You may be surprised by some of the delicious meals you can rustle up in your caravan. If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’re on hand with three simple yet scrumptious recipes…
A dish so deliciously iconic, the whole world continues to debate about its origins
A chickpea and tahini delight, hummus is so widely adored that everyone, from the Greeks to the Turks to the North Africans to the Arabs, claims it as their own. The argument over the origin of this humble staple has been raging since ancient times and will no doubt continue long into the future. A related gastronomic battle has also seen countries compete to make the largest bowl of hummus – a Guinness World Record that Lebanon has held since 2010, thanks to a rather staggering 10,452kg (11.5t) serving. The historic origins of the dish can be traced back through cookbooks to 13th-century Egypt, but the intriguing legend is that it was created by 12th-century sultan Saladin.
- Prep: 10 minutes
- Rest: 10 hours
- Cook: 1 hour
- Serves: 4
- 400g/14oz/2 cups chickpeas, dried
- 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 5 heaped tbsp good-quality tahini
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Pinch salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish
- Paprika, to taste
1 Rinse the chickpeas and place in a bowl with twice the volume of cold water. Add 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, stir and soak overnight.
2 Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
3 Fill a large saucepan with cold water, then add the chickpeas and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil, then cover the saucepan and allow to simmer for about one hour. Check regularly and remove any white foam that forms on top of the water.
4 To check if the chickpeas are cooked, crush one between your fingers. If it crushes easily and feels smooth, they are ready.
5 Stir the chickpeas vigorously to loosen the skins and skim away any that come off.
6 Drain the chickpeas and reserve some of the cooking water. Rinse thoroughly.
7 Set a few chickpeas aside for garnish. Blitz the rest in a mini (low-wattage) food processor for one minute. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt, then blitz again. Stop to scrape down the sides, continue blitzing until the mixture is smooth. If it’s too thick, add 1 tbsp of the chickpea cooking water to thin.
8 Serve the hummus in a bowl, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkled with paprika and garnished with whole chickpeas.
Dried chickpeas can be replaced with tinned varieties: simply skip the soaking process and forgo the use of bicarbonate of soda
This blend of chicken, chorizo and seafood in aromatic rice is a new twist on a Spanish classic
No dish in the world can divide people quite like paella: purists forbid any change at all from the age-old recipe, insisting on ingredients and methods as prescribed by centuries of tradition.
Meanwhile, non-conformists take a more interpretative approach to cooking this renowned dish. To some, the addition of chorizo is an act of culinary heresy!
Although our recipe deviates from the age-old version, we’ve adhered more or less to the authentic method, with a few small – no less heretic – twists, including the controversial chorizo, as well as using some more accessible alternatives, such as chicken instead of rabbit or snails.
Traditional paella is, of course, cooked in a specialised, two-handled pan, but on tour, a large, deep frying pan should suffice.
- Serves: 4
- Prep: 10 minutes
- Cook: 45 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 75g/2oz/1 cup chorizo, roughly sliced
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- Large pinch saffron
- 300g/10oz/1 cup paella rice (arborio rice will also work)
- 1 litre/42 fl oz/5 cups stock (chicken, seafood or vegetable)
- 100g/3oz/1 cup frozen peas
- 6 king prawns
- 8 mussels
- Lemon wedges, to serve
1 Set the hob to medium temperature and heat your oil in a large frying pan. While the oil is heating, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan, frying gently until the pieces are lightly browned all over.
2 Add the chorizo and continue frying for about 1-2 minutes until it releases its oils. Remove the chicken and the chorizo and set aside, leaving the juices in the pan.
3 Add the diced onion to the saucepan and fry until it becomes soft and semi-translucent. Then add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, paprika and saffron, and cook for a couple of minutes.
4 Return the chicken and chorizo to the saucepan, including any juices that have been released. Add the rice to the dish and allow that to fry for 1-2 minutes.
5 Pour in the stock and give your dish a quick stir to ensure all of the rice is covered with stock. Check the cooking time of the rice on its packaging, and leave to simmer on a low heat, without stirring.
6 Once the rice is about done, add the peas, prawns and mussels. If you wish, place a lid on the pan to steam the seafood.
7 Once the prawns have turned pink and the mussels have opened (pick out and discard any that remain closed), the dish is ready to serve. Garnish your paella with a few lemon wedges and enjoy!
To extract the full flavour of saffron, soak the strands in some hot (not boiling) water for around 10 minutes before use
With earthy spices, fresh sides and served sizzling at the table, fajitas add fiesta to any feast
Fajitas are a Tex-Mex staple. While they were popularised in Texas, their origins lie across the border in northern Mexico.
Cattle ranch workers would take tough but flavoursome cuts of beef to make arracheras, by tenderising and grilling the meat for their wood-fire cookouts.
The more common name derives from faja, the Spanish word for strips of meat, usually skirt steak, and these days, fajitas are made with a range of delicious fillings, including chicken, pork, seafood and vegetables.
For this recipe, we’re using chicken strips, but the spice mix will also complement any other filling you might choose.
- Serves 6
- Prep 20-30 minutes
- Cook 10-15 minutes
For the spice mix
- 0.5 tbsp chilli powder, mild or hot, to taste
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
- 3-4 tsp dried oregano
- 0.25-0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
For the salsa
- 3 large or 5-6 medium tomatoes
- 2 small red onions
- 0.5-1 green or habanero chilli, depending on how hot you like it
- 1 handful coriander, leaves only
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Generous pinch salt and pepper
For the fajitas
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips about 1-2cm (3/4in) thick
- 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced
- 3 bell peppers, any colour, sliced into strips
- 6 soft tortillas, corn or wheat
- 150g/5oz hard cheese, such as cheddar or manchego, coarsely grated
- 250ml/8.5 fl oz/1 cup sour cream
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 limes, cut into 12 wedges
1 Add all of the ingredients for the spice mix to a small jar, put the lid on and shake to combine. This recipe only uses 2-3 tsp of the mixture, so the rest can be stored in the sealed jar in a cool place for future use.
2 For the salsa, add the tomatoes, red onions, chilli and coriander to a mini (low-wattage) food processor and pulse for a second at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Alternatively, you can finely chop the ingredients and mix them together.
Add to a serving bowl and stir through a drizzle of olive oil with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
3 For the fajitas, dry-fry 2-3 tsp of the spice mix in a frying pan over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then once it’s hot, add the chicken strips, stirring until they’re coated in the spices. Turn the heat up to high and stir-fry for another 4-6 minutes, until the strips are cooked on all sides.
4 Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium-high and heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in the pan. Add the sliced onions and peppers, and fry for 5-6 minutes.
5 Return the chicken to the pan with the onions and peppers, then stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through (cut a large slice in two to make sure there is no pink meat), and the peppers and onions should be soft.
6 Serve a buffet of the chicken, pepper and onion mix with tortillas, cheese, sour cream, avocado and lime wedges, so everyone can build their own fajitas.
Make it vegetarian by swapping chicken for strips of roasted sweet potato or aubergine, or some refried beans
Images courtesy of Getty Images/500px Plus
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