Friday, 11 June 2010

Baked Bean Soup and Other Camper Van Treats

In spite of Mr Lovelygrey's protestations about how fuel consumption is affected by excessive weight, I snuck two new cookbooks into the motorhome to see if they could provide inspiration for some tasty offerings. This was one of the meals, a African/Carribean Chicken and Vegetable Stirfry from Mums Know Best, the latest offering from the gorgeously rotund Hairy Bikers.  It turned out a treat with its flavourings of curry powder, soy, lemon juice and basil.  I only wavered from their instructions by stirring the rice through the other ingredients to give the dish a paella-esque feel.

 It was cooked on our new toy for the van a Cadac Safari Chef Barbecue that is lightweight and comes in its own bag. But the good thing is that the accessories for this clever device include a griddle (flat on one side, ribbed the other) and a wok which has the potential of lifting our camping cuisine repetoire to new heights and prevent lingering odours in the bedding when we cook fish. And to further increase our gastronomic options whilst away, we brought the pressure cooker from home with us and knocked up a fabulous faux-slow cooked beef stew.

In the mid 1990s I used to go into Sainsbury's for a pint of milk and come out with three 99p cookbooks as well.   Some are still in use today including The Good Soup Book by Lindsey Bareham which is a source of a favourite recipe that is a single pot job and so sits firmly in the classic camping school of cookery.  The Baked Bean Soup from the 'Storecupboard' section of the book, which is otherwise divided according to season, has a far more complex flavour than its humble ingredients would suggest.

Just fry and then crumble four rashers of streaky bacon.  Chop and fry an onion in the bacon fat left in the pan, then add a can of beans, a pint and a half of chicken stock, 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and a really healthy dash of Worcester sauce. Season, bring to the boil and them simmer for five minutes. Add the crumbled bacon and some croutons if you're feeling posh.

Needless to say such good home cooking means that we're not tempted to eat out while away, although we did treat ourselves to Moules-Frites at Roscoff on the last day.  Of course, to suggest how much of a saving on holiday costs that this represents, is stating the blooming obvious!

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