Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 30, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 7.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #54,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #18 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > English, Scottish & Welsh #118 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Essays #313 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Quick & Easy
To some extent, this book is an update of Slater's earlier book 'Real Fast Food' which he now sees as no longer exciting as the dishes in it have become mainstream over the years. Slater's approach though hasn't changed much - it is still very informal & relaxed, indeed at times vague about quantities & methods but there isn't anything very challenging in terms of preparation & cooking. Although the stated aim is fast food ('Real Fast Food' aimed to get a meal on the table in thirty minutes), the recipes in 'Eat' aren't always so quick to prepare, and some involved reasonably lengthy cooking times. I have most, if not all, of Slate's earlier books and I do think there is a fair bit of repetition in terms of recipes - similar but maybe with slight tweaks e.g. cannellini bean mash makes another appearance although the spiced version included is a lovely side dish.Whilst I like many of the recipes, I really don't like the layout for several reasons. First off, I would prefer the traditional layout of a recipe with ingredients listed first and then a clear method, rather than having to pick the ingredients out of the recipe to check whether I have them in stock or in order to compile a shopping list. I also don't like that recipes involving similar ingredients are scattered throughout the book rather than grouped together. There are rather too many recipes for snacks e.g. sandwiches - I doubt I'll ever use these simply because when making a snack I'll use what I have in the fridge: its not something I'll think much about in advance.
I just bought 2 copies of this book. One I will take with me when I go to visit my 2 grandsons aged 10 who -- at their mother's urging -- are now preparing a family dinner one night a week. The other I will to one of my other daughters who is a good cook, but likes to follow a recipe. Let me state at the beginning, that the books arrived today and I looked through a copy quite carefully, but I have not followed any of the recipes. That said, I find his combinations of ingredients and flavors, and the simplicity of his preparations -- yet capable of producing really good food -- quite good and worth a full 5 stars.For my daughter, I thought Slaters laid back approach would loosen her up so that she would feel freer to make variations as she cooks. I think she will enjoy this book and for a busy mom who nevertheless prepares home cooked from scratch meals every night, I think this will be very successful for her and a good starting point for feeling a little more confident on her own.As for my grandsons, I think it will not be as easy for them to follow as a more traditional layout and this is why only 4 stars. Let me explain. Most cookbooks give a list of ingredients such as: 1 cup diced onions; 1/2 cup diced carrots, etc. Then the actual cooking directions follow and last there may be notes about substitutions or variations. In this book, the variations are given on the opposite page. That's fine. By putting them on their own page it makes the user realize where he or she can go with this basic recipe. But Slater doesn't give a separate list of ingredients first. He incorporates them into the directions -- although they are often in bold letters. One of the reasons for this may be that Slater wants the user to realize that nothing is written in stone.
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