This is the first of a monthly series I’ve got planned for this year. I have ‘imaginatively’ named it Cooked Books. I have shelves packed full of cookery books, some of which I use all the time, some of which I can’t remember when I last used. In a bid to rediscover some older ones and enjoy some of my newer or favourite ones I plan to feature one cookery book towards the end of each month in the hope that during that month I have cooked a number of recipes from it!
So here is my first choice. Nigel Slater is one of my all time favourite cookery writers. A number of his books grace my shelves and I refer to them often. He has such an easy writing style, his food is unfussy and delicious, and he cooks the sorts of things I want to eat; food which his flavoursome, uncomplicated and easy to put together after a working day.
Eat is an ‘essential guide to everyday eating from sizzling chorizo with potato and shallots to a Vietnamese inspired prawn baguette or a one-pan Sunday lunch’. The recipes are designed to be straightforward, contemporary and easy to get to the table.
This is a stylish, compact little book full or recipes which have only a few ingredients. A recipe book is all about the pictures and the pictures in this book are stylishly underplayed and gorgeous to look at.
I’ve made and photographed a number of recipes from this book but many of those photos seem to have disappeared into the black hole of cyberspace. So here are just two I’ve tried.
A combination of chicken drumsticks, marmalade and whole grain mustard. Super easy to throw together and a sticky, sweet, spicy end result. Perfect after work cooking.
Salmon and Cucumber Pie
Salmon, chunky white fish, cucumber, cream, capers, bread, butter, dill, lemon. A simple but tasty take on a fish pie. All the flavour with much less of the preparation. Delicious with peas or green beans
Like most of Nigel Slater’s books, this is full of recipes to be tinkered with and played with. They are often starting points lending themselves to adding and substituting ingredients to suit your own larder or personal taste.
I refer to this book so often, it rarely makes it to a shelf and is usually found laying on a table peppered with random pieces of paper marking ‘must make’ or ‘must make again’ recipes.