Pack up a basket with goodies and head to the great outdoors for a picnic
Recipes & styling By Seiko Hatfield
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the eggs
*6 duck eggs (or large hen eggs)
*120g butter beans, cooked
*2tsp tomato purée
*300g pork mince
*100g chorizo, skin removed and chopped into small pieces
*Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*1tsp mild smoked paprika (or hot paprika for extra spice)
*½tsp fresh oregano, chopped
*1tsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
*50g plain flour
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*100g dry breadcrumbs
*1.5ltr vegetable oil, for frying
For the mayonnaise
*2 egg yolks
*1tsp smooth Dijon mustard
*2 garlic cloves, crushed
*140ml vegetable oil
*Pinch of saffron, soaked in 1tsp warm water
*1tsp lemon juice
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the duck eggs for 8 minutes (if you are using large hen eggs, boil for 7½ minutes). Drain and cool under running water. Peel off the shells and set aside.
Put the butter beans and tomato purée in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the pork mince, chorizo, 6 pinches of sea salt, a good grind of black pepper, paprika, oregano and parsley. Mix well using your hands, then divide into 6 balls.
Place a piece of cling film over a work surface. Put 1 ball of mixture on the top and, using your hands, press the meat into a patty 5-6mm thick. Place an egg on top and lightly wrap the meat around it, pinching together at the ends. Repeat the same process for the other 5 eggs. Dip each ball into the flour, then into the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process so each egg is coated twice.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180ºC/360ºF. Carefully lower the Scotch eggs into the oil and cook for 7 minutes until golden. Remove, and drain on kitchen paper. Keep the eggs warm, or leave to cool if taking on a picnic.
To make the mayonnaise, place the egg yolks, mustard and garlic in a bowl and whisk until pale. Put the oil in a jug and start to slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking all the time, until all the oil is completely incorporated. Stir in the saffron, the water in which it soaked and the lemon juice. Season with salt and serve with the Scotch eggs.
If you want to reheat the eggs before serving, pop them in an oven preheated to 200ºC/390ºF/gas mark 6 for 10 minutes.
FYI Chorizo is a spiced pork sausage used in Spanish cooking. It’s richly seasoned with chilli and paprika, which gives it a rich, red colour, and can be bought fresh or dried.
Nutritional information: 603 calories 45g fat
Chicken, ham & vegetable layered picnic pie
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Cooling time: 6 hours
For the filling
*1 red pepper
*1tbsp olive oil
*1 onion, roughly chopped
*2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
*600g boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets (choose good-quality as cheaper meat can produce excess water making the pie soggy)
*2tbsp finely chopped parsley
*Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*100g sun-dried tomatoes, drained from their oil
*½ courgette, sliced 5mm thick, griddled for 3 minutes on both sides
For the pastry
*70g unsalted butter
*450g plain flour
*1tsp sea salt
*1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF/gas mark 6. Line a 10 x 20 x 7cm loaf tin with 2 layers of aluminium foil, so the foil comes up over the top of the tin.
Place the red pepper on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cool, remove the skin and put aside. Roughly chop 80g of the ham and cut the rest into 5mm-thick slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and cook the onion and garlic until golden. Set aside. Whizz 2 chicken thighs in a blender until they form a paste. Add the onion, chopped ham and parsley and blend until the ham is finely chopped. Season. Wrap the remaining chicken in cling film and beat to a 5mm thickness using a rolling pin.
For the pastry, melt the lard, butter and 200ml hot water in a pan. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then pour the hot water mix in, stirring well. With your hands, bring the mixture into a soft dough. Place a third of the dough to one side, then roll the rest on a floured surface into a 35 x 25cm rectangle that’s 5-7mm thick. Transfer the pastry into the loaf tin so it hangs over the edge by 1½cm.
Lay half the ham slices along the base, followed by half the chicken, then the tomatoes, courgette, ham-and-chicken mix, pepper, remaining chicken and finishing with the remaining ham. Brush beaten egg over the top of the overhung pastry. Roll out the remaining pastry into a 14 x 24cm rectangle and place on top of the tin. Press the edges together, trim the excess and make a hole in the top to let steam escape. Press your fingertips along the edges to make a wavy effect, ensuring the lid and sides are sealed. Decorate the pie top with any pastry trimmings and brush with the egg.
Place the pie on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Lift the pie out of the tin using the foil, glaze the sides with egg, then place on the baking tray and cook for 30 minutes until golden. If liquid seeps out, mop with kitchen paper. Remove from the oven and cool before carving with a sharp knife. The pie will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Nutritional information: 584 calories, 31g fat
Learn more about perfect picnic wines, here