Spring picnics for warm days

It's time to get out and enjoy the Spring sunshine and the best way is with a picnic.  Here's some great recipes that will delight friends and family in the great outdoors.


Salmon rillettes

170g-piece skinless salmon fillet
40g butter, at room temperature
100g smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
White pepper
French bread stick (baguette), toasted, to serve
Picked watercress sprigs, to serve

Place the salmon in a frying pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Turn the salmon and set aside in the poaching liquid to cool. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Flake into small pieces.

Process butter in a food processor until smooth. Add the flaked salmon, smoked salmon and creme fraiche or sour cream. Process until coarsely chopped. Add chives and dill. Process to combine. Season with salt and white pepper. Transfer to a 500ml (2-cup) jar. Spread on bread. Top with watercress.


Pan picnic

2 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways
Olive oil spray
500g day-old Pane Di Casa
200g chargrilled eggplant, drained
250g semi-dried tomatoes, drained
75g sliced salami
210g Bocconcini, sliced
1 cup basil leaves
125g pitted kalamata olives, drained
200g chargrilled capsicum, drained
1 cup parmesan, grated

Preheat a chargrill on high. Lightly spray the zucchini slices with oil. Cook for 1-2 mins each side or until lightly charred.

Place the bread on a board. Use a serrated knife to remove the top third of the loaf and reserve. Scoop out the centre of the bread, leaving a 1cm-thick shell. Layer the eggplant, tomato, salami, bocconcini, half the basil, olives, capsicum, parmesan, zucchini and remaining basil inside the shell. Replace the loaf top and press down firmly.

Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Place on a baking tray. Top with another tray and place cans on top. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to compress the filling and develop the flavours.

Unwrap the loaf and use a large serrated knife to cut crossways into 3cm-thick slices.


Blue cheese and quince sour cream quiche

3 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup sour cream
½ cup milk
120g blue cheese
120g pkt quince paste
5 small fresh lemon thyme sprigs
Baby rocket leaves, to serve
Prosciutto slices, to serve

Sour cream pastry

120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
1 egg
2 cups plain flour

For the sour cream pastry, use electric beaters to beat the butter, sour cream and egg in a large bowl until just combined. Add the flour and beat until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line an 11.5 x 35cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with removable base. Line the tin with the pastry and trim any excess. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to rest.

Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Remove paper and weights or rice and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is dry to touch. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the egg, sour cream and milk together in a jug. Season. Place the quince paste in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the quince paste on Medium for 1 minute or until just runny.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/150C fan forced. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the pastry case. Pour over the egg mixture. Reserve 1 tbs quince paste. Drizzle the remaining quince paste over the egg and sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just set. Set aside to cool slightly. Drizzle with the reserved quince paste. Top with the rocket and prosciutto.


Chicken scotch eggs

6 small free-range eggs, at room temperature
500g chicken sausages, casings removed
¼ cup chopped fresh continental parsley
2 cups plain flour
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Rice bran oil or grapeseed oil, to deep-fry
Zucchini noodles, to serve (optional)
Tomato relish, to serve (optional)

Place 4 eggs in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Heat over medium heat, stirring gently in one direction, until water comes to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and refresh under cold running water. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Gently tap on a flat surface to make tiny cracks all over. Peel under cold running water.

Combine sausage meat and parsley in a bowl. Season. Place 4 pieces of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Use damp hands to divide mixture among plastic wrap and flatten each to a 15cm disc. Carefully place an egg in the centre of each disc. Gather plastic wrap around each disc and shape mixture completely around eggs, smoothing over any cracks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to seal and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm.

Gently whisk remaining eggs in a bowl. Place flour and breadcrumbs on 2 separate plates. Unwrap scotch eggs and roll in flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat.

Add oil to a medium saucepan to reach one-third of the way up the side. Heat over medium heat until oil reaches 160C on a cook’s thermometer (a cube of bread will turn golden brown in 30-35 seconds). Cook scotch eggs, in 2 batches, for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Season. Serve with zucchini and relish, if you like.

Recipe source: taste.com.au

Knights Meats