and the sink full of dirty dishes) :P

But it's for a WCC and I haven't played in a while, so I hadda suck it up and try a Nigella recipe again. I could have went with a sure thing and picked one of her decadent cakes.. but instead I decided to be DARING (it's not just for bakers, you know) and chose a savory recipe. To be specific.. Nigella's Chicken Pot Pies.

But I went singular.. only because I don't own smaller vessels to make individual pies. And lookie there.. I just bold faced lied to you all. I did not cook this recipe. Hubbs did! He had a day off yesterday due to the spankin' we got from Mother Nature, so he offered to make dinner.. bless his steel toed boots. :)

He followed the recipe to a T.. almost.. the recipe only calls for peas, chicken and ham.. but we need more veggies.. so he added a carrot and a celery stalk. The rest was made by the book. It turned out quite lovely..

Nigella's Chicken Pot Pie
awwwwwwwwww! How romantic is that chicken pot pie?? :))

I enjoyed this, actually. The filling was creamy and tasty and I liked that we could add a lil smokey ham to the chicken and veg mix. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the pastry. I think I would prefer puff pastry instead of the pastry called for in her recipe.. but even so, it was a decent recipe that we'll he'll make again one day. :)

Nigella's Chicken Pot Pie

Unfortunately, it's wayyyyy past my bedtime and I've got a very busy morning tomorrow.. Daring Baker reveal day.. it's right around the corner! :) Not to mention, there is another very important bit I'd like to add to this post.. so I am not going to type out the 3 page recipe here. If you'd like it.. just drop me a line at lamiacucina-AT-adelphia-DOT-net and I'll send it to you.

Nigella's Chicken Pot Pie

Thanks so much for hosting and picking a terrific theme, Ami! And thank you, as always, Sara my love.. just for being you. :)

Okay.. I had to share with ya'll something that many of you might already know.. I've been excited since I first heard she was going through the process of getting licensed to bake for profit and it's lead up to what I received in the mail today. My Sis - the gal who shares my same brain and my love of scary movies - Veronica, of Veronica's Test Kitchen has launched a new baking business! Today, I was one of the very lucky recipients of a "test" package of luscious macarons. She wasn't sure how they would ship, so OF COURSE, I offered any assistance she might need in being on the disovery end of that shipment - seriously, what are friends for, right?? :D

Petites Bouchées Macarons

My package arrived by a very careless delivery driver who dropped the box on our stoop (totally ignoring the giant FRAGILE written all over the box). But after opening her very carefully packaged box, I found a small, sleek, brown box with a gorgeous slim pink ribbon tied around it. The little box was encased in a pretty cello wrapper with Veronica's business name and logo attached. I carefully opened the little bag and then slipped the ribbon off the box and peeked inside. Twelve perfectly shaped, colorful and sinfully delicious smelling macarons nestled in pretty tissue paper were inside. Out of the twelve, only one was marred by a couple small cracks. Excellent packaging, Sis!!

I demonstrated the utmost in restraint by slipping the pretty box into my fridge until after we ate dinner. Later this evening when my sweet tooth started nagging me, I retrieved the box and first choose a Hazelnut with Salted Caramel Cream. Oh. My. God. Like no other macaron.. the cookie was crispy on the outside, soft, creamy and chewy on the inside.. different from other macarons I've had (that were delightful as well!) in that they weren't shells. Ya'll know what I mean? When you bit into these macarons, the cookie wasn't a crispy/chewy shell that screamed meringue and crushed nuts. These cookies had substance. And the filling? Just the right amount of salt in the caramel and it was creamy.. perfection. I next tried what I think is Pistachio with Chocolate Ganache that also had me swooning. Finally a Vanilla macaron with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream filling. I could have died right then and been declared a very happy woman!!

Petites Bouchées Macarons

Yeah, some of you might be thinking that I'm saying all these wonderful things about Veronica's macarons because she is my friend, but you'd be wrong. These are some SERIOUS macarons and you shant judge me until you've tried one (or a dozen) for yourself! Click on over to her business site, Petites Bouchées and order yourself up a box.. You Will! Not! be Disappointed!

Thanks for lettin' me be one of your testers, Sis.. you've done a beautiful job and you've definitely MASTERED the art of macarons! :)

xoxo

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Comments on "WCC No. 25 - Nigella! Plus! Petites Bouchées!"

 

Blogger Sara said ... (2/28/2008 12:10 AM) : 

Ooops, sorry, got a bit of drool right there.....
Thanks for baking up such a delicious dinner for WCC! Hey, I guess I really should be thanking W!

 

Blogger Peabody said ... (2/28/2008 12:48 AM) : 

Mmm, the salted caramel one sounds devine.

 

Blogger Tartelette said ... (2/28/2008 1:29 AM) : 

The vanilla macarons are gone, the salted caramel are not far from it and I suspect the pistachio ones will meet their fate tomorrow at lunch...!
The chicken pot pie looks delicious and kuddos to W for cooking...He needs to come visit and teach B. a little thing or two!

 

Blogger Aran Goyoaga said ... (2/28/2008 6:00 AM) : 

I think I'm going to have to order a box after seeing the photo and that they arrived safely. Salted caramelwith hazelnut sounds fabulous right now at 6am!
Your chicken pot pie looks good right now too!!!

 

Blogger Veron said ... (2/28/2008 8:19 AM) : 

I had luck with Nigella's sage chicken. Lucky you to have W make the chicken pot pie - perfect for a cold winter spell.
Thanks you for all the wonderful words about my macarons, sis. I am so glad they got to you fine. Your description makes me want to bake up another batch immediately!

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (2/28/2008 8:52 AM) : 

Hubbs rules!!! :)

The pot pies look so delicious, Lis. And I'm so jealous of you getting Veron's macarons. ;)

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (2/28/2008 9:36 AM) : 

That is so awesome that he made you the chicken pot pie. What a keeper.

The macaroons look amazing too.

 

Blogger Quellia said ... (2/28/2008 11:27 AM) : 

Oh man! I live too far away to be a taster for Veronica and I want to be!

Hey, re Nigella. I understand that if you can get your hands on a copy of her UK version of her book, then you will have better luck with her. I hope so because I have recently started watching her Express and I have a few recipes I want to try!

 

Blogger Ben said ... (2/28/2008 11:31 AM) : 

Oh deliciousness! (as usual) :-p

There is an award waiting for you on my blog. Click here

 

Blogger Deborah said ... (2/28/2008 12:43 PM) : 

I have never tried a Nigella recipe, but I've heard that the Express book is the best one because the conversions weren't very accurate in her earlier book. I don't know - just what I've heard!!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (2/28/2008 2:20 PM) : 

I kept debating whether or not to participate in this round of WCC. I really want to love Nigella, it just hasn't happened yet, although the last recipe of hers that I made, (chocolate gingerbread) actually turned out well, I'm still wary.

 

Blogger Annemarie said ... (2/28/2008 5:30 PM) : 

I'm in two minds about Nigella too, despite her gorgeousness. Although in her Nigella Express series, the most jaw dropping thing was her size - I don't like my women skinny, but Nigella had taken a football field full of skinny women, eaten them, and banished them straight to her hips.

 

Blogger Cakelaw said ... (2/29/2008 7:31 AM) : 

Great chicken pot pie. I lurve Nigella too.

 

Blogger Alison said ... (2/29/2008 2:30 PM) : 

Lis - you've got you ONE FINE MAN there my friend! Any man who would declare his love for you on a chicken pot pie is a KEEPER for sure. That was sweet!

 

Blogger creampuff said ... (2/29/2008 5:43 PM) : 

Aw, Hubbs is so cute with that pie. Like you I have a girl crush on Nigella. She's hot ... she is!

 

Blogger coco said ... (3/01/2008 4:38 AM) : 

I love your writing style lis! And gosh I couldn't agree more with you about nigella's recipes. Her cookbooks have the most beautiful pics that make you feel like cooking it, but when you do its not always worth the effort! *sigh*

 

Blogger foodiechickie said ... (3/01/2008 11:07 AM) : 

Thanks Sara!

ANI
foodiechickie.com

 

Blogger katiez said ... (3/04/2008 3:46 PM) : 

Oh my! The pie looks lovely... BUT, those macaroons! And they didn't break! The gods are indeed smiling on you!

 

Blogger kellypea said ... (3/05/2008 2:20 AM) : 

I've never made one of Nigella's recipes. Dunno why. But pot pie is a loved thing around these here parts even without all that love and stuff on top of it. *sigh* And if those aren't the cutest little cookies I've ever seen. The idea of the salted caramel has done me in. Yay Veron! And what a good friend you are, Lis!

 

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