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…

Sun (oven) dried tomatoes

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Semi sun oven dried tomatoes
I love making things that take a long time. Although, let me qualify that – I’m less keen on fiddly or awkward processes, as they send my blood pressure due North. What I like is the gradual process of change and development that occurs over long periods. Because long, slow cooking processes normally mean that you’re allowing rich, strong flavours to develop. I’m also a big fan of basic ingredients, the things that we buy off the shelf, but which can be made at home. However we normally get them from the supermarket because funnily enough, they take a long time to make! Sun dried tomatoes fall squarely into that category. If my North London location was blessed with a Mediterranean climate then I would try making these in the traditional way, by leaving them out in the scorching sun to dry for a few days. You just need to…