Smoked trout salad with fennel & dill and a horseradish, lemon & yoghurt dressing

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads

smoked trout fennel and beetroot with dill salad
You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. I mean that in two ways as it’s both easy to make, so no scope for going wrong there, and it also holds it’s ground in the fabulous tasting stakes, so no wrongness to be found there either. Originally, I was determined that this receipe was to be made specifically with hot smoked trout, rather than the cold smoked fish that I’ve used. If you’re unsure of the difference, hot smoking uses hot smoke, which cooks the fish leaving it light pink in colour, as if cooked normally. Cold smoking, which is the type applied to ‘traditional’ smoked salmon, is done with cold smoke, leaving the fish looking more like raw fish. However, monsieur Sainsbury and his staff were against me when I went shopping. Despite prolonged efforts and no matter how intently I stared at the chilled fish section, hot smoked…

Ironic Thai fried rice with Tofu & (or) Prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thai fried rice with tofu beans pak choi lime and chilli
Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food. It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith. Yet, we…

Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch

Gavin WrenRecipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Feta hazelnut and rosemary crunch spread in a bowl
Two weeks ago, Guardian Witness asked for people to submit recipes on the theme of ‘poached’, with the best entries to be published in the Saturday edition of the newspaper’s ‘Cook’ food supplement. I looked at my nearly-brand-new blog, knowing that my third recipe featured a poached egg, and, somewhat scared, submitted the recipe. I was completely shocked when a few days later, I got an e-mail informing me that they were posting my recipe on their facebook page! Surely the glory of seeing my own recipe in print was within grasp! So, on the Saturday of reckoning, I rushed home from the shops with the newspaper, clawed my way past the Sport, Family and Money supplements (but had a quick look at the magazine) and then got to Cook. But alas, my moment in the spotlight was short lived and I had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws…

Cooking in a field; Pineapple and chilli prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes

Prawns with pineapple chilli cooked on a camp stove
Firstly, I’d like to offer my apologies for the lack of recent posts. My absence was due to a lovely, yet short, holiday in Sussex, where we stayed in an absolutely delightful shepherd’s hut at Hawthbush Farm, an organic working farm with added ‘glamping’. We stayed in a little hut made for two named ‘Aggie’, who was tucked away in her own peaceful and secluded field. She came fitted with a wood burning stove and a very comfy bed featuring a wool duvet; these are absolutely brilliant and now on my ‘want’ list. She also had a little field kitchen to one side, which, of course, became my home for the week. And I did spend quite a lot the week in the kitchen, as our morning routine of porridge and coffee for two, made on a single camping stove with little shelter from 20mph winds can take a…

Spelt rolls with za’atar

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Za'atar spelt rolls in baking tray
I wasn’t going to make anything for the blog this weekend. I was feeling down and struggling to find the motivation to make anything, let alone think up, research and write a recipe, then test it for all you lovely blog reading people out there. But then I remembered that I had stocked up on spelt flour a few weeks ago, direct from Shipton Mill, because white spelt flour (also known as ‘refined’ spelt flour) became hard to get hold of locally. Also, I bought a large bag of Palestinian Thyme, or Za’atar, only yesterday, as I love adding it to all sorts of recipes. And if there’s one type of cooking that makes me feel good, it’s baking. I started to feel a joyful plan forming. So I pulled together this simple recipe for spelt rolls and added a hint of flavouring with the addition of some Za’atar,…

Red cabbage salad with roquefort and poached eggs

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

red cabbage egg roquefort walnut salad
This recipe is thanks to a crate of fresh home-grown vegetables that my folks bestowed upon me on Friday. Having worked our way through tomatoes, runner beans, sweetcorn and cucumber yesterday, I reached the red cabbage bag and wondered what to do. Looking for some inspiration online I was bogged down with the festive spiced red cabbage recipes which the internet is awash with, but they didn’t feel right for a warm summer’s day lunch. I wanted something lighter and more salad-y but which would be a meal in itself. So I pulled together this bunch of ingredients and here is what happened. I’ll confess at this point that I have never, ever, cooked red cabbage in my life. And after having made this recipe, that’s not changed, as I’ve opted for using it raw. In fact, if you remove the Roquefort and eggs, then the base salad with dressing…