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Sandwich Pies, Tortilla and Quinoa salad. It’s picnic time

June 25, 2011
Picnic Time
Picnic Time

It’s was our church day-out today. We left the bright lights of London to head to Ashridge National Trust estate , <weather-forced edit!> we went to the offices in Fleet Street for an indoor picnic and then wandered out to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to play rounders, frisbee and generally loaf around with friends, followed by a cream tea courtesy of the lovely Audrey’s baking skills.

Everyone was asked to bring something to share for the picnic, and since there is often an overload of sweet things at group events, I thought it was a good excuse to take a brief detour into savouries. Yes readers – Real food (ish). So following this are my picnic offerings of:

Sandwich Pies

Tortilla

Green Quinoa Salad

I had seen a recipe for Chicken & Ham Sandwich Pies in my BBC Good Food magazine last month and since I try to cook at least one thing from each magazine (to make the subscription worthwhile) I thought I’d give them a go. They are really easy, look great and require no cutlery. Perfect picnic food. The only slight tweak I’d make is not to close them up so firmly, as the ones in the magazine looked more like little flowers, but I was worried about too much ooze-age!

Oh, and they smell good when they’re cooking too.

Chicken & Ham Sandwich Pies

Chicken & Ham Sandwich Pies

2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
100g thick sliced ham, chopped
spring onions, finely chopped
100g strong grated cheddar cheese
3 tbsp full fat soft cheese
2 tsp English mustard
500g pack bread mix
plain flour for dusting
egg , beaten

Make the filling (you can do this a day ahead if you want) by mixing together the chicken, ham, spring onion, cheeses and mustard with some seasoning. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Make the bread mix following pack instructions. When they have risen heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease 10 holes of a muffin tin

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, shape into balls then roll out on a floured surface into circles measuring 12cm across. Put a dough circle into one of the holes, push in lightly, then fill with 2 tbsp (or more) of the filling mix. Gather the dough together with your fingers and pinch to create a little parcel that looks a bit like a big flower – don’t worry about totally sealing the dough as the filling will bubble through anyway, which makes the parcels look even better. Keep doing this until you have used all the dough and filling mix.

Brush the parcels with beaten egg and cook for 25-30 mins until golden and risen.

Enjoy warm or leave to cool and eat later at your picnic.

Pea & Bacon Tortilla

I also made a pea and bacon Tortilla/Frittata ( you say potato…)  At every church picnic when I was a child we had Tortillas made by a Spanish lady called Maria and Chinese chicken wings made by a Cantonese lady called Shi-Shi. They were both amazing and I’ve frequently avoided making tortillas just because they will never compare to Maria’s ones. However, I am gradually getting better at them and they are brilliant for using up leftovers too!

You will need a small frying pan, preferably one which can go under the grill. Failing that, I’ve made these in a cake tin before but you’d need to cook it completely in the over rather than on the hob to start (unless you’re not afraid for your cake tin).

The key ingredients of this is the potato and egg. Other than that you can throw in pretty much whatever you like.

“Spanish” Pea & Bacon Tortilla

Makes a 8 1/2 inch round tortilla

5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Some potatoes (enough, when cubed to fill the frying pan twice). I use new potatoes.
Left over diced spring onions from the previous recipe (or normal onions, diced)
Left over bacon from dinner  (or if you’re being authentic, Chorizo)
Peas, cooked (halved cherry tomatoes, asparagus etc would also work)

Roughly chop the potatoes into 1inch-sish sized pieces. Boil in salted water until just cooked, but not too soft. 

Fry the (spring) onions and bacon/chorizo.

Drain the potatoes and add to the frying pan. Fry them off until browned around the edges. This is to give colour an add taste to them.

If not already using your Tortilla sized frying pan, get it hot and throw the potato/onion/bacon mix into it and stir in the peas. 

Turn on the grill.

Pour over the egg mixture and cook until it’s coming away from the edges of the pan and starting to set.

Put the pan under the grill (you can sprinkle cheese on now if you fancy it) and cook until the top is done and the Tortilla is set through.

Done! Yum yum.

And finally…. a bit lighter and possibly healthier 

Quinoa, Soya bean and Spinach salad

Green Quinoa Salad

(works better when you say Green Keen-wah salad)

Quinoa
Spinach leaves
Lettuce
Peas
Soya beans
Cherry tomatoes

Cook some quinoa, peas and soya beans and leave to cool.

Chop the lettuce and a small amount of basil.

Add in the washed spinach leaves, quinoa, peas, soya beans and cherry tomatoes

Season with salt, pepper and a little olive oil if you like and mix well.

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