Outdoors Cooking  eating.jpg

A series of recipies adapted for use in the great outdoors.

From one pot soups cooked on a gas stove to roasting venison in an earth oven via way of cheese on toast made in a home made grill.

Provided no mistakes are made with identifying fungi there will then follow a few recipies for food that can be foud in the woodlands, hedgerows and fields of the UK. If a mistake is made with the fungi then there will be a review of hospital cooking. Its a win win situation.

Picture courtesy of Mark Basset

Tomato Sauce for pasta or whatever

Loads of fresh tomatoes chopped in half
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Clove of garlic

Warm the oil in a pan and add the tomatoes salt and pepper. Cook with the lid off (leaving the lid on will dull the colour and stop the sauce from reducing) stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have broken down. If you have good tomatoes then the sauce would be fine like this. I got mine from Tesco and they weren't great so I added balsamic vinegar, a finely sliced clove of garlic and sugar to cut though the tannin. The trick is to cook over a gentle heat for at least a couple of hours, this way the sauce reduces down and becomes rich and full on flavour. If you have any white wine floating about the place it would be worth splashing a bit in.

Good stirred through pasta, used on pizza or even served with bread, olives, tzatsiki and the like. The other thing is that if you have such new fangled niceties as a fridge or freezer it would be worth making loads extra as it has a multitude of uses, a base for bolognaise for instance.

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 at 20:02 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Astrid's Puff Ball Fritters

4 slices pancetta, or streaky bacon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large slices from a puffball, about 1cm/½in thick
2 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
100g/3½oz white breadcrumbs (from a day old loaf)
4 whole eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for frying
a few salad leaves, lightly dressed

1. Chop the bacon or pancetta into thick matchsticks and fry in a little olive oil until crispy. Throw in the chopped garlic and fry until it starts to take colour. Remove the garlicky pancetta and put on kitchen paper/a dry leaf!.

2. Bring the four whole eggs to the boil in a small pan of cold water and boil them for just 4 minutes to get soft-boiled eggs.

3. Dip the puffball slices in the beaten egg, then coat well in the breadcrumbs. Fry in the same oil left from frying the pancetta (with perhaps a little extra added), turning once until crispy and golden brown.

4. Drain each slice quickly on kitchen paper or a leaf, then place on warmed plates. Peel the soft boiled eggs carefully and cut them in half. Place two halves, yolk upwards, on each fritter and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over the garlicky bits of pancetta.
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 at 19:33 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Winter vegie stew in a panic

This stew was made shortly after I had lost the use of my head torch and it was just before dark so I had about half an hour to prepare it before it got to dark to see what I was doing.


Serves 3


Half a celeriac, chopped into chunks.

A medium sized sweede, chopped into chunks.

One carrot, sliced.

One large parsnip, sliced.

One tin of chopped tomatoes.

One red onion, sliced.

Three potatoes, chopped into large chunks.

A couple of handfuls of red lentils, it is best if these have been cooked and rinsed before use.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Paprika, oak smoked if you have it.

A bay leaf.

Some water.




Put all the vegetables including the tinned tomatoes into a big pan, season, add water until it is just covering the vegetables, bring to the boil and cook for about half an hour or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the lid and add the lentils*, make sure that if they need to be pre soaked they have been, stir in paprika to taste and simmer over a low heat with the lid off for about an hour - stir occasionally and add more water if the stew starts getting too thick as it might burn. Check to make sure a rich flavour is developing, if not add more paprika, salt or pepper to taste.

 Serve in bowls / cups / hub caps / whatever comes to hand with a swirl of decent olive oil some freshly cracked black pepper and bread.


* Ideally the lentils will have been cooked and rinsed before hand, if not you will get a bit of scum on the top of the stew, this you will need to spoon off although if, like me, you are cooking and eating in the dark the scum doesn't matter as you will never see it.

Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 at 16:33 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Lambs Liver with bubble and squeak.

Serves 1


Quater of a red onion

two slices lambs liver

salt and pepper

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

dollop of double cream


bubble and squeak


Fry the red onion over a hot fire until turning brown, move to one side of the pan and add in the liver. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and fry the liver for one minute on each side. Add in the balsamic vinegar and the cream and cook the liver for a couple more minutes on each side. Serve the liver with bubble and squeak and the onion sauce poured over the top.

For desert why not try one of those packets of instant just add hot water custard?

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2006 at 15:30 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Field Mushrooms

I picked a kilo or so of field mushrooms, firm and white with pink gills, sliced a couple of hanfulls of them and fried them in Olive Oil and had them with bread for breakfast.


What could be better? 

Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006 at 15:53 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment


If you are not sure what it is that you have found you should be able to identify it here http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/ 

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2006 at 11:05 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Ginger and Honey Duck with Rhubarb

For two duck breasts

For the Marinade

About an espresso cup’s worth of balsamic vinegar
Two table spoons of thick set honey
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
5g ginger grated or chopped very thinly

For the Rhubarb

100g of rhubarb peeled and chopped
10g ginger, grated or chopped very thinly
1tsp honey
1tbsp water

Score the skin on the breasts by running a sharp knife across it, try to make a nice criss cross pattern.

Put the vinegar, honey and ginger in a pan and slowly heat, scrunch the rosemary in your hand to bruise it and add this to the pan. Keep on a low heat and allow it to gently steam for a minute or two. Try not to let it simmer or boil but don’t worry, the world won’t come to an end if you do. Once the flavours have had a chance to merge pour over the duck breast and allow to marinate for 24 hours. If you keep the breasts meat side down the meat will be lying in the marinade rather than the skin.

note: to keep the meat fresh during hot weather keep it in a tupaware container buried onder the shade of a tree.

Put the rhubarb, ginger, honey and water in a pan and cook until the rhubarb is soft, allow to cool.

Fry the duck breast to taste spooning over the marinade as you go; the balsamic will caramelise / burn and produce a lot of smoke so it is best to save this recipe for cooking over an open fire, a non stick pan would help, if you are doing it inside turn the smoke alarm off and open the windows. Allow the meat to rest for five minutes and serve with the rhubarb, spinach; lightly sauted in butter, olive oil and nutmeg and new potatoes.

To accompany might I suggest builder’s tea with little bits of twig floating in the top.

Duck is not the easiest thing to eat with a spoon and a sheath knife.

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 09:50 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Poulle au pot a farci a la Ditch

Two Chicken leg joints
About 25g smoked gammon / bacon - diced
Two small onions – peeled and chopped in half
One large carrot – scraped and chopped into chunks
One large red potato – quartered
Glass or two of white wine
One clove of garlic, thinly sliced
Sea salt
Pepper corns – cracked between the flat of a knife and a flat surface
Double Cream

Brown the chicken over the fire, meanwhile brown the onion, carrot and gammon or bacon in the oil and add a healthy sprinkle of rosemary. Put the chicken, bacon, carrot, onion, wine and garlic into a pan and top up with water so that liquid comes up to just about cover the ingredients, put a lid on, bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour (this works best if cooked in an oven). Then put the potato on top and let steam until really well cooked. Remove the potato and put on one side (I stuck them in the lid of the Billy) if you are outside in the winter it’s probably best to add butter at this point to help it melt. Leave the potato for a while and let the steam come off to make sure they are nice and dry before mashing. Remove the chicken, onion and carrot from the Billy and let the chicken rest for ten minutes. Meanwhile put the sauce over a high heat and let it reduce. Mash the potato with whatever comes to hand (I had to use a spoon), add salt, pepper, some cream and grated nutmeg. By this time the sauce should have reduced so remove it from the heat, add some cream and stir together over a low heat, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the Chicken and vegetables covered in the sauce with a sprinkle of black pepper a slice or two of granary bread and a glass of dry white wine.

I have made many variations of this dish in the past and the slight BBQ flavour of the chicken really adds something to it.


I used a bit of bacon cut from the end of a loin joint I had bought for tomorrow, seeing as I had bought this from a supermarket the meat was covered in useless packaging and had been injected with water. The water ran out into the lid of the Billy Can that I was using as a frying pan and caused the vegetables to stew rather than fry.

Shallots would be more appropriate to use than onions but I just couldn’t be bothered to peel them.

If you are grating nutmeg on the serrated blade of a knife try to avoid also grating your finger, if you can’t avoid this inadvertently quaterising the cut on the handle of the Billy Can will stop the bleeding.

A sprinkling of finely chopped leaves adds a whole new dimension if you have them – I didn’t.

Try not to eat this dish out of the lid of a Billy Can with a hole melted in the side as the sauce will leak out all over you.

Don’t let the sauce boil or the cream will separate (as mine did) it will still taste fine but won’t look so good.

This dish also goes very well with leeks.

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 10:31 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

A starter

One camembert
One clove garlic

Slice the garlic and stick the slivers in the cheese, leave in the fridge / hollow tree in winter for a week. Then either bake in the oven till runny or put next to the fire rotating regularly until runny.

Serve with crusty bread and cranberry sauce take care to pick the garlic out.

If I’m making this in the oven I often put a slice of Parma ham, a sprig of rosemary and a bit of olive oil on the top – the Parma ham crisps up lovely.

Best of all this recipe is even healthier than deep fried brie!

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 10:14 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Spring pasta dish, sans pasta.


Two salmon steaks
3 spring onions
7 cherry tomatoes (could have done with more tomatoes but that was all I had)
1 small tub ½ fat crème fresh

BBQ two salmon steaks lightly on each side and then wrap in a silver foil parcel and put them back onto the rack over the fire.
Sweat the garlic and sliced spring onions in butter for 3 or 4 minutes in a frying pan / billy can / pie tin.
Increase the heat under the garlic and onions and the cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Once the tomatoes are cooked (they should be falling apart) remove from the heat and stir in the crème fresh. Then place over a gentle heat and heat slowly, do not boil! Once warmed removed from the heat.
By now the salmon should be cooked; the side that was directly over the heat should be a rich almost caramelised brown and the rest light and pink. Remove the skin and bones and add chunks of the salmon to the crème fresh mix.

This would go very well with tagliatelli; I chose not to have it with pasta as I had no water to cook it in, there was a brief moment in which I considered using lemonade instead but something stopped me.

A little bit of freshly chopped parsley would have gone well with it.
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 10:06 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

A simple one to kick off with

A recipe for those who are less inclined towards effort; I lived off this for a few weeks.

One carton Covent Garden Lentil and Bacon Soup
One packet Herta Frankfurter (optional)
Put soup into pan
Chop frankfurters into lumps and add to soup
Note – Soup can be replaced with beans.
After a week or so this dish becomes a little tiresome adding a dash or three of chilli sauce will give it a new flavour!

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 10:02 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment