Slow Food

I’ve decided to add some recipes that I use over and over. These are really easy to knock up in a tiny kitchen, limited cookware, no gadgets, and only a 2 burner stove.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
In Georgia we could buy fresh tree mushrooms that were incredibly tasty. Old ladies would forage first thing in the morning and sell them by the side of the road. I made this wonderful soup with them.

  • Approx 300 grams (or more) of tasty mushrooms. You could use anything - oyster, shitake, swiss brown. A combination work well, if you can't get tree mushrooms
  • 50g (or more) of unsalted butter
  • 200 grams of heavy lightly soured cream. (don't worry about the fat content - it's good for you. Read Nina Teicholz, Gary Taubes etc if you don't believe me.)
  • 2 brown onions
  • Several cloves of garlic - more or less to taste, (used about 4)
  • Chicken stock - homemade of course. About 200ml.

Saute onions and garlic in butter till soft in a large pan. Add chopped mushrooms and saute another few minutes.

Add the chicken stock and cook on a low heat until mushrooms are soft. Blend until smooth with a stick blender. Add cream and blend some more.


I made some bruschetta to have with it. Delicious.

Fennel and Avocado Salad

I found this delicious recipe on and adapted it easy measurements. As we don’t have measuring cups or spoons or scales, I use more ‘flexible’ measures.


1 ripe avocado, chopped.
2 small fresh fennel, very thinly sliced.
1 small red onion (or half a large one), finely diced
Juice of one lemon
2 glugs of olive oil (or to taste – in my book there’s no such thing as too much olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste – you don’t really need much.

Mix ingredients in a bowl and eat! Would go well with a crisp Riesling, Verdejo, or Viognier, depending on what you eat it with. Here we were having it with steak, hence the red.

Salade de Chevre Chaud

This classic French Salad makes a great entrée or light lunch, I make the traditional version, but you can add tomatoes, geziers etc for the 'paysanne' version.


A handful of bacon lardon – quickly fried
Sliced baguette – 6 slices for 2 people.
Goat’s cheese rounds (Chevre  - cabacou is the best, I often just buy a small log and slice into 6.)
Washed and dried lettuce – lots.
Olive Oil (or vinaigrette if you prefer)

Lightly toast the bread and place a round of chevre on top. Place in a hot oven until chevre starts to melt – about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile arrange lettuce on the plates, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with bacon lardon.

Place cheese rounds artistically on top. Serve with a pale dry Rosé.

Anchovy Salad

We first had this as an entree in Spain and now I make my own version. It is simplicity itself and wonderful as a light starter. The freshness of the lettuce contrasts beautifully with the oiliness and saltiness of the anchovies.

Simply cut lettuce hearts in half lengthways and drape with anchovies straight from the jar. Drizzle with a bit of the oil.

Moroccan Salad

This is about all you get in Morocco when you order salad, but we loved it and make it often. It’s as simple as can be and goes with any kind of barbecued meat.


2 small ripe tomatoes.
Green bell pepper – half a large one should do.
Small red onion – finely diced.
Olive Oil

Roughly dice the tomatoes and pepper. Mix in the onion and olive oil and add pepper to taste – simple! You can also add chickpeas if you like.


Bean and Chorizo Stew

I make this when there’s not much in Mother’s cupboard. Sometimes I add bits of leftover meat, or anything else in the fridge that looks like it needs using up.


1 jar of white beans – eg: cannellini
1 chorizo sausage
2-3 potatoes – waxy ones are best. (par-boiled and diced)
1 large brown onion (and a shallot or 2 if you have them)
1 large red pepper (capsicum)
1 small fennel finely chopped (optional). 
Stock – I usually have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer. I have used lamb stock and also commercial stock. Don’t use dried stock or stock cubes – yukky.

Slice the chorizo and fry quickly in it’s own fat. Add the chopped pepper, fennel and onion, and sauté lightly in the chorizo fat.

Add stock to the pan along with the potatoes and chorizo.

Simmer for about 10 mins and season to taste. Serve with lots of crusty bread and a glass of Chianti or similar lightish red.

Camembert and Figs

I confess that I haven’t really perfected this dish yet, but it tastes fabulous anyway. I first ate it in Toulouse with Ruth and Sandie and we all loved it and have tried to copy it with varying degrees of success. If anyone perfects it – please share.


Dried figs
Round of camembert
Thick Fig Jam

Soak the figs for a few hours and drain well. You’ll need enough to half fill your small oven proof dish. The camembert round should be slightly smaller than your dish.

Spoon some of the fig jam over the figs in your dish and squash flat. Cut off the bottom rind of your camembert and place the cheese, top rind up, on the figs.

Put in a med/hot oven until camembert starts to brown and figs are bubbling. Serve with crusty bread and a large spoon. I think an aromatic white wine works well with this dish, such as a gewürztraminer or Marsanne.

Beef in Red Wine

I always make a double lot of this dish and put half in the freezer. It’s wonderful on a moving day if it’s cold and wet and you just have to cook some broccoli and you have a wonderful hot meal.

This will serve 4.


400 gram approximately of diced stewing beef.
1 Brown onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
100 gram or so of bacon lardon – or if you have tarquitos, they are really tasty (jamon lardon)
2-3 bay leaves
2 handfuls of mushrooms – roughly chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
Stock – chicken or beef will do – whatever is to hand.
300mls of cheap red wine.
Seasoned flour to roll your beef in.

Put the flour in a plastic bag and throw the beef around in it to coat. Brown the beef in stage in the pan. I use the wok to make this – it has a lid and plenty of room to stir stuff.

Put the browned meat aside and throw in diced onion, chopped garlic (don’t be too fussy – I use the Spanish method and just hack it up), olive oil and lardon. Saute until your onion is soft. Don’t use too high a heat or your garlic will go brown and bitter. Add the meat back in and add your wine and enough stock to cover. Stir in the tomato paste and throw in the bay leaves.

Simmer for about 2 hours on a very low heat and then add your mushrooms and simmer for another hour. Voila! Thicken with cornflour if you like.

Serve with a hearty red such as Rioja or Cote du Rhone.

Green Thai Chicken Curry

I know everyone makes this, but when you have a 2 foot kitchen and only 2 burners you need some shortcuts.

I always use a commercial green curry paste but they usually need beefing up.


1 jar of green curry paste.

This can take some trial and error because the chilli strength and taste can vary enormously. If it’s a sauce, use about half a jar. If it’s paste, you may only need 2 tablespoons.

4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
Bunch of fresh coriander
2-3 dried chillies (depending on the hotness of your paste)
Coconut cream (please don’t use the low fat muck, you’ll spoil it)
Chicken stock as required
4 chicken thighs.

Red pepper sliced
Handful small cauliflowerets
Chopped broccoli
Half a zucchini (courgette) sliced and halved
Sliced snow peas or beans.

Finely chop the shallots and garlic. Finely chop the coriander stalks and roots (leave the leaves for later). Finley chop your chilli and sauté the lot in olive oil (or coconut oil) until soft. Add your commercial sauce or paste and sauté another few minutes. If the paste it too thick add some stock but not much.

Now add your coconut cream and chopped chicken. Cook on low heat for about 15 mins or until chicken is cooked. This is where I take off half and put aside for freezing. I try to leave it for a few hours for flavour or even overnight.

When ready to eat, heat the sauce and add your cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes. Now chuck in the rest of the veg and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Serve with steamed long grain rice and fresh coriander leaves.

We like to drink cider with this. The Basque Country stuff is the best (Sidra) but very hard to find outside the region – sadly. A wheat beer will work just as well. A spicy gewürztraminer can also work if you want wine.

To steam rice. Rinse rice at least 3 times. Use 1 part rice to 1 1/3 parts water. Cook on low heat until holes form. Leave in a warm place for a while to dry.

Slow Roast Veg
I used to make this all the time in Hilda. We had an oven - but it was SLOW. Hence slow roast veg was all you could really do. I'll have to adapt this for the barbecue in the new vehicle.

The essential veg are:
  • Red Onion - cut into quarters.
  • Garlic cloves - as many as you want.
  • Peppers cut into large chunks.
You can also add: sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, and anything else that needs using up!

Smother in olive oil.

Cook on a low heat - 160° for an hour to an 1 1/2 hours.

Pork Dijonnaise

This is one of Lawrence's specialities. It's farily quick and simple but abosutely delicious.

Pork Filet - sliced into thick rounds
Dijon mustard - couple of tablespoons, or to your taste.
Creme fraiche - couple of tablespoons
1 cup of sliced mushrooms. 
Unsalted butter for cooking
Glass of wine for the chef

Gently fry the pork medallions in butter until lightly golden and just cooked (a bit pink inside is good at this stage.) Put aside and keep warm.

Next saute the mushrooms and when soft add the mustard, and then gently stir in the creme - keeping the heat low. When the sauce is integrated add the pork back in and gently reheat. Serve with greens and new potatoes. 

Almost any white wine goes well with this. I like something with a bit of body weight, but Lawrence prefers a Rhone style aromatic white. Last time we had a Chateauneuf de Pape and it worked a treat. If only we could afford to drink that each time.

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