Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a new book by Samin Nosrat, a chef and cookery teacher. Those, according to Samin, are the four elements of good cooking; if you master them – you’re a top cook. The book is hugely approachable, appealing both to the know-it-alls like me and the keen and inexperienced cooking freshers. I’ve not yet tried and tested all Samin writes about: so far I’ve been massively oversalting everything since she claims there’s always more salt needed to a dish than you think. Greasy spoons and sour grapes will come next: that will be Samin's fat and acid.
An excellent instruction – because hers are more that rather than recipes – for a braise resulted in my best ever braised pork. Serve it sliced, like a roast, or shred it when hot and do whatever you usually fancy doing with pulled pork (isn’t it weird how these days everything sounds like an innuendo?). To go with it, you might want to make the potatoes boulangères, a somewhat Spartan side to a glorious roast, with a blood orange cake for dessert.
That’s this weekend, or a weekday off as it’s quite an undertaking. For a quick supper, a sticky pork stir fry will be better suited. Serve it with plain rice and smashed cucumber salad.
If you’d rather have the rice and hold the pork, how about brown rice with mushrooms? It’s a very brown dish but better for the gut than if made with white rice: contrary to common understanding, brown rice is not more nutritious than white; but it has more fibre.
Fifteen minutes prep and half an hour bake – if that’s acceptable timescale for a weeknight meal, have a go at mac, leek n cheese one night this week. If it sounds like too much bother, go for linguine with smoked salmon and pesto; shop-bought jars of the green stuff accepted.
Finally, something for the bakers: I’ve been craving rye for a while so am going to refresh my rye sour and bake the half-and-half wheat and rye sourdough loaf. It’s really as good as an all-rye but not quite as awkward to handle. And for the sourdough-shy there’s the seeded light rye, a little like Pumpernickel and only second best to sourdough. Get baking.