Camp + Cook: Rohan Anderson

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So here is the final Rohan Anderson recipe for my Camp + Cook series (yes, I’m calling it that!!). And it’s a beautiful thing. Arrabiata Fish & Chips. It might not be the first sauce you turn to when it comes to coating your BBQ’d (or baked) fish, but I can seriously recommend it. Seriously. You can find this recipe in his wonderful book Whole Larder Love: Grow, Gather, Hunt, CookGo buy it, you’ll really enjoy cooking from it.

Here’s the what:

1 x whole fish (any whole fish around 1 pound)

5 slices hot salami, chopped

4 slices prosciutto, chopped

3 x large mushrooms, chopped

2 x onions, chopped

5 x cloves of garlic, chopped

2 cups (500ml) passata

1 cup red wine

Knob of butter

1 handful parsley, chopped

1 handful black olives

Tabasco sauce

Plain flour

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

how ever many potatoes you need to feed everyone chips, roughly cut into chunks

1 tbsp dried thyme

Cooking oil

Here’s the how:

In the book the fish is roasted in an oven, which is great if you’re at home, but when camping BBQ it.

In a large pan, heat some olive oil and brown the salami and prosciutto on high heat until they get a little crisp, then turn down the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook them until softened.

Turn up the heat again, stir well. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the flavour goodness from the bottom. You should see a nice sauce forming. After the wine has reduced almost completely, add the passata, mushrooms, garlic, olives, parsley, and a splash of Tabasco. Stir all the ingredients well and season. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. If it reduces too much add a splash of water and stir through.

Wash the fish and pat dry. Dust both sides in flour. Heat the butter and a glug of oil in a new pan on high heat and brown the fish on both sides. We don’t want to fully cook the fish here, we just want to give the flavours a kick-start, so just a minute for each side. In the book Anderson pops a dollop of sauce in a baking dish, puts the fish on that and then spoons the remaining sauce over the fish. Then it’s baked for 20 minutes. If you are doing this while you’re camping (go you!), put some sauce in foil, the fish on top of that and ladle some, or all, of the remaining sauce on top of that. Close the foil and seal it tight. Then place the fish over the BBQ for 20 minutes.

To make the chips, parboil the potato chunks for five minutes, then drain. Heat about half a cup of cooking oil on high heat. When hot, place the potato in, and sprinkle over the dried thyme. Cook until golden brown.

When the fish is ready, pop it on a platter (I have a huge enamel one I take camping with me. It makes a great dish for loading anything and everything straight off the BBQ), pour on any remaining sauce , garnish it with parsley and place the chips around it to serve.

Yummo!!

And stay tuned. We have more fabulous recipes lined up for next week.

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Camp + Cook

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As promised, more delicious food from this week’s Camp + Cook featured chef Rohan Anderson from his book Whole Larder Love: Grow, Gather, Hunt, Cook. (You can also order through Amazon if you’re in the UK). This Gardener’s Reward Breakfast is a brilliant camping recipe, not least because you could make it before you leave, and eat it the next day as it tastes just as good, if not better, a day later. But cooking it on site is a wonderful way to start the day. And it will certainly set you up for whatever the outdoors can throw at you.

Here’s the what:

1 x chorizo sausage

100g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and boiled until soft

Handful of kale, chopped

Handful of baby spinach, chopped

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 x chilli, chopped and seeds removed

3 cups tomato passata

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

1 tbsp smoked paprika

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Here’s the how:

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan (medium to high heat). When hot, add the chorizo and brown for a few minutes which will release the animal fats (aka “flavour”). Now add the kale and spinach, stir and toss for over 5 minutes or until the greens have reduced in size. Add the beans, chilli, paprika, passata, garlic and chopped parsley and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with bread (toasted over the fire, or not), dress with olive oil and garnish with parsley and season to taste.

campfire tip:

If you’re making this dish when you’re camping, just bring along a tin of cannellini beans and skip the soaking and boiling.

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Camp + Cook

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I recently bought a fabulous cookbook called Whole Larder Love: Grow, Gather, Hunt, Cook by Australian blogger Rohan Anderson and published by powerHouse Books. He’s a wonderfully adventurous cook with a brilliant life/food philosophy. He’s been described as a modern-day hunter-gatherer and he is just that. I love his style. I love his sense of humour and I love how (and what) he loves to cook. Next week I’m going to feature a couple more of his recipes, too. If Rohan Anderson can’t encourage us British campers to ditch the pub and do some campfire cooking, I don’t know who can.

Anyway, this is his Nettle Pappardelle, which makes great use of all those annoying nettles that seem to surround every campsite in this country! “Stinging nettle has long been sought after for its health benefits and obviously, edibility,” says Anderson. “It is slightly spinach-like in flavour and will knock the socks off the most dedicated carnivore. You will often find it in impoverished soil or under the shelter of large trees where the sheep take shelter. I carry a pair of rigger’s gloves and garbage bags in the truck just in case I discover a patch, because it’s gold and when it’s available it’s on the menu immediately.”

Here’s the what:

2 large handfuls of nettles

300g parpardelle, linguine or spaghetti

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup pine nuts

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Here’s the how:

Panfry the pine nuts in a glug of olive oil for a minutes until they turn slightly golden. Remove from the pan when toasted. Use tongs or gloves to place the nettles in a large pot. Boil it for a few minutes, and then pour out into a strainer. When the nettles have cooled down, squeeze out the excess liquid. (Don’t worry about getting stung as the toxins are destroyed in the boiling process. Just wear gloves while you’re picking it and keep the kids away!) In a mortar and pestle (unless you camp with a Philips cordless rechargeable hand blender or this Breville one. Seriously tempting, huh?), work the nettles, cheese and toasted pine nuts until you get a reasonably smooth consistency. Slowly add some olive oil to turn the mix into more of a sauce. Season to taste and serve with al dente pasta.

Try it with a squeeze of lemon and/or some dried chilli flakes. And, if you’re feeding loads of people, and chances are you might be, just double or triple everything!

Simple, fast, forager food. Who wouldn’t be proud of whipping this up at a campsite?