Episode 3 Nigella: At My Table


Episode 3

Treats are in store as Nigella prepares some of her favourite dishes to share. For a lunch with friends, Nigella's herbed leg of lamb is relaxingly simple to prepare.


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Transcript


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This is very delicious.

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A table is more than a piece of furniture,

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just as food is more than mere fuel.

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When I moved into my first home many years ago,

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before I did anything else, I bought a table.

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And not just eat at, but to live around.

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Chin-chin, amici.

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-Cheers!

-Thank you.

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At my table, when I'm winding down at the end of a long day...

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They're ready for me, and I'm ready for them.

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..celebrating friendship at weekend feasts,

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or making memories with family,

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the food I eat is vibrant and varied,

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but always relaxed.

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Old favourites...

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So far, so good.

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..and fresh discoveries.

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I need to be alone with my sandwich now.

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The comfort of the familiar,

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combined with the exuberance of the new.

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I can hear how good this is going to be.

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The essential welcoming taste of home.

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There's no elegant way to eat them, and that's in their favour.

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Whether I'm pottering about at the stove or sitting at the table,

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I want pleasure, I want flavour, and I want ease.

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Life can be complicated, cooking doesn't have to be.

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MUSIC: I Only Want To Be With You by Dusty Springfield

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# I don't know what it is that makes me love you so...

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# I only know I never want to...

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This may not look like a carrot cake,

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but it IS a carrot cake.

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It's MY carrot cake, and it's very different

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from the richly sweet and loftily layered American

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original. In fact, nubbly with crystallised ginger and walnuts,

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and gloriously adorned with them,

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it does look rather more like a cosy old-fashioned English tea-time

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treat, and I often eat it like that.

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But it even more often, I bring it out at the end of dinner,

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and it's one of my most successful puddings.

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I have yet to make it without someone asking for the recipe.

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My carrot cake is relaxingly simple to make.

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Just a bowl and a wooden spoon number.

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I start off by coarsely grating 200 grams of carrots,

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and chopping up 75 grams of crystallised ginger.

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Then I break up 100 grams of walnut halves into small pieces.

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Next I want 200 grams of plain flour, half a teaspoon of bicarb,

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a teaspoon of baking powder, and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt.

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And now for the warm spice.

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Two teaspoons of ground ginger, and just fork everything together.

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Moving on, I tip 175 grams of soft light brown sugar into a large

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mixing bowl, and crack over two eggs,

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then pour in 200ml of vegetable oil.

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These just need to be mixed together.

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Then I gradually add the dry ingredients,

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and stir until everything's combined.

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Into the bowl go my grated carrots,

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and I stir these in before adding the walnut pieces and then the

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golden chopped crystallised ginger.

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Once everything's combined,

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I dollop the mixture into a lined 20cm springform tin.

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I give it a good rap on the counter to help level the batter.

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I bake it in the oven at 170 degrees for about 45 minutes,

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then I leave it to cool before I start on the icing.

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Just as with a traditional carrot cake,

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I'm making a cream cheese icing.

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I start off with 100 grams of soft unsalted butter,

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and 100 grams of icing sugar.

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I'm going to beat these together.

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And now...

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Now a teaspoon of cornflour.

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This helps the icing stay nice and thick.

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And I want 100 grams of cream cheese, but this has to be cold,

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straight from the fridge. Give it a little mix, so it's combined.

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And this is no ordinary cream cheese

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icing, because I want everything shot through with ginger.

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And I don't know if I've ever shown you my ginger juicing trick,

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but it's a crucial part of my cooking life.

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So coarsely grate some ginger out onto a plate.

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I want about a tablespoonful.

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And now, not pretty, but effective.

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A piece of kitchen paper.

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Moving swiftly, I don't want to get the paper soggy straightaway,

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I draw up each corner so I've got, like, a little swag bag.

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Just press on.

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You can see that juice coming out.

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I should get about a teaspoon of juice from a tablespoonful

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of coarsely grated ginger, and it is so intense.

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I do this all the time on soups and stews and curries and cakes.

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Right, let's give it a little stir together.

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And all that's left for me to do is swirl this on top of the cake.

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The thing about this cake, as I said,

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it's not a traditional carrot cake.

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It almost looks like a blonde fruitcake here,

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all rather lovely and lumpy and bumpy.

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And there's only one layer of icing, which I think is perfect.

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But a generous layer.

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I've got a few more chopped walnuts,

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and a little more crystallised ginger chopped up, up my sleeve.

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And these

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get scattered on top.

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Utterly gorgeous.

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Instant "eat me" appeal, if you ask me.

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And even if you don't.

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Pale gold sparkle.

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And it's an absolute winner every time.

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I absolutely loathe clothes shopping,

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but I can spend hours in places like this,

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looking for things to make my table beautiful.

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It's something of a weakness of mine.

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But, anyway, my table's going to look lovely enough,

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because I've got friends coming for supper,

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and I'm giving them my verdiglorious herbed leg of lamb.

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And alongside, there's garlicky roast potatoes

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with feta and oregano.

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Oh, and pudding.

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Pudding is my new go-to, a very special chocolate mousse.

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A roast leg of lamb is such a luxury and a treat,

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it deserves to be celebrated.

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My way of doing that is by anointing the meat with a fresh green paste,

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the chief component of which is oregano.

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It's very hard to describe exactly what oregano tastes like,

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it's certainly got a bitterness, but also such sweet warmth.

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I want a whole bunch

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of oregano here.

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A small bunch, but a whole bunch.

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And now, a time-honoured partnership, lamb and rosemary.

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I need less of the rosemary, because it is very pungent and resiny.

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And you could eat lamb without garlic,

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but it would seem to me to be an unnecessary deprivation.

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I've got four fat cloves here.

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And meat without salt is an abomination not to be contemplated.

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Let's go for two.

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I need oil, regular olive oil,

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to help turn this into a paste and moisturise the meat.

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And finally, from the department of zing and uplift,

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an orange and a lemon.

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Zest of both.

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This is where most of the flavour lies.

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And the lemon.

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And I want some juice, not too much,

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but about two tablespoonfuls of each.

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And I'm ready to blitz.

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And now for the lamb.

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Here we are. I want to make a few incisions,

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so that the paste infuses the meat.

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So this is my Psycho moment!

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Eeh-eeh-eeh-eeh!

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SHE LAUGHS

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It's a very runny paste.

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So I'm just going to spoon the green paste over the pink meat.

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Give it a little bit of a massage, to help the paste go into the meat.

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When it roasts, the greenness recedes,

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and what starts off really as a marinade,

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ends up as a fresh-tasting crust.

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It's a soft crust and browned in parts.

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But for now, I'm just going to leave the lamb here to steep a little

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before I put it in the oven.

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I pour some just-boiled water into the tin,

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to come about half a centimetre up,

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which keeps the meat lusciously tender and gives me gravy later.

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This goes into an oven at 180 degrees

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for around an hour and 40 minutes.

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Wherever I go, I pick up ideas for what I want to eat.

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I love Australia, but the lure for me isn't the sun.

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I mean, I shy away from that.

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But the food. And over the years,

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I have eaten my way very happily through Sydney,

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and I've recently discovered the joys of Western Australia.

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But when I was last in Melbourne, I ate the best chips of my life.

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They're fried in garlic steeped oil,

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and then once they're out of the pan,

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they're tossed with crumbled feta and dried oregano.

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And I am normally quite a prissy chip purist,

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but I was won over to the point of obsession,

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actually beyond the point of obsession, by these.

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I haven't tried to emulate them, but instead, inspired by them,

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I've created my own homespun version.

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I chunk up a tray full of potatoes, I don't bother peeling them,

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and pour over a good few glugs of olive oil.

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Then in goes a heady amount of grated garlic,

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and lots of dried oregano.

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Then I smoosh them about to mix.

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I love doing this by hand.

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I roast these in a 220 degree oven,

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until they're crisp and golden.

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No deep-frying involved, deep happiness achieved.

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Once the lamb with its soft herb crust is out of the oven,

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I leave it loosely tended with foil,

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and let it rest for up to 30 minutes.

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Everything else is ready,

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I'm just going to finish off my Greco-Australian potatoes.

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They're meltingly soft on the inside,

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and crisp and golden on the outside now.

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You can never have too many potatoes.

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So just like the chips I had in Melbourne,

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these potatoes are going to be sprinkled with feta.

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There is just something about the cool, smooth, saltiness of the feta,

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against the hot crispness of the potatoes.

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Now I'm going to toss these, because I want some of the bits of feta,

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the smaller bits particularly,

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to start melting slightly in the warmth.

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But I still want a sharp, cool crumble on top.

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And I know I've already got the dried oregano in these,

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but I cannot resist a final fragrant flourish of fresh oregano.

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And that's me done.

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Right, there we are...

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Right, who can I...?

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Oh, a bit of this...

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-I'm very, very pleased to hear it.

-Thank you for inviting us over.

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-Any time.

-Lovely.

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That looks delicious.

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For pudding, I'm making chocolate mousse,

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but not chocolate mousse as you know it,

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but an Iberian-inspired chocolate olive oil mousse.

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I want four eggs, separated. So far, so traditional.

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And I want the eggs at room temperature.

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Well, I nearly always do.

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And the last one.

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Before I whisk the whites,

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I'm just going to add a pinch of sea salt flakes.

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And here goes.

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I want firm peaks here.

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Let's see. Yes, perfect.

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And before I whisk the yolks, I want some sugar.

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Just 50 grams.

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It's caster sugar.

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I want some salt in here too. I suppose were I to measure,

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I'd say a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt flakes.

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It doesn't make it taste salty, it just brings balance.

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Somehow you taste the chocolate all the more.

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I want to whisk the yolks

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until they're thickened and about doubled in volume.

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That's the whites done, the yolks done, and now for the chocolate.

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I've got 150 grams there, melted and slightly cooled.

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And on top of the chocolate I'm going to pour

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the olive oil. Extra virgin, 100ml.

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I like a smooth and spicy olive oil, nothing too raspingly peppery.

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Mix these together.

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And the thing is, the olive oil

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doesn't just bring its resonant flavour,

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it also creates such a voluptuously smooth and soft texture.

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And now I'm going to pour this glossy mixture into the yolks.

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A steady stream, that's the idea.

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This is really good, bitter chocolate, 70%.

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Don't be tempted to go higher though,

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because you'll end up with a powdery texture.

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Right, I'm going to fold in the egg whites.

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A third at a time.

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You can be really brutal with the first go.

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Stir it in.

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The first dollop really is just

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to make the rest of the egg whites easier to fold in.

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Right. So, if I want this in thirds, it's half what's in the bowl now.

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And now, gently fold.

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The texture of this mousse is not super aerated,

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as you would have in a traditional chocolate mousse,

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but I still don't want to beat out those bubbles.

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And the last bit.

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I know this seems very last minute, but unlike a traditional mousse,

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which needs to sit in the fridge for a good long time to set,

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the whole point of this chocolate olive oil mousse is that the texture

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isn't set. It's soft and smooth.

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So my chocolate mousse is made, but now for the difficult part.

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I have to fill these glasses.

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Just ignore me, because I'm going to have to concentrate.

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They're pretty small, these glasses.

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But believe me, you know you can.

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You don't need anything bigger, this is fabulously rich.

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Right, the last one.

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I like a little pause before pudding, which is good,

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as these need 20 minutes in the fridge before eating.

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Right.

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I'm going to pass this to you.

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I love chocolate...

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Delicious...

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It's perfect...

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I'm going to finish this in a minute.

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This is just the right amount.

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It's very light...

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While I love having friends over, I never need an excuse to eat.

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There are two rules in life.

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One, everything is better between two slices of bread.

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And two, everything is better when it's deep-fried.

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Now, normally, when I want to eat deep-fried food,

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I like to go out and let someone else get hot and bothered

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on my behalf, but my coconut shrimp are so easy and so unruffling to

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make, I am more than happy to cook them every time I need to eat them.

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And that is very often.

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And to go with my hot, crisp and juicy shrimp, I make a cool,

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smooth and golden dipping sauce.

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It's incredibly simple.

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To a bowl of coconut milk yoghurt,

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I add sea salt flakes and ground turmeric.

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Stir everything together, and that's it.

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The work of a mere moment.

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So, my golden yoghurt can mellow in flavour and deepen in tone,

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while I get on with my dredging operation.

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It's a bit of a production line, but it's not complicated.

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Rice flour for the initial dredge,

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which is grittier than regular plain flour,

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and seems to add an extra rustling crispness.

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Into my second dish, an egg.

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I'm going to mix the egg with a little sea salt.

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And into my third dish, some desiccated coconut.

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Or, as we call it at home, "desecrated coconut".

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And those dry strands make the prawns look like they're wearing

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a hairy jacket once they've been fried.

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On top of this, some panko.

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Now, panko are Japanese breadcrumbs,

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and actually "breadcrumbs" is a bit of a misnomer,

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because they're flakes rather than crumbs.

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And again, very dry, which makes everything incredibly crunchy.

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The mild sweetness of the coconut needs a bit of a kick,

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and for that I have cayenne pepper.

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Right, let's mix this with my hands.

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Before I start dredging and dipping,

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I'm going to tell you about this new method I'm trying.

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Because normally, when I do this sort of thing,

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I get what I call "goujon fingers".

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Which means I have these balls of rather claggy breadcrumbs at the end

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of each finger. So I'm going to try and do something that I was taught,

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which is you keep one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry.

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I'm nominating my left hand for wet and my right for dry.

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So the prawns are wet, so they go in my left hand.

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These are raw prawns, and they're fresh.

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I don't use frozen,

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because the liquid they give out would make the oil spit too much.

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The rice flour is dry, so I'm going to use my right hand.

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First sprinkle a bit on top of the prawns to cover them,

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and then turn them.

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OK, so dry hand, I'm going to drop them into the eggs wet.

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The rice flour really helps the egg adhere.

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Egg is wet, so I'm going to use my left hand now to turn.

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And then I lift up each prawn and waggle it over the egg to get rid of

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any excess, and in it goes to the coconut and panko.

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There you are.

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And again, I'm going to cover the prawns a bit with this mixture,

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right hand, because it's dry, of course,

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before I turn them. And I really think it's important at this stage

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to give them a proper thick coating.

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And then I like to sort of press and scrunch a bit.

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Just turn everything.

0:26:120:26:13

So far, so good. These plump little babies can sit here for safekeeping

0:26:170:26:22

just for the mo.

0:26:220:26:23

And that was so much fun I'm going in again.

0:26:260:26:29

I have got quite a few more prawns to use up,

0:26:460:26:51

but I'm very eager now to get onto the eating part of the process.

0:26:510:26:55

So I'll turn the heat on under the oil,

0:26:550:26:57

and while it heats up, I'm going to have a bit of a clean-up.

0:26:580:27:01

The oil's good and hot now,

0:27:080:27:10

so these plump little commas are ready to be dropped in.

0:27:100:27:13

When I say dropped in, go gently. Here we are.

0:27:130:27:17

Best sound.

0:27:200:27:21

It's important the oil is properly hot,

0:27:240:27:26

because this means by the time the outside is good and golden,

0:27:260:27:31

the insides will be cooked but still succulent and tender.

0:27:310:27:34

And while that's carrying on, I'm going to get my sauce ready.

0:27:420:27:45

Look at this now.

0:27:460:27:48

Golden ointment.

0:27:480:27:49

Basket, my spider. Let's see how this is all... Ah!

0:27:550:27:59

They're done. They're ready for me, and I'm ready for them.

0:28:020:28:06

Hot crisp prawns, cool smooth dip.

0:28:090:28:13

And inside all that crispness, the prawns are so lusciously tender.

0:28:240:28:28

I'm going in again.

0:28:280:28:30

Subtitles by Ericsson

0:28:580:29:00

Treats are in store as Nigella rustles up some of her favourite dishes to share around the table. For a lunch with friends, Nigella's herbed leg of lamb is relaxingly simple to prepare, served with garlicky roast potatoes with oregano and feta. That is followed by her voluptuously soft and rich chocolate olive oil mousse. For a delicious snack that is unbelievably moreish, there is Nigella's coconut shrimp with turmeric yoghurt - hot crisp prawns with a cool smooth dipping sauce. And her ginger and walnut carrot cake never fails to win over friends and family.