Monday 29 December 2014

Pot Roast Silverside of Beef with Root Veg

When I was a kid Mum would regularly pot roast silverside of beef on a Sunday but I haven't done it in ages. This one was on offer and gave me the incentive to give it a try. Silverside is a tough cut of meat so you must cook it as low and as slow as possible, about 4 hours.


Silverside of beef roasting joint
New potatoes
Carrots - peeled and thickly sliced
Parsnips - peeled and cut into thick chips
Onion - sliced
Dry cider - 1 bottle
Butter beans - 1 tin
Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
Beef stock cube
Rosemary - finely chopped, about a tablespoon
Mustard - 1 teaspoon, more if you like it spicy
Cornflour mixed with water


1. Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper then sear on a high heat in a frying pan. Remove from the pan and place in casserole dish.
2. Sweat off the onions in the frying pan then add to the casserole dish.
3. Add the parsnips and carrots to the dish.
4. In the frying pan pour in the bottle of dry cider and bring to a boil.
5. Add the stock cube, rosemary and mustard to the cider then pour into the dish.
6. Place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven if possible on gas mark 2 for about 4 hours. Turn the beef every hour.
7. Towards the end of the cooking add the tin of butter beans to the dish.
8. Boil the new potatoes and clove of garlic until soft. Drain, season, add a knob of butter and lightly crush.
9. Remove the casserole dish from the oven. With a slotted spoon remove the veg and set aside, drain the gravy into a pan and bring back to a boil. Taste and season then thicken with cornflour
10. Bring the broccoli to a boil and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
11. Slice the beef and plate it all up!

Wiltshire Bacon Fraise

You know I like to attempt a local dish while away in the van but all I could find for Wiltshire was Lardy Cake or these Bacon Fraises. As it was Christmas and we were feeling a bit 'larded out' the lardy cake was off the menu. These Bacon Fraises make a nice alternative for breakfast and my tribe soon scoffed them all up.


Flour (I used self raising because it is all I had in the van. It worked well but the traditional recipe is plain flour)


1. Make a batter mix predominantly of eggs. You only need a teaspoon or so of flour and a little cream.
2. Fry the rashers of bacon in a frying pan until just about done.
3. Pour over the bacon a little of the batter, flip them over to do the other side.
4. Serve!

Alternative Bacon Fraise:

I used 4 eggs and it was way to much but it did mean i had loads of batter left over to try a modified version of the Bacon Fraise in the oven. Its a bit like a breakfast Yorkshire pudding!


The same as above
Diced onion
Grated cheese


1. Dice the bacon and fry with the diced onion.
2. Add the grated cheese to the batter then pour over the bacon and onion.
3. Fry for a minute then put the frying pan in a hot oven on the top shelf. I did mine on full whack for about 10 minutes.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Oven Baked Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Christmas wouldn't be the same without making bubble and squeak out of the leftovers. There isn't really a specific recipe as it depends what leftover veg you might have but rather than just fry it all in a pan give my oven baked cakes a go instead.


Leftover cooked veg from Christmas dinner
Leftover potatoes or new ones to make mash
Leftover cheese sauce or some grated cheddar


1. Chop up all your leftover veg and slightly mash the potatoes If you haven't got many leftover spuds then boil some new ones to make the mash, allow to cool before continuing.
2. Combine all the veg and mashed spuds in a bowl and mix through the cheese sauce or grated cheese.
3. Simply form the cakes in your hands and place on a greased baking tray. Brush them with a little oil and bake on gas6 until golden.

Saturday 6 December 2014

Sweet and Sour Sausage Bean Feast

I've been sent this wonderfully interesting sausage bean feast suggestion by James Austen, aged 4, from Congleton in Cheshire. James says:

"My favourite campsite recipe in our 2014 Elddis Crusader Tempest is ‘Sausage Bean Feast’ consisting of sausages all cut into little chunks and fried with two tins of beans, one tin of new potatoes (cut up) and a tin of pineapple, all in the same deep sided pan so perfect on the hob in our caravan, especially for some winter caravanning."

I did Larry up the dish just a little with a drop of vinegar and a few fresh veggies, turning it into sweet and sour sausage bean feast. I also roasted the potatoes separately in polenta, making them crunchy crispy but with really fluffy insides. My veggie followers could easily omit the sausages and it would be just as tasty, and spice lovers should bung in a chilli or two!


1x Tin of beans
1x Tin of potatoes, drained
1x Tin of pineapple chunks
1x Red onion, sliced
1x Red pepper, chopped
1x Yellow pepper, chopped
Baby sweetcorn, sliced
French beans, cut in half
Red wine vinegar
Chinese five spice


1. Heat some oil in a roasting tin on gas mark 6.
2. In a bowl mix a pinch of five spice with salt and pepper and a good handful or two of polenta.
3. Coat the drained tinned potatoes evenly with the polenta mix and put them in the hot oil on the top shelf of the oven for about 40 minutes.
4. Put the sausages in a baking tin on the next shelf down.
5. After about 30 minutes sweat off the onion in a wok.
6. Add the pepper, baby corn and French beans and cook for a few minutes.
7. Add a good splash of red wine vinegar, the tin of beans and tin of pineapple, including all the juice.
8. Remove the sausages from the oven, slice them up and bung them in the wok too.
9. Season to taste but it shouldn't really need a lot.
10. Take the crispy crunchy spuddies out of the oven and plate up!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Venture Lamb Stew with Roast Garlic Cream

My friends at Venture Caravans in Northamptonshire and I decided to have a fun Sunday cooking in the smallest of their new Elddis Sanremo caravans. OK this isn't exactly my caravan kitchen but it's still a caravan kitchen and probably the smallest one I've ever cooked in, and without doubt the most people I've cooked for in a caravan too! Nevertheless a great day was had by all and the stew was polished off so please do try my recipe and let me know how you get on.


Lamb - as much or as little as you need. We used diced leg seasoned with salt and pepper
Potatoes - peeled and cut into chunks
Sweet potatoes - peeled and cut into chunks
Carrots - peeled and sliced
Leeks - sliced
Celery - sliced
Swede - peeled and cut into chunks
Garlic - 1 clove peeled and crushed
Onions - peeled and diced
Cannellini beans
Red wine
Tomato puree
Stock cubes
Rosemary - finely chopped
Caraway seeds
Umami (this is a nice to have but not essential) - check out my Foodie Finds for more information

Garlic Cream:
Garlic - 1 bulb
Cream - 1 Pot
White wine - 1 glass
Hard cheese like gruyere


For the stew:
1. In a separate frying pan or wok brown the meat in stages, placing in your stock pot when done.
2. Sweat off the onion in the frying pan then add the diced garlic clove and cook for a further minute or two. Add a big squeeze of tomato puree, cook for another minute then scrape the lot into the stock pot.
3. Into the stock pot goes all the veg, the rosemary, 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds, the red wine (we used half a bottle), and the umami if you are using it.
4. Fill with enough water and bring to a simmer.
5. Add the stock cubes and simmer away until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through.
6. Thicken with cornflour mixed with a drop of cold water if needed.
7. For the last few minutes bung in the cannellini beans and peas and season with salt and pepper if needed.

For the Roast Garlic Puree:
1. Snip off the stem of the whole garlic bulb and wrap in foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt before sealing the foil.
2. Roast in the oven on gas mark 2 for about 45 minutes to an hour. You will know when its done when the garlic cloves have turned into a gooey pulp.
3. Squeeze out all the pulp into a pan, add the cream, a glass of white wine and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and reduce down to a thick cream consistency.
4. Add a big handful of grated cheese and season to taste.

Serve a nice bowl of stew topped with the garlic puree, some mint sauce and a drizzle of nice oil, and don't forget the chunk of crusty bread and butter.

You can watch me cooking this in an Elddis Sanremo at Venture Caravans in the YouTube clip below. Its just a bit of fun but I think I'll stick to the day job!

Friday 31 October 2014

Pumpkin Soup

Halloween is great fun away in the van and this year we have brought our beloved Eagle to the Camping and Caravan Club's site Teversal in Notts. We are away with friends and between us we have six children, which means six pumpkins and a lot of pumpkin flesh. I'm not one for wasting food so pumpkin soup is on the menu, whether they like it or not!


6x Pumpkins, flesh hollowed out
2x Large onions, peeled and chopped
4x Garlic cloves, peeled
1x Tin of tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Cumin powder
Coriander powder
Smoked paprika
Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon
Red wine vinegar
Double cream
Greek basil


1. Boil a kettle.
2. In a big pan sweat off the onions and whole garlic cloves.
3. Add the spices, about a tablespoon of each, and gently fry for a minute or two.
4. Add a good dollop of tomato puree and fry for a minute.
5. Add half the kettle of water and mix in the pumpkin flesh and chopped basil stalks.
6. Stir regularly and add more water as needed.
7. Add a good glug of red wine vinegar.
8. When the pumpkin is soft blend with a hand blender.
9. Taste. It will taste like bland old pumpkin at this point but seasoning with bouillon, salt and pepper brings it alive. The bouillon is salty so start with that then finish off with salt (if needed) and pepper.
10. Turn off the heat, swirl in the pot of cream, drizzle some nice oil and top with Greek basil leaves.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Chicken and Black Pudding Colcannon

An old Irish tradition is to serve colcannon on Halloween. I'm using quite a lot of poetic licence here as my colcannon came about on an 'eat-up' night where we simply bunged into a wok a bit of cabbage plus other ingredients that needed using up. I wasn't going to put it on the website but Mrs Larry enjoyed it so much we quickly took a photo before she polished the lot off!


Cabbage, shredded
Chicken, already cooked and chopped up
Black pudding, skinned and chopped into cubes
Pancetta or smoked bacon rashers
Leek, sliced
2x Garlic cloves, peeled and diced or crushed
Carrots, diced or sliced
Mushrooms, chopped into quarters
Cheese, we used boursan but any will do


1. Heat some oil in a wok and fry the black pudding and bacon until crisp. Place on a sheet of kitchen paper. Leave the oil in the wok.
2. Add the carrots to the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and leek and continue stir frying for another couple of minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and garlic, continue frying.
5. When the mushrooms look done add the chicken, cheese and a dollop of cream and stir through until warm.
6. We served ours on a bit of leftover rice but you could use mash, chips, new spuds, pasta, whatever takes your fancy or you have leftover.
7. Top with the black pudding and bacon, a little drizzle of nice oil and some herbage if you have it.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Scallops, Black Pudding and Bacon on Garlic and Pea Risotto

Its not that difficult this dish, and pretty quick to rustle up too, yet it rewards you with a big hug of deliciousness. It's one of Mrs Larry's favourites. Supermarket scallops are kept in a special liquid to stop them drying out so you must wash and dry them first.


Scallops with the roe removed
Black pudding, skinned and chopped into 1cm slices
Risotto rice, 6 tablespoons
1/2 Onion finely diced
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and diced or crushed
1x Glass of white wine
Peas, one handful, we used frozen.
Lemon juice
1x Chicken stock cube
Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler


1. Boil a kettle.
2. In a shallow pan sweat off the onion in a drop of oil.
3. Add the rice and a 1cm slice of butter to the onion and mix well. When the butter has melted add the garlic and stir fry for about 1 minute. Don't let the garlic go brown.
4. Pour in half a glass of wine and give it a good mix. Keep stirring until the liquid has been absorbed then pour in the other half a glass and keep stirring.
5. When the wine has been absorbed pour in a good glug of hot water from the kettle and sprinkle in the stock cube. Keep stirring.
6. Put oven on gas mark 1.
7. With scissors snip into the bacon fat at 1cm intervals. This will stop it curling. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crisp then put in the oven to keep warm. We had to do this in 2 batches.
8. Don't forget to keep stirring the rice and adding more water as it gets absorbed. Taste it and if it is softening but still has a little bite add the peas, and more water if needed.
9. In the frying pan add a knob of butter and fry the black pudding for about 2 minutes each side or until the edges are beginning to crisp up. Put the black pudding in the oven with the bacon.
10. When the rice is soft and creamy take off the heat and season with a few parmesan shavings, salt, pepper and a drop of lemon juice.
11. Get the frying pan very hot again, season the dry scallops and sear them. It is very important you do not overcook them so I follow this simple rule, cook for 2 minutes on one side then 1 minute on the other, no more.
12. Its also important to eat the scallops as soon as you can after cooking so while they are searing get plating up. On a foundation of risotto place the black pudding and bacon. Top with the scallops as soon as they are done, a few shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of nice oil. If you have any green herbs like parsley you can sprinkle a few leaves over for decoration but its not essential.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Nottingham Pudding

This was my first 'Challenge Larry' set by Rachel at Elddis. As we are staying at Teversal in Notts its only right we attempt this local dish. Traditionally I think it is done with whole, cored apples but as I haven't got a corer in the van I chopped them up instead - and it worked quite well.


3x Large apples, traditionally bramley but any will do (approx 1 per person)
1x Lemon (wash the wax coating off first)
5x Tablespoons of flour
1x Pinch of salt
4x Tablespoons of light brown sugar
1x Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1x Large egg
1/4 Pint of milk (approx.)
1/4 Pint of water (approx)
1/5 of a packet of lard, about 1.5cm slice, or a good glug of vegetable oil.
1/5 of a packet of butter, about 1.5cm slice
1 Bottle of beer


1. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
2. Add the egg and begin mixing, slowly milk and water until you have a smooth and quite runny consistency. A typical Yorkshire pud mix. Put it in the fridge for about half an hour.
3. Sit down, relax and drink the beer.
4. Peel and chop the apples, remove the core, put in a bowl with the zest of the lemon and the juice of half.
5. Put the lard in your oven dish and place on the top shelf of the oven on gas 7.
6. In a wok or frying pan on medium heat place the apples, sugar, cinnamon and the other half lemon of juice. Cook until the apple is just softening.
7. Take the hot lardy tin out of the oven, whack in the apples, pour in the batter and get it back in the oven quickly. Do not be tempted to open the door again until it's time to get it out. Cook on gas 7 for 20 minutes then turn down to gas 5 for another 20 minutes. It will not rise like Yorkshire pud because of all the sugar.
8. Serve with custard, I use the tinned variety and cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes :) I was tempted to pop a tot of whisky in, maybe next time..

Sunday 26 October 2014

Lamb Loin Chops, Roast Stalagmite Veg, Split Pea Hummus with Minty Gravy

Tesco in Mansfield decided this meal for me as they had the lamb chops reduced from £13 to £8. A great opportunity to have these expensive luxuries at a more palatable price.


Thick juicy lamb loin chops
Baby carrots
New potatoes
Dried split peas
Baby tomatoes
1x Garlic bulb
White wine
Double cream
Mint sauce


1. Cook the split peas as per packet instructions. Mine were boil for 10 minutes then simmer for 40. Include in the water 2 peeled garlic cloves.
2. Put the new potatoes into a roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season, place on the top shelf of the oven at gas mark 4.
3. Trim flat the big ends of the carrots and place in a roasting tin with some oil.
4. Trim the bottoms of the shallots, peel and place in the roasting tin with the carrots, season, place on the bottom shelf of the oven.
5. Have a glass of wine.
6. After about 15 minutes add the rest of your garlic cloves to the carrots and shallots, give them a mix to make sure everything is coated in oil.
7. When the split peas are done drain any excess water (if there is any) and give them a whizz with a hand blender. Season and if you're feeling indulgent add a blob of cream. Put the lid back on the pan to keep warm.
8. Add the tomatoes to the potatoes in the oven and give them a shake to make sure they're coated in oil.
9. Season the chops and sear in a hot pan for 2 minutes per side. I count the fat as a side too, get it nice and crispy. When they are done put to one side and cover with foil.
10. Chop a couple of shallots and sweat them off in the lamb pan.
11. Pour in a couple of glasses of wine and whack the heat up to reduce the gravy.
12. Add a teaspoon of mint sauce and pour in the cream. Season if needed, I used a few crumbs from a lamb stock cube. Strain the gravy through a sieve to give it a smooth consistency.
13. Remove all the roasting veg from the oven and plate up! With the flat bottomed carrots and shallots you should be able to get the stalagmite look.

Friday 29 August 2014

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Potted Shrimps and Lancashire Potato Cakes

For our final homage to all foody things great about Lancashire I wanted to use potted shrimps and make a potato cake, and here it is!


2x Sea bass fillets
2x Large spuds
2x Garlic cloves, peeled
1x Pot of potted shrimps
1x Small savoy cabbage
Half a lemon
Frozen peas
Self raising flour


1. Peel and chop the spuds, boil with the garlic cloves and allow to cool a little.
2. Mash the potato with a big knob of butter and season.
3. Mix self raising flour into the mash to make a dough, roughly 4 parts spud to 1 part flour.
4. Pat lumps of dough into cakes about 1/2" thick, leave them roughly shaped for rustic or trim up into squares or triangles for posh.
5. Heat some oil in a frying pan and medium heat and turn the oven on low. Fry the cakes in the pan, turning occasionally, then put them in the oven to keep warm.
6. Shred the cabbage and stir fry in a wok with lemon zest, at the end squeeze in the juice of the lemon and season.
7. At the same time as cooking the cabbage, dry the bass on kitchen roll, score the skin at 1" intervals, season, then place skinside down in the frying pan used for the cakes on medium heat. You must press the fish down gently as it curls, it will only curl for a minute or so. Fry skinside for about 3-4 minutes then flip over fry the flesh for 1 minute.
8. Remove the fish from the pan and bung in a handful of peas for a minute.
9. Put the pot of shrimps in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until the lid rises.
10. Plate up and pour over the lovely buttery shrimps. I gave mine a sprinkle with Lancashire Sauce too, yum!

Upon reflection it would probably of been easier to buy ready made potato cakes from Booths. I'll probably make this at home with rosti's. You could even use potato waffles!

Thursday 28 August 2014

Parched Pea Chilli Con Carne

Parched peas are a Lancashire delicacy usually served in small polystyrene pots with pepper and vinegar by street food vendors. I love them! They are actually maple pea's but I only ever see them for sale in Lancashire. To prepare they need soaking overnight then boiling for 1-2 hours. They produce a delicious brown gravy which gave me the idea that they would be perfect for a vegetarian chilli con carne. It worked well and we think tasted better than beef chilli. If you cant get parched or maple peas try it with any dried pea or bean.


For the chilli:

Parched peas
1x onion, diced
2x Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2x Carrots, peeled and cut into semi-circles
2x Celery sticks, diced
1x Red chili, chopped
1x Can of tomatoes
1x Red pepper
1x Tin sweetcorn
1x Bay leaf
Tomato puree
Coriander powder
All Spice
Chilli powder
Smoked paprika
Red wine vinegar
Frozen peas
Fresh coriander stalks, chopped
Basmati rice
Lancashire sauce
Lancashire cheese, grated
Sour cream

For the guacamole:

Basically just mash this lot up in a bowl, season and put in fridge.

1x Avocado, peeled stoned and diced.
1x Shallot, diced
1x Red Chili, diced
1x Tomato, peeled, deseeded and diced
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1x Lime, juiced


1. The night before prepare the parched peas as per the packet instructions. Basically soak them.
2. The next day sweat off the diced onion in a deep pan with a splash of oil.
3. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Add 1tsp of each of the following:
    Coriander powder
    All spice
    Chilli powder
5. Add the garlic for one minute.
6. Squirt in about a tablespoon of tomato puree and 1tsp of paprika and cook for a minute.
7. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
8. Add the chili, remove seeds and pith if you do not like it hot.
9. Add the parched peas and just cover with boiling water.
10. Add the bay leaf and chopped coriander stalks.
11. Cover and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring regularly.
12. Cook the rice in a separate pan. 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of salted boiling water with a tablespoon or two of Lancashire sauce for about 10-15 minutes.
13. When the rice goes on add the peas, sweetcorn and red pepper to the chili, add more water if it's too thick..
14. Taste and season the chilli.
15. Plate up the rice, top with the chilli, then grated cheese, then the sour cream, then the guacamole, and finally torn coriander leaves.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

A Garlic Festival of Chicken and Mushroom Spaghetti

Another super easy tea, loaded with flavour due to all that garlicky goodness.


2x Large garlic bulbs
1x Chicken breasts, cooked and chopped up
2x Glasses of white wine
1x Echalion shallot, or half an onion, diced
Mushrooms (about half a tub of closed cup chopped into quarters)
Double cream, small pot.
Sugar snap peas, or any pea or green bean, fresh, frozen or tinned
Fresh parsley


1. Chop about 1cm off the top of 1 whole bulb. Put the bulb in a foil parcel, drizzle with oil, wrap up tightly and roast in the oven on gas 6 for about 40 minutes.
2. Have a glass of wine then about 30 mins later bring a pan of salted water to boil and put in the spaghetti.
3. In another pan sweat of the shallot in a bit of oil.
4. Add the chopped mushrooms to the shallot.
5. After a few minutes chop or crush 2 cloves of garlic and add to the mushrooms and shallot. Fry for about a minute.
6. Pour in a glass of wine and finely chopped parsley stalks and reduce down by about half.
7. Add the chicken and pour in half a pot of cream.
8. Chuck into the spaghetti a handful of peas or beans.
9. Remove roast garlic from oven and allow to cool a bit.
10. Carefully remove the delicious gems of roast garlic cloves, any that get mashed up just plop them in the sauce.
11. If the sauce is too thick add a bit of the spaghetti cooking water. Season to taste.
12. Serve up by piling the creamy garlicky chicken and mushroom sauce on top of a plate of spaghetti and peas, grate some cheese on top and scatter the delicious garlic cloves. Finish with black pepper, chopped parsley leaves and a drizzle of nice oil.

Monday 25 August 2014

Easy Peasy Cheesy Chicken Sleazy

I've noticed that the recipe index is lacking in chicken recipes and also some easy to cook recipes, so in two birds with one stone fashion I give you my Chicken Sleazy. Sleazy because its full of tinned stuff, but it is very tasty and perfect for those lazy evenings when you can't be bothered to slave away at the stove.

Vegetarians just swap the chicken soup for condensed celery soup, and use cauliflower, broccoli or quorn instead of chicken.


1x Cooked chicken, we used a rotisserie one from Booths
1x Box of stuffing
1x Tin of Campbells condensed cream of mushroom soup
1x Tin of Campbells condensed cream of chicken soup
1x Tin of mixed veg
1x Tin of sweetcorn
2x Glasses of white wine
1x Chicken stock cube
Cheese, any will do, we used Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire cheese, we are in Lancs after all.


1. Make the stuffing as per packet instructions.
2. Pick all the meat from the chicken with your fingers.
3. In a baking tin or casserole dish mix half a tin of chicken soup with a glass of wine.
4. Mix into the dish all the mushroom soup with a tin of hot water and half a stock cube.
5. Sprinkle in the chicken meat.
6. Drain the tinned veg and sweetcorn and sprinkle into the dish.
7. Grate the cheese on top.
8. Layer the stuffing on the very top.
9. Cover with foil and shove it in the oven on Gas 6 for about 20 minutes then remove foil for a further 15 mins.
10. Drink a glass of wine.
11. Put it on a trivet in the middle of the table and tuck in!

Serve it with some nice green veg, we did it with stir fried iceberg lettuce and garlic. This meal is intended to be easy but you can add more flavour by first sweating off some onions and garlic and use fresh veg like carrots leaks, celery, etc.

Friday 15 August 2014

Lamb Steaks in Blue Cheese Sauce, Sautéed New Spuds, Salad and Garlic Stir Fry

Mrs Larry loves blue cheese sauce so instead of doing the old faithful beef steak I thought we would try it with lamb, and it worked! Salad quickly stir fried is delicious too, it doesn't have to be eaten raw and if it is just about to go soggy bung it in a wok rather than throw away. We also used leftover new potatoes that are simply delicious when crisped up in the wok. This is a quick, easy dinner with very little washing up.


Lamb steaks (or chops or cutlets)
Blue cheese. I used 150g of gorgonzola
Cheddar cheese
English mustard
1x Pot of cream
1x Bag of salad
New potatoes previously boiled
2x Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced


1. In a saucepan gently warm half the pot of cream (about 150ml) with a teaspoon of mustard.
2. Season and oil the lamb then put them in a hot wok for about 2 - 2.5 minutes each side. Remove and cover with foil.
3. Into the warm cream crumble in about 140g of blue cheese and a handful of grated cheddar.
4. Bung into the wok the precooked spuds and some more oil if needed. Cook until nicely browned then set aside.
5. Finally into the wok goes the salad and garlic. Keep it moving in the wok for about a minute, season if needed.
6. Pour any lamb juices into the cheese sauce.
7. Plate up!

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Crispy Skin Salmon, Lemony Greens, Garlic New Spuds and a Poached Egg

Salmon fillets with crispy skin are delicious and easy to do too. It took me a long time to work out how to cook a perfect poached egg and then one day, whilst staying on Passage Farm CL in Gloucestershire, I learned how simple it is. The eggs have to be no older than 3 days. That's it. If they are that fresh they will poach perfectly every time, anything older will separate and get messy.


2x Smoked Salmon Fillets
1x Bag of new potatoes
2x Eggs. We used bantam eggs from the local farm.
1x Garlic clove.
Half a lemon.
Runner beans.


1.  Peel the garlic and crush the clove with a fork until it is a smooth paste. Mix the paste with the butter, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge.
2. Get the new spuds on the boil.
3. Slice the side off the runner beans length ways, trying not to cut the kidney beans. Squeeze out the beans then slice the rest of the green bean.
4. Get a pan of water for the eggs on the heat.
5. Bung all the beans in a frying pan or work and gently saute with some nice oil.
6. After a few minutes add the peas to the beans and zest the lemon in.
7.  Oil the skin side of the salmon and season with salt. Place skin side down into a hot frying pan. Season the upturned pink side. Cook for 3 minutes then flip over and cook for 1 further minute only.
8. Crack the egg into a bowl then empty from the bowl into the pan of barely simmering water, just a few bubbles are needed.
9. Take the spuds off and drain, mix the garlic butter with the spuds and season.
10. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the runners.
11. Plate up!

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Mr Stanleys Marrows Soup

Mr Stanley is a nice old gentleman in the van next door and he gave me a couple of marrows he had grown himself back at home. We had some other veggies that needed eating up so soup was on the menu. It's a nice healthy option if you remove the cream, or bread depending on your diet.


2x Marrows, peeled and deseeded
1x Leek chooped up
2x Sticks of celery, sliced
6x Garlic cloves
1x Onion chopped
1x chicken stock cub or equivalent
2x glasses of white wine
Frozen peas
Flat leaf parsley
Parmesan cheese
Single cream
Horseraddish sauce
Rape seed oil
Crusty bread


1. Put the garlic cloves (skin on) in a roasting dish and coat in oil. Put in the oven at gas 6 for about 20 minutes. You are looking to be able to squeeze the sweet juicy pulp out of the skins.
2. In a big saucepan or wok sweat off the onion.
3. Add the leek and cook down a bit.
4. Add the marrow and celery.
5. Add a glass of wine.
6. Drink a glass.
7. Add some water and bring to a simmer.
8. Add the stock and garlic pulp.
9. Seperate the parsley leaves from the stalks, chop the stalks and bung them in the pan.
10. Add a couple of big handfuls of frozen peas. Cook for only a minute or two.
11. Whizz up with a hand blender or mini mixer.
12. Return to heat and add water if consistency too thick. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
13. Mix the horseraddish sauce with a good glug of cream. Dont mix too vigorously or it will thicken, loosen with milk if this happens.
14. Swirl the creamy horseraddish into the soup.
15. Shave the paresan cheese with a peeler and tumble into the pan.
16. Swirl in some rape seed.
17. Drop some torn parsely leaves onto the top and serve with the crusty bread. Yum!

Thursday 29 May 2014

Feijoada - Brazilian Black Bean and Sausage Stew

My son Max is studying Brazil at school and his homework is to research the national cuisine and cook an authentic dish at home, well in our case in the caravan. After a bit of googling we found this national dish called feijoada, which is basically a bean and sausage stew. We have taken a few sacrilegious shortcuts as we are in the van, and Max is only 7 so it needs to be easy to cook. Traditionally only dried black beans should be used where we have used tinned, and instead af raw ham hock we used a cooked one from Asda's rotisserie. Thank you to Elise and Hank for the recipe.


1x tin of black beans (or any beans if you cant get black)
1x tray of diced pork
1x tin of corned beef, chopped into cubes
 Half of a chorizo ring, skinned and chopped up
1x cooked ham hock
1x packet of sausages (we used precooked cocktail)
1x onion diced
2x carrots, peeled and sliced
2x cloves of garlic
2x bay leaves
1x tin of tomatoes
Lemon juice


Its not rocket science this, basically just bung it all in a pan.

1. In a big pan heat some oil and sweat off the onions.
2. Add the diced pork to the pan and brown.
3. Add the garlic and chorizo, letting it release all that lovely paprika goodness.
4. Add the tin of tomatoes and half a tin of water.
5. Add the corned beef, carrots and bay leaves.
6. Add the beans.
6. Add the cooked sausages and stuff the hock into the centre of the pan.
7. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes then season with salt and pepper and a squirt of lemon juice.

Serve with rice and any greens, we used broccoli, French beans and basil leaves.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Sirloin Steak on Fried Bread Pâté with Marsala Sauce

We first saw a dish similar to this at The Sheaf in West Haddon (which has sadly now closed) and have modified it to suit us in our van. Please excuse the focussing in the picture, I'm learning how to use a new camera!


Sirloin steak about 2cm thick
Bloomer loaf
French beans
1x clove of garlic
Marsala wine, or any wine
1x shallot roughly chopped.


For the Chips:
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunky chips all the same length and thickness.
2. Pour a good glug of oil in a roasting tin and put in the oven on gas 7
3. Parboil the chips for 10 minutes or as I do microwave on high for 7 minutes.
4. Plunge into cold water to cool and rinse the starch.
5. Dry the chips on jolly roll (kitchen paper).
6. Gently place chips into the hot oil in the roasting tin, baste them and pop back in the oven on top shelf.
7. Regularly turn the chip so all 4 sides brown as much as you like. We like our chips crunchy.
8. When done turn the oven down and move to bottom shelf while you fry the steak. Season with salt and vinegar prior to serving.

I like to prepare the chips the night before up to the point where they are plunged in cold water. Dry them off and put them in the freezer uncovered. The next evening roast them from frozen. This is using Heston's triple-cooked-chips method but in this case only double-cooking.

For the steak:
1. Make sure the steaks are at room temperature and not straight from the fridge.
2. Brush oil over one side and season with salt and pepper.
3. Get a frying pan hot and smoking and drop the steaks in oil side down. Never do more than 2 steaks in one pan as the temperature drop stops the all important maillard reaction.
4. Oil and season the upturned side.
5. After 2 minutes add a big knob of butter and turn the steak over.
6. Fry the other side for 2 minutes whilst continuously basting with the buttery juice.
7. Remove from the pan and put to one side, cover with foil and allow to rest.

For the mushrooms and beans:
1. Slice mushroom into chunky slices or use shitakes whole as I've done.
2. Trim beans and chop in half.
2. Chop or crush a clove of garlic.
3. Chuck it all in a frying pan with a big knob of butter.
4. Keep turning and when done add a good squirt of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves.

For the fried bread pâté:
1. Cut into 2cm slices and trim to roughly the same shape as the steak.
2. Fry in a nice oil and set aside until serving.
3. Just lavishly smother in a pâté prior to serving.

Order of cooking:
1. Do the chips completely to the point of moving to bottom shelf.
2. Put beans in a bit of oil and begin sautéing.
3. Do steaks and set aside.
4. Add shallot and marsala to steak pan and reduce.
5. Add mushrooms and garlic to beans.
6. Plate up!

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Crispy Skin Pork Belly on Celeriac Mash

I think pork belly is one of the best things you can cook in a caravan oven. The traditional gas oven gets so hot at the top that it produces the crispiest skin on the juiciest meat. It is easy and so delicious!


Pork belly - get the butcher to cut it into individual portions
Celeriac, peeled and chopped into chunks
Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
Carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways, a bit like chips.
Baby sweetcorns
Cider - I prefer dry and vintage if possible


1. Turn the oven on to gas 6.
2. Chop shallots and carrot and place in the bottom of a baking tray, cover the veg with water.
3. Place the pork on top of the veg and then massage into the skin some oil and salt.
4. Shove it in the oven on the top shelf for about an hour but keep checking it. When its done pour the juices into a pan then put the pork back in the oven, place on bottom shelf then turn the oven off.
5. Now boil the celeriac and potatoes together.
6. Pour a bottle of cider, less a swig for chef, into the pork juice pan and get boiling to reduce.
7. In a shallow pan put a knob of butter, a glass of water, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of sugar. Gently simmer the carrots for 5 minutes then add the sweetcorn for another 5 minutes, finally adding the asparagus for the last 5 minutes. All the liquid should disappear and you're left with juicy, shiny and sweet veggies.
8. When the sauce has reduced down take off the heat and add a knob of butter, whisk through.
9. Mash the celeriac and spuds together with more butter and salt and pepper.
10. Serve. Yum!

Monday 26 May 2014

Barbecue Mackerel Salad

If you ever go to the coast you must try mackerel fishing. We go to Beer in Devon where little boats run throughout the day taking passengers out fishing for mackerel. There is nothing tastier than fresh caught mackerel. I like to slice the fillet off, dust it in seasoned flour and fry quickly in butter or oil. When it is that fresh mackerel is hard to beat! In this recipe though we barbecued the mackerel and did a warm salad of stuff we had in the fridge.


Fresh mackerel gutted (hopefully caught by your own fair hands)
Bay leaves
Lemon slices
Hard boiled eggs (here I have quails eggs)
Asparagus tips
Sugar snap peas
Black olives halved

For the dressing:
Just mix together the following in whatever quantities suit your taste, I tend to go heavier on the vinegar and mustard:

White wine vinegar
Wholegrain mustard
Rapeseed or olive oil


1. Light the BBQ and have a beer.
2. When the coals are almost ready on a gas ring bring to the boil a pan of water and drop in the green veg for about 2 minutes.
3. Remove the veg and plunge into icy cold water to cool (this helps keep its greenness and stops it cooking).
4. Season the mackerel inside and out with salt and pepper and put lemon slices inside it. Smear them with a little oil.
5. Place the mackerel on the BBQ for about 2.5 minutes each side. It's done when the flesh is opaque but when its this fresh you can eat it raw so don't worry.
6. Heat some butter or good oil in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms, when they're almost done add the green veg to warm through.
7. While the mushrooms are cooking pick the flesh from the mackerel.
8. Plate up and finish off with the olives, capers and dressing.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Pasta Shells in Creamy Cheesy Garlicky Bacon and Leak Sauce

This was a quick simple supper for the kids that Mrs Larry enjoyed so much she said I had to include it on the blog. It's also what I was making when the header photo was taken.

Double cream
Grated cheese
1 clove of garlic
Bacon - chopped
Leek - chopped
Peas - frozen.

1. Boil any old pasta in a pan like normal.
2. In a separate pan heat a bit of oil and add the bacon and leek. Keep the mixture turning so not to stick, fry until cooked.
3. Add the garlic and mix through for a minute.
4. Pour in enough cream to make it saucy and warm through.
5. Add a handful of peas.
6. Bung in the cheese one handful at a time. I use 50/50 mix of grated cheddar and grated mozzarella.
7. Drain the pasta and pour it into the sauce and serve. I didn't add parsley this time as the kids were not in a mood for green bits in their dinner.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Rack of Lamb on Garlic Mash with Mozzarella Leeks and Minted Kale

It is a special treat rack of lamb but a delicious treat nonetheless. When you buy a rack of lamb make sure the butcher cuts off the chine bone and ask him to French trim the ends of the ribs. I once made the mistake of not checking the chine bone, which connects all the ribs together, and it made it a lot more difficult to prepare back at the van.


Ingredients (for two people):

1 rack of lamb, chined and French trimmed
1 leek sliced into about half inch rounds
Mozzarella cut into 1cm slices
Asparagus tips
Carrots sliced lengthways
Mint (fresh or tinned sauce)
Red wine
Black Garlic (optional)


1. Peel the potatoes and a big clove of garlic and get them on the boil.
2. Turn the oven on to gas mark 6.
3. In a hot frying pan brown the rack of lamb on all sides.
4. Put the lamb in a roasting dish, fat side up, and place in the top of the oven for 20 minutes.
5. Give the frying pan a wipe, get back on a medium heat, and place the leek rounds in gently. You want to try and keep their shape. Season with a bit of salt.
6. When they are just starting to brown carefully turn the leeks over. When the other side is done gently place them on a baking tray and top with a slice of mozzarella and a few bread crumbs if you like. Put the leeks in the bottom of the oven.
7. In the frying pan add a knob of butter, a pinch of salt, even a pinch of sugar if you have a sweet tooth, a cup of water and the carrots. Bring to a simmer.
8. After a few minutes add the asparagus to the carrot. We are looking to boil the pan almost dry so the liquid has gone but the veg is all shiny and buttery. This method of cooking veg is called Vichy.
9. Its now about time to get the lamb out. Allow it to rest on a plate to one side. Get all the juices and scrape any bits out of the roasting dish and put in a saucepan with a glass of wine and finely chopped black garlic if you have it, and get it boiling to reduce. If there isn't much roasting juice you can add a bit of a lamb stock cube.
10. In another frying pan or small wok get the kale sautéing.
11. Mash the spuds and garlic clove together, add butter, hot milk and seasoning to taste.
12. Mix in a bit of chopped mint or mint sauce into the kale wok and give it a good mix.
13. Slice the rack between each rib and plate up on top of a big dollop of mash, surrounded by the veg and leeks, drizzled with that lovely wine reduction.

Friday 18 April 2014

Porky Porky Yum Yums

Here is a mini festival to the wonderful pig that was derived from simply using up stuff in the fridge. Mini pork towers comprising of black pudding, a slice of new potato, chorizo and a ball of sausage meat, bacon wrapped asparagus, pork liver paté stuffed mushrooms also wrapped in bacon, roasted garlic and a cider sauce. The mushrooms were based on the success of the Garlicky Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms we did the other night.


Black pudding cut into 1cm slices
Chorizo, skinned and cut into 1cm slices.
Sausages skinned and rolled into meatballs
Pork liver paté
Big mushrooms


1. In a pan get a bottle of cider boiling to reduce.
2. Pull the stalk out of the mushroom (don't throw it away, keep it as you might be making a gravy or sauce later and the stalks are full of flavour).
3. Stuff the 'shroom with the paté.
4. Wrap with the bacon and secure with a wooden cocktail stick. A good tip is to soak the cocktail sticks in water for half an hour beforehand so they don't burn so much.
5. Shove in the oven on top shelf on gas 6.
6. Wrap 4 or 5 asparagus spears with a rasher or 2 of bacon and place in the oven on bottom shelf.
7. In a small oven dish drizzle the garlic cloves with oil and put in the oven on the bottom shelf.
8. Brown the meatballs in a frying pan then place on the bottom shelf of the oven.
9. Sauté the potato slices in the same frying pan then place on top shelf of the oven.
10. Fry the chorizo and black pudding until done.
11. Take the cider sauce off the heat and add a small dollop of cream some chopped chives
12. Everything should be just about done now so make your towers and plate up.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Garlicky Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

Either as a starter or snack these bacon wrapped stuffed mushrooms can be stuffed with all sorts of goodies. Here I have simply used garlic and cheese.


Big mushrooms
Thinly sliced bacon or pancetta


1. Pull the stalk out of the mushroom (don't throw it away, keep it as you might be making a gravy or sauce later and the stalks are full of flavour).
2. Stuff the 'shroom with cheese, I used a mixture of grated cheddar and grated mozzarella.
3. Grate or crush some garlic on top.
4. Wrap with the bacon and secure with a wooden cocktail stick. A good tip is to soak the cocktail sticks in water for half an hour beforehand so they don't burn so much.
5. Bake in the oven on gas 6 until the bacon looks done.