Last-Minute Holiday Guests? Nigella's Here To Help From peanut butter hummus to "dirty" Prosecco, chef Nigella Lawson shares some simple solutions for holiday entertaining. She talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about quick appetizers, drinks and desserts that are sure to please the guests.

Last-Minute Holiday Guests? Nigella's Here To Help

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You've got something called Sherry-Glazed Chorizo. We've talked about chorizo before and this is bits of sausage, right?

NIGELLA LAWSON: Now, I use a sherry that would make some people raise an eyebrow, which is a cream sherry. But I quite like the extra sweet note. It's quite a laidback recipe, because it just takes under five minutes to make and you can use the sherry of your choice.

INSKEEP: As simple as this dish is, and I'm looking at a photograph here in one of your books, I mean it's one ingredient - it's hunks of meat on a plate. But it's very attractive and almost glistens, it almost sort of got a glaze on it of sorts.

LAWSON: Well, it really does because of the amount of sugar. There's a small amount of sugar in the sherry - seems to catch. And I think there is just something about that sort of holy trinity, if I may say so, - unholy trinity - of sugar, salt and fat and that makes each mouthful very more-ish.


INSKEEP: Very more-ish. What does that mean?

LAWSON: It means you have to have more.


LAWSON: You haven't heard that word?

INSKEEP: I thought you were talking in geographical terms.

LAWSON: Well, it is Moorish in terms of historically. But it is more-ish spelled M-O-R-E, as well.


INSKEEP: Well, let's get a little Moorish with some Peanut Butter Hummus. What is said?

LAWSON: Well, Peter Butter Hummus is one of my greatest discoveries of this year. It's a hummus that you make, instead normally using tahini, which is really sesame butter, if you think it. It's just crushed sesame seeds. I used peanut butter. So what you get, rather than that normal, slightly pale hummus, you get one that's more like the brown envelope you might get a bill in.


LAWSON: It's one of those dips that you do keep going back into. But I think, on the other hand, it's quite useful because at this time of year, if you just want to put one thing out with drinks, it is perhaps a more friendly mixed-generational snack.

INSKEEP: Oh, because my daughter...

LAWSON: Because peanut butter - yeah...

INSKEEP: ...might do something with peanut butter in it, for example.

LAWSON: But it's really, in fact, it sounds like it's a slightly jokey addition to an appetizer platter. But actually it isn't. It's got a very sophisticated taste. But there's no intrinsic superiority from sesame seeds to peanuts.

INSKEEP: So if I...

LAWSON: It's just that were more used to peanuts.

INSKEEP: So if I asked if you could spread this hummus on bread and put some jelly on another piece of bread, you would probably slap me or something. You wouldn't be...

LAWSON: I wouldn't slap. The pity of radio is you can't see the rather stern look I'd be giving you.


LAWSON: But I - I mean I think that if you're not...

INSKEEP: I'm just asking the question.

LAWSON: If you're not born into it, peanut butter and jelly is a difficult step to take.


LAWSON: But I certainly - you can make - this would be fantastic on toast and great in sandwiches. And the sort of thing you'd want to be eating as you watched TV, with a very cold beer in front of you, as well.

INSKEEP: There you go. Let's talk about something sweet. You've got a Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake to describe here.

LAWSON: But I actually think that sometimes it's nice to remind people that a plain cake that is not frosted can be a very deep pleasure. And it doesn't have to be over-sugared or over-fancy.

INSKEEP: And let me just say, there is no frosting on this. It's just cake. It's just a piece of cake.

LAWSON: It's smooth and it's baked in a loaf tin.

INSKEEP: And - and...

LAWSON: Or a loaf pan, you'd call it.

INSKEEP: What should we have to drink?

LAWSON: Well, I have a real weakness for a drink that they Italians - the chic northern Italians call Prosecco Sporco, which means dirty Prosecco. But I translate it as filthy fizz.


LAWSON: Prosecco being the fizzy Italian wine. And...

INSKEEP: What's dirty about it?

LAWSON: Well, they dirty it with a small slug of Campari, which is very bitter and in fact not at all dirty. It's a beautiful bejeweled red - very, very good for the time of year. But I should also say if you want, I've often been in favor of going to the coffee shop. And, you know, at this time of year they make gingerbread lattes.

INSKEEP: Oh, yeah.

LAWSON: And then what you ask to buy a bottle of the gingerbread syrup. And that, a splash of that in Prosecco is a fantastic way to go, as well.

INSKEEP: Would you start with this Prosecco Sporco, which is basically kind of a mixed drink and then mix it some more? Is that what you're saying?

LAWSON: And then it fizzes up in delight and so does your guest.


INSKEEP: That's really sounds wonderful. And you don't even have to put an umbrella on top of it, to make a nice...

LAWSON: Certainly not. Perish the thought.

INSKEEP: Nigella, thanks very much.

LAWSON: Thank you.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Don Gonyea.

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