Brexit Pepper & Onion Chutney

peppers-2786684_1920The date 31 January 2020 is bound to become infamous. On this day the UK is leaving the European Union.

The Bank of England has now further downgraded the prospects for the UK economy to be at the lowest level since the Second World War!

As part of the fallout, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ability to pump more money into the “left behind” regions of the UK is now threatened. These were the former solid-Labour seats that trashed Jeremy Corbyn’s already shredded reputation and for some strange reason gave Mr Johnson a majority in last month’s General Election.

It is such an exhibition of madness that I felt moved to mark the occasion by making something to preserve this nonsense in the memory for a long time to come.

The preserve I have adapted is one Delia Smith picked up from her friend Di Knab, a former fashion model and stylist who moved with her husband Peter and set up a cookery school in the mid-1980s in a house called Le Baou d’Infer in Provence.

As Delia says it is “a jewel of a recipe” and the result is terrific served with good bangers, kebabs, left-over pie or pate and cheese.

All I have done is add a sliced red onion but the whole thing is a powerful reminder of the simple pleasures Mr Johnson persuaded enough ignorant people to turn their backs on by voting for Brexit.


2 large peppers (red, yellow or green or a mixture)

1 medium red onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 fl oz (25 ml) vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Start by trimming the peppers and cutting them into a ¼ inch (5mm) julienne of about two inches (5cm) long.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil with the vinegar and two fluid ounces (55 ml) of water in a saucepan and then stir in the honey.

Bring this liquid to a simmer and add the peppers and onion, stirring them so they are coated.

The next step is to cover the pan so the peppers and onion soften over low heat. They will be tender after about 20 minutes.

After this take the lid off and raise the heat to evaporate most of the liquid. When the mixture is removed from the heat, season with the salt and pepper, allow to cool, and then put it in some clean jars.

Every time you add a spoonful of this joy to your food, just remember how good life used to be before the nonsense that is Brexit.

Image by Kai Pilger from Pixabay

London: the Capital of Con-Fusion food?

What has happened to the food served in an increasing number of restaurants in London?

It was bad enough when Fusion cuisine began its infiltration of the capital’s kitchens back in the 1970s, combining elements of different culinary traditions. For the 20 years that followed it was, although queer in some cases and an acquired taste in others (Italian Thai cooked by an Austrian chef anyone?), describable in a couple of geographic terms.

Regional fusion combined different cuisines of a region or sub-region into a single eating experience.   Asian fusion restaurants combining the various cuisines of different Asian countries became a mainstay on many UK high streets.

Tex-Mex took southwest United States cuisine and mixed it with Mexican. Pacific Rim smashed together the different cuisines of the various island nations that surround that ocean.


Confused dot com?

But my wife Louise came back from an evening with friends in Soho earlier this week and tried to explain what was on offer at Aurora, the restaurant where they all met up in Lexington Street.

Purporting to offer “a seasonal Modern European menu”, Lou looked distinctly puzzled when I asked her what she had had.

“Warm Salt Beef with Sun-Blush Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Artichokes, Black Olives, Red Peppers and Rocket Salad with Basil Pesto” had been her starter.

One of the others had, for some reason, chosen as a main course “Pan-fried Fillet of Trout on New Potatoes, Sauté Fennel and Tenderstem Broccoli with Coriander, Lime, Chilli and Coconut Dressing and Toasted Almonds”.

The feeling was that they were all pleased the place was where it was, and not too badly priced for that part of town, but this menu was less an appropriate fusion  and more of a cacophony of con-fusion food.