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Picnic Pastries

16 Jun 2021

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National Picnic Week 2021 takes place this year between 19th - 27th June. What better way to spend a lazy summers afternoon, responsibly social distancing, than in a lovely location with your family, playing games and tucking in to a picnic.

Although the concept of the picnic originated in France, the British have very much taken it to their hearts. An inexpensive day out, a picnic provides the chance for quality family time playing traditional games such as rounders or just relaxing with a good book.

The only real rule of a picnic is to tidy up when you leave. Apart from that the beauty of the picnic is it can be personalised to suit every family. So whether you are a traditionalist in the food you pack or an adventurous foodie, the important thing is just to be outside having fun.

Ricotta & Spinach Squares
Ingredients
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
100g bag young leaf spinach
150g ricotta
1 large free-range egg, beaten
20g freshly grated Parmesan

Method
• Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan. Cut the puff pastry evenly into 4 rectangles.
• Put the spinach in a colander and pour over boiling water to wilt. Cool under cold water then really squeeze out the water. Tip into a bowl and mix with ricotta, beaten egg, parmesan and season to taste.
• Spoon onto 1 half of each pastry rectangle and brush the edges with beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the filling, seal with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet. Brush with more beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden.


Chorizo Chicken Puff Rolls
This recipe is great for using up leftover pasta sauce!
Ingredients:
200g leftover pasta sauce
1 cold cooked chicken breast or pack of cooked chicken
50g finely chopped chorizo
320 g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg - lightly beaten (this will be your egg wash)
1 tsp black sesame or nigella seeds

Method:
• Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan.
• Mix together your pasta sauce, shredded chicken and finely chopped chorizo.
• Unroll the pastry and slice in half lengthways.
• Spoon chicken-chorizo mixture down the middle of the two lengths of pastry. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold the pastry over, so the edges meet. Use a fork to press down the edges.
• Brush the tops of the two long rolls of pastry with egg wash, then slice each roll into 9 or 10 pieces.
• Sprinkle with the seeds and transfer the pastry pieces to a large, non-stick baking sheet - leaving at least ½ an inch of space between each pastry.
• Place in the oven and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden brown.
• Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes (or completely if preferred) and serve.

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