Thursday, 30 November 2017

Filo Wrapped Salmon and Spinach in a Creamed Miso Sauce with Chilli, Honey and Soy

It's the first night of our 'Christmas' getaway and we have come to one of our regular haunts of Moreton-in-Marsh Caravan and Motorhome Club site. The plan for this weekend is to attend one of The Cotswolds excellent Christmas markets but the highlight is on Saturday when we board the Santa Steam Train Express at Cheltenham Racecourse where we will be transported through a black hole directly to the North Pole. At the North Pole station there will be elves and other magical creatures waiting for us but of course the big man himself in his carriage grotto. It is a magical trip and made possible by the lovely volunteers at The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway.

Anyway, back to food. I had a bit of salmon to eat up so popped to the local Warners Budgens for inspiration and decided to try a filo spinach wrap. It is very easy and extremely tasty as the pastry keeps the moisture of the salmon contained and there is just enough to steam the spinach whilst leaving the filo nice and crunchy. I'm also enjoying experimenting with miso at the moment and this blend with chilli, honey, soy and cream worked well with this dish, however you could simply try a bit of a fish stock cube instead.


1x Salmon fillet, skinless
6x Asparagus spears
1x Bacon rasher
1x Cherry tomato vine
3x Filo pastry sheets
Handful of fresh spinach leaves
1x Miso stock sachet
1tbsp Chilli sauce
1tbsp Honey
1tbsp Soy sauce
2tbsp Single cream
Rapeseed oil (or any oil/butter) for brushing the pastry
Sea salt for seasoning.


1. Cut the lower stalks off the asparagus and place in a pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes to extract the flavour, discard the stalks. Add the asparagus tips and simmer for 3 minutes then remove and set aside.
2. Fire up the oven to gas mark 7. Put the bacon and tomatoes in a roasting, coat them in oil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
3. Put 1 filo pastry sheet on a board and brush with oil then lay another pastry sheet on top and also brush that with oil. Layer spinach leaves on the pastry then place the salmon fillet on top and season, cover it with more spinach then fold the pastry around it to make a parcel. Brush with more oil then use another sheet of pastry to wrap the entire parcel and make it look pretty. Brush with more oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the top. Bake in the oven on the top shelf for about 10 minutes or until golden.
4. Use the asparagus water to make your miso stock in a small saucepan and turn the heat on low. Add the chilli, honey, soy and cream and whisk through well until foamy.
5. Wrap the asparagus with the bacon and return the whole lot to oven for a few minutes.
6. When all done plate up!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Oxtail and Guinness Puddings

I have to admit I did make these puds at home and just steamed them in the van, but there is absolutely no reason why they can't be made from scratch in the caravan. We had these on arrival day so I wanted something tasty but not too time consuming to cook. I have taken inspiration from Heston's steak and kidney puds but instead of cooking in wine and brandy I'm using Guinness instead, plus Mrs Larry absolutely hates kidneys so they've been omitted too. Three ingredients that do massively compliment beef are rosemary, mushroom and star anise, so I've included them all! The puds themselves are crammed full of meat and probably full of many unctuous calories so they really are a treat.

(serves 4)

For the Oxtail:
1.6kg Oxtail
2x Large onions, sliced
2x Carrots, peeled and sliced
200g Chestnut mushrooms
1x Can of Guinness
1x Can of water (just fill up the empty Guinness can)
4x Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1x Bay leaf
1x Thyme sprig
1x Rosemary sprig
1x Star anise
1x Beef stock cube
2tbsp Tomato puree
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or Hendersons if you're Yorkshire)
1tbsp Balsamic vinegar

For the Suet Pastry:
140g Atora suet
280g Self raising flour
5g Salt
160ml Cold water


1. Lets make the pastry by mixing all the ingredients together and work into a dough. The water isn't a precise measurement so add it slowly until you have a nice ball of dough. Stick it in a freezer bag in the fridge.
2. Liberally grease your pudding moulds with butter and put them in the freezer.
3. Season the oxtail well then in a frying pan place them fat sides down. When the fat has been released turn them and brown on all sides then transfer to a casserole dish.
4. Into the casserole dish goes the stock cube, mushrooms, bay, thyme, rosemary, star anise, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.
5. Now fry the onions and carrots in the beef fat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Pour in the Guinness, bring to a simmer, then transfer all to the casserole dish.
5. Deglaze the pan with the can of water, bring to a simmer and pour into the casserole dish.
6. Put the casserole in the oven on gas mark 2 (150C) for about 3 hours.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pick all the meat out and discard the veg and bones by sieving the cooking gravy into a jug. Let the gravy cool so all the fat rises to the top and skim it off.
8. For each pudding roll out about 120g of the suet dough into a circle and line the pudding mould. Fill the mould with meat and gravy, pack it in there so it is almost bursting, then trim the pastry edges and roll that out into a circle. Brush the rim of the pud pastry with water and put the circle on as a lid, trim and press down the edges then top with parchment paper secured with an elastic band.
9. Pop the puddings in a pan of water where the water comes half way up the moulds. Put the pan lid on and steam for 30 minutes.
10. Heat your remaining gravy gently in a saucepan.
11. When the puddings are done gently ease them out of the moulds on to plates. You can use a flavour injector to inject more gravy into them or just pour more over them and tuck in!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Celeriac Mash

After recently purchasing a slow cooker for the van I am keen to explore recipes that we can leave bubbling away all day so when we return to the van from a day of fun the dinner is almost ready. There is the obvious stews and casseroles, and I'm sure we will do plenty of those in good time, but I think the slow cooker lends itself to cooking lamb shanks perfectly. They're one of Mrs Larry's favourites too so that's extra brownie points for me. This celeriac mash has an added surprise as it contains little pockets of cheese that burst with flavour in your mouth.


2x Lamb shanks
1x Onion, roughly chopped
1x Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped.
2x garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1x Bottle of red wine
1x Lamb stock cube
2tbsp Tomato puree
2tbsp Mint jelly
1tbsp Cornfour, mixed to a slurry
1tsp Dried mixed herbs
1tsp Caraway seeds
1/2tsp Black pepper
1tbsp Pomegranate seeds

For the Celeriac Mash:
1x Large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1x Celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
4x Garlic cloves (we used smoked)
40g Butter
50ml Double cream
50ml Milk
120g Crumbly cheese, e.g. Lancashire.
1tbsp Chopped chive


1. Season the lamb and brown all over in an oiled frying pan on a high heat then set aside in the slow cooker.
2. Turn the heat down and add the carrots and onions and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic, tomato puree and caraway seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes more then add the black pepper, mixed herbs, wine and mint jelly.
3. Bring to the boil then add the stock cube and cornflour slurry, stir well then pour it into the slow cooker. The liquid should cover the shanks, top up with water if it doesn't.
4. Cook on low all day long.
5. When you get back to the van gently spoon the shanks out of the slow cooker (be careful they will fall off the bone) and set aside covered in foil.
6. Sieve the cooking liquor, discard the veg, transfer to a saucepan on the hob and reduce to a sticky sauce. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
7. Make the mash by boiling the potato, celeriac and garlic until they are soft. In another pan heat the milk and cream so it is warm but not boiling. Drain the celeriac then pour in the hot creamy milk and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the butter and mix well then season to taste. Now crumble in the cheese, the idea being that you have chunks of cheese throughout the mash that burst a delicious surprise of flavour in your mouth. It makes a change from grated cheddar anyway.
8. And that's it so plate up! We served ours with a bit of veg and topped with pomegranate seeds and chives.