Search Results for "nigel slater"

Nigel Slater’s Bacon Lentil Soup

NOTE: This is an older recipe, of which I cannot retrace when I originally posted it before the hack of my old domain name.

Years ago, I was living in London and had just broken up with ‘a bit of a dick’ (his words). I was really missing his food until I realized I could just buy the cookbook he always used: Nigel Slater’s Appetite.

Nigel Slater’s Appetite taught me how to cook

It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made and I’ve gifted it to many a friend who wanted to learn how to cook. What’s great about Nigel is he doesn’t give you time frames for cooking, but explains the process in terms of looks, smells and textures. Which is really what you should be going on when you’re hovering over a stove.

The cover of Nigel Slater's cookbook Appetite

What’s more, every recipe in this book includes re-imaginings of the basic recipe. This gives you a foundation to build on and teaches you how flavors and textures work together.

Beluga lentils, unfuckupable

I had this soup at least once a week while I was living in London. When I moved back to Holland I fucked it up once and turned it into more of a split pea soup, which I hate, and then I sort of forgot about it for a while.

Until last week, it was cold and a friend came round for dinner. I just wanted something easy, warm and comforting, with a little kick to it. It was the perfect fit. It helps that I’ve since discovered the mighty Beluga lentil, which is unfuckupable and easy on the eyes.

A bowl of black lentil soup with bacon and spinach, surrounded by lemon wedges, raw black lentils, spinach and a blue checkered tea towel

Nigel Slater's Bacon Lentil Soup

Dorothy Porker
Nigel Slater calls this a warming meal in a bowl type of soup and it really is. It's filling, hearty and earthy. A squeeze of lemon makes everything spring to life at the end.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine British
Servings 2


  • Heavy based pot with a lid
  • Two meal-sized soup bowls


  • 4 medium shallots finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c / 100 gr bacon diced
  • small bunch parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 c / 250 gr lentils I prefer Beluga or black lentils, see notes
  • 4 1/2 c / 1 l stock vegetable or chicken, water also works
  • 2-3 handfuls fresh spinach for serving
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving
  • small bunch fresh mint torn, leaves only


  • To begin, gently cook 4 finely chopped shallots, 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic and 100 gr of bacon in some olive oil in a heavy based pot. Stir every once in a while until the bacon has turned golden and everything has gone fragrant and glossy before adding a small bunch of roughly cut parsley.
  • Wash 1 1/4 c - 250 gr of lentils carefully, picking out any tiny stones. Add them to the pot and stir them into your bacon and onion mixture.
  • Now add 4 1/2 c - 1 l of stock or water, until everything is well and covered and bring to a boil. Skim off any froth that bubbles to the surface and turn down the heat to a gentle roll.
  • Cover with a barely closed lid and cook until the lentils are tender. This should take 30 minutes or so.
  • When the soup is nearly done, divide 2-3 hands of fresh spinach among 2 bowls.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper, a pinch at a time, until it tastes right to you, before ladling it onto the spinach and into the bowls.
  • Serve with wedges of lemon and the torn fresh mint, garnishing the soup as you eat it so you get a nice fresh pop of lemon and mint in with every bite.


I like to make this with Beluga or black lentils as they hold up even if you overcook them, where other lentils turn to mush. Use other lentils and watch your soup like a hawk to avoid overcooking, or be the kind of person who enjoys mush.
This soup does not freeze well but does keep for up to 3 days in a closed container in the fridge. Simply reheat in a saucepan on the stove on low heat. If it's become a little to dry for your liking just add water.
Keyword bacon, lentils, Nigel Slater, soup, spinach

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar voor Nigel Slater’s linzen, bacon en spinazie soep.

Fennel Tarte Tatin with Feta

I don’t have that much to say about this recipe. It’s basically a play on this caramelized fennel recipe, but with a nice flakey crust. What’s not to love?

A word on dough

I tried two different doughs for this recipe. One from Nigel Slater‘s Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter (order in the US or UK) which he uses for a shallot, apple and parm tarte and one from a new Dutch vegan baking book Taart ende Koeck by Maartje Borst. Because I tried two different doughs I also made one by hand and one using my food processor.

If you can: definitely make the dough by hand. It can feel like a bit of a slog but the dough comes out much more flakey, the machine cuts everything down far too uniform to get a nice texture in my opinion. I’ve included both dough recipes (with some adjustments to Nigel’s) so you have a vegan and a non-vegan option. Obviously to make this vegan use vegan feta and vegan butter.

Other variations

Obviously you can make this with whatever veg-cheese (or veg-veg) combination you like. I’m thinking carrots or (and?) beets with goats or blue cheese, shallots and onions, bell pepper, etc. etc. etc. Because the vegetables don’t cook on top of the dough you can probably even get away with something a little wetter, like tomatoes, for example.

Fennel tart tatin placed on a white and orange pie dish, with some feta and fennel fronds scattered on top and to the front, on an orange backdrop.

Fennel Tarte Tatin

Dorothy Porker
Two different pie crusts to make one delicious fennel tarte tatin with feta.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine French, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2


  • Large bowl or food processor (see notes)
  • Oven
  • Cast iron skillet or other oven proof frying pan ⌀ 26 cm - 10"
  • Parchment (optional)
  • Rolling pin or wine bottle


For Maartje Borst's vegan tatin crust

  • 2 c - 250 g flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt
  • 1/2 c - 125 g vegan butter cold and cut into cubes
  • 3-4 T - 45-60ml water cold

For Nigel Slater's vegetarian tatin crust

  • 2 c - 250 g flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt
  • 1 c - 125 g butter cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks freeze the whites and use within 3 months
  • 2 t - 10 g fennel seeds roasted and crushed
  • 4 T - 60 g feta or parmesan finely crumbled or grated

For the fennel tarte tatin

  • 2 T - 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 T - 15 g sugar
  • 1 large bulb fennel thinly sliced, you can set the fronds aside to serve (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 T - 7.5 g fennel seeds
  • 1/2 c - 75 g feta roughly crumbled


Make the dough

  • Place 2 c - 250 g flour in a large bowl and mix in 1 t - 5 g of salt.
  • Add 1/2 c - 125 g of butter and pinch and rub the butter into the flour, but avoid kneading proper. You want to be left with a kind of sandy consistency.

To make Maartje's tatin crust

  • Add 3-4 T - 45-60 ml of cold water and mix by hand until the dough starts coming together. Again, avoid kneading because this will make the dough chewy rather than crumbly. Just keep pushing the dough together until it forms a ball.

To make Nigel's tatin crust

  • Add 1 egg yolk, 2 t - 10 g of fennel seeds and 4 T - 60 g of finely crumbled or grated feta or parmesan and mix by hand until the dough starts coming together. Avoid kneading because this will make the dough chewy rather than crumbly. Keep pushing the dough together until it forms a ball.

Make the fennel tarte tatin

  • Whichever dough you've made, wrap or cover the ball and leave to set in the fridge.
  • Preheat your oven to 200° C - 390° F.
  • Heat 2 T - 15 ml of olive oil in a skillet. Divide 1 T - 15 g of sugar across the bottom of the pan before placing the slices of fennel into the pan in a single layer (or as single as you can get it). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to caramelize on a medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes, until the fennel has colored a nice golden brown.
  • Now turn the fennel over, again in as single of a layer as you can get, toss over 1/2 T - 7.5 g of fennel seeds and season with additional pepper and leave to brown for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the fennel in the skillet.
  • Depending on the weather you can now sprinkle the fennel with 1/2 c - 75 g of feta (if it's cold) or sprinkle over the feta right before serving (if it's warm).
  • Take your dough from the fridge and roll it out in an even layer in roughly the same diameter as your frying pan. To make it easier to place the dough onto the fennel in a second, it's best to do this on some parchment. The dough will break in areas but you can just stick it back together, it's fine.
  • Say a quick prayer and flip, toss or manoeuvre (I love a manoeuvre) the dough onto your fennel. Pat it down a little to make sure the dough adheres to the fennel and tuck in and cut off any excess edges before baking your tatin in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. The dough will stay pale but be cooked through, I promise.
  • Turn out the tatin by placing a large plate or board over your skillet and flipping the whole thing over (ask for assistance with this if you have someone around and are a bit of a klutz) and top with the 1/2 c - 75 g of feta if you haven't already used this. Sprinkle over the fennel fronds to make it pretty (or don't) and serve with a simple green lightly dressed salad.


You can make these doughs with a food processor but the result won't be as nice and flakey as making it by hand. Still: we make due with what we can.
Once prepared this fennel tarte tatin will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat for 15 minutes or so in a hot oven. 
Keyword fennel, feta, maartje borst, Nigel Slater, savory tart, savoury tart, tarte tatin

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar voor venkel tarte tatin.

My Favorite Veg-Based Cookbooks

With Veganuary coming to a close and my covert announcement in Alicia Kennedy’s newsletter on recipe writing and ingredient sourcing on the kinds of recipes I will be sharing here, I thought now was as good a time as any to walk you through some of my favorite vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

To be clear, I’m not vegan or vegetarian because limiting my eating options causes problems for me, but I do eat a mostly vegan and vegetarian diet and try to shop as animal, human and planet friendly as possible.

I promise these 13 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks will keep you as inspired as I am about centering vegetables on your plate.

Vegetable Kingdom – Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a star in his own right in (vegan) cooking and after reading Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes, I can see why. I can’t recall a best of 2020 cookbook list without it, so I had to have it.

With Bryant’s classical training at first glance this book can come across as a bit ‘cheffy’. Once you realise virtually each recipe is a menu in and of itself, and that you can take each individual component to make your own combinations or just cook one of them at a time, it all becomes a lot less intimidating so all you’re left with is inspiration.

I’ve already made the fantastic charred leak and mushroom toast with a pinenut puree from Vegetable Kingdom but the taro root cakes and cornmeal-fried oyster mushroom po’boy are also high on my hitlist along with all the other purees mentioned in the book. Or Vegetable Kingdom here if you’re in the US, or here if you’re in the UK.

Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook – Siaphin Moore

My brother took me to Rosa’s Thai Café in London’s East End (our old haunt) years ago and I distinctly recall it blowing my mind. Before I’d only had heavy Thai ‘curries’ but Rosa’s showed how bright and refreshing Thai cooking can be. So when I spotted this book and saw one of my favorite photography and styling teams had worked on it I had to get it.

There are quite a number of reasons to love this book. The photography by Louise Hagger and styling by Alexander Breeze is stellar, for one. The recipes are mostly vegan and extremely diverse in scope. But above all, Saiphin Moore has embellished each recipes in Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook with her rich personal history of eating experiences, recipe sources and more. This book gives you a real feel for all the regional Thai cuisines and Saiphin’s past growing up and living in various parts of Asia and now the UK.

All the recipes, including this gaeng penang tua lima (vegan butterbean panang) are surprisingly easy to make, which is just icing on the cake to me. Order Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian here if you are in the UK.

Jackfruit & Blue Ginger – Sasha Gill

If you’re looking for a broader vegan Asian tome, Sashi Gill is your woman. In Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favorites Made Vegan Sasha shares well-beloved classic Asian dishes from India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, China and Japan, made vegan, as well as some basic techniques to veganize recipes of your own accord.

Chapters are organised by region, which makes it easy to find something to suit your mood or come up with a cohesive vegan menu for a dinner party.

One thing in particular that I love about this book is that it also contains sweets or ‘desserts’ from each region (most Asian cuisines don’t work with desserts, but have sweets throughout the day instead). The vegan Hong Kong ‘egg’ tarts made with silken tofu in particular are amazing and a recipe I’ve made and fed to others again and again, it also formed the foundation for my vegan dark and stormy crème brûlee. Order Jackfruit & Blue Ginger here if you’re in the UK or here if you are in the US (it appeared under another title).

Greenfeast – Nigel Slater

As a voracious reader I prefer reading that challenges and discomforts me. But there are times when something more soothing is required. As a young one I found this comfort in Kurt Vonnegut, because he seemed as miffed by the ways of the world as I was (and still am).

Now that I’m older I cannot think of a single more soothing voice than Nigel Slater‘s. One of my favorite recipes of his is called an earthy meal in a bowl type soup, a title that describes his writing to a tee. When you read Nigel you know you are going to be alright.

Greenfeast comes in two parts: Spring, Summer and Autumn, Winter. These books will help you cook with the seasons and as Nigel states, are intended more to inspire than to be very exacting with. They are my go to when I’ve bought a vegetable but no longer know what to do with it. I just pull them out and browse, good things surely coming my way. Greenfeast is a bit cream and cheese heavy and very classical European in scope, which makes it a great place to start for anyone only just venturing into more veg-based eating straight from plates full of meat.

Order Spring, Summer here if you are in the US and here if you are in the UK. Order Autumn, Winter here if you are in the US or here if you are in the UK.

Vegan with Bite – Shannon Martinez

I got to know Shannon over some late night/ early morning transnational DMing (don’t be gross) and knew I had to get one of her books immediately. Lucky for me Vegan with Bite had just come out.

Shannon isn’t vegan but her restaurant is vegan and so are the recipes she shares because *gesticulates at planet*.

My favorite thing about this book is that ingredients aren’t prefaced with ‘vegan’ (vegan butter, vegan milk, etc). It’s a vegan cookbook so when Shannon says butter she obviously means vegan butter and when she says milk she obviously means non-dairy milk. That’s just a level of duh I’m really into. She also gives you some very useful pointers as to what to look out for when buying ready-made products because so many products that sound like they may have meat in them no longer do (chicken stock cubes, for one, rarely contain chicken – at least in Australia).

One of the chapters is called Minimum Effort, Maximum Results and another has the byline Zero Waste, Maximum Taste and these are pretty much the rules I cook by so you can see why I have to recommend it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Joe Yonan – Cool Beans

I bought one of Joe Yonan‘s other books years ago, when he still included meat. He’s since committed to sharing meat free recipes only.

With Cool Beans, the title kind of speaks for itself. It made me realise beans are a great staple that I could be eating more of without it being a sad ‘tin of beans’ sort of affair. Cool Beans includes a whole bunch of classics (paella! hummus!) from the world over as well as some of Yonan’s own concoctions all with a bean-centric focus. He even includes some tips on how to avoid the notorious musical side effects of beans: farts. Apparently it helps if you cook them well, and this is just the book that’ll help you do it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Lagusta Yearwood – Sweet+Salty

I got Salty+Sweet: The Art of Vegan Chocolates, Truffles, Caramels and More by Lagusta Yearwood because Alicia Kennedy recommended it. In it, her famous Lagusta’s Luscious truffles and caramels feature prominently. If you’re good at coming up with funky flavors and adjusting recipes to your own needs (it me) this may feel a bit one-note when you first start reading it. I can come up with funky truffles perfectly fine on my own, thank you very much.

That said, Lagusta gives such great and in-depth information in the perils of shopping and producing ethically (sugar and cacao are a nightmare) and things get a little bit more exciting (for me at least) on the caramel end of things, which is why I’ve decided to include this here. I was talking about uncomfortable reading earlier: this book will make you uncomfortable. But then you get to make better decisions and make vegan chocolate truffles in exciting flavors (or come up with your own, I’ve got kimchi truffles on my mind for one), so it’s all good. Order at in the US or in the UK.

Vegan Soul Food – Jason Tjon Affo

This is an honorable mention because Vegan Soul Food by Jason Tjon Affo isn’t actually available in English (yet). But it’s a beautiful vegan cookbook full of colorful photography ánd food, mostly inspired by Jason’s Surinamese roots. Which makes this an incredibly diverse cookbook, because Suriname contains multitudes.

My recipe for vegan kue lapis flavored monkey bread was based on Jason’s vegan monkey bread recipe from Vegan Soul Food, so there you go.

Nosh – Esther Erwteman

Nosh: Mijn Vegetarische Joodse Keuken (My Vegetarian Jewish Kitchen) is a lovely and beautiful book by Esther Erwteman who runs Amsterdam-based deli, cooking school and eatery (the former two when there’s no Covid going around) Esther’s Cookery. This is another honorable mention because it’s only available in Dutch right now.

In Nosh Esther interweaves her personal history with her Jewish faith, explaining why certain dishes are prepared and eaten at certain times as well as explaining how certain less obvious choices made it into her repertoire. If you live in Amsterdam be sure to help yourself and help Esther by visiting her shop and getting some good nosh, or if you’re not be sure to order some of her prime goodies in Esther’s Cookery webshop. I’ve gotten a really nice aubergine grill and some lovely harissa’s from her and she also offers workshops online.

Zaitoun – Yasmin Khan

Another honorable mention because strictly speaking Yasmin Khan‘s Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen is neither vegan nor vegetarian. That said, only 13 recipes in this book contain meat. These recipes can easily ignored in favor of all the veg based dishes in this book. The unique insights Zaitoun offers into the Palestinian kitchen and reality are another element of this book that cannot be ignored which is why I had to include it.

I’ve made the falafel and fennel pickle from this book. Both were simple and delicious, so if you’re into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with a bit of back story this book is for you. Order in the US or in the UK.

Ed Smith – On The Side

I found On The Side in the discount isle at the American Book Center in The Hague. Intrigued by a book consisting of just sides, I bought it. This book has been my most trustworthy companion ever since. I don’t know why there aren’t more books on sides, though this might be the only one you’ll ever need.

Every recipe includes tips on what to combine them with or how to combine them with other recipes from the book to make a full meal. Furthermore there are not one but three (THREE!) indexes. You can browse based on your main protein, based on what veg you want to use or based on how much time you have. As such it served for the inspiration of the way I’ve set up my chapters and the additional vegan and vegetarian index for my book Nomnomnom.

I previously shared a peppercorn and lime rice recipe from On The Side. Order On the Side at in the UK.

Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables

Sadly as it turns out Lucky Peach was not a happy place. And now as I read some of the older copies, I can tell it was all a lot more bro dudey than I can stomach (I’ll confess I was more bro dudey when I first read them too). Still, when I got my hands on my first Lucky Peach I fell in love hard because up until that point I didn’t know food writing like this existed.

Fast forward whatever years later and all I’m missing is #1. While the issues of the magazine are hard to get a hold of, most of the books are easy to find and out of all of them I think Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables might give you the most bang for your buck. The photography is amazing and the recipes are all accessible and easy to follow, with LOADS of flavor. Vegan too.

In general I find vegetarian cookbooks lean a little too heavily on cheese (and I love cheese, just not for every meal) while vegan cookbooks are just diet books in disguise. Power Veg is just a good old cookbook that leaves you feeling hungry and ready to wield some veg.

You can find some recipes from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables here.

That’s my roundup for vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, I hope the scope is wide enough to have something in the list for you. Be sure to order from your local bookstore!

Zoek je deze kookboekentips in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar voor 13 van mijn favoriete vegan- en vegakookboeken.

7 Of My Favorite Cookbooks

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I am a bit of a cookbook hoarder. So inspired by Meike I thought I’d try something a little different and post a list of some of my favorite cookbooks.

It’s impossible for me to list all my favorites, so let’s leave it at a my top 7 right now. I plan to post lists of favorites by genre and topic in future as well.

Nigel Slater – Appetite

Appetite was the first cookbook I bought for myself.

There are a few reasons I love this book. Not only does Nigel tell you to keep some Smarties in your larder, because everybody loves Smarties, but he focuses on sensory ques in cooking. The feel of food, the smell, how something is supposed to look before the next step. This is a far more useful way to describe cooking than timings, because there are so many variables involved (I’ve caved to the pressure of rough timings alongside sensory cues for my recipes). His writing is comforting and make any recipe seem doable, which is why I own most of his books, this being the most stain-covered one.

Appetite also offers 3 to 5 variations on each recipe in the book. These variations help you understand how recipes work and which flavors and textures go together. This is what has made Appetite foundational for my cooking. I rarely cook from it now, but the way I approach cooking and recipe writing all start here.

You can find all of my Nigel Slater-inspired recipes here.

Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables

Unfortunately as it turns out Lucky Peach was not a happy place. And now as I read some of the older copies I own, I can tell it was all a lot more bro dudey than I recalled (or maybe I was more bro dudey when I first read them). Still, when I got my hands on my first copy there was nothing more exciting because up until that point I didn’t know food writing like this existed.

I have almost all the issues and all the books. While the issues are harder to get a hold of now, some of the books are quite easy to find and out of all of them I think Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables gives you the most bang for your buck. The photography is amazing and the recipes are all accessible and easy to follow, with LOADS of flavor. A lot of them are vegan rather than vegetarian. Something I still find lacking in a lot of other veggie oriented books that either lean heavily on cheese (and I love cheese, just not for every meal) or promote diet culture. Power Veg does none of this, but it does leave you feeling hungry and ready to use more veg.

You can find some recipes from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables here.

Ed Smith – On The Side

I found On The Side in the discount isle at the American Book Center in The Hague. Intrigued by a book consisting of just side dishes, I bought it on impulse. This book has been my steady compatriot ever since. I don’t know why there aren’t more books on side dishes, at the same time this might be the only one you’ll ever need.

Every recipe includes tips on what to combine them with and how to combine them with other recipes from the book to make a full vegetable forward meal. Not only that, there are not one but three (THREE!) indexes allowing you to browse recipes based on your main, based on what veg you want to use and based on time.

Any time I want to stop doing the same ol’ same ol’ with my veg or starches or have a vegetable leftover that I just don’t know what to do with anymore, I just plonk open this book and it’s got some good answers ready and waiting for me. I previously shared a peppercorn and lime rice recipe from On The Side here.

MiMi Aye – Mandalay

I’ll concede I haven’t cooked from Mandalay a lot yet, mainly because I’ve spent most of this year working on my own book, but the recipes I have cooked were stellar and have made me even more brazen with both my use of MSG and fish sauce.

The reason I love this book is because all the recipes sound amazing, comforting and vaguely familiair to someone with Indonesian roots. MiMi has written a (for me at least) very relatable personal history on growing up in a diaspora, with all the different foods at home from whatever is the norm in the country where you live, hunting down ingredients and travelling ‘back’ (something that wasn’t part of my upbringing) that that entails.

In that sense, it touched my soul. I’ve cooked two or three recipes from it so far and they were all surprisingly easy, earthy and more-ish. If you follow MiMi on social media sometimes she’ll sell batches of Mandalay with little drawings in them and if you’re a nerd like me they really are worth the wait. Mine has a drawing of an MSG-panda.

Vanja van der Leeden – Indorock

The Dutch interpretation of Indonesian food had been at a standstill for decades. Fed by nostalgia for our former home, or our grandparents’ homes (as in my case), what we were eating was a maybe 30’s to 40’s Dutch colonial interpretation of Indonesian food, with the kind of tweaks a diaspora makes when ingredients can’t be found.

Vanja traveled through Indonesia as it is now and brought back its current flavors, adding in some of her own ideas and preferences. In Indorock she highlights the many chefs, restaurants and people she met during her travels. Wat really finishes it off for me are seemingly small small but crucial touches like explaining the difference between ‘Indisch’ and Indonesian and using current Indonesian spelling for foods, rather than Dutch colonial spelling that is still in use here.

You can read more about Dutch colonial history and why people like Vanja and myself ended up here while you nosh on Vanja’s bubur ketan hitam recipe.

Unfortunately for now Indorock is only available in Dutch and German, it really deserves an English and Indonesian translation but if you are curious about Indonesian food, Lara Lee’s Coconut&Sambal is another amazing book, with photography and styling by my favorite team. With it’s US release it’s making all the best cookbooks coming out this fall-lists and rightly so.

Kris Yenbamroong – Night+Market

Another book I haven’t had much time to cook from yet, Kris Yenbamroong’s Night+Market is such a well written and joyful read. Kris not only celebrates his grandmother and parents, who launched the first Thai fine dining restaurant in LA, but also highlights the regional character of Thai cuisine where usually all Thai recipes are lumped together.

Combine this wonderful personal history, with a deep knowledge of cooking, the ability to translate this to useable and workable recipes for home cooks, wine parings, props to everyone who works alongside him or has shared recipes with him and I really think Kris has written a cookbook the way it ought to be. Just reading it alone leaves you happy, better informed and hungry to share a meal.

Margarita Carillo Arronte – Mexico The Cookbook

Though a bit clinical in nature I have an unhealthy obsessesion with the Phaidon country series, if I have to pick one however I think Mexico The Cookbook is the one to beat.

While with some of the others I drown in the multitude of recipes, this book (with it’s gorgeous cut out dust cover) is particularly well-structured which makes it a lot easier to find recipes you want to cook, or maybe I just really love Mexican food. Either way I cook from this all the time and a lot of the recipes have become staples for me. There’s a bean salad with mushrooms and cheese that’s really good and I’m really hoping to share the tres leches cake recipe from this in the near future.

That’s it. My top 7 favorite cookbooks minus all the others I love. What are your favorite cookbooks? Let me know in the comments!

Zoek je deze post in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar Vette voor een top 7 van mijn favoriete kookboeken.

Super Easy British Fishcake Recipe

Fishcakes and Ready Steady Cook marked the beginning of my love affair with British food. They combine two of my favorite things: fish and potato. Fried in ample butter, nothing can really go wrong with this one for me.

When I made fish cakes for the first time myself, I followed a Nigel Slater recipe and used fresh fish. This seemed fancy and correct. But then one day I was broke and used tinned fish instead. Turns out those are a thousand times more delicious than fresh fish fishcakes.

I love nothing more than money saved and taste buds pleased, so here is my very basic fishcake recipe that you can make from stuff that you’ll probably have on hand.

What do I eat with fishcakes?

I claim this is a recipe for two but generally I eat this by myself with some butterhead lettuce and a light vinaigrette made with olive oil and white wine or cider vinegar, some salt and pepper. You don’t really need much more.

Instead of the below tarragon sauce a mayo on the sharper end of the spectrum would also do nicely.

Variations on fishcake

You can also make these with fresh fish, as mentioned. Choose a slightly firmer but not too fatty fish, like cod or salmon. Be sure to pick a fish that is ASC- or MSC-certified.

Super Easy British Fishcake Recipe

Dorothy Porker
This is a recipe for super quick, easy and delicious fishcakes made with ingredients you probably have laying around.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Lunch, Main course, Party snack, Snack
Cuisine British, English
Servings 2


  • Potato peeler
  • Pan
  • Sieve
  • Large bowl
  • Masher
  • Frying pan


For the fishcakes

  • 7 oz - 213 gr fish roughly one tin - I use tuna or salmon, check for ASC- or MSC-certified fish
  • 3 medium sized potatoes you want roughly the same weight as the fish
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch cayenne optional
  • 1/4 c - 50 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 pat butter

For the sauce, optional - mayo or store bought sauces are also nice

  • 1 pat butter
  • 1/4 c - 50 ml white wine
  • 1 c - 250 ml cream
  • 1 small bunch tarragon stem removed
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped, optional


To make the fishcakes

  • Peel and roughly cut 3 potatoes into large chunks. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until completely tender. You can test this by sticking a fork in the potatoes as they cook, it should slide right through.
  • In the meantime: drain one 7 oz - 213 gr tin of fish. Flake to your desired consistency, I like mine kind of chunky. Season the fish with pinches of pepper, salt and cayenne (if using) and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them to your desired consistency in the pan. I like mine with a remnant of chunkiness.
  • Add the potatoes to the fish mixture and mix together. Again: to your desired consistency. I like there to be chunks of fish and potato left, so it's not so much of a coherent mush but more of a textured affair. I'm not judging you coherent mush people however.
  • Melt some butter in a hot skillet or (non-stick) frying pan.
  • Form your potato-fish mixture into 4 patties, they don't need to be a super nice shape unless that's your thing. Lightly dust them with a bit of all-purpose flour and fry until golden in the butter.

To make the sauce, optional - mayo or store bought sauces are also nice

  • After frying off the fishcakes, remove from the pan and melt some more butter into the pan.
  • Add 1/4 c - 50 ml of wine and 1 c - 250 ml of cream. Let it come to a nice bubble and let it go until the sauce thickens ever so slightly. Finish with tarragon leaves, salt and pepper.
  • You can gussy this sauce up further by glazing off a small helping of finely chopped shallots and garlic but let's not complicate things unless we want to ey?


The fish cakes keep for up to 3 days unfried or fried in the fridge and can be (re)heated in a frying pan with butter (or oil if they've already be fried). 
Keyword canned food, easy fish, fish, fish cakes, fish recipe, potato cakes, potato recipe, seafood, tinned food

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Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

One of my staples since what feels like the beginning of time now is Nigel Slater’s chickpea and chorizo stew.

I found it on his website when I was still living in London. It’s perfect for all types of weather but obviously smashing for winter. And it’s also perfect for freezing. I always have a steady supply in my freezer for when I come home on a rainy day.

Nigel serves it with bread but I think it’s filling enough on its own.

A close up of a bowel of Nigel Slater's chickpea and chorizo in a white enamel and blue trimmed bowl with two bamboo handles sticking out of it, surrounded by some tufts of flat leaf parsley and a white and blue striped dishtowel in the back

Nigel Slater's Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

Dorothy Porker
The perfect winter warmer to come home to. Earthy, with a mild heat from the chorizo and some nice depth from the sherry.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine British, English, Spanish
Servings 4


  • Large pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon


  • 2 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 large onions coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced, smoked if you can find them
  • 14 oz - 400 gr chorizo cut into chunks, soft if you can get it
  • 1/2 T - 7 gr dried chili flakes I use chipotle for added smokiness
  • 3/4 c - 175 ml dry sherry
  • 14 oz - 400 gr tinned tomatoes or 8 fresh and diced
  • 2 x 14 oz - 400 gr tins chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c - 125 ml water
  • bunch parsley optional, for fanciness


  • Heat 2 T - 30 ml of olive oil in a large pot. 
  • Sauté 2 coarsely chopped onions with 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic and 1/2 T - 7 gr of chili flakes and stir until the onions have gone soft and translucent.
  • Stir in 14 oz - 400 gr of chorizo chunks until fragrant and then pour in 3/4 c - 175 ml of sherry and bring to a boil.
  • Add 14 oz - 400 gr of tinned tomatoes, 2 tins of 7 oz - 200 gr drained and rinsed chickpeas and 1/2 c - 125 ml of water. Bring back to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 45 minutes with the lid slightly ajar.


Nigel Slater's chickpea and chorizo keep for about 3 months in the freezer, reheat it in a saucepan on the stove. 
Keyword chickpeas, chorizo, Nigel Slater, stew, winter

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