incredible chicken sandwich
He takes a lot of flak, but I like Valentine Warner. I certainly like his recipes, which are usually easy to make, easy to eat and make you think “I think I’m going to give that a go…”
His latest book, What To Eat Next, is packed with these types of recipes. Duck legs with cucumber, spicy cracked crab claws, deep-fried hotate scallops… all eagerly plastered with post-it notes ready for the to-cook pile. Lots of these are interesting and comforting, with plenty of flavour. A few of the recipes are a little bit filler – do we need a listed recipe for quiche lorraine in 2014? – but the majority are really worth it. I particularly enjoyed his steak sauce, bursting with umami-rich ingredients like tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Polenta with kale and porcini was also a delight.
One big area of the book letting it down is the desserts, many of which are so simple as to be pointless. It’s a part of the book easily skipped though, as there’s only 15 pudding recipes.
Here’s my take on one of the recipes from his book, a chicken sandwich with slow roast tomatoes and coleslaw. It’s really moreish and absolutely delicious. Take it into work the next day and be the envy of your colleagues. The slow roast tomatoes can be made in advance, and in quantity. Can’t be bothered? Put them in a high oven for 30 minutes. Not as rich and sweet, but nearly as good.