For UK readers, I am not the Fat Man as famous from food programs on BBC2; rather I am someone who shares his build and name (I think I got there first to be honest)! No matter. My aim of these little ditties is to introduce easy to cook but tasty food. It is not Cordon Bleu or Novelle Cuisine. As fine as these styles are, I like food and plenty of it! What I hope to give you is a series of good varying dishes, that can be eaten with friends in a relaxed atmosphere, or just scoffed whilst watching Hawaii Five-O re-runs on rainy Tuesday evenings. One final point because I like my food, if I say something will serve two people, then those with more normal appetites should get three to four out of it.

Before we start, I like to lay out my recipes in traditional style, so...

1lb chopped/diced Chicken or Quorn (British Mycoprotein)
2 large courgettes (sliced)
1 large red salad capsicum (sliced)
1 large yellow salad capsicum (the red and yellow are just for visual enjoyment any colours will do)
1 large onion Chopped
1 small tin of sweetcorn 200g of Dairylea (Kiddies cheese spread)
1 medium tin of button mushrooms (sliced) with the water
450g soured cream
Bottle of your favourite wine.

First things first. Open the wine, pour a generous measure and start drinking. The first rule of any good English cook is to have limitless quantities of such beverage easily to hand. If you don't drink alcohol, then now is as good a time as any to try. If you are an alcoholic, perhaps juice would be good!

A very good friend, Mieke Dahm-Henderson, first introduced me to Flensburg Casserole. She had been making this dish for as long as she could remember, and so have her Mother and grandmother. When I first tasted it I was in heaven, and even now ten years later, I still cannot wait to eat it as soon as it is ready. Mieke had no name for the dish but we understand it to be a Northern German dish, and so we named it "Flensburg Casserole". Flensburg is the northern most town in Germany and also Mieke's hometown.

Flensburg is a small quiet town nestled just south of German/Danish border. It is in the area known as Schleswig-Holstein, famed for being where the German surrender of WWII was first announced and where the treaty was subsequently signed. Anyone visiting there, will find a wealth of Museums dedicated to the history of the area and also many castles each with it's own little piece of history. On a final note about Flensburg, it has two breweries, "Flensburger" where the more widely known (at least in Germany) Flensburger Pilsner comes from, but more importantly a small brewery called The Hansen Braueri which produces the finest lager beer I have ever tasted. I guarantee that once you try these, the cheap European and US lagers so popular at the moment will never taste right again! I hope you visit the area one day, it's a splendid place with nice people.

Now on with the recipe. This is simple enough to do, and will not test your culinary expertise too much, yet you should be rewarded with a mouthwatering dish that will remind you of Northern Germany, even if you haven't been there!

You need a large pan, large enough to fit all the ingredients in comfortably. Put a little oil or butter into the pan and heat it up gently. If you are using butter at this point, the sensuous smell of hot butter should be making your tastebuds do the slow foxtrot as you read. Next place the onions into the pan and fry them gently until they start to soften, your tatsebuds should now be considering upping their tempo to a waltz.

At this stage add the Chicken and bring up the heat slightly. Cook the chicken and onions for a few minutes until the meat is sealed and the pink colour has gone from all the meat, the onions should now be very soft (although this is not so important). [TOP TIP - Always always always wash your hands in hot soapy water after handling raw meat of any kind].

With the chicken sealed and frying gently you now need to add the remaining ingredients leaving perhaps a third of the capsicums aside (optional). Add everything in any order and stir thoroughly. Now is a good time to take a sip of wine!

After a minute or so the cheese spread should be melted down and mixing in with the other ingredients. You now need to cover the pan and cook this for 35 minutes on a medium simmer. During cooking the pot should be stirred at least twice to ensure a good mix. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time add the remaining capsicums to the pot and stir in. This provides a little crunch to the dish.

Now take a sniff of the dish. You tastebuds should be doing the quickstep now. The taste of the dish can vary a little but on tasting you should get a slightly sharp tangy taste, which is the cheese and soured cream combined. You may add salt and pepper at this stage now if you wish. If your tastebuds are not doing the Fandango now then please go and see a Doctor!

And that, as they say, is that. Serve with plenty of plain boiled rice, and a light red wine. Don't worry if there is some left over, this dish is very often better the day after (keep refrigerated) and is always good after being frozen. This lot should serve about 3 or at a stretch 4 people.

Bon Appetite!



Please feel free to contact me about any of the recipes or articles within Fat Man's Kitchen.

The Fat Man.