A former kitchen-hating woman, Nigella Lawson showed me cooking could be fun, sexy, delicious and best of all, accomplished in a sexy nightgown and robe. What I love about her recipes is that they're so easily adapted for other ingredients, textures, flavors, etc. She, and my grandmother, are my cooking teachers.
My favorite things to cook
Roast chicken with lemon, garlic, white wine, olive oil and thyme. Green chile chicken enchiladas. Roasted veggies. Penne pasta with tomatoes, basil and parmesan. Chicken adovada.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My wonderful and beloved grandmother is a delicious cook. I think my earliest memory is me playing on the kitchen rug watching her cook. Her food, simple but delicious New Mexican dishes like green chile chicken enchiladas, calabacitas, caldito, homemade tortillas, and Spanish rice, are cornerstones of my life. And of course her to-die-for margaritas are the best!
My cooking triumphs
Cheesy salmon ball, baked salmon, garlic lemon roast chicken, Guinness chocolate cake, chicken adovada, Italian-style peas, lemon-garlic chicken with white wine, corn and ham souffle, red pepper hummus.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I ever tried to roast a chicken (age 16) and put the bird into the oven without benefit of a pan! Sixteen years later I still get laughed at for that one.