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Real Fast Food Paperback – July, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The quick recipes (e.g., Black Bean Tacos with Tomato-Chili Salsa and Walnut Oil and New Potato Saute in this British import by the innovative Slater (The Crabtree and Evelyn Cookbook) are interesting in themselves, but the true goodies come when he reels off lists of variant possibilities for easy-to-fix meals. "Good Things to Serve with Poached Salmon," for example, includes plain yogurt with tarragon, an herb and mustard sauce, and grated fennel cooked with a little Pernod; the list of Half a Dozen Sublime Chicken Sandwiches has simple, chatty instructions for accompaniments such as basil mayonnaise and for techniques such as spreading blue cheese and walnuts on the bread before toasting it. The fairly slapdash arrangement is part of the appeal-this is a book meant to move readers towards the kitchen, not for following rigidly step by step. Such Briticisms as potted shrimp and the list of rabbits (not the meat but alternatives to "Welsh Rabbit") won't trip up too many American readers. Slater occasionally slips from quirky to cutesy, but he throws out so many smart inspirations in such quick succession that he thoroughly redeems himself.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The new way to eat--fantastic gourmet recipes for dishes ready-to-eat in less than thirty minutes, from international bestselling chef Nigel Slater--"Nigel is a genius!" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books; Reissue edition (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585674370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585674374
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,488,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to this book by a friend back in the mid-90s. Since then, it's become my food bible, and I've shared it with my family & have impressed many a friend who's popped in for a mid-week supper. And, like several of the other reviewers, my copy is like the Velveteen Rabbit: pages are stained, stick together, falling apart, and the more it becomes like this, the more loved it is. It is, quite simply, the best cookbook around. It's certainly the only book that we refer to by name: "what does Nigel suggest?" being a common refrain in our kitchen.

Why is this book so perfect?

Well, for one thing, it's fast and nutritious: we work long hours & don't have the time or energy to slave in the kitchen for 2 hours when we get home (I love Delia & Martha but that's the problem with their recipes). And as the alternative is a) eating out, b) pulling something out of the freezer, c) pasta (again), or d) hummus & ryvita, this book often proves to be our Monday-Thursday evening road-map. And even when it is pasta again, Nigel has the best suggestions for fast & interesting sauces/toppings.

Second: Nigel's philosophy of cooking is very similar to mine: I make things up based on what's in the fridge anyway. The thing I like about this book is that Nigel's been doing that for longer than me: he has more suggestions, and some really interesting ones. I'm sure he's made mistakes, but they aren't listed in the book, so I can learn from them without making them myself. Nice.

Third: Nigel's a foodie but not a snob. I love the fact that he tells you to eat the very best of things: chocolate with 75% cocoa solids, greek yoghurt etc, but he also includes chip butties. And which of us doesn't secretly want a chip butty occasionally?

Fourth: Nigel's realistic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`real fast food' is one of the English culinary writer, Nigel Slater's early books, which in many ways is much more friendly to American audiences than many of his later cookbooks, right down to the silly conceit of putting his title in all lower case instead of the way we were taught in fourth grade to capitalize titles of things!

Two of the more obvious Americanizations are the presence of Jamie Oliver's blurb on the cover that `Nigel is a genius' and the subtitle saying that the book contains `350 recipes ready to eat in 30 minutes'. This puts the book in almost direct competition to Rachael Ray's latest offering, `365:No Repeats' which was published after Slater's volume, so one may say that Rachael is cribbing from the Brits this time. One less obvious but very gratifying change is the fact that all of Slater's recipes in this book are done using Imperial measurements rather than metric measurements. That is, everything is in spoons, cups, ounces, and pounds rather than in grams, kilograms, and milliliters.

The very best thing about this book is that the qualities which made his other books so good, it was worth puzzling through all the metric units are still here in this `mass market' issue. Slater starts out on the right foot with me early in his introduction on ingredients when he gives me a corollary to Marold's Law of Fast Cooking in that he strongly recommends using fresh herbs for all `fast food' cooking because it takes too long for the virtues of dried herbs such as thyme to develop in quick cooking dishes. Fresh herbs are invariably more expensive than dried herbs.

I should warn you that this book does have more than a few dishes that should more properly be considered `simple' or `easy' rather than fast.
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Format: Hardcover
As someone who has now spent nearly a whole year at University, I am one of thousands in this country (and I suspect others) who has learned just why home-cooked food tastes wonderfully unique. Books like this would put a lot of college freshers out of misery if they were handed out along with advice leaflets at Fresher's Fairs - what's more, I believe they could stand a would-be chef in good stead right the way through life.
Nigel Slater is a masterchef beyond any conceivable doubt. He knows how to transform even the simplest of ingredients into the utterly sublime, and proves once and for all that it is possible to cook, for yourself or for others, on a shoestring budget (which is all too true for University students!). The writing is so engrossing that you will be imagining what the food is like before you even attempt the recipes - and when you do, you are almost 100% certain to be satisfied.
I'm not much of a cook. Even so, I find this book indispensable. I cannot think of any cookery writer, unless it be Delia Smith, who has written such a useful, straightforward and satisfying book as this. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
I just got this at a used book store last week and have been flipping through and getting some ideas. We tried the grilled eggplant with chick pea puree last night, delicious! It took a little more than 30 minutes but simple to make-easy enough for a relatively quick weeknight dinner and good and impressive enough (with other side dishes) to serve for a dinner party. My favorite kind of recipe. If our first time out with the cookbook produced such a good result, I will be returning to if often. Lots of good, versatile ideas with room for experimentation.
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