Ben Appetit - cooking outdoors

You may be spending the night in a mountain shelter but when it comes to cooking that's no excuse for bothying it.

Why feast you soul on the breathtaking grandeur of the outdoors - then feed your body on blandness? I have been in company where the most daring cuisine has been a packet of pasta and sauce - tastes like Lego blocks sprinkled with parmesan and smells like cat food.

A little effort can make the difference between eating for duty and eating for pleasure. In this series there will be a few ground rules. The only time cous cous will be used will be to bed in my mono-block driveway. It is the most pretentious but pointless food known in the western world. In north Africa, where it is a subsistence dish, it plays an important role. But in the UK it should be stored in the shed with the rest of the DIY products. So-called 'guid Scots' dishes like herring with tatties will be left in the past where they belong. Speak to anyone who had to endure such a diet over a prolonged period and see them hurl at the thought. In the minds of some Scots, Calvin may be dead but his cookbook lives on. Perhaps that is why we persist in cooking porridge with water and salt. How we could change the mood of a nation - as well as its health - if we made a nutritious food like porridge palatable by adding milk and sugar, or even a dollop of raspberry jam.

Variety and excitement will be the themes of this series. There will also be a few shortcuts to success. There will be space in the coming months for readers' own recipes so email them to us at

In the meantime, Ben Appetit!

The Recipes - click the text link

Savoury Sweet
Yantai Chicken Camasunary Cereal Bars
Mediterranean Risotto Banana Loaf
Blue Dragon Tuna Surprise Pudding or Porridge?
Tuna Chow Mein


Savoury Sweet
Curry To-Go!