When I worked and lived on a charter yacht in Barcelona harbour many years ago, I fell in love with everything Spanish, including the cuisine. So when I got the chance to do a ‘Taste of Spain’ cookery course at Vaughan’s Cookery School, I jumped at the chance and hoped that there would be some ideas I could adapt for campervan recipes. There was –  the flavours are a bit different but very tasty…

The recipes did have a tapas feel to them and chef, Tom Dodd, kept them fairly simple with each only having a few easy ingredients which means that most of them will work well in a campervan.

So what did we cook?

  • Proper Patatas Bravas
  • Chorizo in red wine and bay leaves
  • Coco Malaguena (a super tasty flatbread dish from Catalonia)

Although Tom’s Proper Patatas Bravas dish was cooked in the oven, I have adapted the recipe for the camping life that can be cooked in one pan. Have a go at this:


  • 3 x large potatoes parboiled in their skins and then peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 x white onion, finely sliced
  • 2 x cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or fresh sprigs if you can get it
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

To Cook in the Campervan Style

  • Add the chopped potatoes, onion and garlic to a large frying pan with a little melted butter or olive oil. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.
  • Add the thyme and paprika and cook for a minute before adding the tin of tomatoes
  • Add the cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt and cook gently for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and fallen in love with the potatoes
  • Serve and enjoy!

OK, it won’t be quite like the oven-roasted version but it will make a nice accompaniment to most dishes, especially if you are barbequing some meat. I had some left-over and I put it on a homemade gluten-free pizza base that I was cooking at home and it tasted bloomin’ gorgeous. For the best gluten-free pizza mix in the world see Isabel’s Pizza Mix at Morrisons

We also did another very easy, one-pan recipe Chorizo with Red Wine and Bay Leaves


  • 500g of chorizo chopped into rounds about 1cm thick
  • 2 x cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 250ml red wine (plus a glass for yourself of course)
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar

To Cook

  • Add the chorizo and garlic to a frying pan on medium heat
  • Once the chorizo has begun to ooze its gorgeous redness, add the bay leaves and the red wine. Turn the heat up and reduce until it is about 2/3rds
  • Add the honey and sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and stir until it is all melded and shiny

You could just have this with some nice crusty bread to mop up the juices or serve it with a collection of other tapas-like dishes. I think I am also going to try it in a quesadilla with some mozzarella cheese and rocket.

And then there was a dish that I had never heard of before that was one of those magical blends of ingredients: Coco Malaguena.

This is basically a combination of Spinach, pinenuts and raisins on a flatbread

Ingredients for the Topping

  • 4 x onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 50g pinenuts
  • 50g raisins soaked in sherry vinegar for 2 hours and squeezed out (these are gorgeous to eat just by themselves!)
  • 500g baby spinach

To Cook

  • Heat 2tbsps olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and cook the onions until soft
  • Add the paprika and cumin seeds and cook for another minute or so.
  • Remove this mixture from the pan and put aside
  • In the same pan, heat another 2 tbsps of olive oil. Add the pinenuts and gently colour then add the raisins and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted
  • Add back the onions and add salt to taste

The mixture is then spread on top of a warm flatbread (I think I might try it on pan-toasted ciabatta too). In the original recipe, it goes in the oven for a while but I think it is nice just like this. I may try this as a pizza topping too.

The great thing about these recipes is that they give our bodies good nutrition as well as being very tasty. And remember, these are great for weekday meals too. In fact, my campervan and home recipes are now more or less the same as I want a lifestyle that gives me quick, easy meals that are nutritious and tasty. What’s not to like!

To check out Vaughan’s Cookery School go to:

Check out my Curry Cooking Class Day