The 30-Minute Cook: The Best of the World's Quick Cooking by Nigel Slater

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Notes about this book

  • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017

    One of Nigel's best books, these recipes are constantly used by me.

  • saladdays on February 06, 2012

    This is one of my most used cookery books, one that goes on the 'desert island' list. Straightforward tasty ways of cooking basic ingredients, they really are '30 minute' recipes with minimal clearing up !

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Mixed vegetable korma

    • Jane on October 13, 2014

      I wouldn't say this is a 30 minute meal, more like 45 minutes but that is still reasonable for a weeknight dinner and it did taste good. I think you could be flexible on what vegetables to use. I didn't have green beans so I used asparagus, adding them later than the other vegetables so they didn't get too mushy. I served it with rice though I think it would also be good with naan bread.

  • Sausage and bean hotpot

    • Breadcrumbs on February 26, 2013

      p. 196 We loved this quick and easy weeknight dish. This is an ideal meal to make w pantry ingredients provided you have some sausage in your fridge or freezer. A tomato-based sauce w a good amt of grainy mustard and a little English mustard stirred through for good measure makes for a delicious and very flavourful casserole with lots of beans and of course sausages dotted about. Despite the wonderful flavours of the sauce, I do believe it’s the flavour of the sausages that make (or could possibly break) the quality of this dish. I was lucky enough to have some plump English bangers from a Toronto butcher that worked perfectly. We absolutely loved this dish. It will most definitely be added to the rotation. The possibilities are endless! Photos here:

  • Pasta with sardines

    • rodillagra on October 19, 2020

      Ok, this turned out not to be wildly exciting. Four minutes was possibly a bit too long to cook the fennel. It lost all its texture and most of its flavour. Used sardines in chili and lemon oil which was a good thing. Also added a squeeze of lemon at the end to brighten it. All that said it is a tasty dinner and using mostly storecupboard ingredients. Would make again with a few small adjustments (shorter cooking time for fennel, a bit of lemon juice at the end).

  • Panzanella

    • rodillagra on October 12, 2020

      There's a good chance that this would be infinitely better made in the summer with summer ingredients. Ahhhhhh, definitely better on a dappled, sunny terrace in Italy. But grand for now.

  • Creamed spiced spinach

    • wester on May 06, 2012

      Very nice. Maybe a bit too spicy to accompany "almost anything".

  • Chicken, orange and watercress salad

    • wester on April 23, 2012

      A nice combination. I thought a dressing of just orange and olive oil was a bit flat, so I added about a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.

  • A 10-minute sauce for pasta

    • wester on September 13, 2021

      My 15 year old daughter wanted a simple creamy sauce for pasta. This was easy, fast, and tasty.

  • Hot aubergine and cheese sandwiches

    • wester on June 11, 2013

      This was a nice idea, using slices of aubergine like sandwich bread. I thought the garlic was a bit too sharp. Next time I will leave it out, or blanch it along with the aubergine, or fry it. Drying the slices with kitchen paper took a lot of paper, and it was just water. Next time use a towel.

  • Broccoli with oyster sauce

    • wester on February 10, 2016

      Basic but good.

  • Quick spiced cabbage

    • wester on September 21, 2017

      Nice but not spectacular. I used Savoy cabbage.

    • VineTomato on September 21, 2017

      Had some left over cabbage in the fridge, so turned to trusty EYB for inspiration. A couple of things caught my eye, one being cabbage, lentil and avo from Hugh's three good things. Today I decided on this - 10 min prep from start to finish and added a couple fried eggs to my skillet at the end. A delicious lunch! What a discovery! Will be making this again next time I have pesky left over cabbage.

  • Cauliflower with crème fraîche and bacon

    • wester on September 22, 2011

      When the second cooking is completely left out, just warming through, this recipe is perfect. Me and my daughter loved it - we finished a large cauliflower between us (son did not like it that much and hubby would find it too creamy). Previous review: A nice idea, but the way his recipe is described, it would be a bit too salty and a bit overcooked. I barely blanched the cauliflower, and halved the second cooking, but I would shorten even that.

  • Fennel baked with butter and Parmesan

    • wester on January 27, 2019

      This method of first blanching then baking resulted in fennel that was the perfect balance between buttery softness and fennel-y crispness. I did not add the cheese as I didn't feel like it today; I do think this made the butter slide off the fennel more so I basted once, when it had melted.

  • Pork steaks with mustard sauce

    • wester on April 05, 2019

      Good but not quite up to Nigel's usual standard. Probably worth tweaking. I feel the "optional" squeeze of lemon is mandatory, and it needs more herbs - more parsley or possibly some tarragon.

  • Herbed salmon with garlic cream sauce

    • wester on February 13, 2011

      Extremely quick, very simple, and it does look like the photo.

    • Snadra on November 03, 2011

      Quick and simple, with a great fresh taste. An excellent way to use up the fresh herbs before they go slimy too.

    • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017


  • Crisp spiced grilled chicken

    • wester on August 27, 2019

      The spice paste was pretty fluid even though I decreased the amount of oil, so it didn't stick to the chicken too well. The flavour was good but not spectacular. May be worth tweaking to make it more of a paste.

  • Lemon chicken

    • wester on October 04, 2015

      Very simple, very good. Even my daughter who usually doesn't like chicken really liked it. ETA: five years on, my daughter still doesn't like chicken, but she doesn't mind if we have this.

    • Gio on September 27, 2015

      Pg. 158. This was terrific. Lemony, garlicky, juicy, tender, lots of unctuous sauce that flavored the steamed Basmati rice we made. Definitely will make this again.

  • Chicken livers with vinegar and onions

    • wester on April 06, 2011

      My favorite way of cooking chicken livers, very tasty. I do usually cook the onions for a bit longer than he suggests. I usually serve with oven potatoes and a salad.

  • Stir-fried noodles

    • Gio on November 23, 2015

      Pg. 114. Pleasant, homey, quick, and easy. Needs a bit of a spicy boost but as is a good comforting dish.

  • Stir-fried pork with winter greens

    • Gio on October 29, 2015

      Pg. 186. Very tasty, Indeed!. I used green cabbage not Savoy, and added freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns, and one large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Into rotation to cook again.

    • redjanet on September 08, 2011

      A tasty way to use up some Savoy cabbage. This went down very well and was quick and easy. May try and substitute with some pak choi next time, though.

  • Greens with bacon and chilli

    • Gio on January 02, 2016

      Pg. 41. My greens of choice were collards greens. Probably not a good choice after all. However, the finished dish was full of flavor and I liked it, but as expected the greens could have cooked longer. We did increase the timing but not enough I guess.

    • keenz on October 23, 2020

      p.41 Made this quickly to go with some pork steaks. Used fine Spring Cabbage which was perfect. Didn't have any smoked bacon so finely sliced some German Salami and it was so good! I didn't time the cooking as I did it to taste but it was probably around 5 minutes. Would make this again as it was so easy and quick.

  • Chorizo and chickpeas

    • Lindalib on December 21, 2013

      How can anyone not love Nigel Slater? This was as easy as advertised and we liked it. The only change I made was to add a couple chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because the chorizo I had wasn't particularly spicy and we like a bit of heat.

  • Chicken with garlic, cider and cream

    • sarahcooks on January 13, 2011

      I've made this many times and it's so flavorful and delicious, if a bit indulgent. I love the technique used for the garlic!

  • Parmesan chicken

    • Snadra on November 03, 2011

      This is a great year-round dish that comes together very quickly. A spray bottle of olive oil works easier than dribbling it over when putting it under the broiler, and I usually use panko (which give a nice extra crispness). The sauce is pungent, but adjust it to taste and make sure the anchovies are very finely chopped. It goes really well with plain boiled potatoes and green beans (both of which benefit from the sauce). Given the monstrous size of chicken breasts these days, two of them have been enough to give leftovers which are great the next day in a sandwich.

    • redjanet on August 23, 2011

      The breaded and grilled chicken on it's own would have been fine, but the sauce was way too sour and pungent for my liking. If you try it, I suggest you serve the sauce on the side to be on the safe side.

  • Fragrant spinach

    • TippyCanoe on December 01, 2015

      This spinach is so delicious that I want to make it every night. For some reason, butter/ghee is missing in this ingredients list and the recipe uses quite a bit (6 oz). I used butter rather than the more expensive (for me) ghee.

  • Chicken with honey and soy

    • redjanet on September 19, 2011

      Nice combination of flavours for a quick and easy stir-fried chicken dinner. I served this with rice.

  • Pork chops with tarragon and white wine

    • redjanet on January 21, 2013

      Simple, flavourful way of quickly cooking pork chops. I don't normally like tarragon that much, but it blended well with the white wine sauce.

  • Lamb chops with onions, mustard and chick-pea purée

    • saladdays on August 17, 2013

      Adapted this family favourite to cook lamb steaks. Very clear instructions, typical of Nigel Slater but uses lots of pans!

  • Thai green fish curry

    • Hellyloves2cook on May 21, 2012

      Made this many times and has always delivered!

  • Penne with artichokes and Parmesan

    • Hellyloves2cook on May 21, 2012

      A great store cupboard recipe- used many a time for a quick ,impromptu meal.

  • Flash-fried Moroccan chicken

    • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017

      Fantastic, really tasty. Lovely with couscous or bulghar wheat pilaff.

  • Red and yellow pepper pilaf

    • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017

      Very tasty, I use pre grilled and peeled red peppers from a jar and often add some tinned tuna or serve with grilled chicken. Great base recipe for adding other things to.

  • Stir-fried lamb's kidneys and mushrooms

    • tagsybaby on February 01, 2016

      Delicious and easy.

  • A salad of chicken livers, Gorgonzola and grapes

    • Britpinny on May 06, 2018

      Very quick. Ten mins. Page 204

  • New potatoes and goose fat

    • Pamsy on January 02, 2022

      These were good, mine took nearer an hour than the 25 mins stated. I actually used duck fat but don't think it would make any difference to the finished dish.

  • Lamb's liver with mustard and Madeira gravy

    • Pamsy on October 12, 2020

      Lovely sauce which was sticky and sweet due to the Marsala (no Madeira) and red wine reduction. Liked the method of cooking the liver. Make sure you have plenty of sauce before you put the liver back in the pan. Add some water if need be. Good way to jazz up a cheap but nutritious meat. Plus point, 10 mins and it's ready! Served with boiled new potatoes and steamed green beans.

  • Filo pastry with mascarpone, chocolate and almonds

    • Shepherdabi on June 28, 2020

      Have never put ground almonds in it as we don't like them. It's always been fine without. One of our fave dinner party desserts

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  • ISBN 10 0141029528
  • ISBN 13 9780141029528
  • Published Nov 02 2006
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 280
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
  • Imprint Penguin Books Ltd

Publishers Text

Following on from Nigel Slater's "Real Fast Food", "The 30-minute Cook" delves further into ethnic and classic ideas suitable for those who like their food fast and without fuss, but who also want to eat imaginatively. "The 30-minute Cook" gives quick versions of popular European classics like porc au pruneau, quick coq au vin, saltimbocca and salmon with pesto, but concentrates strongly on ethnic cuisine with recipes for 10-minute Thai chicken with lemon grass and chillies, twenty fast ideas for filling tacos, quick vegetable koftas and, of course, many Chinese stir-fries. This is the book for those who want to recreate the food they have eaten on their travels, but find most recipes offputtingly complicated and the ready-made meals in the supermarkets bland and dull in comparison. Despite the prevalence of ethnic recipes, none contains any ingredient that is not stocked by the majority of supermarkets and greengrocers. Almost all the recipes are suited to those who have time only to buy one or two ingredients on the way home, with much of the rest being in the average kitchen storecupboard.

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