Nigella Lawson taught me everything I know about home entertaining, chocolate mousse-making, and the benefits of post-party solo snacking. In her many cooking shows, she slid through the kitchen with loose hair and a wide smile, the picture of kitchen confidence. But recently Nigella revealed that even she battles the recipe and technique goblins that plague every home chef.
"I'm filming for my new series and I saw the filming of my chopping and I've almost got time for a cup of tea between slicing the carrots. I was so embarrassed watching," she said during a talk at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to promote her latest cookbook At My Table. Oh Nigella, we've all been there and we think it's endearing that she shares this common issue with so many of her fans.
Buy Nigella's Latest Book: At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking, $33
Her lack of flawless knife skills isn't her only culinary hurdle. "One of the things I was convinced I could never do was poached egg and I had such a fear of egg poaching out of proportion to the task," the domestic goddess confessed.
But finally, the famous chef and cookbook author has faced her fears and can make a meticulous, wobbly poached egg when she craves one. Here's her technique.
I crack the egg in a tea strainer over a cup and all the very watery bits go underneath. I push it into another cup and I add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the egg white in the cup. I put it into the water, which is almost turned off, and I leave it in there for three or four minutes and I sometimes with my slotted spoon sometimes encourage the white to come up in shape.
Take these lessons to heart, fellow home cooks. If you want to, you can overcome your kitchen fears and learn new skills, no matter how advanced you are in your culinary life. And if you have a mental block around a certain recipe or technique, it doesn't have to hold you back.
Over to you, readers: What's your biggest kitchen fear?