Writing by Peter Hilton

Rough & Ready Rapid Recipes

My shockingly simple method for knocking up some grub.

This page is devoted the my shockingly simple way of knocking up a quick meal. Food snobs should read no further - go and bake something delicate that has a French name instead.


Just follow these simple instructions, which apply to all of the recipes.

  1. Collect your scales, measuring spoons and other precision culinary instruments.
  2. Throw them all away.
  3. Get a big chopping board and a Very Big Cooks Knife.
  4. Put a big frying pan or wok, according to taste, onto the hob. (Remember to turn the hob on.)
  5. Gather the contents of Pile 1 and chop anything big into smallish bits.
  6. Put the pile into the frying pan.
  7. Do that spatula thing for a while.
  8. Repeat steps 5 to 7 for Pile 2 and Pile 3.
  9. Don't forget to eat the food


Here are the recipes, that is the contents of the three piles for each dish.

Note: any nationality in a title should be preceded with 'Vaguely' and followed by '-Style' so that 'Spanish Chicken', say, is really 'Vaguely Spanish-Style Chicken'.

Fish Finger Salad

  1. olive oil, green pepper, iceberg lettuce, spring onions, mushrooms, salt, lime juice, a small amount of diced fresh red chili
  2. watercress (or similar)
  3. fish fingers, grilled until very crispy and cut into square quarters

Don't fry this one in a frying pan, because it's a salad. Try serving it with boiled rice or small new potatoes. Note: the lime juice should be fresh and the fish fingers hot.

Chinese Fried Rice

  1. vegetable or sesame oil, one egg, (spring) onions
  2. peas, sweetcorn, prawns, chicken, ham, MSG (optional)
  3. cooked rice (better done the day before and left in a bowl in the fridge overnight)

All of the ingredients are optional, except for the rice. If you use the egg, scramble it on a high heat until it sets and breaks up into lots of little bits before adding the spring onions.

Pasta & Tomatoes With Prawns

  1. olive oil, garlic, salt, onions, green chillies, green peppers
  2. black pepper, basil, oregano, prawns, tinned chopped tomatoes
  3. cooked pasta tubes (that's English for penne)
Rachel Alexander invented this one, although she claims to have nicked the idea from Browns.

Spanish Chicken

  1. olive oil, salt, onions, chicken pieces (don't chop this up and make sure that you cook it for long enough)
  2. garlic (lots of), black pepper, basil
  3. tinned chopped tomatoes, white wine (not optional)
Serve with plain rice.

Chicken Chop Suey

  1. onions, garlic, fresh ginger, Chinese Five Spice, chicken fillet sliced into strips
  2. red peppers, beansprouts, MSG (optional)
  3. chopped tomatoes

Serve with rice or noodles.

Cajun Blackened Fish (Fingers) In Rice

  1. olive oil, fish (fingers) chopped into squares, salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper
  2. onions, green peppers, lemon juice
  3. cooked rice, small amount of chopped tomatoes
If you are going to blacken the fish fingers properly, make sure that you have a good extractor fan.

Latin-American Potatoes

  1. olive oil, onions, salt, cayenne pepper, courgettes, meat (optional)
  2. almost cooked boiled potatoes, a little lemon juice, sliced up tinned tomatoes, turmeric
  3. freshly ground black pepper

Fish Fingers In Lime

  1. olive oil, onions, fish fingers chopped into squares, salt, green chillies
  2. sweetcorn, lots of lime juice
  3. cooked rice
If you are going to blacken the fish fingers properly, make sure that you have a good extractor fan.

Chinese Fried Noodles

  1. sesame or vegetable oil, garlic, fresh ginger
  2. cabbage, carrot, red or green peppers, MSG (optional)
  3. cooked egg noodles, soy sauce
A big wok on a big gas flame is best for this one. The contents of Pile 2 should be sliced into thin strips three or four centimetres long.

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