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The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater by Nigel Slater

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Notes about this book

  • mama_c on November 23, 2016

    Mine is 2005, ISBN-13 978-0-00-719948-8

  • FeastsandFestivals on June 22, 2012

    Totally agree, and wonderful if you have a 'what on earth shall I cook tonight ?' moment. Just go to the same date in this and there you have an answer....

  • MelMM on August 05, 2010

    Slater's books are always a good read, but this one in particular reads as more like a memoir than a cookbook. It's a fascinating and honest look at how the writer actually eats on a day to day basis, and yes, sometimes it is just a pizza delivery. Of course there are also recipes, and some real winners too.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • A frosted marmalade cake

    • veronicafrance on March 17, 2012

      This wasn't as marmaladey as I expected it to be. I'd use more next time, maybe 100g instead of 75. It's best to use good bitter marmalade, not the golden shred type. Edit: much better with 100g, a nice marmalade flavour.

  • A herb and barley broth to bring you back to health

    • Zosia on August 20, 2014

      More like a vegetable stew than soup - definitely not a broth - the flavour was pleasant but not spectacular. Simmered in the oven with partially cooked barley included instead of stove top, the barley was mush after the first hour (of 2) of cooking. It's probably best to just fully cook it in a separate pot and add it to the bowls at serving time.

  • A radish, mint and feta salad

    • sharifah on December 30, 2011

      Love this salad - nice combo

  • A really fast cake with blueberries and pears

    • JFM on August 02, 2012

      Really fast and lovely - I only had blueberries and apricots, but they worked well instead of the pears.

  • A really good spaghetti Bolognese

    • Breadcrumbs on September 10, 2011

      p. 21 Guess what? Nigel was right, this truly was a really good spaghetti Bolognese . . . and the best part was how quickly it came together yet still managed to deliver big, complex flavours. Oh I know, I know, it’s not winter but there was a chill in the air on a rainy Sunday last week and this recipe just called to us . . . even though Nigel made it in January! A couple of notes on execution: I used the Cuisinart to finely chop the veggies for speed and ease and, I diced vs finely chopped the mushrooms as we prefer their meaty texture.I served this with spaghetti which I tossed in the Bolognese prior to serving w some fresh parmesan grated atop. I do believe that the stock plays a significant role in this dish and I happened to have some uber-rich veal stock on hand which I used. We thoroughly enjoyed Nigel’s Bolognese, it had well balanced flavours that were surprisingly deep given the short cooking time.This hit the spot on a cool, damp summer’s eve. Two forks up!

  • A stunning orange sorbet

    • Zosia on July 24, 2014

      Unlike the ingredients that have been indexed here, the recipe in my edition of the book calls for mineral water and freshly squeezed orange, both of which, I think, add to the "stunning" factor. Surprisingly creamy for a non-dairy dessert, it had a fantastic zingy orange flavour and was beautifully refreshing on a hot summer day.

  • A wonderfully moist, fresh plum cake

    • Jane on October 15, 2012

      Perfect fall dessert. As he says, very moist. Juicy slices of plum encased in tender almond cake studded with nuts (I used pecans rather than walnuts because I prefer them). It looked really pretty too - many slices of fruit sink but enough sit on top surrounded by browned almond batter for a good presentation.

    • mfto on August 02, 2015

      p 276 Today is the 3rd day since I baked this cake. I just had a piece for my breakfast and it is still delicious. My plums were not fully ripe, tart but flavorful. That is the way I like most fruit. My husband is a fruit lover and on the first day he said the cake was delicious. On the second day he had a piece but I was afraid to ask. Here's the thing. The title tells it all. Yes it is "wonderfully moist" to me but some might say "too moist". Perhaps it should be classified as a cake cobbler if there is such a thing. The recipe calls for 16 plums! A blogger I consulted watched Nigel make the cake on TV and reported that his plums were tiny. She suggested 4 or 5. My plums were large and I used 4. He also urges the use of a large metal spoon for folding in dry ingredients. I used a large rubber spatula which worked fine. The blogger also recommended a teaspoon of almond extract. Very good call. My cake took 40 minutes and was perfectly cooked.

  • Asparagus and lemon risotto

    • veronicafrance on April 21, 2013

      I enjoyed this -- the lemon makes it a bit different from a standard risotto. If you're not a lemon freak like me, you might want to start with less lemon juice, taste, and add more if desired. A useful way of stretching a small quantity of less than perfect asparagus.

  • Blackberry and apple pie

    • okcook on September 25, 2015

      This recipe doesn't work for me. The pastry was insufficient to make a top and a bottom let alone make decorative flowers for the top as Nigel suggests you do with any leftover dough. There are too many apples. Recipe calls for 1.5 kg which I did weigh out and I had at least two apples worth that would not fit in the pie....should have weighed it. It is in the oven and looks like kids in kindergarten made it! I'm not happy. I am not a baker and this is why. ((-;

  • Bramley apple shortcake

    • embk27 on May 31, 2016

      Really delicious - the pastry is very crumbly and a little tricky to handle when you're lining the tin but it's well worth the effort. The recipe does say this and encourages you to patch up where necessary! I used half the amount of apples with a slightly smaller pie tin than suggested and it was still a really deep pie. It was all gone within an hour of baking so a big family hit.

  • Bream with lemon and anchovy potatoes

    • veronicafrance on February 20, 2015

      Page 245 (it's not in the index). I often do a very similar Spanish recipe with either sea bass or bream, but cutting the potatoes into wedges and adding anchovies made a nice change. The addition of stock made the potatoes meltingly soft.

  • Chicken patties with rosemary and pancetta

    • okcook on February 25, 2012

      The patties cook quickly in the oven...less than the 25 to 30 minutes noted in the recipe. Great flavour.

    • Zosia on April 02, 2015

      These had wonderful flavour and were very moist. Because of family preferences, I used only 1/2 an onion and 1 sprig rosemary (approx 1 tsp minced), and used an ovenproof skillet for all of the cooking to save on cleanup . They were done in 20 minutes in my oven.

  • Chicken salad with watercress, almonds and orange

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I approximated this salad with ingredients on hand and available. I had leftover grilled chicken, which still had a little bit of (cheese-less) pesto clinging to it. The chicken, along with orange sections, goes into a dressing made of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and whole grain mustard. This goes over watercress. I can never get watercress, so used upland cress and some curly lettuce. The salad is topped with almonds and pumpkin seeds. The recipe calls for pumpkins seeds to be tossed with soy sauce and roasted. The only pumpkins seeds I could get were roasted and salted. I used them, left the salt out of the recipe, and toasted slivered almonds with low salt soy sauce. I like this technique, the soy sauce dries on the nuts, making them pretty snackable. I had to bat someone's hand away to keep enough nuts for the salad. Very nice, easy salad, it worked well even with my ingredient modifications. The oranges and the toasty nuts work well with the chicken and the mustardy dressing.

    • wester on March 09, 2017

      Like the previous reviewer, I made some substitutions based on what was on hand. Like the previous reviewer, one of the changes I made was using slivered almonds and toasting them (instead of pumpkin seeds) with the soy sauce, and like her, I thought this was fabulous. The rest of the salad was good too, a nice combination of flavors and it can handle some modifications. Maybe add a bit more acidity, some lemon juice, next time?

  • Chicken with mustard seed and coconut milk

    • wester on November 07, 2016

      Pretty nice, but Jamie Oliver has a similar recipe (with tomato and curry leaf) that I prefer.

  • Chicken with vermouth, tarragon and cream

    • Astrid5555 on June 06, 2013

      A real keeper, quick and easy for a weeknight meal. This recipe produces juicy, creamy, tarragon-flavored chicken thighs, which even the kids liked. Thus had to substitute vegetable stock for vermouth. Served with asparagus and potatoes as a side.

  • Chickpeas with harissa, basil and ham

    • Zosia on July 24, 2014

      Really flavourful warm salad that makes ingenious use of the delicious liquid that exudes from the roasting eggplant and tomatoes by including it in the dressing. I used half the oil but did add more harissa and red wine vinegar to flavour the chickpeas. I didn't bother to crisp the prosciutto, just added it as is.

  • Christmas cake

    • Cattyb on December 07, 2014

      Put in 150g of sugar, not the amount stated in the recipe. Separated the eggs and folded in the whites at the end. Drizzled brandy on cakes when out of the oven.

  • Dal and pumpkin soup

    • Emily Hope on October 11, 2011

      This was delicious and pretty simple to make (C made it)--warming and healthy, too! Don't skip the onion topping, it really makes the soup. Things I changed: used madras curry powder instead of chili powder, added some fresh chili to the onion/garlic soup base for heat. Also boiled the squash with the lentils rather than separately, as that seemed a pointless extra step. Onions needed about twice as much oil as he suggested to cook properly. Served with an arugula and apple salad.

    • sharifah on January 10, 2013

      I swopped the pumpkin with butternut squash, otherwise I followed it exactly - lovely and delicious. Quite a spicy soup. Should've read Emilyhope's comments first before I made the soup and would've shortened a step!

    • RosieB on July 17, 2016

      This was a nuce tasty soup. I sweated the onion and garlic in olive oil before adding the pumpkin and lentils. The onion topping added a different dimension to the soup.

    • wester on October 30, 2016

      Nice sturdy soup, spicy but not too spicy for our kids (10) and their friends (7-10). A good soup for those occasions when you don't know how many you are going to feed and at what time. The onions were good, I thought the cilantro wasn't really necessary.

  • Double ginger cake

    • trentendnz on October 07, 2015

      Dosn't really need the sultanas.

    • emilyrf on February 03, 2016

      I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked this recipe (sorry Nigel!) and it still came out beautifully. I A) didn't use the sultanas (thanks trentendz) because I don't love sultanas in cakes, B) didn't use any stem ginger because they didn't have any at my local Waitrose (!), C) subbed in some black treacle for golden syrup because why not?, D) added 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, mixed spice, chinese 5 spice and 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger into the butter/sugar mix. and then E) baked it in two loaf pans instead of a big square cake pan. And it tastes so good! I'm thinking about turning it into a layer cake this weekend, sandwiched with mascarpone and blood orange curd.

    • veronicafrance on January 02, 2017

      The mixture for this is amazingly sloppy, more like pancake batter than cake mix, but have faith. It did cook through in the 30 minutes advertised, and rose nicely. Haven't cut it yet (making it in advance of a social event), but the scraps I scraped off the tin after removing it taste good. I think all the fruit/ginger has sunk to the bottom though ...

  • Fresh borlotti with olive oil and focaccia

    • Breadcrumbs on September 10, 2011

      p. 293 - Fresh beans are a summer treat and we tend to enjoy them most in the simplest of preparations. This is one of those recipes where the finished dish is greater than the sum of its few, high quality parts. Borlotti beans are tossed into a pan of boiling water and left to bubble away until tender. While Nigel has you toss them in all alone, I decide to add a couple of whole cloves of garlic because we love garlic and, it is fresh, delicious and abundant at the moment. Beans are then drained, tossed w some garlic and drizzled w a little olive oil. Garlic is then sliced and warmed gently in olive oil before adding the beans to coat. This mixture is then supposed to be tipped onto a plate atop some freshly washed arugula. For their first appearance on our table, we elected to simply eat the beans straight-up atop some crostini. Simple, buttery with a hint of garlic and a slight grassy flavour from the Corsican EVOO, these were a delightful addition to our antipasti table.

  • Goat cheese puddings

    • wester on May 09, 2016

      Nice and simple, with a golden brown crust and a moist interior. Good for both vegetarians and low-carbers. My souffles took a bit longer than stated in the recipe, about 20 minutes, possibly because my pots were less shallow than used in the recipe.

  • Grilled chicken with harissa and mint

    • okcook on February 24, 2012

      meh, ok. Quick and easy but nothing special.

  • Grilled pork steaks with vermouth and fennel

    • okcook on March 28, 2012

      The pork had great flavour and as long as you let the fennel caramelize as he says they are very good. I chopped some of the fennel tops finely and stirred them in just before serving for some fresh fennel taste. You could add some orange zest at the last minute as a variation.

    • veronicafrance on January 03, 2016

      The fennel is really delicious done this way, and the marinade is excellent too. I used free-range pork loin cut Spanish-style, i.e. very thin slices; it would have been better with thicker pieces. Next time I'd do them on a cast-iron griddle rather than under the grill.

  • Grilled zucchini with basil and lemon

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Pretty much the same recipe in Kitchen Diaries and in Tender. In Tender the recipe calls for salting and resting the zukes, in KD they are just sliced and placed on the grill. Other than that, I think the directions proceed identically. Mr. NS the Griller was (understandably after a rough day) not up to individually watching and flipping a couple dozen thin slices of squash on the grill, so we popped them into a grill basket. We've had plenty of successes with grilling in the basket prior to tonight, but on this occasion the zucchini seemed more like they were steamed than grilled. We missed the char, but otherwise the dish was very nice. The lemon-zucchini-basil combination was bright and summery. If you have the time and patience to tend multiple thin slices of squash on the grill, I think the char would really add something to the dish, but even without, not bad at all.

    • Zosia on July 24, 2014

      A perfect summer side dish for any grilled meat, fish or poultry that's very quick to make. The vegetables were sweet and the dressing bright. I always appreciate it when the author includes the zest of the lemon in the recipe as well as the juice to provide the whole lemon experience of both flavour and tartness. I sliced my zucchini thicker than directed so that I would have more control over the degree of doneness and even then, they took only minutes to cook.

  • Lamb chops with oregano and tsatziki

    • Zosia on May 22, 2014

      Simple but tasty. I used dry oregano and marinated the loin chops overnight before grilling. The tzatziki was flavoured primarily with mint, which of course went very well with the lamb, but I would have liked a little garlic in it as well.

  • Lemon-frosted pistachio cake

    • SACarlson on May 26, 2014

      If you can get the crysallised rose petals, use them. If you do the presentation as described in the recipe, this cake is picture-perfect.

  • Mozzarella with grilled fennel

    • Zosia on June 16, 2014

      Hardly a recipe, just a very tasty combination of ingredients.

  • My very good chocolate brownie recipe

    • Zosia on August 20, 2014

      Decadent, fudgy brownies with an intense dark chocolate flavour. They were a little fiddly to make using the creaming method of a butter cake with lots of dirty bowls at the end, and they took an extra 10 minutes to bake in my oven (to reach an internal temperature of 85C). They were so rich I cut the 23cm pan into 49 pieces. Too rich for me.

  • Orange and ricotta pancakes

    • Zosia on May 22, 2014

      Lovely, souffle-like pancakes perfumed with orange zest. Medium-low heat worked best for me, resulting in golden pancakes with fully cooked centres. Made 20 smallish pancakes.

    • Varundel on April 01, 2015

      Deliciously, light, melt-in-the-mouth pancakes with a hint of orange. I agree with Zosia - medium-low heat probably best as they brown quite quickly. Lovely with a bit of honey drizzled over the top.

  • Orecchiette with ricotta, fava beans and mint

    • Astrid5555 on April 22, 2015

      Wow, this was good! The mint & broad bean combination really was something different. Can imagine cooking this with frozen edamame or peas when broad beans are not in season. Will definitely repeat.

  • Pork and lemon polpettine

    • okcook on February 19, 2012

      Quite nice. The meat balls are quite fragile and soft. Nice lemon flavour. Make a test small meat patty to check for seasoning before forming them.

    • wester on January 19, 2016

      Excellent bold flavors. I also like the frying instruction - simple and down to earth yet it resulted in a lovely crust and a soft interior.

  • Pumpkin and tomato laksa

    • joneshayley on November 03, 2014

      Beautiful autumnal dish. Even better the next day as the flavours had more time to develop. I added some shredded leftover roast chicken- delicious

  • Roast chicken wings with lemon and cracked pepper

    • sharifah on May 28, 2012

      This was part of my 'chicken wings experiment' to find the best chicken wings recipe in my cookbook collection, and I was disappointed. Although it was easy, and I followed the recipe ingredients, amounts and timing exactly...it didn't taste that lemony and my chicken didn't look as golden as his photo in the book. If I were to do this again, I'd add more lemon juice, and give it another 5 minutes in the oven. But then, I'd probably try another chicken wing recipe!

    • Astrid5555 on May 01, 2015

      Just the right amount of lemon juice and lemons in order not to be too tart for the boys who usually despise everything lemony. Very quick to make, no marinating required, thus weeknig friendly. Will repeat!

    • embk27 on June 26, 2016

      A great quick low-prep tea when you're not feeling overly hungry. Right amount of lemon and pepper gives a lovely crispy and tasty skin.

  • Roast tomato soup with basil and olive oil toasts

    • Pangur Ban on August 20, 2014

      Recipe suggests holding some veg whole to add texture. But, not all tomato skins liquidized properly, and were unpleasant when eating soup, so all needs blending and sieving. Added some chopped roasted pepper as a garnish which worked well, both from flavour and texture perspective.

  • Sauteed chicken with spices, fennel and cream

    • wester on November 07, 2016

      Good everyday food. Whole family liked it.

  • Seared beef with mint and mustard dressing

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      We cooked the steak on the grill, although for the fillet the directions call for browning then roasting in the oven. The steak is accompanied by a sauce made by pureeing grainy mustard, lemon juice, mint, olive oil, and egg yolks. I had discovered I had no lemons, so I substituted lemon agrumato for the olive oil. I did not end up with the creamy mayonnaise texture visible in Slater's photo, perhaps because I accidentally glugged the agrumato into the mix, instead of adding as a stream. But it still tasted great.. This is a fantastic, simple way to serve beef, and it doesn't have to be reserved for a large fillet. The mint, mustard, and lemon really works with the peppery beef. It was great with the New Season Potatoes from Tender, which also have a bit of mustard. Mr. Nightshade declared that Nigel knows what he's doing.

  • Shrimp and cilantro rolls

    • Zosia on June 10, 2016

      Despite the name, these are actually tasty fried shrimp patties served in a lettuce leaf with a sweet, hot and tangy dipping sauce. Definitely one to make again.

  • Slow-roasted lamb with chickpea mash

    • wester on April 12, 2016

      Just made the chickpea mash, which was good. I added a pinch of cumin too, as I happen to like cumin with chickpeas. I also increased the amount of oil.

  • Spiced breaded mackerel with smoked paprika

    • Pangur Ban on August 20, 2014

      Absolutely delicious. Worked perfectly on fillets. The breadcrumbs would probably work well on lots of different types of fish.

  • Stilton, onion and potato pie

    • Alro9 on November 15, 2013

      Such comfort food!

  • Sweet and sticky chicken wings

    • Emily Hope on December 06, 2010

      These were pretty good, but not quite "sweet and sticky" enough for us, even with an addition of extra honey to sauce. I tossed the wings in sauce, held back what didn't adhere, and basted with the extra sauce as the wings cooked. Use foil in the baking pan--the sauce that dripped off of the wings onto the foil was burned to a crisp by the time the wings were done.

  • Thai fish cakes

    • Emily Hope on February 22, 2016

      These were great--the rare meal (at the moment) that all family members enjoyed, even the toddler. Easy to put together and make (though it does require at least half an hour of chill time). My only changes were to add an egg, a bit of sugar, and a bit of red curry paste (from the Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian Recipes tod mun recipe). Served with the suggested dipping sauce, sweet chili sauce, rice, and a cabbage slaw.

  • Vietnamese beef salad

    • Zosia on July 24, 2014

      Loved this! Minimum effort (a little chopping and grilling of steak), maximum flavour.

  • Warm apricots with orange blossoms and pistachios

    • fprincess on June 25, 2013

      Making the best of apricots that are not completely ripe by roasting them with a little bit of orange blossom water. Very pleasant. Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143987-your-daily-sweets-what-are-you-making-and-baking-2012/?p=1923220

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Reviews about this book

  • A Way to Garden

    His handcrafted, informal approach to cookery encourages us to improvise and find our inspiration with the moment of the market, and the garden.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1592402348
  • ISBN 13 9781592402342
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 01 2006
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Gotham Books
  • Imprint Gotham Books

Publishers Text

"Right food, right place, right time. It is my belief - and the point of this book - that this is the best recipe of all. A crab sandwich by the sea on a June afternoon; a slice of roast goose with apple sauce and roast potatoes on Christmas Day; hot sausages and a chunk of roast pumpkin on a frost-sparkling night in November. These are meals whose success relies not on the expertise of the cook but on the more basic premise that this is the food of the moment--something eaten at a time when it is most appropriate, when the ingredients are at their peak of perfection, when the food, the cook and the time of year are at one with each other."
- Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries

Nigel Slater writes about food in a way that stimulates the imagination, the heart, and the palate all at once. The Kitchen Diaries brings an especially personal ingredient to the mix, letting us glimpse his pantry, tour local farmers' markets with him, and savor even the simplest meals at his table.

Recording twelve months in his culinary life, Slater shares seasonal dishes and the intriguing elements behind them. As someone who celebrates each visit to the cheese shop or butcher, he enthusiastically conveys the brilliant array of choices and encourages his view of food shopping as an adventure rather than a chore. A rainy day in February calls for a hearty stew; summertime finds him feasting on a lunch as simple as baked tomatoes with grated Parmesan. If an exotic mood strikes him, slow-roasted duck with star anise and ginger is in order. In The Kitchen Diaries, Nigel interweaves his meditations on how food should be enjoyed and prepared with his delicious recipes. No matter the season, The Kitchen Diaries offers a year-round invitation to cook and dine with the world's most irresistible lover of food.



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