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This brunch dish is from Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson and Matt Williamson. We cook in a tent which is a similar endeavour but sadly not this year. Still, it’s been fun trying out the recipes for when the time comes.

Hot-smoked trout bagels with mustard butter and cream cheese – serves 4

  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • juice and finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 150g-200g hot-smoked trout fillets (we used trout as we love the rainbow trout from Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Kilkenny) but you could also use hot-smoked salmon, break it into bite-size pieces
  • 4 wholemeal bagels
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese

Beat three-quarters of the butter with the mustards, lemon zest, black pepper and a little salt.

Melt the rest of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Add the salmon pieces and heat through for a couple of minutes, then add the mustard butter and cook for another 5 minutes or until hot and the onions are very soft. Try not to break the salmon up too much.

Lightly toast the bagels and spread with the cream cheese, then add the salmon, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

(Original recipe from Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thomoson and Matt Williamson, Hardie Grant: Quadrille, 2021.)

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We’ve been cooking from a new book, Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson and Matt Williamson. Every summer we’re usually off camping in a tent in France but not this year unfortunately. Still, we’ve had some amazing Irish sunshine so we’re making a big effort to cook and eat outside as much as possible. These chops were lovely with some flatbreads warmed on the barbecue alongside a herby couscous, and a tomato and cucumber salad.

Wine Suggestion: A barbecue Cotes du Rhone red comes to the rescue here; medium weight with gentle, warming spices. Jean-Paul Daumen’s version in the glass tonight and we can almost picture us sipping this in France.

Lamb Chops with Cumin and Sumac with Tahini Sauce – serves 4

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chill flakes/aleppo chilli flakes/urfa chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 lamb cutlets
  • ½ lemon

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon

Mix the garlic, cumin, chilli flakes and half the sumac with the oil in a bowl. Season the chops with salt and pepper, then rub them all over with the spicy oil and put them in the fridge. You need to leave them for at least half an hour or longer if you can. Bring them back to room temperature before cooking.

To make the sauce, put the garlic and tahini in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and a splash of cold water, you want a smooth sauce with the consistency of double cream. Season to taste.

Heat a barbecue until very hot and cook the chops for a few minutes on each side or until nicely charred on the outside and however you like them in the middle. Grill the lemon half at the same time. Allow the chops to rest off the heat for a few minutes, then serve drizzled with the tahini and sprinkled with the rest of the sumac and a good squeeze of the barbecued lemon.

(Original crecipe from Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson & Matt Williamson,

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