Nigella Lawson's Creative Polenta Hack Has Instagram Buzzing

Some television chefs might be so intimidating they make us think twice about entering the kitchen, but that isn't the case with Nigella Lawson, whose relaxed approach to cooking makes us feel like anything she cooks in front of us is easy, and right within our reach — regardless of our kitchen skill level.

So it should come as no surprise that she, like so many of us, actually improvises when we prepare meals from time to time. She said that if there was something people could have learned when sheltering in place from the pandemic, it is that there is no one precise way to make a dish. She stated, per RTE, "Lockdown showed people who don't consider themselves confident cooks that cooking is all about improvisation."

She added, "I think the reason a lot of people are nervous about cooking is they think there is one perfect way and they are frightened of getting it wrong ... You are not talking about making showstoppers, you are talking about cobbling things together to make supper." Now, an Instagram post shows us just how creative Lawson can be, particularly when it comes to making use of ingredients you might already have in your pantry.

Nigella Lawson's hack turns semolina into a mashed potato substitute

The hack involves making use of semolina, if you have some in your pantry, and turning that into a comforting bowl of what Nigella Lawson calls "Mock Mash." The chef wrote, "I don't know if it's better to explain what that is here or let you find out when you click on the recipe! I could tell you it's a dish of buttery, parmesan-salty semolina, but that might put you off Though I promise you that as alarming as that might sound, it is just de-luscious! Perhaps try and think of it as a speedy and altogether smoother and gentler alternative to polenta. Most of all, what it offers is the comfort of mashed potatoes without the effort," per Instagram

The dish struck a chord with Lawson's social media followers. "This is such a gorgeous way to eat semolina — and should be rightfully and properly celebrated," raved one; "Ooh! I've been wondering what else to do with the semolina I bought for doing roast potatoes. This looks heavenly," said another. "Soft polenta is my ultimate comfort food, this speedier version could be my downfall! Buttery, parmesan-salty semolina is poetry to my ears," remarked a third. Before you dive in, remember that semolina is high in gluten and might be an inappropriate ingredient for someone who has an intolerance or sensitivity to the protein, per Healthline.