Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Around the UK in tenRegional Dishesby Phoebe Taplin
While we can’t travel as far and wide as we’d like at the moment, there are some creative ways to recreate the fun and novelty that good journeys can bring. I’ve been thinking about a few favourite places and making food that reminds me of them. These are quite flexible recipes and can be adapted to fit the ingredients you have at home. Happy virtual travels!
1. Scottish Cranachan
In the last couple of years, I’ve had some beautiful trips to Scotland and food always seems to be a major feature. Like this bus and walking holiday in Fife last year, which featured local gin, cullen skink and really great cake. To celebrate the fact that raspberries are back in season, I thought I’d make cranachan, a mix of oatmeal, honey and cream with layers of raspberries.
Ingredients: 3oz porridge oats, ½ pint whipped double cream (or yoghurt if you want to make it healthier), a few spoonfuls of whisky, 3 tablespoons honey, ½lb raspberries.
- Toast the oats in a frying pan (don’t burn them!)
- Mix everything but the raspberries together.
- Sieve half the raspberries to make a fresh puree.
- Layer cream mix and puree and top with raspberries.
2. Lancashire hotpot
I had a memorable train trip through Lancashire earlier this year, stopping off at Carnforth station, ten minutes north of Lancaster by train, where David Lean filmed Brief Encounter. The station has a heritage centre and you can watch the film on a loop in retro cinema seats, or have tea and scones in the light-filled vintage refreshment room. Heading up the line one more stop, past glimpses of Morecambe Bay and Warton Crag, I explored the golden reed beds of Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, a five-minute stroll from Silverdale station with a 50% discount for car-free visitors. Then back to Lancaster for hotpot… To recreate this traditional spud-topped lamb stew, I adapted the recipe (and photos) from Kitchen Sanctuary. You can find more exact instructions there!
Ingredients: oil, 2 onions, 2 carrots, bay leaves, 2 cups stock, little bit of flour, 1lb lamb, 1lb potatoes, seasoning, dried thyme.
- Fry the lamb in the oil and then the veg in the same pot.
- Add the lamb back in and a bit of flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add stock and seasoning and cook for half an hour.
- Layer the top with thinly sliced spuds and thyme.
- Cook in the oven for an hour (cover top with foil for first half hour).
- Take it out when it’s crispy and golden.
3. Onion bhajis
This time two years ago, I was in Leicester, checking out rockets and Richard III, spicy food and sequinned saris… Leicester’s Golden Mile is one of thousands of places in England, where you can eat brilliant Indian food. These onion bhajis (adapted from a BBC recipe) were made to celebrate those memories and might have been better still with some of those silver-leaved condensed milk and cardamom sweets for afters…
Ingredients: 2 sliced onions, 100g gram (chickpea) flour, ½ tsp each of baking powder, chilli powder, turmeric, salt, finely chopped green chilli and fresh coriander, lots of veg oil.
- Soak the sliced onions in cold water.
- Meanwhile mix all the dry ingredients, chilli and coriander in a bowl, with enough water to make a batter-like mix. Stir in drained onion.
- Heat up about 3 inches of oil really hot in a saucepan and fry spoonfuls of the mix to make bhajis. They take about five minutes to go brown and crispy.