‘Eat’ by Nigel Slater

Eat 002aAs soon as I read about this latest book from English food writer
Nigel Slater I knew I would love it.

Unfortunately, because of under ordering by the distributor here in New Zealand I missed out on it when it first came out last year, then between one thing and another (like moving) I hadn’t managed to obtain a copy, but now I am pleased to say I have and I am every bit as pleased with it as I expected to be.

Nigel Slater has long been one of my favourite food writers for
simple, straightforward and down-to-earth cooking – I love his books and his TV shows – personally I think he has sexist male voice on TV!

Eat subtitled The little book of fast food 4th Estate 2013 is packed with typically Slater recipes and ideas. This book maybe small in
format but with, as the cover claims, ‘Over 600 ideas for dinner’ and over 400 pages it is certainly not small on content.

It is a beautiful cloth-bound book with brief recipes and short lists of ingredients and follows along the lines of his first bestseller of 20 years ago Real Fast Food, which I also have and still enjoy cooking from.

When I picked this book up it fell open at Mozzarella Chorizo
Sandwich and this is the first dish I have cooked from it and
illustrates perfectly (I think) what this book is all about.

While I did my take on this recipe using local chorizo from Wild Game Salami, Hohepa mozzarella and ciabatta rolls from Hastings City New World, I am reproducing it as it appears in the book so that you get an idea of the style and simplicity of what this little gem has to offer.

Mozzarella Chorizo Sandwich

Eat 004a

mozzarella, chorizo, ciabatta, spinach

Slice 130g cooking chorizo thickly, across the diagonal, then place the slices in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. There is no need to use any oil or butter. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes, turning halfway through, until the oil begins to escape the sausage.

Slice a large ball of mozzarella (about 150g) on top of the chorizo, then carefully spoon some of the oil from the pan over the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt – covering with a lid will help – then season with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.

Tear open a short ciabatta, spoon the chorizo and mozzarella inside, then spoon the juices from the pan over the top. Again there is no need to butter the bread as the pan juices will ensure it gets
deliciously moist.

Tuck a handful of spinach leaves inside the ciabatta. Give it a good squeeze, allowing all the juices to soak into the bread and the
spinach to wilt a little. Slice the ciabatta in half and serve
immediately.

For 2. It’s all about the juices.

I can see this is a book I will turn to when I want a quick meal and don’t want to have to think too much about how it is going to get on the table and it’s definitely a tastier and healthier alternative to ‘takeaway’.

It would be the perfect gift for the novice cook and/or those leaving home for the first time.

Happy cooking and eating.

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