Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Kitchen Diaries II - Nigel Slater.


So, in complete contrast to Jamie's 15-Minute Meals, I come to Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries II (and, yes, there is room in my life for both of these books but Nigel Slater wins hands down for writing, recipes and inspiring food enjoyment). 

Here is a passage from the introduction, "We can either treat food as nothing more than fuel or relish its every quality.  We can think of preparing it as something to get done as quickly and effortlessly as possible or as something to find pleasure in, something to enrich our everyday life, to have fun with".

This is a beautiful book. It feels heavy, it has a beautiful typeface, evocative photographs and, above all, writing which makes me lose all sense of time.  

The book arrived the day after it's publication which happened to be a Friday - my meal planning day - perfect.  I was torn between getting started cooking from it straight away or placating my OCD side by waiting until the 1st of January to work through it in order.  My greedy side won, of course. 

I have now made several recipes from the book, all very successful.  The first Kitchen Diaries gets used a lot for inspiration.  I pick it up and flick to the date then go back about a month (up here the days get warmer and therefore produce becomes available that much later), see what Nigel would be eating around that time and copy or adapt.  I can see me using this book in a similar way.  I will also read a bit each night like I did with the last one.  I believe there are a lot of us fans who take Nigel Slater books to bed with us!

So here are a few pictures of some of the recipes I have tried so far...


Tomatoes, pre-roasting, for the Roast Tomatoes, Thyme and Goat's Cheese.
Oh dear the photo shows just how lazy we have been with keeping our outside table looked after!  One of the last outside meals of this year.

Sorry - half eaten!

Baked Chicken With Tomatoes and Olives.


Blackberry Ice-Cream Cake
This is amazing.  Heed his advice not to use the huge supermarket blackberries as they freeze solid and take too long to become edible.  Watch this space for some re-interpretations of this dessert.
Okay, yes, I have an obsession with this!
Apricot Couscous.
A Lentil and Pumpkin Soup-Stew.  This tastes so comforting and is very nutritious and cheap to make too.  I will be making this a lot for the cold days coming - a new staple recipe.

Making Tarts of Leek and Cheese.


  


Courgette Fritters with Tomato and Rosemary Sauce.

Broad Bean, Feta and Spinach Pie.

Ooozy!

A Smoked Chicken and Dill Sandwich.  This is so much more than a sandwich.  It's a favourite of Nigel Slater's and now of mine too.


Lots more lined up to be made from this book. Some examples of things I am looking forward to making this Autumn - slow-cooked oxtail with five-spice and tamarind, slow-cooked rabbit with herbs, pear and chocolate oat crumble, fig and hazlenut loaf for cheese. And so much more.  The book is absolutely packed with recipes and ideas. 

I would suggest that any foodie would love a copy of this for Christmas.  I think the gift giver would be thought of as someone with very good taste!

19 comments:

  1. You have convinced me to give Nigel another chance, I got rid of his Real Food books I found it too simplistic, but these recipes look fantastic

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    1. Ah Janice, I love the Real Food books so maybe I'm not the best person for you to listen to. Maybe I'm just a simple girl. ;)

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  2. Those all sound fantastic. The only Nigel Slater book I have is his autobiography but this may well go on my letter to Santa.

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    1. I have nearly all his books. Appetite is probably my favourite. Although this new one might take the title.

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  3. Oh I'm so glad you liked it. I really want it to be good and I am going out to buy it tomorrow! His first Kitchen Diaries sits on my bedside table I love it do much. Fab review and loads of amazing cooking too. Very nice!

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  4. That sounds like a wonderful book and I see you had a pat on the back from the man himself on twitter :)

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    1. Hee hee, yes. Fell asleep last night with a big grin on my face!

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  5. I love how you say you have room for both in your life - it's a great way to look at it! :) And Oh. My. Gosh. That cookbook, based on your amazing pictures, must be amazing. That pumpkin lentil stew sounds amazing, as does everything :)

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    1. Thanks Shelley. It's a very useful recipe - a winner!

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  6. Yet another book on my "Christmas List"! (It's so hard being in Canada and seeing all these fantastic books being released in the UK! Thank goodness I'm back home in a few months!) I love Nigel - always have, always will and i love Kitchen Diaries so I know I will love this 2nd book! Looks like you have got your monies worth already - fantastic! : )

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  7. I have definitely got my money's worth already and to think I have only really looked at 2 months out of the 12.
    You had better watch your baggage limits when you return to Canada! This book alone is fairly hefty. :)

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  8. I totally agree. I'm getting so much use from his cookery book, that I'm now considering the purchase of his early Kitchen Diaries. Certainly the leek and cheese tart was a great success here!

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    1. See if you can get it from the library to see if you like it first.

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  9. Goodness, you have been bz and making good use of your latest book!

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    1. Sure have - it is definitely worth the purchase for us.

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  10. I loved Nigel Slater's first Kitchen Diaries, so I was really excited to hear that he was bringing out a second one – I immediately put a request in to my local library. Based on your post it looks like I'm going to be a big fan of this one, too, and I'll probably end up buying it!

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  11. You've made most of the things I want to try from the book! The spinach, broad bean & feta pie especially!

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