Trunk Kitchen



The exotic, extraordinary trunk gifts continue, and this little fellow turned up late last year, And OH-MY-GOD. Just look at it. It's going to be hard to improve on this one. A friend of mine came round the other day and asked me if Brian Cant was gay. "I have no idea" was my reply. "And I don't care either". Maybe you can cook his Chicken Tamara today and find out for yourself.


This has taken a little while to get right, but it`s now perfect and makes my wife feel a bit randy, which is why I make it weekly. I`ll list the ingredients, tell you what I do but bare in mind we all like our tapenade in different ways, so add more or less things as you feel necessary.

Right, to make a medium sized tub of this delicious, moorish dip buy a packet / jar of Kalamata Olives. They must be Kalamata olives, and stone them before use. I`m lucky enough to have masses of Turkish style delis near where I live, so I only have the option of a large plastic container of them - about the same size as an ice cream tub. If you are not near any Turkish delis, the supermarket should stock them, so let`s say we have a 300g jar of these Kalamata olives. Well stone them, and to your purple / maroon pile of olives add one anchovy fillet. Also add one peeled clove of garlic, about ten basil leaves and a small scattering of capers - about 15 of the little fellers. To your little mountain now add a good gloop of olive oil to lubricate it all, and with a handblender or processor, blitz it all up to an oily, olivey deep purple paste. Bung it all in a little bowl, and eat with breadsticks or pitta or carrots or anything in fact. My wife has it with poached eggs on toast, which is odd. This Tapenade is bloody lovely and last for ages in the fridge. You can never eat than much because it is quite strong.



Mike McGoldrick sent us this from the Robert Crumb cookbook 'Eat It'.

Reduce suet to half cup and add 2 cups meat (neck or chuck) which you've simmered day and minced, Add quarter cup molasses and reduce sugar by half cup. Lots more spices. Simmer until thick and allow to cool. Add as much brandy as you dare (If mixture is too hot. it will evaporate the alcohol). Freeze to store.


Today I have been mainly making drinks. The first one is from a book that Derek gave me. The book is called "A Hedgerow Cookbook". This is for Elderflower Cordial. And if you look around, there are tons of Elderflowers about at this time of year (the Summer). Some people batter the Elderflower heads and then deep fry them. I haven't gone that far yet, but this cordial is a fine traditional start.

All you do is go to the chemists, and buy a small amount of Citric acid or tartaric acid. You need 1 oz of this to keep the cordial from going cloudy. You may have to go to a few different chemists because not all of them stock such dangerous culinary chemical these days. They only stock major drugs.

Pick ten or so Elderflower heads. Put them in a big bowl. Add about a pound and a half of sugar - I use golden caster. Add the 1 oz of Tartaric / Citric, add two chopped lemons, or a lemon and an orange, then add four pints of boiling water. Stir it well, and it will stop stinking like cow's piss and start smelling like a cordial. Cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 24 hours - but do stir occasionally. Then strain it through a muslin or anything you can get your hands on that is fine enough. And that's it. Put it in a sterilised bottle and it will keep for ages, but it won't last that long cos you'll drink it all. At this stage I do not recommend you make Elderberry cordial in the Autumn, as it's is disgusting. I made it last year and it really is filth. So just pick lots of Elderflowers now and freez'em.


This is piss-easy and most refreshing on hot days. It also takes about 5 minutes. Get about 5 lemons and roughly chop them up so they fit into your blender. Add a whack a load of sugar, over half a pound, and then add a load of water too. Then blitz it all in the blender and voila, you have a buttery looking mess. Strain this all and the juice is your very own homemade lemon squash. Just add water and you will feel dead clever for ages. It gets drunk very fast.

Greg Normand sent this in

Subject: foody goodness. Brousing through an old spanosh cookery book i chanced upon this jem of spanish cuisine from catalunya 'espinas fritas' or fried anchovy spines. it roughly translates as; fillet 20-30 salted anchovies conserving the spines (key!). soak them in 1/4 of a litre of milk for 30 minutes. roll them in flower and deep fry in very hot oil. serve. Spinetastic!
Thanks Greg.


Gently thumbing my ridiculous and unnecessary collection of original Starsky and Hutch Magazines, I stumbled across issue number 32. And right at the back was to my knowledge the only S&H recipe in the world ever. And for your delight and indeed stomach, the recipes are right here, right now reproduced exactly as they were all those years ago in the seventies. Click the picture to get the recipe at handy screen wallpaper size.


I make this for myself, but I'm a greedy guts so it's just enough to two. I don't measure or weight much when I cook. You'll read what I mean. Poach about 4 inches of Haddock in warm milk for 5 minutes. While this is going on, grate some parmesan into a bowl (I don't know, like a small chunk), and add some single cream to it, so you get a kind of cheesy creamy thing that is runny, but not that fast. When the haddock is cooked, take it out of the milk and flake it onto a plate. Take three eggy weggys, break them into a mug and beat them up a bit. Heat your omelette pan with a nob of butter until the butter goes brown. Add the eggs, and start to make an omlette. When half cooked, add the haddock flakes, then pour your slightly runny cheese and cream over the top. Then place this all under the grill untill it starts to brown. Then eat it all up. This is called an 'Arnold Bennet' because he invented it when he used to eat at the Savoy Grill all the time. They still serve it there.

Falsehood often lurks upon the tongue of him, who, by self-praise, seeks to enhance his value in the eyes of others. Arnold Bennett


Chop an onion and a clove of garlic and soften them in some butter. Use a big pot. After about 5 minutes add a tin of chopped tomatoies, and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add about a pint of veggy stock. Then add half a handful of rice. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 12 / 15 mins until the rice is cooked. Then blitz it all. Tastes like Heinz but even better. Trust me, this is incredible. However, while I was experimenting with this soup I once put too much rice in. It's disgusting if you do this, like tomato rice pudding.