July arrived in April this year, well that took a few of us by surprise! Looking to make the most of the weather, the Guyrope Gourmet has been roaming the countryside and pitching up in some beautiful spots. From Robin Hood’s Bay, in Whitby, to the banks of the Wharfe at Appletreewick, near Skipton, I’ve been gathering seasonal offerings and trying out new things. Baby new potatoes are up for grabs and plentiful right now and English rocket should be zooming onto shop shelves. And thanks to the recent discovery of ‘Yorkshire Chorizo’, handmade in the glorious Yorkshire Dales, it’s now possible to rustle up my favourite potato salad without piling on the food miles.
I’m a sucker for gadgets. A relatively new purchase for me has been my griddle pan. It’s now a regular feature in the camp kitchen. Given the amount of smoke it seems to produce (perhaps I’m missing a trick when it comes to technique) I actually use it more on the campsite than I do at home. It’s great for fish and tender chicken breasts.
So as spring gives way to summer, why not stake out your pitch, shake out that sleeping bag and head for the hills. I’m sure there’s a Guyrope Gourmet in all of us, go on give these two quick recipes a whirl for a fine camping summer lunch.
Baby new potato, chorizo & rocket salad
This is a deliciously simple dish that works on its own or as an accompaniment to chicken. The beauty of chorizo is that as a cured meat product it will keep for a good few days in the cool box. Chorizo is available in two ‘formats’, thinly sliced and packed, or in a more traditional ‘ring’ or long sausage. The latter works better for this dish as you need a chunky texture, which goes well with the potatoes.
Ingredients to serve 2 people
12 baby new potatoes
1 Chorizo sausage ring
2 big handfuls of rocket leaves (washed)
8 ripe Cherry tomatoes
Four cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Black pepper & sea salt to taste
- Par-boil the potatoes, whole, for five or six minutes. Don’t over cook them – they should be firm when stabbed with a sharp knife and stick to the blade, rather than sliding off back into the pan. Remove from the heat and drain well. Cut the potatoes into halves (you’re looking for 2cm chunks – so if your spuds are on the larger side cut them into quarters).
- While the potatoes are cooking, remove the skin and cut the chorizo into 1cm chunks. Warm some olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to brown a little, add the potatoes and the chorizo and stir well. Season to taste. After a couple of minutes the dish will take on a deep red colour as the oil and paprika work their way out of the chorizo.
- Spread out a couple of layers of kitchen paper in a bowl and tip the chorizo and potatoes into the bowl to absorb some of the excess oil. Leave to cool for a minute, while you are cutting the cherry tomatoes into halves. Remove the kitchen paper, add the halved tomatoes and the rocket leaves.
- Mix thoroughly, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve warm.
Chicken breasts with a dusting of lemon & thyme
This recipe seems to work better if you cut up the breast rather than using a whole one. I think it’s to do with surface area to meat ratio, allowing the meat to take on more of the flavour from the seasoned flour.
Ingredients to serve 2 people
Two fresh, free range chicken breasts.
A small bunch of fresh thyme
Zest of a lemon
A couple of tablespoons of plain flour
Salt & Ground black pepper
1. Slice each chicken breast into four or five pieces. Cut on a diagonal across the meat so that each ‘mini breast’ is two or three inches long.
2. Place the flour into a bowl and grate in the zest of a lemon. Remove the thyme leaves from the stalks and chop roughly and add to the flour.
3. Throw in a pinch of salt and a little ground pepper. Mix thoroughly with a fork and toss the chicken in the flour, making sure each piece is well dusted. Place the griddle pan on the stove, and while it’s warming up spread the chicken out on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. Cook the chicken for three minutes on each side on the hot griddle.
4. Ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, and all the juices run clear, before serving.
To read more of Josh Sutton’s work, read his Blog at www.guyropegourmet.com
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