Sunday 30 August 2015

Somerset Mince

We've had a lovely time here in Somerset and I have to say this CL site in Perry Green is absolutely lovely. It's called Manor Farm CL and Pam the owner has been a most excellent host. In her small shop (that stocks everything you couldn't think of to forget) she has a delicious local cider that I cant help cooking with so tonight we're trying mince beef and onions with a bit of cabbage and veg in a gravy made from that delicious Somerset cider.


Mince beef, 500g
1x Onion, diced
Cabbage, shredded
Carrot, peeled and chopped
Mushrooms, quartered
Celery, sliced
Garlic, 1 crushed clove
Cider, a good vintage or local if possible, about half a bottle
Mixed veg as a side


1. In a wok or big frying pan add a glug of oil and sweat off the onions until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and beef and brown for a minute.
3. Add the four c's. Pour in the cider then chuck in the cabbage, carrots and celery.
4. Simmer and stir for about half an hour then mix in the mushrooms.
5. Season to taste and serve. We served with a mixture of veg (broccoli, squash, beans and asparagus) that was simply microwaved in a covered bowl with a splash of water for 3 minutes.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Pork Chops with Scallops and Bacon in Somerset Cider Sauce

One of our favourite cuts of meat is a thick juicy pork chop, it really takes some beating with cider sauce and as we are in Somerset it's a no brainer. We are on a bit of a low carb diet at the moment so out goes the usual mashed potato in favour of a few scallops. It's really easy this dish, using one pan and one oven tray, but is so tasty I'm sure you will want to cook it again and again.


Pork chops, thick cut and bone in, from the local butchers if possible
Cabbage, shredded
1x Onion, halved and sliced
Garlic cloves, as many as you like, I used a whole head
Bacon, diced


1. Turn the oven on to gas mark 7.
2. In a frying pan add a glug of oil and your garlic bulbs with the skin on. Gently fry for a minute then remove.
3. Season the chops then get the pan nice and hot and sear both sides for about a minute each. Set the chops aside in your oven tray and put the garlic cloves on top of them.
4. Pour in the cider and bring to a boil, reduce by half then pour over the chops.
5. Put the chops in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. Wipe the frying pan out, add a glug of oil and gentle sweat off the onion for 5 minutes.
7. Add the diced bacon and cook for another 5 minutes.
8. In goes the cabbage for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn.
9. Season the cabbage to taste then plate up.
10. In the frying pan add another glug of oil and fry the scallops on one side for 2 minutes.
11. While the scallops are cooking top the cabbage with the pork chops and garlic cloves.
12. Turn the scallops over and cook the other side for 1 minute.
13. Plate up! I like lots of black pepper with this dish so fill your boots and give it a good dusting.


1. If you like crispy pork fat like us hold the chops with tongues skin side down in the pan for a minute or two during searing.
2. If you like your sauce a little thicker add a cornflower and water mix during the reduction phase.

Monday 17 August 2015

Filet Steak with Cauliflower Gratin and Choy Sum

It was a big bag of choy sum we had during this holiday but I promise this is the last recipe using it. Its another dead quick and simple dinner using the rest of the bearnaise sauce we had with the Three Bird Delight a couple of nights ago.


Filet steak
Choy Sum
Garlic clove, chopped
Cheddar cheese, grated
1x Slice of bread
Bearnaise sauce


1. Put the cauliflower into a pan of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
2. Removed from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to steam in a bowl.
3. In the same pan blanch the choy sum for a minute, remove and refresh in a bowl of cold water.
4. Cook the steak to your liking. For me it is liberally seasoned then 90 seconds per side in a very hot pan. Remove from the pan to rest.
5. Put the cauliflower in a roasting dish and cover with the cheese. Rub the bread between your hands to cover the cauliflower in crumbs.
6. Place under a medium grill until the cheese has melted and breadcrumbs toasted.
7. Make up your sauce.
8. Using the steak pan gently fry the garlic clove then add the blanched choy sum for a minute.
9. Plate up!

Sunday 16 August 2015

Choy Sum Brunch

One of the ways I've found to cut down on calories is to skip lunch but have a big meal for brunch. I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons not to do this but weight loss is my only goal at the moment and it works for me. We've got some left over choy sum from last nights Three Bird Delight so today's brunch has got a few of your five a day and is of course low carb. I have used turkey rashers, which I know are completely processed but as we are on holiday I thought I'd give them a try. Give me bacon any day though!


Choy sum, or you could use any cabbage or lettuce
Red pepper, I used pickled but you can use fresh
Turkey rashers or bacon


1. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan or wok and add the clove of garlic chopped in half. Cook the garlic for a few minutes so it releases its flavour then remove.
2. Stir fry the chopped mushrooms for a few minutes before adding the chopped choy sum.
3. Lightly oil a frying pan and get the rashers on the go. They only take a couple of minutes.
4. Remove the rashers, add a bit more oil to the pan and crack in the eggs. Cover with a lid.
5. Plate up. I topped with the garlic clove but I'll leave that up to you.

Saturday 15 August 2015

Three Bird Delight

A carnivores delight but low in fat and carbs three bird dinner that's easy and quick to knock up. The poussin was prepared and seasoned already and I also cheated with a shop bought bearnaise base that simply needed blending with a pot of milk. For a prepared sauce it was actually very nice, but more to the point it was simply done in the van.

(for two)

1x Spatchcock poussin
2x Small chicken breasts
1x Ostrich steak
Choy sum
Mushrooms, chopped
1x Garlic clove, crushed
Bearnaise sauce
Lemon juice


1. Heat the oven to gas mark 6.
2. Place the spatchcock poussin on a roasting tray and roast for about 30-40 minutes.
3. After 10 minutes loosely cover the chicken breasts with foil and also place in the oven.
4. Blanch the choy sum in boiling water then refresh in cold water.
5. Pan fry the ostrich steak to your likeness (about 90s a side for me) and set aside to rest.
6. Prepare your sauce.
7. In the pan used for the ostrich stir fry the mushrooms with a crushed clove of garlic and for the last minute add the blanched choy sum. Finish off with a squirt of lemon juice and season to taste.
8. Remove the poussin and chicken breasts from the oven, chop the poussin in half and plate up.

Scotch Woodcock Low Carb

Scotch Woodcock is a simple dish dating back to the Victorian era and can be simply summed up as anchovy toast with scrambled eggs. As we are on low carb diets here in Larry-land we need to ditch the toast in favour of a spicy Pierre Dukan Oat Bran Galette, and to add my twist I'm going to top with a crispy fried egg. "Fried!" I hear you say, "that's not low fat!". Well I have been using a refined coconut oil and you only need a little bit.

(per person)

2x Eggs
Oat bran - 1.5 tbsp
Fat free Greek yoghurt - 1.5 tbsp
Patum peperium gentlemens relish
Chilli powder or a drop of chilli sauce
Paprika for dusting


1. Combine in a bowl 1 egg with the oat bran, yoghurt, and chilli. It takes a bit of mixing but you will end up with a batter like paste.
2. Grease a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and pour the batter in, spreading it around to form the pancake shape.
3. Cook for a few minutes until the batter looks set then flip.
4. When the pancake is done slide it on a plate then lightly grease the pan again.
5. Crack the other egg into the pan and cover with a lid. No need to baste with fat because the lid will ensure the top cooks whilst the bottom goes nice and crispy.
6. Ever so lightly spread the gentlemens relish over your pancake then top with the egg and a dusting of paprika.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Baked Monkfish Tail with Bacon Sauce on Samphire Salad

It's the first night of our inaugural summer holiday trip and we are staying at the lovely Wyatts Covert site in Denham to the west of London. Usually I would be seeking to cook local dishes but after a quick dash to the nearby Tesco I couldn't resist picking up a monkfish tail for Mrs Larry and myself to share. We are on a bit of a health kick at the moment so low fat and low carb is the order of the day but hopefully without losing any flavour. A bacon and shallot sauce made from Patum Peperiums gentlemens relish should pack all the punch that is needed. The fishmonger at Tesco had a big bunch of samphire for sale too, I can't resist its salty taste of the sea so that's tonight's dinner sorted!


1x Monkfish Tail
1x Lemon, unwaxed and sliced
Back bacon, fat removed and diced
1x Banana shallot, diced
Dill, finely chopped
Patum Peperiums Gentlemens Relish (see pic below)

For the salad:
1x Bag of samphire
Cauliflower florets
Broad beans, podded
Radish, thinly sliced
Black olives, drained and halved
Chili's (we used a jar of sweet pearls, see pic below)


1. Get your fishmonger to prepare the monkfish tail by removing the outer membrane. All you then have to do is plop it in a lightly greased tin foil parcel, top with salt and pepper and the sliced lemons, seal the parcel up and put in the oven on gas mark 5 for 20 minutes. That's the fish done, easy even in a caravan.
2. To prepare the salad bring a pan of water (not salted) to the boil and drop in your podded broad beans. Scoop them out when they float and allow to cool to the touch.
3. Gently pull apart the broad bean skins to reveal the emerald jewels. Discard the skins and set aside the beans. You can omit this step if its early in the season or if you don't mind the skins. It is a bit of a fancy faf to be honest.
4. Into the pan go the cauliflower florets and simmer for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove the cauliflower from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. Into the hot water now goes the samphire for 1.5 minutes only. We are literally just very quickly blanching it.
7. For the bacon sauce lightly grease a frying pan on a medium heat and add the chopped bacon and shallots. Stir continuously until done, about 5 minutes will do.
8. Add a ladle of veggie cooking water to the frying pan and half a teaspoon of gentlemen s relish.
9. Remove the monkfish from the oven and pour the juices in the foil pouch into the frying pan. Let the fish rest.
10. Simmer the bacon sauce for a few minutes then add a handful of chopped dill and a spot of black pepper.
11. Plate up on a sharing platter. Start by covering the platter with samphire then sprinkle over the remaining salad ingredients. Top with the monkfish, then the bacon sauce and finish off with capers and more chopped dill.

We found these Chilli Pepper Pearls in Tesco's at Denham and what a find they were. They are sweet and juicy with a slight kick and a perfect accompaniment to any salad.

Patum Peperium Gentelemen's Relish. It's a curious name for sure and cannot help bring a smirk to the face of a mischievous mind. I mean, what is a Patum Peperium!? ;)

Nevertheless this stuff is awesome simply spread on hot buttered toast but it can also be used to add so much flavour to your cooking. I'll be experimenting with it for sure.