Real Food Hardcover – 1 Sep 1998
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Observer columnist Nigel Slater has chosen his eight favourite foods and sculpted a sensational cookbook around them. And what are they? Potatoes, chicken, sausages, garlic, bread, cheese, ice-cream and chocolate.
For each of the eight he offers a selection of recipes, some from friends and colleagues, including Alastair Little, Rowley Leigh, Peter Gordon and Nigella Lawson. As he explains in the introduction, "By Real Food I mean big-flavoured, unpretentious cooking. Good ingredients made into something worth eating. Nothing fancy. Nothing extravagant. Nothing careless or slapdash. Just nice, uncomplicated food--be it chicken roasted with olive oil, lemon and basil or simply a big, fat mushroom baked in garlic butter and stuffed inside a soft bap." And that's pretty much what he's achieved, though he does let himself go on occasion with recipes like Deep-fried Ice Cream and Mincemeat Parcels.
The book is peppered with short essays on ingredients that bear Slater's trademark dry wit. He is definitely one of Britain's best food writers and his collaboration with photographer Jonathan Lovekin marks this book out from the crowd.
'The greatest cookery writer of them all.' Guardian
'He is a genius.' Matthew Fort
'Nigel is a bloody genius.' Jamie Oliver
'No one writes more temptingly about food.' Independent
'My kitchen God.' RedSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.