Fresh wholesome Coleslaw

Inspired by Jamie Olivers recipe for coleslaw I had a go at doing my own. This is a quick dish to prepare or make it earlier and keep in the fridge.

Cabbage – white or red or mixed
Spring onions
White turnips
Virgin olive oil
Herbs – chives, chervil
Lemon juice

Use a food processor with a slicing attachment to slice all the raw vegetables together into a big bowl. It looks gorgeous as all the different colours mix together.
In a separate bowl mix up the dressing. A couple of large tablespoons of yoghurt, some lemon juice, a spoon of mustard and then mix all this up with the vegetable mix and add the chopped herbs.


Crispy fish with pea puree


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I got this recipe from Xanthe Clay and Loyd Grossman in the Telegraph food column. Its just the thing for supper for the ravenous rambler as its quick to make.


Two large haddock fillets

2 tbsp flour

1 egg
4 tbls breacrumbs
mint leaves
1 lemon
13ozz peas
1 cup of rice

Put the rice on to cook as normal, switch the grill on and put the peas on to boil.

Cut the haddock fillets into fingers and dip into the flour. Beat up the egg with a little water and dip each haddock finger into the egg and then into the bread crumbs and put under the gril, brush them with some oil.

When the peas are done whizz them up with a blender and add a little butter and seasoning. The fish takes about 10 minutes under the grill.

Serve the fish on the bed of rice with the pureed peas. It looks gorgeous on the plate and is very tasty.


Camping kettle

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

This is an easy dish to do after a long walk in the country. Its a cold winter’s night and you don’t feel like doing much work in the kitchen yet you are starving hungry and want something fresh and fulfilling.

Ingredients: chicken pieces, prawns (frozen), onion, celery, pepper, leeks, optional carrots and cabbage. Bay leaf, tabasco, soy sauce, stock concentrate. Parmesan to sprinkle on top.

If you want rice with this dish, put it on first so it will be ready by the time the rest is cooked. I cook the rice with two cups of water. Boil and then turn the heat off and put the lid on the rice. It will cook nicely in its own steam and this works well if you cooking this out on camp. First fry the chicken pieces and then remove. Fry the onions gently in olive oil. Then add the celery which adds a really wholesome flavour to the dish. Add peppers and leeks, some thinly chopped carrots. Stir all this up for about ten minutes and then add a spoonful of flour and stir in. Then gradually add water or wine – half a pint. Add some soy sauce and tabasco if you have any. I usually add some liquid vegetable stock to give the liquid a little more flavour.

If you are cooking tagliatelle then get it on at this stage. Add prawns and peas to the mixture and cook for a few minutes. I like the vegetables crunchy so it doesn’t take long. Serve with some Parmesan sprinkled on top

Baked Salmon with soured cream

This recipe is based on one from Nigel Slater and it makes a nice change to just plain baked salmon. It is q quick and easy dish to do so ideal when you have come home from a tiring walk.


2 salmon steaks

1 small onion

4 fl oz of soured cream. I use creme fraiche

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp of chopped dill

1 tbsp of coriander

Put the salmon steaks into a dish. Mix all the other ingredients together and pour over the salmon. Bake at about 220C for about 15-18 minutes.

This goes very well with boiled potatoes and lettuce.

Apple crumble


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Apple crumble
Nick and Alison dropped round for tea on a Saturday afternoon and as we had a large piece of pork for dinner it was great to ask them to dinner as well. The only thing was – what could we have for a nice pudding. I looked in the freezer and found some apple that I had cooked in the summer and decided to make an apple crumble,

For the filling.
Cooking apples,
Raisins / sultanas.

8oz flour
4 oz butter or the equicalent olice oil
2 oz brown sugar
walnuts and some breakfast crunchy mix

Boil the apples with a little water. I cut them up first and add some sugar. I never weigh this out but just judge it but I think a couple of tablespoons of sugar for 4 apples is about right.
Add some raisins or sultanas.

Rub the oil or butter into the flour as though making pastry. Add the sugar and then you can be creative. Add some nuts, crushed walnuts work well and I like to add a little oats or breakfast mix.

Put together in a dish and put a few knobs of butter on top.

Bake at about 150C for 20 mins and then turn up to 180C for a few minutes to brown the top.

Serve with lashings of yoghurt – yummy.

Zen and the art of bread making.


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Baking bread is not just a chore it’s a philosophy. The Tao of Bread if you don’t mind me mixing my philosophies. Something that is simple yet complex. It is part of many cultural histories. The bedouin of the Sinai desert have it right. When you are resting under the shade of the tree watching the bedioun brew fresh tea and bake marvelous bread in front of you on a fire you realise that bread is part of life itself. When you bake bread you are connecting with the soul. The soul of the kitchen and through your hands you breathe life into a ball of flour. It is magical. Every loaf is an individual and each one turns out slightly different. To master bread baking is an art not a chore. Do not give this task to a machine.
Make your own bread and don’t buy a bread maker. Baking your own bread is a far more efficient. You can bake three loaves at a time and freeze a couple and you get the enjoyment and exercise of kneading your dough. Buy a mixer with a dough hook but do not buy a bread making machine!

Kneading dough is a way of connecting with the routes of the earth. Man has been baking bread for centuries and it is one of the most satisfying things to do in the kitchen. The recipe below was given to me by my mother and I have used it ever since with my own decorations and bread designs.
As you knead the dough, practice the art of meditation. Just think about the task in hand, forget about all the other things that you need to do. Pull the dough and roll it under your hands. Think about your breathing as you do this, let the mind and body come together as one and enjoy the inner peace that it brings.
(Do also read my latest bread posting here.)

Ingredients –
3lb of flour to make 3 loaves. Use a mixture of strong white flour and brown or wholemeal flour.
dried yeast – follow instructions on packet. Fresh yeast is better if you can get it.
pinch of salt
mixture of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to mix
1 tbsp olive oil
water to mix 1 1/2 pints of lukewarm water.
Topping: sesame seeds, sunflower, poppy seeds and a little milk or beaten egg.

I use a mixer and dough hook to mix up the flour with yeast, salt and seeds.
If you use fresh yeast – mix up in a jug with some a tablespoon of honey and some lukewarm water. Cover and leave for ten minutes until it froths up and then add to the flour mixture and add more water as below. Use about a teaspoonful of fresh yeast per 1lb of flour.
Then add the water at lukewarm temperture – feeling just warm on the hand. I add a pint fairly quickly at first and then slower as it binds together to get a nice not too sticky dough.
Turn this out on a board – you can flour the board to stop it sticking. Divide into three lumps and then this is the best part.
Knead the dough by pulling it apart and then folding over. Do this for ten times or so on one lump and then move on to the next one. The dough should get springy as it gets to the right consistency.
Leave covered in a bowl for half an hour to expand in size. Then bash it down a bit to expel the air, re- knead for a little and put the dough balls into the bread tins. Leave to rise – they should double in size.

The topping of the loaves is very important – it adds such a lot to the final satisfaction. i used to wait until the loaves had risen and then brush with milk or an egg(for an extra crusty top) then scatter the topping on top – sesame seeds are a favourite because if you toast the bread you get delicious toasty sesame seeds.
Pat, my mother now has a better idea that I have adopted because the problem with the above method is that the most of the seeds drop off before you get to the toast stage. Now we put the topping before you put the dough into the tins. Spread out the topping on a surface and roll the dough over it. This way the topping embeds into the dough and doesn’t fall off. I now use more sunflower seeds and some fllour mixed in for a real chunky topping.

Ice cream

We had a delicious Polish Christmas eve dinner with some friends and had this served with apple streudel that was delicious and exotic all at the same time. So I decided to make it for our New Year’s Eve feast along with the Marmalade and whiskey bread and butter pudding and I must say that it was delicious. The ice cream was wonderfully smooth bu be careful not to over churn it! I made it with the cinnamon option.

First make an anglaise sauce.
8 egg yolks
3oz castor sugar
10 fl oz milk
10 fl oz double cream
1 van pod or 2 cinnamon sticks.
1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together.
2. Split and scrape the vanilla pod into the milk and cream and bring to the boil in a heavy saucepan.
3. Sit the bowl over a pan of hot water and whisk the cream into the egg mix. as the eggs yolks warm, the cream thickens to create a custard. keep stirring until it coats the spoon. remove the bowl from the heat.
cool quickly over ice
pour into an icr cream maker and churn until thick. This was rather nice as cinnamon ice cream so jusy let the cinnamon sticks flavour the milk as it heats up.