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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook for the non-Atkins generation
I've had a copy of this book now for nearly 5 years and I think I must have tried 80% or so of the recipes. One thing that distinguishes this book from any other is the honesty of the narrative. Nigel Slater sounds like he wrote the book as he was actually doing the cooking itself, throwing ingredients into a pan with carefree aplomb.
All of the recipes are full-fat,...
Published on 24 Dec 2003 by L. Fry

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recipes great, binding poor
I bought this book as a small birthday gift for a friend who loves the Nigel Slater shows on TV. The recipes are varied and interesting. How do I know? I kept the book for myself! The simple reason was that the look, feel and quality of the cover is so poor. It's great value if you're buying it for yourself but look elsewhere for a gift.
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by ailiecat


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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook for the non-Atkins generation, 24 Dec 2003
By 
L. Fry "shamblesuk" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
I've had a copy of this book now for nearly 5 years and I think I must have tried 80% or so of the recipes. One thing that distinguishes this book from any other is the honesty of the narrative. Nigel Slater sounds like he wrote the book as he was actually doing the cooking itself, throwing ingredients into a pan with carefree aplomb.
All of the recipes are full-fat, no-mess good wholesome food. My particular favourite is dauphinoise (ie posh) potataoes with smoked haddock. An absolute joy of a side dish. Also try the fish with parmesan crust and Tom Yam Gai soup.
The only thing that it lacks is photographs. Sometimes you have to hope it looks like it should, and a few more photographs would help.
That aside, none of the meals have gone wrong and I use the book regularly, even now. Highly recommended.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a great cook book, an entertaining read too!, 10 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Real Food (Paperback)
Nigel Slater is a genius. His recipes are simple and easy to follow, with mouth-wateringly delicious results. I could not pick one favourite from this book, having tried more than half of the recipes therein, they're all just too good. But the very best part is that this is not just a recipe book, it's a damned good read, which brought more than one chuckle from my lips as I read from cover to cover within a day of receiving it. This man is passionate about food......it's contagious!!!
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Food - No messing about, 28 Feb 2006
This review is from: Real Food (Paperback)
Nigel who???
That is what I thought to myself when I first began watching Nigel Slater on television. I may have never heard of the man before but it didn't take long to see why he deserved his own T.V. series. Mouthwatering dishes were produced one by one before my eyes in such a relaxed and easy manner that my arm positively ached due to constantly scribbling down the recipes. Enough is enough I decided, and instantly tracked down and purchased the 'Real Food' book.
Mr Slater writes very much as he speaks; he is obviously very passionate about food and yet with him there are no frills, no messing about, just great food. Truly great food!!
I absolutely love the pieces that he has written in amongst the recipes, where he talks about the various foods he has included, ranging from the chip butty (do not underestimate this) to 'garlic scallops' and way beyond.
I'm told by a friend (who is married to a french man) that cooking a camembert would be sacriledge to the French. What a challenge! I'd already tried Nigels recipe for 'Camembert baked in a box', and couldn't see how anyone could possibly dislike it. I persuaded my friend to surrender her Camembert in the name of science then set about preparing it a la Monsieur Slater. We all watched her husbands highly dubious face with great interest as we presented the dish as a starter to our meal. He tentatively dunked his first bit of bread into the bubbling oozing cheese, and gradually his expression turned from horror to confusion to thoughtfulness and finally to delight. He almost splintered the box trying to scrape the last dregs out of it and insisted I give him the recipe so he could try it out on his family! I have since tried many of the recipes from this book, a particular favourite of mine is the 'Pasta with spicy sausage, bazil and mustard', it is incredibly easy and yet so tasty that my tongue is actually tingling as I am typing about it. Another superb one is the rather impressive (and yet still amazingly easy) 'Baked goats cheese in pastry'. I could go on and on, but instead I will simply say that this man has arrived at the top of my list of favourite chefs, and this book is one of the most treasured in my rather extensive culinary library. I have already asked my husband to buy me another of Nigel Slaters books ('Appetite') for my birthday, and if it's even half as good as 'Real Food' I'll still be totally delighted.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Food. Nigel Slater, 9 Aug 2010
This review is from: Real Food (Paperback)
There is something about Nigel Slater's writing that has a drool quality about it: it is simple yet decadent, naughty but nice.

In this offering, he centres his writings around a collection of key ingredients namely potatoes, chicken, sausages, garlic, bread, cheese, ice-cream and chocolate.
Clever man. He has hit our comfort hot spots with these fabulous foods and given us a range of dishes to showcase them at their best.

However, it is not all about the recipes when reading a Nigel Slater book. We are well used to the phrase "food writing" these days, and Nigel Slater has been a keen player of this genre for well over a decade. He provides a backdrop to each recipe with some thoughts, hints and ideas on the context of the food in question. He doesn't jump from one dish to the next without some form of linking of the text. It makes for a good read as well as a cookery aide. Double value for money in my opinion.

Yes, you do get the "how to" for Toad (in the hole), but you also get a mood feel for the food about to be served and its appropriateness for the time and place. You are left under no delusions that this is a simple supper dish and not posh nosh for dinner parties. It is never written, but always implied.

He does have the odd burst of directness, when extolling the delights of the Chip Butty for example.
He strongly recommends a certain state of inebriation melded with additional ice cold beer in order that this British institution may be enjoyed in a superlative manner.

Like many of his contemporaries, he is champions the heavyweights of each food he features. Quality and provenance are the paths to excellence in the recipes he provides. Don't expect the Roast Chicken with Basil and Lemon to have the same punch if you buy an insipid Two For A Fiver bird from the local supermarket. He claims you will get more for your money in terms of taste and flavour if you spend more.
Interesting words as they were penned almost twelve years ago. The more recent campaigners for free range, locally sourced foodstuffs must have drawn some of their inspiration from him?
Either way, it is a comfort to see that a book with this vintage can guide us through the morass of ethical buying choices that we are faced with on a daily basis.

It is impossible to cite the best recipes, as they are all wonderful in their individual way, but if pressed I would go for Potato Pizza, Thai Spiced Chicken Wings, Toad, Parmesan Garlic Bread, Steak Sandwich, Camembert Baked in a Box, Hot Ice Cream Pudding and Chocolate Toblerone Sauce. Try these and become a Nigel Slater aficionado. Preferably not all in one sitting!

His writings are a subtle as his flavourings.
He offers simple and straightforward advice, without any pretension.
He affirms your choice of meal, by making you feel good about what you are doing.

Preparing food, good food to share with others.
It can't get any better than that
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you cook for two and want to make food sexy!, 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
If you've seen Nigel on telly, don't be put off by his cheesy on-screen style and celebrity friends. His writing is wonderful. Fans of his column in The Observer will not be dissapointed - the characteristic passion he feels for what he's cooking is all here - from unctious-purple-satin aubergines to gooey bottom-of-pan left-overs.
The recipes are generally quick and simple and avoid the chemistry lesson approach so evident in many other books. Quantities are small so be prepared to do some multiplying if you're cooking a dinner party.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational cookbook, 7 Oct 2007
By 
J. Lawrence "ashhousebooks" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
Nigel Slater was writing about how to make basic family food taste wonderful long before it was fashionable. Luckily, good food cooked well does not go out of style. This book is as useful to me now as when I bought it nine years ago.

One thing I love about this book is that the ingredients are completely normal things I can buy reliably at the supermarket. The directions are very simple and generally very short. For instance, the "Parsley and Mustard Mash" has five ingredients, of which three are implied by the title (the other two being butter and creme fraiche). There is a paragraph about his views on the dish, and another one describing how to make the dish - that's it. Oh - and a sort of arty photo.

The photos are good - arty of course, but in a way made to entice you to try the recipe. Just having a look at the photo of roast potatoes makes you want to cook a proper sunday dinner.

The recipes are organised by ingredient. Once you get used to this, it becomes a useful way to browse and consider different ways of dealing with those ingredients. However, it does mean that if you're looking for a standard cookbook approach where starters, mains and puds are all in separate chapters (useful for menu planning), this book won't be so helpful.

There are a few strange recipes - for instance "Peter Gordon's Muffaletta", a sort of squashed sandwich which is surprisingly good. However the vast majority will be his take on a familiar british dish.

The recipes clearly reflect his taste - there's lots of garlic (I always leave it out), cream, dark chocolate, and other rich ingredients. Nevertheless, most of the recipes work with substitutions that fit your diet and taste. They are simple enough to stand up without going to the extremes that he sometimes does.

For people who cook for pleasure, and who enjoy good basic food made to taste utterly indulgent, I would definitely recommend this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GREAT GREAT, 29 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
I am a recent convert to Nigel Slater and his Real Food. I kept resisting the purchase of this book, though God only knows why. Still, after hearing his name mentioned by all the big names of cooking here in the UK (Nigella Lawson, Alastair Little, etc.) and hearing about his fabulous recipes at places like La Fromagerie and Divertimenti (London haunts for real foodies), I finally gave in.
Well, what a treat!
Slater writes extremely well and he gives great insight into cooking really fantastic, non-frou-frou recipes. My favourites so far are the Gruyere and Tarragon souffle (fool proof) and the orrechiette with sausage and double cream. Great stuff.
This is a MUST HAVE cookbook.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real food is right!, 27 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Real Food (Paperback)
Until I discovered Nigel Slater, I thought I must be the only one who liked the marmitey-sticky bits on the bottom of sausages! This book is great- try the toad, you'll be hooked!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxed, but passionate cooking style., 19 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Real Food (Hardcover)
The book reflects Nigel Slater's style well. The photography of the dishes is the usual high standard we now expect. Slater's passion for his art is well expressed. You genuinely smell, feel and experience being in his kitchen! The book focuses well on this, unlike the distractions of the TV series, with its 'sleazy' background music and his chummy friends.
Overall, though, Slater's passion for a desire for the quality of ingredients and eventual taste of the dish are demonstrated strongly. Unlike some food writers, you feel he has cooked all these dishes, has enjoyed them, and is now asking you to join him!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 24 Mar 2002
This review is from: Real Food (Paperback)
The important thing about Nigel Slater's writing is that the recipies really do work. I find that compared to Mr. Oliver's tomes, the food doesn't always taste as good as it really should. Slater's recipies always taste immaculate and every one is a bunker buster meal in thirty minutes. He really is head and shoulders above allcomers for a sure fire feast. The writing style is familliar, enthousiastic, sensual and easy to read...
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Real Food by Nigel Slater (Paperback - 2000)
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