Cooking Club:
A very British
picnic

Make the most of the spring weather with a nice meal outside!

General, colloquial word for alcoholic drinks.

Something that comes and goes quickly.

Simple, easy, not complicated.

Small sandwiches eaten with your hands at parties or picnics.

The main supporting part of something.

Any kind of green, edible leaves used for salads.

Food that is salty or spicy, not sweet.

Something with a lot of popular appeal.

A small piece of food used to decorate other food or drink.

The blanket is stretched out on the grass, there are baskets overflowing with food, the sun is dancing between the inevitable grey clouds which dot the bluish sky, there is the likelihood of at least one brief but heavy shower, you are wishing you had brought warmer clothes, and of course, there is plenty of booze to be drunk: it’s a very British picnic!

The picnic is a tradition at the heart of British culture, it is the chance to make the most of fleeting moments of sunshine, to share food with friends and family, for city-dwellers to take advantage of the parks and gardens, and, as with most British traditions, to have a bit too much to drink.

This guide will give you the straightforward recipes you need to make your picnic a success, just add: blanket, basket and good company.

 

Egg and cress sandwiches

 

Simple finger sandwiches are the backbone of any successful picnic! This classic British recipe uses watercress, but this can be replaced by whatever small leafy green you have access to.

Ingredients (makes 8 small finger sandwiches):

4 slices of white bread
4 eggs
4 tbsp. of mayonnaise
A large bunch of watercress (canónigos are a possible replacement)
Butter for spreading
Salt and pepper

Steps:

To start, boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes until hard, put in ice water and remove the shells. Mash the boiled eggs in a bowl with a fork and mix in the mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Roughly chop the watercress and add it to the mixture. Lightly toast the slices of bread, let them cool and butter them. Make 2 sandwiches with the egg and cress filling, then cut each into 4 small triangles.

 

Homemade sausage rolls

 

These delicious savoury treats are bound to be eaten up in seconds. Enjoy them hot or cold!

Ingredients (makes 16 small sausage rolls):

A handful of chopped thyme
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
400g of sausages
400g of puff pastry (rectangular shape) (hojaldre)
Flour for rolling
1 egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Steps:

Remove the sausage meat from the casings and put in a bowl. Mix in the chopped thyme and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cut the puff pastry in two and roll it out on a floured surface into two strips of40cm x 15 cm. Spread the filling evenly along the length of the strip in a cylinder shape. Brush some of the beaten egg on the inside of the pastry and fold the pastry over the sausage, making sure it’s properly sealed. Brush the outside with the remainder of the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cut the strips into 5cm lengths and put on a baking sheet. Cook in an oven preheated to 180 C for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

 

Jam Tarts

 

These super-simple sweet treats are definite crowd-pleasers. Make sure to get some good-quality jam or marmalade that is to your taste.

Ingredients:

400g shortcrust pastry (brisa)
A couple of jars of your favourite jams or marmalades
Caster sugar, for sprinkling
Flour for rolling

Steps:

Roll out the pastry and cut it into circles using a pastry cutter or a cup. Put the rounds of pastry into the holes of a muffin tray. Fill each tart with a spoonful of jam, sprinkle them all with caster sugar. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

 

Pimm’s

 

This gin-based long drink is a classic of summertime in Southern England. Just add some garnishes, ice, lemonade and ginger ale and you’ve got a delicious drink to share.

Ingredients (makes 1L of Pimm’s):

½ a cucumber
6 strawberries
2 oranges
A handful of fresh mint
400ml Pimm’s No. 1
300ml Lemonade
300ml Ginger ale

Steps:

Cut the cucumber, strawberries and oranges into slices. Roughly chop the mint. In a large bowl or jug mix together all the ingredients. Enjoy!

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