We found the most beautiful campsite on the way back down the West coast, not far from Arisaig (opposite the islands of Muck, Eigg and Skye). We highly recommend this site, as you are simply a few steps away from white sandy beach wherever you’re pitched – in our case, there was even a slide down to the beach! We arrived when the tide was high, but when it went down a marvel of rocky islands and sandy inlets were revealed, and the sunset was to die for! See www.invercaimbecaravansite.co.uk
Frustratingly, it started to rain soon after we arrived (can’t have it perfect all the time!) so we all sat in the campervan for supper. Actually, it turned out to be rather delicious – a simple cauliflower risotto with crushed crisps (a good alternative to fried breadcrumbs) and parmesan sprinkled on top.
Cauliflower and crisp risotto, camping style
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cauliflower, chopped
1 cup risotto rice
1 stock cube
1 glass of white wine
salt and pepper
grated parmesan, to serve
1 small packet of crisps, crushed
Soften the onion and garlic in the oil over a moderate heat. Add the cauliflower and rice and coat in the oil, and cook for a few minutes.
Crumble the stock cube into the mixture, and gradually add water and wine, stirring over a low heat until the rice is absorbed and cooked. Check for seasoning and add to taste.
Serve with grated parmesan and crushed crisps sprinkled liberally on top.
The weather was beautiful the next day, so in between checking out the glorious sunset, we cooked up a paella, the recipe for which can be found in Family Camping Cookbook. We used sugar snap peas in this one, instead of normal peas – and we omitted the prawns as we felt we’d slightly overdosed on seafood lately!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
200g/7oz chorizo, chopped
400g/14oz/2 cups paella rice
1l/35fl oz/4 cups chicken stock
a pinch of saffron
100g/3½oz/1 cup frozen peas
large king prawns
chicken, cut into chunks
1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
lemon wedges, to serve
1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the peppers and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
2 Stir in the paprika and chorizo, cook for 1 minute, then put the pan over a high heat. Add the rice and mix well, then add the stock and saffron and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20–25 minutes until the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a little water if the paella becomes dry.
3 Add the peas and prawns and cook for about 5 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup
For a camping trip, make up a tupperware pot of the dry ingredients. Double or treble the quantities so you’ve got a few breakfasts sorted.
Serves 4. Makes 8 pancakes. Preparation time 5 minutes. Standing time 10 minutes. Cooking time 3 minutes per pancake.
120g/4oz/⅞ cup self-raising flour
½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
175ml/6floz/⅔ cup milk
60g/2oz butter (¼ pat), melted, plus a bit extra for frying
200g/7oz/1½ cups blueberries
maple syrup for serving
1 Mix all the dry ingredients together (preferably before you leave on your camping trip).
2 In another bowl or a jug, whisk up the wet ingredients with a fork. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients, gradually whisking them in. Leave the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan with a knob of butter. Pour 1/8 of the mixture into the pan, and as soon as it starts to set on the bottom scatter with a few blueberries. When cooked on the bottom, flip the pancake over to cook the other side. Serve drizzled with maple syrup.